Nobody’s Perfect: Why Relationships Depend on Making the Charitable Assumption

Even with the best of intentions, people accidentally hurt. We all put our foot in our mouth, step across the line from critique to insult, or make ill-timed or distasteful jokes. Our default position must be to never assume malicious intent. When friends, loved ones, or even a perfect stranger hurt our feelings we must assume that they were simply incompetent, ignorant to our feelings, and ill-equipped to navigate the emotional terrain.

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Radical Honesty and Your Shadow Side: Authenticity in the Age of Artificiality Part 2

We are all pulled by a selfish shadow. Our shadow is that capacity for evil that is within us all, but it is also a source of great revelation, strength, and wisdom that allows for much greater good. Every shadow drive has this duality which speaks to the need to become familiar with it through thoughtful reflection. To explore the shadow we have to be honest with ourselves. In doing so, we can learn to be more honest with the world. Radical honesty is bridging the giant gulf between what we show on the outside and who we are on the inside. It makes solutions and growth likely. There is more short term discomfort with far less long-term pain.

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How to Have an Honest Conversation

If your values and the ways in which your engage with the world are never challenged, they will never progress. You cannot hope to be a better person, with a more honed set of intellectual tools, without ever meeting opposition. Challenge - genuine, reasoned, honest, compassionate yet fierce challenge - is the only means by which our belief systems progress.

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Pull Back the Wizard's Curtain: Embracing Real Life Amid the Age of Artificiality

Today’s technology has not scaffolded us to greater capabilities, but is prompting a devolution towards a lesser form of human. Viewed as a controlled substance, new technologies support our quest to live fuller and grow more capable. Yet, like any drug, unbounded use promises only dependency, distortion, and self-fracturing. We are becoming less as a species. Less able to focus, to dialogue, to move confidently, to deal with life’s inevitable adversity, to perceive life accurately, or to think and engage ideas of any depth. We must actively seek a path towards living the fullest life possible—to avoid the traps that waste our time so we can get the most possible life out of our life—to live in a manner we can be happy with upon our deathbed.

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Auto-Immunity and Social Justice: When Good Intentions Betray Our Own Cultural Body

We see debate and discourse, the societal immune system to suss out and eliminate destructive ideas, being coopted and turned inward to attack the very structures and values that our country (and the rest of the Western world) stands on.

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The Basis of Bullshit: Bias, Logical Fallacy, and Our Imperfect Perceptions

Humans experience the world through flawed senses and an incomplete sensory set that is inordinately influenced by our own narrow experiences. The reality is, uncomfortable as it is to admit, we’re all wrong all the time. This becomes dangerous when we delude ourselves into certainty and refuse to confront the flaws in perception that characterize human experience. Yet, we must embrace a life of action. What we need are better mechanisms for interpreting the world.

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Feed The Right Wolf: The Undeniable Pull of Influence

We have access to the wisdoms of ages and... we have the Kardashians. How we choose to invest our attention says something about us, but even more importantly, it determines who we are becoming. Saturated in advertisement, social media, reality tv, and gossip driven news, we are literally allowing other people to turn us into who they want us to be. If these experiences dominate our conscious hours and those of the people we surround ourselves with, then who are we becoming? Our modern environment effectively brainwashes us to pursue deeply ungratifying ends that leave the masses controlled by dependency and addiction. The good news is we also have more power to change our trajectory than any time before. All the wisdom of human history is a few keystrokes away. We can move countries, change jobs, adopt new hobbies, join charities, enlist in the reserves, or begin to learn almost anything.  Now more than ever we need boundaries and intentional lifestyle design. We need to feed the right wolf!

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Escape the Reactive Potential of Strong Negative Emotion

We all have the potential to hurt and offend. This is not a testament to some underlying evil nature. It is simply an admission to instances when we acted rash, immature, or emotional. You did not consciously aim to hurt, yet hurt you did. We are naive to think we will never hurt in this way again. Good intentions are not enough to ensure that you never make a negative impact on those around you.

Mastery of your own emotional response, then, is a charitable act - perhaps the most potent form of charity that you can do. Donations, kind words, and helpful acts have profoundly beautiful effects on their recipients. However, before looking how you can build others up, do the work the tame your capacity to tear them down.

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Free Yourself From the Religion of Consumption

Overconsumption has a way of making us subjugate ourselves into a dependent relationship. The more we conceive as needs—the more we are dependent on for happiness—the less free we are. We’ve enslaved ourselves to unrealistic expectations and a cycle that clouds out the development of more fulfilling pursuits, thus devastating our own spirit, whilst destroying the world around. We have more, but we are less: less capable of ensuring our own survival; less competent; and despite immersion into an oversaturated social media landscape, less connected to our fellow humans.

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