Note 36

When I know I can afford not to make a certain decision, then I must not. In life, there are parallels; sometimes you will be doing things which are objectively useless, but it would appear to you that you are progressing, or doing something useful with your time. Obsessive compulsive shopping or any hobby inflates itself beyond its natural limits falls into this category, as are all those activities that give an illusion of being busy. The other side of this is the real, and objective, progress and action, which comes from asking yourself what you would lose if you didn’t make a certain decision. If what you lose is serious, not making that decision is the ticket to the other parallel.

Note 35

What does the rose know that makes it smile without having to smile? An inner peace and happiness which can be attained and maintained by simultaneously avoiding those we can’t be nice to (note how roses have thorns), and also generally being as nice as possible—that is being nice in a natural way like roses, and not for the sake of being nice so people can like us! I have realized that exactly because I was not trying to be nice but because being nice was a part of my personality that people treated me warmly (of course this doesn’t apply to enviers, idiots and psychopaths who saw in me an enemy although I harbored no evil at all to anyone and had even forgiven those enemies that didn’t require revenge). It has dawned on me that as I went beyond age of 30, and became worried that I might actually die unexpectedly (no one has guarantees, death can come any time), that I realized so much of our frustrations are useless, that we can only do ourselves a favour by being good, and by avoiding undesirable people, that friends are our true treasures, that we must not fuss over work, pay, conditions, and other people’s alarmisms, and simply go on with a quiet, calm, nice and ethically sound life, patiently bearing hardships, rejoicing at our successes but not to the point of conceit, and working hard and smart despite the hanging sword of death.