hide

Read Next

Fluidity of Identity

When I lost my sequined hat, which I wore nearly every day for three years, I felt out of place. I was the guy who wore the sequined hat, and now part of my identity was most likely in the hands of an unscrupulous backpacker in Panama. But really, I had been getting sick of the hat. It wasn't overly functional, had shed enough sequins that it was starting to look ratty, and was a vestige of my clubbing days. All that didn't change that it had become part of my identity, though. The same could be said about my recent decision to stop being a vegan. It was a comfortable identity for me. Some people saw me as a positive example of veganism. Deciding to eat meat would be an admission that I had been wrong and had given suboptimal advice to my readers. That's a bitter pill to swallow, and I could feel my subconscious fighting to maintain its identity; the battle for consistency over optimization.

Fortunately I've been able to couple my identity to a few key values, rather than staunch positions on issues. I value doing the best thing for myself and others, I value finding the truth over being the one who had it to begin with, I value health, I value independence and freedom, and I value productivity. My means of expressing and embracing these values are different now than they were a few years ago, and I have every reason to expect that they'll continue to morph as I progress through my life.

Staying exactly the same is the opposite of growth. If you want to develop yourself, you must be willing to have a fluid identity, deriving your value and satisfaction from what you're currently doing and planning on doing, rather than from what you've done. It's not always easy, which just might be an indicator that it's the right thing to do.

Try Losing Some Moral Battles and Winning Some Real Ones

On SEBASTIAN MARSHALL

I'm really thrilled to bring you a guest post by Dan Andrews. He runs a product development company in San Diego, runs the Tropical MBA blog, and the Lifestyle Business Podcast. Some really good insights on there, and he's a really solid guy too. Here's Dan -

Try Losing Some Moral Battles and Winning Some Real Ones

When you are bemoaning the success or victory of others, you are generally seeking to achieve a sort of victory yourself. Let's call this a moral victory. Moral victories are addicting. You can achieve them at will. They magically appear whenever you need a boost.

Moral victories do one thing: they make losers feel like they’ve gotten some victory.

Moral victories are popular with people when they feel like they have no real power to make changes in the world. This makes some sense to me-- building power, wealth, and influence is generally difficult.

Rendering New Theme...