The thing is, we still live in a world that’s filled with opportunity. In fact, we have more than an opportunity — we have an obligation. An obligation to spend our time doing great things. To find ideas that matter and to share them. To push ourselves and the people around us to demonstrate gratitude, insight, and inspiration. To take risks and to make the world better by being amazing.
~ Seth Godin
Someone recently asked me about Movers Mindset. “Why is craig doing this?” and my first thought was, “Isnt this obviously a great thing?” But perhaps he wasn’t asking about the thing but rather about me. I had focused on the, “…doing this” when I perhaps I should have focused on, “…Craig doing.”
It’s simple: Movers Mindset is the community I wish I could join. To find inspiration. To find like-minded persons. To find a high-fidelity space where my ideas can be exposed to the Marketplace of Ideas.
While I’m worrying in my little apartment about getting my writing done or doing my laundry, it lends me some perspective if I can remember that somewhere out there, precisely as I’m tending to my human to-do list, there are beavers taking down trees, ants hustling to feed their queen, rabbits feasting on backyard gardens, and elephants showing their children where the water hole is.
~ David Cain
Perspective is a wonderful thing.
In the beginning, a few months of summer vacation represents a significant portion of your life’s memories. Years later, each month flies by. In the beginning, the first project you create is the greatest idea the world has ever been shown. Years later, the projects are too numerous to recall, and the next one is considered with a weathered gaze before being sent out into the world. Challenging physical activities are dopamine-fun in the beginning. Years later, the physicality brings only a pleasant, difuse joy.
Perspective is empowering.
There is a dial in front of you, and if your turn it, a stranger who is in mild pain from being shocked will experience a tiny increase in the amount of the shock, so slight that he doesn’t even notice it. You turn it and leave.
~ Paul Bloom and Matthew Jordan
Wat?! No I do not turn the knob.
But I do continuously strive to be the change I want to see in the world. I share and repost only the best things I can find. I add my commentary here, there, and wherever (think, “Facebook comments”) only when I can imagine a way that others could find it useful. That’s very different—by the way—from only leaving positive comments. I try to create new things that inspire people or, even better, which make them think.
If one believes in objective order and value, then the failure to feel the proper sentiment in the face of a particular stimulus cannot be justified on the basis of mere personal preference, casually categorized under the rubric of “to each their own”; rather, it must be frankly countenanced as a deficiency in one’s human make-up. As Lewis confesses, “I myself do not enjoy the society of small children: because I speak from within the Tao I recognize this as a defect in myself — just as a man may have to recognize that he is tone deaf or colour blind.”
~ Brett McKay
…from C.S. Lewis‘s, 1934 The Abolition of Man.
The more I read, the more I find I want to explore and continue learning.
How can you improve your conception of rationality? Not by saying to yourself, “It is my duty to be rational.” By this you only enshrine your mistaken conception. Perhaps your conception of rationality is that it is rational to believe the words of the Great Teacher, and the Great Teacher says, “The sky is green,” and you look up at the sky and see blue. If you think: “It may look like the sky is blue, but rationality is to believe the words of the Great Teacher,” you lose a chance to discover your mistake. Do not ask whether it is “the Way” to do this or that. Ask whether the sky is blue or green. If you speak overmuch of the Way you will not attain it.
If you don’t think intentionally… If your ideas and beliefs don’t produce a working model of reality… well…
When an honest person discovers they are wrong, they stop being wrong or they stop being honest. It’s your choice.
Sometimes when my wife and I have conversations in public, it looks like the scene from the movie Dogma where Loki and Bartleby walk through the airport talking about their previous exploits as angels. We often look around at all the sleeping people in the world, noting that they barely register as conscious beings. They go through their lives working meaningless jobs, enduring unfulfilling relationships, and drugging themselves to avoid facing their unfaceable fears. Their conversations are nothing but trivialities in the grand scheme of things.
~ Steve Pavlina
There is a fine line between condescendent and enlightened. The first requisite for enlightenment is awareness of the line, and another is having the courage to get precariously close to it.
The point of this preparation is not to write off everyone in advance. It’s that, maybe, because you’ve prepared for it, you’ll be able to act with patience, forgiveness, and understanding.
~ Ryan Holiday
Recently, someone told me — literally wrote the words, “Why don’t you get down off your high horse and get a sense of humor?”
A bit of context: They had posted a large comment, and an image which I judged to be inappropriate and which I judged added nothing to the conversation at hand. I deleted the image. Below their comment, I added, “Commentary such as this are most welcome; inappropriate, rape-y GIFs are not.” They followed with the high-horse snark, and then a longish stream of discussion by them and others broke out wherein I added nothing further to the episode. Let’s set aside the question of wether my decision to delete the image was warranted or approved by the community after-the-fact.
I found myself thinking about the difference in our behavior…
…and the next morning, I read this quote. (Wow! What an instance of confirmation bias!)
…and that led me to this conclusion:
I have intentionally climbed up onto this high horse. I am intentionally doing my best to demonstrate through my behavior that I hold myself to a high standard.
But I worry that most smart people have not learned that a list of dozens of studies, several meta-analyses, hundreds of experts, and expert surveys showing almost all academics support your thesis – can still be bullshit. Which is too bad, because that’s exactly what people who want to bamboozle an educated audience are going to use.
~ Scott Alexander
The way our civil discourse currently works, one has to be loud (or strident, or be an animated-GIF) to be heard. If one thinks, “This topic is complicated. I should learn more about it before engaging…”, then by definition you are not [yet] participating in the civil discourse.
Meanwhile, the discourse continues led by those who are willing to engage, and who may [or may not] be better informed than you.
So here’s a challenge — something to consider trying, not a challenge in the sense of me saying, “I challenge you, sir, to a duel!”…
Actually start those conversations where you don’t feel well-equiped. So for example, I should more often say, “I disagree with you because I’m not convinced that yours is the correct position . . . but I’m not entirely certain of my position either . . . can we help each other by unpacking our thinking a bit more?”
There’s a real skill to being fine with not winning the discussion. I engage, I discuss, and the other person holds their position not moving one iota. We each walk away disagreeing but at least we better understand that other individual human being. That would be civil discourse.
Your clear conscience gives reason to be confident; still, since many external factors have a bearing on the outcome, hope for the best but prepare yourself for the worst. Remember above all to get rid of the commotion. Observe what each thing has inside, and you will learn: there is nothing to fear in your affairs but fear itself.
What — exactly, specifically — is under your control?