Friday, October 01, 2021

"More" is Not the Answer

 Up until the 21st century, it was always thought that "more" was always the answer -- and never that better might be less, and even different -- from what we presumed was true -- because the self-proclaimed "experts" said so -- because they purchased their certificates from those who sold them.  But usually, it takes more than money to make one an expert in any field; it takes time, effort and insight -- in actually learning to think for oneself -- because that is what makes one truly an expert, and not the countless drones merely repeating what somebody else told them is the truth -- and they have no way of finding out the truth of the matter for themselves.

And that is the beauty and joy of life -- discovering the truth of life for oneself -- instead of repeating what all the countless drones before them have -- despite all lack of success.  One doesn't want to be among the countless failures who simply "know better" -- while the world around them collapses on top of them.  We have a glut of too many of such experts.  Some things we use and abuse too much, while other capacities, we use not enough -- and that is the justification for the exercise of those capacities, and not that one must run oneself ragged as though somehow, that was the answer to any question -- under all circumstances.

More often than not, every situation is unique -- requiring the appropriate unique answer for each individual -- rather than the "one size fits everybody" terribly of the last half of the 20th century.  We live in a world now that is fully capable of being custom-designed for every individual -- and not the hand-me-down society that was good enough for all the previous generations.  But that requires a little bit of personal initiative from each individual -- and not that the government is going to ensure that for everyone equally successfully -- as the politicians promise.

That's also very 20th century -- the government knowing what is best for everybody -- rather than each individual determining that (better) for themselves -- because they have those abilities available to them.  That includes health better than the institutions are capable of providing for them.  They can now take unprecedentedly better care of themselves -- beyond what the medical systems alone can deliver.  Because ultimately, they are better able to provide and determine those things for themselves.  And surely, that must happen -- for there to be continued evolution of the human experience.

Simply repeating life as it's always been experienced before -- is not the end-all, be-all of existence.  There are always these quantum leaps to where life has never gone before -- but works better, as another one of those fortunate accidents that happens because life makes it possible.  What if we have to get better -- and there is no choice about it?  Those in poor heath will not survive -- not because we are prejudiced, but because it is a fact of life.  Only one's best will suffice.

But does that simply mean doing the familiar old things more -- or is there some other dimension of unlimited possibilities -- unimagined before?  That is the very march of progress and evolution.  Not more on the continued pattern, but the leap to better understanding and appreciation of the whole -- which has always been the next frontier.  Otherwise, we just go around in circles doing the same things we did last year, and fearing there is nothing else -- but more of the same.  At such times, civilization has come to a dead end -- of which different measures are entirely necessary.

Such changes do not simply take generations to change and manifest, but is the speed of life as is possible today.  At first there will be only the few, then a trickle, before a torrent, and then the stampede to the new.  Of course one hopes to be on that leading edge -- and not the rear guard defending the status quo that have already fled leaving them holding the bag -- and nothing else.  That is always the quandary living in any time.

Are you a bagholder, or one discovering the greatness of life -- even for oneself?  And that does not mean living half one's life waiting to die -- from the next Big Thing.  Surely, one deserves more than that.  Does one go out on top, or only halfway there? -- or never knowing for sure where one is.  It is all a blur -- from one calamity and crisis to the next -- with never a moment to rest and appreciate all one has -- before desiring the "more."  More often than not, the answer lies in something else entirely -- and that frame of mind, is truly "fitness."  It is the obvious.

It's the range of motion that is the exercise -- and not the limited range of movement (thought) done more often.  That is movement into the 21st century -- and beyond.

Wednesday, September 01, 2021

One Day at a Time

 While planning for the future is good, looking too far ahead often gets one in trouble.  It is better to think that what works well in the present, provides the stepping stone to the future -- and so one must ensure that is done as well as possible.  Otherwise, one gets too far ahead of themselves, and is often tripped up.

Those are the words of wisdom embodied in the advice to build one's house on a solid foundation -- lest the slightest shift in the winds of fortune, blow one away.  Then, if one runs out of time and money, those coming after them, can continue to build on what one left behind -- as their legacy.

Not to think in this manner, means the next generation will always have to start from scratch, repeating the same mistakes of every previous generation -- and so it is lamented that history only repeats itself, rather than building on the previous generation's work and knowledge.  In that way, some cultures pull ahead, while many others remain in the Stone Age -- casting rocks as the only thing they know to do.  Implied in that, is the fierce struggle to get to the top, but once there, they have no idea what to do but to keep everyone else down so they cannot get ahead of them.  That is the proverbial zero-sum game in which there can only be one winner, and everybody else must be losers -- and there is no greater meaning and purpose beyond that.

We know that as the life in the worst of conditions -- where nobody can go to sleep comfortable and confident in knowing that when they awaken again, they will still have everything they went to sleep with -- and not that everything can be taken from them at every moment.  That is the fierce struggle for survival among many of the beasts of the world -- as well as a few cultures that must die out for that lack of planning for that secure and prosperous future.

That is what culture is: the foundation upon which everyone else can proceed on further.  It need not be perfect, but it is at least a start in the right direction, and if it turns out to be the wrong direction, it is recognized as that rather than erased from memory.  A written record of being wrong, is often as valuable as no record of being right -- and how we got there.  It is a paper trail -- of what we did right, as well as what we did wrong -- and not merely keeping the right, and erasing the wrong -- to make ourselves seem infallible.  The process is every bit as important as the solution -- and by that, we know how to discover that again -- each time we need to.  But merely holding the answer, tells us nothing about how to get there again -- if we lose it, or lose our way.

So much for knowing all the answers -- but not knowing how to get there.  The truth of any matter is not discovered once for all time -- but is rediscovered each time, and even refined and improved in each iteration.  That is the process of evolution -- and not the countless, unvarying repetition for ages.  That is not an accurate portrait of reality.  Every person doing something, adds a little bit to the process -- whether they realize it or not.  It may be their lack of understanding, as well as greater insight.

And so life turns out differently -- for everyone of us.  So to believe everyone will have the same outcomes in life, shows a real lack of understanding of anything.  That is to believe that one can just do anything, and the results will be the same -- but that is how many think, and that is the sorrow in the world.  

When people no longer get the desired results from what they are doing, it is not that doing all the right things no longer works -- but quite obviously, that they are not doing what they think they are doing.  In observing people presumably doing the same thing, the astute observer will notice right off, that is not the same thing -- or anything.  That frequently occurs when a person loads a bar with so much weight, they can do very little -- if anything with it.  Eventually, they just get injured -- to no beneficial effect.  In fact, that might be the pivotal event which signals the end to all further doing.

Before that happens, one is better advised to go back to the simplest of beginnings -- which was when good things began to happen -- and when they strayed from those foundations, bad things began to happen -- even while they think they were still doing the same thing.  Or just as bad, to get no results -- which leads them to the futility of all further efforts, and any connection of cause and effect.  They merely hope for the next miracle drug -- the next panacea.  Life is beyond their control.

Sunday, August 01, 2021

Everything One Does is an Exercise

No one is as certain as a person who has no idea what they are talking about.  People who know better, are much less certain that they know -- before they have bothered to find out for themselves.  Most just accept what others tell them is the truth of the matter.  It's much easier this way.  They never have to question anything -- just presume to know what they are doing, because they think they know what everybody else is doing and thinking.

Undoubtedly, the world is changing -- just as it always has.  Change is simply what we have to deal with -- neither good nor bad.  That is simply the challenge of the moment -- time and place.  In no time was it easier, or more difficult.  So what is one to make of it all?

Not just a part -- but the whole.  Health is being as good as one can be -- all their life.  For many more, that is now possible.  Exercise is a good thing -- and not the last thing one should be doing.  Eating has a purpose, and not just the latest entertainment.  Lifestyle is the best one can conceive of being.  That was not preconceived a long time ago by people who knew more than we do today.  In this time, we know as much and more than was ever known before -- because we have greater access to all of it -- the good, the bad and the ugly.

Quality of life is increasing one's exposure to the good -- and eliminating, or at least avoiding the bad as much as possible.  Those are the options in life -- we can choose to exercise -- some more than others, and by those choices and outcomes, we create our lives.  Nobody can and should do it for anybody else -- and ensure those outcomes for everybody else.  That is simply not possible -- because we are born as individuals, of which the meaning is, wholly unique and indivisible.  We all own our lives -- whether any constitution guarantees that or not.  It is simply a fact of life -- just as herds of zebras will attempt to cross a crocodile-infested river -- but not all will survive.  Most will, or the species will not survive.

Humankind is blessed to be much more adaptable -- and have more options capable of being exercised.  One doesn't necessarily have to be the singular world champion at it for it to be useful and meaningful.  It just simply has to do the job -- and serve its specific purpose -- and that invariably means, doing what absolutely needs to be done -- first and foremost, and not being distracted by all the entertainment and trivial available.

At this time, as every other, it is a challenge to determine which are the urgent and which are the trivial -- just because another thought of it, and wants to sell it to everybody else.  In that way, a lot of people lose their way -- in games, alcohol, drugs, and self-aggrandizing/isolating activity.  They are convinced by the marketers that "fake" is better than "authentic," and come to prefer it -- even if it endangers their existence.

So "exercise" is not "fake," but the real -- what one actually does, whether in front of a large group of witnesses, or for their own better judgment exclusively.  Those latter, are far more likely to know the real course of their lives -- than the many deceived by the applause of those who know even less than they do, or they would be doing it themselves.  But the truly meaningful, is doing it themselves -- and finding out the truth of any matter -- with minimal risk to one's continued viability.

One has to risk not knowing -- in order to learn the new, and in that wager, only risks the unknown.  Those who presume to know, never bother to find out -- so certain they are, that they already know everything that can be known, and are even convinced, they discovered/invented it themselves.  

Such people think they know all the right answers, when they have not even begun to ask the right questions -- and think all those who do not know what they do, must be censored and persecuted until they come around to seeing what they do -- as the only way things can ever be.  That is the timeless history of civilization, evolution and actuality.  What one does, is the way life and the world is.  That is the exercise of life -- and not just meaningless practice.   It becomes the real.

Friday, July 16, 2021

Getting Started

 The difficulty in doing anything, is getting started.  That is true for exercise programs, diet, writing, speaking, changing anything.  As always, the best time to start doing anything different, is right now, and not a moment longer continuing the old ways.

Most will counter that they have to finish off their junk food before they can begin a healthy new diet -- which means they are adding to the problem, rather than stopping it immediately, and beginning on a new better course.  So of course, they maintain their old habits -- rather than living a better life immediately, and thereafter.  Diet is obviously the most visible and tangible example, but also along that line, are the many behaviors that are less obvious, like saying one thing, while doing something else entirely -- often what is expressly counterproductive, as though it was a neutral and normal act -- when it is the problem, or not working.

Yet people persist -- and wonder what went wrong.  They may even insist they are doing all the "right" things but getting all the "wrong" results -- and have no clue that the "right" efforts, produce the right results -- and no amount of doing the wrong things, will get the right results.

That's often not what one is taught in the classroom as the "right" answer -- and so one must never question it.  However, in every random sample of people, there will be the one or two who will question everything -- because that is the kind of person they are, and will probably remain so all their lives.  Those are the few who go on to discover many things that most will not suspect possible -- nor be able to tell the difference, because everything they know to be true, is what somebody else told them -- and never what they have determined for themselves.  Everyone has that right -- but few will choose to exercise them -- waiting only for somebody else to tell them what to think, and what is right -- as though there is only one authority on such matters, rather than everybody finding out what the truth of the matter is.

The truth of any matter, is that nobody knows with absolute and authoritative certainty what the truth is -- although a few will come forward and claim that omniscience.  To question them, is to question and spit in the face of God Himself -- they will suggest to unknowing and undiscriminating reporters.  In fact, many of that profession, pride themselves on being undiscriminating about anything -- which should make one wary of accepting such sources -- because admittedly, they cannot tell the truth from the false, and have no way of knowing but to ask someone else.

Thus it has been noted, that a falsehood can travel around the world, in the time it takes to unravel the truth of any matter -- as though speed was all that mattered.  Simple truths, often take time to be revealed -- but by then, many have lost interest, and have jumped on many subsequent erroneous bandwagons on the road to folly.  So ultimately, time is the test of truth -- and abandons most when they need it the most.  That is the aging process.

Those who live their lives well, see their lives get better, while those who have wasted every advantage ever provided, have nothing left, and are deeper in debt and deficit on every facet of life.  Ultimately it shows -- whether they were naughty or nice.  Eating more than their fair share of food -- eventually shows up -- everywhere.  Not exercising shows up as well.  Not writing or speaking, results in an inability to communicate -- especially in what one thinks should be obvious.  It was never made obvious -- in any tangible way.  The wishful thinking was never communicated to the universe -- one hoped and expected it would.

That may be in another universe -- but not this one, where things are made manifest.  Therefore, people who know what they are talking about, show it -- in appearance, thought and action, and not that the truth is what anyone says it is -- regardless.  Who has been given that authority and dominion over all the others?  That is a sobering question for those who presumed that authority -- just because they could.

But everyone has that authority in their own lives -- but should proceed cautiously and deliberately, and not with reckless abandon just because they can, or saw somebody else do it.  That is true even following the advice of all the designated experts in the field -- the best of whom do not claim to know everything, because finding out for oneself, is the only real truth -- and what ultimately matters.  That is an ancient wisdom that has never become obsolete.

That moment of truth arrives as soon as one stops listening to the "experts," and listens to the truth of what their own body and senses are telling them -- in the mind-body connection.  Those who do that well, become the masters of their own universe and lives -- which reveals itself in time, as one ages, and how one ages.  If everything they know is false, that facade is revealed -- for truth will stand the test of time, or expose them.  That is the (un)pleasant truth of every life.  How a person ages -- or doesn't, is the story of their lives.  That's what time tells.

None of that gets wiped away.  Every thought, deed, and action is etched on their faces and bodies.  It can be a blessing or a curse; it is cause and effect, played out in every life -- as it must be.  They may get away with it for 20, 40 years, but eventually, it catches up to them -- but that is good or bad, depending on what one did.

When the forty or sixty years are up, there is still time enough to get it right -- and that is the beauty of it.  One can always begin anew -- from now on, but even those given "one more chance," will find a way to waste it.  But they get a chance, with every moment they still live -- until it is over.  But if one has previously wasted every moment of their lives, the chances are not great they can turn their lives around -- but it is always possible, as long as there is life.  And so the question remains, what is possible -- and how to make it so?

It's easier done than said.  It doesn't need saying -- it needs doing.  But rather than doing the most difficult thing possible, one should try the easiest thing possible -- and that works if one is nine or ninety.  But one has to actually do something -- and not simply think or talk about doing it.  If one can make that connection, then there is a way to improve one's functioning and condition.  One does not need to ask how much? -- and all those diversions from actually doing anything.  That is most people's first line of defense -- to convince themselves (and everybody else around them) they cannot.

If they just lift one finger, that is more than they have done in years -- on their own behalf.  When they realize that, they see why the world and themselves are in the condition it is in -- with good reason and purpose.  They have to make the connection between thinking of doing something, and actually doing it -- and in that insight, the world is changed, and everything is different.  Nobody can do it for anybody or everybody else.  That's how the world changes -- one life at a time, wholly, individually, and personally -- and that is the actuality of every life by every individual.

Wednesday, June 16, 2021

The Significance of Failure

50 repetitions will usually get one to muscle failure — which is obviously what most people don’t do because they spend nearly all their time “working out” just resting between sets — instead of actually performing any exercises, and particularly when it gets hard (fatigued), and so the body doesn’t have to adapt to do what is easy to do.

That’s why Eugen Sandow was able to build a legendary physique — using light weights for 50 reps. When you take a light weight and articulate the fullest range of motion, that fullest of contractions — requires all the muscles of your body to be contracted because it is not possible for only one muscle to be contracted in isolation to all the others — because one of the major functions of any muscle, is to recruit as many of the other (larger) muscles to assist it.
One of the primary objectives of exercise, is to increase the range of movement — particularly in the direction of the contraction, while most people using heavier weights, do so at the expense of shortening their range of motion to compensate for the added resistance. In that manner, even their full contraction, is actually a resting point — rather than a maximum contraction that extends beyond that.
Most people will experience that range of motion as a muscle cramp — because the contraction is so severe — and can be achieved in the first 10 repetitions before fatigue sets in (lactic acid buildup), and by the 50th repetition, it takes every muscle in their body just to complete that repetition in the worst possible form — but it is everything one has at that moment.
That is “momentary failure” — and what the body now has to adapt to — in the next few days, so those high intensity sessions should be brief and infrequent — most often, once a week, while continuing to do your daily routine of stretching and flexing to prevent the onset of paralyzing muscle soreness (DOMS) from setting in — while the muscles are recovering and growing.
In this manner, it is possible to continue muscle growth even after most people think they can no longer achieve it anymore — because they don’t understand the relationship between the stimulus and the recovery ability — and do a lot of low-intensity exercise thinking that is enough to stimulate muscle growth. It is a brief amount of high-intensity with sufficient recovery time, and daily light stretching and flexing, that makes it possible, and not any amount of low-intensity exercise.

So the body is not responding to amount of exercise -- as it is to the quality of that exercise -- which means expanding the range of that expression. That is true of every activity -- that those most valued, are because they do whatever they do, with greater articulation, or expression -- rather than simply doing very little -- a lot. No amount of doing something badly, will accomplish doing something very well -- once. All human performance is set up with this appreciation uppermost -- but not everyone can appreciate it equally -- and so hopefully, we have "judges" who can distinguish those differences. But long before the public performance, each practitioner hones their skill -- because they must know the difference, and not simply hope to fool the judges, or the media covering them.

Eventually that happens when one breaks not only the records for previous achievements -- but breaks from the conventions one has come to expect in that activity -- and reinvents that sport henceforth. That is the root meaning of sport: an individual exhibiting a sudden deviation from type beyond the normal limits of individual variation usually as a result of mutation especially of somatic tissue.  

On such occasions, there is tremendous uproar and confusion, as the new supplants the old -- in this cataclysmic way.  There is no other defense against the new and unpredictable.  And while this inevitably happens in sports and athletics -- it is also the feature of individual lives that continue to evolve -- and not just by calling the old, "new and improved."  It will be something entirely different.  

Those are the leaps that a few individuals actually cultivate -- to get where they haven't gone before.   Otherwise, one could only repeat the past -- endlessly, and never grow beyond it.  But as tirelessly and repetitively as one practices, it is always with such an intention that one hopes for a breakthrough -- often, just because one is at the right place, at the right time, doing the right thing, with the right people.  Conversely, bad things are likely to happen being at the wrong place, at the wrong time, doing the wrong thing, with all the wrong people.  As such, outcomes will not be the same -- no matter how much one thinks it should be so.

Unless one acknowledges these critical differences and failures, one will be lost in a sea of worthless opinions -- allowing them to proceed on the road to folly, and never knowing the difference -- until their predictable, premature demise.  Long before that untimely end, one hopes to have learned from all their failures -- and become better for it.  That entails actually doing something -- and not just thinking about it -- as though that were the same, and equally productive.  In a world of virtual reality, quite a few have difficulty maintaining those distinctions, and boundaries  -- and think the rules should not apply to them -- because they are entitled to favorable outcomes above all the others.

Even the King of the Beasts eventually have to learn that lesson the hard way -- along the road to getting there, and eventually on the road back.  No one is "entitled" to getting there, nor staying there forever.  All one can do is make the best of whatever circumstances have presented to them -- and not waste them all, assured that there will be many more.  When it ends, it ends -- just like that.

In the meantime, one hopes to have cultivated many other skills and attributes -- that provide them with a few other opportunities, when their primary avenue is cut off.  That is having a backup plan -- and building increasing reserves for the bad times -- and if they do not manifest, so much the better -- as their capital builds.  And if disaster strikes, it was all part of the plan they were preparing for.  They had a sufficient margin for error -- that they could be wrong.

That is what a wise few are preparing for -- the best of times, as well as the worst of times -- and in that way, make the best of times at every time of their lives.   That is just not the young years, or the middle and prime, but until the very end -- and going out on top, whenever that is.

One begins near -- to go far.

Sunday, May 16, 2021

Changing Whatever Ails You

 When one has a lifelong problem that just seems to be getting worse, one might ask if there is another way of doing things -- and seeing what happens.  It frequently is the case, that how one thought to solve a problem, actually caused the problem -- rather than being the ultimately best solution.  Nowhere is that more true than in the simple act of cleaning up -- after making a mess, and resulting in an even bigger mess -- which then seems the least of one's problems and difficulties.

One of the great crises of last year, among many, was the great toilet paper shortage of 2020 -- which caused many more to consider abandoning altogether -- for technologies that made better sense, and eliminating many of the problems that cause people to require caregiving for these vital functions of elimination and cleanup.  Most don't give that much thought -- until it becomes a major preoccupation for many elderly -- as an increasing reminder of their growing incompetence and diminishing dexterity.

But need it be so -- or could one adopt new technologies and ways of doing things that make the formerly problematical, a non-issue? -- which I think the switch from toilet paper to the state-of-the art bidet attachment represents.  It seems like such a simple matter -- that has profound implications and consequences -- particularly in eliminating the chances for infection from the two major sources of contamination and toxicity.  One need not be a most highly esteemed doctor to realize that such a simple switch would make a major impact on world health and hygiene -- and eliminate many of those problems resulting from that primitive treatment of it -- to a new standard of hygiene in this regard.

That is also symbolic of many other great technological advances that we will not embrace simply because we were conditioned in another way -- and remained the only way we thought possible.  However, in the last ten years, or even five, the whole world of these possibilities have become available to us -- to transform life as much as we can imagine it to be so -- including that we do not have to be victims of our own bad health due to the poor choices we were conditioned with initially -- and are now the source of most of our health issues.  

Chief among them is the notion that we need to remain totally preoccupied on when our next meal is coming from -- rather than the better, more appropriate response of these times, to increase one's time not spent eating -- creating much more time and energy for other more productive activities.  I think that is greatly what it means to move into a 21st century life -- from the past's preoccupation with scarcity in all things, as the basic struggle of human life.  The problems now, are likely to precede from too much, rather than too little -- and those who cannot exercise that prudence and responsibility, can see their lives go off the rails irretrievably -- resulting in all the problems of human evolution and civilization.   That is of course, every manner of communicable and self-inflicted disease -- at its most problematical.  That is, how do we dispose of the waste, that left unattended, becomes increasingly more toxic?

Obviously, this has to begin at the most rudimentary level, and doing that, gives hope for further rectifications.  Those are what we are likely to take most for granted: air, water, sunlight -- as the basics of what has produced life as we know it.  If we truly understood only these three things -- and learned to optimize it, we could create a whole new universe of possibilities and opportunities.  Instead, some would propose that we block out all sunlight -- as though that was an intelligent thing to do.  That shows no understanding of life in any of its forms -- much less proclaiming oneself as its highest manifestation of intelligent life, not only here, but throughout the universe.

There's a reason things are as they are -- but better is always possible.  That is the story of evolution and civilization.  Those shifts are not merely arbitrary but that which stands the test of time.  Otherwise, one is likely to live a life full of regrets -- from hastily jumping on every bandwagon that comes by -- not only fearing to miss out, but even claiming to have thought of the idea originally.  Then weeks later, disclaiming and deleting every association with such wayward thoughtlessness -- while those monuments remain of how misguided and destructive those thoughts and actions were.

One only needs to tour the downtown areas of many cities to see the end result of such "enlightened and progressive" thinking -- for which future generations will wonder, "What were these people thinking!?"

Friday, April 16, 2021

Optimizing Health is the Best Defense

While much has been made about what the whiz-bang experts say should be done -- usually by not following their own example -- most of what every individual can do to improve, enhance and maintain their quality of life, lies entirely within their own hands and jurisdiction.  In fact, that has always been the point of life -- and living -- to do best with what each has -- rather than pining for how they wish things were -- first, before initiating any actions of their own.  Of course, that has never been a good prescription nor formula for success -- and happiness -- but to the contrary, ensures the opposite -- and renders one vulnerable and susceptible to all kinds of assaults, infections, misfortunes, etc.  Invariably, that is a disaster waiting to happen.

Ironically, that often happens despite one being extremely active and tireless -- doing all the wrong things, and solving all the wrong problems -- while the real problems, simply get worse, and are regarded as a hopeless situation.  So first, there must be right perception and right understanding -- before there can be right action.  That is the essential teaching of Buddhism -- and real awakening, and enlightenment.  It is not some far off goal of perfection in the far distant future or another life, but the here and now in every moment and possibility.

That is the Great Awakening -- and not all this silliness of who is righter than anybody else.  One is righter relative to their own understanding and being -- and that is the proper study and focus of every significant life -- understanding their own, and not presuming to know better than others.  That is obviously the distinction of those without any understanding -- usually of anything at all, and so they delight in whatever takes them away from themselves and that mindfulness.

 The world is what it is -- for good reason.  It is like the novice approach of market values in which one is led to believe that only they know the true value and price of anything -- and they are led to the slaughter, never knowing what went wrong -- because they knew the truth, and the rest of the world was only fooling themselves.  So one must first allow, that maybe everybody else could be right -- and maybe they are driving on the "right" side of the road -- rather than the new and improved enlightened way.

And then if that presumption proves more damaging than helpful -- one can then ask, Might there be a better way, and what are the alternative explanations -- that make more sense, but more importantly, work -- regardless of one's previous knowledge and experience?  That is how new worlds are discovered -- and the unknown become known.  It is not that everything was already known -- but lost and forgotten -- and the only quest in life is to rediscover that.  That is a very small view of the universe and its possibilities -- and truth and wisdom lie beyond that.

It is nearly impossible to save one on their death bed, or the bed they have prepared for themselves -- all their lives.  It may begin with successes but end in failures -- if they have not learned to deal with both.  Success is a greater challenge than failure -- and so, many deconstruct their successes so they can rebuild from failure -- rather than taking success to the next and subsequent level.  And that is why so many undermine their own success, and sabotage their lives -- including and especially the great athletes, and great success stories in every field.  They never learned to make a good thing better -- even if it was only themselves, which is the most important to do -- and not compare oneself favorably or unfavorably with everybody else -- constantly and incessantly.  Of course we recognize that instantly in social media and every media of our own making -- and why many spend more than half their lives deleting and canceling everything else they did previously.

Obviously, that is not any way to build foundations for any future successes and endeavors, but always has one starting from scratch -- or worse, with tremendous and growing deficits -- until everything seems futile and hopeless.  Chief among that, is one's own health -- which should not just be thrown away, as many talk about it.  That is the life of endless and unceasing dissipation that many literary characters seem to think was all there was -- and the point of their whole existence.  We recognize such characters today as the "dysfunctional" personalities that we hope to learn from their mistakes -- rather than repeating them ourselves as the only model possible.

That is the advantage of learning from other people's mistakes -- as well as our own.  But if we just cancel out everybody else and delete our own, we predictably never get anywhere -- have nothing to build on, develop no fortifications against the travails and challenges in life.  That ultimately, is what life is -- everything, and not just one thing, or only those things we wish to acknowledge.  That is not good enough.  And if one solve problems that don't need to be solved, while ignoring those matters of great urgency, then life will predictably be short, brutish, and "unfair."  One would expect nothing else.

So for the novices of every beginning, they should learn from everything -- not just to immediately emulate them, but to know of that possibility -- among many others, and once one has seen enough, can make intelligent choices -- and not merely try to become more intelligent, diligent or thoughtful on a path that may be totally misguided.  Those choices have to come at the end -- when they virtually make themselves -- rather than choosing prematurely, and then never deviating from that path although it is the cause of all their difficulties.  Trying harder, is not the answer to their problem that may be something else entirely.

So to ask, how can I do more, without first inquiring whether one should be doing any at all -- is beginning on the wrong foot, and asking the wrong question -- that some even demand that others must answer for them, and will tolerate nothing else.

As long as one regards Time as a friend, it will be a powerful ally -- in achieving what one desires, but if one regards Time as an enemy, then it is an indomitable foe.  Unfortunately, too many are conditioned to think that way -- and so set the indomitable forces against themselves -- as their worthy adversary, not realizing they are way out of their league.  In this, patience is one's best counsel -- so cultivating that talent comes back frequently to aid them in the new.  Good things take time to unfold -- just as bad things -- but the impatient, demands that results be instant -- or they don't want to waste their time.  But time is what we all have most equally. 

We all have twenty-four hours in each day -- and some make the most of it, while many others fritter theirs away -- never seeming to find time to do anything important and beneficial -- and all the time in the world will not make any difference.  However much they have, they will waste.  But if one is in the habit of making each moment precious, it seems to beget more, of ever increasing greater quality.  That is the self-evident truth of optimizing one's health as their first line of defense -- and from that foundation, to launch one's offensive actions -- while those in steadily declining health, are rocked further back on their heels with every subsequent attack.  Everybody seems to know better -- but many feel powerless to do anything about.  They know they should take better care of their own health -- but find some excuse for not doing so.  Eventually, it is too late -- and the windows of opportunity are closed.

It is seldom that one never had any chances -- for even the most destitute and unfortunate, will lament endlessly about all their wasted chances.  Somebody else was supposed to do something -- and then everybody else -- before they could act on their own behalf.  So lacking that improbability, their lives were lost.  All one can do is try their best -- but that's not the same as doing nothing -- and calling it their best.  Some will know the difference, and call it out -- but the most important person to realize that, is each individual for themselves -- that they could have made that difference.

Age is what separates the winners from the losers.  Use it wisely.