Moral high ground

In our highly charged and highly political world, it is easy to tell ourselves a story where the end justifies the means for a virtuous cause.

However…

Right is as extreme of view as wrong is. It blinds us from the wisdom of seeing the world as it really is.

There is no ground to stand on.

There is more than one answer when we come in with an open mind

Two people looking at the same problem can come up with different solutions.

Take for example someone trying to hang a picture:

One might think that the answer is a quarter-inch hole and someone else may see an opportunity to make their home more inviting.

There is only one solution to drilling a hole into the wall–buy a drill. By contrast, there are lots of ways to turn a house into a home and to create a feeling.

Obviously, I’m not just talking about hanging a picture on the wall.

Confusing

We often get so comfortable about the system we live in we begin to position it in our minds as the only one that can be imagined.

How can anyone else do things so differently?

Even worse is when we think that the status quo is the best it can be.

Exceptions to every rule

“Don’t wear shoes in the house.”

Of course, if you came home to a fire and you ran in to save the cat, you wouldn’t be worried about the carpet.

Rules are imaginary. Agreements we make to make the culture run better. The problem with exceptions is that we can use them to justify bad behavior. Ignoring the spirit of it in the first place. We also use rules to create limits for ourselves. Which is no help either.

Some rules help us (cigarette companies shouldn’t be allowed to market to teens for obvious reasons) and others can be changed and adapted.

As a practice, I write every day. I guess you can call it a rule I live by. We can create rules that help reinforce a system that is working for us to create our best selves.

Performing

A professional musician isn’t surprised when she comes up with a beautiful solo live on stage.

They know how much work they have put into developing their craft.

The reason why everyone else is surprised is that the audience/critics don’t see all the hours behind the scenes you have put into your craft.

Stealing

If we rob the office from a highlighter, most of us don’t feel too badly about that. But then you add minutes to your time card and take coffee without ever replacing it. And on and on and on. Until one day, you’ve realized you have done something you are not proud of. Something not in line with who you are.

At some point, something happens that shakes us that we know we have behaved poorly. What happens is we forget to make decisions along the way because we have already made the justification before. As a result, we are not making a decision each time we steal something.

That’s the danger of routines. You are not actually thinking, you are just following through on a decision previously decided. These decisions send us down paths before we realize this isn’t a path we want to be on.

Virtue signaling

I know multiple groups that claim to save teens’ lives but don’t actually run programs for them.

Appearances can be deceiving.

What the public thinks and what happens behind the scenes are two different things.

AI can do it better

A team of musicologists has finished Beethoven’s 10th symphony. Except the team used AI to teach a machine all of Beethoven’s work to finish the piece.

Remarkable.

Going forward, we are going to continue to see machines outperform humans in every measure. Not just from a technical side but also in creativity.

If your job can be easily written down into a simple set of instructions that means a machine can learn it faster, do it more efficiently with fewer mistakes and won’t ask for bathroom breaks.

But even art isn’t safe from the effects of technology.

The best Indian food in Utah is…

The one you are willing to drive to.

The physical boundaries make it unlikely to try every single Indian restaurant in Utah. So, we try something and if it’s our favorite, it gets our endorsement.

It turns out that we do this all the time. Even with automobiles, our world is much smaller than we realize. “Best” just means the distance we are willing to go. In the space that we operate in, we are so limited in what we experience.