Letting go

Make your life easier by getting rid of the fear of losing it. (And in general, if you stop worrying about losing something, you'll much more enjoy it.) There is no point in that fear, anyway.

First of all, your life is running away, each and every day; it's not as if it were there for you, all of it, as long as you live, and then suddenly you lose it all. Contrast this with owning a sum of money: it's not as if you have the entire sum in your bank account, for a long time, and then suddenly lose it all when the bank goes bust - rather, day by day a small fraction of that amount trickles away, until finally nothing is left. You shouldn't focus on that final moment: there is nothing you can do then anymore. It is more prudent to do something with that money while it is still yours.

And why restrict your worries to a few exceptional situations? I'm going on transcontinental flights every few months or so, and I often find myself uneasily thinking about plane crashes or hijackers in the days immediately before. (What do you mean? I never said I'm myself free of it ...) But as we all know, that one of those happens to me is not really more probable than any accident at home. There is always danger and risk. We shouldn't ignore them, and there is nothing wrong with caution. But don't allow them to invade your thoughts with fears. Take care.

Choosing friends

There are certain things in my life - important decisions, distressing experiences, news that left me confused when I learned about them - which I need to talk about with a friend. That's important; I would find it much harder if that wouldn't be open to me.

In different respects I seek the advice of different persons, however. When unsure whether I should look for a new job, or generally when pondering career moves, I ask other persons than those who I talk to about concerns over my relationships; some people's philosophical advice matters to me; but from others I usually don't expect or ask for an opinion there. (And conversely, I find that my friends tend to discuss some of their interests with me, but not others.)

It seems to be naturally so with friendship (and not only with such aspects of friendship as giving comfort or advice, but also with others: helping each other out, promoting a friend's interest in their absence, making some effort to stay in touch through periods of geographical separation). Perhaps you are unusually lucky to have a single friend who can play all these roles for you - this would be a border case. (And do you think that this friend can see all these reciprocated in what you are able to give? If not, you should count yourself squarely lucky.)

Investing trust in different people in different situations displays some judgment, I think. Imagine someone who talks to the next best person whenever something comes up. Unless all of them are truly universally capable to help, that's bound to produce some frustration. The opposite extreme is not better of course: generally seeking no one's advice except from those who are a hundred per cent qualified for exactly that situation and that sort of help that you need. This will only lead in many situations to leaving no option at all. Take care.


These days the world around us is full of information, and one might easily become too distracted by it. By this I don't mean just the floods of dull entertainment and mindless rambling all the media are full of. Even if you ignore all that (and it definitely is wise to carefully filter it out from what you accept to be aware of) there is still a tremendous load of substantial information at your fingertips.

For example, those who are interested in a scientific paper today, a political background story tomorrow, and then get fascinated by a novel technology next week, and dedicate themselves to traveling shortly after that, just to return to some serious-again reading and half-writing an essay, only interrupted for that bit of top-news everybody talks about, and then ... (it's not even necessary to finish that sentence, don't you think?)

This is still superficiality, though a different sort of it. All these topics may well be more substantial intellectually than the daily soap. But then what are they chosen for? Mostly because they seem to be interesting, at any rate for the moment. But just a little later something else gets all more important, which then is replaced by just another thing - and none of them ever makes a lasting contribution to what makes your life your life. If you're interested in getting there, you have to focus. Take care.

Make good use of your time

There is only one thing that really, actually belongs to us - and that is the time that is given to us. Making good use of our life time should be the most important goal that we have.

To say that time is 'ours' is to speak figuratively, of course. The difference between time that we have and time that we don't have is not the same as the difference between, say, some money that we have or have not.

Money is something that may come and go - time isn't. We only have got a given amount of it (we don't even know how much), and losing that we end up with nothing. Every day of one's life, once it is wasted, will never come back.

It is a bit of an irony that often those are most likely to recognize this who have already spent most of their time. They have gained enough experience to see that it was the only thing they really should have valued. Those who still have most of their time before them are typically unable to find to that insight. They are caught in their misconception that death is still far away. However, to die just means to lose one's life, and that happens continuously, all the time. Take care.
Copyright © 2007-2012 by Leif Frenzel. All rights reserved.