Friday Musings: Blunted Feedback

When we fight all battles and eliminate adversity we strip children of the opportunity for self-sufficiency, passion, and resiliency. We may be pacifying our children now, but we are only kicking the can further down the road. It is them who will have to pay for a lack of consequences. We entrench the patterns of chronic physical and mental poor health far more painful than the cuts, bruises, and hard lessons we’ve worked so hard to shield them from.

When we blunt feedback, we are completely ignorant as to our missteps until the compounded effect manifests in a painful blowout. It could have all been prevented, if we’d only been able to deal with the consequences earlier in this chain of events.

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Choose Truth over Comfort: Creating Shared Values in a Melting Pot

There is nothing more insidious than a culture that fears truth. It strips us of the opportunity to grow and dispel misunderstandings while fostering an environment where angry insults and unkindness flourish. Yet today we are so immersed in mass marketer manipulation that we excuse intentional deception.

We must stop celebrating the blatantly manipulative used car salesmen and restore the ethic of good faith efforts toward greater understanding. When group culture applies the appropriate disgust to manipulative simplifications and demands honest pursuits of truth over ego, comfort, feelings, and immediate gratification, we will have the ability to solve all problems. The pursuit of truth over ego is the fundamental ingredient that must exist in a successful melting pot.

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Friday Musings: Inclusive and Exclusion Social Media

We can use social media as a soapbox to preach and denigrate and a platform to complain and criticize. All of these simply create an ever-increasing swirl of negativity.

Or, we can use social media as a tool to share, learn, and create more positivity in our life.

This distinction comes down to your motivations in creating a post or commenting on someone else’s. Ask yourself, am I aiming at inclusion or exclusion? Do I wish to add value to the world or am I posturing, pandering, or provoking?

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Friday Musings: Great Expectations May Prevent Happiness

You expect to be able to drive 15 miles in 13 minutes while listening to your favorite music and enjoying perfect temperatures. We rarely stop to appreciate it, but this is truly remarkable within the scope of human history. When any one of these factors is not delivered, we are aggravated. “What the heck, spotify!”

Unrealistic expectations create unhappiness. Despite the highest standard of living in human history, anxiety, depression, drug overdoses, and suicides are each at an all-time high. Modern unhappiness does not stem from lack of luxury. Having problems doesn’t cause unhappiness. It is that we expect not to have problems, or inconveniences, that causes unhappiness.

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Rites of Passage are a Necessity: The Lobotomizing Effect of Unchallenging Childhood

The past few generations experienced a developmental paradigm that prioritized all-encompassing protection and providing the maximum for each child. The privileges of adult responsibility became automatically transferred with the passage of time, while the capabilities and values that once defined adulthood, were never refined. The result is a dependent generation, increasingly unable to live up to their own vaguely defined value systems and increasingly passive about their integration into “the real world.” It is them who pay the price. This prolonged childhood of perpetual training wheels scarcely directs teens towards exploration of the existential questions that bring life direction and purpose.

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Friday Musings: The "Good Day" List

Rather than maintain any singular routine to deem a day fulfilling, productive, or “good,” I now stick to my Good Day List. 

I realized that there are numerous simple factors that lead my evening reflections to deem a day as “good.” I rarely have the freedom to work on every project that is important to me or enjoy every hobby/passion that I have. But, hitting a few items on my list always make the day feel productive and positive. 

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Oversized and Undersized Goals

In goals both too big and too small focus on practice and fun. Small victories feel great. Relish them for a moment then humbly return to the work. Extreme challenges allow you to tickle the next level, demystifying what might become realistic goals soon.

Most importantly, oversized and undersized goals allow us to practice letting go, to practice for practice’s sake, and to focus on the process rather than the results.

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Friday Musings: The Characteristics of Fulfilling Values & The IHD Core Values

There is no escaping problems. In fact, fulfilled living depends upon determining and solving the problems that most align with our sense of purpose. We need to choose worthwhile problems or we will never find sustainable happiness. Instead, our mind will invent concerns that don't really matter- tracking Twitter likes, envying your brother's new car, brooding over that colleague who disrespected you, and trying to please everyone else. Our values determine what we pursue, where we place our energy, and, largely, whether we live fulfilled lives.

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Shane TrotterComment
Contagious Awesomeness: Are You a Force for the Common Good?

When we diminish ourselves morally, we create habits that stand in the way of community and personal fulfillment. Look around. Litter is everywhere and in many forms. It is excessive smog created, grocery carts left, weights not racked, doors not held, and patience not offered. Yes, you can litter your toxic attitude. We’ve all had Debbie the Downer come suck the life out of a jovial room. Yet, likewise our attitudes can infuse the room with joy. Joking, smiling, and creative zeal offer contagious awesomeness.

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