Posts in Community
Are You Letting the World Make You a Lesser Version?

Technology will redefine the way we work, think, and live over and over again. Industries will rise and fall, social patterns will shift, but all the while you will be at the center of your experience. This is the essential point societies have repeatedly failed to honor following past changes, most notably in regards to the disruption that followed ubiquitous smartphone use. How well you weather this chaotic new world is completely dependent on your individual self-mastery. Regardless of how much technology shifts the landscape, you are still a human, driven by a hunter-gatherer brain and hunter-gatherer needs.  

The modern mental and physical health epidemics are spurred by technology that promotes immaturity. As we rely less on ourselves we remain lesser versions. Suddenly it becomes normal for adults to have donuts or fast food for breakfast every morning, to scan social media all day and night, and to spend money they don’t have on stuff they don’t need. To transcend these patterns, we have to intentionally craft a plan for daily self-development. The 30x30 Challenge is that daily plan.

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The Costs of Utopian Delusions

We’d like an end to all prejudice, bullying, crime, and painful accidents. These are seen as obvious positives, yet we rarely stop to consider the immense costs of these pursuits. Good intentions often do more harm than good particularly when it comes to creating an environment of human flourishing. What we think we want is rarely in our best interest and, even when it is, the path there is usually full of unintended consequences that dwarf the intended good.

Ironically, if there is any sort of utopia that is possible in our lifetime it won’t be built through greater ease and convenience, but by a culture that demands effort, growth, personal responsibility, and an understanding of the essential role of discomfort and risk. Instead of asking the world to eliminate all pain and expand pleasure infinitely, we should be asking what societal structure pulls us to be better humans? For that we’ll need to embrace imperfect social constructions such as shame and honor.

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Do You Contribute to the Awesomeness or Do You Just Talk About It?

Rights were invented to eliminate as many obstacles to personal freedom as possible. They were not meant to give or grant us anything, only to remove as many obstructions as possible from the path forward. Rights were invented in parallel with a sense of duty. Our early founding thinkers understood that the idea of rights is only possible when everyone feels a sense of obligation and duty to the collective good. Rights are not meant to hold your hand or coddle you. They are meant to support your desire to stand tall with a sense of duty to yourself and your community.

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The Land of the "Free" and Home of the Depressed

Few phrases captivate the modern mind like “the pursuit of happiness.” With life and liberty are assured, this becomes the de facto point of most people’s existence. Yet for something so central to our choices, it is surprising how little we understand about what will make us “happy.”

Nationally, the number of school shootings, drug overdoses, and suicides have been growing steadily for years. We have less inequality, less violence, more medications, more mandatory sensitivity trainings, more pleasure, and fewer pains. So what the hell is wrong with us?

As life grants more and more of our wishes people are finding that what they want is the problem. Pursuing happiness might not be such a great idea after all.

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Be the Weirdo: Why Fulfilling Values Require Us To Behave Differently

The most important thing that can do to remain committed to your values is to embrace being a weirdo. This is a beautiful thing. Nearly every influential person in history was a weirdo. That’s exactly why we know their name. They dared to poke their head above the crowd, take a look around, and decide what direction they truly wanted to walk. They chose their own path, often with heavy opposition from those around them.

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Transformative Experience: Changing Thoughts and Feelings Through Action

Our large, highly-developed infrastructures preclude the need for rising to any occasion or banding together to get a job done. We’re conditioned to expect the government or AAA to step in and solve each problem. We are able to live completely insulated from the community contribution and frequent challenge that once defined human existence. This convenience comes at a price. More than any self-help workbook, it is powerful experiences that build confidence, embed good values, and foster a sense of purpose. Today our physical needs are met so effortlessly that we are rarely prompted to essential experiences that make us capable of meeting our emotional needs. Fortunately, those experiences are well documented and accessible to us all.

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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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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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Enough With the Ceremonies! Can We Just Be Real?

We’ve made it through another May! With school wrapping up, families rev into overdrive. Our society’s compulsion to celebrate and sensationalize every arbitrarily assigned group participation manifests in non-stop self-aggrandizing and inauthentic ceremony.

The gap between what we say we are and what we actually are grows by the day. Everyone knows it, yet we all smile politely. And all along we drift further from the obvious truth: The ceremony isn’t what’s real. The things we do should have merit for their own sake.

Is there a larger cost to our societal insistence on evermore fan-fair?

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