Our mind offers us an inner palace and fortress capable of remaining independent and free from the worldly events around us. Our mental palace can be a refuge in times of need—unapproachable unless you invite guests—worries—thoughts into its walls.

It can also be a university. Our mind can also be a place of learning if we choose to no longer let our idle thoughts simply glide across our minds only to be lost in that untamed wilderness.

Instead, take those thoughts and explore them in this hidden university. You can begin by deconstructing the world—the pain—the hardships—around you. When we understand the sources, causes and effects of such pain we can then begin to build a future with fewer obstacles in the way.

One can always find the courage to work through one more day—to endure hardship, pain, discomfort or merely inconvenience for the sake of progress.

Remember, nothing can be built without sacrifice. It is therefore your duty to use your Reason to determine how to both minimize your pain and maximize your gains.

You must do this without interfering with the rights of others. We must all be allowed to live as Reason allows.

Build a legacy while doing no harm.

That is the challenge I have seen few succeed in accomplishing.

I think most of us find ourselves distracted, more often than not, by the pursuit of pleasure—fine foods, wine, entertainment and sex.

There is never anything wrong in finding pleasure in one’s life. The only danger arises when we only seek pleasure. This obsessive pursuit can distract us from more productive endeavors and prevent us from ever achieving the greatness we are all capable of realizing.

How can you balance the pursuit of pleasure with the need to pursue the challenges in life necessary for greatness?

The easiest solution, though always so difficult, is to seek challenges and never the rewards. This ensures your will is never misguided, and still allows you to enjoy the pleasures which come across your path unsought.

One action is all that it takes to turn a life of disappointment into something else. Just like we are incapable of escaping the responsibilities of life by retreating into the past, we also should not ignore the present by hoping alone for a better future.

Instead, act.

Make a decision.

Follow through.

If it is to become the wrong decision, so be it. You have at least made an attempt to improve the lives around you, and you can use this experience to better learn strategies for the next choice which must be made around the corner

There are lessons to be learned from even the most unlikely sources—your enemies, the opposition, strangers, and even the hateful, absurd characters you will inevitably encounter.

We can learn patience when facing those who refuse to use their reason. Take care, however, that you too do not become one of these foolish spectacles.

We can learn temperance and moderation by not allowing the antagonization by others to influence us to act in a harmful or hasty manner.

If a person has the power to disrupt your peace of mind, learn quickly how to find your way to a centrist path where you both can live with little conflict.

If the universe is designed to teach us lessons, then foremost of those teachings would be the value of patience. With enough time passed all can be forgotten.

This works to guide us to build our lives strategically and to ensure we do not waste our finite resources needlessly.

We will all face obstacles in our lives we would rather avoid. Remember, it’s not possible to avoid the grasp time.

Rather than fear sickness, age, poverty or conflict, we can better use each moment we are given to plan, build and sustain the governing our lives.

If we plan well, we can reduce much of the pain we expect to experience in life.

Some suggest that one cannot have too much of the good things in life. I think We all know this to be untrue from our own experiences.

  • Too much food makes us fat.
  • Too much leisure makes us lazy.
  • The truth is that a life absent any difficulty allows you no opportunity to ever become more than the flesh that walks the earth.
  • Hardship builds both our physical and mental endurance. It is that mental stimulation which provides the quintessential value of the human condition.
  • We must learn to build our lives to seek out challenges to overcome—this choice to seek out hardships will differentiate us from everything else.
  • I think in the grand scheme of things we also too often find ourselves with too much time on our hands. I find myself making excuses for not accomplishing more in my day—or life. The fault, however, is always my own.

    I become stuck in the doldrums of inaction and rather than lighting a fire in my spirit to motivate me to achieve more, I lie inert and simply let the day pass on by.

    How strange it is that we declare that we want changes in our world, but we never make the effort to bring anything new about.

    The Four Virtues of a Life Well-Lived

    I know of four timeless virtues.

    The Wisdom to know you’re often wrong in your beliefs and that others are better qualified to illuminate the truth.

    The Courage to endure hardship in the name of progress rather than retreating to a life of comfort and leisure.

    The surrender to Justice wherein we sacrifice our personal privilege for the security of the whole; we create law and surrender to order so that discord and tyranny do not consume us.

    The Temperance to accept no extremes and always seek, and if not found, to create a middle path; we do not force ourselves on others but find a way for all of us to share the communal space and its burdens.