DW's Blog

Someone Else Is Spinning The Thread

by DW Green — October 13, 2021

Unexpected events can be good as well as bad/

The novelist Cormac McCarty was living in a motel room when he heard a knock at the door. It was a messenger—he’d been awarded the Macarthur “genius” grant and $250,000. Unexpected events can be good as well as bad.Who could dream of such an unexpected twist? Who but Clotho, one of the three Greek goddesses fate, who “spins” the thread of human life? To the ancients she was the one who decided the course of the events of our lives—some good, some bad. As the playwright Aeschylus wrote, “When the gods send evil, one cannot escape it.” The dame was true for great destiny and good fortune.Their resigned attitude might seem strange to us today, but they understood who was really in control (not them, not us!). No amount of prosperity, no amount of difficultly, is certain or forever. A triumph becomes a trial, a trial becomes a triumph. Life can change in an instant. Remember, today, how often it does.

Read More – Hype Expectations Vs Reality

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Not Good, Nor Bad

by DW Green — October 6, 2021

It’s only our opinion that says something is good or bad (and thus worth fighting against or fighting for).

When people say change is good, they’re usually trying to reassure someone (or themselves). Because instinctively we view change as bad—or at least we’re suspicious of it.Consider doing away with those labels altogether. Change isn’t good. The status quo isn’t bad. They just are.Remember, events are objective. It’s only our opinion that says something is good or bad (and thus worth fighting against or fighting for). A better attitude? To decide to make the most of everything. But to do that you must first cease fighting.

Read More – Attitude

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Accepting What Is.

by DW Green — September 29, 2021

Amor fati (a love of fate).

Something happened that we wish had not. Which of these is easiest to change: our opinion or the event that is past?

The answer is obvious. Accept what happened and change your wish that it had not happened. Stoicism calls this the “art of acquiescence”—to accept rather than fight every little thing.

And most practiced Stoics take it a step further. Instead of simply accepting what happens, they urge us to actually enjoy what has happened—whatever it is. Nietzsche, many centuries later, coined the perfect expression to capture this idea: amor fati (a love of fate). It’s not just accepting, it’s loving everything that happens.

To wish for what has happened to happen is a clever way to avoid disappointment because nothing is contrary to your desires. But to actually feel gratitude for what happens? To love it? That’s a recipe for happiness and joy.

Read More – Youthful Enthusiasm

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Show the Qualities You Were Made For

by DW Green — September 22, 2021

There are positive qualities that you can develop that don’t depend on genetic accidents.

It’s easy to blame our circumstances. One person curses that they weren’t born taller, another that they’re not smarter, with a different complexion, or born on a different country. It’d be hard to find a single person on this planet—from supermodels on down—who doesn’t think they’re deficient in at least some way. But whatever your perceived deficits are, remember that there are positive qualities that you can develop that don’t depend on genetic accidents.

You have the choice to be truthful. You have the choice to be dignified. You can choose to endure. You can choose to be happy. You can choose to be grateful. You can choose to be thrifty. You can choose to be kind to others. You can choose to be free. You can persist under difficult odds. You can avoid trafficking in gossip. You can choose to be gracious.

And honestly, aren’t the traits that are the result of effort and skill more impressive anyway?

Read More – Training

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The Benefit of Kindness

by DW Green — September 15, 2021

As always, we’re going to focus on what we can control.

The first person you meet today—passing acquaintance or friend—no matter the context—positive or negative—is an opportunity for kindness. Or as some have said, an opportunity for benefit. For both of you. You can seek to understand where they are coming from. You can seek to understand who they are, what they need, and what forces or impulses might be acting on them. And you can treat them well and be better off for it.The same is true with the second person you encounter, and the third. Of course, there is no guarantee that they will return the favor, but that’s not our concern. As always, we’re going to focus on what we can control: in this case, the ability to choose to respond with kindness.

Read More – Farts Are Still Funny

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Don’t Get Mad. Help

by DW Green — September 8, 2021

We don’t just want people to be better, we expect it to magically happen.

The person sitting next to you on the plane, the one who is loudly chattering and knocking around in your space? The one you’re grinding your teeth about, hating from the depth of your soul because they’re rude, ignorant, obnoxious? It’s funny how that thought comes into our heads before, you know, politely asking them to stop, or making the minor scene of asking for a different seat. We’d rather be pissed off, bitter, raging inside than risk an awkward conversation that might actually help this person and make the world a better place.  We don’t just want people to be better, we expect it to magically happen—that we can simply will other people to change, burning holes into their skull with our angry stare.Although when you think about it that way, it makes you wonder who the rude one actually is.

Read More – Guest Vacation Blog

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Revenge Is A Dish Best Not Served

by DW Green — September 1, 2021

Let’s try to be the example we’d like others to follow.

Let’s say that someone has treated you rudely. Let’s say someone got promoted ahead of you because they took credit for your work or did something dishonest. It’s natural to think: Oh, that’s how the world works, or One day it will be my turn to be like that. Or most common: I’ll get them for this. Except these are the worst possible responses to bad behavior.The proper response—indeed the best revenge—is to exact no revenge at all. If someone treats you rudely and you respond with rudeness, you have not done anything but prove to them that they were justified in their actions. If you meet other people’s dishonesty with dishonesty of your own, guess what? You’re proving them right—now everyone is a liar.Instead, today, let’s seek ...
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Set The Standards and Use Them

by DW Green — August 25, 2021

Is this the kind of thing the person I would like to be should do?

We go through our days responding and reacting, but it’s rare to really pause and ask: Is this thing I’m about to do consistent with what I believe? Or, better: Is this kind of thing the person I would like to be should do? The work of living is to set standards and then not compromise them. When you’re brushing your teeth, choosing your friends, losing your temper, falling in love, instructing your child, or walking your dog—all of these are opportunities.Not, I want to do good—that’s an excuse. But, I will do good in this particular instance, right now. Set a standard; hold fast to it. That’s all there is.

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A Selfish Reason To Be Good

by DW Green — August 18, 2021

There is a reason there’s often vomit at crime scenes.

The next time you do something wrong, try to remember how it made you feel. Rarely does one say, “I felt great!”There is a reason there’s often vomit at crime scenes. Instead of the catharsis the person thought they’d feel when they got revenge, they ended up making themselves sick. We feel a version of this when we lie, when we cheat, when we screw someone over.So in that split second before your ill-gotten gains kick in ask: How do I feel about myself? Is that moment when fear rises in your throat because you suspect you may get caught really worth it?Self-awareness and wrongdoing rarely go together. If you need a selfish reason to not do wrong—put yourself in touch with these feelings. They’re a powerful disincentive.

Read More – WHEN “MY BEST” ISN’T

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You Hold The Trump Card

by DW Green — August 11, 2021

You control what every external event means to you personally.

We could look at the upcoming day and despair at all the things we don’t control: other people, our health, the temperature, the outcome of a project once it leaves our hands.Or we could look out at that very same day and rejoice at the one thing we do control: the ability to decide what any event means. The second option offers the ultimate power—a true and fair form of control. If you had control over other people, wouldn’t other people have control over you? Instead, what you’ve been granted is the fairest and most usable trump cards.While you don’t control external events, you retain the ability to decide how you respond to those events. You control what every external event means to you personally.This includes the difficult one in front of you right now. You’ll find, if you approach it right, that this trump card is plenty.

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