How Meaning Can Change

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, May 3 2023

One silly pet peeve of mine is how people start letters to people with, "Dear _____," at the top. Why do they do that? Because that's how they were taught to start letters. To them, it denotes the beginning of a letter where this is the person you are addressing. But, when you know the definition of the word "dear" in English, you know that it is...

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Evidence and Belief

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 19 2023

Belief is discussed thoroughly in The Meaning of Life: A Guide to Finding Your Life’s Purpose. It discusses how a belief is anything that you accept as existing or true and how knowledge is a subset of beliefs that you can prove to be true. The problem is that—if you were getting technical—you can only truly know something (e.g., “Did I leave the...

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You Can Get Used to Anything in Three Weeks

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 5 2023

When I was in college, I had a Health professor tell me that he used to like salt and then had to quit for his blood pressure. He quit it for three weeks and afterwards didn’t mind the unsalted taste and even couldn’t add salt anymore because he could taste it and didn’t really need it. He then said that if you wanted a habit to stick, you can...

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The Meaning of Life

To Live Your Life…You Have to Live Your Life

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 30 2022

“If I only had _______, then I would truly live my life to the fullest.” More money. A degree. When your kids are older. If only you didn’t have that one thing in your way, you would truly be your true self and live your true life. There’s another saying, though: “It’s always something…” So what is holding you back in life, and what is it holding...

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Neuroscience and Determinism

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, November 2 2022

Possibly the most surprising, amazing, and contentious finding in the last 20 years of the study of neuroscience is the idea that the brain’s decisions might be made up to 10 seconds before person is consciously aware of it. The most famous popular psychology assertion on the topic of free will comes from Sam Harris, who stated that free will is an...

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Control Your Attention, Control Your Experience

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, September 28 2022

Even in a world where you have almost no control over your life, you control what you focus your attention on. This is one of your most powerful abilities to choose how your life unfolds. Two of my favorite examples of this are: In the first example, the advice is sound: if you are looking at something and it displeases you, you can just look away...

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Your Failures Aren't a Waste

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, August 24 2022

Do you remember your first steps? (Probably not) Do you remember someone else’s first steps, such as a child’s?  In either case, there was a lot of failure involved in the process.  Maybe the child wasn’t strong enough yet, or maybe they fell a bunch of times.  Maybe they were scared.  Yet no one remembers that nor points to their failures while le...

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How to Figure Out What You Want

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 13 2022

Most simple motivational talks could be summarized as such: “Find what you want; believe you can attain it; and go out there and get it!”  Similarly, when you go to the self-help section of a bookstore, you’ll find a whole list of books claiming to provide anything from the belief system to get what you want to step-by-step guidance to attain what...

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Wanting and Feeling Good vs. Wanting and Feeling Bad

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, July 6 2022

Longing.  We all know the feeling: having a strong desire for something you can’t have.  But do you have to feel that way?  Let’s explore. I’ve been criticized in the past for stating what is basically common sense—of course, I’ve also had my brushes with people who vehemently oppose my “hot takes” (go figure).  One of those biggest hot takes come...

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You Can Raise Your Emotional State at Will

Nathanael Garrett Novosel, April 27 2022

Many people think that their emotional state is almost exclusively due to the reality that they are experiencing.  After all, basic biology and psychology teach the classic “stimulus-response” model in living organisms where a change in the environment will trigger a response in the affected creature.  This is mostly true, as life forms that did no...

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