Weekly Wisdom for a Different Perspective 7/5/20–7/11/20

Hey friends,

Another dose of my weekly wisdom. The list is shorter this week since I’ve been occupied with a project. But I hope you enjoy nonetheless.

1 — Identity — James Clear

Did you know the word identity derives from the Latin words Essentitas, which means being, and Identidem, which means repeatedly?

Therefore our identity is consisted of the repeated actions (or habits) we take.

This is an interesting discovery because it indicates that our identity is malleable. It can be changed as long as the actions/habits are changed.

We have the choice to become the person we want to be. So who do you want to be, and what actions/habits will you need to get you there?

2 — Trichotomy of Control — William Irvine

Epictetus, one of the great Stoic Philosophers, has a concept in Stoicism called “Dichotomy of Control”. He essentially breaks things down into what is in our control and what is not in our control.

For example:

  • Control: I have control over how I respond to being insulted at.

This is a great concept to remember if you don’t want to feel anxious, but some believe this can be further dissected.

William Irvine, the author of A Guide to a Good Life, shares his analysis of the “Dichotomy of Control” and introduces the “Trichotomy of Control”.

He creates another category which indicates that there are things that we have some control over. Partial control or influence.

An example:

  • I have some control in a competition by putting in the practice hours but not complete control since the total outcome can be determined by an external force. Such as being cheated by the other competitors.

I think this elaboration from William Irvine helps put into perspective that there is a fine balance of “control” and “no control” we must consistently try to discern.

I take this as every task should be approached with effort, but it should never create worry since the outcome of most tasks, such as the number of people approving or disapproving of the task, is outside of our control.

So let’s focus on what we can control, shall we?

3 — Fleas in a Jar — Vishen Lakhiani

There is an experiment done by a team of scientists who put fleas in a jar, with no lid on top. Soon after, the fleas jump right out.

Then the scientists gather the same fleas and put them in the jar again, this time with a lid.

The fleas jump only up to the height of the lid, since that is the highest they can jump within that jar.

The scientists then take out the lid again, and notice that the fleas still continue to jump only up to the height of the where the lid would be, even though there is no lid.

These same fleas, who had the capability to jump well beyond the height of the lid, have now created an imaginary barrier and stunted themselves.

This research shows as a reminder how certain belief systems imposed by society, can prevent us from truly performing to the best of our abilities.

We have the capability to accomplish much in our lives. We just need to replace those old, outdated rules that were placed in our heads.

Those are my three lessons of the week. I hope you all enjoyed the nuggets as much as I did, and I hope these bits of wisdom propel you to more peace and joy in your lives.

Much Love

David

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