All posts tagged: self-development

Week 49 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Receiving Gifts

Last week I wrote about how to give gifts. (By the way, I had a giveaway planned but the instructions were buried at the end of last week’s post.  Let’s try again – be sure to scroll all the way to the end for the instructions so you don’t miss out!)

This week, the topic is how to receive gifts. There is a saying that “it is more important to give than to receive.” If this is true, then naturally we should all want to give. (Indeed, there is a special feeling that comes from giving.) But where would that leave us – who would there be to receive the gifts, favors, and assistance that we are happy to give?  

In light of that observation, we must all become both givers and recipients.  This means we must be not only skilled at giving gifts, but also prepared to receive what others offer, too.  This allows others to practice giving.  Let’s talk about the ethics (norms, rules) that tell us how to receive.

Week 46 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Finding Yourself

It’s safe to say that money can’t buy happiness.  Everyone can think of someone rich & miserable.  Fame, too, doesn’t guarantee a high quality life – just consider the list of famous people who committed suicide or became addicts.  Feeling lost and disconnected with your life & experiences is a terrible way to live.  

Winning the game of life means figuring out your purpose and passion.  Wouldn’t that be great? But where do you start?  If you want traction on the journey to find yourself, you’ll need to start on solid ground. Only then can you pull yourself forwards.  But so far, nothing has excited you.  There’s no grip and you’ve got no grit.  How can you figure out who you are when you’re clueless?   This week’s post introduces a clever method of self-discovery!

Week 45 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Habit vs. Addiction

Do you know the difference between good habits, bad habits, and addictions?  It’s easy to tell the difference between good habits and addictions, but not so easy to distinguish between good habits and bad habits.  Nor is it easy to draw the line between bad habits and addictions.  Also, why is it that one person’s good habit is another person’s bad habit?  How is it that some people become addicted to anything (the so-called “addictive personality”), while other people could drop a sugar habit, or even a cocaine habit, almost one day to the next? 

We can’t sort out all these questions in one blog post, but we can learn enough to start to evaluate our own habits.  By doing so, we make a conscious effort to improve our unconscious behaviors!

Week 42 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Crisis

The word crisis brings to mind a dramatic, life-destroying situation.  Yet hindsight reveals that the situations we fear most are precisely the situations that bring out the best in our minds and/or bodies.  For example, an injured athlete outperforms his own expectations. Or surprisingly, the much-feared divorce that forces two people to come to terms with the past allows them to move forward into happiness with new dreams and lovers.

Is there a positive perspective from which we can choose to view dangerous and critical situations we encounter? Let’s rethink crisis.

Week 40 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Color

Unless you’re colorblind, you likely take color for granted. Human perception of color is quite uniform.  What is red to me is red to you. The same goes for yellow, orange and all the rest. Many women seem able to differentiate between colors more easily than men, but this is easily explicable by women’s interest in fashion.  Creating matching outfits can be considered color training.  In case you didn’t realize, even black does not always match black!

Back to philosophy.  Color is overlooked as a subject of philosophical debate because it is quite uniformly perceived and easy to take for granted.  But color is quite a dubious thing…

Week 38 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Promises

Promises are a big deal.  Really.  Can you imagine what society would be like without promises? We rely on others to do as they assure us that they will. How would human relationships, partnerships, and friendships function without promises? 

People have different ideas of what a promise is – what it means to promise, how a promise occurs, and what consequences to expect or dole out in response to a broken promise.  The foggy understanding of promises adds tension to relationships.  Improving your understanding of promises has the potential to transform and benefit your interpersonal relationships.  Let’s figure this out! Click to read more.

Week 33 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Loneliness

Loneliness is a popular topic in the news these days.  News articles tell us that loneliness is the new epidemic, that research is being directed into pharmaceuticals and AI to combat loneliness, and that governments are installing public infrastructure directed at facilitating interactions between strangers.  How is it that we can be so lonely despite living in densely populated cities?  What does it mean to be lonely?

Read more to find out!

Week 21 Questions for Know Thyself 2019: Objectivity & Subjectivity

(This post is part of a weekly series for Know Thyself 2019, a 365 day journal project. Start here!) This week’s journal topic: Objectivity and Subjectivity These terms seem frighteningly philosophical, right?  What’s this? you ask. More stuffy classroom terms that serve scant purpose in everyday life?  Actually, the terms objectivity and subjectivity are used fairly regularly in intelligent conversation about politics, science, and ethics.  And if it’s not the specific terms that are invoked, the concepts behind them are nonetheless are. Objectivity Say you’re having an argument with someone who finishes his speech by saying, “I’m just reporting the objective facts – you have to accept that I’m right about this.”  What does he mean by objective facts and why does stating them provide evidence to support his view? Simply defined, objectivity is the characteristic which expresses the idea that a statement is free of perspectives, value judgments, or bias from personal interests.  To emphasize that a statement is an “objective fact” is to iterate to your listener that the statement is “faithful to the facts” …

The Problem of Role Models: You’re Probably Doing It Wrong

In a confusing world that forces us to curb our natural behaviors, we often look to exemplars (i.e. role models) to facilitate and accelerate the decision making process. Those exemplars aren’t participants in the process  (obviously, we don’t have Warren Buffet, Jack Ma, or Mother Theresa on speed dial) but they influence our decisions in an indirect way. We reflect on our beliefs about these exemplars, asking questions such as What Would ____ Do? and allowing ourselves to be guided by the imagined response to a similar scenario.  There are different kinds of exemplars, and here are a few examples: Role model: A person whose behavior, example, or success is or can be emulated by others. Idol: (colloquial usage) an image of a person with an ethereal, god-like, or transcendent status to which worship is addressed. Prophet: e.g.  Jesus, Mohammad, Abraham, Krishna, Buddha, Lao Zu, Confucius, etc. Moral saint: a moral philosophy term coined by Susan Wolf who says, “By moral saint I mean a person whose every action is as morally good as possible, …