Ever since I was in fifth grade, I’ve seen deficiencies everywhere in the English language. Starting with the letters– what bonehead decided that the letter ‘c’ should mean either ‘kuh’ or ‘sss’? Why should ‘y’ be used as a vowel? Don’t we already have five different vowels, each with two or three different pronounciations? Then there’s the spelling. If you think about it, it’s pretty ridiculous to devote an entire subject to writing words with their ‘proper’ characters. Shouldn’t the characters used to spell a word be intuitive? Why bother learning to spell a word you don’t know the meaning of?

Then there’s the grammar. What’s the point of irregular verbs, anyway? Why should we use nonintuitive grammar structures? And then there are more practical problems, like the fact that my teacher couldn’t tell my 1’s and my 7’s apart. Why not just invent a new symbol, to end all the confusion?

The fact is that people don’t like inventing new words or symbols from scratch. Most of the words that are being invented today (such as crunk) are being created based on already existing words (crazy drunk). Instead of being designed, communication systems have a tendency to evolve. That’s why so many of the words we use today have latin and greek roots. Somebody said something clever and other people copied it. It’s been going on every since the proverbial Tower of Babel.

This is why ever since fifth grade, one of my pet hobbies has been speculating about how a ‘perfect language’ would work. And not just a perfect language, but also a perfect mathematical system and a perfect system of measurements (better even than the Metric System). My goal is not merely that all the humans on Earth will use the perfect system that I someday invent. I also hope that if we ever meet any extraterrestrials, they will see the beauty of my system and scrap theirs in favor of it (hence Universal). To this end, nothing in my number or measurement system will be based on multiples of 10. (There’s no telling how many fingers an alien race my have.) Instead, I will probably use a superior number like 12, which is divisible by 3 and 4. (Under this system, you wouldn’t need to use a repeating decimal when you divided a ten by three.)

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In the relatively short span of one or two years, I have gone from feeling guilty that I didn’t write down my goals to feeling guilty that I spent too much time writing than doing. My experience with writing down goals or resolutions has been that I feel very good write after having written them down, but when the time comes to actually live them, my mentality has changed completely.

One good way to avoid this problem is to avoid simply telling yourself how to behave. Instead, you can employ various tricks to change your behavior. For instance, suppose you had a particularly odious responsibility to fulfill. Instead of confronting yourself with the task before you, just start doing it. Continue thinking about whatever interesting thing you were doing before. Don’t let your brain know that you’re doing the dreaded work.

Another trick is to generate positive associations. Some people will tell you to reward yourself after having met some sort of milestone in the job you have to do. This has never worked for me. My idea is to make the reward happen during the work. For instance, listen to music or eat chocolate while you’re working. Hopefully, this will change your negative association with doing something you have to do into a more positive one.