Imagine a future in which every person on earth has a device where they can press a button to release hormones into their brain to make them instantly happy. Over time, these become insufficient to make anyone happy as the population begins to adjust to this new norm, but they can’t quit because now normal life feels like depression. This leaves everyone in a constant state of drugged up mediocre feelings.
Happiness is all relative. In Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory, Charlie is elated to be given a chocolate bar, but Veruca Salt is never satiated by any of the gifts she demands. Happiness is relative to the baseline we have for ourselves. This baseline can move over time as our life improves or worsens, but happiness is always based on that. This is sometimes why you hear the phrase “I am the sky, not the weather.”
In general, being sad is not an enjoyable state, but it is a necessary one. As we ride the roller coaster of life, there would be no amazing free falls without valleys to climb out of. So, just take time to enjoy both parts of the ride.
We all know how much work setting up a new iOS device from scratch can be, but I always prefer to do so with a new iOS device as this gives me a chance to prune my app selections and privacy permissions for apps. There are hundreds of settings to change. Here is the list of tasks I follow when setting up a new device, partially just for my own future reference.
Download on cellular
Playnext by priority
Download high quality
Download using cellular
Allow various permissions
Display>Text Size 2
Dark theme and icon
Adjust shown calendars
Google Drive, Docs, and Sheets
Switch all to block
Enable Workflow Sync
Wunderground and Carrot
Messages Syncing on
Wi-Fi Calling on
Pare down notifications
Flashlight bottom right
Low Power Mode one left of flashlight
Camera above flashlight
Screen Record above Low Power Mode
Do Not Disturb
Do Not Disturb While Driving on when connected to car bluetooth
Accessibility - Siri voice response control with ringer switch
Why people are more than a collection of differences between each other
So many of the world’s problems have their roots in creating dichotomies: separating things into this vs. that, us vs. them. Examples of this can be seen all around us; The opponents in sports are seen as villains, members of other political parties as new age Hitlers destined to drive America into the ground, even people who own differently branded items from what we use are seen in a different light. We’ve all heard the debates: PC vs. Mac, Ford vs. Chevy, etc. But all dichotomies are false dichotomies, yet we continue to put others in these neat and tidy boxes because that’s the most straightforward way for us to categorize the world around us. It is so easy to fall into the trap of overlooking faults in oneself and to nitpick every little fault in those “outsiders”.
Of course the reverse is also true. Just as it is easy to over analyze someone else’s faults due to the opinions you have of them, it is equally effortless to put them on a pedestal. The question “Who is your hero?” always struck me as odd. Everyone has an answer: Martin Luther King Jr., George Washington, Amelia Earhart, and many, many more. These people are renowned for their successes, but they all faced hardships and felt unsure of themselves at many points in their career. They did things their parents weren’t proud of, hurt the feelings of friends, among other things of which they weren’t proud. All of this is natural; they are human after all and no human is entirely perfect. Both of these problems originate in human’s taking the easy way out by just judging every book by its cover.
So many of the world’s problems have one simple solution. We as a society could accomplish so much more if we learned to view others complexly. Complexity and individuality are an inseparable part of us, an inevitable symptom of the human condition, but the symptom that is most often overlooked in others. Cooperation and compromise stem from an ability to see issues through the eyes of another, to understand what goals they are striving for. This can only be done if we see others as complex, multi-faceted individuals rather than pieces of paper — easily read and lacking any depth or further meaning.
Now, while this may be a simple solution, simple solutions are not easy solutions. Overcoming one’s own internal biases and avoiding the snare of viewing others as a flat characters without internal struggles is one of the most onerous tasks for one to accomplish, but also one of the most important. Never judge another man until you have walked a mile in his shoes.
Why learning to deal with disappointment is key to human development.
One of the most important ideas I’ve ever heard is the story of the old king. The king asked to be made an item that would make him sad when he’s happy and happy when he’s sad, so a ring was made which was engraved with the words
“This feeling is fleeting.”
This is important in that, while happy feelings will fade, as will those of disappointment and sadness. No matter what happens to you, no matter when or what it is, the sun will come up tomorrow. While there aren’t second chances, there are next times: times when you can make yourself better and meet the goal you want to achieve. And now you know what is wrong and what you can do better. Nothing is ever accomplished by hanging your head at the first sign of failure. Keep calm and soldier on.