Probably the Best Thing I've Ever Learnt

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Background

In my diary there are literally hundreds of pieces that I've adored over the years. As I move forward with this blog, I will indeed share with you, those things which I've learnt, but, just one of them at a time.

Here we have, what I presently call the best thing I've ever learnt (and not practiced yet). And probably in the future, when I come across higher ideas, I'll degrade this one to a lower level - and then, something else will be the best.

The email

So, it started yesterday, when I received a chain mail from a particular friend I respect. Well, let me not shame the mail by calling it a chain mail. It really felt like an honestly constructive idea.

Who knows, probably, this is what the uncles in their late 50s feel when they deal with those classic chain mails. And probably this is the future of spam. But I, a sensible being, liked the idea. I participated. This is what the mail said:

Hi,

We're starting a collective, constructive, and hopefully uplifting exchange. It's a one-time thing and we hope you will participate. We have picked those we think would be faithful, and make it fun.

Please send an encouraging quote or verse to the person whose name is in position 1 below (even if you don't know him or her). It should be a favorite text verse/motivational poem/prayer/meditation that has lifted you when you were experiencing challenging times. Don't agonize over it--it is one you reach for when you need it or the one that you always turn to.
  1. firstperson@gmail.com
  2. secondperson@gmail.com
After you've sent the short poem/verse/meditation/quote/etc. to the person in position 1, and only that person, copy this letter into a new email, move my name to position 1. and put your name in position 2.

Only my name and your name should show when you email. Send to 20 friends BCC (blind copy). If you cannot do this in five days, let us know so it will be fair to those participating. It's fun to see where they come from.

Seldom does anyone drop out because we all need new ideas and inspiration. The turnaround is fast, as there are only two names on the list, and you only have to do it once.

The best thing I've ever learnt

So, I opened my diary to pick from the best pieces of wisdom I had ever read about (I had a nice revision). And, unaware of the identity of that person whom I was sending it to, not knowing if he/she would read, or even care about it, I shared it. Here is what I shared with the person:

There are only two kinds of experience: the experience of ourselves and the experience of others. Our own experience is slow, labored, costly, and often hard to bear. The experience of others is a ready-made set of directions on knowledge and life. Their experience is free; we need suffer none of their hardships; we may collect on all their good deeds. All we have to do is observe!

Observe! Especially the good man, the valorous deed. Observe the winner that you yourself may strive to follow that winning example and learn the scores of different means and devices that make success possible.

Observe! Observe the loser that you may escape his mistakes, avoid the pitfalls that dragged him down.

Observe the listless, indifferent, neutral people who do nothing, know nothing, are nothing. Observe them and then differ from them.

Emerson Spartz practiced this.

Who is he? Emerson Spartz (born February 17, 1987) is a New York Times best selling author and CEO of Chicago-based Spartz Media. Spartz founded the Harry Potter site MuggleNet at age 12 which attracted 50 million page views per month.

What did he do to become that? Emerson Spartz convinced his parents to allow him to drop out of school and homeschool himself. He developed his own curriculum, which his parents supplemented by requiring him to read four short biographies of successful people every day.

Moral: Learn speed reading.
Read biographies voraciously. Look for patterns in the biographies of successful people.

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