On being reasonable Perhaps the simplest question is, "Is what you did reasonable?" This serves as a way to check if you were right or wrong in any given situation. The question isn't whether it turned well for you, it's not about whether or not it resulted in your favor or disfavor. Was it reasonable? Further, was it reasonable according to the entire faculty you possess, not just one part of it? You might say it is perfectly reasonable to do something that is positive for your ego, but your ego is not reasonable. If it can be considered so, it may only be considered a part of your reasoning mind. How can you call yourself reasonable if ego, vanity, impatience, anger, emotion—if these are the faculties that you consult? That will only result in poor decisions and poor outcomes, though you only need to validate where the decision came from to discover how right or wrong it was.
On exposure Through mere exposure, you can learn much of what you need to learn in a given field or craft. By watching, you will pick up on the intricacies that will come to serve you well later. The strategy is simple—observe closely and think a lot. Reflect on what you've seen or heard other people do. Look at the results of their actions and figure out how the best come to their conclusions. Be active in all of your listenings. All this said, the most important thing is that you actively put in an effort to expose yourself to these things. In addition, the higher level topics and conversations you can expose yourself to, the better. Don't be content with conversations that you fully understand— you should be confused. If you're not confused and looking for answers, you'll never find answers.
On talking Talk is cheap, and what is accomplished through speech? By extension, what is accomplished through writing? Writing is a much more permanent medium than fleeting words. It is a documentation not only of the process but of life itself. The purpose of writing is to be read again later. Speech, however, seems never to desire rediscovery. Out of all the great conversations you've had in your life, how many of those do you wish you could relive? How many of those were valuable? Compared to the total amount of conversations you've had, the probability of you having a life-changing conversation is low. Do more than talk. Discourse may be valuable at times. Understand that with speech, you are gambling time. With philosophy, reflection, and other viable pursuits, you are investing.