Choice

Emotions

If You Want to Be Happy, Then You Have to Be Happy

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 29 2022

Yes, I know the title is a little too cute and seemingly paradoxical.  But the truth is that happiness is a choice as much as it is a response to external stimuli.  Give me a moment to explain how emotions work in humans vs. earlier organisms, and you’ll understand why the title is not a paradox nor a tautology but rather an explanation of—and a pr...

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Meaning

Own Your Choices

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 15 2022

Depending on how you count what a “choice” is, you’ll make hundreds of thousands to billions and billions of choices in your lifetime.  Choices include the big ones like which school to go to, which jobs to apply for, and whether or not you marry or reproduce as well as the little ones like where you focus your attention at any given time or whethe...

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Truth

If Your Beliefs Don’t Benefit You, Change Them

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, June 1 2022

A belief is anything that you assume to be true.  A subset of beliefs is knowledge, which are things that you know to be true because you have proven them in your reality.  Ideally, people want to bring their beliefs in line with reality to prevent harm, pain, and disappointment.  However, all beliefs that something is not possible when it actually...

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Growth

Boredom: Very Important…and Very, Very Dangerous

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, March 2 2022

“Idle hands are the Devil’s workshop.”  You might have heard this saying, which summarizes well the downsides of boredom.  Boredom is an emotional response to the lack of novelty, challenge, or engagement coming from a person’s surroundings, and it is a very important mechanism for keeping people and animals engaged in play and other activities tha...

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Choice

The Negative Consequences of Bad Life Decisions (and How to Reverse Them)

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, January 26 2022

We've all made bad life choices, either because we were self-sabotaging, we didn't know any better, or we prioritized short-term pleasure over long-term well-being.  But what is causing bad things to happen in your life?  Is it random?  Is it directly your doing?  Is it karma?  Let's explore in this blog post.

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Growth

Life’s 8 Major Fallacies

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, January 5 2022

Mistakes People Make in Their Search for Meaning When people are looking for their meaning in life, they will have trouble finding it if they make erroneous assumptions about how life works or what they’re supposed to do with the one that they’ve been given.  Unfortunately, such fundamental assumptions are held sometimes without people having thoug...

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Desire

How Things You Don’t Like Can Benefit You

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 15 2021

Mosquitoes.  People who cut you off in traffic.  Unexpected bills.  Mondays.  If you’re like me, your heart rate is rising just thinking about these things.  Yes, there will always be things in this world that you don’t like, and no one likes what they don’t like (by definition).  So what can you do to alleviate the discomfort associated with this...

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Ethics

Is There a Best or Right Way to Live?

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, December 8 2021

“Thus it is that the Tâo [The Way] produces (all things), nourishes them, brings them to their full growth, nurses them, completes them, matures them, maintains them, and overspreads them.” “He who knows (the Tâo [The Way]) does not (care to) speak (about it); he who is (ever ready to) speak about it does not know it.”

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Truth

Freedom vs. Safety: The Ultimate Trade-off

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, October 6 2021

Would you rather be safe or free?  Obviously, people want to say both, as many people use “free” and “safe” interchangeably when, for example, they claim that they want to be “free to go outside” during a pandemic or when a criminal is on the loose when they really want to be safe when they go outside.  But freedom and safety are opposing goals mos...

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Planning

When to Think, and When to Act

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 1 2021

Figuring out what you want in life is difficult.  You can spend hours agonizing over decisions.  There’s a reason why ice cream shops offer free samples and many products and services offer trials: experience can be the best teacher regarding what you want or don’t want.  So, how do you know when additional thought and discussion versus when more e...

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