Instead I was delivered a list of idealistic commandments prescribing behavior that does not really occur that often out in the field. Which is ironically something an adult would do.
You know the people in your life that can earn the respect of others almost effortlessly? They do most of the things on this list. The majority of adults act like petulant kids, and that's why a lot of adults are fucking miserable. Don't be one of those adults.
Since the mood of a child can change so quickly you can just make a silly face and their mood will be pulled along to the emotion you just caused them to have. Unless of course, you make a silly face at a kid who is about to cry, that's a sure fire way to annoy them.
I think you can also see this difference in the way kids and adults make small talk. "Nice weather we're having" versus "I love pokemon what's your favorite pokemon".
The commandments are meant to help you improve your own behavior. As you improve your own behavior, people will confide more information about themselves in you, and your understanding of what makes people tick will grow. You'll have more intuition about how someone will react to a given scenario. Use the principles to improve your own attitude and behavior so that others pass information to you more easily.
The implementation of this comes down to your clear communication (through both word and body language) that you embody the 25 commandments to everyone you meet. They will receive such a person with great pleasure. As you communicate with them, they'll freely dispense their motivations and dreams to you for study.
It is never acceptable to ask a stranger in a coffee shop why they look serious.
This must be satire or sarcasm, but the parent got me at the beginning.
Also, the need to instinctively smile is replaced with conditional reciprocation based on what they see and assess. That's learned behaviour.
> ... In any event, it occurred to me that, past 30, I could no longer defend my peccadillos on basis of youth. I would have to acquire some minimal sense of responsibility. While I didn't want to be a grown-up, I wanted at least to act like one in the less toxic and stultifying sense of the term.
> So, I sat down around 2 am on October 3, 1977 and I drew up this list of behavioral goals that I hoped might assist in this process. ...
Incidentally, I was watching last night Tim Minchin (an Australian comedian)'s address when receiving his honorary doctorate, and there is a fair bit of overlap
However, applying them all would make you the worlds biggest doormat.
How so? Nowhere does it say "prioritize others desires ahead of your own" or "back down easily" or "tolerate assholes", it just says to be aware that they believe they're right.
It seems to me a good list to aspire to and perhaps frequently break a couple. Anything I disagree with in that list, I can also see the other argument, and I can admit that from a certain perspective the list is making the morally correct point.
I didn't know much about this guy, but RIP.
In case you're wondering how these came about though, from his AMA:
> In fact, the night before I turned 30, I found myself so surprised to have reached an age of indisputable adult that I wrote up a set of "adult principles" that I've been trying to live up to for 35 years.
In the business world, I think this comes down to scamming or defrauding people
I have a rule that mixes the blood sport and the one I quoted above. There are a class of sports/hobbies that, as you progress and improve, you find yourself in more objectively dangerous situations in order to continue to progress.
Some sports are obvious, like boxing and skydiving. But even seemingly innocent activities have this property, like long-boarding and mountain biking. Pretty much anything that goes down hills :(
I'll pick those up hobbies again after this phase of life when rule 12 dominates.
I never tried to control him or any part of his life, but I made it clear that I would not date him if he got a Ducati with two young daughters and I deemed it a selfish life decision. Needless to say, this ego bled into other areas of his life and our relationship that made it intolerable to date him.
I would imagine that this tenant relies somewhat on being in a place of responsibility where you have made it so that others people's well being relies on you somehow, and your lack of existence/leadership/consequences of your bad decisions affect other people than just yourself.
I'm not sure anymore.
- Bear Baiting
- Bull Fighting
- Cock Fighting
- Cock Throwing - a rooster is tied to a post and people took turns throwing sticks at it until the rooster died.
- Dog Fighting
- Goose Pulling - a goose was hung by its legs while a man on a horseback would attempt to grab it by the neck to try and pull its head off
- Bear Baiting was another cruel blood sport
- Fox Tossing - with a person on each end of a sling tossed the fox upwards, the team with the highest throw would win.
- Venatio - played out in Roman amphitheaters involving the hunting and killing of wild animals.
It’s very easy to get sidetracked or confused, so there’s utility in being reminded that there are other people who share the same values as you.
YMMV but for me some of these came naturally with time.
An example to consider: when thinking about rule 1, it doesn't make any sense to wait patiently in a line when others are cutting in. One has to stand up for himself/herself and say something.
"Your mission" is simply a placeholder for what you believe will make you happy. It's very subject to change. I'd argue that a healthy respect for what makes you happy can help you avoid a mission that you'll later regret.
>"Your mission" is simply a placeholder for what you believe will make you happy.
Simply?! Well no. Even without that, it doesn't seem right. I think I know what you meant, (like I think you know what he meant) but the two aren't always equivalent. Some people have important and unattainable goals that they know won't make them happy. Or doing your duty, like taking care of sick family etc. More to do with meaning than happiness. It sounds like you would argue no-one can do anything but what they believe will make them happy.
And Socrates and Kierkegaard etc realized that often in life we would regret either of two choices. The grass is always greener, and feeling regret doesn't mean the other choice would have been better. (e.g. To marry or not)
Here are some examples.
Be patient. No matter what.
There are times when presenting impatience is the right way to get results. They are usually overused, but deadlines do have a proper place in your motivational toolbox.
Never assume the motives of others are, to them, less noble than yours are to you.
Never? And what if the other is lying, cheating and stealing? I fully agree with "do not lightly assume", but "never" is the wrong standard.
Never lie to anyone for any reason. (Lies of omission are sometimes exempt.)
If a person is using force to attempt to steal from me, or harm those I care about, it is fine for me to lie to them in self-defense. Again, "never" is the wrong standard.
Reduce your use of the first personal pronoun.
I find that people are much more likely to accept and act on criticism if I tell a story about myself which parallels the problem that I see. (Sadly "much more" does not mean "very".) This is a concrete example of how my increasing my use of "the first personal pronoun" was a good thing, not a bad one.
Remember that love forgives everything.
Only if you define forgiveness in the right way. If someone steals from me, and I have a loving understanding of them, then I can forgive them their past action. But I still probably shouldn't put myself in a position where they can steal from me in the future.
I did that with my ex for a quarter century. I learned that some things SHOULD NOT be endured. My life is much better now.
Never assume does not preclude the possibility of drawing conclusions based on firm evidence. It merely cautions against prejudice.
I will note that people living in abusive situations or under oppressive regimes may learn to lie, cheat and steal to survive. They may feel justified. They may even feel they are nobly standing up against evil.
There is some truth to the idea that you need middle class means to afford middle class morality.
You can assume never means “outside of extreme extenuating circumstances”, since that’s how it’s generally used in common speech.
The complexity of the environment created by and occupied by human experiences is infinite. There are infinite scenarios that humans find themselves in, and there are infinite positive responses to those scenarios. You can take any positive human response to a given scenario and "disprove" the response's positive outcome by changing something about the scenario. But once you do that, you introduce other positive responses that could taken instead.
The principles boil down it into 25 patterns of human behavior that tend to result in success for the individual and his/her greater community. The list is an optimum solution: lowest number of characters for the highest amount of good outcome if followed. When confronting the complexity of existence, a set of guidelines is useful to refer to.
However, anyone that consults a list of principles when their family is in danger is likely not smart enough to comprehend the list anyways, so it does not apply to them.
In fact JP acknowledges reality when he excepts lies of omission. So the fact that he doesn't do so in other obvious places is strange.
You're left with some rules that are easy to prove nonsensical and easily dismissed. Which is unfortunate.
I disagree with that opinion, for reasons that I explained above.
Motives, not actions. Odds are pretty high that the shared motivation for you and the lying, cheating, stealing other is to achieve the best outcome possible for yourselves, you're just going about it in different ways.
One way this advice manifests practically is that, as a rule, people are not "out to get you", they're just looking out for themselves, and it's much easier to deal with them when you understand that.
And let's not bring up the counterexample of a poor mother stealing a cake to feed her child. Some people steal cakes just because they're dicks, and if your worldview doesn't account for that it's lacking.
I think there's a distinction to be made between "assume" and "conclude" that might better capture what you're getting at. If I'm deciding that your motives are ignoble based on evidence, it's not an assumption.