In a rather bleak moment, I wrote this set of tenets for myself in an attempt to better handle the ceaseless dark thoughts and self-recriminations and loathing that it's far too easy to just shoulder from day to day. If you're reading this, I hope they help you.
- Regret has stolen enough time from you, do not humour it by indulging in recrimination or self hate, and do not think that some period of guilt-ridden penance-of-sorts will resolve anything. I don't care what you've done wrong nor who you've hurt through your carelessness or callousness; you don't have time to dwell on it. Learn what lesson is pertinent from the misdeed in question, make amends or set things right if possible and leave it at that. Each day brings you closer to your death and regret will steal those days from you if you let it.
- Do not underestimate the value of your own pleasures and pastimes; life is hard, it is wretchedly hard for a plethora of reasons for each person and whatever personal diversion helps to make each day more tolerable, or even provides a moment of distraction from the current troubles, should not be dismissed. They are not petty, they are not childish, they serve your interests as much as food does.
- Where emotions fail you, decisions must succeed. Specifically, if you are overwhelmed by a sense of hopelessness or inadequacy, you must choose to disregard it and take steps to deal with whatever caused such pestiferous feelings in the first place. If you feel the temptations of laziness or procrastination (and if it's far too improvidential to heed them) you must choose to do what you're tempted to avoid.
- One day the Earth will be gone, so too the sun, so too the milky way galaxy; every trace of your existence shall be erased from a creation whose origin and mysteries may very well never be revealed to you after death; everything you do shall be as if it never was. With that in mind, everything you do becomes the amazing struggle of a valorous lunatic against a force so mighty as to be inconceivable.
- Learn at least one thing from the following subjects every three days:
- A personal story of another
- A fact of the known workings of the universe
- A fact of the known workings of the brain or body.
- A new experience you could potentially have.
It's better to know the stories of others, the physical rules of reality and how your mind operates than it is to be ignorant. You won't know what comfort, inspiration, fascination and opportunities can be found unless you seek them out.
- Learn to revile inactivity; whenever you feel yourself stubbornly refusing to do something, even some form of procrastination, and languishing in inactivity, spare a moment for irritation and then force yourself to do what you should be doing. Similarly, learn to scorn any sense that you are incapable of achieving any goal or fulfilling any desire. Life is not unconquerable and a lack of self belief no more reflects your actual potential than a half-remembered nightmare reflects your mental state. These reactions must be reflexive, do not try to convince yourself of their rightness or applicability. They're small, easily manageable acts which will help you, it's as simple as that.
- Record anything pertinent to your own mental well-being, any fact, any undertaking, any means to achieve a positive state of mind, anything and everything which helps you in any way, write it down, for the tools of positivity are so easily forgot whilst negativity, conversely, is effortless.
- Be ready to contend with yourself should your mind attempt to reject an undertaking. Once a task is begun, it becomes easier to handle, yet the true struggle is typically in the commencement.