Nothing More Important to Do
It should be obvious, but to many people, it isn't. They insist they are other than what they actually do -- and would like other people to believe they are. So for such people, there is always the difference between what they do -- and what they wish other people to believe, despite what they actually do. That leads many to conclude that they are "hypocrites" -- people who do one thing, and claim that it is something else, so that others should not trust their own senses, but instead, believe what they say. In that way, others become as confused as they are -- of what their true "intentions" are, in addition to their actions.
That manner of "doing," becomes quite acceptable as the way of the world, where nothing is as it obviously is. Thus, many do not know what happened, until somebody else explains it to them -- in their very contorted logic. Such people are easy to spot, spending most of their time explaining what they are doing, rather than actually doing anything. How could they be?
Doing is always an integrative action. Talking is the act of fragmentation -- of creating many different versions of the one reality. Reality is always the One Thing -- and not many different explanations of what is happening -- which of course, fragments the reality into many tiny parts -- often in contradiction of one another. That is the problem of living in any age.
Many cling to the tiny parts as though they were the whole -- which must be a unifying comprehension, and not just more separate, conflicting realities. That only adds to the confusion -- and never reducing it. Usually, the facts speak for themselves -- rather than needing interpreters of every persuasion and ideology.
So all of life, is a quest for this truth of the matter -- and this truth, will keep them ageless. but when one only lives in the shadows of their delusions, eventually it must come to an end. Before that, is the dying to the truth more and more each day. That's what kills. Dying to the truth. But if one lives fully in the truth, there is no such dying -- for the truth is living in the present and each moment -- fully. Somewhere along the line, we lose that connection, the mind-body, and live increasingly, in lonly the reality of the mind. That is the danger at any age, but especially so as one ages. That is why some do it well, but many do it badly.
That is the final challenge, and we hope to get that right too.
How Much is Enough?
If you have a rate of return of only 4%, and your drawdown rate is
4%, you've already achieved lifetime sustainability -- no matter how
long you live.
The rate of inflation affects everyone
equally, so one doesn't need to add on some imaginary inflation rate
beyond that -- like the labor unions like to flim flam the "leaders"
with, and multiply their advantage over everybody else.
people frequent the markets that are more favorable to them -- rather
than the most punitive, as though it doesn't make a difference.
Those personal decisions and life orientations (choices), will make a much bigger difference than the rate of return once one has accumulated a modestly sufficient nest egg, at which point the "game" of simply making more money, should be moot.
we see in these same articles, that the reason for maximizing one's
returns, is so that one can spend it foolishly and lavishly on travel,
entertainment, fine dining and wining -- at which point all bets are off
that one could ever have enough money, time and energy -- because only
one part of the equation, is not enough to arrive at any valid answer.
is the balance and interplay of all the variables (and constants), that
makes any solution useful -- and not any one factor in isolation -- no
matter how large or small.
The wise person will live
within their means in good times and bad -- while the fool, will deny
that they should ever adjust their expenditures, no matter what. That
seems to be the presumption of most of the financial experts -- that
humans (life) never adjusts, adapts, and evolves -- and therefore is
There is no "happily forever" after from the beginning for all time. If you always do the best you can, you always will.
Discovering the New World
Human evolution has always been about movement -- to find out what the world is all about -- as even the first man and woman, were banished from the paradise of the Garden of Eden, to have to find their way in another world. That is the metaphor of life we all have to live -- to find out not only what is known, but especially what is unknown, and which we have to discover for ourselves even if none have done so before us.
But as a member of any species and society, we have the advantage of knowing and learning what others have done before us -- which is not the end, but only the beginning for what we must do each in our own lives, because the general rule, can only take us so far, and not necessarily take as as far as we need individually to go.
Every life is unique and individual -- as the blueprint of our very living. In many ways, we are alike -- but not exactly, and in this way, each has to discover themselves as much -- as they do the world we inherit in common. That is the difference we must learn to differentiate. Many ideologues will insist that nobody is any different, and so we must all do the one thing, live the one way, which is usually according to their plan -- which might not be good for everybody else, except for those who have already decided that they will be on top -- and will remain so as long as they live, as their grand vision of what life must be.
That is one plan, and one vision for society and the world -- but it is only one, and the treasure and beauty of life, is that we can discover for ourselves other worlds which are more favorable to ourselves being on top of the world. It is usually a world that has to be searched for and discovered by ourselves -- because nobody else will take us there. Others are in search of the world that is most suitable and advantageous for themselves -- as they have a right to -- "pursue their own life, liberty and happiness."
That does not necessarily have to be in conflict with all others. In fact, the best of all worlds, will largely be what is shared, while allowing for individual preferences that complete and complement individual variations and uniqueness. That is not just a matter of choice and preference, but absolute necessities for individual constitutions. One man's meat, may be another man's poison, or better said, one person's optimal life, is what they can discover and create for themselves -- as best they can.
That is one's life work -- beyond the work that can be exchanged readily to be appreciated by the marketplace with others. That is what is most important for every individual to do as their highest calling -- of their own lives. Many of course, will never get there -- barely surviving from day to day, as best they can. But one hopes to get beyond that, as the beginning of the journey in their life, to their best life, in the circumstances that make it possible. It may be where no others have gone before -- but that is the meaning and purpose of every life -- to find out what that is.
And that is also the meaning and purpose of society -- to help as many as possible get there -- to the point at which they are brave enough to discover their own world most advantageous and favorable to them. Obviously, such a society would prepare them to move on in life, and not merely be trapped into conforming and supporting the life of the present powers that be, to keep themselves perennially at the top of that pecking order -- and to have no common purpose and benefit otherwise. Those were the primitive and tribal societies of the past -- and not the golden age of the present moment. That's where we are today -- and have to be focused on the challenges of the present time, and not the restoration of some glorious past the ideologues (demagogues) would like everyone to buy into.
Such conformity, is not a good in itself -- even if it is the "political correctness" of that time, and what we all ought to think -- as though they knew, what was best for all -- because they think that is their exclusive role and job in that society. That is everybody's role, job and right in any society worthy of the name. That is a world that belongs to everybody -- in its entirety, and not just their small piece of it -- that they feel they must ferociously defend, as though there were no other.
From time immemorial, the greatest advantage has always been to those who see the biggest picture of the world -- and not the smallest as though there were no other. It doesn't matter that that tiny piece of the world is called "Paradise" -- if they know no other, and can envision nothing else, but how life has always been there, or worse, the glorious life they have only been told was possible in a distant past that they can only revere -- because nothing else is possible for their own lives now, at this time and circumstances, but to live life as they've been told to repeat it.
Such lives and living, can never have breakthroughs, never evolve beyond what it always has been -- with only less, and never more, and greater. That is not "Paradise," but somewhere else entirely. But a person has to come to that realization themselves, entirely on their own. No one else can do that for any other. There is no more important thing to do than that fulfillment -- of living the life never lived before -- in one's own.
Even Treadmills Can Be Dangerous
people, in considering fitness activities, don't calculate the most
important -- which is the risk-to-benefit in doing anything. Mountain
climbers have a tendency to fall from great heights -- and those who
love water sports, have a possibility of drowning. Treadmills force one
to move at a greater rate than they are inclined to. People usually
meet their end, doing what they usually do -- whether they like it or
not. That's just a fact of life -- and living.
one should spend as much time doing what they truly think is worthwhile
-- and do that until the very end. Just watching television, or
smoking as one primary activity, robs time and energy from better
pursuits. These days, that might be isolating oneself with one's own
thoughts -- while absenting oneself from their actual environment, and
what is happening in their immediate vicinity. That can be dangerous.
Particularly if one is driving a car.
that does not mean one should be afraid of everything, or doing
anything. One just has to realize the risks -- that there can be danger
in anything -- even running on a treadmill. Much less dangerous, is
just moving one's body -- relative to itself. Moving the body -- in
relationship to external measures, has been the traditional measure of
activity -- rather than the internal change of directly improving one's
health, which surely, is likely to be more meaningful. That is, the
measure of productivity is effecting movement within the body
(circulation and respiration), rather than moving a weight a certain
distance in an amount of time.
actually has very little to do with producing the desirable effects in
sustaining lifelong growth, while it could retard it greatly through
injury and even death. But long before that, one can see the success or
failure, in the changing health of an individual -- whether they are
improving, or deteriorating (disintegrating) -- most notably at the
extremities of the head (neck), hands and feet. Those qualities can
usually be determined by the obvious appearance of decreasing vitality
and expression -- and measured on performance scales as cognition
(mental functioning), grip strength, and balance (foot strength). Those deteriorations, compromise one's level of functioning in all one does -- and even thinks of doing, anymore.
nearly as possible, one's conditioning activities, should be as close
to their actual usage as possible -- rather than thinking that one grows
more proficient, by doing something that has no real world equivalent
in practical matters. One is not simply trying to become the best at
the treadmill -- which is the embodiment of activity with no purpose --
but has become the gold standard for so many. It makes one's heart beat
faster -- but so could so many other things, with much more usefulness.
seems to me that one of the greatest, most useful activities, is to
deliberately and systematically optimize the circulation to those parts
of the body most vulnerable to the lack of circulation produced by
non-use -- and not taking it for granted that that happens just because
the heart beats faster -- or at all. The characteristic of effecting a
greater flow, is producing an alternating condition of contraction and
relaxation (expansion) in any muscle, which is the pumping effect that
is distinctive of the heart, but also capable by any muscle conditioned
to produce that same rhythmic effect.
the body, that is the single most useful "work" that can be done -- to
maintain and increase one's health, and produce all those other
desirable effects of improved appearance and functioning. The
cardiovascular flow, has to be effected by the neuromuscular flow of
impulses that cause that change in state, and greatest range of
expression from the relaxed to the greatest contraction -- beginning at
the extremity of which there is that deliberate firing to invoke.
that, means the typical failure of the extremities to maintain their
capabilities, despite the amount of increased work one may be demanding
of the heart alone -- which was never designed to do it all. This is
particularly true for those suffering from the deteriorating conditions
that begin at the extremities of their body -- and working its way back
to the heart because of these circulatory failures -- until the heart
may be the only well-serviced and well-functioning organ, even while all
else has failed. Obviously, that is even a greater failure than death
itself. Unfortunately, that is an increasing possibility is such a
singularly misguided focus on the value of conditioning activities --
which should be to increase the range of one's activities and
competencies, and not just the one while the rest languish and
deteriorate into a horrible end.
greater life, is much greater -- and not just the one, out of
proportion to all the others. That sense of disproportion and
imbalance, invariably leads to unforeseen catastrophic results. Life is
the whole -- and not just the part, however important we ascribe to
it. It is the complete development that has always been the objective
of every conditioning (educational) program worthy of its time and
The Karma (Aging) of Our Lives
All that one does -- is the person they are, and become. That is the significance of growing "old" -- or better and wiser. Obviously, if one doesn't learn to live their lives better, they will suffer for it -- because there is a cause for everything, and is related to everything else -- and not that nothing is related to anything else, and so one can feel free to do anything they think they can get away with -- because nobody will know any difference. Life doesn't work that way. There are consequences to every action, thought and deed -- even if nobody else is watching (knows), because that has never been a requirement for why things happen.
The good or bad, is how well one ages. It all comes home to roost, and take root, as the course of the rest of their days. It does matter what one eats, how one exercises, the excesses one indulges in, the risks one takes, the damage they do, or the good nobody else witnesses -- that all becomes the person they are throughout life, and especially, at the end of it.
A few will know what to do -- to all the challenges of their lives, and continued viability and well-being, while many, will have no clue what to do with every incident (crisis) that arises in their lives. They never learned how to solve a problem, and never thought it was important to -- because somebody else would do all those things for them. That's when many lives unravel, or are revealed for what they truly are.
That's when the truth comes out -- what one has really been doing -- and not just what one would have others believe. By then, it is too late and too overwhelming to undo all the damage one has done to their own lives -- if one continues as one always has. But one can change what one always has done before -- and in that manner, create a whole new course for their lives. But that change, will not come about just continuing to do what one has always done before -- thinking there can be a different result than the one that always has been before. That's not how life works.
Life works in the way we make it work -- as the practice and conditioning of our lives. We get good at what we actually do -- and practice. If that is merely to make life harder and more difficult for ourselves and others -- then being around such a person, will not be pleasant and avoided by most people. So of course the eventual result of "conditioning" activities that make every effort harder and more difficult, is not to make one stronger -- but to make one not do it, especially when healthful activities and movements (conditioning) would be most beneficial -- when even a little would go a long way, while doing nothing, is the problem, and makes it worse. But such people don't know how to make what they have to do possible; they only know how to make it more difficult, and therefore, impossible, not to mention painful.
They convince themselves that the ONLY way to learn, or do anything, is the hard way, and to make it increasingly harder and more difficult, as though somehow at the end, everything they know to be true, is miraculously reversed -- as though that was the way of the world. So they believe to achieve anything in life, one has to do the opposite -- as though that was some guarantee of anything, and are surprised, when nothing turns out as it should -- and that is what they think life is, just a random crapshoot -- in which nothing happens as they would like it to -- and that is what "getting old" is all about.
In such societies, there obviously are no (role) models for successful aging -- but everyone inevitably and invariably turns into monsters -- and as the old "fairy tales" had them, they ate young children who were careless or foolish enough to venture near them. The wise simply avoided them. Hopefully, we live in a more enlightened time when we can make better discriminations of those who aren't so predatory on others BECAUSE they exhibit great independence and self-sufficiency not to suck on the lifeblood of the young and vital -- as the only way they know how to be.
That is the future that makes longevity meaningful and fulfilling, and not just getting invariably and incessantly worse -- without any prospects for life getting any better. The ultimate test of all that one has learned, is the preparation for this life at full maturity -- when they each must go their own way, answering to themselves more than any others. All of life before then, is just a preparation for a life in maturity. The end of immaturity, is not the end of life -- but the beginning of this new way of being, which every society in history, has hoped to create and manifest.
It is not simply the continuation of the old way of doing anything -- at any stage of life. It is to create something wholly, and wonderfully new and different -- as the fulfillment of that society. So obviously, it is not just going back to the old ways of a hundred years ago, or as some pride themselves, in going back to the cave-man era -- as though they knew everything there was to know back then, and worth knowing. All those people lived short, brutal lives -- so that is no blueprint for a future of extended lives of unimagined fulfillment beyond foraging for their daily survival.
We've long passed that life at the constant brink -- to retain that as our highest ideal of what is now possible. All this is built, on what has gone on before -- and what we hope to take to the next level. Obviously, at this time, the great challenge for individuals as well as society, is how do we make the "golden years" of our lives, the best ever? That is wholly possible -- and not simply, how do we make the best of what life has always been before, that always ends so sadly? Can there be a different ending? All signs point to it -- as the inevitable development of these times.
Why We Grow Old
It's not so much age -- as it is whether a person is constantly improving, or constantly getting worse. The surest way for things to get worse, is to deny that there is any problem -- because then one doesn't seek a solution but accepts the problem, as the way things ought to be -- ie. "just getting old."
All of life is a problem we need to solve. The challenges are different at different times in our lives -- but we still have to rise to that challenge every day of our lives. That IS life. That is what all life faces, and when they can no longer meet that challenge, they perish -- quite understandably. That is the way of the world.
Most of the problems that people accept as the normal, are conditions they can do something about -- but are conditioned (educated) to accept them as normal by whatever peer group says it is so. That's why it is good to have a diversity of exposures rather than the consensus that everybody has to be that one way -- of inevitably and invariably getting worse, but maybe going into denial about it.
Some can and do get better -- but not necessarily in the old and familiar ways. Younger is not necessarily better. Better is something else entirely different -- and not just more or less of the old and familiar. And that is the mistake many of the old make -- in wanting to go back to their youth -- instead of exploring and creating the greater life ahead, which no one taught them to do, or was possible, so they don't do it, and can't imagine it possible, or another way.
That is the very crux of the problem.
Appreciate What You Have
The greatest attainment and the key to life, is making the most of what one has -- rather than desiring, and even attaining, insatiable more, which as wise people realize, always is a little more -- no matter how much they have.
That is the first consideration, and not the last, for those who want to be efficient at personal problem solving -- before one can go out and save the world. One has to first direct that improvement to one's personal problem solving -- before it can be effectively scaled to solving the larger problems. Obviously, solving the problems of one's own health, should be the primary director in every life.
That is what it means fundamentally, to appreciate what you have -- to make it greater. That's the meaning of the word -- "to make greater." That is what appreciation does. Once we understand that, we can make a little into infinity. But we can never do that, if we can never appreciate what we already have -- to make it more.
That is particularly the problem of health in older people -- who think they can get better, without doing anything about it. Of course what one does makes a difference, and all of life is not just a random walk in each lifetime -- "signifying nothing."
Jesus said, "I give you talents, but you have to make them greater." Or you lose them. That's the difference between those in good health, and those in failing health -- whether they are getting better. If they aren't, there is no hope -- because it is just a matter of time... But most people can control their own health and destiny to a remarkable degree and extent -- but they have to find out themselves to know the actuality that is their reality. Finding out for oneself, is the quest of a lifetime -- at any time of life. That is the secret.