Jan 25, 2015


THINK, DECIDE, ACT. "By doing this, I will be adhering to the following spiritual principles, Rationality, Integrity, INDEPENDENCE, Honesty, Justice, Productiveness and Pride.


When I go through my mission statement, and I get to the word INDEPENDENCE, for me, the first meaning is of thinking independently, ie. not being a second handed person who lets others do his thinking for him.

Truth is that I've spent far too much of my life being a second hander, and I've paid a price for it. In fact, when I first read the Fountainhead, I had to admit that I had more in common with Peter Keating than with Howard Roark.

In my youth, I was definitely worried about peer pressure and fitting in and this led to some very poor decisions. Upon reflection, I was definitely guilty of what Ayn Rand referred to as believing in "Reality by Consensus" or thinking that reality was up for a vote. In other words, I thought if I could manipulate people into thinking I was "cool", that would make it so, or if I was ostracized, that would somehow mean that I wasn't "cool". Classic reversal of cause and effect.

Many people simply accept something because everyone else does. I've since learned, that if an idea becomes widely accepted, that is often a good cue to start questioning it. (I think Mark Twain may have said something to that effect.) The incredible danger of second handedness is that it is so pervasive in the world, and this is something that those who seek to manipulate (second handers themselves) are well aware of, and they use this to their own ends. We've seen this throughout history, and more recently with politicians, environmentalists and terrorists.

I will admit that I still rely on certain people I respect for knowledge, and don't always check out all facts for myself, but when I do this, I acknowledge, that I don't know these things first hand, and as a result could well be mistaken. I try to pick these sources very carefully.

As an advocate of rational self interest, I believe my own happiness is the ultimate purpose of my life, and that this will only be accomplished through independent thinking. This doesn't mean that other people don't matter to me. People are actually one of my greatest sources of happiness, and I know that interdependently, I can accomplish far more that I could alone through proper communication and synergy.

Proper communication with others requires HONESTY, which will be the topic of my next entry. Thanks to all for reading....

Jan 18, 2015


THINK, DECIDE, ACT. "By doing this, I will be adhering to the following spritual principles, Rationality, INTEGRITY, Idependence, Honesty, Justice, Productiveness and Pride.


Integrity as a principle, is often stated as a synonym to honesty. However, I think the distinction has to do with a couple of different things. I think honesty can be described as "loyalty to the facts" and "being truthful to others".

Integrity on the other hand, has more to do with "being truthful to yourself" and "thinking and behaving in an integrated manner".

Thinking and behaving in an integrated manner should mean that I avoid "compartmentalizing", ie. acting and thinking in one way, in one area of my life, and then having a different standard in another area of my life. This could be a matter of acting competitively in my business life, and then altruistically in my personal life, or being very orderly and focused in my business goals and neglecting my health and fitness.

Also, I think having integrity means that my goals are my own, and not attempting to live up to the expectations of others.

As a social animal, I think it's normal to appreciate recognition, but it is second handed to compromise one's principles in order to please others and/or to win approval.

Therefore, when one "thinks, decides and acts", these are all aspects that must be considered if one is to act with integrity.

Also, of course what must be integrated is what we claim to espouse and how we actually behave...."walking the talk" or "practicing what we preach".

Failing to do so, is an obvious breach of ingegrity, and there will necessarily be consequences for doing this. As mentioned previously, a true spriritual principle is self-evident but also consistent. In other words, it is not up to opinion. So one is free to disagree with the law of gravity if one chooses, but this will not change the outcome should he or she choose to step off the edge of a tall building.

One inevitable consequence to trying to breach integrity (among many others) is the loss of self-esteem, as no matter how hard we try, we will know that we don't have it, and our self-image will accurately be lowered as it should be.

Any attempt to deny this by evading that conclusion will further lower one's self-esteem. Better to admit to one's self that there are areas where he lacks integrity, than to rationalize the breach.

Truthfully, I think there will always be breaches, as becoming a fully integrated person is a life goal. There will be times when we have that extra piece of cake or act lazily and not in accordance with our goals. Hoepfully these events are minor and exceptions rather than the rule. But at the very least, when we fall short, we must admit it to ourselves and others and resolve to do better in the future.

Again, this blog and my mission serve as a reminder to correct when needed. Thanks for reading.

Jan 11, 2015


Ayn Rand said of her heroes that they would "hold reason as their only absolute".

In my last post, I mentioned that the 'spiritual' principles' in my mission would be self-evident. One only needs to think of the opposite, i.e. being irrational to recognize how obvious it is that rationality needs to be a primary principle, and yet, rationality does not seem to be revered universally by any stretch. I admit that I have not done my homework in deeply studying various philosophers, but I believe there are some who have gone to great lengths to show the limits of logic.

The irony of this, as has been pointed out, is these arguments are such obvious nonsense, simply by the fact that they have to utilize logic to make an argument against it.

Also, of course, religion and mysticism have long preached that faith is superior to reason, and even denigrated logic as being a "tool of the devil" to trick us. "Don't use your brain, use your heart", and "Happy will be those who believe without seeing". In the various myths, the devil's crime is getting people to taste from the tree of knowledge.

The rate of human progress, or lack of it, can consistently be measured in terms of how prevalent these ideas have been at various times in history.

In fact, at the time of this writing, the great conflicts in the world are essentially based on the actions of mystical maniacs, who unfortunately, are far more consistent in their adherence to what they believe in, vs. those who 'somewhat' represent rationality. I say 'somewhat" because they represent rationality in such an inconsistent way embracing mongrel philosophies, never fully pronouncing what they believe or reject, because they don't even know themselves. Until this changes, I believe the future of civilizaiton and human progress is in grave danger. While I believe this is true on a global scale, it is no different with us as individuals when we don't embrace rationallity.

Evil begins and ends with the irrational. I agree that our fundamental choice is first and foremost to think. Thinking, meaning that we utilize rationality to make our decisions in what we choose to do or not to do before committing any act. Thinking allows us to consider the consequences of our actions to ourselves and others. I believe that before we commit an irrational (evil) act, we must first make the choice not to think, which is usually summarized by the conscious or subconscious "f__k it!". (Ayn Rand used "blank out") This is done in an effort to have our cake and eat it too, what Ayn Rand called whim worship. Of course if you ascribe to the mystical, then you have been told that logic is inferior, and that somehow you can have your cake and eat it too, if you "believe" enough.

I repeat and write about my mission so that I continually remind myself of the life or death importance of staying rational in my every day actions.

This entry has been longer than most, so I will leave off here, but hopefully I've made a case for why Rationality is first in the spriritual principles that I believe are essential to my happiness.

Next entry will be on "Integrity".


The next part of my mission statement, after "Asking with Intent, Listening Without Excuse, and Acting with Courage" is "By Doing This, I Will be Adhering to the Following 'Spiritual' Principles".

Before starting this, I need to qualify my use of the word 'spiritual'. I have no belief in anything supernatural or mystical, and so my use of this word pertains simply to distinguishing from the corporeal, i.e. things you can see, feel, touch, etc.

None of the principles that I will speak of will require any type of faith either. In fact, they are all self-evident and I can't see how any reasonable person, will question their existence, require much in the way of a definition (with some exceptions), or question whether they are all desirable.

The next part of my mission, elicitng these principles is: "Rationality, Integrity, Independence, Honesty, Justice, Productiveness, and Pride. From these will naturally follow: Open-Mindedness, Courage, Optimal State Management, Willingness, Conscience, Imagination, Self-Awareness, Serenity, Style, Grace and '*&^%( Attitude!!"

Choosing one as an example, that I spoke about in my last blog post; Courage: No one would deny that such a principle exists. They know what it is, and they know what it is not, and when they either act with it, or wihout it. And yet, of course, it is not corporeal.

So I hope this explains my use of the word 'spiritual'. so in the next entry, I will start with the first one on the list: Rationality.

Thanks for reading!

Jan 7, 2015


Ask With Intent
Listening Without Excuse

As a continuation of that part of my mission that deals with rational thinking, decision making and implementation, I come to the third part, "Acting with Courage"....

Recapping, once I've "Asked with Intent", meaning that I'm looking for the actual answer to the question, and not the one I might want to hear, then "Listened without Excuse", meaning that I have not tried to rationalize my way out of said answer, even though my "whim worship" may not like what I hear, then I have to move on the final step in the process. "Act with Courage".

The short form of these three is simply,

"Think, Decide and Act."

Courage is a fundamental principle, and can be difficult but, as I've said in previous posts, typically, the consequence for not having courage is worst. That's why I quoted Ayn Rand's, "I'm not brave enough to be a coward".

I believe it is important to note that the "Act with Courage" needs to be preceded by rational thinking, as it not simply a matter of acting against fear, as fear can be a useful signal in showing us what to avoid, and ignoring can have dire consequences, but if rational though has preceded a decision, and it becomes clear that an action is the correct one, (or at least the best choice, based on the available information), then taking action is a critical step, in order to reach any desirable outcome not to mention one's person integrity and self-esteem.

It is all too common for people to know, in many cases, quite specifically what action or actions they need to take to improve their lives, and to simply procrastinate, which is at the root of poor outcomes, and low self-esteem.

Whether we habitually take actions or habitually procrastinate, there is a cumulative effect in our lives, our self-esteem, and our overall happiness, the latter of which I believe is the moral purpose of our lives.

Even taking wrong actions, which is inevitable, as we are not omniscient, is better than procrastination, as it will help us to make distinctions to take better actions, and continually being a person of action will increase our self-esteem, even if we make mistakes, which of course we can't avoid.

That is why I love another Ayn Rand quote:

"And because, were she lying crushed under the ruins of a building, were she torn by the bomb of an air raid, so long as she was still in existence she would know that action is man's foremost obligation, regardless of anything he feels - "

Thanks again for reading!

Jan 2, 2015

Listening Without Excuse

Ask With Intent
Listening Without Excuse
Acting with Courage

This will be part one of "Listening Without Excuse".... Want to go back a little bit, and explore what I am asking...

The above 3, Ask, Listen and Act are realy the process of purposeful thinking.... the opposite of rationalizing.

As such, I have to give debt to Vince Evangelista who pointed out in a talk he gave a few years ago....that when making decisions, he asks,

"How will this affect me in 3 hours..... in 3 months..... and in 3 years. This is a great way, in my opinion of rationally assessing whether a decision is a good one or not. Of course, when projecting into the future, many times the consequences of some actions will be obvious and other times, it will be a matter of speculation. Either way, it forces one to consider consequences before acting.

That is of course, the opposite of "whim worship", where one intentionally (whether you admit it to yourself or not) avoids thinking of consequences, because, like a child who simply wants candy, we want to blank out reality so that it will allow us to have our "candy".

So Listening without excuse, is simply, that when our rational conclusion is to either take or avoid a certain action, we do not attempt to justify or rationalize but move on to the next step which is to "Act with Courage."