It cannot be when the root is neglected that what should spring from it will be well ordered.” – Bruce Lee

The vast majority of the game of life is played internally.  This can be perceived quite easily if one answers the following 2 questions:

1) Is it possible for someone to have all the riches, wealth, power and external pleasures that the world can provide, and yet still be an unhappy, lonely, and morally bankrupt person?

2) Is it possible for a person to possess very little, yet be truly happy, rich in spirit, abundant in friendship, and a great human being?

The answer to both of these questions is of course: Yes.

Which is not to say that to be a happy and great person one needs to pursue a life of poverty.  Far from it.  Money and riches make many things in life easier by opening up freedoms and opportunities (not least of which is the ability to help others).

It simply means that, of the two, cultivating the internal should be primary.

Besides, you will find that a garden properly tended will receive much more sunlight than one overgrown – whatever its situation.

Be well,

– J


Let’s Chat:

I’d love to know what you thought of this post.  Do you agree or disagree?  And did you enjoy the shorter format, or do you prefer longer form?

The comments box is just below – I look forward to reading your thoughts.


One Last Thing:

If you’d like some more, here are some other places you can connect and hang out with me:

Twitter – where I post quotes and thoughts,  answer questions, and generally hang out.

Instagram – Where I post original photographs and (sometimes) poetry.

And if you’d like to receive a short yet beautiful monthly letter from me you can sign up to the mailing list.

Thanks for reading.

51 thoughts on “ First Principles ”

  1. I agree! And I think the post length creates itself, depending on what you have to say. The long form works great if you have a lot of detail. The short form works great if you have a quick thought to pose. Why limit yourself?

    Liked by 2 people

  2. HI James,

    There is a minimum physical requirement of wealth that allows for the physical existence of the body and the consciousness it contains.
    Having that minimum is essential for all else.

    Beyond that all is optional to a degree.

    I have no problem with some having Lear Jets if all are well nourished.
    I do have issues with a system that promotes market measures of wealth for wealth’s sake, while the vast majority of humanity struggles for basic nourishment, sanitation, healthcare and education.

    I agree with you in the sense that once the basic needs of existence are met, then the building of self is primary, and one’s ability to build is very much a function of having the essentials of food, water, sanitation, health, security present, so that one has the time and energy and tools to develop oneself.
    And the “tools” in this sense are mostly found in the teachings of others, books, audio, video, etc.
    And to become a part of self, the tools must be used, in practice, daily.

    And part of that is recognising how our many levels of choices impact all the many levels of systems we are part of – social, cultural, ecological, geological, cosmological.

    Liked by 4 people

  3. When we find ourselves living lives of “not enough,” whether it be monetary wealth, basic needs, or however it manifests, it’s due to our propensity in comparing ourselves to others…forever chasing that golden carrot. It can be, if we let it, a way to self-oppress ourselves. When we stop the “pursuit” of happiness, we begin to see our world as blessed and can lead the way to gratitude for the things we DO possess. Happiness isn’t a pursuit. It’s a state of being. At some point we must stop and admit that we’re not good at *everything,* and focus on those things we are good at. That is where true happiness becomes our state of grace.

    Liked by 4 people

  4. Great post! I too agree the happiest people are not necessarily the richest. It depends on the source of one’s happiness; whether primarily internal or external.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Thanks for the powerful message. I love the quote and your sentiment! I tend to be externally driven, always trying to be what others expect me to be and/or expect me to do. So, although it’s not quite the message I think you intended,the lesson I’ve received is that I need to take time to learn to be true to who I really am before I can be of use to others. It’s only taken me 60 years to start learning this! :) :)

    Liked by 3 people

  6. I have come to understand that pursuit of happiness is a flawed paradigm, a dream of an impossible life promoted by marketing departments to create a constant longing in people that drives consumption.
    Happiness is ephemeral and few have the ability to stop and recognise when they have it. It is most often valued in retrospect.
    Instead I now seek contentment with my situation, regardless of what that situation is. This has allowed me to spend far more time living in the now, appreciating what I have instead of longing for what I have not.

    Longer and shorter forms both have their place. Short posts can be powerful and poetic in their brevity. But if you need to build a complex argument it is hard to beat a longer form essay.

    Liked by 4 people

    1. I agree with pretty much all of what you have said here – and I thank you for it.
      I think that we maybe have different definitions of the word ‘happiness’ and that, for you, the word is ‘contentment’.
      Either way, I thank you for your time, and your words.
      Be well,
      – J

      Like

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