You are only able to receive information you're ready to receive.
This is a fascinating concept when you think about it since information should be information, right?
To a computer, that's true. To the human mind, information isn't even close to being just information.
It's crazy that you can listen to or read something and come away with an entirely different take than I, and vice versa.
For years, I've watched people struggle with money, health, confidence, insecurity, relationships, dating, weight loss, etc.
It's easy to pass judgment and hard to understand and have compassion as an outside observer.
WHOOPS: I'm sitting here writing at a local coffee shop, and this young couple just sat down at the coffee bar and cracked open a case of hand sanitizer. I guess it's to "protect" them from everyone's favorite neighborhood Boogey virus. I think hand sanitizer is garbage and probably a net negative when used. Good old fashion soap does the job without the chemicals and without killing off the good bugs, which, when you do, actually makes you more prone to unwanted bugs. A minute later, their chocolatey-looking lattes come to the counter, and they grab them and walk away. Easily 30 grams of sugar in each.
So how do I think about what I just saw?
I could feel superior. I could feel like I know more.
But what does that give me? Nothing good, that's for sure.
The better path is to try to understand.
These two grew up with their family, environment, and cultural influences. Had I done the same, I'd probably be doing the same thing they are doing.
So is that it? Case closed?
The pessimist in me says, yes, that's all you can do. Understand and move on.
But the optimist in me remembers how I've leveled up my thinking and awareness every year of my adult life. If I can do it, anyone can.
I want to help these people. I want to explain how sugar is making them more "unsafe' to the thing they are trying to mitigate with their face masks and their hand sanitizer. I want to explain these measures are not based on science but Science. Then if I have time, I would do my best to explain the difference.
I want to help them eat a diet closer to the one our ancestors ate and encourage them to get 8 hours of sleep a night, plenty of sunlight during the day, and explain the benefits of taking a lot of walks. Finally, I'd do my best to explain why they should ignore everything mainstream—politics, big Pharma, the news, and what most people do and think.
Let's say I had a couple of hours with this young couple.
What could I accomplish?
The answer irks me because it's mostly true—not much.
If I dump on them a bunch of perspective-challenging narratives that will invariably create cognitive dissonance, all I'll end up doing is making them think I'm a crazy person.
Everyone is on their own path to understanding, to truth, to enlightenment, to epiphany.
I do believe there are objective truths to the Universe. There are certain first principles of physics, biology, and plenty of history about what works and what doesn't.
There is nature. And there is human nature. Sadly, they are often at odds with each other.
I believe every person can discover many of these truths in their lifetime. We can all find our 80/20 that allows us to live long, healthy, and happy lives.
Some people may find this without finding truth, though I think that is a dangerous proposition.
So yes, I want to help people wake up. Yet, paradoxically, I have to detach myself from whether not I actually do so.
I've come to accept that I can't change anyone. People change themselves. The best I can do is give them a door they can open themselves.
Finally, the best way to help the world is to become the best version you can and lead by example.
Jordan Peterson talks about this a lot, which is why he recommends young men make their beds since that simple daily habit is likely to affect other areas of one's life positively.
All that said, there are some recommendations universal to us all for improving. Here are some ideas of where to start.
1. Develop a first principles mindset
2. Constantly learn and iterate and learn
3. Action trumps all
4. Ask lots of questions - and listen
5. Be interested in people without agenda
6. Help as often as you can anytime the opportunity presents itself
7. Evolve out of black white and uses/them thinking
8. Study evolutionary biology so you can understand human nature and yourself
9. Study the top cognitive biases, so you can hopefully catch yourself committing these mental crimes
10. Spend your time with people that uplift you
11. Remove toxicity from your environment every chance you get (people, things, partners, foods, etc.)
12. Take a walk each day
13. Listen to audiobooks and podcasts more than music
14. Read fiction (this will change your life)
15. Take complete control of your results
16. Never complain
17. Never ever ever be a victim
18. Calm down and breath
19. Realize that 99% of the shit that seems like a big deal isn't
20. Visualize yourself in a bed at the end of your life... then try to feel the regret you will feel for not pursuing your dreams now that it's too late and you can't go back