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The more good ideas I'm operating on, the better my life will be. The fewer bad ideas I'm operating on, the better my life will be. It's like a mountain of gold, and I can move over a little bit at a time (except there's abundant gold for everybody), and any little bit that I move over, my life will be better than it would have been otherwise. Sweet :)


There are only good ideas and bad ideas. With David Mills, this is all we're really talking about. Distinguishing good/true ideas from bad/false ideas. Seems like a good thing to keep in mind, generally :) For example, last year Michigan was the only state (other than Mississippi and Louisana, hit by Hurricane Katrina) to have a net job loss. How can we help create jobs in Michigan? Not by stopping free trade, or by having relatively high tax rates on businesses (as is the case currently in Michigan). Rather, by having an environment that encourages the start-up of small businesses which create jobs, by having a low tax rate, and by providing affordable training/education for people to get marketable skills, like at community colleges, offering courses to teach people to read, and get qualified as CPAs, and be able to pass the BAR exam, etc...a combination of having an environment favorable to start-up businesses and making training easily accessible to as many people as possible.


Wow, there are a lot of guys who are better-looking than I am. Fuck this 'playing fair' stuff. I'm gonna use my strengths wherever I can. Heh.


I need to get my mind off of my self. That's how to stop feeling self-conscious/nervous. Excellent. Just stop thinking about my self. Get my mind off my self.


Yeah, I really don't like feeling stressed out about stuff. Let's just do what we have to do, and then whatever else we want.


The key to being well-prepared for class is being able to do the homework problems in my head. Because when I do one in my head (purely from memory), then I'm constantly cross-checking myself. Like, "oh, why did I do that?" and "why does it make sense that I do this?" etc, etc...this is the active thinking level that I want to be on, and it's easy for me to do when I can do the problem in my head. And then it's relatively easy to do any kind of similar problems, or problems using the same concepts. This is how I aced my intermediate econ classes. Sweet. Now I have a strategy for the stuff that I have to do. Excellent.


Okay, getting more specific...all I HAVE to do right now is know certain homework problems really well. These are the centerpiece of my classes, and everything else is built around them. So what I HAVE to do now is mostly just know some of these problems really well. Then I can do whatever I want, which is a lot of different things. By the way, I don't like feeling stressed out. It hurts the game. I especially don't like feeling stressed out about Greenberry's...that job is for fun, and I want to be totally relaxed and fun while I'm there. Even when I'm supervisor, I don't want to feel like it. I'll do whatever the fuck I want when I'm there.


Okay, so to get this accounting stuff really well, I need to want to know the answer really, really badly. It has to be very important to me. Like, I can't wait to find out how to make this adjusting entry, or how to write up an income statement, balance sheet, and statement of cash flows. The same for tax. I have to feel like I desperately want to know how to minimize my taxes for a company I own stock in that's liquidating in one fashion or another. I just need to consistently convey to my mind that this stuff is REALLY important. I know how to do that well enough (heh, think running). It has to be really important to me to get an A on this test, and on this homework assignment, and this project, etc...Allright, it's really really important to me that I get an A on this comm 311 test coming up. And it's really important to me to be well-prepared for federal tax II every class. It's also important that I get an A in intermediate accounting II at piedmont. I want to consistently convey this to my mind. And that's all I have to do. Besides that, I can do whatever I want. But it is vitally important to get A's in these classes. This should set my subconscious mind working on these goals, consistently, rather than doing crap/nothing. And then I'm free to do whatever I want, besides that. But I need to consistently convey how important these goals of getting A's in my classes and knowing this stuff really well are. Sweet :) It's like David said: some stress IS good. Stress in one direction can be good. It's when stress is in several different directions that it leads to bad. But I've taken care of that problem. Now I can have it in just one direction. And besides that, I can do whatever I want. Sweet-ass sweet :)


Heh, what a crazy mishmash of ideas on this page. Some have merit and some are total crap. Mostly now, I see things in two categories: 1. What I have to do 2. Everything else. And I think this is a really clear, useful view of the world. Right now, I have to be well-prepared for my classes. That's that. It comes before lifting weights, working at Greenberry's, going out drinking with friends, dating, and various other things. My most important priority right now is being well-prepared for class. At some point it will be earning a living. That's what I HAVE to do. Beyond that, I can do whatever I want. And that's where the energy comes. This balance between the two parts of my life: what I have to do and whatever else I want to do. This will ensure that I get done what I need to, and outside of that, I'm at my top energy, focus, fun, and effectiveness levels. And that's quite a formula. I know what I'm doing. Time periods where I'm effectively doing what I have to, and then when I'm doing whatever else I want to, I'm SO much fun to be around, and so RIGHT ON, it's great.


One other thing: Love. The concept that genuine good for somebody else leads to more genuine good for me. And vice versa. More genuine good for me leads to more genuine good for others. I want this in the back of my mind all the time. I only want better for every single person in the world. It IS possible. More true good leads to more true good. I want to act on this idea all the time. The idea of love. The idea that you can choose to love. I love every single person in the world. I choose to do so because to not do so means a frustrating, bad and conflicted existence for myself. By choosing to love I can act consistently, and have more and more true good in my life.


The schedule idea is right on. It's like the idea that there's a certain amount of stuff that I have to do. I have to survive. But beyond that I can do anything I want. I want to be totally stable, and beyond that I can do whatever I want. I want to make sure I'm well-prepared for my classes, and I know my stuff really well. But beyond that, I can do whatever I want. No more trying to focus on one thing all the time. There's only what I have to do, and beyond that whatever else I want to do. I have to make sure I'm stable, and then I can do whatever I want. This is the best, clearest, most accurate way of seeing the world (and my life) I've had, and I feel good about it.


Also, this is just what people call empathy. Being able to keenly feel what another person is feeling. Doing this will just make me a better person, I think. I want to just do this naturally, whenever I meet or see someone. To imagine what it feels like to be him or her right now. Very cool.


I think I could do a better job of getting into other people's skin...imagining just what it's like to be them. Imagine all the little details, getting as much into their skin as possible. And talk to them like that, and it will be like you can read their mind. That you're wearing what they're wearing, that you ate today what they ate today, that your schedule for the day and the week is their schedule for the day and the week. Get inside their head. I can practice this easily. What women really want is a mind reader anyway. Plus I think it would be really useful for learning.


This schedule idea is really good. I love the idea of just having a cool schedule of things I like to do. It gives me stability, which allows me to spread good wherever I go, which is awesome.


I want to set up a schedule of mostly doing things that I want to do. Things I like to do. Heh, that's a reasonable enough ambition, I'd say. And I'm pretty happy with that plan. I just want the freedom to be able to do what I want to do.


Okay, I think it's very important to have a good schedule set up. A good 'default' schedule of things that you do on a regular basis, at regular times...certainly there should be flexibility to it, but generally you should set it up so that most of the time you're doing things that you want to be doing. Keeping busy, but doing things that you want to be doing. It seems like your quality of life is about half and half internal and external...half of it is what you're doing externally, and half of it is what's going on in your mind. Obviously, these are not separate, and they're mutually reinforcing. But I can't have great value-experience without a good external schedule doing mostly things I want to be doing. And I can't have great value-experience without generally good ideas and beliefs in my mind. Interesting...I'm gonna start setting up my schedule so that generally I'm doing things that I want to be doing. And make it a really cool schedule/life. And then when you go out with a girl, you're really just inviting them to jump on the ride for a little while (the ride that is your life/schedule)...definitely.


Wow. You feel SO good after an hour of dancing/practicing dance moves. This is seriously what I need to do in the morning. Get up and dance for half an hour, then move on to breakfast and the rest of the day. You feel so loosened up, refreshed, the blood is flowing and everything, but it's not a strain at all...awesome. So this semester: dancing, public speaking, cooking, massages...then maybe racquetball, wall-climbing, soccer, lifting weights, and whatever else. Real good.


I think I could set up my current schedule to be better for me than it is. Create contexts where I feeling good, and doing things that are good for me...it's like, I don't do real well with a lot of open-ended time. But I don't just want to be cramming in stupid stuff, or whatever...let's see here...I would love to consistently be going from one place to another to see various masters of stuff that I'm interested in. Like, talking to each of my professors a couple of times per week. Or, going climbing with Courtney, or playing racquetball with Patrick...There's a certain amount of stuff that I HAVE to do, and that's doing excellently in my classes. What can I do on the side that will help with this? When are my professors' office hours? Maloney- 11:00-12:15 Mondays and Wednesdays. Broome- 2:00-3:00 Tuesdays, 11:00-12:00 Wednesdays...Let's see what I can come up with to talk with them about during these times. Then other stuff, dancing with Rachel? are there any dance classes at UVa? What day should we go to 216? Definitely dancing short courses at UVa...maybe the public speaking short course at UVa also? Monday 5-6:30? Salsa dancing wednesday 9-10...others?


Holy shit, I think this is a really big idea...it's constantly in successful self-help books and stuff, and ultra-successful people seem to do this same thing, as in hiring expert tennis and golf players, etc...


How have I always learned best? Just by watching somebody do something, and then doing it myself. Why should I change that now? I don't learn best by reading, or whatever else...I learn best through example. If I want to learn how to do something, or learn how to do something better, then what I should do is find and observe somebody who's already really good at it. And try it myself. It's a combination of observing and then doing it over and over again. That's successive approximation. This goes for dancing, playing any soccer, tennis, any sport, doing accounting, telling stories, public speaking, attracting girls, philosophizing, etc...this even goes for something like spreading goodness. And as you master it, you constantly set examples for others, to successively approximate to. Wow, this could be kind of a big deal...so when I want to learn accounting better, where can I get some good examples of doing accounting well? Maybe the textbook, but not by reading it. By looking at how the accounting has been done. If I want to learn how to dance well, I need to watch good dancers. If I want to learn how to speak well in public, I need to watch good public speakers. If I want to get better at spreading goodness and abundance, I need to watch people who are masters at spreading goodness and abundance. Very cool...


What do I want out of life? Besides the obvious survival and being comfortable thing...I really just want to have a whole lot of positive interaction with people. Heh, that's pretty good.


I just want to talk to people, like constantly. 24 hours a day. I love talking to people. I can do all my learning that way, which will be much faster. (I wonder if this is a symptom of being ADD...) And I love meeting and talking to people. It's so much better than being alone.


People first.


What's actually interesting and fun? People. By far the most interesting, stimulating and fun thing to do is interacting with people. Interaction for its own sake. I love meeting new people, and interacting with groups of people. It's so stimulating, there's nothing I'd rather do.


Group-oriented. Group-focused. Most definitely. I like this idea, and want to apply it to lots of different situations. Like with school/classes, consistently get together with people in the class to go over the homework and talk about the current material. Kimberly for tax, Sam for Intermediate I, maybe other people? Do group stuff with Ki Shy, Rachel and 360, Greenberry's people, Sam, Patrick/Cindy/Courtney, Courtney/Ben S. and girls in her house, and just think in terms of groups of people all the time. Group-oriented. I want to be someone who is part of groups.


Excited, enthusiastic, exhilarated. These are the feelings I want to have, pretty much all of the time. Like Walt Kingsbery. I want to be excited about stuff all the time, and interested in stuff all the time. What are some good things to be excited about? Be enthusiastic about? Sports: football, track, basketball, baseball, soccer, swimming, endurance sports, etc...Music: techno, rap, pop, dance, etc...Dancing, the Wall Street Journal, taxes and tax avoidance, talking to new people, finding out more about them and how they got to where they are now, movies, politics, communication, persuasion, fashion, dress, success, public speaking, storytelling, group stuff, beer, wine, having fun, conversations, dating, sex, computers, technology, programming languages, God, religions, accounting, video games, electronics, cooking food, interested in other people and how they feel, the decisions they make...interested in how to make them feel better, feel good...it seems like a problem for me is that I feel bored some of the time, or scared, or non-stimulated, or whatever you want to call it. I'm interested in group stuff. In interacting with groups of people. That's what I'm really getting at here, right? Right. So, even at Greenberry's, when I'm bored, and there's nothing going on, the challenge is to keep everybody interested and entertained. It seems like most of my life, I've been primarily internally focused, and just waiting to get back to being alone. I want to reverse that, to be primarily group-focused. You can really change things when you're in groups of people, and that's when you feel really alive. I want to be group-oriented from now on. I think that's what I'm really getting at. I want to be in groups, a lot of the time, if not most of the time.


What if this is as good as it gets? What if you just accepted that? Because we're always thinking, oh if I could just look better then everything would be great, or, if I just get this job or marry this girl, then everything will be great, and we're constantly looking to tomorrow, when everything is going to be great. When is it ever going to be enough? It never is, it seems. I don't want to wait for a year and a half for things to be great. And I don't have to wait. Things are great right now, I'm just not realizing it. Because having these 'conditions' to meet before things are good (especially when they're vague), puts your mind in a constant state of NOT meeting your goals, yet. And that creates frustration and hopelessness and anxiety. Things are really good now. I want to accept that, all the time. And it doesn't mean that things won't change, because they will. Also, I'll be more effective if I'm accepting and feeling good, and that's what I want. Things will still change, but they're already good. Happiness isn't 'over the next hill', it's right here, right now.


I have a theory that every supervillain became evil because he took himself too seriously, and didn't laugh enough. Good, pursue this. What are some good funny things? Dwight Schrute singing "Little Drummer Boy", the Numa Numa song, saying things like "Sword!" or "A Shenanigans and a Whimsies right next to each other? How much silliness can one person handle?!" ahhh, and so forth.


I think the pinnacle of human experience is when you're laughing. I love a good laugh. Remember FFX, the girl says she wants her life to be full of laughter. Who thought my central philosophy to life would come from an RPG? Not too surprising, maybe. Allright, I want to keep this in mind. And find some good quotes on laughter. "Humor is the spice of life", "To laugh is to live", and so forth...oh yeah, and how do you get a girl to like you? Make her laugh. It's that simple.


Hmmm, I really do wish I could start working full-time at JL now. Like, think about the difference between being results-oriented and not being results-oriented. Having a setup like at JL, working full-time, just creates an environment that leads easily to being consistently results-oriented. I forgot about being results-oriented, though. Something to keep in mind...think results...results-oriented.


Above all, I love how it makes me feel professional.


I need to work. I do much better when I have a full-time job like at JL. I'm more effective and happier while working, and while I'm not working too. I don't do real well with not working (or doing not challenging/interesting/well-paid work, like Bodo's or Greenberry's). I definitely need to work. It breaks away all this uncertainty, and I feel so good and capable. Also, I like conveying to my mind that that work is the most important thing I'm doing in my life, and then I can do whatever else I want. I need to work.


I really like the idea of working full-time at JL. Working full-time gives me a sense of confidence and stability. It's always there for me. It's like, okay, for these 40-50 hours a week, THIS is what I'm doing. And then outside of that, I can do whatever I want. And I have the resources to do whatever I want. It's something to hold onto, all the time. And it's THE most important thing in my life, because it's how I support myself. I want to think in terms of working full-time at someplace like JL. Knowing that what I'm doing is professional and regarded as very important to lots of other people, as indicated by the great compensation. And that it's interesting and challenging. I can't believe how it fills me with confidence and stability. I want that feeling all the time.


I only like being with friends, having a good time. I really like being with other people, in a friendly situation. Think going out to a winery on a spring day, having a picnic out in the field, with a group of friends. Think happy hour after work with my friends from work. Think group conversations outside at a bar in the summer. It's like, there are situations where there's some stress (not necessarily bad), where you're working with other people. That's fine. But there are also situations where there's not stress, like when you're just having fun with your friends, and that's great too. I like being with people in both kinds of situations. I don't like having purely no-stress situations. There should be some of that, but there should also be some non-stress purely fun situations with friends. It seems like those are the priceless moments, that should be very evident in anyone's life :) I love those moments. I want to think about creating more of those moments. The no-stress purely good moments with friends, being totally ridiculous and outlandish and not one bit embarrassed about it. Think those moments.


My problem is that I feel uncomfortable when I have intense attention focused on me. All I need to do is very much enjoy having attention focused on me. Easy enough. I love attention. I just love being the center of attention. Whenever people turn to pay attention to me, I feel energized. That's what I want. I love being in the spotlight. I love being the focal point.


It's the in-between times where I have my best ideas, most accurate thinking, and seem to be my most efficient. That's interesting, and good to remember. I like the in-between times. It seems like, what could I do if I had all this free time? But I don't think that would be so useful for me. I like the in-between times. There's like, stuff I have to do, and then everything else. Anything else I want to do. Right. First, there's what I have to do. Besides that, I can do whatever I want.


What, specifically, would make a girl feel attracted to me? Some starting points: telling interesting stories well; deciding where to go, making it as easy as possible for her to say yes; thinking of interesting things to do and places to go and asking her; talking about her clothes, earrings, necklaces, shoes, how they represent her personality; talking about the 5 languages of love, and figuring out what hers are; talking about her personality, ENFP or whatever; smelling nice; mentioning her perfume; etc...


Thinking in scenarios might be a little harder, initially, than just focusing on feeling good all the time...however, I think that it will have a greater payoff, quite soon. How do I get started? I need to pick up a book or look at some situation, and just start thinking about it. Go from one stage to the next, look at it from the perspectives of different people involved, expand out...say, starting with the idea of foreign direct investment, and get more specific in my mind, until I can see exactly what's happening at each step, and questions come up naturally as I follow it through. The thing is, we need a starting point, and then it's easy to take it from there. But what sorts of things is it worthwhile to create scenarios on? Obviously economics. Accounting? Politics? Business decisions? I'd say so. What about like social situations? What about fashion? Like, what if this person walked in wearing these earrings, or these shoes, or whatever. Or what if the person told this story right now, with this crowd of people? What if I walked into a crowded room and did the 'Rocky' champion stance? What result am I going for in any of these given situations? Mostly I just want everybody to like me, right? I want them to feel attracted to me. What can I do that would make them feel attracted to me? What do other people do that makes me feel attracted to them? What am I looking for in a friend? What about a girlfriend? There's definitely a status thing, with a friend...I want to feel like this person is worth my time I'm spending with him/her.


Actually, I really want to focus on thinking in scenarios. Like what David Mills always talks about. As it becomes more and more natural/habitual to think in terms of scenarios, I think I'll feel better and better, like more motivated, excited to do stuff, have more interesting ideas and stuff to talk about, talk about stuff more accurately and interestingly and persuasively. As I get to the point where I think in terms of scenarios all the time. Like the way 'Basic Economics' is written...so clear and in terms of concrete scenarios, very specific. I can just imagine how interesting, motivated, attractive, and brilliant I would be if I thought in terms of scenarios all the time. Also, how much good I could do, and how I would stop being bored with everything. That's pure excellence. I want that very much. Also, the improvement in communication...painting a picture that people can easily understand and experience and feel, telling a story so that people are gripped and moved, would be very cool. It seems to lead only to better.


This is good. By focusing on feeling good all the time, I'm constantly looking for ways to feel good, in any given situation. And that's exactly what I want. I'll consistently be finding ways to feel good in any situation, which is awesome. And this will just accumulate, and gain momentum.


I just want to feel really good all the time. That's it. That's what I've been going for all the time anyway, I may as well just go after it directly, rather than indirectly :) Is it selfish for me to be focused on that? I don't know, should I be focused instead primarily on curing world poverty? I don't know. I think that I'll do a lot of good in this world, but I need to start with myself. If I feel really good all or at least most of the time, then good for others will follow naturally, I think. And if I don't feel good, then I'm not gonna do much good for anybody. Besides, if I consistently choose to love others, then I genuinely want better for them, and that will mean better for me as well. I used to be focused on some ridiculous things, which explains the somewhat odd way I've gone through adolescence and young adult life. I think focusing on consistently feeling good is better than focusing on not disappointing my mom, or whomever, or not losing to someone in a race, or not being perceived in a certain way, or whatever. I just want to feel good all the time. What if everybody chose to focus on this? Knowing that existence is abundant, it could work out very well :) Plus, by consistently focusing on feeling good, my mind will seek out ways to do this in all kinds of different situations, and thus I will more and more act resourcefully and in a way that leads to more good, for me and everyone else. I think this is an excellent focus to have. I just want to feel good all the time.


I want to know everything that seems important. I want to know who the influential people are in the world, where things are, understand how the world works, know laws, religions, governments, businesses, fashions, etc...Hmmm, this is interesting. I think this is just a fear of the unknown thing, maybe. I want to know everything that seems important to most people, pretty much... It's like, we're walking around and only seeing a little bit of the world, a little bit of everything there is to experience. It's like walking around being almost blind. I want to see everything. I want to have perfect transparency of information. I don't want to be blind to everything that's going on in the world. What's stopping me from going to the airport now, getting a ticket and flying to Europe to walk around in some European cities? I could do it, quite literally. What's stopping me from taking some food and clothing out to some poor, starving children in Africa next week? Again, I could literally do that (taking care of some formalities like green cards and such). I don't want to be a bird with my head in the sand, hoping that if I keep my nose to the grindstone, that I'll be okay and nothing will happen to me. I want to look up.


I want to know everything that seems important. I want to know who the influential people are in the world, where things are, understand how the world works, know laws, religions, governments, businesses, fashions, etc...Hmmm, this is interesting. I think this is just a fear of the unknown thing, maybe. I want to know everything that seems important to most people, pretty much.


I LOVE feeling like I have a good picture of the world. Like, knowing that the current world population is just under 6.5 billion people, and the US is 300 million. And learning about different places in the world, so I feel like I know where places are, in relation to each other, I know who people are, I understand how things work. I love that feeling of familiarity with the situation, clearing up uncertainty and unknown. And to focus on something bigger than myself. It's a breath of fresh air to do that. To expand my view out to the whole world, and be like, that's it. That's all there is. I can handle that....Heh, I just want to know everything, that's all :)


I like to get the overall picture...the more accurate, the better. I want to have all the data, all the information, all arranged in the proper context, and then it's easy to see exactly what I need to do. It's easy to see what's right and what's wrong. Like trying to find James' apartment in Richmond, I want a map of the city. Or when I want to help people, I want to know exactly who needs help, and how much? Like, I want statistics on global poverty to best understand the situation, and know how I can do the most good. For this stuff, I need the best possible transparency, the best flow of information. And this is what gets me excited...the prospect of getting perfect transparency and connectedness. And working on a solution to any problems based on this transparent view of the situation. A clear picture of what's going on. This is what drives me, what motivates me. How can I apply this concept to all different situations?... It's like, having a clear picture of the situation creates immediate possible solution paths to my mind. It allows me to ask all the right questions.


-I like lifting weights/working out generally...it makes me feel really good. Morning? -Morning ideas: news on TV during breakfast...feels more connected to the world, better diffusion of information and greater communication = excellent


Abundance. Just because someone feels better doesn't mean that someone else must feel worse. Joy, or goodness, is an abundant thing. More true good leads to more true good. Everyone can have a great time. This is what I base every decision on. The thousands of decisions I make every day are all based on the idea of abundance now, rather than scarcity.


With this concept in mind, I will probably naturally begin to identify myself with the concept of 'better for everybody.' I think that's good. I want to identify myself with the concept of better for everybody, because then it will be an even more useful and effective centerpiece for learning and for motivation, and lead to more and more good. Identify myself with the concept of 'better for everybody.' It's a part of me, my central/core belief. This is the ultimate good. I can relate everything that I experience back to this core belief.


From now on, any time I'm learning something, I can just relate it back to the central idea of better for everybody. It seems very efficient and fun to do, it's so effective. That's how learning takes place...relating the new information to what's already encoded in your mind. Now I can do this directly, with everything, to the central concept in existence: better for everybody. Excellent :)


What is my life about? It's about better for everybody. It's this: more good for everybody. How can we have better for everybody? More good for everybody? That's what my life is about. Because better for somebody else is better for me too, because I love the other person. And better for me is better for them. That's what my life is about.


For a job this summer, talk to James/Mrs. Atchison about working at her accounting office, or ask Mr. Atchison if he has any ideas about places to work in Charlottesville over the summer, or internships to do, and go to UCS when I go back early to school, to see about summer internships in c-ville.


So for the question, 'what do I do with my time?' we have to ask, 'well, what do I want?' What we all want is more good for everybody. We want better for everybody. So I should spend my time on something that is leading to more good for everybody. That's what everybody should spend time on. There is the question of alternative use of time...however, we have to start somewhere. Figure out what leads to better for myself and for others, and start with that, and then I can change my strategy at any time I realize there's something I can do that leads to more good. We're constantly asking the question (implicitly), what do I do with my time? The answer lies in this: what we want is better for everybody, more good for everybody.


I need a mental model for the world (for reality, my everyday existence), in which I can consistently act without contradicting myself. It's when I contradict myself that I feel conflicted, unmotivated, indecisive, unattractive, and generally bad. I need a mental model in which I can be perfectly consistent. It seems like David is providing that. Let me see where this leads me.


I like seeing life as consisting of two main 'activities'...1. what you have to do 2. everything else. Mostly, you just have to support yourself. Beyond that, you can do whatever you want. That includes learning about God, working on your physical appearance, spending time with friends, watching tv or movies, going to different coffee shops, having snowball fights, working at greenberry's, volunteering to help underprivileged children, or whatever else you want to do. If you're not doing an activity to support yourself, then you're just doing it because you want to.


A key thing to making someone feel attracted to you is to make them feel like they're special. Saying things that imply that they're special, will make them desire to have you around.


My central attractor is 'feeling like I'm attractive to others.' And that's fine. I want to be very attractive to other people. By being consistently focused on it, I will be, more and more so. It seems like this will lead to only more good. Having other people be attracted to me, more and more.


Excited about things...

Consistently looking at things from different perspectives seems to help keep a balance...help me feel good more of the time. Whenever I feel like I have a good perspective on things, then I tend to feel really good. However, it doesn't last, and I feel like my 'good perspective' doesn't last either. Like if I spend too much time in one perspective, it gets warped, and cut off from reality. Hmmm...it seems like when I'm at home (Herndon), it's easy to get a warped perspective, because I don't really have that much to do. And I don't go that many places, or interact with a lot of people. When I'm at school, I tend to have a better perspective generally, when I'm out interacting with a lot of different people in different situations, and focused on different things, but even then, my perspective gets warped some of the time. I want to consistently change perspectives, to keep a good overall one(???) I don't even know... Why is it so difficult to feel the way I want to, all the time? Because I'm not consistent about what I want. It (what I want) changes from moment to moment. If I was perfectly consistent about what I wanted, it would probably be relatively easy to get. I can make myself feel a certain way to a great degree, for a short period of time. But then I sort of return to normal...(???)...Like, sometimes I can be totally 'on' where I can do no wrong, and I come across extremely well to other people. Then other times I'm just not 'on' like that. And I want to be 'on' all the time. Or at least whenever I want to be.


It seems like we need lots of different kinds of ways of feeling good, to avoid feeling 'bored.' The same feeling over and over again loses its appeal. And you desire to feel something new or different. There are lots of different kinds of good feelings. Hmmmm...


Mostly I just want to feel a certain way. There are different kinds of 'good' feelings. I like feeling physically strong, like my arms are surging with strength, and like the sleeves are tight around my muscles. I like feeling competent/smart, like how I feel having scored a 750 on the GMAT, and being told that it's better than 99% of the people applying to business school. I like feeling well-liked by others, or important, like I feel when several people call my cell phone within a short period of time. I like feeling attractive, when people just seem drawn to me. And these are all related, it seems like. I like feeling thrill, like on a rollercoaster or zipwire, or dramatically telling a story well in front of a group of people. I like feeling energetic and creative and confident, like when I've just begun dating a cute girl, and I can't seem to say anything wrong, and clever lines pop into my head consistently, and I know my eyes are shining with excitement and confidence. I like the feeling that I'm helping people, and that they and others really appreciate it. That's what I want out of life. To feel good in these (and other) different ways, pretty much all the time. To feel fantastic all the time. I just want to feel really, really good. That's it. Everything else is just a way to achieve these feelings, all the time. Literally. Money, girlfriends, a wife, children, relationships, friendships, running races, lifting weights, helping underprivileged children, brushing my teeth, watching movies, playing sports, playing the piano, listening to music, diet, gaining weight, any activities that I do, reading the Bible, reading fantasy, learning from David Mills, figuring out existence, etc...all of these activities or endeavors are only ways of sustaining these good feelings all the time. That's what I want out of life...to feel fantastic all the time.


I just want to feel fantastic all the time. Just really, really good. Motivated, energetic, confident, outgoing, funny, outwardly focused, excited about things, attractive, moving with certainty, aligned, etc...I want to feel like that all the time. That's seriously what I want. Everything I do is designed to make me feel good. That's the ultimate, central goal...everything else flows from that.


How good can life be? Is there a limit? Do there have to be some 'bad' times, where you just feel bad? Can I consistently feel good, and generally better and better? Like David said, one of my little goals/things to strive for, is to enjoy each moment. One of my little goals is to enjoy each moment. No matter what's happening, I want to enjoy each moment...because, why not?


Generally, in your default time, you want to be doing investing activities. Not consuming activities. Investing activities are those which are likely to lead to more good for you and other people somewhere down the road. Maybe it's not guaranteed, but it's likely. It's like some people say, you get what you give. Much of the time you're not really doing anything actively...you should be thinking in terms of investing activities. Like, physically, I want to look fantastic. That goes for muscles, skin, grooming, and clothes. There are all kinds of different investing activities that go into looking good. Then there's marketing (actually, appearance is a form of marketing, too), but this also includes grades, and so learning effectively so I can ace my classes, and have the skills that people demand. There's investing in relationships too, which goes for meeting new people, doing new things, and deepening relationships with old friends. There's also things like doing charitable work, or helping other people. This is great for other people, and it's also great for you. This is an investing activity that will enrich your life, and make you more attractive to other people. Generally, you want to be doing investing activities, in your default time. Over time, these make you a rich man, in all kinds of ways, and help you have an excellent quality of life :)


It's interesting, in trying to bring more good into the world, it's almost like you have to separate it into two categories: the developing world and the developed world. In the developing world, we're literally trying just to help people survive, and have food. In our everyday life, in American society, on a college campus or whatever, it's in smaller degrees. It's not about finding enough food, but the issue of more or less good is still real. Maybe more or less good in all our relationships, and I think that we can look for chemistry to bring more good into our relationships.


I think I've been looking for the wrong thing in a relationship. I was basically looking for dependency, and that's not what I want. What do I want in a relationship? What makes a relationship good? Chemistry. I want chemistry in my relationship, and that's what girls want also, in general. Going out with Rachel, I killed the chemistry, consistently, after we got started, because I was looking for something else, I was looking for the wrong thing. We still have chemistry, when we spend time together now, and that's awesome, I'm really glad. And I have chemistry with lots of other girls, and guys for that matter, and that's excellent. That's what I want in my significant relationship with a girl, chemistry. It's like I was thinking before: in a movie, you have to see all the good times between the two people, how good it can be, to experience real sadness when it's over. The relationship should be about good times, about chemistry between the two people.


You know what? It needs to be more specific than "a general feeling that I want to help people." You have to take something you love, something you feel passionate about, and that you are excellent at, and use that to help people. My passion is going to be tax law, it looks like. I'm going to be a master of tax. And I can use that for my own livelihood, and I can also use that as a venue to help people, by understanding it really well, and seeing how it can be used to help people. That's excellent. It starts with doing something you love, and understanding how you can use it to help people (and supporting yourself at the same time). Also, when you're consistently doing something you love, and that you're excellent at, you become very attractive to people, generally. Especially when you do it within the context of helping people.


I've been thinking lately, about what I want to focus on, generally...with my own future secure, to a good degree, I feel like I need something else to focus on, besides making money...something more fulfilling than how can I spend my weekends in exciting ways. And spending time around Rachel has made me more focused on helping other people, but doing it in a way that's REALLY helping them, not making them dependent on others' handouts. Like, if in the evenings I could teach classes at a community college or center on handling your finances, for free or for cheap. Show people how to help themselves. Make them feel like they can. And maybe more things like this. This already makes me feel better, to be focused on something bigger than myself...it makes me feel better, and it's creating more good in the world, it's win-win. This is really making me think. How can I help other people? What are some things I can do? Maybe become close with other people who feel the same way, like Rachel, Cai, maybe Christian groups, etc...I really like the idea of showing other people how to help themselves...This is as much about me as it is about other people. This feels like it gives me purpose, to consistently be focused on how to help other people. It gives me drive, makes me feel alive and energetic. It's for others, but it's for me, too. Something worthwhile to be focused on. An opportunity to be a hero.


When I have a good idea, I just want to do it. I don't want to think about it, or think about what might happen. I just want to try it out. This is a very attractive belief/mind-frame, probably. "Yeah, let's do it." It's very entreprenurial, and empowering. I want to act on this more and more. I also think it's a mark of brilliance. How do people become brilliant? By doing, and seeing what happens. Not by worrying about what might happen, and so being caught in inaction. Seriously, in today's world, there are not that many things that will get you into real, grave danger. These days, when I have a good idea, I just want to do it.


I want to create contexts in which existence will become better and better. The true </br> key to power is to simply walk around desiring that people have better and better value-</br>experience, including myself, and including God. How can I bring about better and </br> better value-experience for all beings? I want to have a good understanding of what is </br> actually better and what is actually worse. Then I want to understand how to bring </br> about more and more good, and eliminate bad. To begin with, I simply want to walk around </br> consistently desiring that things become better and better. My mind will automatically </br> go to work on figuring out how to make things so. How can I apply this in every facet </br> of my life? </br> </br> </br>

It seems important to have some way of 'escaping' on a regular basis. The activity </br> should have clear goals and rules, and not be of great significance. Some examples are </br> playing computer/video games, working at Greenberry's, reading fiction(?), maybe even </br> working on websites (if you already understand how to make them), and generally </br> performing any activity at which you are already quite skilled. So that you can relax, </br> get into that world of clear goals and rules, and then come out of it later on, with </br> a new perspective on your 'main story.' Even doing drugs, or some perception-altering </br> activity, would do the trick. It may be good to have it be some activity that's </br> helping you in your main story indirectly, as well as letting you escape it. For example, </br> working at Greenberry's helps me be much more confident socially, and create a network </br> of friends. Working on websites would allow me to be producing something other people </br> value while escaping. How could I get into designing websites more? Probably just by </br> checking out other people's websites. When I see something cool, just look at their </br> code to see how they did it, and my mind will successively approximate to better and </br> better web design. Excellent. </br> </br>

The only way to make my existence have more good is to make decisions to truly lead to </br> more good. And the only way to consistently make decisions that truly lead to more good </br> is by being able to distinguish what's true from what's not. Basing decisions on </br> absolute truth, rather than not-truth. The only way to make existence better, the only </br> way to create more good, is by consistently seeking truth. Otherwise you're just </br> chasing your tail around in circles. </br> </br> </br>

So, it's like I keep looking for the answer...but the answer to what? What's the question? </br> I'd say for me the question is how to consistently feel great and optimally </br> productive. Basically utils. How to have more positive value-experience, consistently. </br> I think a key part has to do with other people. Imagine, if I was locked away in a room </br> for the rest of my life, so that my survival needs were met, but nothing I did could </br> have any impact on anyone else in the world, would life even be worth living? What </br> could come from that? And just about everything that's ever been important to me seems </br> to have been important because of the impact that thing had on other people. (maybe?) </br> Anyway, that seems to be how I feel now. Another consistent goal I (and many people) </br> have, is to be attractive to other people. That is, be able to attract them to you. </br> Feeling great, being productive, and attracting other people all seem to be related...</br> have a positive effect on each other. But yeah, contributing value to society, and in </br> return recieve what? recognition? other people's attention? Hmmm...but there seems to </br> be something to this. It's not appealing to me to do anything that people aren't going to </br> see, or that's not going to enhance my value in the eyes of other people. (i.e. writing </br> some boring, irrelevant scientific paper that gets stuffed in the library stacks and </br> nobody ever sees). But it's very appealing to me to create something that adds a great </br> deal of value to the world, and get credit for it. It seems to be the case for just </br> about everybody, too. Allright, that's enough for now. </br> </br>

I think I got some deeply-set beliefs about what's possible and what's not possible </br> from running so competitively for so long. Early on, I think it was a lesson about what IS </br> possible with a little talent and the drive to just run every day, be a brick wall, and </br> just do a better job than everyone else. I improved a lot, quickly, and it was immensely </br> satisfying. Eventually though, I ran up against people who just had more talent, </br> and no amount of training on my part could make me better than them...they were just </br> better than I was. And that developed my beliefs about what's NOT possible. And these </br> are extremely limiting beliefs: that some people are just better than me and there's </br> virtually nothing I can do to change that. </br> The thing is, some areas of life are like that...the natural hierarchy is relatively </br> static...things such as good looks, speed, body type, and others...but many areas are </br> very much NOT static. Things like business, and learning. I'm smart, and if I focus </br> on being smart and making things happen, there is virtually no limit on what I can do...</br> I can be unstoppable. It's NOT like running competitively. There is NO set hierarchy. </br> I can just get better and better, and make things happen more and more. And even more so </br> with good friends like Sam, and people like David Mills and Paul Graham when we have </br> vector alignment. There is nobody who's inherently better than us, and that's just the </br> way things are. And that's an excellent thought. </br> </br>

I want to have a girlfriend where I treat the girl like she was my little sister, (besides </br> the not being physically attracted to my sister)...but similar in the sense that I </br> really enjoy spending time with her, and look forward to it, and feel totally comfortable </br> around her, and can joke around with her and laugh anytime. That's what I'm looking for </br> in a girlfriend now. That's what I want to look for. So I should just practice treating </br> each girl as if she were my bratty little sister, and see how it fits...just being cocky </br> and funny, and the older brother, being in charge of the situation and environment...</br> being the leader. </br> </br>

Say I wanted to do a lot of work, intensely, that was basically accounting and studying </br> the finances of companies...and do this on my own schedule. Isn't that the type of </br> thing that I'm looking to be able to do? Maybe I don't have to be a programmer to be </br> able to do that kind of thing...which is basically being a hacker in whatever field, </br> doing something to the extreme just because you love doing it...get an immense amount </br> of satisfaction/utils out of doing it. Hmmm... </br> A key to doing this would be having measurement and leverage, so I was incentivized to </br> work ahead. Can I create a situation where I have great measurement and leverage, and </br> thus excellent incentives to work ahead in accounting/finance? </br> </br>

Incentivizing/Reorganizing life ideas: </br>

  • do as much homework as I can on my laptop, so I can be wherever I want (i.e. library, </br> Starbucks, and comfortable) as I'm doing it </br>
  • find a girl who helps me do better at everything. In "Think and Grow Rich" Napoleon </br> Hill says that the primary determinant of someone's success is their significant other. </br> I had already realized the importance of your friends on your lifestyle and success. </br>
  • if I want to become a hacker, then lower all the barriers to learning to become a hacker </br> get books on programming, pick good problems and projects to work on, that will be </br> profitable, or interesting, or marketable...things that other people will see. </br>
  • maybe get a job at ITC, or somewhere where I'll learn a lot about computers. </br>
  • How can I create incentives for myself to learn as much as I can about programming </br> languages? </br>
  • How can I create incentives for myself to do excellently in my classes? </br>
  • What do I want in a career/job? I want to be able to work as much as I want, and </br> whenever I want, which for me means about 80 hours a week at odd times...I want to be </br> able to work at my own pace, meaning significantly faster and better than I'd be forced </br> to, probably, in a big company. </br>
  • (When I say, to create incentives for myself, what I really mean is, create incentives </br> for my mind, which is the powerhouse here, it does all the work...I need to create </br> incentives for my mind, which is basically what David calls attractors...incentives </br> for the mind. I'm gonna keep using 'incentives' because that term is clearer to me.) </br>
  • I need to create incentives for my mind to do what I want it to do, to make my life </br> better and better, and countless other lives better and better as well. </br>
  • It's very important to me that I be performing a value-added activity in the world, </br> creating wealth where before there were only resources/potential. </br>

The idea here is that I can wake up in the morning and feel good and energized about </br> what I'm going to be spending my time doing during the day. </br> </br>

If you want optimal results in your life, and optimal quality of life (which, of course </br> we do, we are only more or less successful at this), then it's a good plan to organize </br> your life so you are incentivized to do the things that are going to be good for you. </br> Create situations, create a lifestyle, so that it's easy to focus on the things you want </br> to focus on. This goes for supporting yourself, being healthy, your friends and </br> relationships...everything. Reorganize your life, cut out the things you don't want, </br> and have incentives to do the things you want to do. To the greatest extent that you </br> can. </br> </br>

For the information that I need right now that IS in books (such as for homework for </br> taxation, comm, and business law), I should have on CDs, so I can just carry around </br> my laptop and CDs, and don't have to carry around these huge-ass books. That would be SO </br> much more convenient. I'd totally learn more and get this homework done more efficiently </br>(Sigh) Soon, soon. </br> </br>

I want to create a website for Greenberry's. One that shows the schedule, and who's </br> working what shifts, and allows people to get in touch with each other really easily </br> about switching or covering shifts, and such. That will be excellently sweet. Could I </br> do this in PHP? </br> </br>

You know what really got to me about computer programming classes in both high school </br> and college? You are led to develop the belief that you can't do anything useful with </br> programming. Which obviously, is a ludicrous belief. But it's hard to see a reason </br> to keep cracking away at the keyboard when all you're doing is making simple calculations </br> or crappy little designs. Much better to work on a real, interesting, and hard problem. </br> </br>

Another appealing reality of being a hacker is that your work is permanent. You've got </br> something very physical and very significant to show for the time you've spent </br> programming. It's like, saving your progress in a role-playing game. You've created </br> something and you can go to sleep, wake up tomorrow, and start from where you left off. </br> Also, you have a very clear goal of what you want to accomplish, and you know when </br> you're done. In contrast, it's more difficult to have as a goal, 'a greater </br> understanding of finance', and likewise it's difficult to know when you're done with </br> that goal. </br> </br>

I want to be a financial hacker. I want to be able to take one look at a company's </br> financial records, and be able to tell you exactly what kind of position they're in. </br> Or just look at the inner workings of a company, and tell you whether they're going up, </br> down, and what they should do to make things run better. I want to be able to do the </br> same thing for individuals. And I want to create new ways of measuring whether a </br> company is going to be successful or not. I want to do this for all businesses, </br> and all different business models. And I want to do it all the time. Look for successful </br> businesses and business models, and look for unsuccessful ones too, and be able to </br> tell you why, and what they could do. I want to do this all the time. Do it just because I </br> love doing it, and would do it for nothing at all. Because when you break it down, </br> a business is just people. It's just the individuals, who have created a structure. </br> I want to be a financial hacker. </br> </br>

People want to work. They don't want to just sit around and contribute nothing </br> to society. Think 'Brave New World.' </br> </br>


When making decisions, not everything is possible. Only some options are possible </br> at any given moment. Start considering things in terms of their alternatives. </br> Yeah, maybe if I ask this girl out, she'll refuse, but what's the alternative? To </br> not ask her out at all. Which may or may not be worse. But those are the options...there's </br> no 3rd option. Those are the alternatives between which to decide. </br> </br>

More and more now, I enjoy spending my spare time messing around on the internet, </br> now that I have a laptop and wireless in many areas, I can sit down wherever I want and </br> e-mail people, do homework assignments, market myself, look up stuff I'm interested </br> in...all just by carrying around my laptop...that's like, all I need. And it's so </br> freakin' cool. I can be lazy and extraordinarily productive at the same time. </br> </br>

I need to get the WSJ online. </br> </br>

You can either have time working for you or against you. </br> </br>

All I have to do is ensure permanent stability for myself. All I have to do is support </br> myself. Besides that, I can do whatever I want. There are only two things: </br> 1. How you support yourself </br> 2. Everything else. </br> </br>

Organizing - posted on September 12, 2005 I like organizing stuff, getting things in order. This goes even for cleaning. It's </br> worthwhile to organize things and have them in working order...done neatly, and I get </br> positive utils out of doing that. It's a very productive thing to be doing, in lots of </br> different contexts. A little housecleaning. It's like: work on making the area directly </br> you better and better. Just that small scope. </br>


Court me - posted on September 10, 2005

  I want potential employers to come and court me.  Enough of this begging for scraps, </br> worrying whether I'll be deemed acceptable.  From now on, YOU come to ME. </br> 


Steps, continued... - posted on August 23rd, 2005

  You have to go through the right steps to get to where you want to be.  I'm not sure </br> where I want to be, ultimately, but I have a good idea about what some good first steps </br> will be.  You can't just jump from point A to point B.  You have to go through the </br> right steps.  Any attempt to deny this or skip steps, will simply result in frustration, and </br> a longer time until you get to where you want to be.  Ultimately, you'll end up going </br> through the steps.  It's up to you whether to do it efficiently, or whether it's full </br> of frustration and denial.  It's helpful to be aware of the current step you're in, and </br> what the next few steps might be, and to accept that this is where you are right now, </br> rather than desiring to be in a different position, but without knowing how to get </br> there, which leads to depression. </br>   It seems like a first step is waiting until you really feel like doing something.  </br> Building 'creative tension', as David calls it sometimes.  You probably won't be </br> very effective doing anything until you really want to do it.

The Power of Curiosity - posted on August 23rd, 2005

  Curiosity is a powerful motivator.  Paul Graham pointed out that just about every </br> genius throughout history was driven primarily by curiosity. And in fact, most major </br> innovations have been spearheaded by people who were simply curious about their chosen </br> field.  Curiosity seems to be an incredibly useful quality to have. What does it mean to </br> be curious?  What makes you feel curious about something?

The Next Step - posted on August 23rd, 2005

  Often it seems overwhelming to consider what I want ultimately.  What I want to do </br> with my life, where I want to be in 20 years, etc.  It seems unobtainable, and generally </br> hollow.  Like, anything I pick out can't possibly be grand enough.  Plus, I don't really </br> know how to get there.  This puts me in a non-useful state of mind.  I'm paralyzed into </br> inaction, and anxiety.  More useful perhaps, is to focus on the next step.  Just look </br> one step ahead at a time.  Obviously, it's probably optimal to consider different </br> perspectives, look at the future with different time frames.  However, most of the time </br> it seems better to look at the next step, rather than 20 years down the road.

Boundless energy! - posted on August 21st, 2005

  There are only things that energize you and things that don't.  


We are all the same - posted on August 21st, 2005

  It seems that on the surface, all humans are remarkably similar to one another.  Much </br> more similar than we've been led to believe by popular culture.  The differences </br> emphasized and made to seem like gulfs are in fact small alterations from one person to </br> another.  We have a remarkably similar genetic makeup to any other person.  On the </br> surface, it seems like we do largely the same things on a day to day basis.  Like, </br> objectively, what's the difference between me and a homeless guy on the street?  I'd say </br> that the difference between us is a very small one.  I'm not saying this to encourage </br> empathy for those who choose not to work.  I'm saying this to emphasize how easy and </br> possible it is to make changes in your life, and to remind myself that there's just a </br> small difference between, say, Bill Gates and myself. And also to point out that </br> physically, things won't change that much between being very unsuccessful to being </br> exceptionally successful.

What Are You Looking For? - posted on August 18th, 2005

  It seems that the more specific you can get concerning what you want/what you're </br> looking for, the more success you'll have in getting it.  This seems to be true in just </br> about every area of life: relationships, career, etc...It also seems to be the case that </br> there are better and worse criteria to be looking for.  For example, you could decide </br> that the most important thing you're looking for in a woman is that she has blond hair. </br> You'd probably manage to find a woman with blond hair, but she might turn out to be an </br> absolute horror to live with.  So you might instead decide to look for a generally </br> attractive woman with a non-judgemental personality.


What People Want - posted on August 17th, 2005

  Most people want to feel a certain way.  That's essentially what I want, when we get </br> right down to it.  I want to feel in my "top-most" state all the time.  In my most </br> effective, and happy, state all the time.  And to feel like my life is worthwhile.  </br> Like it's a life worth living. </br> I like the idea that accounting, being a CPA isn't rocket science.  It's challenging </br> and interesting, and provides stability, but leaves time and focus for whatever I want.

The Incredible Importance of the people you choose to surround yourself with </br> -posted by Ben on August 14th, 2005


The Importance of being Non-judgemental - posted by Ben on August 13th, 2005

 Very, very important.


Potential Business - posted by Ben on August 13th, 2005

  What if I started an agency/business/charity that matched donors with people who need </br> it, say, in third world countries?  I could recommend it to businesses as an excellent </br> advertising tool, and put the money to the best possible use where the need is the </br> greatest.  That would certainly rate highly on my parameter of adding value to society. </br> Are there any similar agencies/charities out there now that do this sort of thing? </br> What kinds of jobs are there in development economics? Anything useful? Anything that </br> actually gets results?  </br> Establish a system that encourages development in underdeveloped countries...</br> a system of incentives, not force. </br>    Where would I start? Creating a website advertising my purpose, put links to the most </br> successful development programs to date, advertise good economic ideas, demonstrate how </br> free market systems have made societies more and more prosperous throughout history in </br> all areas of the world. Do I need a Ph.D to do this? Probably not. Would it help? Maybe.</br> What are the most successful programs of the WTO and the IMF? How do they operate? </br> Are there things I could do better? Things I could do differently? Are there any useful </br> books on the topic? What about magazines? Newspapers? Academic publications? (but seriously). </br> Where could I find them? Allright, I'm going to Barnes & Noble, be back in a little bit. </br></br> What would make it profitable for businesses to invest in a developing country?


Value Added, continued... - posted by Ben on August 13th, 2005

  This idea of adding value to the economy, and to society in general, seems more and </br> more significant to me.  This is quickly becoming my single most important parameter </br> for judging what kind of career I want to pursue: How much value am I adding to the economy, </br> to society, on a daily basis?  In addition of course, to the parameter of my enjoyment </br> of whatever I'm doing.

The Importance of Adding Value to the Economy (Producing) - posted by Ben on August 11th, 2005

  It seems to be very important...fosters a sense of belonging maybe? being a contributing </br> member of society? hmmm... </br> Is it in the Bible that's written, "Give and you shall recieve"?  I don't know what that </br> means, exactly.  But it seems to me that I get a lot of satisfaction (utils) out of </br> performing a service for someone and being compensated...that is, using my resources </br>(including time), to add value to the economy, and society in general. </br>
  Now, it would be easy to fall into the trap of inefficiently allocating your </br> resources, (it seems that we all have resources: time, skills, etc...), to add value </br> to the economy.  For example, I could work 100 hours a week at Bodo's Bagels for the rest </br> of my life, cleaning the tables, backrooms, making and serving bagels, and I would be </br> adding value to the economy.  However, if I allocated a couple of years towards gaining </br> engineering skills, and then developing ways to automate those processes, then I would </br> have added that same value to the economy, and I would have resources left over to add </br> more value to the economy. </br>
  

A Smaller World part II - posted by Ben on August 10th, 2005

  So many classic stories are emotional and effective because of events that conspire to </br>tear apart people who are close, and who are thrown to opposite corners of the land. </br>Loneliness, nostalgia, and despair set in at this new absence.  Modern communications </br>technology has made most of these situations irrelevant.  It's so easy nowadays to </br> get in touch with an old friend or loved one for an in-depth conversation, or just a </br> quick chat.  By cell phones, e-mail, IM, video conferencing, text messaging, etc., it's </br> so easy to communicate over even long distances these days.  I for one, have traditionally </br>been susceptible to feelings of nostalgia and regret for people I've lost contact </br> with or moved away from.  But generally, those barriers simply don't exist anymore.  </br> And I couldn't be happier about it.

A Smaller World - posted by Ben on August 10th, 2005

  A former executive, when he went on vacation, would travel with his laptop and Dictaphone, </br>and call the office frequently, so he never felt out of touch.  I love that advances in
technology have made communication so easy, almost any time.  Cell phones, laptops with e-mail</br> and IM, video conferencing, web page blogs, Dictaphones (whatever they are), have made it easy</br> to communicate with family, friends, other members of a business or group at almost any
time, no matter where you are.  I love the idea of being constantly in touch with my
business/company, always knowing what's going on.  And this instantly available communication
can be expanded to include up-to-the-minute information on goings-on in the world.  This
image is very appealing to me, and stands in stark contrast to the idea of a mathematically
high-powered economist, holed away in his office, working out numbers and equations that are
distant from the real world.

Fearing the Unknown - posted by Ben on August 10th, 2005

  Maybe all of our fear is rooted in the unknown.  Like, how would I feel about working at an
accounting firm if I felt like I knew the Big Four like they were my own backyard.  If I knew </br>the structure of each company, the overall atmosphere, the names and personalities of many of </br>the executives, managers, etc.

Thinkers vs. Doers - posted by Ben on August 9th, 2005

  We all know the difference between thinkers and doers.  We need more doers in the world.
 I want to be a doer.

On Changing your Mindset - posted by Ben on August 9th, 2005

  So, say I want to change from a 'thinking' mindset to a 'doing' mindset.  How do I do it? </br>I want to understand what it means to be a doer.  So I think of many different, specific </br>situations, of how I would act as a doer, and how it's different from acting as a </br> thinker.  For example, say I want to go tubing down the James river with friends.  As a </br> thinker, I'd wait until somebody else organized the trip and invited me, and then maybe </br> I'd go, if I felt comfortable with the other people who had been invited.  As a doer, I'd </br> decide this sounded like fun, find a website or phone number of the James River </br> runners to get information on what hours tubing is available, how much it costs, what we </br> need to bring, and to get driving directions to the place. Then I'd pick a day to go, call </br> up some friends and see if they wanted to go, and offer to drive over, and see if </br> anyone had a cooler we could take along with us.  See the difference in empowerment? </br> In the thinker scenario, I have no power, I'm at the mercy of everyone else, waiting for </br> something to happen.  In the doer scenario, I have all the power, I'm making things happen, </br> getting valuable experience about organization and management, and generally enjoying </br> myself more. This is one scenario, very specifically drawing a picture of the </br> differences between being a thinker and being a doer. To change my mind from thinker to </br> doer consistently, I'd run through these specific scenarios in all kinds of different </br> situations: group social events, dating relationships, in academics, in business; </br> really, just about any situation you can imagine.

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