Family is that social unit with the most power to do good…or harm. Some of us end up burned and broken. (Adobe Stock Image: licensed by author)

# 58 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Do not treat the word or concept of Family as a sacred, magical word that justifies either inflicting, or suffering, emotional, mental, or physical abuse. A family, or family member like that is not worth being joined to.

This is a loaded topic. Too loaded, for many of us. Mention family, and you’ve invited us into a minefield….one where the repressed rage, anguish, and anxiety is buried just beneath the surface. We cannot pretend that family is an idyllic fairyland. For us, it is a haunted house.

All my…


Right & Wrong are sometimes hard to discern. Other times not at all. Once you’ve decided, do not be Switzerland.

# 56 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: If a Hitler-like figure shows up in your life, or in the world, do not be Switzerland.

This tip is on my list because I don’t do neutral well. Being that way has worked for me. This history makes it natural for me to encourage you to shun neutrality, too. Sometimes things are black and white. Sometimes there is truth…and lies. In those times, I believe you should be objective, and have a large perspective, but I don’t see the point of being Switzerland.

If, like me, you’ve ever…


Cam Ward in goal, before giving up 5 and winding up in his own net.(Photo by author)

# 55 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Conflicts are unavoidable. Sometimes the most moral stance possible is to engage.

The first sentence ”Conflicts are unavoidable,” needs no proof. The second requires a book. Perhaps I will write it one day. I’m on my 3rd draft of this essay. I started with Friedrich Nietzsche, and Thrasymachus from Plato’s dialogues. And I went from there to invoke MLK, Jr, then Thoreau and Lincoln, and on to the great social and moral conflicts of the last century and a half. Those drafts outgrew a blog article.

For now, I…


Hey look! Everybody has an opinion. Gee, does that mean I should want the good opinion of everybody? (Adobe Stock image: licensed by author)

# 54 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: The good opinion of some people is not worth having.

If you followed the advice in Why You Should Stop Caring What Other People Think About You, and stopped caring what other people think about you, shouldn’t you still want everyone’s good opinion? What’s the harm in that? On the surface this seems desirable. Whence then, the assertion, since this is not so much a tip, that some good opinions are not worth having?

A Matter Of Respect

This is primarily a matter of respect. The degree of respect you have for the…


Woman shamed by the accusations of others. Her feelings about herself shaped by their opinions about her. (Adobe Stock image: licensed by author)

# 53 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: It is a trap to care too much what other people think about you. There are only 2 or 3 people who matter, and one of them is you.

Consider the following sources

Mark Manson, in his excellent book, The Subtle Art of Not Giving A F*ck, tackles this one head on.

2650 years ago, around 625 B.C., another writer with a surly attitude, Jeremiah, said this:

”This is what the LORD says: “Cursed is the man who trusts in mankind And makes flesh his strength, And whose heart turns away from the…


Hmmmm….(The Original Thinker, The Musée Rodin: Adobe Stock image: licensed by author)

Your knee-jerk response to my title question reveals a lot about you…even if you lied to yourself. Some ”think” with their television remotes or youtube search bars. They scan, select, watch, and listen for popular voices to tell them what to believe, unquestioningly adopt what they hear, and call this thinking for themselves. The intellectually lazy prefer the false security that comes from drinking the kool-aid of their current tribe. What about you? Do you prefer to be told what to think, or how to think?

”Philosophy is an unusually stubborn attempt to think clearly.”

~ William James

Not all…


Invest in Yourself and get the greatest possible ROI (Adobe Stock image licensed to author)

# 52 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Invest in yourself without apology by reading, exploring, learning, exercising.

True wealth does not consist in possessions that can be listed on a will or a homeowner’s insurance policy. True wealth is not a medium of exchange in the typical sense, the way mere money is. Nevertheless, to acquire riches that don’t tarnish, that aren’t subject to the vagaries of ”market forces”, and that keep supplying a return, you must invest in yourself without apology. Here are four simple, yet effective, ways to do that.

1- Read

I count this as…


True Justice is Moral, not merely Legal. It treats everyone’s interests equally. (Adobe Stock image: licensed by author)

# 51 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Treat people as if their interests are exactly as important as yours. They are. (But they are not more important.)

The Golden Rule has a couple of variations that condense to the same thing. The interests of people are relative and equal. This being the case, morality requires that you treat people as if their interests are exactly as important as yours. Any deviation is the essence of moral failure.

To be moral, moral codes must be based on truth. At a casual glance, when contemplating aphorisms like, ”All…


Rule your mind or it will rule you. To Feel Different — Think Different. (Adobe Stock Image licensed to author)

# 49 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: To change how you feel, you must either change how, or what, you’re thinking.

“Nothing can harm you as much as your own thoughts unguarded.”

~paraphrase of a quote attributed to Gautama Buddha

“As he thinks, so he is; as he continues to think, so he remains.”

― James Allen, As a Man Thinketh

The second quote is an enlargement upon a clause of Proverbs 23:7, which says:

”As he thinks in his heart, so is he…”

We Live The Lives We’re Willing To Live

My essay, Your Will Cannot Control Your Emotions…, focuses on what the…


Thoughts yield Emotions, Emotions come from Thoughts. However you think of it, you cannot will emotions into, or out of, existence (Image by author)

# 48 on my, 99 Life Tips — A List is: Emotions cannot be directly controlled by the will. Try to be scared now. You have to first think of something scary, right? All emotions are this way. They are the fruit of your thoughts.

You Will Never Un-See This Truth

There are some truths that, once presented to the mind, become irrefutable. The truth that emotion cannot be directly controlled by the will belongs to this class. Try it. As demonstrated in the example above, feelings don’t respond to your will. Your mind and thoughts must play an intermediate role. This role is indispensable. Your…

Greg Proffit

Spending time discovering, enjoying, and writing about the things that make life worth living…

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