Why I Don’t Follow My Feelings Ep 642

Summary Notes


In a thought-provoking discussion, the speakers explore the concept of meaning in life, with a particular focus on the distinction between imposed 'capital M' meaning and self-defined 'little m' meaning. They debate the liberating aspects of creating personal significance, the malleability of beliefs when regarded as assumptions, and the importance of accepting human emotions without judgment. Emphasizing the power of acceptance, they argue against the societal pressure to conform to specific emotional states, advocating for a more individualistic approach to finding purpose and contentment. The conversation also touches on the role of emotions in decision-making and the potential overvaluation of feelings in certain aspects of life, such as business and personal achievements.

Summary Notes

Acceptance and Self-Perception

  • Acceptance is a powerful tool that can alleviate misery caused by self-rejection.
  • Many people suffer because they resist their true selves and their genuine feelings.

"I think that there's just so much power in acceptance. It's like so many people make themselves miserable because they think that they shouldn't be who they are and they shouldn't feel how they feel."

This quote emphasizes the negative impact of resisting one's identity and emotions, suggesting that embracing acceptance can lead to a more contented life.

Entrepreneurial Documentation

  • The host aims to create a comprehensive record of building a billion-dollar enterprise.
  • The speaker expresses a desire for a documented journey similar to those of Jeff Bezos, Elon Musk, and Warren Buffett.

"I always wish bezos, Musk, and Buffett had documented their journey."

The speaker laments the lack of detailed documentation from successful entrepreneurs, which could serve as a roadmap for others.

Purpose of Documentation

  • Speaker A is recording their entrepreneurial journey for the benefit of others.
  • The act of documentation is seen as a way to provide insights and guidance to aspiring entrepreneurs.

"So I'm doing it for the rest of us."

Speaker A is taking on the role of a documentarian to fill the gap left by other entrepreneurs and to share their experiences with a wider audience.

Marketing and Sales Strategies

  • There is skepticism regarding the reverse-engineered steps of a customer's thought process in marketing.
  • Observable actions and outcomes are more valuable than assumptions about internal thoughts.
  • A feedback loop is essential to adjust strategies and achieve desired outcomes.

"If you can expose someone to a stimuli and get a consistent outcome, a lot of marketers and salespeople like to talk about the internal thoughts that someone's had."

This quote challenges common marketing practices that focus on presumed mental processes and highlights the importance of measurable results.

Actionable Insights over Feelings

  • Feelings are acknowledged but not considered useful in refining activities.
  • Observable and actionable insights are prioritized over emotions in driving results.

"And so if we have those things, then we can move the variables and get closer to where we're trying to go."

Speaker A advocates for focusing on tangible factors that can be manipulated to achieve goals rather than being swayed by emotions.

Meaning and Purpose

  • The distinction between capital "M" meaning (universal) and little "m" meaning (personal) is discussed.
  • The concept of creating personal meaning is liberating for those who do not subscribe to a universal meaning of life.
  • Nihilism, often viewed negatively, is not fully understood or accepted by the speaker.

"Because if we don't believe in a capital M meaning, which a lot of people disagree with, that's fine. But if you don't believe in a capital M meaning, I think that's very freeing, because then you can create little m meaning for whatever you want."

Speaker A differentiates between a universal meaning of life and personal meaning, suggesting that the latter allows for individual freedom and self-determination.

Nihilism and Meaning Creation

  • Nihilism is associated with the absence of an inherent, universal meaning of life.
  • The speaker suggests that the lack of a singular meaning allows for the creation of individualized purposes.

"The difference between capital M meaning and little m meaning. And this is kind of like the basis of nihilism, which people have, like, a very negative viewpoint around which I'm not entirely sure about why."

Speaker A introduces the concept of nihilism and questions why it is often viewed negatively, indicating a belief in the potential for personal meaning creation.

Meaning and Belief Systems

  • The speaker believes that there is no inherent meaning in life, which they refer to as the absence of capital M meaning.
  • They argue that humans have the ability to create and ascribe meaning to activities that they find interesting or energizing.
  • The flexibility of creating one's own meaning is highlighted as a positive aspect, allowing for shifts and changes over time.
  • The speaker contrasts this with "religion off the shelf," which offers a predefined set of beliefs and rules.
  • They suggest that creating personal meaning is more challenging but ultimately more rewarding, as it requires reasoning and the ability to adapt to new information.
  • The speaker differentiates between beliefs and assumptions, arguing that beliefs are essentially assumptions tied to identity.
  • By viewing beliefs as assumptions, they become more flexible and less tied to one's ego.
  • The speaker shares their viewpoint passionately, acknowledging that it may resonate with some people despite criticism.

"ve that there is no meaning. That is the meaning that I believe."

The speaker is expressing their belief that life has no inherent meaning, and this belief itself constitutes their personal sense of meaning.

"It means now that we have meaning make machines in our brain, and so we get to create and destroy meaning as we see fit."

This quote suggests that the human brain is capable of constructing and deconstructing meaning, giving individuals the autonomy to determine what is meaningful to them.

"What's nice about not having capital M meaning is that that can shift."

The speaker appreciates the fluidity of personal meaning, which can change and evolve over time, unlike fixed meanings provided by external systems.

"The downside of not having capital M meaning, which I consider to be religion off the shelf, is that it's more difficult because you have no one who's saying, here's the big box of rules."

The speaker acknowledges the challenge of not having a prescribed set of beliefs or meanings, such as those offered by organized religion, which can make decision-making more complex.

"But I think it's more difficult, but ultimately more rewarding if you have reasoning behind why you believe what you believe, because then you have to independent only come up with your own conclusions about those things."

The speaker argues that while it is harder to create personal meaning, it is more fulfilling because it is based on individual reasoning and conclusions.

"It also makes it malleable so that if you get new data or new evidence, then you can change your mind."

The speaker highlights the adaptability of personal beliefs, which can be revised in light of new information, contrasting with rigid belief systems.

"What's the difference between belief and assumption? Not a lot, right? The only difference is just what we call the word."

The speaker suggests that beliefs and assumptions are fundamentally similar, with the main difference being the terminology used.

"And so assumptions are based on things that we've observed, and then we assume something as a result."

This quote explains that assumptions are formed based on observations, which can be updated as new observations are made.

"And so I would say that beliefs are just assumptions, but when you call them that, they become less tied to your identity."

The speaker believes that referring to beliefs as assumptions reduces their connection to one's identity, making them more flexible.

"If you have an assumption, you don't say, you challenged my assumption. It's like, well, yeah, you challenged my assumption. Oh, that's great. I was assuming this, it must be this."

By perceiving beliefs as assumptions, the speaker implies that they become open to challenge and revision, which is seen as a positive and constructive process.

"I feel passionately about my viewpoint of the world, mostly because I struggled and I was in so much pain for such a long period of time."

The speaker's strong feelings about their worldview stem from personal struggles and pain, suggesting that their beliefs are informed by their experiences.

"I'm only sharing this despite the fact that I get attacked for sharing this, because there are people who this does resonate with."

Despite facing criticism for their beliefs, the speaker chooses to share their perspective because it may resonate with and help others.

Alternative Learning Methods

  • Different learning methods can activate various cognitive processes.
  • Visual aids like graphs can enhance understanding and retention.
  • The speaker promotes their YouTube channel as a free resource for those interested in such learning tools.

"More graphs, drawn out stuff, sometimes it can help hit the brain centers in different ways."

This quote emphasizes the effectiveness of visual learning materials in engaging different areas of the brain, which can facilitate learning.

The Illusion of Obligation

  • Language constructs such as "should," "must," "need," and "have to" imply obligations that may not be inherently necessary.
  • These constructs often create undue pressure and expectations.
  • Recognizing the absence of inherent meaning in these obligations can be freeing.
  • This realization can empower individuals to act without being constrained by societal judgments or perceived rules.

"When there is no required meaning, then a lot of language changes, which is should, must, need, have to. Like, all of these things no longer exist because there is no capital m meaning."

The quote suggests that many of our perceived obligations are based on an assigned meaning that is not inherently required, questioning the necessity of such obligations.

Business and Personal Freedom

  • In business, recognizing the absence of absolute rules can enable more flexible and innovative actions.
  • Personal freedom is highlighted as a core value, with the speaker suggesting that life can be lived in any desired manner.
  • The preface to the speaker's book emphasizes the concept of "no rules," reinforcing the idea of personal autonomy.

"And so for me in business, it allows me to take actions even though I know that I shouldn't or must not, or other people would judge me for not doing it the way that they thought I should do it. Because there are no rules."

This quote illustrates how the speaker applies the concept of no absolute rules to business decisions, allowing for actions that may deviate from conventional expectations.

Acceptance and Emotional Well-being

  • Acceptance of one's emotions and identity is considered powerful.
  • The speaker challenges the notion that certain feelings, such as sadness or anxiety, are inherently problematic.
  • The societal pressure to conform to an ideal of constant happiness contributes to unnecessary suffering.
  • Accepting the full spectrum of human emotions, without labeling them as good or bad, can reduce suffering and lead to a more balanced life.

"I read a YouTube comment the other day. It's like, hey, you talk a lot about being sad, and how have you been able to x, y, and z? And I don't identify with being a sad person. I think I have been sad in the past, but I also don't think that there's a problem with being sad."

This quote reflects the speaker's view that sadness is a natural emotion and not inherently problematic, challenging the stigma associated with negative emotions.

The Human Experience and Emotion Labeling

  • The speaker uses a metaphor of a line representing the median of human experience, with emotions falling both above and below this line.
  • Societal tendencies to label emotions as "good" or "bad" based on their position relative to this median is critiqued.
  • The speaker advocates for a neutral acceptance of emotions, akin to the impartiality with which we view weather patterns.
  • The imposition of labels on emotions is seen as a significant source of suffering, more so than the emotions themselves.

"And so I think that if we just accept that and accept ourselves and accept the feelings that we experience as things that we experience, like rain and weather and sunshine, it's not like rain is bad, not like sunshine is good."

The quote draws a parallel between emotions and weather, suggesting that just as we do not judge weather conditions as inherently good or bad, we should also refrain from labeling our emotions in such terms.

Importance of Feelings

  • The speaker questions the significance of feelings and their impact on self-assessment.
  • They suggest that feelings might not be as important as people think, especially in terms of accomplishment and fitness.
  • The speaker believes that the importance of emotions varies based on the context, such as love, which is also an emotion.
  • There's an exploration of the concept that emotions may be experienced differently by different individuals.
  • The speaker discusses how emotions can be measured by physiological responses like brain activity and heart rate.

"What would the case for feelings mattering be? And it gets really interesting because it's like how I experience a feeling that I label in my head as sadness. Is it the same way you experience the thing that you let."

The quote reflects the speaker's curiosity about whether feelings are a universal experience or if they differ from person to person, much like the perception of colors.

"I think I experience emotions. And so, I mean, I'm fairly confident I experience emotions. If we were to try and measure it that way, then that's how I would say, yes, I do experience them."

Here, the speaker acknowledges their own emotional experiences, suggesting that emotions can be identified and perhaps measured through physiological signs.

"If it's for accomplishment, not very important. For fitness, not very important. If we're saying, how important is emotion for love, which is another emotion, right? It becomes, like, amorphous."

The speaker is expressing that the importance of emotions is contextual, with emotions playing a minimal role in achievement and physical fitness, but potentially a more complex role in emotional concepts like love.

Defining and Measuring Emotions

  • The speaker enjoys the process of defining and measuring concepts, including emotions.
  • They find that most people are not interested in these discussions, but they find it personally engaging.
  • The speaker believes that redefining terms and concepts helps them navigate through challenging situations in life.
  • The concept of acceptance is highlighted as a key to the speaker's mental wellness.

"Trying to measure and define things is what I actually geek out on. And I really enjoy."

This quote indicates the speaker's passion for understanding and quantifying concepts, which they find intellectually stimulating.

"A lot of it is because I believe that I will redefine terms and so we'll have some instance or something that I should do and I will redefine it, or I'll say, I don't should, I can just accept it."

The speaker suggests that by redefining terms and expectations, they can better manage situations and improve their mental wellness.

"And that's why the biggest refrain that I have in my head for my own mental wellness is just like, and that's okay, period."

The speaker shares their personal mantra of acceptance as a means to maintain mental wellness, emphasizing the importance of being at peace with circumstances.

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