Selfishness is the accused and misleads the jury, epitomizing the advantage of likability in litigation.  Selfishness deserves an eloquent defense attorney.  It holds evidence to support a case in favor.

We assign selfishness to a wide range of behavior.  It’s largely understood to be an ego-centric personality flaw, serving only the individual who employs it.  But it’s a catch-all, circumstantially justified, and too quick to prescribe.  By weathering through the inclination to judge (others or ourselves), we can visualize what selfishness might be up to on a longer scale.  We don’t want to impair rise of thought or action that warrants celebration.

There is selflessness in selfishness.  While contradictory in audible, we can unpack the architecture of a self-serving decision and breathe clarity into both the value of the act and the intention of the actor.

We’re constantly taking self-inventory on the kingdom of our disposition — assessing qualities worth honoring and others standing to benefit from upgrade or revision.

It’s an inherent system we all share.  If the ego’s echo carries the farthest in your internal dialogue, he’ll do what he does best: manipulate the decision-making that reflects corrosive, selfish behavior harming others and yourself in the process.  But it’s self-love that speaks softly and carries the biggest stick.  Give her the floor.

Nurture your body, mind, and spirit.  The practical application of this ideology casts broadly, but to be what we’d call selfless, not selfish — to do for another without fine print reciprocity — we must first love ourselves, and live intentionally as such.  The value and growth incubated from investing in self-loving behavior gets passed on to those around you.  Those you love.  And here’s the enchantment of our nature: the more you unconditionally love yourself, the more you unconditionally love others.  All others.  And ego-centric selfishness is no match for unconditional love.

Why let the ego sentence a punishment when self-love sets you free?

Go be selfish.  Case closed.

Buy the seller

This is a common expression shared by folks in the vintage watch community.  It reminds buyers that beyond the required due diligence (given the volume of ersatz and inconsistent examples in the market), an absolute conviction in the reputation of the seller must inform your commitment to do business.

Here, the notion of buying the seller is obvious.  It’s also easier to evaluate a purchasing decision when you’re face to face, one to one.  Perhaps we find such joy and ease in supporting small, local businesses because the experience is palpable.

Conversely, larger enterprises behind the products and services we purchase don’t always imbue us with that comforting presence of the tender human touch.  We sense the void when we consume their marketing content, visit their stores, engage with their employees.  It can feel like a doctored, visceral inauthenticity.

Here, the notion of buying the seller is often cloaked by several cascading layers.  A seller with resources can craft whatever narrative they choose – behind a marketing campaign is spend, behind spend is a product, behind a product is a process, behind a process is a seller, and behind the seller is his or her intentions.

To buy from a seller is to finance their intentions.

Organizations that make meaningful and public investments in their product quality, supply chain, employees, the environment, charity and the like can be great indicators of integrity and value driven intention.  It brings their footprint on the world full circle, swiveling around a nourishment of the human experience.

The seller you buy from is a choice.  And a choice worth considering carefully.


Opinions – we all have them.

And rightfully so.  It’s an important part of progress and culture to communicate our thoughts with conviction.

With equal conviction, however, we need to welcome opposition.  Challenging stances is a pressure cooker for creativity, innovation, and hidden solutions. So we shouldn’t bow away from it just because the process involved can be confrontational and worse, political.

Consider this opportunity as a boxing match between two ideas, not two people – an important distinction.  Each side exchanging a right hook of values, an uppercut of logic, and a jab of imagination.  The good news is a draw or K.O. are both wins here.

Sacrificing outcomes by not having an opinion or challenging another gnaws at the achilles heal of making a difference.

. . . in my opinion.

What feels good vs. good for you

We like to do the things that make us feel good. Here’s what can happen if we always lean into that impulse:

  • a heroin addict relapses
  • an impatient job seeker jumps at her first offer
  • a furious driver expresses his road rage
  • an unhealthy individual eats a cheeseburger
  • a manager takes all credit for a successful project

Sometimes understanding the difference between what feels good and what’s good for you is straightforward.  But not always.  And either way, the choice(s) involved is seldom easy.

So when that impulse starts brewing, treat it with a cuvée of will power, self-respect, and virtue.

And suddenly, what feels good is now good for you.

The absolute necessity of trial and error in an examined life

Young, ambitious folks in mass are far more thoughtful in their lifestyle design and career pursuits, divorcing themselves from traditional frameworks of thinking.  As in, no longer is an ideal life defined by a check list grounded in the social expectations of some abstract higher order.  An abstract higher order perpetuated by posterity itself. Undeniably, we may seek similar items on that check list, but an interest in them is not informed by pressure to fit a mold.

We’re asking ourselves more meaningful questions and spending more time understanding the ripple effect of our decisions before tossing the stone in the sea. While this movement isn’t happening in one collective wave effort, there are internal wake up calls alarming within volumes of people nearing escape velocity.

It’s no secret that ‘happiness’ and ‘fulfillment’ have elevated themselves in the millennial buzzword ranks and are littered across the journalistic ecosystem.  It seems somewhat short-sighted to label this as a generational trend and instead investigate if this is actually a rewiring, or rebirth, of human thought process.

Hypothesis: part of the quest in understanding what happiness and fulfillment means exactly, and more largely how we can cultivate a wonderful and balanced life, is to conduct our approach through trial and error.

In science, we charter new territories by testing a series of hypotheses, and pursue results that show traction in the direction of fundamental truths. Fundamental truths in this case being scientific breakthrough.

In startups, we charter new territories by testing a series of hypotheses, and pursue results that show traction in the direction of fundamental truths. Fundamental truths in this case being product-market fit.

Above are just two high-level examples, but all logic considered, not taking the same approach to designing your life is a dangerous blind spot.

In career, use trial and error to test different industries, companies, and roles.

In environment, use trial and error to test different cities, neighborhoods, and homes.

In relationships, use trial and error to test different people, giving, and trust capacity.

In hobbies, use trial and error to test different interests, challenges, and comfort zones.

In self, use trial and error to test different belief systems, ideas, and boundaries.

And so on.  Forget the social standard – we live this life once and must define our own fundamental truths.

Use trial and error to charter new territories and when you find traction in the direction of your fundamental truths, focus and go.

Are vision and depth the same?

They share a jumping off point – the surface, an existing belief, a perceived reality, or a simple curiosity.

While they are directionally opposite conceptually speaking – external vs. internal respectively – the motivation is singular.  We seek (or ought to) fundamental truths beyond mass belief systems about ourselves and our world.  These very belief systems are reimagined when we have folks come along who discover the next truth by way of vision or depth. Resulting from a brave and personal vertical and horizontal exploration of oneself or an idea with no guide or manual.

In hindsight, we realize a metaphorical curtain has been drawn revealing what was already there but often disguised or hidden.

It’s a simple framework that we can all put into practice – a deliberate attempt to see ahead and deep within.

Sometimes two roads leading in opposite directions eventually meet.  Are vision and depth the same?

And then

Create value for a lead and then close the sale.

Listen carefully to a trusted advisor and then test a strategy.

Offer a customer service experience beyond expectations and then ask for product feedback.

Suggest an out of scope solution to your manager and then request more responsibility.

Focus on a dazzling user experience and then think about scale.

Build trust and then build loyalty.

If we come from a patient and motiveless generosity before pulling levers, new success metrics take shape, and situational output will be worth the investment after all.

Fight the impulse and then everyone wins.