#50: Stop Learning, Start Doing

This is the first post, so let’s cut to the chase: In this blog we’ll be going through a series of  50 challenges. Whatever you want to do, let’s do this together. You like A. J. Jacobs and Tim Ferriss? That’s a good start. You want to deal with your big picture question too? On top of that you like Science and Philosophy? You’ve come to the right place, but don’t take a seat yet, this is not a place to rest your gaze and get your warm fuzzy feeling inside by making a comment. This is a place to do.

All you’ll need prior to reading this blog is linked below:

You want to be one of the few Self-Actualizers out there? This won’t be any easy, and though we’ll make the journey together, no one besides you can do it for you.

But before we start, there are Six things you need to know, and they’re gonna hurt like few things you read before, I’ve read them yesterday, and they struck all my emotional chords, and prompted me into action.

Six Harsh Things That Will Make You a Better Person

Nothing in this first post is linked by chance. You don’t read it, you won’t close, you’ll lose, its as simple as that.

Read it? Well, that is better. You have just learned a lesson. Allow me to twist some knobs:

#6. The World Only Cares About What It Can Still Get from You

#5. The Hippies Were Wrong

#4. What You Produce Does Not Have to Make Money, But It Does Have to Benefit People

#3. You Hate Yourself Because You Don’t Do Anything That You Think Should Be Done

#2. What You Are Inside Only Matters Because of What It Makes You Do

#1. Everything Inside You Will Fight Challenging Yourself

If you are in love with science, or philosophy…

…then you’ll be very good at learning and grasping knowledge, not necessarily at doing much with it. So here is the first challenge that I’m putting to myself, and ask you to join

  • First Challenge: Do Something, Do Anything!

It’s that simple. Commit for a month, how bad could it be?

Here is what I’ll do: I’ll write this blog, with a new challenge every 1st and every 15th of the month. Every 15 days I’ll mention how am I doing at the just finished attempt, after a month, and how the first 15 days of the other one felt so far. So every 15th day of the month I’ll come up with a new challenge to me, and check how you are doing on yours. Yet I don’t want you to just say what your challenge for you is in the comment section. So every 1st day of the month, I’ll start pursuing a challenge suggested by my readers here. That’s right, you get to decide what will do for a month! Half my challenges are in your hands.

If you got up to here you have a few options now:

1) Quietly step outside like no one’s looking, pretend you have not one thing you’d like to do that you’ve postponed since forever

2) Soundly walk away, but not without inventing some really absurd challenge for me and leaving it in the comment section. Specially now, during this venture’s beginning, there’s a good chance I’ll do it. Get a kick out of me.

3) Decide your first challenge, put it in the comment section. You’ll just have to stick to it until the 1st of next month. Then show up here and comment how you did.

Here are some suggestions, but don’t get attached, you know yourself better than I do:

Start writing a paper on a subject you care about, write half hour a day minimum. 

Spend 7 minutes a day doing the scientific workout, stupid music style: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LezARmLDu6U

Try to understand how something you always took for granted works, ¿do you really know what goes on in telephone? ¿Do you really know a reason not to use the upside down question mark?

Talk to a stranger a day about things you really care about. Forget ice-breakers, celebrity gossip, and weather, tell them what you expect from life, show them how the macaque brain works, explain runaway selection. I assure you, it will be more fun than you think. 

As I said, don’t get that attached, your invention is the one challenge that most matters. Get to it!

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18 thoughts on “#50: Stop Learning, Start Doing

  1. Challenge accepted!
    I will finally clear out my wardrobe and donate my old good clothes to charity. I’ve always wanted to do that but I’ve been way too lazy to do it – and frankly, I kind of enjoy the oh-god-it’s-going-to-explode-right-into-my-face feeling when I open the wardrobe door and see its overcrammed inside.
    I know this is one step at a time but I have a second challenge to myself, a long term one – I won’t overload myself at school. I’ve been doing that for the past two years and my social life as come to non-existing at all. So I won’t take up ALL the ‘B’ courses that I want, only 2/3 of them. I’d make it 1/2 but then I’d hate myself for not signing up, and hell I’ve had enough self-loathing for the moment being.

  2. Hi Neotenic. Earlier this year I made some resolutions (http://theauricle.wordpress.com/2013/01/14/resolutions/), most of which I’ve recanted. I”m going to pick up the fifth: ‘Write no less than 500 words every day. Aim to make each piece of writing concise enough to be posted online.’ I intend to write each day about one of my investigation topics (http://selenologist.tumblr.com/post/53277502659/who-i-am-where-im-going-how-ill-get-there). Perhaps something you can do is to think up a simple question, such as “What are the benefits of routine?” or “Why is it best to donate to one charity rather than to many?” and write a good-sized paragraph on it, one which is general and self-contained. This way, it’s brief, but an accomplishment, and you learn something new, or review something meaningful, each and every day.

  3. Hi Neotenic!

    I speaked with via facebook, my names Georges, do you remember?
    So, after learning some hard truths that made me look to life in a more mature way, specialy the lesson: “The world only cares about what it can really get from you”, i decided to enter college this year, in the second semester. The name of the course is “Gestão de Recursos Humanos”. That´s a bit in the long run. I want to be the president of my country in the future, to care for my people and make this land a true nation, the very best in every aspect, dimension and field in this world, and to reach this level and place, nothing better to start than caring for the potential of other people in the real work world. Little by little i will reach there.
    More on the present i want to face the challange of eating only fruits for an entire month. I´ve already made that on the past, this diet is prescribed in the holy Vedas, the holy books from Indian and Hinduism, it´ the diet that most maxime the spiritual and mental potential of the individual, the thought process gets so fast, so lucid, so clear and so deep that you feel that you are becoming something beyond human. Here i talk with personal experience to back my words. You should try it too, to see for yourself how much your already impressive thinking skills can become even sharper. Sensibility too gets a lot higher, reaching geniuses levels.
    The second thing i want to do is tro write at last 30 minutes about the fractional reserve system of the banking cartel, and how it enslaves human beings, corrupt their souls and destroys society. I will start my political carreer on this small movement. After this one month challange i will create a page in the facebook where i will write texts explaining in the most clear way how the banking system works, how it is inherently criminous, and how we can create another system, the 100% reserve system for private banks, and the legal tender system for the State-issued money. In that page i will also work to gather the most extensive archive of instructive materials about this matter, because is a matter of relevance of our entire species, see the situation in europe and united states, all because of the Banking system, and the more people learn about this, the faster the revolution will happen, and more solid and more balanced it will be when it happens.
    Well, this is my one month challange for myself, very inspiriing for me, and i´m inpired by reading your words also. You have a real talent in articulating your ideas, you would make a great education minister in my country, hope someday we can work together in the service of our people.

    May god bless you great brother, and keep writing, i´m growing a better person by absorbing your knowledege, experience and wisdom.
    Amém.

    Hare Krishna!

    1. Interesting motivation, interesting thoughts and ideas Georges… Beware of trying to solve the world with simple solutions. The first property of world saving ideas we should be concerned and worried about is if we find out that “by chance” what we think will save the world is what we have been attempting to do since we were young. There are not many people actually trying to solve the world problems. There are about 100 who have clear enough vision ahead. But consider that some of those may have seen further then we have. Not because being humble is inherently good, but because of the sheer mathematical odds that no one came up with a better solution to world problems than you have yet. The people whose agendas I found most interesting so far are: Eliezer Yudkowsky, Nick Bostrom, Peter Thiel, Paul Christiano and, to a more modest extent, Robin Hanson, Elon Musk and Bill Gates. Check out who these people are and what they think about saving the world. In particular the blog The Rational Altruist by Christiano, and the paper Existential Risk as the Most Important Task for Humanity (translated by us at http://www.ierfh.org) seem to be good starting points. Luke Muelhausers online book http://lukeprog.com/SaveTheWorld.html gives the full how to save the world introduction.

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