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STOIC POETRY | A good reason to change our mind

Updated: Sep 4, 2021

November 6, 2019

Dear Eric,

I am very good at being wrong. It's a knack, kinda. And I am often wrong on the same decision more than once. That's a real talent of sorts - not a good talent, but REAL. Being wrong once, and then again, can really drain us of our resources, not to mention our confidence and resolve. So, maybe it would be better if I stood less firm sometimes on my resolutions? Perhaps I should be more willing to step down or away from an aim when the wind begins to blow in another direction? Though something about this doesn't sound right or ring true to my sense that life is something of a fight which we must engage towards worthy ends. But what if those ends prove not worthy? Or simply wrong?

when changing the mind life changes

The risk it seems is that we may step away from a worthy aim. The risk is that we might give up too soon for fear we might fail in our pursuit of something good. How do we then prevent giving up virtue? The key is to clearly examine our goal to discover if it is truly good. For even if the aim is wrong - maybe not the right thing to do in this moment, or in this way - then as long as if it was a good thing to try, then the pursuit was worthwhile, then we were indeed engaging our time and energy and resources towards worthwhile ends. So now, when I endeavor to begin some new campaign of life I'll ask myself less if what I am about to do is the right thing to do, and more if it is a good thing to do. For then, even if I fail I will succeed. And if I discover later that this thing is indeed not good, not of virtue, not in the pursuit of the well-being of thinking creatures, then I will stop at once, and direct my time, energies and resources towards better ends. And I'll do so without much regret for lost time, wasted energy, or expended resources; as I am always one who seeks at least to use these well, even if I don't always quite get it right.


My name is Kurt Bell. You can learn more about The Good Life in my book Going Alone.

Be safe... But not too safe.

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