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**This thread will change the way you think.**

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Antifragile

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Here are notes on things that aren't obvious but will change the way you think about life. An eclectic collection.​


  • Your habits are what drives your mood, and mood is a filter through which you experience life. Happiness is not some fantom state of joy, it is how your mood filters experiences of life.
  • The past is not some unchangeable reality, like a video recording. Your perception of the past changes as you change, and so do your memories. The past you recall is not the same as how you will perceive those same events in the future.
  • You don't even know what will make you happy. We act and make plans (like buying a Lambo) but those are a mere reflection of the best version of the past or now. We have no idea what other available outcomes are in the future. We can't picture things that do not yet exist. And since we can't predict the future outcome of our actions, we can only focus on now. Don't settle on the best version of the past, the future can be even better.
  • Is fear a sign you are on the wrong path? No, quite the opposite. This hits close to home for all entrepreneurs. Fear tells you that you are on the right path because you are moving towards something you want and like. The sign for being on a bad path is indifference. Next time you are fearful, remember you are moving towards something you like.
  • Your thoughts may actually not be your own. Social conditioning can make us believe things that weren't our thoughts or beliefs in the first place. Examine your beliefs and reflect on their origin, then decide.
  • No emotion is permanent, your anger, happiness, joy - all of it. I hope you've developed enough awareness just by being alive to know that even worst things that happened, will pass. Remember this quote: "this too shall pass".


What can you add to this thread? What surprising mind twist did you learn?
 
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Antifragile

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Emotional Intelligence - rules for life:​

  • Do not speak in definitive terms about people, politics or ideas. The idea may be wrong to you, but it exists because it is right to someone else.
  • Focus on communicating something, not just saying things to elicit validation or approval. Speak calmly, simply and mindfully.
  • Listen to hear, not to respond.
  • The world does not revolve around you. Disassociate words you hear from judgement against you. Listen to someone without worrying that what is being said is a slight against you. Try to understand the other person's perspective.
  • If you genuinely dislike something, you'd disengage from it. Your interest in a topic means you are not indifferent.
  • Don't post anything online that you wouldn't want to show your parent or explain to your child.


Can someone add some Jordan Peterson wisdom? He had two books on rule for life!
 
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biophase

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Just reading the Happiness Hypothesis and here are some key points from that book.

Two different kinds of enjoyment, pleasures and gratifications. Pleasure is like eating food, sex, buying something, etc... It gives you an instant high level of happiness but they don't last. People don't remember what their meal from last week was as even if it was great.

The other is gratification, gratifications are activities that engage you fully, draw on your strengths, and allow you to lose self-consciousness. Choose your own gratifying activities, do them regularly (but not to the point of tedium), and raise your overall level of happiness.

Conspicuous and inconspicuous consumption follow different psychological rules. Conspicuous consumption is a zero-sum game. Conspicuous consumption are things that other people can see. Inconspicuous consumption is just for you, but not really quantifiable. For example, one would get paid more on to spend it on nicer car because others can see it vs. get paid less and have more vacation days.

Activities connect us to others; objects often separate us.

 

MTF

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Just reading the Happiness Hypothesis and here are some key points from that book.

Two different kinds of enjoyment, pleasures and gratifications. Pleasure is like eating food, sex, buying something, etc... It gives you an instant high level of happiness but they don't last. People don't remember what their meal from last week was as even if it was great.

The other is gratification, gratifications are activities that engage you fully, draw on your strengths, and allow you to lose self-consciousness. Choose your own gratifying activities, do them regularly (but not to the point of tedium), and raise your overall level of happiness.

I haven't read the book so this is more like an addition to what you said.

We can also break happiness down into pleasure and virtue. The second one isn't always fun and pleasurable but it brings lasting fulfillment. The first one only brings temporary enjoyment/relief.

The above is basically how Stoics lived/live today. From How to Think Like a Roman Emperor (the part in bold mine):

Like the Cynics before them, the Stoics saw the myth of Hercules as an allegory about the virtues of courage and self-discipline. “What do you think Hercules would have amounted to,” Epictetus asks his students, “if there had not been monsters such as the Nemean lion, the Hydra, the stag of Artemis, the Erymanthian boar, and all those unjust and bestial men for him to contend with? Why, if he had sat at home, wrapped up asleep in bedsheets, living in luxury and ease, he would have been no Hercules at all!” Epictetus tells his students that just as Hercules cleansed the earth of monsters—without complaining—they should set about conquering themselves by purging the base desires and emotions from their hearts.
For Stoics, in other words, the tale of Hercules symbolizes the epic challenge of deciding who we really want to be in life, the promise of philosophy, and the temptation of giving in to pleasure and vice. The moral is that it often requires a Herculean effort to keep to the right path. But wasn’t Hercules’s life unpleasant? As we’ll see, from the Stoic perspective Hercules remained cheerful, despite the terrible things he endured. He enjoyed a profound sense of inner satisfaction knowing that he was fulfilling his destiny and expressing his true nature. His life had something far more satisfying than pleasure: it had purpose.
 

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One resource that really helped me (after doing it enough times for it to stick), was tony robbins personal power II which I think a few people here and even Tim Ferris have brought up.

There's quite a few good distinctions, like the power of focus, watching your energy and state, but one that really sunk deep and started to change me was reframing downturns and "failures" in life as challenges and checkpoints.

It's a cliche, but for anything you do, it's something you chose to do, and that thing gave you feedback. If you're smart, if you refuse to get down, you can listen to and observe what you're getting from your actions, and then change what you're doing until you get your desired outcome.

One I'm facing right now is with cold calls.
The first thought that popped to my mind after my 9th catty receptionist was "Damn, am I only going to run into receptionists? I'm NEVER going to be able to make this business work :( "
Before I could even finish the frowny face emote in my mind, I caught myself, and I changed it.
Before I even knew it, that line transformed into:
"Damn, I'm really running into a lot of receptionists, what are some good ways or techniques to win them to my side and get in touch with decision makers, reliably?
If I can do just that, I'll be swimming in sales calls."

It sounds corny, sounded corny to me the first few times I encountered it, but when I had a hard month awhile back and was sick and tired of being sick tired, I decided to just give it a go and the rest is history.
 
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Antifragile

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**Forms of happiness **​

There are three primary forms for happiness per Eric Greitens*:
- the happiness of pleasure
- the happiness of grace, and
- the happiness of excellence.

Pleasure is largely sensory. It's a god meal when you are hungry, it's the proverbial "buying a lambo" on this forum. It's waking up warm and cozy in your bed.

The happiness of grace is gratitude. It's waking up next to the love of your life. It's being grateful for the things you do have in your life.

Then there is the happiness of excellence, it only comes from a pursuit of something great. That's a premise of @Kak Kyle Keegan Radio Show. Happiness is not only the moment when you sell your company, it's enjoying the journey of building something great. It's falling in love with the process. It is the purpose that builds character and channels our energy to something far greater than a daily pursuit of our own desires.

The happiness of excellence is about emotional resilience. You will not get a high from the first few days of training to run a marathon. You will not feel accomplished when you start your "progress thread" of a new business.
  • During marathon training your legs, lungs and everything else will hurt and you will want to puke.
  • During business start up you may sleep like a baby - wake up every 3 hours and cry.

    Yet, once you get a sense of the path you are on and imagine what's possible... what you can accomplish, you start to fall in love with the process.
Discipline leads to freedom and happiness. That's because happiness is not only how we can excite our senses, but also the peace of mind that comes from knowing we are becoming who we want and need to be.


*Reference: Resilience: Hard-Won Wisdom for Living a Better Life
by Eric Greitens Navy SEAL
 

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"Knowing - doing gap"​


Continuing with notes on things that will change the way you think...

Concepts borrowed from Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. The experience of knowing the best thing to do, but doing something else anyway is a "knowing-doing gap". Buddhists call it "resistance".

One reason for this self sabotage is seeking comfort. Humans are hard wired to seek comfort for survival. But to move past this resistance, we have to alter our mindset on discomfort. You are probably thinking I am asking you to learn "being comfortable with discomfort", bullshit. No. That's a weird statement that doesn't work. As soon as you are comfortable "with discomfort" it's no longer discomfort by definition. So that's not it. What it is then? Focus instead on what you are giving up in the future. What kind of discomfort will you experience in the future if you don't do the work now?

If you had to live today on repeat, for the rest of your life - where would it get you? What kind of life would you live? Would you be happy with the outcome? Would you love your life?

(Side note: @MTF has a discomfort club newsletter, look it up in his signature. It's worth the read).

This knowing-doing gap widens when you wait to be ready. The longer you wait before you get started, the bigger the gap. And your anxiety builds up in your most idle hours. Fear and resistance creep in when you avoid doing the work.

Remember: it's easier to act your way into feelings than feel your way into action.

Now that you are done reading this post... Go do the work, one little thing that'll get the ball rolling, let that momentum build!
 

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"Knowing - doing gap"​


Continuing with notes on things that will change the way you think...

Concepts borrowed from Jeffrey Pfeffer and Robert Sutton. The experience of knowing the best thing to do, but doing something else anyway is a "knowing-doing gap". Buddhists call it "resistance".

One reason for this self sabotage is seeking comfort. Humans are hard wired to seek comfort for survival. But to move past this resistance, we have to alter our mindset on discomfort. You are probably thinking I am asking you to learn "being comfortable with discomfort", bullshit. No. That's a weird statement that doesn't work. As soon as you are comfortable "with discomfort" it's no longer discomfort by definition. So that's not it. What it is then? Focus instead on what you are giving up in the future. What kind of discomfort will you experience in the future if you don't do the work now?

If you had to live today on repeat, for the rest of your life - where would it get you? What kind of life would you live? Would you be happy with the outcome? Would you love your life?

(Side note: @MTF has a discomfort club newsletter, look it up in his signature. It's worth the read).

This knowing-doing gap widens when you wait to be ready. The longer you wait before you get started, the bigger the gap. And your anxiety builds up in your most idle hours. Fear and resistance creep in when you avoid doing the work.

Remember: it's easier to act your way into feelings than feel your way into action.

Now that you are done reading this post... Go do the work, one little thing that'll get the ball rolling, let that momentum build!
If you know you can lift 100 LBs with no discomfort, it is tempting to just do that and avoid the discomfort of heavier weights. It still feels like progress after the workout - after all, you did something!

You might be able to maintain your existing muscle, but you won't grow much without a new challenge. The challenge will grow along with you, unless you stop challenging yourself.
 
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Antifragile

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**Let go of these expectations as early in life as you can**​


The sooner you let go of these expectations, the better.

  1. You have plenty of time. Even if you are young, people die early at all ages, you are not guaranteed to live a long life. What would you do if you knew your time was short?
  2. You can be whatever you want. Nonsense, wanting something doesn't qualify you to have it. But maybe you can find a cross between your ability and interests.
  3. You can control what other people think of you. Nope. You can control how you react to people, you can even set rules on how people treat you but you cannot control how they think. Let it go. People will judge, love, hate, envy, admire you - all of that and none of that is in your control. You can only control what you do.
  4. Hard work guarantees success. Nope again. The point of hard work is to recognize the person it makes you, not what it gets you. You cannot control the future outcome, just stack the odds in your favour.
  5. Anxiety is an irritant to just learn to thwart. Pain, physical or mental is just a message that you should pay close attention to. Anxiety is what keeps us alive, if we pay attention to the message. Struggling with crippling anxiety means you are not listening to it. There is probably a major issue in your life that that you refuse to act on. But you should. It's the only way.

What can you add to the list from your own experiences? Especially if you are a bit older and could look back on life.
 

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**Let go of these expectations as early in life as you can**​


The sooner you let go of these expectations, the better.

  1. You have plenty of time. Even if you are young, people die early at all ages, you are not guaranteed to live a long life. What would you do if you knew your time was short?
  2. You can be whatever you want. Nonsense, wanting something doesn't qualify you to have it. But maybe you can find a cross between your ability and interests.
  3. You can control what other people think of you. Nope. You can control how you react to people, you can even set rules on how people treat you but you cannot control how they think. Let it go. People will judge, love, hate, envy, admire you - all of that and none of that is in your control. You can only control what you do.
  4. Hard work guarantees success. Nope again. The point of hard work is to recognize the person it makes you, not what it gets you. You cannot control the future outcome, just stack the odds in your favour.
  5. Anxiety is an irritant to just learn to thwart. Pain, physical or mental is just a message that you should pay close attention to. Anxiety is what keeps us alive, if we pay attention to the message. Struggling with crippling anxiety means you are not listening to it. There is probably a major issue in your life that that you refuse to act on. But you should. It's the only way.

What can you add to the list from your own experiences? Especially if you are a bit older and could look back on life.
Just focus on being the best in your field - don't worry about marketing or self promotion.

LOL, I used to believe this (firmly) back in college. It is so wrong!

If you find the cure for cancer, are you really going to keep it to yourself? Obviously you would tell people about it and get the word out (marketing & advertising).

If you graduate at the top of your class, but you interview poorly (i.e. you cannot "sell yourself"), you will not be getting a good job.

If I need a plumber for a broken pipe emergency, I don't care if he is "the best in the business". I just want someone competent enough to fix it, NOW. I am calling the first plumber near me I see on Google.

I'm not saying to be a hack (100% marketing and 0% skill). I am saying that you need to get those customers in the first place. Then, they will see how good you are and spread the word about you!
 

Antifragile

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Just focus on being the best in your field - don't worry about marketing or self promotion.

LOL, I used to believe this (firmly) back in college. It is so wrong!

This is excellent! I still struggle with this. I don't seek out spotlight and am always worried about self promotion turning into "bragging". But marketing is a must for any business (and person).

I'll tag a few more people that I think will have something to share on this topic: @Andy Black @SteveO - curious about what expectations you've let go when you were younger? What expectations were slowing you down until you've changed the way you think? How about @Kak, @thechosen1 and @MitchC ?
 
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Antifragile

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Please, could you explain this ? I don't understand why fear should mean I like what I'm going towards.

Imagine the reverse. That means you are moving towards something you don't like. But if that's the case, you'd be indifferent and not care one bit. It wouldn't matter if were successful or a failure in that area, because you didn't like or care about it. Take a job interview as an example. If you really want the job, you'll have some fear. It's only natural. But if you are an entrepreneur who doesn't need or want a job and for shits and giggles decided to take an interview - you'd be indifferent. You'd have zero fear.

Hope this helps :)
 

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Imagine the reverse. That means you are moving towards something you don't like. But if that's the case, you'd be indifferent and not care one bit. It wouldn't matter if were successful or a failure in that area, because you didn't like or care about it. Take a job interview as an example. If you really want the job, you'll have some fear. It's only natural. But if you are an entrepreneur who doesn't need or want a job and for shits and giggles decided to take an interview - you'd be indifferent. You'd have zero fear.

Hope this helps :)
Oh, ok. I get it better now. thanks
 
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Andy Black

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@Andy Black @SteveO - curious about what expectations you've let go when you were younger?
Can you clarify what you mean by “expectations” when we were younger?
 

Antifragile

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Can you clarify what you mean by “expectations” when we were younger?

Hmm... I can't seem to think of another word for it. But think of it like this:
- what did you expect to be one way, but it turns out it was not that way at all?
Steven Covey called it "paradigm shifts" in his 7 Habits book.
 

Andy Black

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what did you expect to be one way, but it turns out it was not that way at all?
Hmm. I’ll think about it. Nothing springs to mind.

If anything, things have been more than I expected. Losing loved ones is more pain than I could ever have imagined. Becoming a parent is more amazing than I could ever have imagined.

I suppose business and life is simpler than I expected. Help people. Reward people with attention. Lead with positivity.
 
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This is excellent! I still struggle with this. I don't seek out spotlight and am always worried about self promotion turning into "bragging". But marketing is a must for any business (and person).

I'll tag a few more people that I think will have something to share on this topic: @Andy Black @SteveO - curious about what expectations you've let go when you were younger? What expectations were slowing you down until you've changed the way you think? How about @Kak, @thechosen1 and @MitchC ?
I am still learning about this, but it does seem that you must "toot your own horn" if you want to get anywhere in life.

I always believed that results speak for themselves - that's been deeply ingrained into who I am, passed from family values, BUT my experiences have shown me that the people who rise to the top are pretty loud with their accomplishments... And sometimes the best person is not the one who wins (sadly), the best product doesn't win, the best business doesn't grow the most...

The marketing/branding/promotion of your business, or even of YOU does in fact matter quite a lot...

So I am working on that.

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease," as they say.
 

Antifragile

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How many times have you heard someone say "I don't know what I am doing with my life"? Probably a lot.​


And you know what?

The notion that we must have everything figured out by a certain age is an illusion that has been projected on us since childhood. We're told that we need to find our purpose in life, as if there is only one specific thing we're meant to do. But the truth is, no one really knows what they'll be doing in 5 years, let alone their entire life. The future is unknown, and that's okay.

Thinking that you "know what you are doing with your life" quells your hunger. It soothes your thoughts with the illusion that your path is now known. That you no longer are making these hard decisions daily. That you are not responsible for becoming a person you are meant to be. And it's holding you back.

What's important is that we have hunger in our lives. That we are constantly striving for more, even when we feel like we've reached a level of success. Complete fulfilment is the fast track to complacency. People don't thrive when they are fulfilled. They stagnate.

So if you're feeling lost and uncertain about your life, know that you're not alone. And know that it's okay to not have everything figured out. Embrace the unknown, and keep moving forward. Hunger is what will keep you alive.

Ask yourself:
- What one thing that if I started doing daily would change my life for the better?
- What do I want?

And keep adjusting, keep grinding.
 

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You can control what other people think of you. Nope. You can control how you react to people, you can even set rules on how people treat you but you cannot control how they think. Let it go. People will judge, love, hate, envy, admire you - all of that and none of that is in your control. You can only control what you do.
Wow, this is great. I’ve been trying to stop caring about what other people think about me for some time. I can’t control their thoughts, so idk why I care so much. It’s pretty bad tbh.

For example, today, I didn’t even want to create a business account on Facebook for advertising cuz I kept thinking, “what if my friends see this.” I seem to do stuff like this all the time(sometimes without even noticing)

I really don’t know why but I feel like it could stem from some fear of failure/rejection. I think I subconsciously think that if I told them what I was doing and it didn’t work out, they would look at me differently.

I also was a quiet person growing up but I’ve made a ton of progress in that area in the last 7-8 years and recently joined toastmasters to help with my public speaking. I definitely need to work on not caring what other people think though. Looking at it this way will help, so thank you for this!
 

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I am still learning about this, but it does seem that you must "toot your own horn" if you want to get anywhere in life.

I always believed that results speak for themselves - that's been deeply ingrained into who I am, passed from family values, BUT my experiences have shown me that the people who rise to the top are pretty loud with their accomplishments... And sometimes the best person is not the one who wins (sadly), the best product doesn't win, the best business doesn't grow the most...

The marketing/branding/promotion of your business, or even of YOU does in fact matter quite a lot...

So I am working on that.

"The squeaky wheel gets the grease," as they say.
Most of my business doesn’t come from me talking about my work. It comes from clients referring me to other people.

I don’t really have a website. My online content is a library I point people to so I don’t repeat myself. My biggest clients never saw it.

Thumbnails? SEO? Email lists? Meh. I put my effort into getting more leads for clients and that’s what gets me more clients.
 

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The world does not revolve around you. Disassociate words you hear from judgement against you. Listen to someone without worrying that what is being said is a slight against you. Try to understand the other person's perspective.
this is insightful, i read it somewhere , i cant place it but it work's so much for me....Listen to understand, don't judge, never put your emotions either. But if it makes sense "Embrace it.
 
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Antifragile

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"But countless studies have shown that a cue and a reward, on their own, aren’t enough for a new habit to last. Only when your brain starts expecting the reward—craving the endorphins or sense of accomplishment—will it become automatic to lace up your jogging shoes each morning." (Charles Duhigg, The Power of Habit)

"The first step toward antifragility consists in first decreasing downside, rather than increasing upside; that is, by lowering exposure to negative Black Swans and letting natural antifragility work by itself." (Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile)

"The human mind is like a sailboat on a sea with strong currents and a steady wind. We tend to just follow the currents of our biases and can easily be manipulated and blown about." (Steven Novella, The Skeptics' Guide to the Universe)

"The person who does the most talking and the person who is the most successful are rarely the same person." (David J Schwartz, The Magic of Thinking Big)
 

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There is no way you can ever know "objective reality".​

Biases, Naive Realism

Ancient Greeks called it "naive realism", the assumption that we see the world as it is. Yet everything that's ever happened to you, was an interpretation of events in your own head. You fabricated your own reality and there is no way for any of us to know "objective reality".

Confused? Let's dive into **biases** that make it so.

1. **Projection**. We project our own preferences, and how we are onto what we see around us. The world we see isn't objective, we see the world the way we are. Think about an "odd" or "typical" person you meet. What is "odd" to you, may be "typical" to the crypto/blockchain community, say the way Vitalik dressed in pyjamas on a stage.
2. **Extrapolation**. We tend to look at our current circumstances and project them onto our entire lives. Think about why tragedies seem so insurmountable. Yet nothing lasts forever, this too shall pass.
3. **Anchoring**. The first piece of information we get has a major influence on us. Car sales people know this. They often shape a "reality" for you by showing you a range of possibilities. Just imagine yourself in this top of the line ____! And thus anchoring you well outside your own initial needs and desires.
4. **Clustering**. We tend to see patterns in everything, even random events. This is why so many are superstitious. We are wired that way. Unfortunately, it is the opposite of the scientific method. Worse yet, we are not wired to think in probabilities (far closer to objective reality and useful in our lives)!
5. **Confirmation**. This may be the most commonly known bias, and for a good reason. Especially in the age of social media, we can sort and read only information that already confirms out beliefs. The more we read, the more convinced we are in our "subjective reality", we self-validate.

These are just some of the reasons why we cannot know an "objective reality", these biases stand in the way.

What can you add to the list?
 

SteveO

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: @Andy Black @SteveO - curious about what expectations you've let go when you were younger? What expectations were slowing you down until you've changed the way you think?
My expectations were very limited when I was young. All I wanted was to make a few bucks to support the family.

There was not a lot of hope in the younger years. We were poor. The school I went to had a lot of people with money. I always thought I was scum and inferior to others. Sports helped change that though. I was a top runner in the state which gave me confidence. But I could not afford to attend the events that others could get to.

I was in my mid thirty's when I came around to the feeling that I was as good as anyone else.

Now I don't even care about that. I look at a day laborer as an equal.

Nobody is better than anyone else.
 
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thechosen1

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My expectations were very limited when I was young. All I wanted was to make a few bucks to support the family.

There was not a lot of hope in the younger years. We were poor. The school I went to had a lot of people with money. I always thought I was scum and inferior to others. Sports helped change that though. I was a top runner in the state which gave me confidence. But I could not afford to attend the events that others could get to.

I was in my mid thirty's when I came around to the feeling that I was as good as anyone else.

Now I don't even care about that. I look at a day laborer as an equal.

Nobody is better than anyone else.
I feel the same way intrinsically - nobody is inherently better than anyone else - but I do feel that people can be better by their attitudes, sometimes. You are a lot wiser.

Maybe I'll grow out of that :p
 

MJ DeMarco

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I upgraded this to GOLD a few days ago, but didn't mention it, thanks @Antifragile for sharing your life wisdom.
 

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