Sunday, March 01, 2020

Change is Change

Success in life, is one's ability to change -- as circumstances dictate the need for.  Those who make those adaptations best, are highly favored in the game of life -- and particularly, in their own living.  Far beyond the competition with every other, is that competition within oneself -- to do the best they can -- regardless of what everybody else is doing.  That is almost the secret to life -- but there are probably others, as well.  It is only a secret until one discovers it -- and then moves on to the next -- forging ahead in one's life in that manner of constant discovery.

When that ends -- it is the beginning of the end -- and then all in life begins to shut down.  So how to maintain that fire and even add fuel to it -- all one's days, is the hope of every life -- and when that is gone, it is just a matter of time to the end.  Nobody really provides a roadmap to that end -- though we all seem to get there eventually, unfortunately many before their time.  It takes just one slip, one moment of inattention, one carelessness, for all to come crashing down.  So life is a preparation to do the best one can -- because one never knows when it will matter most.

In this way, one learns not to tempt fate unnecessarily -- even if one got away with it many times before.  Eventually the car that was never there before -- appears when it shouldn't -- and then it does not matter who had the right.  Even then, there is never any guarantee of life forevermore.  So it is very important to value every moment as supremely important -- because it could be the last.  But making the best of it, increases one's chances -- and that is the best one can hope for -- always to be increasing one's chances for survival in that present prosperity.

The greatest predictor of future success, is one's present success -- and working to make it even better.  That is one's momentum in life -- that takes on a life and intelligence of its own -- as the summation of every previous thought, word and action.  There is no selective memory only of the good and unblemished -- but the good, bad and the ugly -- as the present outcome.  Most other living forms don't overthink it -- but respond totally to that present reality -- as the summation of every other moment.  They keep it simple in that way.

Even as much as we would want for things never to change again, change will come again -- but our responsiveness may diminish -- or increase, as we prepare for.  Some merely go into denial of those changes -- preferring to relive only in their unchanging memories and minds -- rather than increasing their capacity to live in the greater present possibilities.  Life has always been that way.  There is always more to do, experience, learn, prepare for greater possibilities.  That is not simply the province of the young, but all who choose to live that way.

The problem is that many give up and refuse to go on.  They expect, nay demand, that the rest of the world stay the same for them -- and that is not going to happen, never has, and never will -- so the intelligent person realizes, they have to change, and can do it better than they've done before.  That is the quality of resiliency -- or fitness to improve.  There is no fitness just in staying the same; that is merely falling behind, becoming less capable daily -- largely because it is unexercised, and thus, actualized even in the practice.  But that practice is real, and actual -- waiting for the right circumstances to optimize.

That is the proper understanding of exercise -- of the practice in being.  Practice means doing -- and there is no other.  That's how people get good at what they are doing.  The alternative is not just thinking about doing -- but not thinking at all.  Usually, one is distracted, entertained, consuming -- practicing all the things they don't want to become.  That realization is mindfulness -- and from that emptiness, can come a whole new reality -- a discontinuation of the current mindlessness.  And then all things seem possible.   That is a break from the pattern.  That is change.

It really is the most simple thing -- made complex and complicated by the mindlessness that doesn't want to change -- but to continue as it always has been -- even with its disastrous results.  That conditions one not to even try anymore.  The proper exercise should not be conceived with the idea to make it increasingly more complex and complicated (harder) -- but obviously, to make it simpler and easier -- and always possible.  And that is the problem with most exercise -- it is abandoned at the first opportunity because it is too difficult and inconvenient, rather than made more increasingly inevitable.  That would be the intelligent design of an environment for making it so.  One that actually requires change -- as frequently and varied as possible.

That doesn't have to be hard.  In fact, making it hard or difficult, makes it much less likely to be done.  Yet there is this temptation among the instructors, always to make things more difficult -- as though that is the greater attainment, rather than the ease of movement and range of articulation (expression) in everyday movements.  That -- already is impressive -- when it can be maintained all one's life to 100.  That alone would be remarkable.  Yet, as we know, most people do not get there -- in that kind of condition, which needs to change.

What needs to change, is this manner of thinking that movement must be hard, difficult, strenuous, and only for a few remaining, rather than best expressed and indicated by the movement and range at the neck, wrist and ankle -- which implies the rest.  Faster is actually counter productive -- or duration beyond a minute.  One does not need to build a machine to provide resistance through the full range of any movement; the range produces its own resistance to further movement.  All one needs to do is see that that is so -- by doing it.

Saturday, February 01, 2020

You Have to do all the Right things -- because all the Wrong things won't make any difference

Unfortunately, many do all the wrong things -- thinking they will get the same results as though they were doing all the right things -- and think just because they do them, it will turn out with the desired, favorable results.  Instead, they find that things are snowballing even farther out of control -- and even threatening their future viability, and prospects for survival. 

Yet they are certain that if they just persist in doing all the wrong things, God in His merciful wisdom, will make things come out right -- because that is what He is for, and not that they can do anything themselves to change that.  So they pray to all the gods, but they don't seem to be listening -- or care.  Their entreaties fall on deaf ears -- and the seas do not part before them -- providing a clear path to the Promised Land.  Instead, they are stuck in the muck, and everyone is lost.

They all went down believing -- until the end -- thinking things would turn out differently, just because they wanted them to.

Life does not work out that way; it is unmerciful in finding out a way that works -- with or without you.  That evolution marches on.  Not all will survive; even those that do, don't live forever.  They merely have their time on the stage for a while -- and then a whole new bunch of strangers take over -- and have their time and place.  Nobody stays front and center forever. 

But that is not the only game in town.  There are a lot of nooks and crannies unexplored -- of which one can be the foremost expert -- the most obvious of which is the advice to know oneself.  Very few others will be interested and motivated to do that as each person in their own lives -- and that is not nothing, but really, the only thing that matters.  Everybody is different -- but maximizing that potential -- is the great challenge of every life, and in doing that, one may discover many other things -- others can benefit from as well.

The great quest of every life is intensely personal in this way -- beginning near to go far.  If one thinks one knows anything, it obviously must work for themselves first -- and that is always an excellent place to start.  To speculate about everybody else without first knowing oneself to even some degree -- is not having a place to stand on from which to lever that knowledge to a meaningful extent.  Why should others have to prove it first that one's ideas are sound enough to work -- when the original author of such a thought, doesn't believe it enough to try it themselves -- and prove to the world that it works -- before wasting everybody else's time and resources?

That's what everybody wants to see -- what works -- and not hear all the explanations why things don't work, or that it would work, but we can't get anybody to do them.  That's a huge part of the equation.  It has to be something that everybody, or even anybody can do -- and not just be a wonderful theory and hypothesis that can never be proven, or worse yet, doesn't have to be proven.  Then we get into the realm of "mad science" -- where everything is possible, but nobody can ever prove anything.  In other words, it is just an unquestioned belief that nobody dares to test -- for fear of actually finding out.  It is much more convenient just to convince everybody else that that is true -- and ostracize those who will not go along with the mob.

So the issue is no longer what is right and wrong, but which group has the bigger mob to enforce their consensus and correctness -- with of course, themselves at the top of the hierarchy.  That's all they're there for -- to get to the top, and once there, have no intention of upsetting the apple cart.  They like it fine -- being in charge.  Henceforth, all their efforts will go towards defending and preserving the status quo -- with themselves at the top, or sufficiently high enough to feel a vested interest in keeping the way things are -- even if the problems get worse.  That concern, they feel, is not their job.

So of course they miss the whole point -- as they see the rest of the world pass them by and render them irrelevant.  They're not going to try to keep up -- but instead, prevent everyone else from getting ahead -- especially ahead of themselves.  That is some people's idea of a job -- and meaning and purpose in this world -- to stamp out progress at every turn, and ensure that the world they grew up in -- endlessly repeats itself.

Meanwhile, the mass of humanity marches on -- with or without them.  Right now, that would be extending the useful life of human beings to 100 -- in good shape and condition, which hasn't been done before.  People begin falling apart after 50, and even 40 -- in addition to the many who do not get a proper start in life at all, and are imploding from early ages because of improper lifestyle, diet and exercise that doesn't optimize the health and well-being at any age.  Many such dysfunctional people are even proud of their premature self-destruction -- as though that was a badge of honor and distinction.  So when they go into irreversible decline -- that is quite predictable, and one would not expect anything else.  They are the walking time-bombs just waiting to go off.

One does what they can to be as far removed when they do.

Wednesday, January 01, 2020

2020 Foresight

Having 20/20 hindsight is nowhere near as valuable as having 20/20 foresight; in fact, the claim to have hindsight, always is the excuse for lacking any foresight -- and that is the value of any understanding.  Any knowledge one claims, has value according to its predictive value, because anything can explain what happened in the past that can not be repeated -- and it is this ability to repeat an outcome in future and subsequent events, that has any value at all.  That's why there are so many geniuses with 20/20 hindsight -- and so very few, that see well into the future.  The future is where any knowledge will be tested, and not in the past -- where all the excuses and explanations will suffice -- because it no longer matters.

Yet that is where fools dwell -- largely in the past.  If it were up to them, they would do everything perfectly this time around -- but as to the future, they think it of no importance, because that is the unknowable they have no interest in finding out.  Knowledge only of the past, is a dead thing -- not worth remembering, because it is the future, we wish to explore -- and live.

That is where the course of the world is being decided -- in the future, and not reinventing the past -- even as correctly as one would in perfect 20/20 hindsight, which of course, means one wants to do nothing in the present moment where the future is unfolding and being shaped.  One is absent in this present moment -- and in every moment the future is being written.  In such a way, people write themselves out of relevance -- which is to be present at every moment that matters.  They are too busy rewriting the past -- in glorious tomes of what they would have done, if they were fully present then.

But life and the future, does not happen that way.  It is an extraordinary thing to run into a mind that is fully there -- and not preoccupied being somewhere else, doing something else, being someone else.  That's where reality hits the road -- and lives are proven and made.  The hope is always that they can make it better than it was before -- rather than endlessly repeating what they have always done before, with the same dismal results.  One hopes to break out of that chain of suffering and despair -- which is the great law of Karma, which is to get a different result, one has to do something different than what one has always done before -- with such disastrous results.

That is the only way that things can get better -- and not stay the same, and get worse.  But that is how many live their lives -- thinking there can be no other way of doing and being -- and they become one and the same.  That better being, is what one hopes to do.  Let's not get lost in all the entertainment and distractions -- that only take us farther away from each significant presence -- where all that really matters, happens.  Everything else is a delusion -- and many more become delusional in this way -- of living in the fantasy over the reality.  They come to prefer it as their default reality -- in which all their problems there, can be solve easily and perfectly -- even as the walls around them are collapsing.

That is the lure of the mass manipulators -- who create these appealing alternative worlds they can win, and exclusively dominate -- because it is a world in which only they inhabit.  It is their kingdom and refuge -- their Fortress of Solitude.  In it, they are Superman -- winning and overcoming at everything they do.  They are invulnerable.  What's not to like?

But the world we share, is not like that.  That requires a set of skills not to be the only important person there -- with all others there only to validate one's delusions of grandeur.  That is the familiar and comfortable world of 20/20 hindsight -- where one always gets it right.  So there is nothing to be learned from any mistakes.  They just get erased -- to maintain one's perfect record.  But going forward is still the problem.  One senses, they don't want to go forward, but are content with remaining where they are -- for eternity, and that is not possible.

One has to go forward, not to go backward, but remaining the same -- for all eternity, is not living, or life.  Life must go on.  We can choose to go (flow) with it, or fight it to our dying throes -- which is a much harder way to live, and eventually are battered into submission.  That's what every living being learns -- and in that process, learns to develop foresight -- and looks forward to their chances for finding out whether what they know, gives them a survival advantage.  They don't have to compete against all the others -- just against the person they are, and hope to get better.  That is the significance of their lives -- and each of us.

There is no mystery to life -- only this finding out -- each in their own way.  That is the right to life -- and to live it.

Sunday, December 01, 2019

Towards a Quality of Life

Most measurements are about the cost of living and the quantity of life that purchases, while those in the know, are more concerned with that quality of life -- that is beyond what money can buy.  Money is not the sole determiner of what and how much one can buy.  Just as important, is the amount of thought and research that goes into every transaction -- that can leverage it greatly in one's favor.  As often as not, it means being in the right place at the right time -- and not being in the wrong place at any time.

The circumstances of bad things happening, are not equally distributed randomly across all places, and among all people.  That is the whole reason for everything thoughtful and prudent people do -- to decrease the probabilities and incidences of bad things happening, and in their stead, the good manifests -- because it has the time and space to.  That has less to be planned and designed for, because just by eliminating the bad, the unforeseen good has a chance to come into being.

Evolution is not seeing a final perfected outcome, but in merely eliminating the distractions and dead ends -- which is every avoidable, untold disaster -- favoring the desirable outcome.  That is the cause and effect, world of karma.  A thinking person would hope for nothing less -- or more.  It is a world that makes sense -- and not everything turning out equally badly or equally well -- regardless of what they do.  Of course shit happens with such a world view.  Buckets and buckets, and their only resource then, is to go into denial.

They don't want to know about any other reality and possibility -- because they are too used to, and too well prepared -- for the disastrous outcome, that they wouldn't want any other -- even if it was just for the taking.  And that largely, is what good fortune is -- just for the taking, for those who can realize its value -- because not everybody can.  Most will prefer what they are used to -- even if it produces a sad and disastrous outcome.  That is what they are used to, and are conditioned for -- and not that there can be anything beyond that.

And assuredly, the future, and everything good, lies beyond that limited world of predetermined and fated possibilities.  That's why the advantage goes to those who regard the total content as their own being -- and not just the little they claim exclusively as their own.  But that doesn't mean claiming everything one can, as their own.  No, far better to realize that exclusive ownership and control is seldom necessary to achieve satisfaction and fulfillment -- but the knowledge that it is available only as one needs it.  Already, that is more than enough -- and under those operating premises, there is more than enough -- for everyone.

It's when people behave as though there is not sufficient resources, that the struggle is on for each to grab more than their fair share -- and need, with predictably disastrous results.  That is likely to happen, when all those who think that way, congregate, and compete with each other for all the spoils -- even leaving no man standing.  If they can't have it, then nobody else can either.  Such societies and cultures, leave nothing to posterity -- because that would be anybody else, and that is not what they are about.

So any traces they leave behind -- are unfathomable monuments to themselves -- and there is no greater meaning and significance of that culture and all its efforts.  They are not equal to all others.  They rightfully and with good reason, become extinct.  Of course they are dysfuctional long before that final nail in their coffin.  But that is not the only way, and only life they can choose.  That difference is their individual quality of life -- and outcomes.

For that reason, life is not simply a repetition of what has gone on before -- but can be unprecedented -- which means the life never lived before.  And that is true possibility and actualization -- and not just repeating hopelessly what doesn't work -- as though that is some kind of genius -- that they know something that nobody else does -- and believing that despite all the information to the contrary, will make it prevail.

Meanwhile, the rest of humanity has moved on -- to a better life.  That is the truth of our existence.

Friday, November 01, 2019

The "Average" is not the "Optimal"

One of the great flaws in modern education is the belief that the average is the ideal -- when it could be far from it.  Just because the average intelligence will be designated as 100 -- thoughtful people would not think to use that as the optimal attainment -- but aim for the exceptional, which would be very different from the average.  Instead, enlightened people would study the characteristics and profile of the exceptional, and attempt to replicate that -- or at least simulate it as their goal -- rather than striving for mediocrity in everything they do.   

That really is the history and evolution of society and culture -- to determine what works best -- rather than simply repeating what they've always done before -- precluding and prohibiting progress and evolution.  The objective of life, is to better itself -- and not just to keep on doing what it has always done before -- even if it is not working, and many have already forgotten why it is they were doing it in the first place. 

Instead, they have to move on -- and discover what works -- and not merely repeat the past, as though that was an intelligent thing to do -- let alone, the most intelligent thing one can do.  That's not it at all.  That is in fact, the dysfunctional pattern -- of dysfunctional individuals and societies.  Of course they become extinct -- and before then, suffer every disadvantage. and catastrophe.

There are always a few who think that is their opportunity to get ahead -- and remain there -- insisting that everybody else should remain behind them, and never jump ahead -- no matter if one is in the wrong line.  That they are at the head of it, is all they want to know -- and the bigger picture, is not of their concern, even if their line is not moving, nor shows any signs of life.  They're just going to continue to do what they've always done before -- with little or disastrous results -- thinking that is the average, and the best one can hope or strive for.

Far more useful to know than the average, or the median, is the range -- and particularly those associated with desirable outcomes, rather than dragging everybody back to the average -- as though that was an intelligent thing to do.  The healthiest people will not be the average -- nor will the strongest, fastest, most resourceful.  They are exceptional for that reason -- and that should be studied, rather than the average -- and achieving greater mediocrity with each iteration.

So beyond knowing what the average is, one selects those qualities one hopes to accentuate, and eliminates those liabilities that undermine their aspirations, and not simply try to make everyone as equal as possible -- thinking that is the goal of any enlightened and progressive society.  Assuredly that is not -- because a more perfect society is the higher objective -- and not merely spreading the poverty and misery equally so that none can rise above any other.  That is totally misguided and foolhardy.  An intelligent society wishes those most capable to get ahead -- and define that possibility that never existed before, for everybody else to come.

That is the march of humanity -- and how we got to where we are.  The objective of any race, is not to establish and maintain the existing status quo and pecking order -- but ultimately, to challenge it -- and in doing so, better it.  Of course in this, many will be left behind -- but mostly because they choose to be so, and not because it is not in them, to keep up.  The better way, is invariably the easier way -- and so many more can participate, rather than excluding those who will not conform to the narrowly-contrived arbitrary prerequisites of those who insist on being always on top -- and for everybody else to get behind them, and tow the conformity.

Thus, many use the average, for that self-serving purpose -- of forcing everybody else to live up to their expectations for everyone else.  That is what they think everybody else showed up for -- to further their own political/social/economic aspirations.  Increasingly though, that is becoming rarer -- as more people feel empowered to fulfill their own unique visions of what is possible.

There will be those who will maintain that such aspirations are not possible for any but the elites that they represent -- as their God-given distinction.  That is increasingly rare except for a few professions -- who still maintain that they are the gatekeepers for all that can be known.  They may even claim a Constitutional mandate for such privileges -- as the only ones who must be believed.  They know the averages -- and are in charge of their adherence and conformance.

In most cases, they are largely self-appointed, and self-serving -- as they feel is their proper station in life.  The averages are for everybody else to conform to -- and never to question.  To question, is to exhibit weakness -- that one does not know -- which in their world, is a major crime.  One should know everything -- with perfect knowledge -- to be among the elite -- even, and especially when one has no idea what they are talking about.  That is what the average knows -- and there can be no variance from the known.  What they know, is all that can be known.  There is no other.

Tuesday, October 01, 2019

No Longer Optional

Most people go through life thinking "health" is optional -- until they run out of options, and health becomes mandatory for their very survival.  Usually, that is the case as they get older -- and have frittered away their chances at "being their best."  People live long lives not by accident and chance, but because they've increased their chances for survival at every point along the way, in everything they do -- better than most.  Attaining old age is no exception -- unlike the many who still believe that is a random achievement, not worthy of any deeper thought and effort.

But increasingly, there is a growing realization that everything we do -- has consequences and effects, so that doing their thing -- whatever they like, determines the quality of life they experience from here on out.  It is merely wishful thinking to believe that they can eat and drink unlimited quantities of delectable foods, attend the most tantalizing and intriguing entertainments, and at the end of the day (life), they will be as fit as they can be -- for the remainder of their lives.  Nothing in nature works that way.

Unfortunately, many will learn that lesson too late to do anything about it -- not that it is ever too late to do something positive and beneficial, but at that stage, they haven't developed the necessary skills to make that difference -- and think nothing makes a difference anymore.  And so they do nothing but wait for their end -- with as much entertainment, diversion, and junk food as they've consumed all their lives -- that put them in such a state and condition.  However, no matter how long it has been that way, it need not continue for another second -- because change is always possible in the present moment -- and from such moments, the future course of their health and lives, can be different, and better -- but not if they simply continue doing what they've always done before.

Getting to that realization, is the tricky point for most, but it is not just a trick of mind -- but the actuality.  The moment one does anything different, is the moment change has been set in motion.  That is unfailingly how the world works -- not that any one person, has the ultimate control over everything.  They just have that ultimate control over their own action -- but already, that is enough to make a difference.  It may not lead to the outcome one desires, but it will be the beginning of change -- and not simply continuing on the course of a disastrous path.

Even the most dysfunctional people recognize that -- so even they desire change, despite their inability to effect those changes.  That requires practice -- the practice of simply doing -- and learning what the outcome will be.  Because one never knows what the outcome will be.  They can simply play the game as though it mattered -- as best they can.  So at the end of the day (life), they know they have given their best -- and that is good enough, all one can do -- and the rest of the universe decides.

That is obviously the larger picture of life -- one hopes to have achieved as their crowning achievement in life.  It is no longer simply about them and their individual, petty struggles -- but about the whole, and how the world is a better place -- not because of them, but because of all.  But that is not achieved by one individual telling everybody else what to do and think, but of understanding what everybody else thinks and does, and making their best contribution to that synergy.  That is the evolution of the 21st century personality and culture.  It is not just the old -- one century older.

When one realizes that, then one is the entirety of life -- and not just a small part of it -- struggling against every other.  The beauty of that is that one can then draw upon the total resources available -- and not just one's ownership of it.  It doesn't matter if one owns it, or merely has access to it -- even if just for a single solitary moment one actually needs it.  That manner of thinking -- is to have total access to all that is known and available -- which is quite an advantage over the old mentality of having to purchase everything exclusively for one's own use.

That led to the concept of sharing -- which can be done with bicycles, cars, even living spaces.  But it can also mean, sharing the roads, sidewalks, information, parking and storage.  That makes all the resources available to all -- and not simply the monopoly of the richest person who can afford them only for themselves.  In this way, the average person of these times, is richer than any king or emperor was in previous times -- when they were the only ones who might have them -- and not everyone, but they have to know about them -- and its availability.

That's what many still do not realize -- that their best health -- is within their own power to achieve and exercise.  They do not have to wait in line to be approved for every latest and greatest finding known to humankind.  It is largely just for the taking -- or cheap enough to be virtually free.  Of course the worthless and fraudulent will always be too much -- for too little, or nothing at all.  That is what one still has to determine, distinguish and discriminate -- and not as they would have us believe, that nothing should be discerned in this manner of effectiveness anymore -- because they will determine that for everybody else -- henceforward, and from here on out -- just like the good ol' days.

Sunday, September 01, 2019

Finding Out What Works for You

Most people have been conditioned to believe that whatever the majority thinks, makes it true -- which is an egregious error.  The fact of the matter is that most people will usually be wrong -- and only a rare few will be right.  The majority, or might, does not make it right -- but is usually an indication of error -- that should be investigated more deeply and thoroughly for the truth of the matter, from the appeal of the false.

That is to say, that what people wish to believe, is unerringly what they believe -- in preference to the actual truth of the matter.    Often, it is because it seems more complicated than it is -- because those who explain it, are not certain of what they speak, and misunderstand it themselves -- which doesn't stop them from assuming an air of authority that they know what they are talking about.  In fact, the less they know and are certain, the more they try to hide that fact -- and particularly, allow others to question their authority.

Most will encounter that somewhere along the line -- frequently early in their lives -- in people who have nothing of merit to say, but will insist on saying it incessantly, and unnecessarily, so that astute minds know to tune them out -- even at the risk of seeming inattentive and difficult -- because they simply are reluctant or refuse to go along with the crowd.  Primitive societies often regard such lack of adherence to the majority will, as a major breach of the social contract -- that the senior citizens have a right to impose on its junior members.

Most learn to simply go along to get along -- and never learn to think for themselves on any matter, but simply go with whatever others tell them is the truth -- even if they know it is outrageously false.  The prevailing thought is that the majority, makes it right -- and there is no higher truth than that, or their lives will be arduous and difficult.  But rather than being the easy way, it eventually makes life exceedingly difficult -- fin everything they do -- because they never develop the critical skill of thinking for themselves.

As a result, they will always need others to do all their thinking for them -- which a few, are always happy to do -- but that may not serve them the best.  It may in fact, be the cause of most of their problems -- as they become tools for other's self-aggrandizing lives.  It's not like there are many of the latter, but it often seems like it because they have to go through everybody, to find the few who are vulnerable to their exploitation and manipulations.  But we don't know that for a fact unless we first give them the benefit of the doubt -- that they are simply mistaken, rather than that the deception is deliberate and intentional -- and there is no correcting that.

At that point, one learns to avoid further contact and influence -- rather than waste more time, energy and other resources -- setting them straight.  Usually, such predators, run into a more ruthless one -- as their just desserts, and eliminate each other.  One hopes not to be around when such outbursts occur -- which is the major reason to avoid such contact.  But in so doing, one creates space for more positive contacts and influence -- rather than being entrapped in those vicious circles and cycles.

That is inevitably part of every life -- but the degree of success in dealing with them -- determines how far they go on in life, and quickly assess the dangers, risks and rewards.  One can't win them all -- nor should one try.  Those lessons are usually learned with age and experience -- while an unfortunate few, make a fatal error, that compromises and disables the rest of their lives.  Thus the advantage and wisdom of learning from experience -- and not just thinking to be able to do everything one could do as a young person yet to experience any major setbacks -- and skills for handling them.

That's how defeat and failure prepare one better to deal with life -- and not that one should only and always win -- hoping that will serve them unfailingly in life.  Thus, many arrive at a point and challenge they are ill-prepared to handle, and never recover, and go into endless decline -- at any age.  They think it is enough just to run with the crowd (mob), until the mob turns and abandons them -- and then they are lost, by themselves -- with no idea of what to do anymore.  And so they languish and perish, because the steady presence of others telling them what to do, no longer guides them.

Unfortunately, many "retire" to such a fate -- and implode in such a vacuum -- endlessly filling their days with as much entertainment and diversions that others present for them.  Everything they do, just becomes their entertainment -- whether that is eating or exercising, seeing the skills of others, or learning what they'll never use.  Meanwhile, they are distracted from all that they could be doing productively, and usefully in their own lives.  Eventually, they are mystified and baffled when everything goes wrong -- and they feel there is nothing they can do about it.

Nothing in life, has conditioned and prepared them for the moment.  It may be a health challenge, or a financial challenge, or even a physical one -- requiring them to think for themselves -- with no explanation by others on what is happening, and what to do.  Those are the moments of truth everyone must eventually face -- and are the tests of how much further one will go on.  That is the ultimate test of one's conditioning and fitness.   It will be unique for every individual.  No standardized test.  And that truly, is what life is -- and must be prepared for.