You Insufferable Know-it-All
Daily Meditation #109 — 6/11/2022
What you don’t know is unfathomably greater than what you do know.
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Going through life under the belief that you are exceptional in any meaningful way — exceptional at art, exceptionally intelligent, exceptionally attractive — is delusional.
Whether you truly are exceptional is neither here nor there — even if you were twice as intelligent as Einstein or Imhotep or Bonaparte (to name an array of different exceptional intellectuals), you’d still be essentially ignorant considering how much there is that you don’t know.
The greatest thing you will never know?
Other people’s perceptions. Especially of you.
Even if you know someone well and can make some educated assumptions about their motivations, the manner in which they perceive their world will forever be beyond your understanding.
Trying to be smart and trying to be right (whatever that is) is utter masturbation.
Would you rather be happy? Or right?
Would you rather have an epitaph of “He was always right which made him insufferable”? Or, “He was good natured and was appreciated by all”?
Remember how little you know.
Remember how different your perception is from others.
Pay more attention when others are speaking than to what words you’re going to counter them with. Listen well, box up your opinions and place them temporarily in your mental “attic” with your ego.
In this way, you will stand to always learn something from everyone…and both of you will walk away enriched.
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These are distillations from my coming book “YouDaimonia: the Ancient Philosophy of Human Flourishing.”