People's sense of "what works"

by phil on Saturday Mar 4, 2006 3:23 AM

People develop certain philosophies about how everything works. Like for example, I was thinking about myself and I've heavily invested myself into the following perspectives:
- Knowledge is power
- Effort and motivation will get you what you want

As a result, when I reach a snag in my life, I immediately reach for large amounts of analysis in order to learn some special secret or solution. Then I throw in a lot of energy into making a certain solution manifest. As a result, I often find myself on some anguishing treadmills, where I'll just be thinking and working toward some good situation in life forever until it drives my knuckles bare.

Other people react differently when faced with challenges. Some just "go with the flow" and don't really try, and to them, just being yourself is all it really takes.

I think it's important for me to question my fundamental philosophies sometimes. I never really chose "knowledge is power" but I think having suceeded in an academic environment really encourages a sense that if you just put in the time and study you'll eventually squeeze out the result you want.

I don't want to blame my lifestory for why I think and do certain things, but it's just something to munch on. Do you see challenges as systems to be figured out and then triumphed over? Or do you see people with pre-existing talents who will naturally prevail? Is everything largely the result of making a balanced surrounding for yourself? Or do you make your own destiny regardless of the circumstances affecting you?


kopernikus said on March 4, 2006 10:19 AM:

This is a tricky one. I think a good way of figuring out why you think certain things will work is figuring out your own psychology. I've done this with the help of systems such as Socionics (which deals with the differences in information metabolism of various types of people) and the Enneagram (which deals with archetypical lifestories that people use to relate themselves to the world). These things are really helpful with figuring out your daemons, and when you can see things more transparently it's easier to choose where to focus your attention, which illusions to work with and which ones to pay less attention to.

I don't think it's wrong too choose a path and go with it, as long as you know that if it seems to have gone straight into the gutter you can always make everything transparent again and reassess the ground.

Another cool thing is the concept of "actions not outcomes", there's a video of a guy talking about it at , subscription is required though. Basically he says that if you invest your faith in actions rather than outcomes you won't be as sorry when Karma has its' say...

Philip Dhingra said on March 4, 2006 4:41 PM:

That's an interesting point about actions as opposed to outcomes. Focus on what you can _do_ and not what you _want_.

Andrew said on March 17, 2006 7:11 PM:

Hey dude,

Just wanted to say that you've done some excellent posts in the last couple weeks... I've been reading you for a while, and enjoying it... My current thoughts mesh a lot with yours...

Philip Dhingra said on March 20, 2006 7:00 PM:

Right on, thanks for following my site.

Creative Commons License