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2 Kinds of Learning

1) Absorption: Taking in concepts by consuming information.

2) Application: Putting already existing knowledge into practice by using it to create value.

Doing #2 makes you better at doing #1.

If you want to be a better thinker, become a more active doer.

On Being Offended

You have no moral obligation to be offended about anything.

Emotions ≠ Ethics

Moods ≠ Morality

Indignation ≠ Integrity

Your contribution to society is about what you do, not how you claim to feel.

You have the RIGHT to feel whatever YOU wish, but beware the machinations of those who claim you have the RESPONSIBILITY to feel whatever THEY wish.

The Known Is Transformed by the Unknown

When we reach for new ideas, it results in a more nuanced relationship to the ideas we already have.

By grappling with unfamiliar concepts, we breathe new life into the familiar ones.

Learning not only begets new information. It begets new opportunities with old understandings we may have taken for granted.

What is education?

Whatever it is, it’s not just about regurgitating what we know. It’s the process of revitalizing what we know through our willingness to wrestle with the unknown.

Knowledge becomes increasingly useful to the degree that we seek out new opportunities for practical application and philosophical adventure.

If you think you already know enough, you’re probably right. The real question is “Do you know enough about the things you already know?”

The only way to find that answer is by exploring the possibilities that aren’t on your map.

When was the last time you tried to learn something that wasn’t easy to understand? That might be a great place to start.

Grab the Books That Grab You

It doesn’t matter how good “they” say a book is if you’re not going to read it.

Put that “great” book down and pick up one that compels your attention.

Great books are like great ideas: It’s better to actually engage a mediocre one than to merely fantasize about a great one.

Am I a Writer? Are You? Does it Really Matter?

I have never troubled myself with a preoccupation over the following question: “Am I a writer?”

I simply write.

Sometimes I do a decent job. Sometimes I do it poorly. At ALL times, I do it in ways that could use some improvement. The most important thing to me, however, is that I do it at all.

For me, to write is to have something to say and to face the challenge of trying to get your point of view across.

I have something to say. I’m willing to face the challenges involved with saying it. So I choose to write.

Does that make me a writer? I have no clue. That’s other people’s question to answer. Some will affirm it. Others will deny it. But I will have nothing to do with those discussions.

My job is to do the work, writing or otherwise, that my heart compels me to do. My job is to keep finding ways to say “yes” to what makes me come alive.

It’s not my job to convince others that I deserve some kind of special label or title for what I do. And it’s not your job either.

Instead of defending your status as a writer, as a creative, as an entrepreneur, or as a whatever, why not use that time and energy to show up for the work your soul summons you to perform?

It’s far more important to do the work than it is to debate your status as someone who does that kind of work.

Actual participation in the creative process has way more value than any in-group label you could chase.

We all have interests and ideas that we want to explore, but sometimes we get stuck in an identity game of thinking “I need to be the kind of person who does X before giving myself permission to experiment with X.”

That’s a trap.

You don’t need to define yourself as someone who does interesting things as a prerequisite for doing the things that are interesting to you.

You don’t need to know all the answers about who you are before you can begin being true to what fascinates you in the present moment.

You can create BEFORE you settle the identity debate.

And here’s the paradoxical thing: you’ll come up with better ideas about who you really are by trying to create things than by trying to figure out if you’re the kind of person who has the right to create things.

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