Blick über den Tellerrand #25
Having a smartphone everywhere you go (which I purposely didn’t have until last summer) creates mental habits — checking things constantly, sending messages, looking things up immediately when a thought pops into your mind, doing something. I suffered withdrawal for a few days, when I would want to reach for my phone constantly every time I was out of the house, and sometimes even in the house.
In einer Gesellschaft, die die Erfahrungen von materiellem Mangel und Knappheit gemacht hat, wird materieller Besitz zu einer Errungenschaft, die sich zunächst positiv auf die subjektive Zufriedenheit auswirkt. Das macht auch Sinn, denn materieller Besitz und ein gutes Einkommen sichern den Zugang zu vielen relevanten Ressourcen wie z. B. gesunde Ernährung, Krankenversorgung oder Bildung, die ihrerseits zur Gesamtzufriedenheit beitragen. Geht es einer Gesellschaft dagegen aus materieller Perspektive gut, dann führt ein Anstieg des materiellen Wohlstands nicht automatisch zu weiterer Zufriedenheit. Im Gegenteil, wer schon vieles hat, der wird nicht noch glücklicher, wenn er noch mehr hat. So gesehen sollte sich eine Haltung, vor allem den materiellen Reichtum zu vergrößern (Materialismus) in einer materiell bereits gesättigten Umgebung tendenziell eher negativ auf die Lebenszufriedenheit auswirken. Es gibt sozusagen keinen substanziellen Glücksgewinn mehr durch noch mehr Besitz. Die Empirie bestätigt diese Annahme.
The free market is competitive, but what libertarians don’t want to admit is that this competition produces winners. Once a winner emerges, the victory affords greater competitive advantage over the losers. A great example would be the New York Yankees baseball team. They operate in a large market which generates large revenues for their team which allows them to sign the best players which produces more victories which produces more popularity and more revenue. The result is that the Yankees dominate the competition and do well as an organization. But Major League Baseball suffers as a whole because a small market team like the Kansas City Royals has no chance of ever winning anything. The popularity of the sport as a whole declines which will inevitably cost the New York Yankees as people grow bored of the big city team whipping the piss out of everyone else. This is why monopolies are bad. They end up hurting everyone including the rich.
Minimalists don’t focus on having less, less, less. Rather, we focus on making room for more: more time, more passion, more experiences, more growth and contribution and contentment. More freedom. It just so happens that clearing the clutter from life’s path helps us make that room.
Brain imaging data from the teenagers at between 17 and 19 found that those who had experienced problems in the early years, like significant tension between their parents or lack of affection, had a smaller cerebellum. The cerebellum is an area of the brain associated with learning new skills and regulating stress, amongst other things.
We do so many things for the attention, to feel important or praised. But what if you had so much attention and so much praise that you couldn’t possibly want any more? What would you do then? What would you stop doing?
Probably only 1% of your customers or clients ever bother to make a customer service interaction. So when they do, this is your time to shine. Three minutes spent talking with them is going to shape their impression of your company more than your name, price, design, website, or features all combined. This is your shining moment to be the best you can be, to blow them away with how cool it was to contact you.
There is a difference between a teenager with a gun and hormonal rage and a mentally ill person. People don’t understand mental health; they don’t understand what it is, or what it means. What do you think is the difference between a murderer and a murderer with a mental illness? A chemical imbalance.
As much as possible, you should not waste your time or waste the time of others. Are you making yourself better with your activities? Are you making others better off with your activities? If the answer is yes, you are on the path to sainthood. A saint is simply someone who didn’t waste his or her life. The world was better off for having the saint in it. And it is worse off when that saint is gone. The world is always in need of saints.
The second enemy of the work ethic is greed. There are people who work and work hard, but this work is not for the Lord. It is purely for themselves. They wish to be rich, so work is not service to God and others but mere money getting. These are the people who work 80 to 100 hours a week in pursuit of paper, and they tend to gravitate towards financial services since these are the most lucrative occupations. These greedy people produce little value for others while accumulating vast wealth for themselves. Their rewards are barely in line with what they do for others, but they will defend their greed by pointing to how hard they “work.” Somehow, long hours on the job makes moral anything done during those hours. But if the job were prostitution or thieving, we can clearly see that no work ethic can make these illicit activities licit. Similarly, the getting of money is not the same as creating something of value. Happiness eludes these people as well.
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