112 How to succeed by being nice

Happiness is not something that is forced upon us. We achieve it by expanding into our opportunities and improving our circumstances. The improving we do, not the attention we are given, is the foundation of our happiness.

The strength we radiate will attract, not compel, the better social order we seek. Our examples must persuade others that we are happy. Persuasion is only one aspect. The bigger principle is that we improve everything worthwhile by being nice.

81 Demographics and history

Problem: We want to rule I want what I want when I want it. You are here to provide it for me. That is the earliest feeling I can remember. Have you outgrown it better than I have? I still have selfish impulses to overcome. Do you ever wish other people would do all the work while you retain control? My stories below are the macro and micro level of just that. Please regard all accounts below as old wives’ tales regarding particulars. I am selecting specialized perspectives to illustrate, not prove, a major point. Stories–macro The outstanding example in …

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78 Why are you not effective?

Stories If you wanted a favor from me, would you run up to me and say, “I am going to fight you”? Do you come to a job interview to say, “Here are my demands; I am going to fight you until I get all of them”? Crazy as that sounds, I see these behaviors practiced every day, in other settings. However, today’s title is merely an attention grabber. You are effective and the article ends on my usual exuberance. I have already described athletic competition as collaboration between parties who agree to put forth best effort to make each …

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59 Let freedom ring

The Ernstraudian Way grew out of a discussion of togetherness: sharing happiness in mutual support settings. We want the fruits of cooperation. Humans need personal interaction. The quality of our relationships is the foundation of achievement and progress. Individuals and society build each other. While we are rejoicing over the benefits of our togetherness, we encounter uncomfortable differences. When we are close enough together to pool our strengths, we are close enough to experience bumps and bruises to our individuality. To some people, community and diversity are opposite poles. That is obvious if community means we must be the same, …

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41 Think first!

Richard Feynman, Nobel laureate in Physics, explained that he maximized his utility by multiplying the need for a task by his ability to perform it. People regarded some things more urgent than physics research, but his skill set did not match those other needs. Society thrives by combining the talents of diverse workers. It takes all of us. People do not always behave logically. Emotions carry more weight; we do the things about which we feel best. Sometimes that coincides with logic. Previous articles have considered resolving differences in people’s perceptions and expectations. We are hard-wired for collaboration, and the …

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20 What is the big picture?

Relax!  Today’s article links you to your world without requiring you to save that world.  Humans enjoy context (the big picture, your world).  This is comforting if you agree with Friday’s message that the world is beautiful.  Now we consider how that helps. When we see ourselves in the bigger picture of reality, that affects three areas of our personhood: Perspective gives meaning to our lives; we feel purpose in our being. We appreciate relationships to our environment and to other people. We draw succor from not being alone. Life includes a feedback loop.  In lay terms, that means that …

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