On opinions, disagreement, and eyes

On opinions Take care to keep your opinions and doctrines to yourself in day-to-day interactions. Reserve your speech on certain issues for writing. Don't delude yourself into thinking that your opinion is inherently important, let alone correct. Don't involve yourself in petty arguments that make you appear as weak and insecure as those who began the argument. Be extremely selective as to which opinions you share and which you don't. This will keep you out of conflict and make you appear far less disputatious than everyone else. The best effect of keeping to yourself unexpectedly is that others will want to hear what you have to say. Your opinion will be solicited from them rather than gifted to them. They will be more likely to listen because you have made your own opinion a scarce resource rather than a commodity, and now others desire it rather than despise it.

On disagreement When you disagree, I notice that you have a tendency to fire back with your opinion or side of the issue rather than questioning. This is bad for a variety of reasons, namely, that you are not effectively convincing anyone by simply repeating your opinion. A disagreement does not have to become a dispute, though this is exactly what happens when your response to a contradictory opinion is to express your own. Take care to say with questions what you want to say with words. Don't be pretentious with your questioning of another person's argument. If you are genuinely curious, you will ask good questions rather than loaded ones. Most importantly: if their argument does not stand up to questioning, it is not your responsibility to prove them wrong. What good will winning an argument be? You will be less liked and thought of more as a debater than a friend. You will have won the argument, but only in the sense that your ego feels good about what you did. Seek understanding rather than a short-term boost to your ego. Allow, through questioning and curiosity, the other person to become curious in your own opinion. Even when your opinion is solicited, be succinct and unpretentious in explaining that, too. 

On eyes Control your eyes and control the entirety of your attention. The easiest part of your attention to give away freely is that of your vision—it only takes a tiny movement in your eye to cast your gaze from one side of the world to the other. Demonstrate the discipline of attention even in the smallest of details, such as where you look. If something is meant to catch your attention and divert your gaze, control yourself. Continue with your work as if nothing happened. It's unnatural, difficult, and serves no other purpose other than to exercise your self-control.