Making Each Decision Count

October 29, 2011 by  
Filed under Blog

Yesterday, I got the news that my mother’s childhood and best friend has passed away.  While it was not a surprise – she was very sick – it got me thinking about end of relationships, accomplishments, life.

I’m not being morbid, but for a moment I put myself in my mother’s shoes:  losing someone who had shared most of her life’s journey with her.

Our lives are built on winning and losing cycles.  It is unavoidable and out of our personal control.  But the control we do have is how we manage the waves.  We must learn, accept and embrace all within a structure of pragmatism.

Steve Jobs, in his now famous Stanford commencement, said when he was seventeen he read the following quote: If you live your life each day as if it was your last, one day you’ll be right.  That quote he said changed his life.

Remembering we never know from moment to moment how life is going to develop is exhilarating while also serving as a compass for our decisions.  We can ask ourselves: If I were to not see this person again would I want our relationship to have ended like this?  Would I want the last thing we said to each other what has just been said?

These are questions that come up when we ask ourselves; is there something in my life now that I would not want to be if I was to end today?

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Sam Harris

May 21, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

Questions of good and evil, right and wrong are commonly thought unanswerable by science. But Sam Harris argues that science can — and should — be an authority on moral issues, shaping human values and setting out what constitutes a good life.

Sam Harris has been identified as one of the “Four Horsemen of Atheism” — company he shares with Richard Dawkins, Dan Dennett and Christopher Hitchens. An outspoken proponent of skepticism and science, his two books — The End of Faith and its follow-up Letter to a Christian Nation — have become best-sellers.

In The End of Faith, Harris showed “a harrowing glimpse of mankind’s willingness to suspend reason in favor of religious beliefs, even when these beliefs inspire the worst of human atrocities.” After receiving thousands of angry letters in response, he wrote Letter to a Christian Nation, which centered on religious controversies in the United States: stem cell research, “intelligent design,” and links between religion and violence.

Harris received a degree in philosophy from Stanford and a Ph.D. in neuroscience from UCLA. He is the co-founder and CEO of Project Reason, a nonprofit devoted to spreading scientific knowledge and secular values in society.

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How And Why We Lie To Ourselves

May 20, 2010 by  
Filed under Featured

I have just come across the post below on how we adjust our belief system when given two contradictory circumstances.

Reading this post made me think about what happens to so many of us when we encounter someone whose attitudes don’t fit our pre-conceived idea of what they represent.

Let me give an example:  Many years ago I dated a very successful, good looking, neurologist.  He was also manipulative and had a mean streak.  At the time I couldn’t put together my pre-conceived idea of a successful neurologist with that of a person with profound psychological issues.  I asked myself: “How can a neurologist, a respectable person, who is so smart be so mean? How can someone who is so charming be so devious?”  I couldn’t come up with an answer so I turned against myself.  It had to be me who couldn’t understand him.  It had to be me that had the problem.  Because of turning the situation against me, I stayed in a very unhealthy relationship way past the duration I should have because I just couldn’t put together in my head what I knew of him and what I thought he should be like.

So what I have learned is to trust my intuition no matter what even when I can’t make sense of two opposing ideas.  Enjoy the post below.

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How and Why We Lie to Ourselves: Cognitive Dissonance

A classic 1959 social psychology experiment demonstrates how and why we lie to ourselves. Understanding this experiment sheds a brilliant light on the dark world of our inner motivations.

The ground-breaking social psychological experiment of Festinger and Carlsmith (1959) provides a central insight into the stories we tell ourselves about why we think and behave the way we do. The experiment is filled with ingenious deception so the best way to understand it is to imagine you are taking part. So sit back, relax and travel back. The time is 1959 and you are an undergraduate student at Stanford University Continued…

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