motivation

99 What is so good about heaven?

Heavenly relief You know the song, “Is there Mogen David in heaven? If not, who the __ wants to go?” There is a reverent way of looking at the lyrics. They anticipate that heaven is a pleasant sensation akin to the effect of mild intoxicants. The very question suggests that both items are favorable and asks assurance that they will be enjoyed together. There are countless portrayals of heaven as the place of rest—but nicer than the grave. They appeal to the human sense of overwhelm. We seek an end to stress, relief from external pressure to perform. I compare …

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85 Is it material?

Word play When I was in grade school and had a cast on my arm, boys in the class alarmed me describing the machine that cuts off the cast. They said it cuts through the plaster but does not cut through material. Always the scholar, I reminded them that plaster is a material. By the word material they meant cloth. Today we continue playing games with the word material. To a lawyer, the word means “pertinent to the current case.” A philosopher differentiates between material and spiritual well-being. I combine the meanings to assert that materialism is not material to …

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80 The power is in you

Story: Owl II Let’s continue the story of Owl (article 79), the candidate who would not scream “incompetent.” He found a need and filled it (article 56). How did he do it? He gathered private financing for services the government did not provide. More significantly, however, he contributed a mind fixed on realizing what could be. Outlook makes the difference. PMA (positive mental attitude) accepts challenges as opportunities for growth. In article 32 I refused to watch news reports of burning buildings because the watching serves no useful purpose. Next, article 33 stated, “we do not climb up by looking …

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30 Picture this

Let us eliminate bicycle theft by producing so many bicycles that nobody will perceive stealing a bicycle as an increase in wealth. We remove the motive by reducing to zero the marginal value of one more bicycle. The larger economy benefits from a similar pattern. One American living in Denmark was willing to pay 70% income tax because it bought him a peaceful life in a friendly environment. When I lived in Switzerland, I twice recovered my umbrella after accidentally leaving it on a train. That involved identifying the train and the approximate location on the train, along with choosing …

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14 Noah Complex

There is a religious viewpoint suggesting that I must find the elect or chosen few and bring them out of a corrupt world that is on its way to destruction. This separatist suggestion appears narrow and contrived. I am energized instead by the viewpoint that I belong to the human family, which can use some help. My purpose and motivation lie in contributing improvement, sharing whatever I find to be good. To encourage others, it helps to be self-confident but not self-righteous. Growth is learning the viewpoints, weaknesses, and strengths of my family members so that I can understand and …

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