There are some durable truths about ourselves that we may have neglected to see or failed to remember.
These truths were recognized thousands of years ago, and have continued to stand the test of time. Here I will spell out four of them, along with some ideas dealing with how to use this knowledge.
1. Durable Truths Concerning Self Interest.
We are all self interested in one way or the other. Even when we sacrifice for others, this is even motivated by our own selfish desires. These desires include good feelings along with wanting to see or even make the world the way we desire it to be.
From time to time we may Forget this, and we may become bitter from trying to “do the right thing.” In order to avoid this bitterness which comes along with “duty,” we need to recognize that being a good person and doing the right thing is just self interest.
“Self-interest makes some people blind, and others sharp-sighted.”–Francois de Rochefoucauld
“There is some self-interest behind every friendship. There is no friendship without self-interests. This is a bitter truth.”–Chanakya
We can also point out the self-interest of others when we want to correct their behavior. Telling a man he’s wrong isn’t usually enough to change his behavior. It’s better to show him his true interest – that behaving in a better way is better for HIM. Don’t forget the normal and healthy self-interest in dealing with others AND with yourself.
“The kind of society which we still have is maybe, in some cases, getting worse. Competition is becoming a virtue. Intense competition drives people to go more and more into self-interest. Even to see other folks as competition.”–Major Owens
“It has always seemed strange to me… the things we admire in men, kindness and generosity, openness, honesty, understanding and feeling, are the concomitants of failure in our system. And those traits we detest, sharpness, greed, acquisitiveness, meanness, egotism and self-interest, are the traits of success. And while men admire the quality of the first they love the produce of the second.”–John Steinbeck
2. Durable Truths Regarding Mistakes.
“Have no fear of perfection. You’ll never reach it.”–Salvador Dali
This statement can be seen as negativity, however, recognizing the truth is never a negative act. It is a fact that we all make mistakes. The greatest man or woman alive – whoever he or she may be, has done some pretty stupid things.
This really isn’t an attack on human greatness, just a recognition that human greatness isn’t dependent upon doing things perfectly.
Perfectionists suffer from the demands placed upon themselves, at the same time there are others who ‘hesitate to act’ for fear of failure and making mistakes. We have to accept the fact that making mistakes is normal. Never dwell on the those mistakes!
“Do your work, then step back – The only path to serenity.”–Lao Tzu
3. Durable Truths Regarding Learning.
The benefit which comes from making mistakes is that they give us a chance to learn, and so avoid even bigger mistakes. Of course, we also can learn from our successes, and from the successes of others.
We should view mistakes and successes, both our own and others, as the great opportunities they are. Always seize that chance to learn more and therefore, live better.
4. Durable Truths Regarding Change.
You've probably seen people who appear to learn nothing from their mistakes, truth?Yet, you’ve also probably known as well as read about those who turned their lives around! Change is possible, yet, another truth is that people often don’t change. They get in a rut and refuse to come out of it. Just sit and feel sorry for themselves.
The Durable Truth Regarding Change, however, is that we CAN change.
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