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jerryking : courage   20

Why Is Silicon Valley So Obsessed With the Virtue of Suffering?
March 26, 2019 | The New York Times | By Nellie Bowles.

a new entrepreneurship-focused lobbying firm, the Cicero Institute.
Daily Stoic, a popular blog for the tech-Stoic community.
“Meditations,” by Marcus Aurelius
“A Guide to the Good Life: The Ancient Art of Stoic Joy,” by William B. Irvine
Ryan Holiday’s life-hacking books on Stoicism.
Search for books by Ada Palmer.

The wealthy of Silicon Valley ought to be living their very best lives right now. John Doerr, an early Amazon and Google investor, calls their moment “the greatest legal accumulation of wealth in history.” And yet, the people of Silicon Valley seem determined to make themselves miserable. They sit in painful, silent meditations for weeks on end. They starve for days — on purpose. Cold morning showers are a bragging right. Notoriety is a badge of honor. So the most helpful clues to understanding Silicon Valley today may come from its favorite ancient philosophy: Stoicism. An ancient Greek school of thought, Stoicism argued that the only real treasures in life were inner virtues, like self-mastery and courage. The Stoics offered tactics to endure pain and pleasure without complaint.

* Is this really a thing? - Some executives in SV believe that our pleasing, on-demand life will make them soft. So they attempt to induce pain..... incorporate practices in our lives that “mimic” our ancestors’ environments and their daily challenges....Tim Ferriss wrote on his blog that Stoicism is “an ideal ‘operating system’ for thriving in high-stress environments.”.....there are the founders who may not call themselves Stoics, but who practice some of its tenets (e.g. Jack Dorsey, Twitter's C.E.O., who likes to walk five miles to work each day and meditates in silence 10 days each year.
* Why are they attracted to Stoicism? - Stoicism “a wonderful therapy against grief and the blinders of the rat race.” “So much of Stoicism is about achieving interior tranquillity,”
* Why does it matter? - The Cicero Institute comes at a time of tension in Silicon Valley.
books  courage  discomforts  emotional_mastery  endurance  founders  Greek  high-stress  inner-directed  inner_peace  John_Doerr  joyless  philosophy  Roman  Ryan_Holiday  self-deprivation  self-mastery  Silicon_Valley  Stoics  suffering  Tim_Ferris  tough-mindedness  virtues 
march 2019 by jerryking
The Dying Art of Disagreement
SEPT. 24, 2017 | The New York Times | Bret Stephens.

The title of my talk tonight is “The Dying Art of Disagreement.”.......But to say, I disagree; I refuse; you’re wrong; etiam si omnes — ego non — these are the words that define our individuality, give us our freedom, enjoin our tolerance, enlarge our perspectives, seize our attention, energize our progress, make our democracies real, and give hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere. Galileo and Darwin; Mandela, Havel, and Liu Xiaobo; Rosa Parks and Natan Sharansky — such are the ranks of those who disagree......The polarization is geographic.......The polarization is personal........Finally the polarization is electronic and digital, .......What we did was read books that raised serious questions about the human condition, and which invited us to attempt to ask serious questions of our own. Education, in this sense, wasn’t a “teaching” with any fixed lesson. It was an exercise in interrogation.

To listen and understand; to question and disagree; to treat no proposition as sacred and no objection as impious; to be willing to entertain unpopular ideas and cultivate the habits of an open mind ....uChicago showed us something else: that every great idea is really just a spectacular disagreement with some other great idea....to disagree well you must first understand well. You have to read deeply, listen carefully, watch closely. You need to grant your adversary moral respect; give him the intellectual benefit of doubt; have sympathy for his motives and participate empathically with his line of reasoning. And you need to allow for the possibility that you might yet be persuaded of what he has to say........there’s such a thing as private ownership in the public interest, and of fiduciary duties not only to shareholders but also to citizens. Journalism is not just any other business, like trucking or food services. .....But no country can have good government, or a healthy public square, without high-quality journalism — journalism that can distinguish a fact from a belief and again from an opinion; that understands that the purpose of opinion isn’t to depart from facts but to use them as a bridge to a larger idea called “truth”; and that appreciates that truth is a large enough destination that, like Manhattan, it can be reached by many bridges of radically different designs. In other words, journalism that is grounded in facts while abounding in disagreements.

I believe it is still possible — and all the more necessary — for journalism to perform these functions, especially as the other institutions that were meant to do so have fallen short. But that requires proprietors and publishers who understand that their role ought not to be to push a party line, or be a slave to Google hits and Facebook ads, or provide a titillating kind of news entertainment, or help out a president or prime minister who they favor or who’s in trouble.

Their role is to clarify the terms of debate by championing aggressive and objective news reporting, and improve the quality of debate with commentary that opens minds and challenges assumptions rather than merely confirming them.

This is journalism in defense of liberalism, not liberal in the left-wing American or right-wing Australian sense, but liberal in its belief that the individual is more than just an identity, and that free men and women do not need to be protected from discomfiting ideas and unpopular arguments. More than ever, they need to be exposed to them, so that we may revive the arts of disagreement that are the best foundation of intelligent democratic life.
assumptions  Bret_Stephens  civics  Colleges_&_Universities  courage  critical_thinking  dangerous_ideas  demagoguery  difficult_conversations  disagreements  discomforts  dissension  dual-consciousness  free_speech  good_governance  high-quality  identity_politics  journalism  liberalism  open_mind  polarization  the_human_condition  uChicago 
september 2017 by jerryking
President Obama Quotes Carl Sagan at Rutgers: “Embrace What is True Rather Than What Feels Good”
It calls to mind the words of Carl Sagan, who graduated high school here in New Jersey, he said: “We can judge our progress by the courage of our questions and the depths of our answers, our willingness to embrace what is true rather than what feels good.”
questions  quotes  Obama  affirmations  self-delusions  courage  arduous 
june 2016 by jerryking
The test of true political leadership is to risk change - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Thursday, May. 28 2015

The most essential ingredient for any “Big Idea,” however, is leadership.

Leadership that not only anticipates the need for change but is determined to implement change. Not in pursuit of popularity but to serve the national interest.

The test of true leadership hinges on judgments between risk and reward.

Change of any kind requires risk, political risk. It can and will generate unpopularity from those who oppose change. The choice for Canada or the United Kingdom in a fast-changing global environment is either to adapt quickly and take advantage of the changes happening or watch from the sidelines....As Reinhold Niebuhr reminded us: “Nothing worth doing is completed in our lifetime; therefore, we must be saved by hope. Nothing fine or beautiful or good makes complete sense in any immediate context of history; therefore, we must be saved by faith.”(jk: the importance of having a long-term vision & exhibiting faith in pursuing it).

It is in this perspective that great and controversial questions of public policy must be considered.

History tends to focus on the builders, the deciders, the leaders – because they are the men and women whose contributions have shaped the destiny of their nations, here and around the world.

From the bloodied sands of Afghanistan to the snows and waters of the High Arctic, the Canada of 50 years from now will be defined by the leadership we are given today.
Brian_Mulroney  speeches  Oxford  leadership  politicians  Cold_War  9/11  NAFTA  '80s  history  leaders  risks  transformational  courage  political_risk  fast-changing  free-trade  public_policy 
may 2015 by jerryking
Real leadership is about transformation - The Globe and Mail
BRIAN MULRONEY
Contributed to The Globe and Mail
Published Monday, May. 04 2015

In his seminal work on leadership, James MacGregor Burns segregates “transactional” from “transforming” leadership. He writes that it is the transforming leader who “raises the level of human conduct of both leader and led … who responds to fundamental hopes and expectations and who may transcend and even seek to reconstruct the political system rather than simply operate within it.”

Time is the ally of leaders who placed the defence of principle ahead of the pursuit of popularity. And history has little time for the marginal roles played by the carpers and complainers and less for their opinions. History tends to focus on the builders, the deciders, the leaders – in education, health care, science, business, the arts as well as politics – because they are the men and women whose contributions have shaped the destiny of their nations.

Theodore Roosevelt had courageous leaders in mind when he spoke at La Sorbonne and said: “It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood ... who spends himself in a worthy cause, and who, at the best, knows in the end the triumphs of high achievement and who, at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who know neither victory nor defeat.”

In fact, “transforming leadership” – leadership that makes a significant difference in the life of a nation – recognizes that political capital is acquired to be spent in great causes for one’s country.
St._FX  convocation  Brian_Mulroney  leaders  leadership  speeches  commencement  Theodore_Roosevelt  Communicating_&_Connecting  transformational  courage  political_capital  Great_Man_Theory_of_History  doers 
may 2015 by jerryking
Taking Risks in Love - NYTimes.com
FEB. 13, 2015 | NYT | Arthur Brooks.

If we want more love, we must conquer fear. We must take personal risks for big potential romantic rewards. Forget test-driving a relationship for 10 years, or searching for someone so perfectly matched as to resemble a sibling.

Love is supposed to be a little scary because it is uncertain. I remember moments when my own romantic venture seemed doomed and foolish. Courage means feeling the fear of rejection and loss but pursuing love anyway....The second thing love requires is mindfulness — pure focus, and total engagement in the current activity. “While washing the dishes,” the Buddhist monk Thich Nhat Hanh teaches, “one should only be washing the dishes.”

But mindfulness goes beyond the mundane; it is also the key to victory in the most audacious ventures. Emerging research shows that practicing mindfulness changes the structure of the brain in beneficial ways that make people more effective in business. Successful entrepreneurs have the uncanny ability to reside in the present moment even while working toward their goal. Lovers need the same mindful focus.
relationships  dating  marriage  courage  focus  personal_risk  romance  romantic_love  valentine  fear  mindfulness  seminal_moments 
february 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
Paradise lost - FT.com
December 19, 2013 5:03 pm
Paradise lost

By Robin Wiggleswort

The Caribbean is suffering from crippling government debt, endemic crime and a middle-class brain drain that have contributed to an economic meltdown of alarming proportions...

Persaud blames an “anti-growth coalition” for the Caribbean’s plight, a tight-knit nexus of politicians, business interests and unions that benefit from the status quo – one of the invisible flaws of small states where everyone knows one another. “The Caribbean is at a crossroads, it desperately needs political leadership,” he argues. “It can overcome these challenges, as other small states have, but it requires courage.”

Some fear that the erosion of the local middle classes – both the backbone of civil society as well as the most demanding voters – eases the pressure on politicians to shape up. “The depletion of our brightest graduates, our middle class and some of our most enterprising workers has drained the foundations of our society,” laments Trevor Munroe, a Jamaican academic, former union leader and founder of National Integrity Action, an anti-corruption watchdog. “Remittances are a big plus, but the big minus is the weakening of society’s internal drivers for reform.”
Caribbean  criminality  brain_drain  emigration  small_states  anti-growth  anti-development  tourism  cultural_detachment  middle_class  leadership  courage  civil_society  crony_capitalism  business_interests  cronyism  demanding_voters  debt 
december 2013 by jerryking
Four Executives on Succeeding in Business as a Woman - NYTimes.com
October 12, 2013 | NYT | By ADAM BRYANT.

You need to spend political capital — be unafraid to introduce people, compliment somebody when it’s deserved and stand up for something you really believe in, rather than just go with the flow. I don’t mean being a perennial troublemaker, but it’s about having conviction and courage. Spend that political capital you earn by being intellectually credible, by being a fighter for the people on your team when appropriate, and by arguing for principles that matter. Those are qualities that give you credit. If you’re waiting for the perfect moment to spend that capital, you’re going to be sidelined your whole career waiting to just kind of enter the ring.

Women can and should do a better job of helping one another to be in that transactional forum, and to get over the anxiety that we’re going to be found wanting on the wrong side of that equation. We’re undervaluing the role that we can play in the success of other people and the organization. So don’t be afraid to spend some of that political capital. You have to be well prepared, you have to be smart, you have to be on time, you have to be responsive, you have to be respectful, you have to have principles. But once you have all those things and you’ve built a track record, don’t wait for the perfect day.
women  CEOs  movingonup  lessons_learned  gender_gap  executive_management  leaders  leadership  political_capital  principles  courage  convictions  punctuality  transactions  transactional_relationships  troublemakers  responsiveness  on-time 
october 2013 by jerryking
How to Think Big,
April 11, 2013 | Businessweek | by 'Titanic' Replica Builder Clive Palmer.

There are no barriers to having great ideas and thinking big. Whether rich or poor, privileged or disadvantaged, everybody is capable of changing their lives and the lives of others by thinking big. It takes imagination, courage, and the will to work hard. Don’t listen to the knockers and the critics, the naysayers and the negativity. To my knowledge, nobody ever built a monument to a critic. They come and go, but big ideas last forever. The great John F. Kennedy said words to this effect: “A man may die, nations may rise and fall, but an idea lives on.”

I’ve had my share of failures along the way, but they’ve only made me stronger and smarter and the successes all the more sweet. The secret to thinking big is capturing the imagination of the people. That’s where the power lies. It’s like harnessing the tide. If you can cultivate the right idea that resonates on an individual level, it will surge through the population like a wave. The best ideas are highly contagious. They can cross borders and cultures.
ideas  thinking  howto  storytelling  persuasion  virality  idea_generation  chutzpah  failure  individual_initiative  ideaviruses  moonshots  negativity_bias  imagination  courage  hard_work  thinking_big  JFK 
july 2013 by jerryking
A Courageous Profile - WSJ.com
May 8, 2003 | WSJ | By ALBERT R. HUNT.

The Profile in Courage award is given to public figures who put principle ahead of political expediency, like the politicians in the late President Kennedy's book who risked their careers to do what they felt was right. Previous winners have included civil-rights hero John Lewis and Gerald Ford, who won for his pardon of Richard Nixon.
politicians  entrepreneur  bigotry  the_South  courage  political_expediency 
august 2012 by jerryking
Boys without dads
Nov 28, 2005| The Globe and Mail. pg. A.14 | Robert Sciuk.

Finally, someone has had the guts to stand up and speak the truth of the dysfunctional family and the impact that growing up fatherless has upon the children and the teens of both sexes within the black communities (The Many Fatherless Boys In Black Families -- editorial, Nov. 26). While The Globe brings to light the issues, it holds back from stating the obvious fact that our government provides financial incentives to perpetuate the situation.

In Canada, we have strong, state-sponsored financial incentives for unwed teenage mothers to have and to keep their children, even in the absence of a caring nuclear family with which to provide a proper upbringing. Perhaps it's time to adjust the way we help these troubled teens to avoid unwanted conceptions rather than reward them financially for having babies.
ProQuest  letters_to_the_editor  silence  African_Canadians  courage  dysfunction  family  fatherhood  family_breakdown  out-of-wedlock 
november 2011 by jerryking
Six Things All CEOs Can Learn From Mulally | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine
Six Things All CEOs Can Learn From Mulally

June 27 2011 by JP Donlon

1. Display courage in the face of adversity.
2. Focus is everything.
3. Simplify.
4. Use the Outsider Advantage.
5. Reward transparency and collaboration.
6. Stay inventive during tough times.
Alan_Mulally  simplicity  Ford  Boeing  leadership  tips  courage  innovation  transparency  collaboration  CEOs  hard_times  adversity  focus  outsiders 
november 2011 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: The Scarcity Shortage
Aug. 27, 2007 | Seth Godin.

Scarcity has a lot to do with value. Scarcity is the cornerstone of our economy. The best way to make a profit is by trading in something that's scarce.

How to deal with the shortage of scarcity? Well, the worst strategy is whining--about copyright laws/fair trade/how hard you've worked. etc. Start by acknowledging that most of the profit from your business is going to disappear soon. Unless you have a significant cost adv. (e.g. Amazon's or Wal-Mart's), someone with nothing to lose is going to offer a similar product for less $.....So what's scarce now? Respect. Honesty. Good judgment. L.T. relationships that lead to trust. None of these things guarantee loyalty in the face of cut-rate competition, though. So I'll add: an insanely low-cost structure based on outsourcing everything except your company's insight into what your customers really want to buy. If the work is boring, let someone else do it, faster & cheaper than you ever could. If your products are boring, kill them before your competition does. Ultimately,
what's scarce is that kind of courage--which is exactly what you can
bring to the market.
scarcity  Seth_Godin  customer_loyalty  respect  judgment  honesty  whining  trustworthiness  inspiration  entrepreneurship  proprietary  cost-structure  relationships  kill_rates  courage  customer_insights  insights  competitive_advantage  low-cost 
october 2010 by jerryking
Seth's Blog: "It doesn't hurt to ask"
Posted by Seth Godin on May 18, 2009. Every once in a while, of
course, asking out of the blue pays off. So what? That is dwarfed by
the extraordinary odds of failing. Instead, invest some time and earn
the right to ask. Do your homework. Build connections. Make a reasonable
request, something easy and mutually beneficial. Yes leads to yes which
just maybe leads to the engagement you were actually seeking.
Seth_Godin  questions  requests  mutually_beneficial  pitches  upselling  chance  courage  preparation 
december 2009 by jerryking

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