50 Life Lessons in 5 Minutes
Just some theories I try to live by.
Seek out experiences, not pleasures…
but don’t feel guilty about your guilty pleasures.
Don’t judge others openly regardless of how horrible they are, but that doesn’t mean you have to trust them or hang out with them.
Do what you need to do to get along with people. Or leave.
Don’t allow emotional vampires to take advantage of you.
Worry about real-world effects rather than emotions…
but recognize that your emotions have real-world effects on the people around you.
Watch carefully how people treat others, and watch their moral values. Recognize that most likely they will treat you the same as they treat everyone else.
Don’t automatically assume your friend was the good-guy in a given situation. Statistically your friend has only a 50/50 chance of being the good guy, though hopefully the previous item should raise your average a little.
Reject the Golden Rule. Treat people how they want to be treated, not how you want to be treated. This does require a bit more thought, but it’s worth it in the long run and besides helping you make allies in life, will also help you understand and predict other people’s behavior.
Worry about the long-term benefits of the things you do for others, even if doing the right thing for them makes them angry in the short term.
Remember that punishments, vengeance and justice committed upon people, animals or things just never works out for the overall good in the long run. Even if the immediate problem is solved, and emotional satisfaction is gained, the long-term bitterness and other unknown repercussions will almost always outweigh the benefits.
Always listen to your intuition, but never trust it.
In a science and logic vs intuition or religion standoff, science should win…
but recognize that sometimes you’ll be in a situation where you don’t have enough information to make a scientific and logical decision.
Base your view of reality on what you see, hear and feel, and on actual real-world facts and not on what you are told.
Set aside time to embrace spirituality and alternative realities to your core, while always remembering they don’t actually exist in this universe.
Become aware, any way you can, of how your brain operates, and be brutally honest with yourself about it.
Never believe something until you see it… within reason.
Things are either true or not true, but you have no real way of knowing so everything you think you know should be seen as probabilities, and instead of thinking that something is true, that you believe in it, think of it in the probability that it is true, knowing that nothing can ever be %100 guaranteed to be true, no matter what.
On that same note, embrace the unknown.
Remember that all human beings are equally important, including people all over the world, regardless of nation, race, personal preferences, past crimes or age. Even if they hate you and want you dead, their emotions are still equally as important as yours. This doesn’t mean you can’t fight back against them, but it does mean you must respect them as human beings.
Never jump to the conclusion that safety should be prioritized over fun.
Do what is moral and right, not what is legal or what the rules say… assuming you can get away with it.
Always live a lifestyle well below your income so you can re-invest extra income to better your life in the long term.
Be conscious that how you spend your money has an effect on your community and the world.
Admit your mistakes quickly, before other people point them out. This will increase their trust in you.
Don’t lie. The majority of the time that someone suspects you of lying, they don’t say anything, but they judge you for it silently and there will always be long-term consequences that are difficult for you to grasp in the moment…
though I’m not opposed to lying to an agent of the law or rule enforcement if it’s the morally upstanding thing to do.
Remember people will sometimes use big words and complex logic when they actually have no idea what they’re talking about, in an attempt to manipulate you.
Always ask yourself why you are doing something in a certain manner and if the answer is something dealing with rules, tradition, custom or “this is how it’s done” you need to stop and think if there might be a better way, while trying to look at the issue from a purely real-world goal-oriented manner.
Speaking of goals…
Be goal oriented. Big goals, little goals. It’s better to have ten goals and fail on six of them than it is to have three goals and succeed on all of them. Be sure to have big goals, even ludicrously big goals, such as world peace. Don’t neglect the smaller goals though.
Seek altered states of consciousness, whether this is through drugs, meditation, travel, story writing, etc.
Don’t be afraid to cry, but you don’t need to do it in front of anyone.
Write about your emotions in some fashion, even if it’s just a poem once in a while, but getting feelings down in text can dramatically help you understand them.
Always concern yourself with how you impact the world, because you always do.
Remember that in the end you will regret the things you didn’t do more than the things you did. (I think I stole that line from someone.)
Try to make your default answer yes.
Try to make the world a better place with everything you buy and do.
Put your money into the businesses you feel ethically support.
Avoid hydrogenated oils, preservatives, refined flour and sugar and corn syrup but again, don’t be a nazi about it.
Don’t automatically assume natural is better… though it often is.
Don’t assume technology can solve your problems.
Don’t forget to find a way to tune back into nature.
Don’t think of your enemies as someone to fight. Think of them as someone to help become a better person.
Embrace open communication no matter how uncomfortable it may be.
Always think about all possible avenues to solve a problem because you’ll never know when the answer is lying at your feet if you just turn in the right direction.
Don’t try to tell anyone how to live their lives (like I’m doing now)…
speaking of hypocrisy, remember it’s better to be a hypocrite than to not care.
Don’t let any person, religion or webpage like this one tell you how to live your life.
Kalin Ringkvist is a queer, atheist, web developer, science fiction author, real estate investor, and police brutality survivor. In 2020 he is taking a break from the personal data organizer application he’s building to write about current social issues, particularly the call to defund the police.