Monday, December 26, 2016

Overall Life Planning Theory (Video)

--Show Notes--


Living out in the wild


Property has useful and non useful plants haphazardly scattered throughout your property

First step. Figuring out what you like and don’t like and putting things where you want it.

Trying to make your property more efficient and enjoyable


Gather food from places outside of your property that you like

Deciding on whether or not you want to bring them onto your property


Going to new areas and make note of things you want to gather


Our lives are scattered and unorganized

First step is to organize our lives and start getting rid of things you don’t want

Second you can start researching things you are interested in that you may or may not add to your life in the future

Third is exploring topics that are new to you. You might move some of these things into the gathering stage to learn more. Some of the things you won’t really care to pursue further.

Saturday, December 3, 2016

Tasks vs Attributes (Video)

-- Show Notes --

Tasks - things we do

Play piano, planting garden, playing soccer

Attributes - what we want to be

Becoming a musician, being healthy, self sufficient, staying in shape


Tasks are the vehicle

Attributes are the destination

Costs of the vehicle vs worth of the destination

Mowing the lawn to have a good lawn. Is it worth it or is there a better way?

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

The Power of Correct Observation

I want to talk about something that I believe is one of the biggest obstacles to us solving our world. It can also be the biggest asset to help us to solve our world.

The way we make decisions and changes in our lives is based on our opinions, beliefs, views, and ideas of how we think our life should be. These are the first things that need to change for us to be able to make a change in our lives. We aren’t going to change unless we have first thought of the thing we want to change and decide that it’s something worth changing.

The way we change our ideas of how our life should be is by observation.

We observe everything around us. People, places, ideas, thoughts. Anything that we pick up through our senses is what we are observing.

So you can imagine that if we are not observing the world very well, we are going to have a hard time learning new things and experimenting with what we want our lives to be like.

But it gets worse than that.

If we observe the world incorrectly, we may make incorrect decisions and making more problems for ourselves even as we are thinking like we are doing what is best.

I feel like I’ve heard a quote (that I can’t find! Someone help!) that says something like, “The worst thing isn’t an evil person doing evil. It is a good person, thinking they are doing good, but are doing evil.”

If your observation is skewed, even if you aren’t doing “evil” things, you might be hurting yourself or others unintentionally, and I think this is happening more often than not.

I don’t think this is a problem we can solve in our lifetime, but like most things we talk about here it is all about mindset and getting our “percentages” up. If we can go from 10% to 50%, that will help a lot.

So let's dig a little deeper...

Mental Filters

Every second of every day we are observing millions of pieces of information through our senses. This is much too much information for our conscious mind to handle. So our subconscious is what actually sifts through this information and decides what to pass on to our conscious mind.

For ease of discussion I am going to call the way our subconscious decides what to pass on and what not to, mental filters.

Our subconscious mind makes these filters for us over time by learning what our conscious mind wants to know. This is how we view the world, through our mental filters.

If we have a filter that is not correct for whatever reason, we will be looking at an incorrect version of the world.

You can think of this as looking through colored glasses. Everything is tinted that color and if we were making important decisions based on the color of the world, we would be making a lot of mistakes.

Examples of this could include religious beliefs, political beliefs, racial stereotypes, all forms of discrimination, strongly held opinions, science... the list goes on and on. Really it is everything.

Confirmation Bias

This problem is greatly enhanced by confirmation bias.

Confirmation bias occurs when we interpret new information as evidence of our existing beliefs and values. This entrenches us in our current mental filters making them stronger and stronger.

Let’s go back to the glasses analogy.

If we are looking through green tinted glasses, we believe the sky is green. Every time we look at the sky we can see that it is green. When other people tell us that the sky is blue we shrug it off as ignorance or argue and try to convince the person the error of their ways. The worst part is, we have friends and family that also have green tinted glasses and we all reinforce each other's’ views and making fun of the “blue sky conspiracy.”

Changing our Filters

So how do we change our filters? If our whole world is tainted how do we even know that we have incorrect filters?

We need to assume that we have tainted filters and start to look for clues that will tell us what our filters are.

Do you notice that maybe that wall that is supposed to be white has a little greenish tint? Maybe your filter is tainted green.

Once you recognize that you have the filter you can start to change it to be more correct.

This is where pride starts getting in the way.

None of us want to be wrong

Sometimes we start thinking that we might have a tainted filter but we have spent so long defending it that it can be hard to admit we were wrong for so long.

Remember! The goal in life is not to be right all the time!

The goal is to discover truth! How the world really works! Natural Laws!

Then after discovering them, trying to follow them to get the most out of our short lives.

Are we going to let our tainted filters stop us from reaching our full potential?! From experiencing the most joy we possibly can in our lives?! Just so we can act smart or superior and keep our pride intact?

I’ll leave that choice up to you. But I think if we can all start to examine our subconscious mind a little closer and start to find these filters that are skewing our view of the world and holding us back, we can get a little closer to solving our world.

Saturday, August 6, 2016

Natural law

One thing I've been thinking about lately is the idea of natural law. The idea is that there are absolute truths or principles that when followed will give a certain result.

For example, gravity always pulls objects toward the Earth at 9.8 m/s, water always travels perpendicular to the contour of the land, or that Christopher Nolan always makes good movies.

But this doesn’t just apply to physics and movie directing, I think it applies to all aspects of our lives.

The Idea of Karma for example, if I do good things, good things will happen to me.

But I think we can get even more specific; if I communicate effectively, I will be more likely to have good social connections or if I lie and cheat, I will not be respected by others or myself, or if I go watch The Dark Knight or Inception, I will enjoy myself.

The idea of natural law isn't my idea, many philosophers have talked about natural law. Some called it God's law, some call it natural law. Eternal Law is a similar idea as well.

This is the basis on which is based on.

Trying to find the principles behind why we get outcomes and then deciding if it's a natural law.

The next step is beginning to apply these natural laws into our lives and slowly refining them as our understanding grows.

Here is some of my notes from researching this topic:

Natural law is a philosophy that certain rights or values are inherent by virtue of human nature and universally cognizable through human reason.

In the Republic, the ideal community is, "...a city which would be established in accordance with nature." -Plato
the Stoics asserted the existence of a rational and purposeful order to the universe (a divine or eternal law), and the means by which a rational being lived in accordance with this order was the natural law, which spelled out action that accorded with virtue.

St. Thomas Aquinas in his Summa Theologica I-II qq. 90–106, restored Natural Law to its independent state, asserting natural law as the rational creature's participation in the eternal law.

St. Germain informs his readers that English lawyers generally don't use the phrase "law of nature," but rather use "reason" as the preferred synonym.

Bracton considered justice to be the "fountain-head" from which "all rights arise."

Coke's discussion of natural law appears in his report of Calvin's Case (1608): "The law of nature is that which God at the time of creation of the nature of man infused into his heart, for his preservation and direction."

Let us assume that there is no absolute truth whatsoever. Therefore,  'non-existence of any absolute truth whatsoever' is an absolute truth.  - Tripti

Sunday, March 20, 2016

Stewards of the earth

Before I get started on this topic I would like to acknowledge that this can be a very politically charged issue. I don't want to just argue talking points and political agendas in this post or any post really. My goal with this post and this website is to find principles, that when applied by most people, will make the world a better place for everyone. No matter your political agenda, I'm sure that you can agree that we all need to take better care of our home, the earth. Whether we are talking about issues as big as pollution or as small as wasting resources, there is a lot of room for improvement.

That being said, let me share some of my thoughts.

One big issue that we are having in the world is most people aren't taking care of the planet that we are living on.

Everything we have, our food, our water, our houses, our enjoyment, our life, all comes from the earth.

The earth gives us these things so that we can survive. And not just survive, so that we can enjoy life. But what happens when our earth can no longer provide these things. What happens when we continually take take take and never give back to the earth?

Everything on this earth is living symbiotically. Every plant, animal, and microorganism is taking what they need and giving the rest back to the rest of the ecosystem.

I think the problem we have as humans is that because we have the ability to reason, we have been able to use the world to our advantage and override our natural state of being part of the ecosystem. We like to control what is around us, the better we control things, the better we understand it and the more advantage we can gain. We have separated ourselves from nature because it is difficult for us to control. We try to force nature to comply with what we want. It is a constant battle between us and nature. Weeds vs lawn, forced animal compliance vs animals natural desires, sidewalks vs tree roots. The list goes on and on.

Now, all this being said, I don't want you to get the impression that I am an anti human, environmentalist. Definitely not. Let me explain.

Sunday, March 6, 2016

The Desire to Learn

Solving the world requires creating a desire to learn in everyone.

Something I have been thinking about lately is what I think is close to the root of a lot of problems we have in this world. Lack of knowledge, and therefor, wisdom.

I talked about the differences between knowledge and wisdom is a previous post so if you haven't read it yet I would recommend looking at it so you can have more of an idea of where I'm coming from in this post.

I have been observing myself and people around me and I have been thinking about how so many problems that we create in our lives and other people's lives could be either solved or avoided altogether if we had more knowledge and wisdom about how to handle the various situations.

Long, probably boring example that you can just skip if you just want the information.

For example, I was playing a basketball game the other day. It was supposed to be just a friendly game but we also had referees and a scorekeeper. The referees had already had a couple rough games earlier that day. They made it clear to us that we needed to be respectful or they would have to end the game early. We all agreed. The game was pretty evenly matched and started becoming a little heated, especially after a few controversial calls. Most of us have only played for fun and therefor we don't always follow the rules as well as we should because we don't understand all the rules. This led to more calls and more frustration. Eventually the refs told us that if they heard one more complaint they would end the game. There was 2 minutes left before the end of the game and it was still pretty close. One player fouled another trying to reach for the ball and the ref didn't call it. The player that was fouled still had the ball but he started complaining to the ref about being fouled so much. The offending player started arguing that he hadn't fouled him and an argument ensued. The ref said "That's enough" and ended the game, forfeiting both teams. We all left frustrated and annoyed that we couldn't finish our game.

This is somewhat of a silly example but it's what got me thinking about this issue. It would be easy to put blame on one person or another, but as my dad would always tell me, "It takes two to tango". Referencing the dance, he is telling me that for there to be an argument or disagreement there has to be at least two people at fault.

Let's look at the problems that happened and see how they could've been avoided.

1. The refs could have been more patient, they could've understood that none of us meant any harm and we were just full of testosterone and it is just part of the game.

2. The players being fouled could've realized that no one meant any harm and most of the time we are not trying to cheat they were just honest mistakes from lack of understanding of the rules. They could've shrugged it off and kept playing and having fun, maybe even trying to teach the offenders after the game or when it wasn't a heated situation anymore. But most importantly, teaching by example by not retaliating.

3. The players actually doing the fouling could've tried to understand why the ref was calling certain things and why the other players were getting mad. They could've been humble enough to realize that they don't know the rules perfectly and probably are fouling the other players. They could try to improve and learn so that they stop fouling in the first place, and when they did mess up they could apologize and move on.

If any group had done this the outcome would likely have turned out better, if all groups had done these things it would have been a positive experience for everyone.

I don't want to sidetrack to far into conflict resolution, perhaps another post. But my point here is why did none of these groups do these simple things?

I'm sure there are a lot of different reasons why. But one that stuck out to me and I think is at least as important as the others is either a lack of knowledge about how they should've handled the situation or lack of wisdom or experience to help them find a solution. Using our example:

1. If the refs had learned about and practiced patience, good communication skills and conflict resolution, they likely would've been able to handle the situation better.

2. If the players being fouled had learned about and practiced patience, empathy, communication skills, and controlling their emotions there wouldn't have been a problem at all.

3. If the players doing the fouling had learned about and practiced patience, communication skills, humility, and of course, the actual rules to the game there likely wouldn't have been any problems.

End of Example (Told you it was long)

My whole point with this example is that any of these people could have made the situation better with just a little bit of knowledge and wisdom. With the internet today and our ease of access to information there is no excuse for not constantly learning these types of things. So how can we address this issue? I think that one way we can help ourselves and those around us to gain more knowledge is by fostering curiosity.

It seems really simple but I think curiosity is the driving force behind the desire to learn.

So what is curiosity?

Being curious is when we get focused on a knowledge gap in our brain creating a strong urge to fill it.
Basically, we realize that we don't know something and we get an insatiable urge to learn more about it.

I have done a little research about how to foster creativity in ourselves as well as in others, these are some of the ideas that I liked:

  • Ask questions, and question everything! Asking questions serves two purposes. One, it primes your brain to start thinking of the answers, and two, if you ask the right people you will likely learn a lot.
  • Be open minded. As you are learning you are going to find things that may contradict what you thought you knew. You need to be able to look at what you think you know and the new information as objectively as you can. If you never change what you think you know, what is the point of learning?
  • Don't look up (or give) the answer right away. This immediately kills your curiosity. Why should your brain even try if you are just going to look it up in a couple seconds. Try to figure it out on your own wherever possible and come to some conclusions before checking to make sure you are right.
  • Be confident that you will find the answer. Even if you probably won't, having this optimism pushes your brain and is a good exercise. Who knows? You might even surprise yourself.
  • The path is the goal. -Mahatma Gandhi. Enjoy learning, not just finding the answers. If your goal is just to know the answers your brain will just shut down as soon as you find them. If your goal is to learn then your brain will constantly be looking for new ways of looking at things.
  • Explore new areas of the world, expose yourself to knew ideas, observe as much as you can. All of these things will open up a lot of knowledge gaps in your brain that you will want to start filling.

As with everything, the first step is to cultivate curiosity in ourselves, only then should we start to help those around us. Here are a few tips I found to help others develop curiosity.

  • Ask people thought provoking questions, and don't settle for their first answer. Dig deeper, give them the chance to think about it.
  • Be an example of open mindedness. If someone corrects you about something you thought was right, thank them for trying to set you strait and ask them why they are right and you are wrong, if you still think you are right at least you heard a different point of view and you might be able to share some of your knowledge with the other person. If you were wrong, guess what, you just learned something new!
  • When people ask you a question out of curiosity don't just give them the answer right away. Help them to work it out themselves and try to guide them to the answer. This is a lot harder but solving the world is usually not the easiest route.
  • Be encouraging when others are wrestling with the question, even if they get it wrong, their brain is learning how to be curious and with encouragement this desire will grow. If you mock people when they come to an incorrect conclusion usually they will respond in one of two ways. They will either become defensive and cling to their incorrect conclusion, causing them to shy away from curiosity because of fear that they will discover they are indeed wrong. Or they will feel shameful, embarrassed and stupid. This makes them feel that they can't find correct answers on their own and again, kills their curiosity.
  • Make learning a fun process with anyone you're teaching. This is difficult to do (but hey, once you realize you're not very good at it, curiosity kicks in and you now can go learn those skills.), but again, we are not looking for the easiest solution, we are looking for the best.
  • Expose those around you to new ideas and ways of looking at things. Perhaps they will find a hidden interest in themselves that will kick start their journey in life long learning.

This is not meant to be a comprehensive list, just some things that I thought was important. I think it will at least be a good starting point to help us solve this problem. If you have any other thoughts on the matter comment below and maybe I will add your idea to my list. (Don't worry, I'll give you credit. ;) )

Perhaps if we all become curious and constantly try to learn and better ourselves we will have more people trying to solve their own problems and becoming contributors to society instead of drains on society.

Related Reading/Source Material

Monday, February 1, 2016

Time Management Systems (Part 1)

One of my passions is time management as anyone who knows me is very aware. I have been building time management systems since I was in highschool. Something about the idea of being more efficient with my time really excites me. It is a branch of one of my main passions which is resource management (using resources as efficiently as possible), which I'm sure I will discuss later. Time is one of the easiest resources to manage if you have the will power, but possibly the hardest if you don't. I often struggle with that willpower, that is why I have created systems so that I don't have to use as much of it and the system can do most of the work. Hopefully it will be useful for many of you out there.

I'm sure all of you have used, or at least heard of, many different time management systems. Today I am going to talk about the similarities between many of them and the shortcomings I see. In later posts I will explain how my systems try to fill in the gaps that these other systems are missing.

Most time management systems follow, at least to some degree, a similar framework. It's usually something like:

Visions: Who you want to be, who you want to be with, what you want your life to be like, etc.

Goals: Specific steps you need to take to move you towards your vision.

Plans: How are you going to accomplish your goals?

This framework can be scaled to any timeframe. 10 years, yearly, monthly, weekly, daily, hourly even.

This framework is very powerful and I believe that it is following natural law (Which I will talk about in detail later. Basically universal principles that give a predictable outcome when followed correctly). Most time management systems use something similar to help people improve their lives.

Where the time management systems differ is in how to put the plans into place, and how to stick with them once they are planned.

The problem that I personally have with every system I have tried is it always takes discipline to plan every single day. I need a system that can plan itself! And that is always what I have attempted to do.

Another shortcoming is that most systems have a hard time helping a person balance their life. What do you do with your freetime? Do you plan every available space? How do you make sure that you aren't burned out? Some systems try to address this in different ways but I've never found one that is easy but also effective.

I want my system to be very easy to use but very powerful at helping me achieve my dreams. I hope by sharing this with you I can help you to do the same.

Later on I will share some of my ideas to make this happen. But until then, what problems do you have with time management, or, how are you making it work? 

Friday, January 29, 2016

Knowledge vs Wisdom

I have read several articles lately that have got me thinking. The main premise of these articles was the idea that more knowledgeable and intelligent people tend to prefer certain political ideas. The arguments are that if most "smart" people think it's a good idea and most "dumb" people think it's a bad idea then it is reasonable to assume that we should follow the advice of the "smart" people.

I think that this is a great idea, we should listen to the people that are most likely to know the best answer in any aspect of our lives. We go to doctors to find out what we should do to remain healthy. We go to accountants to make sure we are filing our taxes right. We go to church to learn how to follow God more closely. It is always a good idea to look for the best source when trying to make decisions in our lives.

The problem with the argument many of these articles are putting forth is that they are making a very important assumption:

People with more formal education are more knowledgeable, more intelligent, or "smarter" than those without. Therefore they are wiser counselors when making decisions.

What I would like to address is why this assumption is not only wrong, but can cause many issues.


What we are looking for in our decision makers is not knowledge, it is wisdom.

Gaining wisdom is much more than gaining knowledge.

Gaining wisdom takes time and looking at many viewpoints with an open mind to find the best solutions, often this means changing your previous views and opinions.

There are many ways of gaining knowledge and none of them are the exclusive way to gain wisdom.

Different ways of gaining knowledge have their positives and negatives when trying to turn that knowledge into wisdom.

Summary Conclusion:

Formal education has many shortcomings when it comes to gaining wisdom. Not to say that it is unimportant or not useful, but looking for the wisest people shouldn't exclude any form of learning and formal education is definitely not a requirement for wisdom.

What we are looking for in our decision makers is not knowledge, it is wisdom.

Why is the assumption wrong? Well simply put, we don't just want knowledgeable people we want wise people.

Wise people not only have a lot of knowledge, but they know how to use it effectively. They are humble and open-minded. They change their opinions based on the new knowledge they receive instead of clinging to old ways of thinking, or being swayed by the latest popular opinions.

These are the people we want to listen to.

Gaining wisdom is much more than gaining knowledge.

So what's the difference between knowledge and wisdom?

Well let's start with the basics. When we we are exposed to information in the world around us we start making connections. These connections turn basic information into useful knowledge. But to turn that into wisdom we need to go one step further. We need to take the knowledge and start making connections with experiences that we, or other people have with that knowledge. This turns that knowledge into wisdom.

Gaining wisdom takes time and looking at many viewpoints with an open mind to find the best solutions, often this means changing your previous views and opinions.

This also requires that you make your own decisions guided by the knowledge and wisdom you already have and the new knowledge and information that you are constantly gaining. You are not guided by long held beliefs with no basis or popular ideas and opinions.

There are many ways of gaining knowledge.


We live in an amazing time in history. We have the internet. This amazing invention connects everyone in the world to each other!

One of the huge benefits to this is the free flow of information, good and bad. You can learn almost anything you want from very good sources from the comfort of your couch! This information is not always true and the hardest part of this form of learning is having to sort through and figure out what is true and what is not. But the information is still there!

Books (Including magazines, newspaper, and other widely distributed printed material)

Another huge invention that shaped the world before the internet was the printing press. The printing press made it possible to mass produce books, pamphlets, and so forth. This made it possible for information to spread much quicker.

Today this still applies. There are thousands, millions, of books out there written by experts trying to share their knowledge with the world. It's just a step down from learning at their feet! What if you could have the wisest person you know personally teach you what he thinks are the most important things? Well you can probably find it in a book.

Books have the advantage of barrier to entry. Anyone can write a blog post about any subject, no matter their credibility, at little or no cost. Books however take a lot more time and the process is a lot more stringent. So it is more likely that the information will be good. But that doesn't mean you should let your guard down. As always you will have to sort through what is fact and what is fiction.

Formal Education (Including any form of learning where you are listening to a presenter)

The last great resource I would like to address is formal education.

Formal education is an extremely good resource, you are almost always getting high grade information, you are learning from experts with at least theoretical knowledge and in some cases, actual experience (wisdom). The downside is you get a limited amount of viewpoints and it is usually expected that you take what is taught as absolute truth.

You also get to rub shoulders with many like minded people and get one on one answers to questions.

Formal Education has the highest barrier to entry. To get an idea to be taught you need a pretty wide consensus. This is good because that means the information is probably good because it is widely accepted, but it can be bad when the system doesn't like new information and therefore suppresses it.


  • High grade information, usually from experts in at least theoretical knowledge.
  • Social connections with other like minded people and said experts.
  • Highest barrier to entry. Getting a text book into a university or an idea to take root with all the professors is difficult, thus weeding out a lot of useless information.


  • Often you are expected to take whatever is taught as absolute truth. Any contrary thought is at best ridiculed and at worst punished with bad grades.
  • Highest barrier to entry. Once an idea begins being taught it is very difficult to root out misinformation. (as you noticed this is a positive and a negative)
  • Partially the same idea as above. Ideologies and philosophies are self perpetuating. Once the majority thinks it is correct anyone who disagrees is seen as uninformed, or not as intelligent and therefore will not get a teaching job, and their textbooks and ideas will not be purchased or used. So once an idea gets root, it is very difficult to change.

Different ways of gaining knowledge have their positives and negatives when trying to turn that knowledge into wisdom.

Difficult to gain high grade information
Easy to analyzing others' experience
Easy to study many different viewpoints

Medium difficulty in gaining high grade information
Difficult to analyzing others' experience
Medium difficulty to study many different viewpoints

Formal Education:
Easy to gain high grade information
Medium difficulty in analyzing others' experience
Difficult to study many different viewpoints


As you can see. If we are looking at just gaining wisdom, formal education is not necessarily the best way. All the different ways of learning are important for gaining wisdom.

Now I don't want anyone to get the impression that I am against formal education. To the contrary I actually think it is an important and amazing resource in our communities.

My argument is to the effect that just because someone doesn't have formal education doesn't automatically make them less wise than someone who has. I know examples of people with formal education that do not read regularly or research on the internet regularly. This might indicate that they are not very wise because they think they already know it all because they got a degree. The moment you think you know it all is the moment you become unwise.

 'If you think you know everything; you know nothing. If you think you know nothing; you know something.'
                         --Jayce O'Neal

So lets not trust our decisions to people that simple have learned some good information in the past. Lets seek out the people that are constantly learning, always trying to better themselves, humbly acknowledging their weaknesses and trying to overcome them.