Thursday, December 13, 2018

The Art of the Good Life #52 : Inner success

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You can achieve inner success by concentrating on what you can control and influence and ignoring anything that we can't. Essentially it means controlling our inputs and not our outputs. If you can do this consistently, you can attain ataraxia - tranquility of the soul. External events that are out of control cannot really affect your inner state of being.

This I can accept.

The entire basis of FIRE and FU Money is to employ an unnaturally high savings rate at the present so that one can be inured to events like illness and retrenchment in the future. Dividends investing through rigorous savings is the financial manifestation of Stoic philosophy.

The harder component of this chapter focuses on eschewing external gains and going straight to inner satisfaction.

This, I can say that I currently lack the maturity to practice in my life.

I get my internal satisfaction from external validation. I always felt that without an external validation of your success, you may as well be masturbating yourself to a personal state of ecstasy and personal smugness. It is also very easy to fall into state where you set yourself low standards in your life.

Nothing pisses me off more than people who make claims about wanting to achieve something and then, after that, finding an excuse to explain why the price of success was not paid - hours not spent refining a product or executing a personal project.  I think when someone does this, it is a terrible waste of psychic energy of your friends. This cannot go unpunished - a personal promise, even to oneself, has to be rigorous enforced by friends.

Otherwise, you devalue your closest friends because we are the average of the closest people around us.

So just like that, we've come to the end of our year long journey. It has been great fun nibbling this book chapter by chapter for the past one year. It has been very beneficial summarising these mental models on this blog. The not so good side effect is that it has made me brutally assess the quality of my own life and I am now very sure that I lack the wisdom  and maturity to truly live a Good Life.

Maybe I will be wiser with the passing of more time and see the benefits of attaining ataraxia without external validation.

Next week we will be moving onto a new book.

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