Ever wake up and question if you’re living in a simulated reality where your senses constantly fail you and nasty demons hijack your thoughts?
Oh, you haven’t?
Yeah, me neither. I don’t think anyone has, or would ever doubt the existence of their own lives. After all, isn’t that a given?
To Descartes, it wasn’t.
For those of you who don’t spend your time reading classical literature in your basement to pass the time, Descartes was that one guy who said:
“I think, therefore I am.”
But knowing that one quote doesn’t do his philosophy justice. It’s too superficial, and let’s be honest, no one knows what it even means. …
**Side Note: I’ve gone ahead and pioneered the field of music pairing for articles. Run this piece while reading to get the most emotional value out of your read.
Hit the play button and set the volume to low for the best effect. Enjoy!**
Everything started about two years ago. It was the day I decided I was finally going to take my work seriously — for the sixth day in a row.But, as I typed out the contents of my schedule on a perfectly formatted Notion document, it felt like I was making a deal with the devil.
Listed near the top was a sinfully early time I was supposed to wake up at (without hitting snooze) for the rest of my life. The rest of my day was supposed to be a time-blocked marathon of reading, meditating, taking ice-cold showers, and hustling — whatever that’s supposed to mean. …
Some call him the intellectual hero of the 21st century. Others call him a narcissistic weapon who uses his large vocabulary to twist the fabric of reality and politics. I just call him Jordan Peterson.
But, controversy aside, it’s hard to ignore him. Peterson’s got a practical philosophy, his IQ’s probably higher than the combined intelligence of a small town, and his motivational speeches could make a toddler go through their mid-life crisis.
Let’s face it — the guy’s got his life together. He’s a professor at the University of Toronto, goes on global tours to talk about philosophy, and he casually mentioned in an interview that he could work at full concentration for 14 hours straight. …
Haven’t you done enough?
You’ve already infected more people than Canada’s entire population, and you’ve killed hundreds of thousands of people.
For a hot minute, shopping trips became a game of survival of the fittest. Skype died, Google rebranded, pastors are trying to blow the virus away with the breath of God, and people from Florida are making conspiracy theories faster than people on Twitter can spread them.
For anyone who’s still confused about those things, injecting bleach into your veins is basically the same as swallowing a tide pod and calling it a detox. The pandemic isn’t a hoax and Bill Gates isn’t behind it either. …
A couple of days ago, I came to a revelation.
If I lived right up till my life expectancy, I have about three thousand weeks left from today. That’s three thousand weeks left to try everything I’ve wanted to try, visit the places I’ve wanted to visit, meet the people I’ve wanted to meet, and become the person I’ve always wanted to become.
Or even worse, what I thought of as three thousand weeks could end the next moment. You never know.
For the first time, I realized that I wasn’t invincible just because I was young. Ignoring my own mortality wouldn’t change the fact that I’d still die someday. And when I looked at life that way, three thousand weeks didn’t seem like a whole lot of time to work with. …
My mind’s a mess.
At any moment, there’s thousands of things in my head, and it’s overwhelming. Focus doesn’t come easy, and I’ve probably spent a good portion of my life daydreaming or distracted — only to realize I missed half an hour of chemistry class or an entire conversation.
But there is one thing I’m pretty darn good at: thinking of ideas.
It just so happens that when so many thoughts fly around in my head so quickly, a few of them end up colliding by accident. Then, BOOM. …
In the early 1930’s, psychologist B.F Skinner had just designed his latest contraption, which he creatively named the Skinner box. It was a tiny room blocked off by walls on all four sides, and the only escape was a lever.
When an unlucky mouse was locked inside, it would eventually get hungry. And with no food in sight, it would start exploring its surroundings and pull the lever by accident.
When it did, a chute would open up and dispense a few food pellets into the room. Then the test ended and the mouse went back to its cage.
A while later, the same mouse went in again. This time, Skinner noticed how it pulled the lever again — slightly faster than before. …
When it comes to things like philosophy or existentialism, I’m not your guy. Don’t get me wrong — it’s not like trying the pursuit for meaning of life or the perfect belief system doesn’t interest me.
It’s just that I’ve never been able to wrap my head around complex ideas like those. And after what might’ve been hundreds of attempts, I stopped trying.
I stopped trying to look for what we were supposed to value, what we were supposed to live for, and what was right or wrong. Everyone seemed to have a “sensible” opinion on those questions. …
Around two years ago, I decided to start a little experiment. Something I would commit to for the long-term, and have some interesting results to show for it at the end.
The mission was simple. Find the world’s best and brightest and ask them the same thing: “What does success mean to you?” Over 50 people and a surprising amount of time later, it’s finally time to share my findings through some of the most pivotal stories in the journey.
**Side Note: Getting an appointment with these guys is a lost cause, so looking for them took me to the ends of the Earth. …