No one has taught us how to live.
Here is a little teaching…
We are never already enough to accomplish what we really want to accomplish.
If you only want to accomplish for which you are enough, you are not building a life worth living. What makes life worth living is the experience of expansion, growth, reaching for, striving, not the having.
Of course you can err on the side of delusion and want to reach the heavens with abilities enough to ride a bicycle…
We have already known that we can learn things. What is new to me, what I have proven, is that you can actually increase your ability, your brain’s ability to see things, and connect the dots.
I have been experimenting with this for years now.
The interesting thing about this process is that it’s not linear. And that is both interesting and it is what prevents most people from getting smarter or from growing as a person.
If you look in the literature, I doubt you’ll find many examples for someone getting smarter.
Why? because that person who got smarter would have to have gone through hopeless feeling, hopeless looking things for years, without ever giving up. And for that you need a TLB high enough to deal with that hopelessness.
TLB is the scale on which we measure to what degree you are able and willing to sacrifice the momentary and easy for something that is remote and not guaranteed.
Popular sayings, like a bird in the hand is better than a bird in the bush, make it the only choice for most people.
In order to grow your brain power, you need to be willing to be stupid for a long time… stupider than what it takes to do what you want to do.
I have just had a shift in the past week, where my ability grew about 20%, from one day to the next. 20% is tremendous. It’s taken me many years of not growing. Many years of putting myself in a position of being less smart that what was required of me to be.
It came, interestingly, at the same time where I expanded my challenge to the physical: I started to climb the steps near my home, instead of once a week, every day of the week. Tuesday twice…
The connection is probably not accidental.
You cannot really achieve breakthrough result with just repeating the same challenge over and over… You can get better at what you are repeating, but your brain won’t.
When I look at famous people, by the time they are famous they have stopped growing. They are mining the plateau, but don’t even think about growing. This is why there are rarely any people who live a life worth living… even if they achieved a lot. Because once you stop growing you start rotting inside.
My current reading schedule has books from Haruki Murakami, the Japanese phenomenon: he stopped growing 30 years ago even though he is still running marathons. His pictures show a man who isn’t living a life worth living.
My life is about becoming all I can be, climbing the Tree of Life, so I don’t ever think about stopping growing.
Becoming all you can be is a direction. Like the horizon. It moves as you move: it never gets closer.
It could be said that a “normal” human will say, at some point, that good enough is good enough, and start rotting.
The price of growing, I think, is to stop trying to achieve in the world, because just “doing life” doesn’t cause growing.
Not in skills, not in knowledge, not is brain-power.
Just like playing chess, playing cards, reading, etc.
The price of growing is deliberate practice.
I am not saying you can’t live… I am saying that what causes growth is not living a life, but practice.
Bummer, eh? No wonder that the number of people who grow is so small.
And the number of people who grow into their seventies is probably a group of one.