Philosophical musings from Brasil

Without any real challenges to face, how can we ever grow as a person? We can’t. Therefore, prudence lies not in avoiding challenges, but by taking calculated risks and developing resourcefulness. It is within moments of comfort and security that we must ready ourselves for when the inevitable will occur. Such is the essence of developing personal strength, courage, and wisdom.

When we are comfortably secure, we are inept. Therefore, we must seek out and welcome a degree of present and imminent danger whenever possible so that we can develop these aforementioned qualities. Without an external focus or problem to solve, the mind turns inward upon itself: much like a nation, lacking an external enemy, descends into civil war, internal strife, or petty squabbles.

Therefore, in light of this observation and to ensure that we fight the right kind of battles that do not exhaust or devastate us and our resources, our prudence lies in calculating three factors: the time and place of the battlefield, the rules, and the conditions for victory.

It is important, too, to note that when the condition for victory is set too high that we have set impossible expectations and disappointment (read: failure) is all but ensured. So, what constitutes a good condition for personal victory?

Well, perhaps success is merely when we give something our very best effort and we learn something from the experience. With such expectations and conditions for victory, it becomes guaranteed that we will be successful in every single endeavor that we engage in. The effect is also two-fold: without the impetus for failure immediately evident, we can take calculated risks and make reversible decisions as quickly as possible. Therefore, the rate at which we can grow as a person exponentially increases. Our victories accumulate, and become a driving force that propel us forward without fear or hesitation. And so, any missteps that occur along the way are minimized in their effect and have little (if any) effect on our overall welfare due to the string of subsequent victories that we have achieved by persistently engaging in these courses of action.

To develop the characteristics of leadership and personal power we need to develop the habit of making decisions. Through momentum and practice, the act of making good decisions becomes easier and easier, and its in this way we can accomplish things that we previously could have never imagined were possible for us.

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