Know Thyself

Know Thyself

Smart guy, Plato. If you study his writings, you’ll quickly realize that people haven’t really changed all that much in the last 2,500 years.

This admonition, to know thyself, is one of the most important yet oft neglected elements of our lives. It’s also pretty much the only reason that psychiatrists exist, because we tend to suck royally in the self-awareness department.

First though, let’s actually define “thyself.” It might seem pretty straightforward, almost “duh” material…but it isn’t. Let’s turn to neuroscience for a bit, and see if we can’t distill the concept of self down to its most basic elements. Continue reading…

Opinions Are Like Assholes

Opinions Are Like Assholes

Everyone has one, they often stink, and the polite thing would be to keep yours to yourself. And for the love of all that is holy, don’t force yours onto someone else.

When it comes to your life, the single most important opinion is your own, particularly when it comes to your self-worth!

Just as allowing others to make your decisions takes away your free choice, so too does allowing the opinions of others to define your self-worth.

Your life is yours to live, for good or ill, and while there’s nothing inherently wrong with considering the opinions of others in relation to your life, permitting those opinions to define you is immensely unhealthy.

Though the people giving them may be well meaning, they’re still coming from people who have had, and who will continue to have, a different path through life than your own. Continue reading…

Why Do We Fall?

One of the things that really drags us down is failure, and the guilt that inevitably comes with it. We beat ourselves up over it, others may beat us up over it, and overall, when we fail, we just sort of feel like shit.

STOP THAT!

As far as I’m concerned, failure is AWESOME. Failure is a critical component of growth. In fact, I’d say that true growth is impossible without some measure of failure. Some lessons, while painful, can only be learned and internalized through failure. Continue reading…

Tick Tock

Long lonely railroad tracksTime is limited. It is a non-renewable resource. We don’t know how much we have, but we know we will eventually run out. That could be tomorrow, or 50 years from now, but it WILL eventually run out.

As Steve Jobs stated so elegantly at a Stanford commencement speech in 2005:

“No one wants to die. Even people who want to go to heaven don’t want to die to get there. And yet death is the destination we all share. No one has ever escaped it. And that is as it should be, because death is very likely the single best invention of life. It is life’s change agent. It clears out the old to make way for the new.”

As with almost all things in our world, the greater the scarcity of a commodity, the greater the value of that commodity. Gold, diamonds, works of art…you name it. If it’s very rare, and very desirable, it has great value. Continue reading…

The Myth of Perfection

The Myth of Perfection

One of the reasons that we tend to be such harsh critics of ourselves is the belief that we can, and perhaps need to be, perfect. Nothing could be further from the truth.

Perfection, true objective perfection, is an absolute myth. In our entire universe, one of the very few constants is change, and the thought that something can be objectively perfect is utter horseshit.

Are you familiar with Einstein’s theory of special relativity? While the details are quite complex, the simple version is this: truth is relative, based on the observer’s point of view. Continue reading…