Motivation and Confidence

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Both come from familiarity with the self. When you know your limits and weaknesses therein lies your strength. Eliminating one less enemy to hold off from your flank and one less enemy is as good as a defeated one, so says Mr. Tzu. With your flank free and clear of threats, you can throw your reserves up front with the rest of the soldiers and archers and calvary and occupy new ground in front of you. Your kingdom now immensely larger allows you to focus only on what is achievable and possible according to your own clear judgment. Don’t forget your flank.

Dreaming is fine; pondering, even better. Practicality is a heartier investment in the longterm. Dreamers attempt to construct castles without knowledge of physical dimensions and rock hewing. Pragmatists build sturdy homes relative to the physical material accessible to them.

Patience is a virtue; procrastination is its evil twin. They look alike, even seem similar at first glance but the other one will rob you.

Repay your debts. That’s all.

Accept change; there’s no great evil in it but don’t tolerate the things that stay the same in consequence of change.

Defend the defensible. If there was no tradition, all new things would have been smothered in the crib.

Our spacetime, our now, is no more important than any time before and will be no less than any time after. Everything that happens, has happened, will happen is already familiar and a well recorded fact regardless of the race in whatever dimension of time, past, present, future, it occurred.

Think continually how many physicians are dead after often contracting their eyebrows over the sick; and how many astrologers after predicting with great pretensions the deaths of others; and how many philosophers after endless discourses on death or immortality; how many heroes after killing thousands; and how many tyrants who have used their power over men’s lives with terrible insolence as if they were immortal; and how many cities are entirely dead, so to speak, Helice and Pompeii and Herculaneum, and others innumerable. Add to the reckoning all whom thou hast known, one after another. One man after burying another has been laid out dead, and another buries him: and all this in a short time. To conclude, always observe how ephemeral and worthless human things are, and what was yesterday a little mucus to-morrow will be a mummy or ashes. Pass then through this little space of time conformably to nature, and end thy journey in content, just as an olive falls off when it is ripe, blessing nature who produced it, and thanking the tree on which it grew.

Be like the promontory against which the waves continually break, but it stands firm and tames the fury of the water around it.

Always run to the short way; and the short way is the natural: accordingly say and do everything in conformity with the soundest reason. For such a purpose frees a man from trouble, and warfare, and all artifice and ostentatious display (The Meditations, Marcus Aurelius).

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2 thoughts on “Motivation and Confidence

    • We share in good taste, my friend. It was an entertaining read. See, this is how I prefer war memoirs. Well, I guess I like variety to be honest but this was back in the time where people were not out for instant gratification. Mosby saw death, suffering, and loss as much as any fighting man before or after, but he kept it light (even humorous!) when needed, applied sincerity where it was warranted but over all gave you a picture of his personality and the nature of the war in which he fought all while knowing full well his place in history. I think the age of celebrity and hyper-individualism has erased this greatly preferable side of humanity.

      In the end, they were all Americans and left it at that. If there is such a thing as a “civil” war I think that one was as close to it as possible.

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