“Love is the will to extend one’s self for the purpose of nurturing one’s own or another’s spiritual growth … Love is as love does. Love is an act of will. Love is a choice. We do not have to love. We choose to love.” – from The Bassoon King by Rainn Wilson
Dwight Schrute’s real name is Rainn Wilson. I found out about Schrute’s brainy alter ego after stumbling upon Rainn’s talk at Google.
Rainn calls himself a “multi-nerd” — that’s the genre of nerd who participates in computer club as well as model U.N. and band. He is a believer in ghosts, God, and having fun.
Hearing the talk, I got the impression that Rainn’s parents were almost certainly West Coast hippies. Then I read his book, The Bassoon King …
Who is Rainn Wilson?
Rainn is the son of two OG West Coast hippies who came within one parallel universe of naming him Lord Byron Wilson. So … yeah.
He made his film debut in Galaxy Quest (1999). In 2005, he was cast as Dwight Schrute in The Office, a role he played (sublimely) until the series finale in 2013.
His friend and real-life Jim, Will Eno, calls his first book, Soul Pancake, a very gentle game of truth-or-dare.
Soul Pancake came out in 2010 as a kind of companion to Rainn’s internet brand. The accompanying YouTube channel has more than 1 million subscribers and seeks to make philosophy and spirituality less … well, boring.
An Eccentric Fellow
Like Dwight, Rainn is an eccentric fellow with a love for the outdoors. Rainn had a wild childhood. He lived in Nicaragua from the ages of 1-5. During this time, he had a pet sloth and got a traumatizing case of tapeworm.
Today, he and his wife own three pitbulls, two potbelly pigs, and a zonkey named Derek.
Rainn’s earliest years were spent speaking Spanish in a Nicaraguan port town called Bluefields. Yep. His eccentric characters are based on his real life eccentricity.
The music at Bluefields was a Caribbean mash up. Rainn writes about “reggae and dancehall from Jamaica; Calypso and soca from Trinidad; son and salsa from Cuba; and even country and western, which was brought by the American employees of the United Fruit Company.”
Also, don’t freak out, but Rainn’s philosophy sounds like a cult. He and his family subscribe to a smallish religion that started in 1844 called the Bahá’í Faith.
A Spiritual Fellow
Don’t make fun of him! I’m sure being born into a non-major faith has caused him enough trouble, lol.
Anyway, the Baha’i faith sounds like a gentle and tolerant canon. Rainn is one step ahead of those of us who have grown up asking ourselves what is my philosophy of life? The Baha’i call Love the defining power in the universe and don’t go door-to-door unless completely shorted out on toilet paper.
Some of the big answers offered by Baha’i thinking include:
We are not alone in the universe.
You can be friends with Others.
Good means living according to Love.
God exists, and he is chill about the name you call him.
How did Dwight Schrute Help Me Figure Out What is My Philosophy of Life?
With his public-facing spirituality, Rainn’s nonchalant championship of faith makes it a little easier for non-atheist, non-Christian, non-Jewish folks like myself to “come out of the closet” as spiritual people.
That is particularly important for us Gen Zs, since we have little precedent for spirituality in our generation. It’s good to see somebody smart and relatable talk about spirituality on YouTube without sounding like he is pushing some ancient, outdated agenda.
Most future proof jobs aren’t as fun as this one ▶
I am a travel YouTuber and all of my belongings make little sounds when I put them on or take them off.
Serious socks and shock-absorbing shoes
I chuckle when I hear my socks creak as I stretch them over my feet. I empathize with their complaining. They have just returned from 4 days of baking soda and boot-use.
Like the socks, my Vasque boots kind of creak too, but theirs is more of a leathery whipping sound. You know what they remind me of? Old cargo ships raising sails. They are every bit as beaten and dirty but more noble for it, somehow. They were pretty expensive too, for the college budget I was working with at the time.
My pants snap into place. They are my favorite investment so far for living the digital nomad lifestyle. They cost more than a hundred bucks, but the thin, heat-proof, quickly drying material has kept its promise. Thousands of hours have been filmed for my channel, Alejandro Verse with a portable charger snug in these wide weather-beating pockets.
My 100-lb rucksack clatters and rustles. I can’t sneak up on anybody when I am in full YouTuber mode. Inside I keep clothes, accessories, filming stuff, and a collection of knives — LOL no, I kid. I do keep a multi-use tool at all times, though.
The rucksack holds … well … it holds two smaller bags! These are for everyday use. Think of it like this, rucksacks are for the Greyhound. Daypacks are for the Uber. Other digital Nomads know exactly what I’m talking about.
My day bag is a Thule; which means it is clever, hardworking, and Swedish. The smallest bag is a fashionable leather satchel that I use when I want to blend in at social events but also film a bit.
The Most Future-Proof Brands Sell Merch
This blog IS monetized 🙏
I’m very proud of the gadgets and tools I travel with. I’d recommend them to my brother if he told me he wanted to start traveling full-time. That said, the links in this article are monetized through Amazon using a practice known as affiliate marketing. Amazon sends me a commission through any purchases made via my blog.
Aside from this stream of passive income, I plan on rolling out a my own merchandise in 2022. The name of the store is Cyber Tribe.
My accessories are a critical part of the brand. They provide the only flash in what is otherwise a solid-color “YouTuber uniform.” Like Steve Jobs and Einstein, I trade off between six identical shirts that I call my YouTuber uniform.
Good Luck Amulets
Because my personal brand is not a solid-color kind of enterprise, whenever I’m filming, I wear pins, earrings, and beautiful necklaces made by indigenous groups whom I work with.
To best rep the brand, my pins must always be either light blue or purple. Electric blue. Plum purple. These pins, badges, and necklaces that adorn my plain, red YouTuber uniform are vital.
I have one pin that says ‘Start Today’ in bronze and one that says ‘Amor’ in graffiti style. The third pin is a tape measure.
I keep my earrings embedded into the same three-inch cardboard slip. My favorite among the earrings is a red badge of Gryffindor.
The reason the accessories (man ornaments) are so important is that I am going to be selling them very soon as part of the brand’s merchandise.
YouTube doesn’t actually pay that much in most cases, did you know that? Many people don’t.
No. What you have to do to make money from YouTube is merchandise. (is that a verb? Can I do that?… doesn’t matter, I guess, because I just did 😉)
Conclusion (and a complementary tour of Bogota’s Graffiti district)
Vaughn Bell once called dopamine the Kim Kardashian of molecules. It’s popular, sexy (?), and it just pops up where you least expect it.
Dopamine is often called the pleasure molecule, but that is the wrong way to understand America’s favorite neurotransmitter. In fact, dopamine is more like the desire molecule. You could even call it the motivation molecule.
This article is about a misunderstood molecule that secretly determines almost everything you do. Read on to find out more about:
What Dopamine is Used For
How to Have More Motivation
What Jordan Peterson Says About the Relationship Between Responsibility and Meaning
Oxytocin, not Dopamine, is the most aptly called “pleasure molecule”
What is Dopamine Used For
In 2009, scientists published a study that showed an extreme difference in motivation between rats with and without dopamine.
The conclusion of the experiment is that the dopamine-ful rats would develop cravings so strong that they would keep pressing the lever that signaled food until they literally dropped from exhaustion. Meanwhile, the dopamine-less rats would not get out of their little rat bed even for food or water.
The rats that had dopamine blocked were still capable of feeling pleasure if food was put in their mouths, they just lacked all will to live.
How does this apply to me? It applies to you, friend, because you live in the most dopamine-drenched time in human history.
Social media, junk food, and masturbation are all dopamine-intensive activities.
This is a problem because our bodies quickly develop a tolerance for dopamine, like with alcohol. Our body’s homeostasis automatically defends us from over-motivating. The problem is that this doesn’t stop at junk food.
If your dopamine pathways are overstimulated for too long, your motivation plane is destined to plummet and crash land in depression valley.
So what causes your brain to produce dopamine? The simple answer is anything where you anticipate a reward.
How to Summon Motivation
Meaning automatically leads to motivation
Have you noticed how there are weirdos out there who don’t seem to dread going to the gym? Some people have so much motivation that they somehow don’t mind coming home from their 9-5 to stay up until the wee hours working on their side-projects.
Highly productive people have made friends with their dopamine glands. Sometimes, without even knowing what dopamine is or what it’s used for.
One surefire way you can infuse your life with chemical motivation is by discovering what brings you meaning. Meaning is a sustainable source of the reward feeling that is triggered by dopamine.
For many people meaning is the pursuit and/or maintenance of artistic ability, love, responsibility, or family. Let me know in the comments what other things I haven’t thought of that can bring us meaning.
How to Get Respect and Motivation at the Same Time
Jordan Peterson likes to talk about the relationship between responsibility and meaning. If you begin to accept responsibility over things in your life, you will generate meaning and therefore, align your dopamine homeostasis with things you actually care about and are good for you.
Meaning aligns your dopamine levels with healthy activities
If you embrace responsibility over something, this relationship becomes a tool you can use to boost yourself into a meaning-rich lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if your responsibility is over a child, a dog, or a manager position at the Barbie doll factory.
Before we talk about positives such as respect and meaning though, let’s just try to imagine the life of a very frustrated person who suffers without meaning and enjoys very little respect in his/her life for some one reason or another. The reasons don’t matter. What matters is that this person would obviously be better adjusted with respect and esteem. Likely, the person knows this.
Philosophy without an application is pointless. So we have included two ways you can actually re-structure your dopamine balance.
These tips will help your body begin to crave productivity.
Get a Simple Elephant Agenda:
This particular agenda is better than others because it leverages positive psychology to propel you toward your long-term goals. It comes with a generous amount of blank pages in the back that let you express yourself creatively, loosely, and spontaneously; it includes a vision board and mind map in the front that keep you aimed toward your goal; and it includes random appearances of an elephant icon throughout the regular entry pages—when you see this icon, you are supposed to go back to the mind map and vision board in the beginning and reflect on your progress.
Learn What is Meaningful to You:
Meaning aligns your dopamine levels with healthy activities. Psychologists talk about the relationship between responsibility and meaning.
If you begin to accept responsibility over things in your life, you will generate meaning.
If you embrace responsibility over something, this relationship becomes a tool you can use to boost yourself into a meaning-rich lifestyle. It doesn’t matter if your responsibility is over a child, a dog, a company, or a job as a busboy.
Jordan Peterson’s Advice
Peterson uses the relationship between responsibility and meaning as a recurring theme in his bestselling book Twelve Rules for Life. He believes it is a valuable relationship to explore because it is so dang underrated.
Treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping
Make friends with people who want the best for you
Compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today
Do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them
Set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world
Pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient)
Tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie
Assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t
Be precise in your speech
Do not bother children when they are skateboarding
Pet a cat when you encounter one on the street
Dopamine is a misunderstood molecule. Its use is not pleasure, but chemical motivation. Learning to recognize when your brain is launching a dopamine campaign on your affect can be a useful tool in your personal development arsenal.
If you want to learn more about psychology in an artistic way, check out our debut book on Amazon. Our books are made to feel like the paperback form of an educational YouTube channel.
By accepting that the puppeteer is a person too and then using the word “gaslighting” very liberally in his day-to-day.
Does somebody else control how you feel and act? Around this person, you are not yourself. You feel mentally weak compared to this person and you wind up doing what they want more often than not. Do you know what it feels like to be hopelessly manipulated?
This is an article that seeks to capture and describe a vision of manipulation and control called The Puppeteer Archetype.
Sharie Stines, a California-based therapist, says that a manipulative person might twist what you say and make it about them, hijack the conversation or make you feel like you’ve done something wrong when you’re not quite sure you have.
Please, reader, just read the disclaimers before making any judgements about the person who manipulates you.
Puppeteers are people. People are complex. There is more to a person who embodies the Puppeteer than just that one archetype. In other words, they can evolve.
The Puppeteer archetype is just one of many. Not only do many manipulative individuals fall outside of the vision that this article will try to illustrate for you, but those who reside within this vision do not often do so permanently. In other words, take this article with a grain of salt. It will not apply perfectly.
The Puppeteer archetype seems like a natural manifestation of the nature of some people. Historically, puppeteers are born from self-defense and a form of entertaining themselves. In other words, manipulation is nothing but a game they are good at and you are not.
You Need to Know How to Get Respect
After all, most puppets are deader than a doorknob. Unfortunately, this applies to you too if you are a person who is being manipulated. You have to prove that you are alive.
This is a question of limitations, control, and probably most importantly, it is a question of respect. You have to respect yourself before anybody else will respect you. So how do you do that?
It’s exactly what it sound like. Micro rejections are a habit. They are a common habit. In a relationship, they can lead to abysmal feedback loops that leave love shredded.
Visually, micro-rejections are often talked about in psychology as a tech replacing human interaction phenomenon. Visualize the girlfriend who automatically checks her phone while you are talking with her. It can also be any kind of automatic shutdown that is not thought through.
These are easy to brush off individually, but if you are have a problematic relationship with somebody who doesn’t respect you, you need to be aware that these micro-rejections exist and they DO mean something.
2. Why is Telling the Truth Important
The truth is a powerful Spartan shield that you can do all kinds of cool moves with.
For starters, it keeps you and your values straight. If you are truthful with yourself and others, you will always be able to defend a past position. Admit it to yourself when you’re wrong!
If you are truthful with others, but not with yourself, you have built yourself an unwieldy lead shield that will do nothing but drag you into the mud. If you have a manipulative person in your life and you need him/her to respect you, you will need to be nimble and solid.
Telling the truth brings you
Peace of mind
Growth for you and those around you
3. Don’t Take it Personally
Oh yeah. You need to get over yourself too. Manipulative people suck, yes, but I’m sure you have problems and peccadilloes too.
Mickey Singer, author of The Untethered Mind, puts a great deal of faith in the value of not being offended. If you expand this idea, you can apply it so sooo many things.
Things we are daily offended by:
It’s easy to forget that a whole multiverse exists out there and our problems are a 0.000000001% of it.
4. Learn and Use the Term “Gaslighting”
Words matter guys. This particular word means: “when somebody else tries to make you out to be somebody whose thoughts have no value because you are crazy.”
It’s a very common strategy among the puppeteers of the world. You have to be careful not to use the word so so often that it loses its potency, but it will serve you well as the basis for your honest, unoffended confrontations about how he/she is micro-rejecting you and playing silly games with your heart.
Honestly, guys, respect is a very easy thing to get if you are brave and honest with yourself. You need a word-tool or two to leverage your ballsiness, sure, but why not give “gaslighting” a try? You might just reverse the puppeteer-puppet dynamic you have going on in your life.
Who are you, puppet, or puppeteer? Personally I’m actually more of a puppeteer 🤷♂️
Who has impacted you more: The person you think of when you think of whom you don’t want to be, or your hero?
It’s not an easy call. I couldn’t tell you my own answer.
Heroes are important. No doubt. Goes without saying, really, but rarely is the importance of the villain vocalized. It’s true that we would never get anywhere without Simba, but sometimes it is all we can do to Not Be A Scar. That is normal. It does not make you a bad person.
Negative Role Models
Adding fuel to this argument is the element of Lowest Common Denominators (LCDS) — the LCDs of a society. The LCDs of understanding a hero will have serious obstacles to overcome in order to be like the hero. The path of least resistance for these folks, and many people, really, is to simply avoid rather than seek. And although it is an incomplete path, there is nothing wrong with where it leads.
For more clarification on what it means to be an LCD, check out the attached link.
Some people, including a lot of kids and teens, might not understand all the deep virtues in a complex story, but they WILL understand that being the bad guy gets them nowhere.
So why would a proud South American recommend that you read an annoying book about how the British colonizer successfully converted South American cannibal savages into proper Christian citizens?
Well, it is because there are people whom I accept are a part of me who I very strongly do not want to be like. However, my solution is not to detach myself from the negative role model entirely. Frankly, it would be really nice to raise the LCDs and the negative role models.
Of course that leads to a whole other discussion about Absolute Progress.
Will it be flying cars or extensive underground tunnels? This article will discuss neither sci-fi nor Mad Max dystopia. Prepare for powerful propositions about the people, places, and predilections of the near-future.
Culture >> What Will 2030 Look Like?
If you sat a million people in a room and asked each one what superpower they would pick, you would find that strangely enough, all of the entrepreneurs, investors, and racetrack gamblers would ask for the same exact thing: Knowing what will happen next.
Location: a college party in 2030
About 30 college kids sit in a living room lit by a skating tricks compilation on YouTube while listening to Baby Yankee, the latest reggaeton sensation who made his name by parodying the classic songs of Daddy Yankee.
2 of them are on coke, 4 are soberish, 16 are tipsy or drunk, and 20 of them are smoking weed.
Millennials and Gen Zs have the highest IQs in history, according to James Flynn, the psychologist who popularized the “Flynn Effect,” which is the theory that states that competing forces influence our intellect throughout our life.
Basically, the explanation for this phenomenon is that people have never been better fed or had easier access to high-quality education. The main source of education for millions of kids around the world is and wil continue to be the internet. The outcome of a new kind of home-education is already expressing itself in interesting and unexpected ways.
The following are three odd things you might notice at a college party in 2030:
parties from The Future will be smaller
The reason is that Gen Zs (born after millennials) have a lot of alternatives to what we consider a conventional party. These include gaming, obviously, but they also include hanging out at a legal weed or kava bar.
parties from The Future will be healthier
The explanation for this is simple. There has never been a good reason not to, aside from your friends calling you names. Teens today are acutely aware that drinking a gallon of sweet sweet H2O a day will elevate your mood, sharpen your mind, fix bad breath, cure headaches, and keep your lips from chafing when you go in for the kiss.
parties from The Future will have famous people
Having a well-known personal brand has become so valuable that we have made up a job title for this kind of casual fame. The college party of 2030 will feature A LOT of wannabe influencers.
Location: a Manhattan kitchen in 2030:
The cabinet is filled with exotic powders and shorteners. The shelves are lined with cookbooks that name recipes from intriguing countries like Peru, South Korea, and Sri Lanka.
The kitchen of 2030 will be stocked by health-conscious people who weigh nutrition over taste. Luckily, there are a lot of interesting options.
Telltale signs of this phenomenon has can be observed by the proliferation of publicly traded nutritional supplement companies that sell no actual food such as Herbalife, Cyanotech, and Natural Alternatives International.
the kitchen from The Future will be more green
The overarching shift will be in the tastiness and market reach of already healthy food “genres” like tea, kombucha, yogurt, and nut butters. It is no coincidence that Impossible Food, a company that researches and manufactures meat substitutes, came out as one of the top brands of CES 2020.
In 2030, not only will the individual be well-informed about the kinds of inputs the human body needs, but of equal importance, their peers will also be well-informed. This will lead to consumers dedicating their basket toward whatever is perceived as optimally healthy with a few exceptions for pleasure, rather than the other way around.
Many people will opt to work from home. In 2012, 39% of Americans worked from home. In 2019, that percentage was up to 43% with no indications of slowing. Human resources in 2030 will be under pressure to create a business culture for their CEO in a world where more than half of the employees are names on the screen. There are many opportunities here for AR and VR companies to develop niches.
Once 5G arrives though, nothing will be the same. This amplified internet has the potential to sweep office culture out the front door. In 2030, your boss could easily be the hologram of a guy in China.
Although offices may change, they will not disappear. Definitely not by 2030, in any case. Co-working spaces with social agendas and open floor plans market themselves as an alternative to cubicles. WeWork itself may not be profitable, but the companies that create products for co-working spaces are to the third industrial revolution what shovel salesmen were to the 1848 California Gold Rush.
The following are products that have been positioned as staples of the co-working ecosystem.
the office of The Future is communal
The cubicle model was created for cramped cities that don’t give a fig about their inhabitants. That mentality is long-gone by 2030. Co-working spaces have been on the rise for a decade now and a new culture has risen with it.
the office from The Future will have drinks on tap
The patrons of co-working spaces are often millennials with a concern for nutrition. In the office, this translates to the omnipresent barrel of kombucha and the accompanying keg of craft beer. As the popularity of this style of management spreads, there will be other options such as CBD, matcha, and kratom.
the office of the future has a retro pinball machine
Just because the party of 2030 has less people than you might expect does not mean folks in the future don’t know how to have fun.