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How to Be Successful

When you read that title, what did you think? An article containing a get rick quick scheme? How to land that job you’ve been wanting? How to manage your money more effectively? How to make the most of your day and improve your relationships?

Everyone desires success, but what that means precisely varies from person to person. Everyone has different priorities and values of varying importance. Similarly, everyone has different experiences that shape their values. Hence, varying versions of ‘being successful’ are inevitable.

Of course, everyone needs money. There are lots of things more innately important than money, but, in this world, money makes the world go round. We must pay the bills, the rent, pay for groceries, our cars, and so on. As such, money is necessary and very prevalent in people’s lives. As a result, a general part of ‘being successful’ is being financially secure. Beyond this general consideration is where the differences in peoples’ values and experiences start to take shape.

With this in mind, think of your definition of success. For you, what does it mean to be successful? Beyond having enough (or more than enough) money, what would it take for you to be satisfied with your life? What would bring you a sense of purpose and happiness?

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A Note On Nature

Nature is a natural wonder. Beyond being wonderful in itself, it’s amazing what nature can do for us. Yes, of, course, its resources form the cornerstone of the modern world; crops, trees, water, metals, medicinal plants. I’m not talking about nature as a resource, though. Nature itself, not existing merely to serve the needs of human society, is a perfectly complex, interconnected world completely sustainable in itself. Considering this, we can benefit from marveling at nature and using it sustainably without destroying it.

Have you ever needed to get some fresh air? You could be sick, for example; on many different expensive medications or treatments. And yet, getting some fresh air, being out in nature, in the natural world, can be more effective than all of it. It’s free, of course. Please note, I am not saying medicine and professional treatments aren’t necessary or beneficial; often times, they are. I am merely pointing out that the natural world, without our interference, can work wonders for itself and us. As such, it is worthy of the utmost respect.

There is a fine line. Harvesting nature’s many resources are necessary in today’s society. It is important to harvest these resources sustainably, however. In the long run, it is harmful to nature and us to destroy the environment in our effort to feed the needs of modern society.

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Inventions That Changed the World: The Evolution of Education

Invention: a new, useful process, machine, improvement, etc., that did not exist previously and that is recognized as the product of some unique intuition or genius, as distinguished from ordinary mechanical skill or craftsmanship. *

The world is constantly changing, for better or worse. We live in an era of unprecedented technological advancement. One consequence of this is failing to consider that the world wasn’t always this way.

Throughout time, there have been particular achievements or inventions that have had a significant impact on the future of an ecosystem, society, or human civilization as a whole.

‘Education’ is an example of such an achievement.

Education: the act or process of imparting or acquiring general knowledge, developing the powers of reasoning and judgment, and generally of preparing oneself or others intellectually for mature life. *

” Getting an education” is an obvious step in growing up. We have infinite information at our fingertips. Better yet, we have access to this information. Until recently, this would be unheard of.

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For much of human history, access to information was limited to the elite, and much less information was available, as there was much to be discovered.  What formal education there was traditionally was reserved for the privileged elite (who could afford it). As there was much yet to be discovered, ‘education’ varied slightly according to the time and culture.

Of course, as more scientific discoveries and technological advancements were made, the education system evolved to it current diverse state.


In a different perspective, people have been educating themselves since the beginning of time. From the hunter-gatherer days, early humans learned to communicate and grow their own food. Over the centuries, human learned how to collectively form a town, a city-state, a complex society. This learning didn’t take place in classrooms with people all huddled over books and paper (not that there were any back then). This learning, the foundations of the modern world, took place in the consecutive everyday decisions and actions of various people.

Drawing from this, most education actually takes place outside the classroom. We are educated by life itself through experiencing the consequences of the decisions we make.


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Unlikely Occurrences

Imagine this:

A woman was trying dresses on at a mall boutique. She found a few dresses she liked, but decided to look elsewhere first before making a purchase. Continuing on to the next store, she realized she didn’t have her purse. Panicking, she went back in the store she was just in and checked the dressing rooms. Not finding her purse, she asked a salesperson if anyone had found a purse and checked the rest of the store. With still no luck, she walked out of the store wondering what where her purse was. Who had it? Would they steal her identity and all her money before she had a chance to do anything? What would she do now?

Now, imagine this:
A woman was trying dresses on at a mall boutique. She found a few dresses she liked, but decided to look elsewhere first before making a purchase. Continuing on to the next store, she realized she didn’t have her purse. Panicking, she went back in the store she was just in and checked the dressing rooms. Just then, a woman came up to her, holding her purse. “Excuse me, mam, I have your purse. I was trying stuff on when I noticed a purse on the floor. I’m glad I was able to catch you!”. The woman introduced herself and thanked the kind lady for returning her purse. They then continued shopping together and eventually became best friends.

Which situation is more likely? We’d like to think the latter, but, in modern society, we’d likely assume the first scenario is more likely. It is a fact that there are a lot of people out there who would make a decision that is in their best interest without regard to other people. In fact, one can argue that human nature and the self-preservation instinct make one more likely to automatically act out of self-interest. However, the individual person is very complex, and their actions are a result of their combined knowledge, personality, experiences, etc. So, there are also some people that act innately out of kindness and compassion.

It is, however, easier to believe that something bad will happen rather than something good. One can argue karma, fate, destiny, and similar concepts. As is widely known, “This too shall pass.”. Bad things and unfortunate situations happen all the time. However, ‘bad’ does not last forever and ‘good’ is bound to come. Perhaps it is all a matter of perspective. But, it is also fact; no matter how dark the night, the sun shall rise in the east.

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Natural Disasters in the Modern World

The weather does what it wants, sometimes differing from the predicted trends and forecast. As such, when a natural disaster strikes, it is all the more devastating. Even with technology that better predicts the weather and possible incoming disasters, nature can still surprise us.

Indeed, nature has increasingly surprised us. There has been a significant increase, over decades, in the number of natural disasters occurring worldwide each year. Natural disasters have increased for a number of reasons, both man-made and natural. Man-made elements that contribute to increased natural disasters include better tracking methods, a larger population, and higher concentrations of people in vulnerable regions. Our advanced technology allows us to better track and predict natural disasters. As such, natural disasters have increased, in part, due to being better able than previous generations to notice these disasters. A larger population, of course, means more injuries and deaths, especially in regions prone to natural disasters.

A natural element is global warming. Global warming has gradually increased the temperature of our oceans and atmosphere. For more about global warming, see my previous post here. Global warming, however, tends to increase the severity of storms rather than causing the storms themselves. In summary, natural disasters happen more often in our modern world, for different reasons, and cannot really be prevented. We are, however, able to be better prepared.

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