The human mind is not software, our brains are not computers. But when selecting information inputs for our minds it is useful to think of our minds as the operating systems that drive us. To this end, our life’s goal of self mastery is to continually refine the truths and values we use to program that operating system. Here are a few of the ones I’m employing right now.
Make correct (better) decisions
If I look back on the past day, month, or year, it’s easy to see decisions I made where I knew at the time of making it it was not the correct decision. These are most easy to find in lapses in exercise or eating a healthy diet.
“I worked hard today, I deserve some ice cream.” or “I’m too tired to go to the gym, I’m going to watch Netflix instead.”
These are simplistic examples but they are also most likely the most relatable ones. Our minds will often deliberately choose the wrong thing in times where we already know it’s the wrong thing. Thus the goal of this value is to be faced with that dilemma and choose the thing that you already know is right.
At better way of looking at this value may be: Make less wrong decisions and make fewer wrong decisions.
Move towards pain/suffering
This value is specifically made to counteract the inborn human desire to move towards pleasure and away from pain. As Mark Manson has pointed out, the outcome of your life is mostly determined by the pain you are willing to endure. And although you don’t get to choose many of the parts of your life, you do get to choose what types of pain you embrace.