December 27, 2007
In a previous post I’ve mentioned the concept of memes, something I recently learned about and started to research. But how I started that research is a complete story of it’s own.. A story I’m now going to share (obviously ;-) )
I’m an avid reader. A few months ago I was reading three books:
- Snow Crash by Neal Stephenson
- The Selfish Gene by Richard Dawkins
- Mind Performanche Hac ks by Ron Hale-Evans
There was no real reason behind this selection, just books that came on my path and I started reading. Imagine when I reached a point in all three books where they discuss (in some form) the exact same concept: memes. I’m sure this is public knowledge for everyone who’s heard about memes, but I didn’t know it at the time.
This coincidence was a perfect example of my 3 times == action rule (discussed earlier) and so I was committed to researching the topic more thoroughly. So suddenly I find myself confronted with this little gem of a theory (which may or may not be scientifically valid), and as it turns out I can actually apply this theory in two business ideas I’ve been working on for years!
On another note, Kelly Abbott from Dandelife alerted me that what what my way of ‘filtering’ topics on how much you happen to come across them is closely related to a known philosophical concept: Jungian Synchronicity. Cool! So Kelly, thanks for even more to research ;-)
(Sidebar) When I’m talking about memetics I’m talking about the theory that treats pieces of knowledge almost like biological entities that can replicate and spread… not in the way that people sometimes call a hyped idea or popular concept a ‘meme’ (They are memes of course, but only a small category)..(End of sidebar)
December 21, 2007
Last year I was doing something stuff for LogicaCMG, which we made a little video about, which went viral! That was cool, but when I was en route, I noticed I was wearing a shirt that was way too cramped. Can anyone say “manboobies”?
This morning I was a bit shabby, and look what happened.. ;-)
December 21, 2007
Words… are… redundant…
December 3, 2007
As promised, here is the end result. I know it might sound a bit pretentious, high-browed or maybe even downright arrogant, but that’s not the intention. It’s just what happens if you want an ambitious mission I guess :-)
I believe that the defining feature of a worthwile life is to live it according to a good and ambitious mission. There is no predetermined goal in our lives or any prearranged plan, nor is this life a simple preamble to a better ‘after-life’. We live now, and only during this life. Everything we want to do or want to be we should do or be now!
The essence of leaving a good life is to do well for others and myself in a way that is as positive and meaningful to everyone involved, which over time develops into a legacy that will determine how much my life has meant to others. I refuse to live my life according to a work-eat-watch tv-sleep routine.
For me the most important value is integrity. To live life with honesty. good intentions and good actions. I love how it feels to be completely honest and want to be able to keep feeling that way.
In every situation and at every time I promise to myself and the world to the thing that I feel is the right thing to do. This is the only way to make a positive impact and maintain integrity. The personal consequences are of secondary importance only.
I admire loyal positive people with vision, passion and the persistence to make things happen. Those are the people to keep around me, Those are the people to be inspired by.
My general attitude should be appropriately humble, strongly empathic, resourceful and very calm/organized even in very stressful situations. Towards those close to me I want to be fun to be with and caring/loving.
I will always keep trying to improve myself in every aspect of life. Improving myself makes me a more capable person, which increases my capacity to do good actions
I will always make, have, keep and achieve goals that I set for myself. The most importantt of which are in this document and will be kept up to date.
All goals should follow my guidelines for integrity, doing good, being positive and self-development.
- To have a life that makes people ask “You did all that?” more and more often
- To directly improve the life of at least 1000 people significantly
- To visit every country and learn at least one important life lesson in each one
- Develop and maintain meaningful relationships with everyone I care about
- Die without regrets
I am not a saint, nor will I ever be. I will most likely slip up once in a while. This is not good, and I won’t stand for it.. but I will not be sidetracked from this mission as long as I live.
I am open about this mission and will distribute it so that others can hold me accountable for its contents and my actions.
“The worst state of being is remembering the future”
So there you have it, it might not be the most original text ever written, but it’s who I am :-) And as you can see all the elements I discussed in yesterday’s article are there. The goals, values, philosophy, the accountability to those around me. The quote at the end is there as a ‘mission reminder’ and it sums up the lifestyle quite well I think.
I found it a difficult and fairly confronting process, but inspiring in a way. One I certainly recommend.
December 2, 2007
I’ve been pondering for a while, on how personal my stories here should get and very nearly decided that they shouldn’t be all too personal (I feel so.. exposed ;-) ), but in the end I couldn’t see why I shouldn’t talk about things I find interesting, personal or not.
So that leads me to this (long!) post. Personally, I am not a religious person, I don’t believe in anything really supernatural; an after-life or personal deity. For me that means that I believe I have one life, and that this life is all the more precious because it is the only one I’ll ever have. It also means that I don’t think we have a predefined destiny or goal. In this post I’ll try to explain how I got mine.
This gives full control of a life to the person leading it, and it gives the option to determine your own goal/mission/meaning. A great opportunity, but what should that mission be?
I’ve thought about that for ages, always having some ideas about what I feel is most important in my life, but I never got around to actually writing something like a mission statement. My experience: writing something like that holds something of a Catch-22:
- It feels like a huge task and so it’s hard to actually start writing it;
- When you are writing it, it feels so important (you’re deciding what you want your goals te be after all), that it’s hard to be satisfied and actually stop and finalize it
A few months ago I started working on this, first thinking about what should definitely be in my mission statement, after some thinking I settled on these aspects:
- Something about my philosophy;
- What kind of life I want and don’t want;
- What kind of person I want to be;
- What I want to do (tangible goals);
- What kind of people I want in my life.
Not likely to be a short text huh? So, where to start? Well, I tried to fill in these points.
I see my philosophy as a kind of optimistic secular humanism. I believe in people, I believe that we live in societies and that what we contribute to that society is a great measure of our live. I also believe that if anyone is to judge what we do, it should be the people close to us.
The kind of life I want
This was actually most easily defined by me by saying what I don’t want: I always try to fight a very common lifestyle here in the Netherlands: People wake up, they go to work, go home and sleep on the couch, eat, and sleep in bed. That eat-pee-sleep routine would be horror!
The person I’d like to be (actions and values)
The tricky part, everyone has values and everyone is able to name a few of them, but it gets harder when you try to really prioritize them. Is integrity more important than loyalty? And honesty more important than empathy? It’s almost an impossible task. What I did, being the geek that I am, I put my values in a decision matrix with the values on both rows and column heads. That way every cell is a crossing point between to values, In the cell I wrote the value that I found more important. I then counted the number of times a certain value won and ordered the list accordingly.
It’s quirky; strange and slightly ludricous.. but it worked ;-)
My list of most important values in order of decreasing importance was: Integrity, Meaningful relationships, Legacy, Honesty, Loyalty, Personal development.
A not too vague list of things I really want to achieve :-)
What kind of people I want in my life
That was easy.
So… that gave me enough to go and write something that at least hopefully sounds somewhat intelligent and not too pretentious :-) The final result… will be in the next post ;-)
(To be continued)
Image by me, on Flickr