Reminders, Part I

  1. I have made bad choices in the past. These are outside of my zone of control. I will make bad choices in the future. These are also outside of my zone of control. All I can do is control my present choices. Sometimes the appropriate thing to do is to make plans for the future or examine the past to see how I could have done things better, but I should never fool myself that I can control such things. All I have is now.
  2. Responsibility is heavy, but I am strong enough for the load. I must not falter. This is not an injunction for the future, but an injunction for right now.
  3. To be virtuous is difficult, but it is what I must do. Being virtuous means controlling my emotions, wiping out irrelevant thoughts, and doing what is appropriate to the moment and context. There is no rule for determining what I ought to do at a given moment, only the question of what is appropriate now.
  4. Willpower is a limited resource for me, but it can be cultivated, inch by painful inch.
  5. I must observe my environment. I must remember that, regardless of whether or not causality fits in modern physics or not, the fact remains that causality, or something like it, is an intimate part of my life. In the everyday human world, it is at least useful to assume that every event has a cause. I must see everything as part of the constantly-evolving interconnected web of causality. At all times, I must observe what leads to what. When a cause leads to a bad effect, prevent that cause from obtaining if possible. When a cause leads to a good effect, cultivate that cause.
Reminders, Part I

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