Dissonance for the win

The same way having a diversity of traits within a population is optimal (yet uncomfortable) in nature, and having a diversity of personalities/beliefs/backgrounds is optimal (yet uncomfortable) in society, I would argue that possessing a diversity of values, perspectives, and inclinations as an individual is optimal (yet uncomfortable) for our psychology.

~ Mark Manson from, https://markmanson.net/what-is-wisdom

That’s an insightful observation.

In certain circles there are some oft-posed rhetorical questions: What’s the work only you can do? What, if you ceased doing it, would people miss? …because there’s a lot of other stuff you could choose to do. Stuff which is easy, and which can be done by anyone. And then there’s the other stuff: The stuff that requires us to balance competing priorities, to resolve conflicting requirements, and to choose among exclusive options.

When’s the last time you made a sub-optimal decision knowing that doing so was better than doing nothing?

ɕ

Quiet desperation

The mass of men lead lives of quiet desperation. What is called resignation is confirmed desperation. From the desperate city you go into the desperate country, and have to console yourself with the bravery of minks and muskrats. A stereotyped but unconscious despair is concealed even under what are called the games and amusements of mankind. There is no play in them, for this comes after work. But it is a characteristic of wisdom not to do desperate things.

~ Henry David Thoreau

slip:4a762.

Not fortuitous

If [the gods] had made philosophic knowledge also a common attribute and we were all born wise, then wisdom would have forfeited its principal quality, which is that it is not fortuitous. What is precious and magnificent about it is that it does not merely happen to people but that the individual is himself responsible for it and cannot obtain it from others.

~ Seneca, from letter on Philosophy and Progress

slip:4a584.

Be your own prosecutor

You must catch yourself. Some people boast of their failings; Do you suppose a man who counts his vices as virtues can take thought for remedying them? So far as you can, then, be your own prosecutor, investigate yourself, function first as accuser, then as judge, and only in the end as advocate. And sometimes you must overrule the advocate.

~ Seneca

slip:4a578.

Uneasy pleasures

Why are their pleasures uneasy? Because the motives upon which they are founded are not stable and they totter with the frivolity which gave them birth. … Laboriously they attain what they desire, anxiously they hold what they have attained, and in the meanwhile irrecoverable time is not taken into consideration.

~ Seneca

slip:4a373.

Invincible

The good man is invincible; for he engages in no contest where he is not superior. “If you want my land, take it, and take my servants, take my public post, take my poor body. But you will not cause my desire to fail to attain its end, or my aversion to fall into what it would avoid.” This is the only contest he enters into: How can he fail, then, to be invincible?

~ Epictetus

slip:4a341.