Sunday, April 30, 2017

Heard Them Say

"Wisdom is tolerance of cognitive dissonance" - Robert Thurman

I heard that quote today, while listening to Adam Robinson, Joshua Waitzkin and Ramit Sethi on Tim Ferriss' podcast. The conversations from this episode, Becoming the Best Version of You left my mind exploring fresh perspectives as I listened to these four brilliant men chat in a Q & A session. As with Ferriss type interviews, the questions get personal, deep and easily go 'off-course' and back in a sort of ramble - and that meta-banter, by the way, I find is usually precious. Case in point, one of the times when the discussion would veered off-course, one of the men talked about how authenticity was the most important thing for him, or another time, one talked about timing, and his 30 year-old being ready to finally accept or integrate truths he had stumbled on and ignored in the past. "Things just changed, and by the time I was 30, I was ready for it... I don’t think it's the right time in my life. As I get older, I will become more ..." The sidebars were about business, and spirituality, love, and authenticity, and so much more.

In this phase of my life where the slightest mention of "conscious" pricks up my ears, this episode was in many ways like a cool drink of water for my thirsty soul. Some parts of the conversations resonated with me, many parts I heard for the first time, and at the show's end, I was researching topics for myself. That for me is the beauty and power of questions, and when it's done right, like Ferriss does really well, it's valuable to the questioner, panel/interviewee, and the participant if only an active listener. Everybody wins.

This one plus hour long discussion touched on a number of topics, and I recommend giving it a listen. Some thoughts that stood out for me touched on:

- Competing from the inside out

- Evolving from fighter to nurturer (I love this so much!)

- Some advice you think the happiest version of your 80 year-old self would give you now

- Rumi

- Programmatic nature of humans

- Authenticity

- Being at your best when opponents were at their worst

- Optimizing the basics, as opposed to majoring in the minors of life

Rumi quotes from Google Search

My post-podcast quest for enlightenment got me thinking and trying to define Character for myselfwhich eventually led me to the gem in this Art of Manliness entry: What Is Character? Its 3 True Qualities and How to Develop It. There are certain wavelengths of consciousness that one gets exposed to and is unable to retreat because the impact is indisputable. Like they say, once you know, you know, and there's no going back to blissful ignorance. Or as Alice Hoffman puts it, “once you know some things, you can't unknow them. It's a burden that can never be given away.” Yes indeed, a burden like an inconvenient truth that sets a fire in your stomach, and the workaround really is to light a torch and do right.

Having said all that, remind me to be on the lookout for Sebastian Junger's documentaries.

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