What a strong negative connotation! Judging. Judging things, judging people, being judgmental... these are not pleasant things that polite and civilized people do... right?
But if judging is such a fault, perhaps we should learn what exactly it is. Hmm... I don't know exactly. Maybe Merriam-Webster can enlighten us:
Judge. Transititive verb. "to form an opinion about through careful weighing of evidence and testing of premises"
Hmm. That's... not what we expected, now is it? Judging is bad. But forming an opinion through careful weighing of evidence and testing premises... that doesn't sound so bad. Hmm.
What does that sound like to me?
Got a lot of great replies and discussion in response to "The Knack for Getting Money" and "Hello, dear reader – what’s money to you?"
The "Knack" post was really popular and got spread around, and it's kind of crazy to see the reaction. I got a chance to connect with a few cool people I'd never met before over business and entrepreneurship type stuff, but also some people were really nasty. The biggest thing that surprises me is how a number of people equated wanting to make money with sociopathy.
What the hell? Looking to provide value, serve people, and get a share of the value you created is a disease?
I asked a number of people to weigh in with:
1. If they've had any interesting experiences, and, 2. Why some people act like working to make money is wrong (which seems crazy to me - provide legit service, work hard, deliver, and get a share of the value you create... duh?)
Thought-provoking correspondence with a very smart reader - I asked him for permission to post this, and he said yes but would prefer to be anonymous since it looks incredibly ambitious. These are great insights, I'd love to give him credit for them. I recommend you read the whole letter, thought provoking -
My goal is to "grow" exponentially. Each year I want to get X times "better" than the previous year.
Here's what I mean by that. Most people grow naturally, they get wiser, more experienced as time goes by. Some grow pretty slow, it takes them a lot of time to improve their skills and life, others seem to make huge jumps year after year. I guess most people, slow or fast, never think consciously about their "growth speed", they're satisfied with whatever comes naturally for them.
If you're, say, a talented programmer, you're pretty much cruising through jobs, technologies, and technical challenges. There's nothing much to be dissatisfied about and you feel like you're doing great. But, is this your natural growth limit? Can you grow even faster? Can you design your life for compound growth?
Here's a few things known to make you grow: reading books, spending time with interesting people, travelling, practicing your skills and profession, getting out of your comfort zone, learning a new skill, managing your time more efficiently, not watching TV, getting consistently good sleep, mentors, and so on. I'm sure you could easily quadruple this list.
Good questions from a reader -
There are some questions I want to ask you about the shogun era.
Why didn't the generals around Tokugawa Ieyasu aim for more power?
What were their end game?
In response to yesterday's "Tokugawa’s Generals, and Being a Great Follower," I wrote that greatness is something you define for yourself. I asked, what's your definition of greatness, then? We can think about it. The reader clarified -
I wrote down a list of great men and realized what I meant by greatness. Glory, recognition by other human beings. From conquerors, to musical virtuosos, the great men are those that are supported by the wave of existing people. Great men are those who did something that is today recognized as valuable. Great men are those that are known by "everyone". That is how I think fame should be seen. That is how I am seeing it as of now.
Something that jumps to the eyes is that it requires other people. If you are great then at least someone must be not great. I guess being successful in life is different from being great. If living a successful life is minimally having 2 kids with more opportunities than you had and a strong family then once achieved, your are successful. Greatness I think could be seen as recognized success. Perhaps self-recognized success can make you see yourself as great...
If everyone is successful and recognize that their success and others are great, then everyone is great, hence no one is great. (or otherwise said, to my belief, the word "great" loses value as "awe-some" did) Well that is how I see it. Everyone is successful in something, not all are The Great. Where were the risk-taking warriors? As I now understand, they were fearful. Then again I suppose they had to stop someday throne or no throne. Having acquired the belief that to rebel is a bad ROI.
My name is ... I contacted you a couple days ago after being completely taken by your about page. I'll keep my introduction brief.
I am 19 years old, and I am a freshman studying --- at --- University. I spend my time preparing school work, writing code, playing and writing music, trying to to take care of myself, and always looking for the next big step. Regardless of the present activity, I tend to lose myself if I am not, at least at some level, processing my thoughts and external stimuli toward a general direction of realizing ever changing day-dreams. I feel incredibly grateful to have experienced (what I consider to be) success and fulfillment in this regard thus far. So much to do, so much to learn, so much to improve, so much to live. Always.
What struck me about what I've read of your content so far is that our philosophies have many intersections—an utter refusal to settle for the status quo when it can be improved, the desire to optimize the overlooked and the under-appreciated, an insatiable thirst for knowledge, and the need to produce and contribute creatively, to name several. However, your approach seems wonderfully more refined. I've explored your writings only briefly, and already I have learned much. I very much look forward to diving deeper.
It's a pleasure to talk with you Sebastian. The fact that you make yourself available as you do is greatly appreciated and deeply humbling.
Last week's Get Some Victory newsletter laid out a simple gameplan to get to know more people. Got some good questions about it -
I appreciate the possibility of the web for making valuable relationships. Before some time a guy interested in marketing come by my blog. In the blog there is a category about marketing. He contacted me offering to swap cases or problems to solve. First he tested me with a case to see if he will be interested in the cooperation. He liked my solution to his case. We talked over skype for things of mutual interest and a relationship started. Although we dropped the thing with solving cases we help each other with information or advice.
This is a good case of creating a valuable connection by Internet. I wish to connect with more people like that and create a mutual beneficial relationship.
The problem I encounter with creating valuable relationships over Internet is how to frame, approach the situation so the result to be productive relationship. I guess there will be failures, people are different . I need an approach that will lead the contact in a mutal beneficial relationship or by other word to help each other with our problems concerning mutual interests.
Awesome email here -
One of the 900 here -- and this is my FIRST time ever emailing a Blog. I was a little hesitant to write this actually, in part because I so enjoy your blog that I almost didn't want to "burst the bubble". But after reading a lot of posts and already having spent quite a bit of time previously ( and constantly ) in introspection, I would really appreciate your input on a major stumbling block....
My short question is: How do you connect with someone? And, secondly, based on your preference of doing away with pleasantries / small talk, how do you connect with someone without the seemingly required "pleasantry" stage of a conversation?
...and other thoughts on creating content, being pro-victory/pro-wealth/pro-expansion.
Jason Shen posted up a video, "Further Thoughts on “Winning Isn't Normal"" -
I appreciate the mention in there, and I thought, yeah, let's try this video thing more.
This video includes:
-Quick thanks to Jason
"Is Exponential Growth Possible?" got a few really good comments. Riley Harrison left a really good comment and questions -
A great blog. One of the realizations that helped me was comprehending that if an insight or epiphany wasn’t actionable (didn’t lead to action) it wasn’t of much value (other than recreational). I have thought way too many deep thoughts, read too many self-empowerment books searching for the non-existent silver bullet (insight) that would allow me to bypass hard work, accumulation of small victories and risk taking.
The traditional barriers/obstacles (time, money, energy, risk taking etc) are to me somewhat secondary to just plain old inertia. But being at the right place at the right time – is that serendipitous luck or something else. You do have to factor into the equation that you are shooting at a moving target (circumstances change and you change) – times stands still for no man… As to the list of things to make you grow I would add that being conversant in the latest findings in neuroscience and positive psychology wouldn’t hurt.