Here are some excellent tenets of self-interested (not self-centered) lifestyle design from The Notebooks of Lazarus Long by the inimitable Robert Heinlein:
Do not confuse “duty” with what other people expect of you; they are utterly different. Duty is a debt you owe to yourself to fulfill obligations you have assumed voluntarily. Paying that debt can entail anything from years of patient work to instant willingness to die. Difficult it may be, but the reward is self-respect.
But there is no reward at all for doing what other people expect of you, and to do so is not merely difficult, but impossible. It is easier to deal with a footpad [a thief] than it is to deal with a leech who wants “just a few minutes of your time, please – this won’t take long”… Time is your total capital, and the minutes of your life are painfully few. If you allow yourself to fall into the vice of agreeing to such requests, they quickly snowball to the point where these parasites will use up 100 percent of your time – and squawk for more!
So learn to say no – and to be rude about it when necessary.
Otherwise you will not have time to carry out your duty, or to do your own work, and certainly no time for love and happiness. The termites will nibble away your life and leave none of it for you.
This rule does not mean that you must not do a favor for a friend, or even a stranger. But let the choice be yours. Don’t do it because it is “expected” of you.
[Hat tip to Joe Polish]
Odds and Ends: Help me beat Steve Jobs!
I need around 300 votes to beat Steve Jobs on Wired’s ‘best self-promoters’ list under ‘top rated’ (also check ‘new’ or other categories if you can’t find me). Please be sure to vote on the profile of me with 600+ votes and the dance photo, as there are multiple profiles of my name.
The page is great for a few laughs. Take 10 seconds to help a brother out!
If you tweet or blog it to rally troops, I’ll send you some positive karma and rainbow and kitten vibes 🙂
The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 700 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.