Self-Interest and Ignorance.
Ultimately, you have to pay or answer for everything you get or do (one way or another, more or less, now or later). Be aware of that and get ready for it.
What do people perceive as Good? Good is what people feel good about, what they know or think is good for them. People can learn or be told that.
It seems that all sins take root in Ignorance: ignorance to other people’s interests, time, property, money, lives, …
People will always have self-interest. You should be well aware of the Ignorance, which comes with it.
Ignorance is an important Self-Interest preserving mechanism. It is also very important to be conscious about the Ignorance, and to not allow the Ignorance to become dominant, which will hurt the Self-Interest in the modern life settings.
Ignorance should serve Self-Interest, but it can easily harm Self-Interest, if not managed properly. The rules below are not constraining as laws are, but instead are an attempt to provide guidance for the taming of Ignorance in order to maximize Self-Interest.
Principal Rules of Self-Interest:
1. All people are "pigs". Don't be one, try to be different. It's ok to be one, if necessary. Don't be with one. Don't expect much and appreciate the little things that you can glean from them.
2. You control the world around you, or the world controls you. Always have your best interest in mind. Remember why you are out there, observe the surroundings, and learn along the way. Obtain leverage and don't give your leverage away. Negotiate first to gain an advantage. There would be not enough “ammo” to make your way by force through everyone every time. Respect, learn and use the laws, customs, people's needs and beliefs. Find and use "carrots" and "sticks" as needed. Try to understand people, but realize that you will never know all the circumstances, so don’t jump to conclusions. Face problems with everything you've got to avoid prolonged confrontations. Make allies and pick your battles.
3. Everything is good in moderation, evil is in the extremes. Try to balance your life and find your own comfort zones. Avoid any kind of waste in your life, optimize, simplify, clean up, learn about yourself along the way and make your own routines to minimize the stress. Normal desires are the product of moderation. Extremes deform desires: depravities exaggerate and pervert them, excesses destroy them.
4. Everything will be fine. When you were born, your eternal soul received the vessel of your body in order to navigate this world. Take good care of it - you will be hold responsible. Stay positive and focused, don’t lose hope, try to find peace, and adjust as needed.