Thursday, December 5, 2013

How many people? Dunbar's number

Robin Dunbar is an evolutionary anthropologist.  He has famously suggested that there is a limited amount of people with whom we can maintain meaningful relationships.  Dunbar's number is right around 150.  He arrived at this conclusion after over 15 years of surveying successful group sizes throughout history, from primates to Roman platoons to successful Fortune 500 companies.   Recently I have heard it suggested that some of those spots can be held by celebrities or politicians.  For example, if you watch Oprah on a daily basis then Oprah may be taking up one of the valuable and limited spots in your top 150.  This creates many questions in my mind that I want to share.

Who is in my 150?
Are they there by my choice or are they there by default?
Who do I add in order to improve my group?
Who do I drop in order to improve my 150?

Being conscious of who is in our 150 is is vital.  Environment is stronger than will.  Studies have shown that people with obese friends quickly gain weight and will eventually become obese.  

Be careful who you allow to take up the few spots you have available.  

Friday, November 1, 2013

I lied

Moral dilemma of the day.  I received a call from an agent that I know works with investors, early this morning.  He invited me to breakfast. This was out of the blue and very unexpected. First thought I had was that he was recruiting for the next best multilevel marketing program to hit the World.  Guaranteed to make me a millionaire faster than all the others.  So,  I asked "is this Amway?" He said no way this was a meeting about learning how to work with investments.  Well since we are out of bacon at home I decided that I would accept his invitation.  I arrived late to the breakfast meeting and asked about the real estate meeting.  The hostess hiccuped and pointed me to a meeting room that had large banners with the words Dream Vacations in 12 inch letters.  I l looked through the window in the wall and spotted the agent that invited me.   I knew right away that I had been misled. 

Here is where my moral dilemma comes in.  I told the agent that I had just learned of a real estate emergency and I had to leave immediately.   Since then I have tried to rationalize that it is OK for me to lie to him since he lied to me.  It's not working.

This is where your I ask for your input.  Do I call him and tell him I lied? I don't anticipate an ongoing relationship with this guy.  I don't feel good about not addressing this.  But how do you tell someone that you lied because they lied? 

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

So much Drama

The ancient definition of “passion” was “anguish” or “suffering” – which comes from passive reaction to external events.  *Stoics endeavored to transcend passion through apatheia, or peace of mind (literally, “without passion”) to attain eupatheia, which are feelings that result from evolving our reactions.

Are there situations that spark negative emotions in you?  Most of my Facebook friends post often about how situations make them feel (insert negative emotion here).  If you look again at the first sentence - their anguish and suffering come from a passive reaction (victim) to external events. When I read this I recognize that there are many times that I let my mind take me to negative places.  Today, in simple situations I have worked on seeing difficult situations and choosing a neutral mindset.

Another Stoic tenet is that nothing is good or bad and the only thing we control is our perception.  The Stoic idea is that every situation is an opportunity.  I am sure that it will take work but I can see how controlling my perceptions, seeing everything as an opportunity and not good or bad and not allowing myself to being victimized will make me a better man.

*Stoicism is a school of Hellenistic philosophy founded in Athens by Zeno of Citium in the early 3rd century BC. The Stoics taught that destructive emotions resulted from errors in judgment, and that a sage, or person of "moral and intellectual perfection," would not suffer such emotions.

Monday, January 21, 2013

Why is Raylan Givens so cool?

Sometimes I wonder why characters in successful movies and television shows are so attractive and well written.  I think I figured it out.  It is easy to write for a character that is well defined.  I find that my personality and purpose are not so cut and dried.  Anthony Robbins talks about the easiest change being Identity level change.  In a TV character the identity is clear and therefore his decisions are clear whenever presented with ambiguous circumstances.  Our lives are much different.  Most of us have not taken the time to so clearly define who we are, and if we have, often that person changes from situation to situation and depends on our energy, whether we worked out that morning or not or how low our blood sugar is. I suppose that life becomes much easier the more clearly we define what we will and will not accept in our lives.  Inevitably the questions arise but, who am I? What am I supposed to do? What is my passion?  Tucker Max says "you don't find passion, you make passion!"  Choose who you are!  So, how do you do it?   It is actually a lot easier than you think.  Decide the type of person you want to be then prove it to yourself with small wins.  James Clear has many great easily understood and easy to do examples in his blog.  Take a few minutes and read it.  This is the best way I have found to gain some clarity and write a great script for my favorite character, me.