The only opinion that matters

You are what you love, not what loves you.

– Charlie Kaufman

 

How much attention do you pay to the good opinion of others?

Next time you’re having a battle in your head, find a way to disrupt the conflict and let it go. You’ll find it tries to reignite inside your mind. Stop. And let it go, again.

This might take a while.

If you persist, the voices of other people will start to fade. You’ll start to hear your real voice come through. That’s the only voice you should listen to. Listen more intently. Heed its wisdom.

Listen more often to your own thoughts. Let go of the words of people who have been influencing you over the years. They mean well, but you have to have full agency over your thoughts and your path. The only way this happens is when you realize that your opinion of yourself is the only one that really matters.

Something to ponder

Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent.
Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent.
Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil?
Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?

Epicurus

Do you care about the truth?

A wise man apportions his beliefs to the evidence.

David Hume

It’s impossible to ignore the assault on truth that has become mainstream in the US. Alternative facts abound and too many people refuse to question the origin of these new facts.

Real investigative reporting is under existential pressure as news outlets compete for attention with clickbait-y content and popular “news”. Perhaps Idiocracy was more prescient than we could ever have imagined.

For those of us who care about truth, it’s our responsibility to believe only the facts. The real facts. This takes more work on our part. We must verify the source. We must examine loose claims before accepting them. We must promote the work of those who are resolute in their quest for facts and truth.

The Internet is a game-changer for spreading ideas. It can be a force for good or a tool for evil.

Do you care about the truth?

Being thankful

When you see the beauty all around you, take the time to be thankful.

We exist with an incredible improbabily. It is in-credible to be here.

Nature will continue infinitely, as it always has. Our moment will come and go.

Your time is up to you, like mine is up to me.

Choose to be healthy. Choose to be happy. Choose to do good.

Be thankful that you have this time.

Today is the only day we have

Finish each day and be done with it. You have done what you could. Some blunders and absurdities no doubt crept in; forget them as soon as you can. Tomorrow is a new day. You shall begin it serenely and with too high a spirit to be encumbered with your old nonsense.

Ralph Waldo Emerson

 

Every day is an opportunity to be the best version of yourself.

We can never know whether today will yield everything we’d like. But it is the only day we have, so we must make if it what we can.

The days before it are done. The opportunity is gone.

Tomorrow will bring another chance to improve. But that doesn’t matter. Because, right now, today is the only day you can influence.

Yes, you should have a plan for the future, but today is the only chance you have to get closer to that future.

Think about it. Where you are today is a direct result of every decision you have made throughout your life. Every single decision.

The thing is, when you were making those decisions, you probably couldn’t see where you’d end up. But you made the best decision you could each day. And here you are now.

The hack is to live with an intent for a good life. Then to make every effort to be present every day so that you can make good decisions along the way.

What I learned from Chris

I was looking back at some things I wrote a while back, but never published. This one struck me. It’s as rich and real today as it was when Chris finally rested, after many years living with a brain tumor. He was an incredible person who I only knew for a short time. But he was always engaged and alive. These are the words I wrote after he passed in 2010.

What I learned from Chris

Love your wife.
 
Let your kids express themselves freely so that they know authentic joy.
 
It’s not because you have an incredible wife and children and career that you are a happy, kind, inspirational person. Rather, it’s because you are a happy, kind, inspirational person that you have an incredible wife, kids, and career.
 
Say goodbye if you have the chance. Express yourself without ego.
 
Learn how to be happy, daily.

Get that idea out of your head

Start now.

You have an idea. Everyone has ideas. Ideas are easy.

What counts is when you take your idea and figure out how to bring it to life. Something small. Something real.

When it’s small and real, you learn.

You learn if you enjoy creating it. You learn if you can grow from it. You learn if you care.

When you care, and you’re doing good work, there’s a chance that you’ll make a difference for someone.

That’s a signal. It’s a signal that you might be onto something.

But you have to care. Because if you don’t care then no one else will care.

One thing is certain, you won’t know until you try.

So next time, don’t sit too long with your idea. Stand up and switch to experimentation mode. In experimentation mode you have to be creative, you have to be resourceful, you have to be agile.

Taking action on your idea is the only way to know. To know if it’s worthy of pursuit.

And to know if you care.

Wisdom for the ages

Our rational nature moves freely forward in its impressions when it:

  1. accepts nothing false or uncertain;
  2. directs its impulses only to acts for the common good;
  3. limits its desires and aversions only to what’s in its own power;
  4. embraces everything nature assigns it.

Marcus Aurelius, Meditations, 8.7

Humanity’s biggest quest, ever

We live in interesting times. The data is indisputable, despite the cries of the regressive flock. We are perilously close to a dystopian future that will test our species in a way it’s never been tested. All species, for that matter.

In the absence of real leadership or the unity of nations, it will be up to technologists – as usual – to take humanity forward as best we can.

This week, NASA published a video that inspires.

 

It reminds us of the incredibly unifying quest of space exploration.

Now, we have another mission. To heal our planet and to find a way forward.

There will be a lot of really smart people working on this. There already are. Some will be undoing the damage already done. Some will be figuring out how we can adapt to this ugly future – it’ll be here soon – and we’ll need to adapt. Quickly.

And some are already thinking about humanity’s imminent and enormous quest. More than thinking about it. Some are trying to find out whether we can colonize the moon or Mars. It may be the only hope for humanity.

I hope NASA captures some hearts and minds with this video. We need all the minds we can muster to work on these solutions.

And we need all the hearts coming together, to go farther than humanity has ever been.

We’re just getting started.

You can’t measure what you’ll gain

One of the reasons we’re immobilized by fear when we really want to take the leap is that we can measure what we’ll lose, but we can’t see what we’ll gain.

When you want to quit your job and start that business or when you follow your dream – or aroha – across the world, you know exactly what you’re giving up. You know what those things are worth to you.

What’s not obvious, what can’t be counted, is how much you’ll gain.

That’s how fear works.

What if I give up all this stuff? What if I give up what I know, everything that’s comfortable, in pursuit of something that is unknown.

What’s unknown can only become known by choosing to leap. By letting go of the stuff that’s satisfactory and doing the work to gain something better.

You can’t measure what you’ll gain. But you will gain something by taking the journey. What else is there to do?