Archive for the ‘Philosophy’ category

A Guide to Becoming a Good Judge of Character

April 2, 2009

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In all walks of life, there are certain universal “tells” that will depict the magnitude of one’s character. Usually, the positive signs are not as overt as the negative ones. Below are a few red flags that should cause you to be wary when judging others.

1. Filthy Living Space – Our homes are where we spend most of our time. If it is filthy, chances are that the person using it is too. The most telling signs are the kitchen and the bathroom. These places should be a haven for hygiene and cleanliness. It says a lot about a person when they don’t have enough consideration to themselves to maintain these places. And if they don’t have enough consideration for themselves, imagine how they are with other people.

2. Lacking Common Courtesy and Etiquette – Some people never take heed to mind their manners. Or perhaps their parents/mentors did not teach them any at a young age and they are continuing the cycle. A few examples include the person on a loud personal phone call on the bus or elevator at 7am, the guy who takes the liberty to put his feet up on your couch even if you don’t, and the person that consistently wears out their welcome everywhere they go. These are habits they carry with them wherever they go.

3. Always Flaunting Name Brands –  A person who sees the need to flaunt their material belongings is probably putting all their eggs in that basket. In my experience, truly respectable people don’t flaunt all that much, or least not so obviously.  Class is more about subtance than style. You shouldn’t buy a 85k luxury car and drive it home to your $300mo. apartment unless you are hiding from the IRS or selling drugs. And you shouldn’t flaunt your $30 Louis Vuitton bag that you bought off the back of a truck in Chinatown if you’re not 100% that it is real. A Patek Phillipe doesn’t stand out any more than a Rolex or a Tagheur. You wouldn’t recognize it unless you could afford it. In all things… “Act like you’ve been there before.”

4. Always Bragging about Every Little Thing – those who constantly seek validation from others are really seeking to validate their own lies or overcompensate for percieved inadequacies of self. Unless they are THAT passionate (you can tell the difference), be wary of those constantly shoving their selfish agendas down your throat. These types are usually full of sh•t.

5. Constantly Borrowing and Never Returning – They say you should always bring more to the table than you take away. This is true in all things and relationships, not just material goods. Most classy people hate being indebted. Those who seek to take away from you but do not give anything in return (even sincere appreciation, which is oftentimes enough) not only do not have your best interests in mind but probably not their own either.

Influencing Reality – Lessons from Pygmalion

October 13, 2008

“How we believe the world is and what we honestly think it can become have powerful effects on how things turn out.”
– James Rhem, editor of national teaching and learning forum

The Pygmalion Effect: A Brief Overview

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The Pygmalion Effect is a theory on self-fulfilling prophecies based on a George Bernard Shaw play, Pygmalion, in which a professor makes a bet that he can teach a poor flower girl to speak and act like an upper-class lady and succeeds.

Essentially, the Pygmalion Effect proposes that enhanced expectations from others can cause enhanced performance from self. Likewise, negative expectations will also produce negative outcomes.

Can Reality really be influenced by expectations of others?

On a sub-conscious level, I say absolutely.

Look at social status, for example. Some people, whether it be due to race, financial status, et cetera, never succeed simply because they are not expected to. And others do well despite having the same variables, simply because others have maintained high expections.

Just think of all the goof-offs you knew in high school. Some who did poorly in school but are now serious money-making professionals. Now compare them to those that got good grades and are now going nowhere. Accident?

On the other end of the spectrum from academia, dating also show some serious hints of pygmalion. Notice the effect of benchmarks in time within relationships. If a couple makes it to a month, they’ll likely make it to six. And most of the couples I’ve known that make it 6 months will make it to two years. Anything past that and they’re usually in it for the long haul, barring a major life change.

Now as far as Pygmalion effects in the workplace, don’t even get me started on that. Let’s just say that I’ve seen both the positive and negative consequences, as I’m sure most of you have.

Lessons from Pygmalion

  • Associate yourself with positive people that believe in you. Those that don’t will inevidably bring you down.
  • Expect a lot of others. By doing so, you are helping them grow in life. No matter how much they bitch at you for your outlandish expectations.
  • Be wary of your effect on others. Give up on someone that looks to you for guidance and they will be likely to fail. Believe in the right person and you could help them make their dreams a reality.

That’s all I have for you ninjas. Now go out into the world and make it someone’s day. 🙂

George Clooney or the Dalai Lama: Who would you rather be?

August 28, 2008

Think about this hypothetical question…

On one hand, you have George Clooney. one of the most famous men on the planet. He is rich, charismatic, and more sought after by women of all ages than the last line of coke at an overworked-supermodel party.

And on the other hand, you have His Holiness the Dalai Lama, the exiled spiritual leader of Tibet and lifelong teacher.

If you were to wake up tomorrow as either of these men and live out the rest of your life within their existence, which would you choose? Dig into your values. Think a little. It’s really an interesting query if you think about it. After all, both are good men in their own right.

Would you rather be desired or desireless?

George Clooney is a rich movie star but also a socio-political activist that has been recognized as a “Messenger of Peace” by the United Nations. He’s lived a fortunate life since childhood with a journalist father and pageant queen mother. He’s succeeded in Hollywood as an iconic star in movies such as Oceans Eleven and Syriana. And his largest claim to fame is having been voted “Sexiest Man Alive” twice.

The 14th Dalai Lama is NOT a sought-after sex symbol. He is the spiritial and political leader of the Tibetan people. Exiled in 1959, he’s lived a life of poverty, humility, and refuge for the purpose of liberating his people. He is a renowned speaker on subjects ranging from philosophy to geopolitical instability. He is also fluent in many languages and has admirers from all over the globe.

So if that question was posed to you… Would you rather be George Clooney or the Dalai Lama for the rest of your life and why?