Fools suffer from an excess of advice
One of the things I often do in the morning, as well as plan out my day, is read the work of a 17th-century Jesuit priest. His name was Baltasar GraciÃ¡n, and The Pocket Oracle and Art of PrudenceÂ (translated from the original Spanish) is, to my mind, a work of art.Â
I read the ~300 maxims contained in the work on repeat, flicking back to the beginning of the book and starting again each time I reach the end. Today I read the following maxim:
208: Donât suffer from a foolâs sickness.The wise usually suffer from lack of good sense; fools, in contrast, from excess of advice. To suffer like a fool is to suffer from reasoning too much. Some die because they feel things too much and others live because they donât. And so some are fools because they donât die of sorrow and others because they do. A person who suffers from being too intelligent is a fool. Some suffer, then, through too much understanding and others thrive through none. But for all that many suffer like fools, few fools suffer.
The bit that I’ve highlighted in bold really stuck out for me today. There’s a difference between reading articles giving productivity tips and reading articles giving normative advice on how to live your life. I’m resolved to read more of the former, and less of the latter.