Living a Life of Excellence and Liberty

My fellow TLS blogger Norman Horn’s recent speech, What you can do to promote liberty, called to mind some things I’ve blogged about before. In Nock and Leonard Read on “One Improved Unit” and the Power of Attraction, blogged previously here, I discussed the idea advocated by Albert Jay Nock and Leonard Read, that your primary task is to improve yourself–to strive for excellence in yourself. Then you become a bright light that attracts people; they see you are good, and successful, and worth emlating or listening to–so you win people over by the power of attraction. They come to you, and then you have more success spreading the ideas of liberty than if you go around being a boor. More detail, including excerpts from Nock and Read, are in that post.

[The Golden Age of America is Now]

The other post, previousyl blogged elsewhere, is reproduced in full here:

 Career Advice by North

Gary North delivered a wonderful lecture last month during Mises University 2009 (the same day I gave my own speech), “Calling and Career as an Austrian School Scholar” (a shorter version of this was in the LRC podcast 127. Gary North: Making a Difference, Making a Living, which is also excellent).  North talks calling and occupation. Calling is “the most important thing you can do with your life in which you are most difficult to replace.” Occupation is “how you put food on the table.” Occasionally they are the same, but often not; but there is no reason not to arrange your life so as to have both. He talks about how to combine them or at least have both in your life, and centers his talk around some examples, notably Burt Blumert and William Volker.

Also see Paul Graham’s “What You’ll Wish You’d Known (“I wrote this talk for a high school. I never actually gave it, because the school authorities vetoed the plan to invite me.”)

Update: See also Bastiat, from The Law:

“Ah, you miserable creatures! You who think that you are so great! You who judge humanity to be so small! You who wish to reform everything! Why don’t you reform yourselves? That task would be sufficient enough.”