Reflecting on the achievements and failures of close friends and colleagues, and how the quality of his own efforts varied on his good and bad days, James observed: "Compared with what we ought to be, we are only half awake. Our fires are damped, our drafts are checked. We are making use of only a small part of our possible mental and physical resources."
William James continues,
“the human individual lives usually far within his limits; he possesses powers of various sorts which he habitually fails to use. He energizes below his maximum, and he behaves below his optimum.”
“Of course there are limits,” James acknowledged. “The trees don’t grow into the sky.” But these outer boundaries of where we will, eventually, stop improving are simply irrelevant for the vast majority of us: “The plain fact remains that men the world over possess amounts of resource, which only very exceptional individuals push to their extremes of use.
“We all are learning, modifying, or destroying ideas all the time. Rapid destruction of your ideas when the time is right is one of the most valuable qualities you can acquire. You must force yourself to consider arguments on the other side.
— Charles T. Munger”
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