Inspiration is a myth

“I’m tired of people trying to inspire me to have a better, bigger, happier life.”

The thing about inspiration is: it doesn’t exist!

There is no such thing as inspiration. Inspiration is a construct found at the boundary between hope and action. And even that is not enough.

Hope and action don’t solve the problem

All those inspirational quotes you mentioned, are made of this stuff:

“Everything happens for a reason!”

Let’s hope there is a reason that will justify our self indulging actions.

“Life is an adventure!”

Hopefully I am in some adventure and so something interesting will come out of my boring, routine actions.

“Love solves everything!”

I hope love is the answer because all my actions seem futile.

“Happiness is a choice!”

I hope i can choose to be happy instead of actually doing something about it.

Shame of being human always comes from wishful thinking.


There is a right place for these too. There is no shame involved when you are actually set on the path for achieving your goals. You can afford to be as human as you are when you are “having a strong feeling that you are going to do something and that you will not allow anyone or anything to stop you” and “not weak or uncertain”. A dictionary defines this as determination.

Determination transforms Hope and Action into Inspiration

Determination is a global state in one’s life. It wraps all endeavors, all the little things one defines herself by and acts in a way like a photo filter. Look at this sentence:

“Life is an adventure!”

through the lens of a determined person and you’ll see a different picture:

“I want to go from Europe to Silicon Valley and fund my startup and there is nothing else i can think of doing with my life, but i am not afraid because i feel life is an adventure worth having.”

There is also the “hipster” problem:

The half assed approach is does not inspire

One last thing:

Sometimes it’s okay to be bored and to think that happiness is a bit boring because it kind of is.

No. Happiness is not boring. Poverty is. Disease is. Happiness is not boring. Get real, please.


Being human does not justify being moody.
Especially since everything is temporary.

Three human qualities that make a saint

get them and the gates will open by themselves

1. Wisdom

Here are the components of wisdom:

grasp + insight = synthesis

memory + association = expression

synthesis + expression = wisdom

Grasp is the ability to understand the domain, globally seeing all the connections between the intricate parts. Not everyone shares a strong grasp on the same things. Some have a grasp on maths, they easily understand how a theorem relates to another, how the demonstrations have consequences on other hypotheses and so on. Others have a grasp on cooking and understand how taste works even if they cannot explain it with words. The grasp on something allows one to link things together inside a domain of knowledge because the basic primordial connections are obvious to them.

Insight is the ability to extract very specific contextual cause and effect descriptions from the area you have a strong grasp on. It is very common actually that grasp does not have insight. In groups insight is what can be shared while grasp cannot.

Memory and association work in a team. Memory is a very important quality but the difference is made by retrieval. And in humans retrieval is achieved by association. One memory triggers another and this network of memories should be endlessly trained to grow. An isolated memory of the most interesting thing in the world is worth nothing if not retrievable in relation with what is worth something.

Wisdom is a sort of mastery. It allows one to create the maximum of effect with the minimum of resources. The power of expression achieves the maximum effect while synthesis ensure the least waste of effort. Wise is that one who glows in the dark, which is able to effectively explain the world at some point in time as to be a mark you can rely on in the night of reason.

2. Equilibrium

The recipe for equilibrium is this:

acceptance + concentration = perspective

calm + internalization = attention

perspective + attention = equilibrium

The quality of equilibrium is common to both great gamblers and perfect suburban family life. Although we tend to favor the latter, a risk taker with equilibrium in his arsenal can seriously disrupt the world.

I find that the best, if overused, metaphor for equilibrium is walking on wire. Those people look at the end of the wire, not at the immediate piece in front of them: perspective. They get this perspective from accepting that there is a wire below and they can only walk on that thin wire. Then they concentrate on the goal: reaching the end. Knowing the plane and the horizon gives one perspective.

The wire walkers don’t panic. On a tightrope panic is the worst. One has to be calm and pay attention to themselves: internalize. Up on a wire all worthy signals come from the body and the brain, very little good info may be of use from the outside.

3. Determination

principle + reality = clarity

purpose + will = patience

clarity + patience = determination

When you manage to merge a principle with the reality, you will find clarity. Clarity shows where absolute truth of the principle start to fade and give way to the relative truths of reality. The bigger the clarity the more shades you’ll see.

Will by default is all consuming. Purpose is the stabilizer. Having a purpose makes the will calculate the fuel, become efficient, take care of the tiny details, iterate and improve all which basically define patience. Most people confuse patience with bearing the waiting, but au contraire patience is all about not waiting, but acting, now, while expecting the future promised. Patience is the certainty that it is just a matter of time until everything you currently do will reflect into the net result for the objective.

Determination holds one true to their dreams. Determination happens when you know how things work and you are anchored on your vision on the future. The thing about determination is that once achieved the human is nearly unstoppable, except for death.

3 simple components of living

The 3 main components of living

The experience of life, living, has three main components:

  1. pleasure
  2. joy
  3. happiness.

Happiness is a goal, joy is a consequence and pleasure is an effect. You have to achieve happiness, joy is determined by collaborating factors and you may obtain pleasure.

The natural state in life is the opposite of the experience:

  1. If you don’t have happiness, you are depressed
  2. if you don’t have joy, you are sad
  3. if you don’t have pleasure, you are hurt.

The process of life is to transcend from one side to the other.

So, by default you are hurt, sad and depressed. As a child you are initially hurt, but joyful and happy. When hurting is less and pleasure begins, sadness arises, but you’re still happy. Later when you master joy and easily get pleasure, depression kicks in.

Life is generally good when the right amounts of strength is found in each and every component. That means than not one single component is enough by itself. If you achieve happiness and cling on to it you will loose joy, because you become selfish and in doing so you loose your joy and become sad. You can be happy and sad at the same time. If you determine joy and cling on to it you become superficial and stray very far from any goal of happiness. Therefore strive for the right amounts and don't cling on anything: life is an experience in progress.

You can handle depression if you can determine joy and have pleasure. You cannot handle well depression and sadness together. Loneliness for the depressed is the suicide note. You can handle pain if you are happy, it’s the trick of heroes, but it’s nearly impossible to be in pain and joyful, that is the trade of monks. Monks are not happy for either their goal is unattainable or they strive not to have goals. Sadness and pain together leave very little room for life, it is what happens when people give up.