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Good intentions not required

Y'know, everyone thinks they have good intentions. Have you ever met anyone who said, "I'm here to break stuff and screw the world up"? No, of course not.

I'm thinking you don't actually need good intentions to do good works. Actually, good intentions by themselves don't seem to accomplish much of anything.

Here's the top three virtues I'd look for in someone to actually achieve good things.

Strength is the virtue that's required for all other virtues. If you're not internally strong, you get easily swayed by opinions, social pressure, culture, and things like that. It's hard to hold on to virtues if you're not strong when you're in the crowd.

Why I'm Not Writing A Post Bashing The Anonymous Troll

Act I: The Discovery of Conflict Invigoration

I recently discovered a phenomenon common among many highly successful people. I'm calling it "conflict invigoration" - this is a personality trait, a mixed blessing and curse. It's the kind of person who can move heaven and earth when inspired, but doesn't do as well when they aren't... and who is always invigorated by a fight.

I first noticed conflict invigoration among a number of the most successful people I knew personally. See, I don't think this is an entirely new observation, but a lot of the people that reach stratospheric levels of success are kind of deranged. You almost have to be, to keep going after you've "won" by every conceivable measure, to work yourself to the bone at the expense of your sanity and longevity and vitality, to neglect so many of the basic human needs and pleasures and comforts.

I saw this trait in lots of successful people, and then I started paying attention to biographies and histories. Indeed, many of the most expansive people in our generation and previous ones are conflict invigorated - they've perhaps always got a baseline of creativity and striving, but it really comes out when a fight breaks out.

"Competition is always a fantastic thing, and the computer industry is intensely competitive." - Bill Gates

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