Tag Archives: motivation

The Prime Prerogative

"If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you'll find an excuse."

 

There’s more information in the world than your brain can possibly store or process. Not only are there obscure factoids about South American tree frogs you’ll never know (and don’t care to know), but there are libraries of very important, very pertinent information that you really, really should know but simply don’t have the capacity to learn. Even in our daily lives, we have to ration out what we apply our brain to. We’d all love to learn 10 foreign languages and all of our friends’ phone numbers, but we don’t have the mental capacity. Our brains are already overclocked, and the fact that we live in the digital age, where information fights for our attention in a world already over-saturated with information, makes it all the harder to manage the clutter accumulating in our brains.

Luckily our brains are smarter than we are, and our brains have done an exemplary job of streamlining the process of collecting, storing, processing and retrieving data. But again, it can only do so much. When you’ve got too much to do and not enough resources to do it all, you prioritize. Consciously and subconsciously we break life down into a kaleidoscope of shifting priority schemes. We’ve got long-term priorities, mid-term goals, short-term desires, side projects, and fantasies. We prioritize our friends, our lovers, our sins, our strengths. We construct our perception of reality on all of these imagined lists and hierarchies. Our understanding of these lists becomes who we are.

That process is extremely tumultuous, especially for people who live in inhuman environments. It’s pretty simple to knock a person’s priorities out of whack. Just don’t teach them anything. Don’t let them do anything they want, and scare them all the time. Everyone you’ll ever meet (yourself included) is arguably a little broken, but broken minds still operate using the same operating system as nurtured minds. Everybody’s minds still have to break life down into a hierarchy of priorities in order to manage processing all the data required to propel a semi-autonomous, bi-pedal, organic supercomputer.

This means that everyone you will ever meet will have their own unique, pyramid-shaped daydream in their head about who, where, what, when and why they are. Those pyramids are built from the unique amalgamation of information their minds happened to get cluttered with. So everyone has their own imperfect perception of reality, and each of our universes are ultimately built around a center point, which I call the “Prime Prerogative.”

 

 

Your life is a question that your brain is trying to solve. Your prime prerogative is the answer it has come up with based on the information it has been able to gather. It’s you doing what you think is most important in life based on your values. It’s the direction that the boundaries you set for yourself are taking your life in…. and that direction may or may not have any resemblance to what you say you believe the meaning of life is.

Uneducated people raised on processed, homogenized consumer culture don’t tend to take the time to meditate on the meaning of life, and if/when they don’t exercise their ability to think for themselves for long enough then their brains default to auto-pilot. Then their prime prerogative defaults to seducing a mate and fighting their way as far up the social hierarchy as their monkey claws will take them. A worst-case scenario would be someone who has been so stonewalled and crippled by their environment that they’ve given up all hope of ever achieving any of their own personal priorities. When prisoners in P.O.W. or concentration camps lose their prime prerogative they just lie down and die. Or if you work in a sweatshop for long enough you just die inside and sleepwalk until your body stops moving, but if you ever meet a person who is still alive and breathing, you can predict they have a prime prerogative.

A person’s prime prerogative is typically set by the time they’re in their mid-twenties, but it can change, especially if the environment changes since that upsets the equation of life the brain is trying to solve and forces it to recalculate its priorities. People’s priorities also tend to change when a hot piece of ass walks by or someone offers them a lot of money. So even if you think you’ve figured out someone’s primary prerogative, you might be basing your answer on information the person gave you when they were pursuing a side goal, but if you spend enough time with a person then their prime prerogative will shine through even if they try to hide it (or because they try to hide it). You still won’t be able to see it through people’s facades if you’re not looking, and to make matters more confusing, our own prerogatives often blind us from seeing other people for who they are and understanding what they want.

If nothing else, understanding other people’s prime prerogatives is useful because it allows you to spot douche bags, con men and psychopaths from a mile away. It’s also useful, because if you ever need something from someone and you know what they want most in life then you can make it in their best interest to help you remove an obstacle between you and your prime prerogative by helping them achieve their prime prerogative.

Of course, there’s a dark side to all of this too. If you work for a marketing firm you can use this understanding of basic human motivation to mind fuck consumers into buying products they don’t need with money they don’t have. If your prime prerogative is to have sex then you can appeal to your sexual prey’s prime prerogative to seduce them. You can even design a cult that uses traumatic brainwashing techniques to reprogram unsuspecting recruits’ prime prerogative so that they’ll want to be your doting, suicidal slave.

But as Isaac Asimov said, “If knowledge is dangerous, the solution is not ignorance.” (paraphrased) The fact of the matter is that anyone who doesn’t understand the principle of the prime prerogative is navigating their way through society half blind.

How do you figure out other people’s prime prerogative? You just start with the assumption that no action is an island, and then you watch people to find patterns in their behavior. Once you start spotting patterns you simply extrapolate them. When multiple behavior patterns all lead to the same conclusion then you can be fairly sure you’ve found their prime prerogative.

 

"Action expresses priorities." Mohandas Gandhi

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
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Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

Advice On Life

1: Know/create yourself.

You can’t not be you, but if you choose not to understand yourself, identify areas you want to grow in and follow through with a plan to constantly reinvent/upgrade yourself then you’re just going to go with the flow your whole life on autopilot. You’re going to get stuck in an unfulfilling job. You’re going to fall in love with the first person who touches your genitals. You’re going to have children to try to fill the void in your life, and you’re going to be a terrible parent because your own life lacks purpose. You’re going to look back on life in old age and wonder what the point of it all was. But if you’d known who you were and actively set personalized goals then you would have lived with purpose.

 

 

2: Be curious and pay attention.

All of the answers to all of your problems are out there in the universe. Problems aside, there are more wonders in this cosmic playground than you could possibly experience or understand, but in order to solve any problem or get the most out of your play time, you need to look at the world around you and study it.

Every time you see something new you should wonder why it is the way it is. Finding out why will empower you. Not knowing will cripple you. Not finding things out is like choosing not to have any superpowers. So find out as much as you can about as much as you can, and never lose your passion for learning, because the moment you stop learning is the moment you start regressing back to a thirsty, hungry, horny monkey on autopilot.

 

3: Never trust authority.

There will always be someone with authority over you. At any given point in your life, you’ll be subject to multiple authority structures simultaneously: your parents, teachers, bosses, police, politicians. They can all give a good reason why they should have authority over your free will, and most of them will have a fancy looking piece of paper that says they’re more alpha than you.

While these authority figures may deserve a pat on the back or two for something they did, all men were created equal. Everyone will always be equally valuable, and no matter how much knowledge, experience or age someone has, they still don’t know the meaning of life. Ultimately we’re all just bullshitting our way through life and mimicking random cultural norms we take for granted. And no matter how much anyone knows, our knowledge is dwarfed by what we don’t know.

Since we’re all equal and we’re all idiots that means you would be a fool to have faith in anything anyone says. I’m not saying not to listen to people. Listen to everyone. Learn from everyone. Just doubt everything. And when someone tells you that you have to obey them, recognize that they’re bullying you into submission. That’s all that’s happening there.

Your life is your responsibility. Your authority leaders aren’t going to live it for you. They’re not going to do your work or suffer the consequences of your mistakes. Your life is in your hands. I’m not saying you should disobey everyone. I’m just saying, authority isn’t ordained by God. It’s invented by men. The only authority anyone has over you is the authority you give them.  Don’t give it away carelessly.

 

4: Get a skill and a certification.

The world is a cut-throat place these days, and since the poor are the most defenseless they get their throats cut more than anybody. You can’t live a good life on minimum wage because you can’t afford the basic necessities of life. If you can’t afford the basic necessities of life then you certainly can’t afford to take years off of work to go to school much less pay the extortionate fees every adult education institution charges. But if you don’t have a skill and a piece of paper that says you graduated from somewhere then it will be almost impossible for you to get a job that pays a living wage. Thus poverty becomes inescapable real quick, and the older you get the harder it is to get out of. Seriously, life is hell without a skill and a certificate. Get a forklift license if nothing else. Just get something, because if you don’t then you’ll most likely end up a beaten down wage slave for the rest of your degrading, exhausted existence.

 

5: The world doesn’t owe you anything, and life isn’t fair.

You can scream at the heavens until your lungs blow out and pray on your knees until they bleed, but it won’t change anything. Throughout your life, you’ll suffer repeated injustices. You’ll get the short end of the stick time and time again. That’s going to happen. Crying about it isn’t going to change anything. The only way to change anything is to do something. The sooner you accept that the world doesn’t owe you anything and life isn’t fair the sooner you can dry your face and start getting your hands dirty doing something about the problem.

 

 

6: Don’t be a consumer whore.

Just because you can afford to be stupid doesn’t mean you should. Paying too much for things you don’t need is ignorant. It’s immature. The cost/benefit analysis doesn’t add up. You earn money by spending time working. Money comes from time. Time is fleeting and irreplaceable. The time in your life is the most valuable thing in the universe. Trading it for a $150 shirt that cost $8 to make is giving your life away for nothing, and it makes you a chump. It also means you’re going to have a lot less money in old age, and less money means less security. Less security means more anxiety. More anxiety means more problems. If every consumer whore had done something useful with their money such as donating it to a free online school that covers every topic in academia then the world would be one giant leap closer to Utopia. But as it stands we’ve chosen sports cars, name brand shirts and blood diamonds over Utopia.

 

7: Have high intellectual standards.

The quality of your life is determined by the quality of your mind. Life sucks for stupid people, and life is limitless for smart people. Being smart isn’t just about memorizing all the keywords in every university textbook. Books just tell you about what’s going on around you. Once you understand what’s going on around you the next step is to engage with the world, study it and try to navigate and operate it. Since you’re going to die someday relatively soon you don’t have any time to lose. If you can choose what kind of environment and stimulation you expose yourself to, you should choose to expose yourself to intelligent, edifying things. Celebrating stupidity by acting brainless and watching brainless television and listening to brainless music and talking about brainless things is a waste of time. You’re letting the mysteries of the universe slip through your fingers. To make matters worse, the more you do it the more you reinforce your own brainless behavior  and since all your brainless friends don’t study the world around them and they just mimic whatever the people around them are doing they’re going to see your brainlessness and assume that being brainless is what we’re all supposed to be doing. Then, as a group, you’re going to be an intellectual drag on society. You’ll become the brainless consumer whore sheeple who politicians and marketers can manipulate into squandering society’s potential for the benefit of a few sociopaths.

 

8: People are important.

You’re an animate, sentient, bipedal, autonomous cosmic supercomputer. You’re stranded in an elegantly designed universe for a relatively short time, and even if you could find a logical explanation for the absurd, existential question of life you probably couldn’t empirically prove your answer. That sucks and is made worse by the fact that we’re stranded in a cold, harsh universe that isn’t fair and doesn’t owe us anything. Life is hard, but there’s one warm light in the darkness. That light is the other people in the world you’re surrounded by. Each one of us is an existential question, and we have a universe in our minds. We’re the only thing in the universe we can connect with. We make life worth living. We’re the most important thing in the universe. There’s nothing more important we can do than taking care of each other. Hurting, killing, exploiting, bullying, manipulating and abandoning each other is the worst thing we can do.

 

9: Today is what it’s all been leading up to.

About 14.7 billion years ago an infinitely dense point of energy expanded inexplicably creating time and space as we know it in the process. Since then the atoms in your body have been flying through space. After traveling through gas clouds, stars and oceans they’ve finally come to rest in your body. The atoms inside you have been a cloud, a meteor, a fish, a plant, a cough. The matter in your body has been amazing places and done amazing things. It’s been an incredible journey, and it has all been leading up to one final step. The last step is the step you choose. At the very least it warrants raising your hands to the sky and shouting, “I’m here!”

The time to celebrate life is now, not after you graduate, get promoted or retire. Life isn’t around the corner. It’s here. Now. Today.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

No Action Is An Island

 

Have you ever known anyone who dated an asshole and was miserable because of it? Did it ever annoy you how they’d constantly make excuses for why their significant other was an asshole and why they were going to put up with it? The whole time they were making excuses you were probably thinking, “That person was an asshole yesterday. That person is an asshole today. That person is going to be an asshole tomorrow. Why don’t you understand that?” Well, your friend was oblivious yesterday. They’re oblivious today, and they’re going to be oblivious tomorrow. Why don’t you understand that?

How you act in a given situation is how you can be expected to act in any other similar situation. Everything you do or think is a piece of a pattern of thoughts and behavior that has existed in your past and will exist in your future.

No action is an isolated incident. Everything is part of a pattern. This is why psychologists and fake psychics understand you so well even if they only know a little bit about you. They understand that every little detail they know about you is indicative of a larger whole.

This is why bad drivers and people who stand in the middle of the aisle at the grocery store blocking 15 shoppers while they stare mindlessly at a jar of pickles should piss you off. If they’re dumb enough to do that one seemingly idiotic thing, then how far does that pattern stretch throughout the rest of their lives?

So you have to ask yourself, what are your tendencies? Are there any tendencies you have that you try to minimalize or make excuses for? The next time you do some small irrational thing, stop and try to find how that irrational action fits into a pattern in your life because I guarantee it does.

Next time someone is mean to you and comes up with a seemingly valid excuse for why their meanness was an accident, don’t believe them. The only accident was that they let you see the real pattern beneath the mask they’re wearing.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
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Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

My Philosophy On Being Calm

As a child, my favorite characters on television were the old guys (usually Asian karate masters) who were always perfectly calm and had everything figured out. They’d sit there and smirk as the young fledgling hero fumbled through their quests like a clueless 11-year-old lost in a big city.

 

Black and white photo of Mr. Miyagi (from the movie, "The Karate Kid) holding chopsticks and looking calm and wise.

 

One day it dawned on me that I’d been fumbling through life crippled by my own ignorance just like the fledgling heroes on my favorite Saturday morning cartoons, and just like the young heroes on television, I was the only obstacle keeping me from becoming a calm, centered Zen master too. All I had to do was figure out the supreme truth they understood. Unfortunately, I couldn’t ask my parents or any other old people in my real life to teach that secret to me, because they didn’t know it either.

If nobody would tell me the secret to supreme calmness then I’d just have to figure it out for myself, and I reasoned I could do it without having to go through a lifetime of meditation and martial arts training if I just worked backward and reverse engineered the process from the conclusion.

The conclusion was that all life’s problems aren’t worth stressing over. I just needed to know why.

The difference between the old, wise, tranquil guy and the man who jumps out of a skyscraper when the stock market dips, is perception of priorities. When you know what’s important then you don’t worry about the unimportant things. When you have a skewed perception of what’s important, then you overreact to unimportant events. So you have to ask yourself, what’s important and why?

Imagine all the worst possible things happening to you at once. Your loved ones die. You go bankrupt. You go to prison. You lose your legs. You lose your rank in your high school’s social hierarchy. Once you’ve lost in every way that you can possibly lose in life, what have you really lost? All you’ve lost is external luxury. But you still have your self, the only thing you ever truly owned. Nobody can take that away from you, and as long as you have yourself then you can still till a life for yourself.

The only time you’re taken from you is when you die. Even then, it’s not logical to fear the inevitable. And the big kicker about death is that when you die you lose everything in life anyway. So when you lose anything in life before death…shit…you were going to lose it anyway. So you can’t ever lose anything that you weren’t going to lose anyway.

This makes a lot of suicides ironic. The point of suicide is to escape your intolerable life. If people could choose between suicide and a better life they’d just choose the better life. So if you’re at the point that you’re willing to kill yourself then you’re free to do anything. If you’re willing to let go of all the ties that bind you to the earth then you’re free to fly to the ends of the earth.

Look, shit happens. So don’t be surprised when it does, and don’t freak out because you think it’s the end. It’s never the end until you’re dead, and in the meantime, shit happening doesn’t change the fact that you’re still you and you can still experience life.

So the old, wise guy realizes that nothing really matters. but the reason the young hero can’t achieve the same Fight Club-esque sense of freedom from worry is because he’s trying too hard. Don’t try to hold the philosophy that loss is unimportant tightly in your mind. Just let go. Say, “Fuck it.” All you have to lose is your anxiety.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
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Self-Esteem
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Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
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My Tweets About Self-Help

My Theory On Aggregate Happiness and Immediate Karma

Aggregate Happiness

 

There are millions of moments throughout your life where you’re faced with a decision that can cause you a tiny bit of happiness or a tiny bit of distress. The amount of happiness and stress is so small that it basically doesn’t matter: like waiting to use the restroom until later, satisfying a slight hunger, resting for five minutes, rubbing one out before work, etc. These choices might seem inconsequential, but when you think of the millions upon millions of these tiny choices we make in our lifetimes, if we always choose to take that extra piss, snack, nap, or whatever then those millions of choices will add up to a huge chunk of happiness, but if we always choose to tough it out we will have amassed a huge pile of misery over the course of our lives.

 

Text: "It all adds up."

 

Immediate Karma

 

We only have so much time in this life. Therefore we only have so much time to be happy. Whenever you’re angry, confrontational, jealous, convincing, condescending, etc. you feel angry, confrontational, jealous, etc. If you’re always acting that way then you’re always feeling that way. So at the end of your life all you’ll have to look back on, all you’ll have experienced will have been negativity.

The second you’re mean to someone, you’ve already created an experience for yourself that is not worth remembering and is wasted time that could have been spent experiencing happiness. So when someone is being a dick to you, understand they may or may not ruin your day, but they sure as hell are ruining their own. Even if they look like they’re enjoying harassing you, they’re not experiencing pure, honest joy, and they’ll never be able to get that moment back. It will have been wasted on sub-par joy for the rest of eternity.

On the other hand, no selfless act is ever unrewarded. Anytime you do something virtuous you get the reward of feeling happy. Even if you don’t get a tangible reward, ask yourself why you would have wanted a tangible reward anyway. You would have wanted a tangible reward because it would have made you happy. Well, if you take joy in doing good without getting a tangible reward then you just skip straight to the end goal: immediate happiness.

Example of cause and effect: A man jumps on a see-saw with a boulder on the other end, causing the boulder to fly in the air and crush him.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

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