RE: Bryan Moss's recent posts

From: Barbara Lamar (
Date: Sun Jul 20 2003 - 15:42:49 MDT

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    Damien Broderick wrote:

    > I regard these posts by Bryan as perhaps the most worthwhile,
    > appropriately
    > disturbing interventions in the discourse of the list for the last couple
    > of years. I urge everyone to think long and hard on the perspective he
    > presents (even as I disagree with quite a large part of his critique).

    I agree with Damien about the value of Bryan's posts. Thank you for coming
    back, Bryan. At the moment, I'd like to respond to two items you
    discussed -- optimism and humility. You said : <<One of the general points
    I'm trying to make here is that we need to foster a sense of humility.>> and
    <<Optimism should be an excuse to work
    > harder for the future, not an excuse to sit back and do nothing.>>

    I would slightly rephrase what you said about optimism, Bryan to this:
    Optimism should be the *inspiration* to work harder for the future, not an
    excuse to sit back and do nothing. Every entrepreneur I've ever met has been
    wildly optimistic. One of my functions as a lawyer/CPA is to spill a little
    rain on my clients' optimism, to the extent of pointing out possible
    weaknesses in their plans possible rough spots they could run into. This may
    be the sort of thing you mean when you say we need to foster a sense of
    humility; but being aware of potential problems is not the same thing as
    being humble.

    I would go so far as to say that too much humility is more likely to cause
    inaction than too much pride. A humble person is more likely to have the
    attitude that nothing she does can make any difference. Rather than
    humility, I think we need to foster a sense of reality-based pride in
    accomplishment and belief in every person's ability to make changes for the
    better. Such changes can't all be listed on a general to-do list (although
    such a list probably wouldn't be a bad idea), because many of the changes
    are personal in nature. I liked something Anders said well enough to repeat
    it here: <<As I see it the question "how can I get involved?" can be turned
    into the question-tree: "Can I turn my current activities and interests into
    something more useful? If not, do I want to change them in such a
    direction?". Most people are going to find that the first step actually
    gives plenty of room for practical action.>>

    Down to the level of the extremely practical, having to do with time
    management and taking that first step: the path from the current position to
    the ultimate goal can almost always be broken down into discrete steps. When
    I'm facing a large project and find myself procrastinating, I can almost
    always trace my resistance to beginning the project to a belief that I don't
    have enough time. I can overcome this resistance by breaking the project
    down into sub-projects that can be completed in one or two hours. It's
    almost always possible to find one or two hours in a day.

    Barbara Lamar

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