The power of humility

1.The easiest way to grow as a person is to become more humble. To throw away pride, and to quiet the voice within that makes you think you know more than you actually do, as even the geniuses among us are not geniuses all the time. Ignorance is a chronic disease that affects us all, and what makes it so problematic is not the fact that it exists, but that the ignorant often sees its ignorance as wisdom.

As the old chinese saying goes “Empty your cup” if you are to learn anything. Drain it off of all the false sense of certainty. Drain it off of all arrogance, and give yourself the chance to learn something new, by being more humble today and now.

2.Humility like confidence are traits with lots of beneficial effects. They both carry social value, as in they can make one more liked/popular. They can both be faked, but neither can be faked effectively, 100%, all the time. Eventually, people catch up with you, and they like you much less after. Eventually, you catch up with you, and you like yourself even less as after that. So when you try to display humility, make sure it comes from the heart, instead of a calculated brain whose only concern is to keep up with appearances.

3.True humility goes beyond words. It’s manifested in action. One may speak arrogantly but act humble. One may speak humble but act arrogant. Both what one says and what one does play a role in how we see them, but what one does is far more important. As from a humble act, we can safely conclude a humble mindset. But from humble words, we cant safely derive neither intent nor actions. Because words are more than cheap. They are almost worthless. Actions on the other hand, are different. Even when faked, they cost at least as much as an action performed for the right reasons.

4.The quickest way to humility is to take more risks. To play right at the edge of your capabilities be that physical or mental. To put yourself in places where failure is not only possible, but likely. Arrogance is what lays on the opposite side of the coin of humility. Arrogance is the evil twin. Something whose diet consists of a false sense of one’s superiority over humanity, caused by playing only within one’s comfort zone, combined with the belief that this comfort zone is not just a fraction of the total, but the whole pie. You’re not arrogant because you’re the greatest, but because you believe you are. To be humble you have to live in reality. You have to show yourself the imperfections within. You have to expose yourself to failure. To feel it. To live through it without making up excuses or stories for why you didn’t win.

5.Given the enormous complexity of the universe we live in paired with the even greater level of human ignorance, the only good way to live life is by acknowledging this very ignorance. If you’re a truth seeker, humility is among your top ten favorite words. To be intellectually humble is to admit you don’t know even if it paints you in a bad light. Even if it makes it look like you don’t have life figured out. Because that’s the truth. You don’t have life figured out, and you’re secure enough to admit it. You know that in life, just like with everyone else, you’re “winging it”. Enthusiastically trying to build a safe and fast plane midflight, with the full knowledge that despite your greatest efforts the plane will likely crash. This is the highest level of humility. 90% percent of confidence in every action but always consulting with that 1% at the back of your head that predicts failure instead of success. Once again, because you’re aware that like everyone else, you’re prone to making unwise decisions. Like everyone else, you’re an idiot sometimes, and it’s very difficult to know when you are and when you aren’t, since every time you feel as if this time around you’re the wisest being in the universe. There is nothing wrong with your thought process you think, until you realize you missed something, and it’s too late.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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How to improve empathy

1.The first step towards empathy is to accept the fact that life is difficult. Not for you only, or those whom you find it easy to empathize with, but to every single one of us. And this is true regardless of whether you find some people’s struggles unjustifiable, or whether you even consider them to be true struggles in the first place or not. A struggle is a struggle.

2.The simplest path to empathy is to put yourself through the same difficulties of others. And I don’t mean just trying what they tried, but to replicate all the initial conditions of the experiment that made them struggle. The reason for this is that we often have natural advantages or privileges we’re either not aware of or don’t acknowledge, and these are the same things that make the act of empathy so difficult sometimes. If you’re naturally predisposed to find being social pleasing, or math concepts easy to understand, to truly feel what the socially awkward feel or what the D student goes through, can be so foreign to you as to lead you to the conclusion that the socially awkward have to grow a thicker skin, D students should stop being lazy, and the depressed should just “shake it off.” So to empathize one has to, in some sense become the subject of its empathy. To understand someone is to become that someone. Even if only for a brief moment, before you go about being yourself again.

3.Empathy is one of the few areas of life in which the power of reciprocity shines its brightest. One may wonder how to be understood. How to be the target of more empathetic acts, and the easiest way to go about it is by building credit. By practicing more true acts of empathy yourself. Not to just claim you understand someone when you don’t, because more often than not people can sense it, as you do when someone does it to you. When you try to understand what someone is going through, you break from the mutual battle for attention and understanding, and you open the doors for the kind of connection we all crave. The kind of connection you can only experience when you become one another because again, true empathy is only possible when you stop being yourself and become the person you’re trying to empathize with.

4.A part of what makes a person wise is the ability to empathize with someone without having to go through what they went through. You always assume you’re not above making mistakes, and thus allow yourself to learn from a painful lesson without ever having to pay the price. You get to learn not because you’re a genius of sorts, but because deep down you know you can be as much of an idiot as everyone else. So you cherish every lesson regardless of the hand that gives it away.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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How to grow your intellect

1.The intellect is what shows when the skin of ignorance is painfully ripped off the ego. What remains is something new, more refined, and a person with a much more bounded ego.

2.If you try to become smarter or wiser overnight you will most likely fail. There is no way around it. What’s odd is that we have no trouble understanding that to become fit one must commit to fitness over time. To become wealthy one must commit to finance and improving its income over time. The way to become smart or wise is to commit to learning overtime, and this is of course after you shed yourself from the belief that only some selected few are born with the ability to know things.

3.To grow intellectually, it’s important to be aware of the fact that ignorance will be a lifetime companion no matter how much you learn. Ignorance just like the shadow will always be somewhere around the corner, and it will make itself visible if you only look for it. Just remember that just because the shadows is out of sight, doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist.

4.As you grow intellectually it’s important not to get drunk on your knowledge, and the first sign of this drunkenness will not be in the form of slurred speech or aimless walk, but in the form of arrogance, and unbounded and thus unrealistic confidence on your own abilities. This is the exact moment when you stop growing intellectually.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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How to be accountable part 2

1.What makes accountability such a scary monster is the fear of failure. It’s when you allow yourself to be one if need be, that taking ownership becomes much easier. And this is at the end what matters the most. Not the fact that whoever is in charge succeeds on its actions, but that someone is in charge in the first place, as often enough, it is the case that a successful venture is only possible after a series of successive failures.

2.The tendency to treat responsibility like a hot potato to be passed over to anyone regardless of fitness is one of the biggest stiflers of accountability. Drowning the urge to point fingers is often the first and only step to getting things done in life.

3.Self-esteem and accountability may seem unrelated at first glance, but there is an often indirect but yet powerful relationship between the tendency to expect others to make things happen and one’s self-trust to do so. Delegation is at the end of the day an expression of some lack within, and the perpetual delegator throws not just others, but also himself under the bus with each self-excluding claim that someone should have done something. Each time a finger is pointed outwards, there is always one coming inwards if only you open your eyes.

4.Accountability is to the human character what exercise is to the muscles. A door we’re all averse to, but that when opened leads to self-transcendence. When you find yourself on the other side you’re glad for it. You’re much better off as a person, and you know it, and you may even wonder why you didn’t do it before. The funny thing is that the fear of the doorknob never goes away completely. The next one after that always presents us with the same challenge, even if you’ve been through thousands of other scary doors before. The only consolation is that the struggle although chronic gets easier with each successful attempt at getting over the many inner blocks that urge us to freeze or flight, instead of fighting and progressing.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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How to be accountable

1.Accountability is that imprisoning thing that frees the self from the uncaring randomness of the world we live in. By taking the controls and thus shouldering the responsibility of whatever happens after, you truly make things better, even when they don’t actually improve. Before, all you had to work with was the hope that someone would do something, let alone someone who cared. Now you don’t just have a driver, you have a leader.

2.Accountability is the ultimate test of human character. The one thing that shows maturity in the young, and the lack of it in the old. How much can you take, and What are you willing to do without complaining? That’s accountability. To be willing to do what you need, to get things done. As Tim Grover would say “when you care so much about the end result, that the work becomes irrelevant”. That’s accountability.

3.Accountability like many things in life is a skill. A muscle. Something you can improve by starting from the bottom…regardless of how low.. and step by step improve to previously unimaginable levels. You can become more accountable by inching your way into it…hell..”half-inch into it”. You just have to give it a try. Be accountable for anything today, and when you come through, don’t forget to pat yourself in the back. Because that’s how you make progress. That’s how you become more accountable. By as Jordan peterson would say “Picking the heaviest load you can carry” now, and to try something a little heavier the next time.

4.Accountability, like leadership, is self-imposed. Meaning self-selected. You make not only your life but also your immediate surroundings better by being more accountable. By being a leader in “making things happen”. If you’re really serious about it, you might even change the world with accountability alone. But it doesn’t start like that. Big things start small and boring. Yet it’s from small acts to small acts of self-accountability that you turn yourself into the kind capable of carrying not just it, but maybe even the world on its back. And if you’re really serious about it, you might get to be among those who do it well beyond a lifetime. To “make it” not only in the span of a few decades but maybe even centuries or millennia. To be a legend. To have people speculating on your secret sauce and getting it wrong, even when it’s so simple it’s hard to believe. Just by being accountable. Just by doing what you’re supposed to do here and now. With no complaints or excuses.

5.The self-accountable animal is by nature the complete opposite of the complaining animal. While you complain about the fact that the city you live in is overpopulated, the self-accountable animal makes a mental note to leave home earlier so as to not be late again because of traffic. While you complain about the government making it difficult for the not fortunate to be born in an affluent family to become affluent themselves, the self-accountable has the presence of mind to realize that complaining is never the way. So he or she proceeds to sketch the next plan. Just another one in the list of hundreds or maybe even thousands of failed plans. Each time as enthusiastic as before. Each time vowing to complain less about that which is beyond one’s control, and to be more accountable the next time around.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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A few thoughts on responsibility

1.Responsibility as we know it is one of the many life celebrities often cast in a bad light. The old and unspoken untrue truth is that responsibility is a slow old man with no sense of humor, who sees the world in black and white and hates kids. Responsibility is that who comes to shut down the party just when begins to reach its peak so we think. Great moments don’t come that often, and anything that stops the “play hard to get” state we call flow, or “the zone” should be abolished. Outcasted. What you forget is that when you do what you’re supposed to do when it’s supposed to be done, time is not scarce but plentiful. And when you have time, you don’t have to worship every second just like a starving child does with every bread crum or grain of rice. Great moments are shy by nature, and they come when you don’t expect them to. When they are not forced to come into being. When they finally reach the hard to reach balance between carefulness and carelessness. Which can only happen you have the most time to spare. When you are responsible when you’re supposed to be responsible. A great moment is the favorite child of spontaneity, a grandchild of free and uninterrupted time, and a great-grandchild of responsibility when responsibility is required.

2.On the other side of the coin of responsibility lies the pressure to perform, as with ownership comes not only the praise but also the demand for results. And this is why most people stay away from responsibility. The psychological burden of making things happen is too heavy to carry.

3.Responsibility can be scary and soul-eating monster when unhandled, the biggest promoter of misery when you’re aware of its existance but do nothing about it, and your best friend when you make it a priority. As taking care of business today and now is not just good for the near future, but also for the long term, especially when you and the many future past versions of you work together, just to make this specific point in the future better than all that came before it.

4.Responsibility is the agent that kicks the metamorphosis from child to adult. And this is the reason why mature children and childish adults are even a thing. Maturity is not a badge of honor given only by the virtue of blowing enough candles in birthday cakes but attributed to those who grab not only their life and fate by the collar, and maybe even someone else’s life and fate. They’ve accepted the heavy psychological load of making things happen when it was requested of them. And that’s when they became “born again” and turned into someone else altogether. Someone more akin to a stranger, though the stranger is no one other than themselves. A better version of the past despite the nonstop craving for the illusory peace and comfort that comes from not being responsible for anything.

5.Responsibility is more than just a tool to virtue signal one’s “goodness” to the world. Responsibility is also a sign of confidence with regards to oneself.Trust.Self-respect. By taking ownership you say more than that the task will be seen to completion. By accepting or rejecting when an opportunity for responsibility shows itself, you say quite a bit about your opinion of yourself. By taking responsibility you say without saying that you are an active contributor to society, as even when you’re the only beneficiary of your ownership, society still gains something in one way or another. When you take ownership for your life, you eventually improve it. Which makes you better as a person, more and more positive and motivated. Which makes you more creative and rare are the instances in which the product of a creative act is selfish, even when the mind that gave birth to it had selfish intents the second before genesis.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉

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How to make better decisions

How to make better decisions

1.Clear thinking is the bread and butter of good decision-making. The easiest way to improve the quality of your decisions is to stay away from any kind of decision-making for some preset time, be that a day, a week, or a month. Over time the same emotions that gave you a false sense of certainty will fade, and then, and only then will you know for sure how true clarity looks like and feels.

2.The more you learn the better decision-maker you become, simply for the virtue of being more aware of what you need to be aware of before making a decision. And this is even more important than just being right, as there isn’t much of a difference between that who makes the right decision despite its lack of information and wisdom to do so, and that who simply makes the wrong decision. The true decider is not the Wiseman or woman within, but the gigantic and outer coinflip we call serendipity. Sure you won today, but can you be certain you will tomorrow?

3.Decision-making is a process improved by the application of intentional reasoning. The end product, meaning the final decision, must be the result of a rational series of steps starting from a sensible personal theory or hypothesis and culminating with the choice of the best possible next step you can think of. Leaving any part of it to lady luck may lead you to what you want in the short term, but it won’t make you any better as a decision-maker in the long. The next time around you will find yourself once more thirsting for the coin-flip, and the results may not be as good.

When you’re rigorous about the way you make decisions, failure becomes the teacher that tells when something is wrong somewhere in the homework but without giving any details, and it’s by tweaking each step that you learn more about the system as a whole. It’s only then that you change it from the scarily mysterious, to the comfortably familiar. Familiar enough to make you feel like and realize that leaving any decision to chance is a bad idea.

4.Like old wisdom says, there is a lot more to be learned from a defeat than there is from a victory. There are gold nuggets of knowledge to be found from a decision deemed wrong by a retrospective look at the past. As at the core of every bad decision lie the traces of whatever personal weakness or character flaws that led you to it in the first place. It’s not enough to ask what you did wrong, but what about you made you do it.
And maybe, just maybe, you will get to prevent not only a single mistake from repeating itself, but an entire class of possible errors of judgment, without ever having to pay the price.

5.It’s from decision to decision that the saw of decision making is sharpened, eventually enough as to allow for the selection of not only the next step, but the right next step from the set of other possible future steps… all of that under the context of the many more that need to be taken to make a vision a reality, whatever it may be, from the smallest goals, so little we don’t even give them the title of “goals”, to the largest of the visions with the power to change not only a single life, but humanity as we know it. The only way to get better at deciding is to decide to decide more often, and to accept that even the best of us are not immune the blunders that come from choosing what to do next and mean it, even when by “meaning it” we mean sticking not just a finger or an arm out, but sometimes even the neck if not the soul for it.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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How to be social

1.The first step towards more rewarding social interactions is by becoming a more interesting person to spend time with in the first place, and the way to that is by experiencing life more often, while learning more about more. The more you learn and experience, the more you’ll have to talk about, regardless of whether you’re one on one with a captivating extrovert who also traveled around the world, or on the stage attempting to entertain a crowd of socially awkward and nagging introverts. Rember that being socially skilled has nothing to do with introversion/extroversion. Social skill comes with inner value, built through life experiences and acquired wisdom, wrapped in the interesting mini-stories that make up great conversations.

//Become more self-aware
2.It’s not enough to think about or look at you the way you see yourself. The way you come off to others is arguably more important, as the quality of your social interactions will be heavily defined by the story your behavior tells, regardless of whether that story is reflective of who you truly are or not. Learn to see yourself from someone else’s perspective, and adjust your behavior accordingly.

//Remember…It’s not about you
3.Social interactions are one of the few things in life whose quality tends to decrease with increased care. The more you care the tenser you become, which brings you closer to that which you fear the most. There is a contradictory and yet effective beauty in not caring about what people think. The fact that you don’t care about how a given social interaction will go makes you more relaxed, and then more spontaneous, which in turn makes you look more and more like a social genius now, even if you didn’t carry the same reputation in previous circles.

//Practice, Practice. Practice
4.Like most things in life, being social can also be improved through practice, as there are lots of lessons to be learned by listening and by doing. The only difference is that the lessons learned by doing stay with you for a lifetime. The brain may forget the lesson, but the body won’t. And this remains true even when you’re unable to verbalize the why behind your ways.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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A few thoughts on minimalism

1.When you take a sharp look at life, you eventually realize that most things are irrelevant, some things you can live without, and a handful, and only a handful are to die for. Minimalism as a practice is about the last group, as everything else is mostly a waste of time and resources with little to no return on investment.

2.Minimalism looks differently to different people. To attempt to copy someone else’s version is to say that you care deeply about the same set of things they do, which is unlikely. So in a way, minimalism is not a one size fits all philosophy, but more custom-made like a shoe, or tailor-made piece of clothing. Sure we have a general description of how shoes and clothing are supposed to look like, but the details are as personal as they come.

3.In today’s world we often equate happiness to having lots of friends. So just like the many objects we buy and fail to throw away even after realizing we’ll never use them, over time we also pick up acquaintances and “almost friends” we barely talk to, see a few times a year, and don’t like nearly as much as we pretend. We hoard them just like we do with our possessions, but the only difference is that instead of the closet, we have the address book screaming for space. If there is any place the sword of minimalism could have its greatest impact, this is it.

4.The way to a minimalist lifestyle begins with a minimalist mindset. You can only let go of the physical once you let go of it mentally. You can only make physical change once you get closure with its psychological counterpart. It’s mind first and matter second, not the other way around.

5.At the end of the day minimalism is not a cult or a religion, but a tool for self-improvement. There is no point in getting rid of your possessions for the sake of being identified as a minimalist. There is no point in being a minimalist for the sake of being a minimalist. When the sun goes down, and the cards are finally drawn, what do you truly prefer? To be a miserably perfect minimalist, or a blissfully happy and self-accepting “maximalist”? It’s not about owning as much or as little as you can for the sake of owning more or less, but about owning just enough to be happy, with zero regards for labels.

(Bonus) Beware of label thirst, minimalism included; as labels are like spiderwebs, sticky concepts that don’t make room for any flexibility be that physical or intellectual. They keep you stuck in the same place, while providing a false sense of understanding of how the world works. Now you’ve got life figured out, and anything outside your belief system is either wrong or irrelevant. And that’s how you downgrade from the enlightenment that comes from new discoveries, to the ignorance that comes from the rigidity of thought. You want the label so bad that you’re willing to neglect your natural and human need for the truth.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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A few thoughts on defeat

1.On the road to success bumps and slips are not just a possibility but a certainty. Keep in mind that each trip and fall will feel like the end of the world. The road will mercilessly smack you in the face. A statement of how foolish you have been for even trying. You will taste your own blood and tears, and the worst of it is that you will have to be your own nurse and therapist. Patching away your wounds and sorrows. Self-doubt will be your travel companion, whispering negativity along the way while urging you to turn back around at every step. Just remember these are nothing but ghosts. The kind that walks day and night feeding off the uncertainty that comes from chasing a dream. And just like ghosts, they have no real power over you. Each step forward is and will forever be yours to take. Each step forward will make them fade away just like the night does into the day.

2.It’s from within the dark hole of defeat that you discover your true self. The decision to stand up and try again is the most important of all, as it’s from failure to failure that you build an image of perseverance or withdrawal. It’s much easier to keep a reputation than to forge a new one regardless of whether this reputation is personal or worldwide. So think twice before throwing the towel, because quitting is never an isolated event.

3.Defeat is a monster only beat through a long-life commitment to relentlessness. Remember that when you quit on a goal or a dream you lose a part of yourself. A part you will forever mourn. Each time you get back at it is never a waste, even when it doesn’t result in success. At the end of a lifetime, the fact that you’ve always tried is an accomplishment in itself. An accomplishment no money in the world can ever pay for.

4.At the end of the day, the pain of defeat is nothing but energy. You’re ultimately who decides where that energy goes to. The same energy that fuels the voices that tell you to quit, can be channeled into the same voices that beg you to keep going as both exist in parallel. It’s just that sometimes some voices are louder than others, but they are always there….waiting to be heard… if only you try hard enough to listen.

5.The only lie worth telling is that an impossible dream can be achieved, as what’s truly possible is often tainted by the glasses of defeat. Sometimes a new perspective is all you need to keep going even when fabricated by a mind desperate for success. So tell yourself whatever you need to get out of the hole, as life has a way of surprising us with our dreams when we pace ourselves in the marathon of success for long enough.

It is all about knowledge and experience 😉
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