Posts in Freedom
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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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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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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Paradox and Human Universals

Truth is wrapped in paradox. It is a tight wire balance, seemingly full of contradiction and only made sense of through intense magnification. Over and over, Justin and I have attacked the same issue, but with very different styles. Sometimes we’ll come to seemingly inconsistent conclusions, yet I’ve always found these contradictions to be essential additions to the original post. It is these pieces I’d like to highlight today, because they help provide a more rounded view of some important human universals.

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