Monday, January 30, 2017

It’s Going to Be Okay

The sun will rise tomorrow. Buildings will not fall. You’ll get up, go to work, go back home to hang with your people, then go to bed again. A lot of stuff will happen that you can’t do anything to stop, but then that’s always true. We tend to put way too much thought into what government does and way too little into how to make our own lives better. Which is ridiculous considering that we have so little control over the former and so much control over the latter.

Do you want these next four years to not suck so bad? It’s not that hard. Be nicer to your spouse, kids, parents, and friends. Do more helpful chores around the house to take the load off of other people. Play with your kids more. Leave each day a little bit better than you found it.

Do the same at work. Hustle a little more. Learn a new skill, even a new career. Consider taking some online classes or doing some kind of professional exams to improve your resume a little. There are probably little things you can do that will pay off a little, and there are big things you can do that will pay off big. Find out what they are and do them.

Are you stretched too thin already? Maybe do the opposite of what I’m saying and give yourself a break. I certainly know people who go to both extremes, that of “too much” and of “too little” effort.

None of this is to say that bad government is irrelevant to the quality of your life. Governments can do horrible things that make your life miserable. My point is that it makes sense to allocate your attention and resources to the things that you have control over. There are things you have little or no control over, and sometimes these things make for interesting hobbies. I myself am a voracious reader on all things political, so if it sounds like I'm making "politics" into a vice then it's a vice I indulge to the hilt. I'm an infovore, and I enjoy the intellectual exercise of policy analysis. But I don't let it distract from the ways I can improve my own life. There are many levers to pull and dials to adjust that affect the quality of your life, and most of them are thoroughly under your control. 

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