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Choosing a goal in your life fosters intellectual discipline

Choosing a goal in your life fosters intellectual discipline Choosing a goal in your life fosters intellectual discipline
Source: Lou Patrou
Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings
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Selected Philosophical and Scientific Writings
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Since I began to live with myself, and to pay attention to the price of time, to the brevity of life, to the uselessness of the things one spends one's time with in the world, I have wondered at my former behavior: at taking extreme care of my teeth, of my hair and at neglecting my mind and my understanding. I have observed that the mind rusts more easily than iron, and that it is even more difficult to restore to its first polish. Such sensible reflections do not, however, give the soul back that flexibility it lost from lack of exercise when one is no longer in the first flush of youth. 

The fakirs of the East Indies lose the use of the muscles in their arms, because those are always in the same position and are not used at all. Thus do we lose our own ideas when we neglect to cultivate them, It is a fire that dies if one does not continually give it the wood needed to maintain it. So, wishing if it is possible to make up for such a great mistake, and to make it bear the fruits that I can still look Forward to, I sought for some kind of occupation that could, in focusing my mind, give it that firmness (if I can put it that way) that can never be acquired unless one has chosen a goal for one's studies. One must conduct oneself as in everyday life; one must know what one wants to be. In the latter endeavors irresolution produces false steps, and in the life of the mind confused ideas. 

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