Sunday, January 18, 2015

Philosophy At NNV Math Club - I



Song:  I Ran

Group:  A Flock Of Seagulls



 (Alex in the impromptu classroom as they were discussing
 their mathematical proofs of certain problems)

The NNV Math Club had to set up an impromptu class in another room today...
as their normal classroom had to be used for something else this one time.

Instead of the normal white erasable boards as is located in their normal classroom...
they had to tape papers on the wall as a substitute.

The young man standing had taught today's class.

He is the strongest member in the club...
and a very mature and highly logical person.

He is a 3rd year high school student...
and he had also gone to the Mathcounts Nationals...2 years prior to Alex
(although both went to the Nationals when in 8th grade...
Alex was in 6th grade when this young man was in 8th).

At the conclusion of the math practice...
this young man officially notified Alex that he (Alex) is on the 6 member math team 
which is going to compete in the Stanford University Math Tournament in a few weeks.


-----

While I waited outside the classroom...
 I re-read a book on Socrates.  

(I have a few books on Socrates...Plato...Aristotle...and some other philosophers.
As I will shortly be teaching Alex Western Philosophy...
I need to brush up on the subject...
as it has been over 30 years since I had last studied this subject at University).




I had never been to this area of the building...
and one of the first things I had noticed was the placards on the wall.

This is one of two which had hung in the hallway.

In the next article...
I will go over the second placard...
as well as the meat of a philosophical discussion which had taken place 
during their math practice.

Although I don't recall what had generated such a topic...
I thought it interesting...
and while in the hall...
I had diagrammed a rebuttal to one of the student's arguments.

This too...
I shall cover in the next article...
and my explanation of it to the student after the math practice session.


----------


Some people dismiss such sayings as on the placard as mere psychobabble.

These are solid reminders of many people's life experiences...
as crystallized in a few words.

They are words of wisdom...
and it is through these adages that many a person had paved their way
to great happiness and success.

In general...
these adages come from people who had achieved great success...
and upon reflection...
had realized the significant thought patterns or truths that had led them there.


_______


1)  Direct Your Own Destiny

This is not only essential to personal fulfillment...
if the destiny for which you strive is yours...
you take ownership of it.

You will be constantly bolstered by an inner drive
with which will allow you to out work all those without such drive.

One of the most frequent regrets of the dying...
as had been captured by a hospice nurse over many years...
and of which she had compiled into a book...
is that of not having done that which they had truly wished to do...
that which they had thought was their true calling...
because they had instead, sought to please someone else...
and so, had let him or her direct their destiny...
instead of them owning their own destiny...
and so, had died with great regret.



2)  Believe In Yourself

This is essential for anyone to accomplish anything of note.

It is reinforced through accomplishments...
though merit.

To artificially boost your 'self esteem'...
through positive self talk...
or to have been given credit for just showing up...
is not only worthless...
it gives the self inflated worth of arrogance...
which leads to a thundering crash when faced with true competitors in real life.

To get true self worth...
to truly believe in yourself...
you must earn it on the battlefield.

Those who don't truly practice...
fear the battlefield...
for fear of exposure.

Those who truly practice (or study)...
hunger for competition...
as they are looking for:

 validation of their practice methods...
a method to expose their weaknesses so they may improve...
a way to learn from stronger opponents so they may also...become strong.

A person who doesn't truly practice...
always has doubts as to his abilities...
and so, he will always avoid battle.

A person who never wades into battle...
never gains the method of truly measuring himself...
and so, will always remain in doubt of himself.



3)  Find Reasons To Smile


I say:  Give yourself reasons to smile.

A person who puts in true effort in life...
one who strives for his destiny through intelligently guided efforts...
one who sees his future...
plans for its accomplishment through objectives and goals...
and carries it through in his actions...
always has a reason to smile.


Know what you want
(Dream)

Know what needs to be done
(Establish a viable plan)

Do it
(Follow through...stay the course)


This saying also means to...
make lemonade out of lemons...if need be.




4)   Embrace The Journey


By chasing after your dreams...
you will automatically love the journey (it becomes a great adventure).

Those who love the journey...
automatically practice more...and more in depth.

Those who have the highest quantity of quality practice (everything else being equal)...
as achieved through the highest sustainable rate...
will emerge victorious.


For those of whom are making lemonade...
the intelligent will find something about the journey in which to love.

That which you love...
you pursue.

That which you relentlessly pursue...
is that which you shall eventually get.



5)  Have Faith


Yes...
so long as the faith is well founded.

Just believing in something is worthless...
unless you follow it through to fruition.

It is not mere belief which leads to success.

It is a well founded belief which leads to the psychological drive...
when coupled with a solid plan...
and the quality actions...
in enough quantity...
and at the highest sustained rate necessary...
which eventually leads to success.

Merely having faith without the necessary follow through...
is to fool oneself for the immediate emotional assuaging of guilt.

This leads to inaction...
as with the guilt needling one into action being nullified...
the drive to achieve is lost.


Remember...
there are but two main drives in sentient beings:

The Pursuit Of Pleasure
(in this case...following one's dreams)

The Avoidance Of Pain
(in this case...guilt)


One of the two produces action in all sentient beings.

If you nullify them artificially...
you will end up having accomplished nothing...
except temporarily feeling better.

This is called emotional masturbation.

You sate a drive temporarily...
to the exclusion of accomplishing a long term goal.



6)   Conquer New Heights


Yes


Without this being at the core of who you are...
you are settling for the status quo.

This is stagnation.

It is progress towards our goals which gives us our deep reasons to truly live...
without which...
we are merely existing...
just biding our time until our death.

This is not truly living...
and is a certain path towards deep regret...
that of having wasted our one and only shot at truly living.



7)   Follow Your Heart


Yes...
and no.


As I have said before...
your dream has to be a viable one...
it has to be realistic.

There is no real market for a samurai sword wielding dragon slayer...
as I had realized, to my disappointment, as a youth  :)


You must first, truly know yourself.

This is what youth is for...
the discovery of who we are...
 what we most wish to do...
to plan for...
and to test the viability of our plans...
and to then make a solid base from which you may operate...
and chase your dreams.


Example:  Becoming a pilot

Yes...a viable plan for almost anyone with enough drive.

Do well in school...especially in math.

Take private lessons...
enter into the military...
or a flight academy.



No...not a viable plan for the uncorrectably blind.

Search for viable careers.

There are many which may be performed without sight
(music / teaching / writing...just a few examples).




8)   Explore New Horizons


Yes

You will never know that which you may love...
without having explored all around you...
all the possibilities.

A great way to start is to read.

Almost all of the careers which exist...
is being done now...
or have been done by others.

Read about their experiences...
know their path...
and all the expectations and sacrifices necessary.

Take all of those which strike your heart...
test with real life experience.

It is one thing to understand in the mind...
and quite another to truly know through experience.


This is what youth is for...
exploring new horizons.

It is a time to find one's passions in life.



9)   Dare To Dream


Yes...
again...so long as it is a viable dream.


A dream must be realistic...
and it must be true.

How is one to know if the dream is true?


A true dream is pursued without regard as to the sacrifices necessary.

A child who dreams of becoming a professional musician...
looks forward to practice...and practices relentlessly.

He loves everything about it...
and so...everything he does in furtherance of his dream...
is pure pleasure.

If a child dreads practice...
it is not a true dream.

He had fallen in love with the side benefits...
perhaps fame and fortune...perhaps adulation...
but not with the instrument and the creative process of music.




10)   Let Laughter Happen


I think this is backwards.

Laughter is an indicator of happiness in life.

It naturally happens when one is happy.

He sees humor because he is light and happy...
because he is free from worry and guilt.

It is not something which is under our conscious control...
if it is true laughter.

Plan your life, and take positive action towards your goals...
so you will have true peace of mind.

With true peace of mind...
you will then have a life which is filled with happiness and laughter...
only because the stage is set for living life with a light heart...
not because of falsely convincing yourself that the dark clouds of doubt
are merely a psychological hindrance...
and therefore, is the cause of your unhappiness.

Eliminate the dark clouds of doubt through positive corrective action.

Things are not so in life merely because we wish hard enough for them to be so.

Things become so because of our intelligent efforts to make them so.




11)   Share The Joy


Yes


It is through our sharing of joy that we become even more joyous. 

We are serving a higher purpose than just living for ourselves.

This is our only means of immortality.

This is our only means of conquering death...
through our sharing of our deeds and words to the improvement of others.

It is to share our paths that we had trail blazed...
the paths which had led us to great happiness...
and the paths whereupon being shared...
multiplies our own happiness.

It is to be remembered...
and so...
not forgotten...
and so...
living with the knowledge that our life has meaning.

So...
it is through our knowledge of true joy...
and the showing of others of how to experience true joy in their lives...
that we multiply our present joy.

Win / Win

This is how we should always strive to structure our lives.





12)    Write Yourself A Happy Ending


Yes


However...
this is far more involved than many realize.


The implied meaning is that we are the authors of our lives.

With this...
comes the personal responsibility of...
dreaming our dreams...
planning our lives to meet those dreams...
of unrelenting striving towards those dreams...
of bearing whatever pain and sacrifices necessary...
until fruition.


This means that (in the US...where we have almost unlimited opportunities)...
there are no real excuses for not achieving a happy ending in our lives.


What it takes is forethought and perseverance.



In the US...
ultimately...
no one is holding you back...
but you.

However...
this also means that what you achieve in life is real...
the credit for your achievements are yours.

You are the person responsible for your life...
and so, you are the cause...
the true generator of your happiness.

There is no greater happiness in victory...
 than a true victory earned through merit...
a victory over ourselves...
and over the obstacles to our goals...
and as earned through our efforts and sacrifices.











2 comments:

  1. Many wise thoughts here. Perhaps you should create your own placard. :) Or write a philosophy book.

    ReplyDelete
  2. Many far wiser people before me have already lain out efficient paths. I am simply attempting to point others in those wise and previously described directions.

    ReplyDelete

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