We live in a time obsessed with advice, every jackass out there is publishing blogs about the “15 things you’ll regret about your twenties” and that sort of shit then it’s the same obvious, trite cliches as everything else. I made a list of a few of the most thoughtless bits of ubiquitous advice a while ago and here’s two more that bug me:
Living in the moment – this is a piece of advice we hear a lot that is actually hedonistic nonsense often wrapped in pseudo-Buddhist bullshit. You know you shouldn’t have a bacon mushroom burger today for lunch like you did yesterday but go on, live in the now man, don’t worry about the inevitable heart attack you’re rushing towards. And when you’re lying in a hospital bed apologizing frantically and pathetically to god and all the loved ones who scolded you about your eating habits you will not be comforted by the fact that you lived in the moment. Be a responsible adult, consider the consequences of your actions.
To know what’s the right choice, figure out the hard choice – This was a piece of advice I often took too far and while there’s a certain truth in knowing that doing whatever is easiest usually doesn’t help this is actually way to big a blanket statement. For example, I’m going to work today. that’s a really easy choice. The hard choice would be to blow it off and be unemployed with no reference. The fact is we make so many choices without realizing we made them anyway. Most of the time when we hear this we’re not at a cross-roads we’re just scared of where we know we have to go. Choose things like honesty and maximizing human flourishing, not just difficulty, you don’t have to be a martyr all the time, no one likes that person socially.