Confess your hidden faults.
Approach what you find repulsive.
Help those you think you cannot help.
Anything you are attached to, let it go.
Go to the places that scare you.
However, when human beings grasp the idea of a universal reason superior to the perceptible chain of events, the contingent side of their lives becomes apparent. Wisdom then consists in realizing that behind the profusion of vain, ephemeral incidents lurks a higher, sometimes incomprehensible order. —Thomas G Pavel, The Lives of the Novel; a History, Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford, 2003