Work and Goals I believe there are 4 keys to success (in no particular order): focus, patience, commitment and confidence
I believe that the above is entailed in Douglas Adam's Famous catch phrase don't panic.
I believe the process for accomplishing any goal is as follows: recursively decompose the proposed goal (into subgoals) until one has only a set of atomic goals. Accomplish each atomic goal first, then accomplish those goals which depend on other goals. Accomplishing means processing the goal until the necessary outcome occurs and is verified. When the root goal is accomplished work is done and one does "clean up".
I believe in the Taoist notion: "do your work, then step back, the only path to serenity".
Ethics and Religion To me, 'religion' is a way of life. It doesn't necessarily have anything to do with concepts of god or afterlives. I believe a religion is a way of living that has a kernel and that kernel governs every way a person interacts with the world and with themselves. So that entails what we think, say, do, etc, and also to the extent which we can know the future, entails the causal relationship of what we do and what occurs from that. The Buddhist notion of the "eight-fold path" seems to mesh well with my idea, so I try to stick to that as best I can.
The Eight Fold Path: right view, right intention, right speech, right action,right livelihood, right effort, right mindfulness and right concentration. Some of these may seem redundant and they are all essentially related to ethics. But there is no particular notion of what is right. The idea is just to strive for what is right by seeing the world as it is and focusing on the eight concepts so that one does not forget to be aware of the moral implications of any form of interactions.
I believe that ultimately the terms 'right', 'wrong', 'good' and 'bad' must be defined in terms of conscious/sentient suffering, which is relative to the experiencer. Defining ethics in this way gives further meaning to the above notions.
Politics, Leadership and Social Interaction
My prime directive is one that is not easy to put in practice, but I believe I must strive for it none the less. My approach to life is one that attempts to consider intentional actions from the standpoint of necessary goals and possible ethical implications. Therefore, my number one directive is to not take any action which might be wrong if the action is not necessary. What to do when an action might be wrong and might be necessary is tricky though.
In terms of politics I believe in social responsibility in proportion to social dependence. The following axiom: if some people can change, and some people can not change, and it is necessary that some people change, then those who can change are obligated to change. Therefore, I believe that those who are aware of environmental problems, are obligated to do something to solve those problems, if only by minimizing their contribution to the problem.
I believe leadership is a task best left to a Taoist master. The Taoists may say something like "the master leads by staying behind, while others go ahead." This can be taken to mean that the master stays focused on the tasks at hand and remains diligent while others bounce about wasting time and such. They also say that when the master leads, the people say "wow, we did it all by our selves." In the spirit of Taoism, a cartoon called Futurama once portrayed god as saying "when you do things right, people won't know you did anything at all." That is to say that the end result fit like a puzzle piece.
I am a political activist and believe in sustainable agriculture, resource management, manufacturing and transportation. But more importantly I believe the processes must not cause harm to any sentient beings. In protest of the harm that does come to sentient beings, I treat the spending of money very seriously as I consider it a vote. Just as in a democracy, a vote has a small impact, but it has some impact and in theory all the votes in total constitute the end result. Therefore I will spend as little money as possible, always preferring to solve my goals with items that can be acquired without supporting the industries. The computer I am using even now was thrown away as obsolete. I just bought a used car, which is still supporting the industry because the person I bought it from went and bought a new car partly with my money. But there is no better alternative that I can see. I am also vegetarian, and vegan to some extent, but I see no reason to stop using any products which I already have; I am not throwing away my leather belt... what should I do, go buy a new belt, and support industry some more?
My philosophy governs all my social interactions, professional, academic and personal.
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