Evaluate Principles

Principles are the bedrock of philosophy and must be evaluated to remain true to their origins.

Principles are the foundation from which a person’s values are established. They shape decisions and perceptions of the surrounding world, provide a personal navigation system, and define good from bad. A person’s Principles are the essence of what a person is and what they stand for. Accepting this, the significance and importance of personal Principles becomes obvious. So too is revealed why opinions are shared so quickly and often by the surrounding world.

Authority figures and common people alike share ideas of right and wrong. The world is quick to share opinions and reactions to current events, the actions of other people, and any and all other happenings. A person’s Principles are woven throughout their commentary. With increasingly more avenues by which individuals are able to share their commentary; it is understood that an individual’s Principles are under constant barrage of competing and complimenting ideas. It can further be understood how Principles can be unintentionally altered when meeting such a volume of outside influence. Personal Principles; therefore, must be reviewed and evaluated regularly to maintain clear alignment with philosophy and goals.

Useful to the discussion is breaking down major categories of Principles:

  1. Internal – Internal Principles are those Principles that are the bedrock of a personal philosophy. These play the largest role in shaping a strong individual’s world view. These are held with the utmost conviction and are the most clearly defined to the individual. These are the unnegotiable Principles of the individual.
  2. External – External Principles are the principles held by the surrounding community. These are the principles that are broadcasted by others and are responsible for challenging personal values. Those weaker of conviction will allow these external Principles to dictate their values, actions, and perceptions.
  3. Pseudo-Internal – External influences are unavoidable and will act upon the internal Principles of an individual. Pseudo-internal Principles is a term coined to define those Principles that are made to feel important to an individual but are ultimately a conflict of internal Principles with outside influences. These Principles often feel unauthentic when pursued and cause internal conflict and confusion as they are regarded as important; however, are not of true importance to the individual.

The first goal in evaluating principles is to resolve all pseudo-internal Principles. As discussed above, these Principles are corrupted internal Principles and must be recategorized into an internal or external Principle and from there accepted or rejected. If identified as an external Principle, it must be identified as one that can either coexist with internal Principles or one to be avoided. Resolving pseudo-internal Principles removes uncertainty and doubt in an individuals philosophy and values.

Second to this is the goal of validating and prioritizing the values being pursued. While a person’s principles generally do not change much; the attached values and the pursuits of these values will marginally shift and morph as an individual grows. It is through this evaluation process that the opportunity to optimize efforts is realized.

There are potentially difficult realizations and decisions that will be revealed through this process. The nature of external influence is that it comes from the surrounding community, potentially from those people that are in one’s inner circle – those closest to an individual. If expectations have been established between an individual and their surrounding community, explicitly or otherwise, it may become realized that those expectations will ultimately not be fulfilled if they conflict with the Principles of the individual. These conflicts must be addressed and resolved in order to move forward.

Regardless of what is found through this process, the importance of performing these steps cannot be compromised by the findings. The resulting decisions must be made with conviction, confidence, and purpose in order to realign one’s values with their Principles. This is critical to forging on the path toward the life a person wants to live.

Evaluate Principles and remain true to self.

In the follow-up Transmission, External Influence: The Community, I take a closer look at the role and impacts one’s community can have on values.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey

Thrive In Discomfort

The initiated do not avoid discomfort; rather, they seek it.

What is discomfort and what is its significance to people?

Discomfort is a feeling that goes hand in hand with challenge, unknown, and resistance. Discomfort is the antithesis of human nature. Humans seek comfort – it is the reason we live in houses, invented air conditioning, and go swimming when it’s hot. When humans feel uncomfortable, they want to change something to resolve that discomfort and return back to “normal”.

People have been developing products and services for years in an effort to address a point of potential discomfort for their customers. As this continues, it becomes increasingly easier to find fast and easy solutions to problems. This is not an issue in and of itself – specialization of products, trades, and skills have freed up the time of others to pursue different paths. The problem; however, is that it soon becomes too easy to seek comfort – and who wants to be uncomfortable?

Discomfort drives change and growth. The active avoidance of discomfort stunts the engagement of a person to the world around them. By hiring a handyman, a person loses the connection with their house. By taking their car to the mechanic for any unusual noise, they don’t understand the thing they rely on to get to and from their job each day. By choosing to sit in front of the television instead of getting in exercise, they lose their coordination and fitness.

Without feeling lacking there is no drive for a person to enact change.

Why would there be? If one is comfortable and happy, what reason would there be to step out of that comfort zone? It is the desire to resolve discomfort, to overcome a challenge, that is the drives a person to take action. Without this sense of discomfort, people become content and stagnant.

The initiated must remember to seek out new challenges, find discomfort, and attack it head on for they know how much there is to learn about the world as well as themselves in going through struggle. The initiated person is not scared to marinate in discomfort for a while – it does not overcome them. They are willing to chew on a problem, analyze the situation, come up with a plan, and proceed with a solution.

The more this practice is repeated, the more confidence is built. Therefore when faced with future challenge, one can pull from this experience and confidence; it is a compounding skill. There is self-trust built in knowing they have developed skills and tools needed to come up with a plan and overcome any challenge unfortunate enough to cross their path.

On the flip side, a content, comfortable person becomes stagnant. They do not have the desire to seek out new challenges and instead live in their comfortable bubble, consuming, with no outlet for their energy and creativity. These people are content to be the same person for the rest of their lives, or so they think.

This is not the way. Stagnation will catch up with these people eventually and they will eventually look for change.

Familiar with the term “mid-life crisis”? A mid-life crisis is nothing more than a realization of such deep stagnation that a person must make a big, often irresponsible, gesture to feel like they are taking back control of their lives.

Life is the longest game you’re going to play; it is also a game where there is unlimited potential to grow and get better. Like anything else, it is all dependent upon the amount and quality of work put into it.

Go out and seek discomforts. Struggle to lift heavy weights, challenge your mind, ask questions. Be humbled by trying something new. Learning does not stop with the completion of formal schooling nor does achievement of goals mean the game is won.

Be engaged. Be active. Move. Learn new things.

Thrive in discomfort.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey

The Intentionality of Vinyl Records and Parallels Drawn

The ritual and intention in listening to a record and a parallel drawn to all media consumption.

Vinyl records have been experiencing an increase in popularity over the past 10 years after being sidelined when the compact disc took over. These bulky, immobile, 12″ disks requiring a phonograph, storage space, and special cleaning regimens to keep them playing right are again a relevant medium by which to listen to music.

Some people like them for the sound quality of the “pure analog sound”. Some like them for the history and uniqueness as no two copies of the same album will sound the same. Some just think they are plain cool and retro. These all hold some truth, but that is not what I hold to be the most significant quality of vinyl records.

The significance of vinyl records is the intimacy and intention that is required to listen to them.

There is a ritual associated with playing a record. First having to sort through shelves to find the record; pull it out of the sleeve, clean it, place it on the turntable, prep your needle, get the record spinning, drop the needle, and walk to your chair to listen. Twenty minutes later you’re back up repeating the cleaning and setting process for the B-side.

Each play of a record damages the grooves just a small amount until after enough plays, the sound quality begins to diminish. It’s a living copy of the music and it should be enjoyed for each play it gets.

There is engagement and appreciation in the listening that is harder to find in other music formats. There is intention behind the act of listening – a required level of purposefulness. It requires more focus than other formats.

Drawing a parallel from here to a larger view of media consumption the importance of intention is highlighted.

Consumption of television, social media, etc. continues to grow. Much of this consumption is done without intention or purpose and as a form of relaxation or unwinding. It is comfortable and easy; which is appealing. It doesn’t require much thought and allows the brain to turn off. Consuming in this manner without a purpose is essentially dead time, time forfeited without gain, and should be minimized appropriately in order to maximize growth potential.

Maximizing time and turning it into something fulfilling is the goal. Use available time for something that is going to be a benefit presently and in the future. I invite you to find a hobby that can be built upon over time; something that builds knowledge or a skill, something that keeps you up, moving, and off of the couch. This can be anything that requires purpose and intention to do. The benefits are abundant.

Let me know what you’re doing to keep yourself busy and engaged with intention in the comment section below. It may be helpful to the next person.

Yours in strength,

-Jersey

Amass Choices to Remain Nimble

Choices are needed now to create flexibility later.

The Sunday Transmission thought of the week:

The surest way to increased stress is limited choice.

How often do complaints about a commitment get thrown around? Pretty fucking often – whether joking or serious, the feeling of being stuck in a position is stressful. The idea of having few alternatives and having to stick out an unfavorable situation drives up stress and having choices with steep consequences is limiting. Either situation may force the brain to make compromises and justifications in order to make it through such a situation.

This week I am reminded of the power in having choices. Specifically, choice in income and financial stability.

Anyone paying attention to financial advice or interested in personal finance has undoubtedly heard about diversifying portfolios and multiple income streams. While powerful in practice, it is too narrow. From a wider perspective, this is really a promotion of choice; as in, when one income stream or investment dries up or goes sideways, you’ve got the other diversified options to lean on.

The future is unknown and to put on the blinders and follow one path is potentially setting up an eventual realization that the walls have closed in and there is no reasonable or quick way to pivot. Responsibilities, expenses, and time are working against you and the later on you may be, the harder it is to change course.

Always aim to provide yourself choices and you reduce the risk of getting stuck without an alternate path. Keep your eyes up and scanning the surroundings for potential opportunities and lose the blinders – else you are only hurting yourself.

Yours in strength,

Jersey