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Early-May Readings

May 5, 2010

In the Name of Allah, The Most Gracious, The Most Merciful

I was browsing through the internet during the weekend and bumped into several interesting websites (read: interesting reading).


11 Ways to be unremarkably average

1. Accept what people tell you at face value

2. Don’t question authority

3. Go to college because you’re supposed to, not because you want to learn something

4. Go overseas once or twice in your life, to somewhere safe like England

5. Don’t try to learn another language; everyone else will eventually learn English

6. Think about starting your own business, but never do it

7. Think about writing a book, but never do it

8. Get the largest mortgage you qualify for and spend 30 years paying for it

9. Sit at a desk 40 hours a week for an average of 10 hours of productive work

10. Don’t stand out or draw attention to yourself

11. Jump through hoops. Check off boxes.

He published a free PDF that is available online. I totally recommend you to read it. A Brief Guide to World Domination


Successful people see Failure as an acceptable risk.

This is one of the hardest shifts to make, but it’s the most important ones.  Habitual action-takers and bigger-game players understand that failure is part of the process, that for  every stellar success there will be a their fair share of lukewarm events and more than one embarrassing  flop.

Yet they keep the bigger picture in mind.  They understand that the biggest failure is not to try (guaranteed zero results) and that failure gives them at least a chance of success.  They also understand that there’s no such thing as a perfect person, ever.  Even the greats have their black marks.  In fact, the greats have plenty of them.

This is a big shift in thinking for most people who are stuck in worry mode. Successful people understand that there will be plenty of failure and potential embarrassment baked into the process, so it’s not a big scary thing.  It’s just something to go through and minimize, kind of like taxes.

So yes, successful people are afraid of failure, but it’s a manageable fear because it’s built into the process.  And because it’s acknowledged up front, it’s possible to compartmentalize it.

To read more, click here


You deserve to journey to freedom.

Most people get two weeks of vacation a year. When I had a day job, I created such a facade about how important I was, that I never even took many of my vacation days –how will they survive if I leave for even a week?! I know plenty of people who do or have done the same.

Anyway, I’m not trying to get all philosophical. I just want to point out that there are other ways to live your life instead of in the cubicle, on the retail floor, or wherever it is that you may spend 80% of your awake time.

We’re in the midst of an Internet business revolution.

I’m convinced that the Internet provides nearly unlimited potential to individuals who are brave enough to start to begin capitalizing on the infinite selling power of digital media. No overhead, unlimited copies of data, the ability to communicate over the entire planet instantly.

Never before have we had this opportunity. Read More

3. Civil Inattention. –

Okay, wikipedia is not really the interesting website that I am introducing here. It’s more on the topic of civil inattention. Never heard of it before but now I know what it is. So interesting that I am sharing it here. p/s: Bumped into it while reading =)

Civil inattention is the process whereby individuals who are in the same physical setting of interaction demonstrate to one another that they are aware of one another, but without being either threatening or over-friendly.

When moving in areas of strangers who have the potential to disrupt our identities the most we can do is to try and remain inconspicuous. Erving Goffman claims that civil inattention makes life in cities possible– it is characterized by elaborate modes of pretending that we do not look, we do not pay attention, we do not listen or we assume a posture that conveys we do not see or hear what others are doing. It is manifested in the avoidance of eye contact which culturally speaking can serve as an invitation to open up conversations between strangers. We must be attentive when walking not to bump into others while pretending we are not looking or we are not being seen. Newcomers to the urban context have often been struck by such routines, they see a particular callousness or cold indifference in populations and can become lost in the crowd. There is a feeling of abandonment to our own resources leading in turn to loneliness.

Loneliness as it appears is the price to pay for privacy. Anonymity can mean emancipation from the noxious and vexing surveillance and interference of others, who in smaller and more personalized contexts would feel entitled to curious & meddle in our lives. An invisibility by the application of civil inattention offers a scope for freedom that is unthinkable under different conditions.

Along with the cumbersome curiosity of others, their sympathetic interests and willingness to help may disappear. Cool human indifference fueled by manic interactions that are driven by exchanges of goods and services. The ethical character of human relationships is lost. A human relationship is moral when a feeling of responsibility arises in us for the welfare and well-being of others. Our responsibility is moral as long as it is totally selfless and unconditioned. Responsibility for other human beings arises simply because they are human beings and the moral impulses to give help that follows from this requires no argument, legitimation or proof beyond that. People who live close to one another and affect each other’s condition and well-being may well not experience moral proximity they remain oblivious to the moral significance of their actions.

Thanks to the rules of civil inattention, strangers are not treated as enemies and most of the time escape the fate that tends to befall the enemy—they are not targets of hostility and aggression. Strangers of which we are all, at some time, are a part deprived of the protection that moral proximity offers.

Several other websites for your browsing:

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