You probably know what it feels like to crave something – a certain kind of food, movie, or job that you just can’t get out of your mind. A want that burns inside of you until you finally break down and go find whatever it is your body knows it wants.
The truth is, cravings are the closest things to goals people have in their lives. At least, it’s true for most people out there. Goals require too much effort, dedication, and hard work to be reached. It’s so much easier to live life aimlessly than it is to fight for something hard.
It’s normal for most people to choose the path of least resistance. After all, who really wants to spend time trying to improve, progress, and achieve when staying in bed all morning is just so much easier? Most cower at the idea of hard work, telling themselves that it’s too difficult, too late, or whatever other excuse they have up their sleeves.
Thankfully, there are those who choose not to accept normalcy for themselves. They know that pain is only temporary, and that the rewards at the end of the finish line are worth the effort, and they’re the ones who accomplish what they set out to do.
Being analytical is fine. However, analysis is essentially useless by itself. You have to be systemic thinker too.
It’s like trying to read Chinese when you don’t know what the symbols mean. Why would you even do that?
You have to understand the big picture for your analysis to have any real value, because most of your observations rely on your understanding of the world and how it operates. If you don’t know how the details relate to the big picture of things, then why pay attention to them at all?
Don’t get me wrong: I’m not saying you necessarily should forget about details. They’re important. Just make sure you that you aren’t spending so much time obsessing over details that you ignore their true meaning.
Online platforms can be thought of as sharing centers.
Internet companies like Amazon, Facebook, Craiglist, and others generate their revenue by encouraging people to share their products or information.
- Amazon and eBay share their platform with sellers for a percentage of the sales.
- Facebook shares its site with people who want to connect with friends or family.
- Craigslist shares for-sale listings for a small fee in highly populated areas.
Seeing a pattern yet?
They aren’t using the same business models, but the underlying idea of their platforms is the same: sharing. More sharing equals more money in their pockets.
Life is complicated. You would think that simple tasks have simple procedures, yet nothing could be farther from the truth. Life is difficult.
For instance, just a trip to the store can be difficult. There might be unforeseen problems like traffic jams, car troubles, etc. These things might not be your fault, but they still prevent you from actually achieving your goal: going to the store. It’s disheartening, but true: You don’t have control over anything… except yourself.
You can’t control everything. Period. End of story. You basically have two options: You can bitch that the universe is “rigged”, or you can simply accept it as fact while going about your business like an adult.
The great philosopher Epictetus once said, “We cannot choose our external circumstances, but we can always choose how we respond to them.” Our response to bad situations is what really matters. Not in some arbitrary way either, but in the most practical, life-enhancing way possible.
Let’s say you’re driving to work when you suddenly have a flat tire. What will your response be? Will you get angry, cussing and kicking the car? Hopefully not. It’s probably a better idea to sit down to find a solution to your problem. Heck, you might even learn something from it.
Don’t use tough situations prevent you from doing what you set out to do. Turn bad into good. It’s well within your power.
Some people are just downright blunt. You know the type: the people who spend their entire lives shocking everyone with what they say. They end up hated, perceived as arrogant, and miserable.
Of course, what they’re saying might not even be that shocking. Heck, it might even be mainstream. That doesn’t matter. Perception is what matters.
Take Gregory House’s quote “Everybody lies,” from the tv show, House M.D. That quote offends a lot of people. Of course, the idea itself isn’t what upsets people, it’s just the blunt way it sounds that nobody likes.
I’ll bet very few people would disagree with the statement: “People always choose to be their worst selves by engaging in constant dishonesty.” They may mean the same thing, but they’re interpreted very differently.
Rhetoric matters… a lot.
Softening your words makes you seem like a much more agreeable person, whereas being blunt gets you in trouble – big trouble – socially.
Don’t be blunt. Use pleasant-sounding rhetoric instead.
Friedrich Nietzsche had already found it. He observed as the people around him spent their entire lives seeking this thing they called “truth” – a concept which they themselves had created. Unfortunately, Nietzsche had already discovered what they were looking for – the “truth” – but it looked nothing like how anyone imagined.
In a paper entitled On Truth and Lies in a Nonmoral Sense, Nietzsche wrote the following:
“If I make up the definition of a mammal, and then, after inspecting a camel, declare ‘look, a mammal’ I have indeed brought a truth to light in this way, but it is a truth of limited value.”
He later went on to say:
“At bottom, what the investigator of such truths is seeking is only the metamorphosis of the world into man… Similar to the way in which astrologers considered the stars to be in man’s service and connected with his happiness and sorrow…”
Nietzsche realized that through mans’ own self-conceit, it was making the world in its own image, essentially playing a game with the universe.
Nietzsche understood how vain and pointless the whole game really is.
“When someone hides something behind a bush and looks for it again in the same place and finds it there as well, there is not much to praise in such seeking and finding. Yet this is how matters stand regarding seeking and finding ‘truth’ within the realm of reason.”
Perhaps you and I can learn from Nietzsche’s observations. Perhaps by recognizing that we’re in charge of the concepts we create, we can avoid trying to find purpose in projecting our beliefs onto the universe. After all, by finding enjoyment in “discovering” the truths that we ourselves created, we’re simply wasting our time.
I’ve been devoting some of my time to studying behavioral economics and phycology. I’m beginning to understand how people are influenced, and – at least, to a certain extent – why people do what they do.
My fascination with human behavior began when I realized how easily people could be manipulated. I had one of those Scott Adams moments (unlike him, however, I’m a bad cartoonist, so don’t expect to see any comic strips by me anytime soon). I decided to dive headfirst into the broad subject of human behavior.
Knowing that I wanted to learn more about what makes people “tick”, I decided to start reading books, watching lectures, and listening to interviews; and over the past few weeks, I’ve learned more than I ever expected.
Here are just a few of the things I’ve been studying:
- Freudian Phycology.
- Decision Point Theory.
Of course, this list may not sound all that impressive, but it really encompasses a lot. The practical usage is life changing. Hopefully, I’ll have time to write in-depth articles about each of them in the future.
Perception is so important. It defines you and makes you who you are or what you want to be. One of my favorite quotes is by Gustave Flaubert, who said, “There is no truth. There is only perception.” Things are as they’re perceived.
There was a recent experiment conducted involving 6,000 blind tastings of expensive and cheap wines. It revealed the huge role perception plays in preference.
The experiment showed that average people do not find expensive wine all that exceptional. However, people with “whine training” find much enjoyment in the whine with the highest price tag.
This was a groundbreaking find. It essentially proves that when people perceive things to be better than they are, a funny thing happens: They automatically become better.
Hopefully, you and I can use this information to improve ourselves. Perhaps by working on people’s perception of us, we can actually improve ourselves and help establish what is we’re trying to accomplish.
Unisex restrooms are apparently a “thing” at Starbucks now. My guess is that some person in management realized that there’s no reason to make a single person restroom gender exclusive – and if that’s really the case, then they have my total support; It’s more convenient when poop rooms are open to everyone. But if their reasoning has nothing to do with convenience, and this change represents their disregard for the differences between sexes and their lack of understanding that gender as a concept is not subject to preference, then I’m totally against it.
On another note, Starbucks restrooms are super clean. 10/10. Would go take a dump again.
A long time ago, a scholar once asked the Greek orator, Demosthenes, what the three most important traits of speechmaking were. His response was clear and concise: “Action, Action, Action!”
It’s extremely easy to blow concepts way out of proportion. We lead ourselves to believe that there’s a special recipe for things like success, and with enough time and study, we can discover it. However, the lessons of history tell us that this just isn’t so. Success isn’t discovered; it’s created.
What do Steve Jobs, Ulysses S. Grant, and Thomas Edison all have in common? Each one of them blazed a trail to finish the task at hand. They may not have had an exact recipe for their success, but through hard work and determination, they reached their goals in the end.
Sometimes, all you need to do is take action. You might not know what you’re doing, but that’s to be expected. Just keep taking action. Do what Benjamin Franklin said to do: “Continue to reach out.” You’ll be a be a better man for it.