Back when I was in high school, a mentor of mine gave me a copy of a small book that Iíve read and re-read several times over the years. The Art of Worldly Wisdom or The Pocket Oracle and the Art of Prudence, is a book of 300 maxims and commentary written by a 17th century Jesuit priest named Baltasar GraciŠn. Considered by many to be Machiavelliís better in strategy and insight, Gracianís maxims give advice on how to flourish and thrive in a cutthroat world filled with cunning, duplicity, and power struggles, all while still maintaining your dignity, honor, and self-respect. In many ways, The Art of Worldly Wisdom is a how-to book on fulfilling Christís admonition to his apostles to be ďcunning as serpents and as innocent as doves.Ē Philosophers Schopenhauer and Nietzsche both admired Gracian for his insight, subtlety, and the depth with which he understood the human condition.
While Gracianís maxims were directed to men trying to gain favor in the dog-eat-dog world of 17th century Spanish court life, theyíre just as applicable to a 21st century man trying to both succeed in a hyper-competitive globalized economy and develop an upright, heroic character. Taken together, Gracianís frank, incisive maxims are reminders of the power of living with sprezzatura and that practical wisdom Ė the ability to do the right thing, at the right time, for the right reason Ė is essential to success in life. Below I highlight a few of my favorite Gracian maxims. I highly recommend that you pick up a copy of his book with all 300 nuggets of wisdom and keep it on your nightstand. Itís a great little book to flip through and read in spare moments. Youíll be a better man for it.
the rest: http://lewrockwell.com/spl4/art-of-worldly-wisdom.html