Tag Archives: self-help

Wise Sloth Video List: Growing Up And Becoming You

This list comes from my essays on self help.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these other video lists:

 

 


Wise Sloth Video List: Health, Addiction, And Responsibility

This list comes from my essays on saving the world.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these other video lists:

 


Why And When You Should Have A Problem With Authority

 

 

Modern Western culture is obsessed with leadership and authority. It’s shoved in your face from the time you’re born. Parents have godlike legal powers over their children, and schools have almost as much control over the movements and behavior of students as prisons have over prisoners. Going through school the brightest students are sent to leadership clubs, courses, and conventions. Businesses force employees to sign contracts that bind them to submit to the authority of their employer as if their employer were their king. Inside and outside of your home, school, and workplace your government forces you to obey laws written at the whim of politicians and enforced by police and military personnel. Every government’s public relations departments encourage its citizens to have faith in their political leaders and to believe that questioning your leaders is a sign of lack of respect for everything your country stands for.

If you don’t fall in line and obey your leaders you’ll be told that you “have a problem with authority” as if that were a sign of weakness and immaturity on your part. That point of view overlooks the fact that, from a cosmic perspective, all people were created equal. You’re not equal once you reach 18, get married, get a degree, get commissioned or elected. Everyone is always completely equal. There’s no way to earn the right to demand unquestioning obedience and reverence from other people with less age, or social, economic or political credentials than you. You can demand unquestioning obedience from other human beings, but that doesn’t mean you have the right to. That just means you’ve chosen to treat other people like a second class citizen to you. You can come up with all sorts of reasons to justify your actions that sound good on paper, but in the end, you’re justifying the unethical subjugation of your equals.

Granted, parents have a responsibility to raise their children to their full potential, and this requires discipline. School teachers have to maintain good order in classrooms in order to facilitate learning. Police have to maintain order on the streets, and politicians have to set boundaries for everyone within their jurisdiction. Life has to have rules because good rules are nothing more than good advice for how to fulfill your potential, and when an entire population follows those best practices, then society as a whole is able to accomplish greater things.

The thing about rules is that they were created by humans to help humans. Humans were not created by a dogmatic authority figure to follow rules. When a rule is illogical and counterproductive it negates its purpose for existing. Also, rules don’t draw their validity from the authority figure who wrote them. When a king, elected politician, police officer, teacher or parent tell another human being that they have to obey and respect their authority simply because they’ve been imbued with the right to control another human being they’re really just forcing you into submission to serve their own purposes. When an authority figure’s rules or orders are illogical, then the source of their authority is negated.

When an entire population mindlessly kneels before their self-proclaimed leaders they create a culture of servitude which undermines their own ability and responsibility to fulfill their individual potential. Plus, the next generation of humans who will grow up in this culture will assume that willful subservience is the norm. So they’ll mimic their elders’ beliefs and behaviors and pass them onto the next generation. In the process, they’ll also spoil their leaders into thinking that their ability to control others equates to their right to. This arrogance will inevitably blind them and cause them to behave irrationally, and since they’re steering society they’ll steer society in a counterproductive direction.

Celebrating and revering other human beings’ authority over you is equivalent to celebrating your own subjugation, and celebrating your own subjugation is immature and irresponsible because it limits your (and society’s) ability to fulfill your potential. It would be illogical and counterproductive to will that everyone should obey their self-proclaimed masters.You simply can’t make a categorical imperative out of this behavior

On the flip side, if nobody follows any rules then society will devolve into chaos, but that doesn’t mean that you have to choose between being a mindless slave or a marauding bandit. Just rules are based on just reason. The most utopian individuals are the most reasonable individuals, and the most utopian societies are based on reason. You have an obligation to think and behave reasonably regardless of what anyone else insists is reasonable. History has taught us that authority figures aren’t perfect. Despite their credentials, and because of the arrogance they tend to draw from their credentials, they can act as irrationally as anyone else.  Mindlessly obeying them is like giving a monkey a gun. Every tyrannical dictator who ever has and ever will set the world back was and will be held aloft by legions of faithful supporters who equate obedience with maturity. Tyranny cannot exist unless good men follow orders. So if you don’t have a problem with authority then you are the problem.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

My Short Theory On Responsibility

To be responsible is to take care of yourself. And you can’t take care of yourself without thinking about yourself. Think about it. Ultimately, being responsible for yourself means being selfish. Now, all teenagers are selfish, but their selfishness is short-sighted. Responsibility requires the kind of selfishness that takes into account the future and the rest of the world. Responsibility is being selfish in a way that returns the most amount of good possible. Looking at reality in that light it’s easy to see that getting an education, holding down a job, and saving money are far more selfishly gratifying than getting stoned and playing video games all decade.

 

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

Why We’ve Never Raised An Entire Generation Of Adults Ever

Once people become parents or are given power over younger people in their job, most people assume they deserve that power. They assume they’re mature, grown-up adults. But consider the parents, teachers, and bosses who lived 2000 years ago. Compared to people today they weren’t mature. Relatively speaking, they were idiots. Of course, from their frame of reference, they were the best thing to date. So they thought that made them the best thing in fact. In hindsight, it’s obvious to us now that they were ignorant children masquerading in adult bodies.

Now reconsider the parents, teachers, and bosses who are alive today who don’t have the benefit of hindsight to recognize their own maturity level. Look at how our leaders squabble and pick on weaker people like 5-year-old bullies. Look at how your average parent shouts at their children like a 5-year-old throwing a temper tantrum. Look at how the talking heads on television shout illogical, inane babble like 5-year-olds. Look at the television shows that get the best ratings: they’re all about sex, violence, and fame. These themes appeal to our base desires- the primal desires of unrefined children. If you’ve ever had the misfortune of working in the customer service industry you have to deal with adults throwing tantrums and bullying you all day every day.

 

 

The evidence points to a frightening and shameful conclusion. It’s not just that a few old people never grew up. It’s not even that a handful of old people never grew up. The evidence point to the conclusion that humanity has never raised a generation of full grown, mature, self-actualized adults. Ever.

Each generation only produces between 1-100 full grown, self-actualized adults, and I fear the number is closer to 1 than 100. Abraham Maslow would agree with me on that figure. The entire world is run by delusional and/or lying children. On the rare occasion anyone even starts to grow up, they get ostracized and even killed for being different and offending the beliefs and pride of the childish masses.

The lesson to be learned from this isn’t that we should hate ourselves for being so stupid. It’s not our fault we never grew up. The world got this way because we’ve never known how to raise a full grown, mature, self-actualized adults. We’ve never been able to create a textbook for life. Seriously. Try to find one book (or set of books) that systematically explains from beginning to parents how to effectively raise a child. You might be able to piece-meal the knowledge together for a wide array of separate sources, but you won’t find one coherent, systematic, logical instruction manual to raising children or growing up. There is no textbook for life. So the call to action here isn’t to berate ourselves. The call to action is to create two textbooks for life: One for how to raise children and one for how to raise yourself.

Once we’ve created these books we need to redesign our school system so that, in addition to learning rote knowledge, every year of school curriculum includes psychology classes that teach children about the stage of mental development they’re currently going through. The classes should go on to teach children what they need to know to overcome the psychological hurdles they’ll face during that time of their lives. In addition to helping them solve their personal problems, it should also provide a coherent, unified direction (or end goal) in their psychological growth.

To augment children’s psychological development, schools should also teach children how to ask the important questions in life and how to answer those questions systematically, objectively and logically. This will help children understand their place in the universe, the meaning of their lives, the value of other people’s lives and how to develop a systematic, coherent, unified, logical, objective ethical framework.

Despite the fact that enough knowledge exists in academia to accomplish this, we aren’t implementing it. Why? One reason is that knowledge is profitable. As long as money can be made by manipulating the intellectual market and creating a false shortage of knowledge, the adults who control intellectual resources can profit from them.

Another reason is it would cost an extraordinary amount of money to redesign our education system to the point where every child not only gets a solid education in the rote knowledge a human being needs to understand to succeed in our economy but also the systematic, holistic knowledge of psychological development a human being needs to master in order to become a mature adult. The ruling aristocracy would rather see our taxes spent on subjugating third world countries to exploit their natural and human resources than to raise our children to be full grown adults.

Another reason is parents aren’t willing to allow their children to think freely. Parents assume what they believe is true and right. Unfortunately, 99.9% of parents are children themselves, and their beliefs are immature, haphazard, illogical, and subjective. Parent tends to oppose any system of thought that challenges their preconceived beliefs.

Average citizens might be able to change the system, but today’s children will have graduated before the system could be improved, and another generation will be wasted. Even if we were able to change the system it would likely be so bogged down by bureaucracy, red tape, and compromises that it would lose much of its effectiveness.

However, the option still exists to create a personal growth-oriented education system outside of the standard public school system. We could create a virtual school on the Internet. This method would be cheaper, and the cost could be spread out across millions of donations. An open source, user-generated system would spread out the labor needed to create such a system and would allow for much of the work to be done for free by volunteers. It would also make the content available for free, anywhere, anytime. So anyone in the world (the site could be multilingual like Wikipedia could benefit from the content. The site could also generate a profit via advertising, affiliate sales, and merchandising.

Once the virtual system is in place, entrepreneurs could build brick and mortar weekend/summer schools where students could receive direct guidance and assistance in their studies. These could be paid for by grants, fees, sales, and donations. Effectively they would operate like churches…except instead of tearing down people’s understanding of reality and indoctrinating them with archaic, destructive ethics while wasting countless dollars on expensive alters, decorations, statues and sound system the students would be taught how to grow up into sane, wise, functional adults, and the money would go directly to improving people’s minds, which will improve not only their lives but the lives of everyone within their sphere of influence.

I have no doubt that a system like this will be created someday. The only question is how many generations of children are robbed of their potential while the old children we call adults grow up.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

The Meaning of Life
How to Think Like a Genius
Knowledge and Learning
Biker Philosophy
My Tweets About Philosophy 

Why You Should Have High Intellectual Standards

Universal Intellectual Standers: Clarity, Accuracy, Precision, Relevance, Depth, Breadth, Logic, Significance, Fairness

 

You are your life, and your life is who you are. What you experience is who you are. What you see, hear, feel, smell, taste, say, believe, think, remember, etc. is who you are. The quality of who you are equates to the quality of your life…and visa versa.

This is why it’s important to have intellectual standards. We all make excuses for the stupid things we do, say, watch, listen to, think, believe, etc. Whatever excuses we use they all point towards the same conclusions: that it’s harmless or even good to lower our standards, even if just for a little while. But it’s not okay. There are real-world consequences for exposing yourself to and partaking in mindless, low brow anti-intellectualism.

Even without getting into macro-sociological ripples the consequences are personal and immediate. When you watch a stupid television show like the Super Bowl, you’re lowering your quality of life immediately and irrevocably. I know it may seem fun, but so does crack-cocaine. Would you be right to justify crack-cocaine use because it’s fun? No. So why would you justify watching American Idol because it’s fun? They have the same consequences.

You can’t even use the excuse that they’re different because crack-cocaine will kill you. When you binge on stupidity and mindlessness it builds up in your system. Then, before you know it you’re riding a four-wheeler around a construction site drunk shouting to your friends, “Hey man, watch this shit!” Next thing you know you’re winning a Darwin Award.

But even without getting that dramatic, think about this. You have one life to live, and it’s a short one. Life is infinitely valuable. We need to make the most of it to honor our creator or at least for our own personal sake. If you spend your whole life watching dumb ass television and reading gossip magazines what have you really done with your life? You’ve wasted it and mocked it just as surely as killing yourself as a teenager.

Wallowing in the joys of low intellectual standards may seem fun at the time, but life is better than that. Life has more to offer, and if you take it up on that offer you’ll become a better person, and immediately you’ll live a more enjoyable and more meaningful life.

So don’t waste your time justifying low intellectual standards to your self, and certainly don’t push them on others. Because what you’re really doing is justifying a life less lived.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

The Meaning of Life
How to Think Like a Genius
Knowledge and Learning
Biker Philosophy
My Tweets About Philosophy 

How To Tell Someone They’re An Asshole

 

Look, there’s something that everyone who knows you wants to tell you, but they don’t know how to say it, and frankly, they’re a little afraid to because they know how you would react to hearing it. What they want to tell you is that you’re an asshole. There’s no simpler or kinder way of putting it, but that’s what you are. And that’s not meant as an insult. This is constructive criticism, tough love. Look, there’s a lot about you that we like. That’s why we tolerate the behavior that makes you an asshole. We want you around. We just want you to stop being such an asshole all the time. We want to help you grow so that we can all have a better time together. But in order for that to happen, you need to stop being an asshole. And I hate to pull the guilt trip card, but if you really cared about us you would want to get your head straight out of respect for us so that we don’t have to live with an asshole.

Here’s what I mean when I say you’re being an asshole. Basically, it all stems from the fact that you only think about yourself. You’re so focused on the importance of your own wants that you walk all over those around you like a marauding zombie oblivious to the path of destruction you leave behind you everywhere you go. You may or may not realize it, but you’re prone to treating others with a lack of respect. This means you must not understand how important people are, because if you understood how important they are, you wouldn’t treat them the way you do. So before the night is over you should read these blogs that explain the concept your parents must have never taught you:

The Cosmic Perspective

The Value of Life

Karma Ghosts

It’s not hard to treat people well. All you have to do is look at things from other people’s point of view. When you’re standing around talking to people and milling about, stop and look at the people around you. Think about how your actions affect them. Imagine different possibilities of ways you could behave that would make everybody’s lives better.

When you start to do something that you know is going to hurt or inconvenience them, stop and ask yourself what your justification is. Whatever your justification is, I can guarantee it’s wrong. Nobody deserves to be yelled at, belittled, intimidated, screwed over, beaten or killed. I mean, look at you. You’re an asshole. You lower the quality of life for most of the people around you. Should you be yelled at, beaten or killed? No. As many vendettas as people could rightfully claim against you, nobody wants that. We want you to grow. We’d rather you learn from your mistakes than for us to have to punish you for them. The only reason we would punish you anyway is to teach you a lesson. Nobody has to get blood on their hands if you would just realize what an asshole you are and fix that.

You need to look at others the same way. You don’t need to go through life being an asshole to other people. You don’t have to be mean to get what you want. You don’t have to hurt others to get what you want, and you can go out of your way for other people without being rewarded for it and still be happy. In fact, the better you treat others the better you’ll feel about yourself and the happier you’ll be.

Look, I don’t know what happened to you in your past that made you be such an asshole. I’m sure somewhere down the line someone was an asshole to you. Or maybe someone passively neglected your needs the way you neglect others’ today. If you’re in pain then you have everyone’s sympathy. It’s understandable if you’re lashing out at the world out of fear and anger at the things that have happened to you. It’s understandable if nobody ever taught you how to act respectfully towards others. If people knew your whole story, they’d sympathize with you instead of resenting you. They’d understand that you’re not a bad person. You’re just a hurt person.

Or maybe the problem isn’t that you had an unfair life. Maybe the problem is you were pampered and spoiled growing up. If that’s the case you’re still a victim because your life of privilege has crippled you. Your arrogance and sense of entitlement deserve our sympathy, not the resentment we feel towards you.

At any rate, even if we could find the exact excuse that explains your behavior an excuse is not a justification. You can’t keep treating people like they’re less important than you. Your actions are your responsibility, and if you’re old enough to read this then you’re old enough to accept responsibility for your actions.

Nobody expects you to have a religious conversion right here and now. Just spend some time alone in a place you feel comfortable and do some serious soul-searching. Put your ego aside and question yourself objectively. Ask yourself what’s wrong with you instead of waiting for someone else to tell you. Once you figure that out then figure out a reason and a way to fix those flaws. When you’re ready to listen to other people ask them to tell you what they wish you would fix about yourself. When they tell you don’t argue with them. Don’t say a word except to ask for clarification and elaboration. No matter what they say or how off base or rude they are, when they’re done talking say, “Thank you for telling me how you feel.” Then walk away and think about what they said.

If you disagree with anything they said, have the wisdom and humility to assume they might be right. The reason you’re an asshole is because you’ve got something figured out wrong. So when other people tell you that you’re wrong about something, there’s a good chance there’s some truth to what they’re telling you. The point of discussing your flaws isn’t to win an argument. The point is to arrive at truth. Your way of arguing has a history of ending in violence. So you need to learn how to argue effectively before you have another argument. If you can’t take criticism without getting angry at the person in front of you then ask your friends and family to write you a letter explaining why you’re an asshole and what you can do to fix it. When you read those letters, read for truth.

Look, I’m sorry I had to call you an asshole, but you needed to hear it. Now that you’ve heard it you need to face the fact that it’s true and man up and fix that not just for our sake but for your own. And don’t beat yourself up over this, and don’t get mad at the person who sent you this. Take it like an adult. Use it, and move forward so we can all get back to making the most out of our lives. Thank you for listening.

 

If you enjoyed this post, you’ll also like these:

 

Growing up and Becoming You
Happiness and Peace
Self-Esteem
Health
Drugs and Addiction
Achieving a Healthy Work/Life Balance
Leadership and Authority
My Tweets About Self-Help

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