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jerryking : autonomy   10

20 Brutal Truths About Life No One Wants to Admit
SEP 7, 2016 | Inc.com | By Matthew Jones.

1. You're going to die and you have no idea when.
Stop pretending that you're invincible. Acknowledge the fact of your own mortality, and then start structuring your life in a more meaningful way.

2. Everyone you love is going to die, and you don't know when.
This truth may be saddening at first, but it also gives you permission to make amends with past difficulties and re-establish meaningful relationships with important figures in your life.

3. Your material wealth won't make you a better or happier person.
Even if you're one of the lucky ones who achieves his or her materialistic dreams, money only amplifies that which was already present.

4. Your obsession with finding happiness is what prevents its attainment.
Happiness is always present in your life--it's just a matter of connecting to it and allowing it to flow through you that's challenging.

5. Donating money does less than donating time.
Giving your time is a way to change your perception and create a memory for yourself and others that will last forever.

6. You can't make everyone happy, and if you try, you'll lose yourself.
Stop trying to please, and start respecting your values, principles, and autonomy.

7. You can't be perfect, and holding yourself to unrealistic standards creates suffering.
Many perfectionists have unrelenting inner critics that are full of so much rage and self-hate that it tears them apart inside. Fight back against that negative voice, amplify your intuition, and start challenging your unrealistic standards.

8. Your thoughts are less important than your feelings and your feelings need acknowledgment.
Intellectually thinking through your problems isn't as helpful as expressing the feelings that create your difficulties in the first place.

9. Your actions speak louder than your words, so you need to hold yourself accountable.
Be responsible and take actions that increase positivity and love.

10. Your achievements and successes won't matter on your death bed.
When your time has come to transition from this reality, you won't be thinking about that raise; you'll be thinking about the relationships you've made--so start acting accordingly.

11. Your talent means nothing without consistent effort and practice.
Some of the most talented people in the world never move out from their parent's basement.

12. Now is the only time that matters, so stop wasting it by ruminating on the past or planning the future.
You can't control the past, and you can't predict the future, and trying to do so only removes you from the one thing you can control--the present.

13. Nobody cares how difficult your life is, and you are the author of your life's story.
Stop looking for people to give you sympathy and start creating the life story you want to read.

14. Your words are more important than your thoughts, so start inspiring people.
Words have the power to oppress, hurt, and shame, but they also have the power to liberate and inspire--start using them more wisely.

15. Investing in yourself isn't selfish. It's the most worthwhile thing you can do.
You have to put on your own gas mask to save the person sitting right next to you.

16. It's not what happens, it's how you react that matters.
Train yourself to respond in a way that leads to better outcomes.

17. You need to improve your relationships to have lasting happiness.
Relationships have a greater impact on your wellbeing and happiness than your income or your occupation, so make sure you give your relationship the attention and work it deserves.

18. Pleasure is temporary and fleeting, so stop chasing fireworks and start building a constellation. Don't settle for an ego boost right now when you can delay gratification and experience deeper fulfillment.

19. Your ambition means nothing without execution--it's time to put in the work.
If you want to change the world, then go out there and do it!

20. Time is your most valuable asset--you need to prioritize how you spend it.
accountability  affirmations  autonomy  consistency  delayed_gratification  efforts  emotional_mastery  execution  good_enough  gut_feelings  happiness  hard_truths  invest_in_yourself  living_in_the_moment  mindfulness  mortality  mybestlife  no_sob_stories  practice  principles  priorities  relationships  serving_others  truth-telling  values  volunteering 
november 2019 by jerryking
John Stuart Mill Showed Democracy as a Way of Life - The New York Times
David Brooks JAN. 15, 2018

John Stuart Mill demonstrated that democratic citizenship is a way of life, a moral stance and a humanistic adventure.....Mill is famous for his celebration of individual liberty. But he was not an “anything goes” nihilist. He was not a mellow “You do you and I’ll be me” relativist.

In the first place, he demanded constant arduous self-improvement. In his outstanding biography, Richard Reeves points out that in “On Liberty,” Mill used the words “energy,” “active” and “vital” nearly as many times as he used the word “freedom.” Freedom for him was a means, not an end. The end is moral excellence. Mill believed that all of us “are under a moral obligation to seek the improvement of our moral character.”

“At the heart of his liberalism,” Reeves writes, “was a clearly and repeatedly articulated vision of a flourishing human life — self-improving, passionate, truth-seeking, engaged and colorful.”.... staged a lifelong gentle revolt against his father’s shallow intellectual utilitarianism.

Having been raised in this way and, as an adult, living in Victorian England, what he hated most was narrowness, conformity, the crushing of individuals under the weight of peer pressure, government power or public opinion.....Mill cures us from the weakness of our age — the belief that we can achieve democracy on the cheap; the belief that all we have to do to fulfill our democratic duties is be nice, vote occasionally and have opinions. Mill showed that real citizenship is a life-transforming vocation. It involves, at base, cultivating the ability to discern good from evil, developing the intellectual virtues required to separate the rigorous from the sloppy, living an adventurous life so that you are rooting yourself among and serving those who are completely unlike yourself.

The demands of democracy are clear — the elevation and transformation of your very self. If you are not transformed, you’re just skating by.
David_Brooks  democracy  Victorian  values  arduous  critical_thinking  tough-mindedness  rigour  discomforts  struggles  history  op-ed  profile  philosophy  utilitarianism  liberal  political_theory  John_Stuart_Mill  self-improvement  19th_century  liberalism  indivualized  self-actualization  individual_choice  autonomy  engaged_citizenry  intellectually_rigorous  moral_codes  way_of_life 
january 2018 by jerryking
Aziz Ansari Is Guilty. Of Not Being a Mind Reader.
JAN. 15, 2018 | The New York Times | By BARI WEISS.

All of this put me in mind of another article published this weekend, this one by the novelist and feminist icon Margaret Atwood. “My fundamental position is that women are human beings,” she writes. “Nor do I believe that women are children, incapable of agency or of making moral decisions. If they were, we’re back to the 19th century, and women should not own property, have credit cards, have access to higher education, control their own reproduction or vote.
consent  feminism  dating  relationships  funnies  autonomy  beyond_one's_control 
january 2018 by jerryking
How Covenants Make Us - The New York Times
David Brooks APRIL 5, 2016

there are four big forces coursing through modern societies. Global migration is leading to demographic diversity. Economic globalization is creating wider opportunity but also inequality. The Internet is giving people more choices over what to buy and pay attention to. A culture of autonomy valorizes individual choice and self-determination.

All of these forces have liberated the individual, or at least well-educated individuals, but they have been bad for national cohesion and the social fabric. Income inequality challenges economic cohesion as the classes divide. Demographic diversity challenges cultural cohesion as different ethnic groups rub against one another. The emphasis on individual choice challenges community cohesion and settled social bonds.....Strong identities can come only when people are embedded in a rich social fabric. They can come only when we have defined social roles...You take away a rich social fabric and what you are left with is people who are uncertain about who they really are....how do we preserve individual freedom while strengthening social solidarity?

In her new book “Commonwealth and Covenant,” Marcia Pally of N.Y.U. and Fordham offers a clarifying concept. What we want, she suggests, is “separability amid situatedness.” We want to go off and create and explore and experiment with new ways of thinking and living. But we also want to be situated — embedded in loving families and enveloping communities, thriving within a healthy cultural infrastructure that provides us with values and goals.

Creating situatedness requires a different way of thinking. When we go out and do a deal, we make a contract. When we are situated within something it is because we have made a covenant. A contract protects interests, Pally notes, but a covenant protects relationships. A covenant exists between people who understand they are part of one another. It involves a vow to serve the relationship that is sealed by love: Where you go, I will go. Where you stay, I will stay. Your people shall be my people....Tolerance, he said, means, “I’m going to stomach your right to be different, but if you disappear off the face of the earth I’m no worse off.” Patriotism, on the other hand, means “love of country, which necessitates love of each other, that we have to be a nation that aspires for love, which recognizes that you have worth and dignity and I need you. You are part of my whole, part of the promise of this country.”
David_Brooks  community  social_collaboration  social_integration  covenants  patriotism  books  Commonwealth  values  social_fabric  social_cohesion  social_contract  tolerance  autonomy  individual_choice  self-determination  college-educated  pay_attention 
april 2016 by jerryking
Toronto’s school board isn’t just troubled. It’s rotten - The Globe and Mail
MARCUS GEE
The Globe and Mail
Published Friday, Jan. 16 2015

It is just as hard to imagine how a government that balks at breaking up a ridiculous and wholly unnecessary commercial monopoly such as the Beer Store is going to undertake a root-and-branch reform of the country’s biggest school board. Yet that is what is called for – nothing less.

The problem at the TDSB goes far beyond a few trustees with swollen heads. The rot at the board is deeper than that. Teachers’ unions and custodians’ unions have far too much power, individual teachers and principals far too little. The dead hand of the education bureaucracy stifles innovation and creativity.
TDSB  education  mediocrity  Marcus_Gee  mismanagement  schools  performance  bureaucracies  dysfunction  reform  root-and-branch  unions  autonomy  leadership 
january 2015 by jerryking
The Mental Virtues - NYTimes.com
AUG. 28, 2014| NYT | David Brooks.

Thinking well under a barrage of information may be a different sort of moral challenge than fighting well under a hail of bullets, but it’s a character challenge nonetheless. In their 2007 book, “Intellectual Virtues,” Robert C. Roberts of Baylor University and W. Jay Wood of Wheaton College list some of the cerebral virtues. We can all grade ourselves on how good we are at each of them.

First, there is love of learning.
Second, there is courage. Not just the willingness to hold unpopular views. But the subtler form, which is knowing how much risk to take in jumping to conclusions. Reckless thinkers take scraps of information and leaps to some faraway conspiracy theories. Perfectionists are silenced, except under ideal conditions, for fear of being wrong. Intellectual courage is self-regulation--knowing when to be daring and when to be cautious. And guarding against confirmation bias.

Third, there is firmness. Don’t be the person who surrenders his beliefs at the slightest whiff of opposition. On the other hand, you don’t want to hold dogmatically to a belief against all evidence. The median point between flaccidity and rigidity is the virtue of firmness.

Fourth, there is humility, which is not letting your own desire for status get in the way of accuracy. Fight against vanity and self-importance.

Fifth, there is autonomy. Don’t be a person who slavishly adopts whatever opinion your teacher or some author gives you. On the other hand, don’t reject all guidance from people who know what they are talking about. Autonomy is the median of knowing when to bow to authority and when not to, when to follow a role model and when not to, when to adhere to tradition and when not to.[In this case, autonomy sounds a lot like judgment]

Finally, there is generosity. This virtue starts with the willingness to share knowledge and give others credit. But it also means hearing others as they would like to be heard, looking for what each person has to teach and not looking to triumphantly pounce upon their errors.
David_Brooks  thinking  howto  cognitive_skills  biases  virtues  humility  intellectual_courage  courage  autonomy  resolve  generosity  praise  grace  firmness  confirmation_bias  self-regulation  recklessness  cerebral  perfection  independent_viewpoints  discernment  self-importance  pairs 
august 2014 by jerryking
Old like me. Why elderly care needs more risk - The Globe and Mail
Saskia Sivananthan

Contributed to The Globe and Mail

Published Sunday, Mar. 23 2014

We must rethink our approach to managing risk in nursing homes, especially when doing so means limiting residents’ freedom to choose their own way.

It’s a poignant reminder of the daily challenges staff and residents at every nursing home face. They are also part of a theme that played into almost every aspect of my stay: How do you balance safety with autonomy for residents?

Safety is clearly important; often people move to nursing homes precisely because they can no longer manage living without 24-hour care. At the same time, this tightrope balance invokes the fear paramount in most people’s mind when they think about institutional living – losing their autonomy, not choking on breakfast.

The regulations for long-term care in most provinces prioritize medical needs and safety over autonomy. Public reporting of quality indicators at long-term care homes include safety as one of five attributes of a high-performing system – but autonomy is not considered.....we take these calculated risks every day: slicing bread, crossing the street, staying up late. Suddenly being regarded as unable to make decisions you’ve made all your life contributes to a feeling of disempowerment. In our attempt to remove all risk in nursing homes we have ended up with regulations that are so extreme that residents may no longer have autonomy or feel at home....Many of the new models of long-term care homes coming out of Europe have embraced this concept of calculated risk. There is a much lauded dementia village Hogeweyk in the Netherlands.....Denmark also focuses on autonomy. Nursing homes there are truly run as ‘homes’ rather than institutions, with the result that residents become family. One facility of 23 residents, 70 per cent of whom have dementia, takes Caribbean vacations together. Imagine the risk.

We must rethink our approach to managing risk in nursing homes, especially when doing so means limiting residents’ freedom to choose their own way.

One writer described a nursing home in Denmark as a place where “…old people could drink, laugh and love themselves into death.” When I have to go back to a nursing home, that’s where I want to go.
aging  elderly  free_will  freedom  nursing_homes  safety  autonomy  tradeoffs  disempowerment  risks  risk-taking  counterintuitive 
march 2014 by jerryking
H.P.’s Misstep Shows Risk in the Push for Big Ideas - NYTimes.com
November 21, 2012 | NYT | By QUENTIN HARDY.

The ill-fated marriage of the companies is a lesson for H.P. and other older technology giants as they throw billions at supposedly game-changing acquisitions, trying to gain a foothold in the future.

In that future, smartphones and tablets, connected to cloud-computing data centers, are the essential tools of work and play. Companies rent software over the air, rather than buying it with expensive maintenance contracts.

And vast streams of data are continually analyzed to find new patterns and make predictions about consumer behavior and product design. Autonomy, for instance, makes software that can analyze marketing patterns and advise a company on matters like where it should increase marketing resources.

These forces threaten older businesses, like H.P.’s traditional personal computer and data storage products. Other companies, like Oracle, Microsoft and Cisco, also face pressure. They are all trying to buy the future — and have the cash to do it..... But identifying the next big thing can be difficult, said Jeffrey Sonnenfeld, a professor of management at Yale University. Likely as not, he said, deals like the one for Autonomy have “maybe a 40 percent success, 60 percent failure rate.”

He added, “The odds are against you succeeding, but the odds are also worth taking.”

The real hazard, he said, is in the way companies describe these acquisitions as “natural, inevitable victories.” They should be seen, he said, as “an investment, like in research and development.”
Autonomy  big_bets  breakthroughs  cloud_computing  cultural_clash  failure  game_changers  HP  ideas  M&A  Meg_Whitman  mergers_&_acquisitions  mistakes  missteps  moonshots  Quentin_Hardy  risks  SaaS  subscriptions  success_rates 
november 2012 by jerryking
The Talent Society - NYTimes.com
By DAVID BROOKS
Published: February 20, 2012

The trend is pretty clear. Fifty years ago, America was groupy. People were more likely to be enmeshed in stable, dense and obligatory relationships. They were more defined by permanent social roles: mother, father, deacon. Today, individuals have more freedom. They move between more diverse, loosely structured and flexible networks of relationships.

People are less likely to be trapped in bad marriages and bad situations. They move from network to network, depending on their individual needs at the moment. At the same time, bonds are probably shallower and more tenuous.

We can all think of reasons for this transformation. Affluence: people have more money to live apart if they want to. Feminism: women have more power to define their own lives. The aging society: more widows and widowers live alone. The information revolution: the Internet and smartphones make it easier to construct far-flung, flexible networks. Skepticism: more people believe that marriage is not for them.

But if there is one theme that weaves through all the different causes, it is this: The maximization of talent. People want more space to develop their own individual talents. They want more flexibility to explore their own interests and develop their own identities, lifestyles and capacities. They are more impatient with situations that they find stifling.
quirky  JCK  talent  social_networking  solo  David_Brooks  self-determination  indivualized  self-actualization  individual_choice  autonomy 
february 2012 by jerryking
The need for fathers
Nov 29, 2005| The Globe and Mail pg. A.20 | Carol Richards-Sauer.

Your editorial rightly claims we need to admit that the absence of black fathers contributes to social alienation and violent behaviour among some of their sons. The silence that you decry, however, is not universal.

Recently, I have participated in a town-hall meeting and been in the audience at a round-table discussion about gun violence.

Each time, at least one brave black person from the audience spoke about the issue. Each time, their comments sparked little discussion or self-evaluation.

The topic is rarely addressed because too many community leaders, often self-appointed, have become too focused on blaming forces from without that we can't control as primary or sole causes of black disenfranchisement.

We need to recognize also those forces from within that we can control. We need to characterize ourselves not just as people to whom bad things are done (racism, police brutality, school suspensions etc.) but also as people who make choices that sometimes lead to bad results.

This is necessary to make any true change and to win helpful alliances
ProQuest  fatherhood  family  dysfunction  African_Canadians  disenfranchisement  silence  individual_choice  autonomy  violence  killings  family_breakdown  systemic_discrimination  systemic_racism  beyond_one's_control 
november 2011 by jerryking

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