Freedomain Locals Answers 8 Dec 2023

This segment explores the value of enjoyable and useful activities, challenges forcing dislikes, discusses burdening others unnecessarily, and questions the requirement of complete healing for parenthood. Listeners are invited to contribute.

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Brief Summary
In this segment, we explore the value of pursuing enjoyable and useful activities, questioning the necessity of forcing individuals to engage in activities they dislike. We emphasize the importance of learning activities that hold purpose and utility, rather than pursuing pointless endeavors. Additionally, we discuss the perplexing behavior of burdening others unnecessarily and challenge the idea that complete healing is a prerequisite for parenthood. We express gratitude for the thought-provoking questions and invite listeners to join our community and make contributions.

0:00:00 Introduction to the question about the brother's relationship
0:02:38 Understanding why some people get stuck in life
0:04:30 The Futility of Trying to Help Others
0:09:21 Helping People is Hard and Rarely Successful
0:11:58 Zero Success Rate in Personal Relationships
0:14:15 Striving to Help Others in a Selfless Manner
0:20:42 Giving up on changing people in my life
0:24:02 Accepting people for who they are, avoiding frustration
0:29:04 The Importance of Self-Respect and Breaking Patterns
0:31:25 Motive, Means, and Opportunity in a Murder Case
0:33:32 Clearing Away the Fog and Navigating Life's Challenges
0:35:12 Numbness after breakup due to lack of pair bonding
0:37:59 Motivating a child to do schoolwork and the importance of personal interest
0:43:23 Appreciating the Piano in Music

Long Summary
In this section, the main speaker discusses the notion of pursuing activities that one enjoys and finds useful. They use examples of talented pianists in popular bands to illustrate the passion and love that successful individuals often have for their work. The speaker questions the necessity of forcing someone to learn something they dislike, using the example of their daughter and math. They argue that learning activities should have utility and purpose, rather than being pointless pursuits. Additionally, they find it strange that some people impose unnecessary burdens on others, including their own children. The speaker emphasizes the importance of focusing on learning things that are truly beneficial and questions why people engage in such behavior. They share their perspective on healing and becoming a great parent, challenging the idea that one must be perfectly healed before having children. Finally, they express gratitude for the questions and invite listeners to submit more, while also mentioning the option to join the community and make donations.

value, pursuing enjoyable activities, useful activities, questioning necessity, forcing individuals, engage, dislike, learning activities, purpose, utility, pointless endeavors, perplexing behavior, burdening others, complete healing, parenthood, gratitude, thought-provoking questions, join community, contributions

Introduction to the question about the brother's relationship

[0:00] All right, more questions from I hope you will check out the site. It's a great community.
Join today, All right. My brother is 27.
He has been working as a forklift operator in a warehouse.
Despite family support and encouragement, he hasn't done much with his life since he finished high school.
He is dating a 32-year-old woman for a year now.
She is single, very attractive, no kids, and works in upper management in a corporation and compares to him she is financially successful.
This relationship seems unsustainable and I am worried about her true intentions because of their status incompatibility.
I would appreciate your thoughts on that.
So this represents the big challenge of inertia versus energy.
So there are some people in life who can't slow down and there are some people in life who can't seem to speed up. It's not good or bad, it's just an observation of different, in a sense, soul metabolisms.

[0:58] In general, human beings work for sustainability and then stop.
This is our nature. Our nature is to work for sustainability and then stop.
Why? Because we evolved without fridges.
We evolved without the ability really to store long-term food.
There's no point coming home with five deer.

[1:21] I mean, I guess you can salt it or various things like that, but for the most part, like in terms of our evolution, you work to get your food for the day, or maybe you could stretch it out for two days, or maybe even three days, but you would work to get your food, then you'd stop.
I mentioned this before, my father was in charge of a mine in South America.
He was charged with improving the productivity, so instead of putting the workers on salary, he put them on piecework.
And all they did was they worked to get the amount of money they had before and then they stopped working. And he would say, well, no, if you work more, you can get more.
They didn't want it because they evolved particularly in tropical climates, right?
At least in winter climates, you can, I guess, toss the deer and freeze it and then, you know, thaw it by the fire and eat it later.
But in warmer climates, you can't store anything.
I mean, one of the reasons why spice evolved to be so ferociously hot in India was to cover up some of the bad taste of the meat that was a bit questionable, right?
Don't you always have this? I have this. I occasionally will enjoy some luncheon meat and so… but it's too occasional, so what happens is I'm frightened of luncheon meat on a perpetual basis, like the luncheon meat that's in the fridge.
It's like, best before… I don't know, is it kind of oily? Does it smell?
Like, I'm afraid of luncheon meat.
Understanding why some people get stuck in life

[2:38] It's the one thing, one thing in life that terrifies me is luncheon meat.
I can't remember when I bought it. So So yeah, most people, what they do is they gain enough to live on and then they stop.

[2:51] And so we can call it getting stuck or whatever, but yeah, your brother, he's 27, forklift operator at a warehouse, nothing wrong with that, honorable work.
It doesn't matter what you do, it matters whether you do it well.
And I'm sure he's a good forklift operator.
But yeah, he got his life sorted after high school and that's all he wants.
Is that good? Is that bad? I don't know.
I mean, it's not ideal for me in that, you know, he's not looking to get married, have a family or whatever.
So it's really important in life to figure out where people get stuck.
And people generally get stuck somewhere.
People generally get stuck somewhere. Usually it's a matter of trauma or whatever it is.
But so your brother got stuck in his mid to late teens, and the longer you're stuck, the more you put down roots in immobility, right?
Think of a tumbleweed, right? tumbleweed's a way of getting a plant from one place to another, a seed, when it finds fertile soil and stits down roots, it starts being a tumbleweed, just gets stuck there, right? Sort of the point.

[3:48] So it could be that this is all he's capable of. Again, nothing wrong with that.
IQ varies 8 to 10 points between siblings. Maybe you're smarter, maybe he's not so smart. Nothing wrong with it. It's just fact of life, tall short kind of thing.
So maybe he's kind of… this is all he can do. And that's, again, that's totally fine.
The world needs forklift operators at least for the next five minutes till AI and robotics take it over.
Hasn't done much with his life since he finished high school.
I don't know man. This stuff annoys me.
Doesn't mean I'm right. I'm just telling you frankly, it annoys me.
So this has been, what, 10 years since he finished high school?
9 or 10 years? To say a decade could be a little less. It's been 10 years since he finished high school.
The Futility of Trying to Help Others

[4:30] Right? So you've let him, let's say he's got more capabilities, more possibilities, you've let him rot away doing this fairly brain dead job for almost a decade.
Why would you care now?" Right? You can say, oh well no, but I've been trying to help him for the last decade. Okay, well, then stop.
If you've been trying to help someone for 10 years, do something more with their life, and they haven't done more with their life, I don't even know what to say.
How many things do you work at for 10 years, completely fail, and keep going?
That's bizarre to me. It's bizarre to me.
You know, I really want to learn piano, man. I've been spending, I spent 10 years trying to learn piano.
I haven't quite figured out how to get the keyboard cover up yet, but you know, I feel like I'm working on it. You know, I'm chipping away at the edges.
I'm, any moment now I'm gonna figure out how to raise that keyboard cover and then I'm gonna see these beautiful black and white keys. I'm gonna learn how to tickle the ivory. It's gonna be fantastic.
So if you've been trying to help him do more over the last 10 years and you haven't succeeded, then you're just tormenting him and yourself.

[5:36] You know, man, one of the great gifts of peace in this life is just to recognize people's limitations.
Oh God, we cheese grate our balls into atoms trying to budge other people's limitations.
You know, maybe this is his life. Maybe he's happy with it. Maybe this is the best he can do.
Maybe this is all he wants. Okay, I don't think it's a great life and not just because of the forklift stuff, that's fine.
Manual labor is actually kind of satisfying and manual labor can give you a sense of satisfaction more than abstract noodling garbage can at an intellectual level.
But, you know, the fact that he's not trying to get married and settle down and have kids, right, that's a pretty sad life I think in the long run no matter what.
So if you've been trying to help him for ten years and you haven't been able to help him, I don't know what to tell you other than this is some weird compulsion that you have that just makes him feel bad.
I mean you understand nine times out of ten we try to help people we make them worse.

[6:37] Nine, listen, if there's one thing you get out of this show this year, it's that nine times out of ten we try to help people, we make things worse. We make things worse.
I mean, think of the welfare state, think of old age pensions, think of debt, think of war, foreign interventions, color revolutions, foreign aid, and think of all the people you've tried to help in your life.
Think of all the people you've tried to help in your life. We all have.
We're all kind people. We We like to do good, we like to help people.
Okay, think of all the people you've tried to help in your life.
How many times… I mean, we're empiricists, right? We're empiricists. Let's just be factual.
How many people have you tried to help in your life? How many people have you actually helped?
How many people's problems have you solved?
How many people's lives have you empirically improved?

[7:32] You know, dieting has a fail rate of 95% when people's health is at stake, their joint pain is there, diabetes, unattractiveness, infertility, lack of boner capacity, and 95%… so that's when people are trying to help themselves and they have every incentive to do so and everyone praises them for doing so and they have massive health benefits and longevity, like they said… 95% of people can't even help themselves, what the hell makes you think And you can bat better.

[8:03] Than people who can't even help themselves. How many people start an exercise regime and stick to it for any length of time?
Everybody who's been a gym rat, and I've been a minor gym rodent of various degrees, everybody knows it's a drag in January, man, because the classes are crowded, the machines are crowded, you've got to wait your turn, and all you have to do is muscle through a couple weeks and it all goes quiet again, because everyone's like, I'm going to exercise this I'm going to work out, I'm going to get fit, I'm going to get ripped. And they come for a couple of weeks.
Like I saw this graph of, there's an online course, like a hundred days of coding, right?
There's how many people can stay with the hundred days of coding?
And of course it starts off with like 20,000 on the first day.
The next day, 10,000. The next day, 4,000. Right? It just, it completely crashes.
And the number of people who finished the hundred days of coding, these are all people motivated to learn, and there's money in it, there's status, prestige, right?

[9:06] And the number of people I couldn't even see on the line, on the graph, it was so close to the x-axis, the number of people who completed it, I don't know, was probably four, and probably half of those pretended or cheated, right?
Helping People is Hard and Rarely Successful

[9:21] Now I understand, you know, you're going to distract yourself from this sort of basic fact that helping people is very, very, very hard and you can say, ah, but Steph, you do call-in shows and you try to help people.

[9:35] Sure, absolutely. I'm pretty good at it too, but how many people call back in and say, well, I didn't listen?
How many people have listened to the show for years or decades and haven't substantially improved or changed their lives? Maybe they've avoided disaster and that's fine.
You know, maybe the purpose of a lot of this, quote, you know, to use an analogy, this dieting advice is to have people stop gaining weight, right? Sometimes that's the best you can do.
Sometimes the best you can do with people is just have them avoid disaster.
That's all you got going. That's fine. That's honorable work. That's good work.
And of course, a lot of what I do is to help people avoid this disaster, right?
So, you know, if I have a woman who calls in who says, you know, there's this guy, he's got Tourette's, he's kind of narcissistic and, you know, whatever, right?
And I say, don't date him. And then she calls back in a couple of years later and she says, now I've got a kid or two by him and it's really bad.
So that's just a way of avoiding disaster.

[10:31] I mean, sometimes counseling the overweight person doesn't really help the overweight person that much.
Maybe it helps them by having them not gain more weight, but at least it frightens other people into not gaining the weight so there's that again and My success and I'm just talking in my personal life.
So that's different, right? So you this is your brother So I'll tell you this I'll tell you this from the people I knew when I was a child and a young man up to about the age of 30 I knew dozens and dozens and dozens of people tried to talk to them all about philosophy.
What was my success rate? You know, I'm pretty positive, fairly charismatic, good at describing things, and what was my success rate in helping people become wiser of the people that I knew, the people, even the people I was related to?
You know, the things I'm good at, I know. The things I'm bad at, I know. I'm pretty good at this.
What was my success rate as one of the premier positive change agents in the world? what was my success rate in trying to help people become wiser in my personal life?
I will tell you, zero.
Zero. I don't know if it's vanity, I don't know if it's pride, I don't know if it's history, I don't know if it's machismo, although it didn't really help with the women either.

[11:54] How many people have I helped? Had a conversation not too, too long ago with
Zero Success Rate in Personal Relationships

[11:58] a guy who was dating the wrong woman.
Gave him a big passionate speech, wasn't a show, just gave him a big passionate speech to the wrong woman. Just kept on dating her.
Once you give up the need to save people, your life becomes peaceful, wonderful, beautiful, magical.

[12:15] There's a line in Atlas Shrugged about people doing manual labor that should have been done by machines.
And she talks about how their sort of bodies and muscles were twisted by a kind of labor that should never… that the human body is not designed for.
And of course a lot of times that you want to change people, it's not the other people you're interested in, it's well my brother's not succeeding, I feel bad, therefore I'm going to try and help my brother succeed so that I don't feel sadness or badness or anxiety or depression or I don't know some self-recrimination.
I feel bad for my brother because his life is not great.
So I need his life to become better. So I feel better Have you untangled that?
You know, one of the reasons that my public conversations can be more helpful is Because I'm not doing it.
This is why I don't charge like I'm not doing it for money I'm not doing it for status. I'm not doing it to be better than someone.
I'm not doing it to win I'm not doing it to look smart I'm doing it like it genuinely is it kind of pure distilled want to help people as a whole and And that's really not possible in personal relationships.
Maybe that's why I've had so little, well not even so little, no success trying to help people in my personal relationships.

[13:26] Years ago I spent an entire afternoon talking to a relatively newish kind of friend about what was going on with his parenting and why his daughter was not doing particularly well and nothing changed.
And I can't say, well, maybe I'm just bad at it, because I know that I'm good at it. Again, lots of weaknesses, but that's the strength I have.
I can't do it. Maybe you can do it, in which case you should start a show and help people publicly, right?
And most times, like the actual act of wanting to help someone without ego, without preference, first of all, that's the only way you'll ever be able to help someone is if you don't care about the outcome. them.
If you care about the outcome of helping them, then you're mostly managing your own feelings rather than genuinely trying to help the other person.
Striving to Help Others in a Selfless Manner

[14:15] So when it comes to me, with call-in shows, I strive to, as best I can, be ego-less.
To be ego-less. I don't want to win, I don't want to be smart, I don't, like I have no personal involvement or investment in like personal, in terms of ego gratification.
To me, again, you can disagree or whatever, but I try to approach this in a sort of purest, selfless way of just trying to get people to a more accurate mindset about their lives, which you're never going to have with your brother.

[14:49] Are you helping your brother? Do you want your brother to change so you feel better?
And this is, you know, I understand. I'm not saying you can't be with any motive, right? I understand that.
My motive is the truth, and helping people make connections that liberate them from moral errors, right? That's my general goal.
It's not specific to any individual, and it's not an ego-based thing.
Lord knows, I think we can all accept that given the hammering my reputation has taken over the decades, this is not exactly an ego boost, this whole process.
So you have to look really hard into your own motivations. Why are you Why are you concerned about your brother?
And if your brother changes, it's your motivation for wanting your brother to change so that you feel better.
Well, I'm worried about him, so I want him to change. Okay, then it's about alleviating your worry.
Well, I'm depressed when I think about my brother's life, so I want him to do better so I don't feel depressed.
Well, I'm anxious about his future, so I'm gonna try and change him so that I can reduce my own anxiety about the future.

[15:50] So if your brother's 27 and he's stuck in a dead-end job, then either you've spent 10 years trying to help him or five years trying to help him and it hasn't worked, in which case, be empirical, stop it, stop it, just stop it.
You know, if it's been 10 years and you haven't figured out how to open the piano lid, you're never gonna learn piano.
Or what are you, suddenly upset and concerned about him now in which case you kind of let him drift for 10 years.
In which case he's put down roots and now trying to uproot him is just kind of cruel. Well, I'm gonna let you sit in a dead end job for 10 years.
And then on the 11th year, I'm gonna really try to get you to change.
Like that's just kind of cruel, right? Let people be, let people be.
And again, I'm aware people are gonna be like screaming at me in their heads, but you try to change people.
Well, first of all, I don't chase down people and offer them help if they haven't asked for it. I mean, the people who call me are usually in fairly desperate straits and really, really want some answers.
And even then, I don't know what my success rate is, or really their success rate is.
But if it's 50-50, that's incredible.
If 50% of the people I try to help end up either avoiding further disaster or having some improvement in their lives, if 50% of the people do that, that's incredible. That's insanely high.
Because of course, the people who call me are in pretty desperate straits, right? So, you know, it's like, it's like there are surgeons and their survival rate of their patients is very low, but that's because the most difficult cases come to them, right?

[17:20] If you're a bad surgeon, you're gonna get the appendix cases.
If you're a brilliant surgeon, you're gonna get the like twins separation and you know, Ben Carson style or whatever, right?
So your chances of success as a brilliant surgeon are much lower than your chances of success per operation as an average or mediocre surgeon.
So I'm dealing with some pretty hard cases. If I get a 50%, avoid further disaster or have some improvement, fantastic.
That's incredible to me. That's like, I would estimate it somewhere around there, but that's, and again, these are people who are… So, your brother's not sitting there saying, gosh, you know, how can I have a better life? I feel like I'm really stuck.
Like he's not reaching to you for help, he's going to work, he's taking his paycheck, he's spending it on some pretty 32-year-old woman, but does the relationship have a future? I don't know.
It seems unlikely, but maybe she's slumming it, maybe he's really handsome, maybe he's She's got some, I don't know, physical attribute that she really likes.
I know that sounds filthy, but it could be any number of things, right?

[18:22] So stop trying to change people. Stop trying to change people.
Changing people is a form of rejection, right? If you're trying to change someone, you're rejecting who that person is, right? You understand that.
He's not good enough. She's not good enough. She needs to change, right?
Find people in your life. Rather than trying to change people in your life into what you want, find people who already have what you want, right?
If you want ambitious, driven people in your life who take on big challenges and your brother's been a forklift operator for a decade, don't try to change him into someone you want to spend time with.
Don't try to change him into you. Don't try and change him into something he's not.
That's cruel. That's cruel.
My daughter says, she said, I don't know, I showed her a little meme of an owl and she's like, oh I don't like owls.
I'm like, oh why not? She's like, oh they just sit there with their eyes unblinking and judging you. It's really funny.
She's very funny. But if you judge people as fundamentally wanting in your life, well, he's 27, he's a forklift truck operator and hasn't done anything and okay, so you find him wanting, right?
You want him to change, you need him to change, he's deficient, he's stuck, he's broken, he's this, that, whatever, right? Oh, it's really cruel.
Like you're just being an a-hole in a way. Like it's really cruel.

[19:43] You know, if you've got a great singing career and your brother can't string two notes together without sounding like a cat being fed bisaccharides through a blender, then saying, you know, man, you've got to join a choir, you've got to get into… it's just kind of cruel, right?
I mean, it's like all of the guys with like chad jawlines and perfect hair saying, it's the only thing that matters is confidence, you know, it's just bleh, right?
If you happen to, you know, you're smart, you're ambitious, you achieve things, great, he's not.
So saying he's got to be more like you or he's got to be not like himself, I mean, it's a fundamental rejection of who he is.
And if you do want to help people, if you try to help people without accepting who they are first, with humility, if you try to change people without accepting who they are first, you won't change them because you're alienating to them.
You're starting off with a negative, you're starting off with a judgment, a deficiency, you're wasting your life, you're not fulfilling your potential, you're not doing anything with your existence, blah, blah, blah, blah, blah.
Well, that's not going to motivate anyone who want to listen to you.
You know, it's an amazing thing.
Giving up on changing people in my life

[20:42] I, long ago, long, long ago, gave up trying to help people in my life, trying to change people in my life. Don't do it, man.
Don't do it. Don't do it.
Don't do it. Now you say, ah, but Steph, you're just talking about some years ago, you tried to help some family with their parenting.
It's like, yep, they're not in my life anymore because they didn't listen.
I mean, if I think something should change, I'll make that case and if that person doesn't change and doesn't give me good evidence as to why, they're not in my life anymore.
The people in my life are people I don't want to change. I don't need them to change, I don't want them to change, they're not doing anything wrong.
I accept them for who they are because I don't want to waste my life trying to change people when the very act of changing them causes them to resist my feedback.
It's just frustrating for everyone involved. It's a complete waste of time, energy and focus.
You say, oh my brother's not doing much with his life. Well, you're trying to change your brother as you're not doing much with your life.
Well, he hasn't done much since high school. Okay, well, have you accepted him for who he is since high school? Nope.
So, most women will date on two conditions, right?
And men are just this way, so this is not anything negative towards women, it's just an observation.

[21:57] Men, sorry, women will date for two basic reasons. Number one, lust. Number two, status with their friends.
Status with their friends. Female friends, right? Maybe a couple of gay friends too.
But that's so women will date for lust and they will date for status from their female friends.
Now I would imagine that your brother is tall, relatively fit, good-looking and so on and so when she shows up, right, so when she shows up with your brother in tow, the reaction she's looking for, I'm guessing, is he goes to the bathroom, she turns to her friends and they all go like oh my god he's so cute oh he's handsome oh he's tall you know you could right, And that's, I mean, I don't know why that's enough, but that tends to be enough.
Of course, women need the approval of their friends for their boyfriends and husbands because evolutionarily speaking, women needed the participation of other women in order to safeguard and raise their children.
Toddlers are dangerous, there's way too many of them. When you're playing the roll the dice, hope they make it to five.

[22:58] So yeah, he must show up well to her friends in some manner, in some manner.
And it could be height, it could be some, you know, maybe it's got great hair, some physical attribute could be in it. I could be totally wrong about this.
I'm just could be lots of exceptions to these rules, but this is my genuine thought.
So as long as her friends think he's high status, she'll keep dating him.
And then at some point, if someone better comes along and she thinks her friends will think he's more high status or whatever then, right?
But the fact that she's 32 and she's dating a guy with no particular future, even though she's senior management or whatever, and she's not making any plans for the future, okay, so she's stuck.
She's stuck in some teen mindset as well, right? And again, most people barely make it out of their teens before they get stuck.
I think my mother barely made it out of her single digits before she got stuck.

[23:52] And yeah, just try this. Try this on. You know, this sounds like a devilish come-hither gesture or cock-in-the-hips, but just try this. Just try this for a week.
Accepting people for who they are, avoiding frustration

[24:02] Try this for a week. Try not chafing against anyone in your life.
Try approving of everyone in your life. Just try.
Nothing needs to change with your brother because you're not going to change him through thinking he's a loser or he's a failure.
You're just not going to change him. He's just going to avoid you mentally, right?
So just try. His life is fine. His life is fine.
Oh, but he should… No, no, no. What if his life is fine?
What if his life is fine? What if his life is fine?
I mean, I remember many, many, many years ago, I knew a woman who dated a guy.
He was not, you know, particularly smart, but he's very tall and very muscular, and she was just in lust with him.
And, you know, but they fought a lot. And I was like, oh, I don't think this is a particularly good idea.
And, you know, the friendship of some years just kind of ended.
Okay, so go ahead then, right? But But just try this in your life.
Just accept people for who they are.

[25:01] Because either you can be in a relationship where you can accept someone for who they are or…
You can't accept them for who they are. Now if you can accept them for who they are, great.
You've stopped trying to change them, you've stopped being impatient and maybe contemptuous or judgy or dismissive or downgrading them in your mind.
At least then you've stopped trying to change that person, which isn't going to work anyway.
Or for whatever reason, you can't stand them with who they are and then the only reason you stayed in a relationship where you can't stand the person for who they are is because you had this fantasy that you could change them over time.

[25:40] I mean, this is what happened with my mother, with my father, other people, is that I'm like, okay, well, what if I let go of the fantasy I can change them, right?
I mean, I worked to try and change people and try and give them better advice and so on.
And then eventually I was like, okay, well, they're not changing.
Do I want them for who they are? Do I want them in my life if no change is going to happen, right?
No change is going to happen. And a change ain't gonna come, as the anti-Sam Cooke song says, right?
A change ain't gonna come. Stop wasting your life trying to change people.
Find people, like either accept people for who they are, if you can't accept them for who they are, find people you can accept for who they are.
I don't want my wife to change a hair on her head.
I don't want my friends to change. I don't want my daughter to change.
Everyone is perfect in my life. It's a certain amount, obviously, of narcissistic vanity trying to change people. a certain amount of superiority.
You may in fact be getting off on them being inferior and you being superior and you trying to help them is alienating because you're judging them as negative and you as heroic and positive and you're in a mentorship position with somebody who never asked for that.
You're trying to change people who are probably pretty comfortable with who they are but they shouldn't be comfortable down the road they're gonna…

[26:56] I mean, it's like if you have a smoker in your life, oh, I gotta get that person to quit smoking. No, you don't.
I mean, you can make the case, nothing wrong with making the case.
They probably already know the case. There's nothing wrong with making the case.
And then either that person's gonna quit smoking or they're gonna keep smoking.
Now, if they keep smoking and you don't want a smoker in your life, don't have that person in your life.
If they're gonna keep smoking and you're okay with them smoking, you can accept them as a smoker, then have them in your life.
But don't have them in your life on the constant expectation and nagging that they're gonna change.
Right? Don't be a nag. Don't be a nag. Don't be a nag.
And the other thing too, like, your brother knows he's not going anywhere.
He knows that. And you're reminding of him.
One of the reasons it really doesn't work is that you are saying to your brother, you know, consciously, unconsciously, directly, indirectly, you're saying, hey man, you're not doing anything with your life. He knows he's not doing anything with his life.
But when you tell him externally, hey man, you're not doing anything with your life, he fights against you and that diminishes his own uneasiness about not doing anything with his life, assuming he can do something with his life more than being a forklift operator.

[28:05] So you say, you're not doing anything with your life, then he fights against you, which is fighting against his own anxiety, and he rejects your statement, which allows him to reject his own anxiety, which further enmeshes him into not doing anything with his life.
By fighting him, you're reinforcing his defenses against his own uneasiness.
By putting him down, he can reject your arguments, which allows him to distance himself from his own unease. No.

[28:32] Accept him for who he is, or don't, but don't try and change him.
Don't try and change him. Let go of any desire to change people in your life.
It's cruel. It's mean. It's vicious.
And of course, if it's so easy to change people, last thing I'll say on this, if it's so easy to change people, then you should change yourself first.
Right? If you say, well, I'm depressed about my brother's lack of progress in his life, okay, so change that in yourself.
Well, I can't. It just drives me crazy. Okay. Well, then if you can't change your own thoughts and feelings regarding your brother, how on expect your brother to change his thoughts and feelings.
The Importance of Self-Respect and Breaking Patterns

[29:04] Accept people, man, it's cruel.
Don't have people in your life you want to change. It's just, it's mean.
All right, recently you said that one of your listeners has a clownish relationship with themselves because they use the expression barf my thoughts out.
I have similar issues not taking myself seriously, not approaching life with all the respect that it requires.
I don't do it all the time but I have a tendency to downplay the importance of my thoughts in public and myself to laugh at things that aren't funny and to laugh precisely because these things are very serious.
Do you have any ideas on how to break out of this pattern?
So, I mean, one of the most fundamental things in law, in investigations, in analysis, is quae bono, who benefits? Who benefits?
So if you have low self-respect, if you diminish the depth and power of your thoughts and feelings.
First question to answer is who benefits? Who benefits? Who's benefiting from you living, playing and staying small? Who benefits?

[30:05] Now almost certainly, almost certainly, high ambitions exist as a threat to the pettiness of those around you.
High ambitions exist as a threat to the pettiness of those around you.
And so those around you who want to stay small, live small, put themselves down, benefit from you staying small, living small and putting yourself down.
And then you have a choice, right? Like once you understand who benefits, and it's not you, right?
You don't benefit from mocking yourself, right? You don't benefit from not taking yourself seriously.
You don't benefit from putting down the potential grandeur of your thoughts, arguments and ideas.
You don't benefit from playing small and attacking your potential.
So somebody else benefits, okay? So, once you figure out who benefits, say Bob, your dad, your brother, whoever, right?
Bob benefits from you staying small, okay, well then you can make a choice, right? You can't make the choice if you don't know who benefits, right?
I mean, you can't investigate anyone or anything if you can't figure out who benefits, right?
So, a husband dies and the wife took out just a huge insurance policy on him and he died in mysterious circumstances and she has no alibi, right? Motive means an opportunity.
Motive is first. Who benefits? Who, if somebody dies, who benefits from that person dying?
Motive, Means, and Opportunity in a Murder Case

[31:25] Dies, who benefits from that person dying? That's the first thing you ask, right?
And so, if someone has no alibi, they're the person who benefits the most, and they have the capacity to do it, right?
So, you've got a husband who dies from strychnine poisoning, the wife stands to make five million dollars from his life insurance, she went to buy strychnine the day before, and she was home at the time he got poisoned, well, that's your case, right? Motive means an opportunity.
If you don't have motive, which is, right?
You've seen this, right? Somebody gets hurt or injured and what's the first what's the first question that people ask?
First question that investigators ask is, did he have any enemies?
Who would have wanted to harm him? Did he have any conflicts?
Did he have anybody around who wanted to do him harm, right?
Who benefits from his death, right? So who benefits from you staying small?
And then once you figure out, let's say this guy Bob benefits from you staying small.
Okay, then say, well do I want to keep staying small to benefit Bob? That's your question.
I mean, to me, an ounce of self-respect, like nobody, nobody thought I was going to be big.
Nobody thought I was going to be a big person in the world. Nobody.
Nobody. Nobody. Nobody.
And I just had to kind of hold on to that and then me becoming a quote big person in the world for the time that I was, now a big person in the future, not in the present, which is fine, it's kind of the I want it." So nobody was like, if you're finally unleashing your potential, oh you're finally doing this, oh you're finally doing that.

[32:52] Nobody I knew read my writing or gave me any feedback.
Nobody I knew read my manifesto, the Rationalist Manifesto, which you can get at
Nobody got behind me. Nobody helped me. Nobody wanted me to, or expected me, they just kind of ignored it all.
It's like, okay, well, I think I have the potential for something really good.
And if you don't agree, you can't come along for the journey, right?
You have to choose between the smallness of the people around you or the size of your own potential. I mean, you have to choose between that.
Now, if you don't even know what's going on, you just kind of feel uneasy about your own potential and have a tendency to put yourself down, then you won't have any clarity. But once you have clarity, you can make a choice.
Clearing Away the Fog and Navigating Life's Challenges

[33:32] If you're stuck in a fog and you don't have a compass, you don't know which way to go.

[33:36] If you're lost, this is a Blair Witch Project, right? If you're lost in the woods and all the woods look the same and you keep walking around in circles, you can't get out.
You've got no compass, you've got no way to guide yourself.
Right? Maybe it's so cloudy you don't even know where the sun is, right?
So if you're in a fog, there's nowhere to go, right? So what's the purpose of philosophy?
Just clear away the fog, that's all I do in the… like I had a call-in show, I just released it yesterday or the day before, and the guy had like wildly complicated intellectual explanations for everything that was going on in his life, and none of them were accurate, so he just had this mental fog and he couldn't navigate out.
So you're just trying to give people clear here's where you are, here's your destination, here's a compass. Now I can't walk for you, I can't make you go, right?
I'm like the guy flying over. I can't land the plane because it's a forest.
I can't land a plane in a forest but I can drop a map and a compass, GPS or whatever, right?

[34:36] So who benefits from you staying small? Okay, well, do you want to keep benefiting that person at your own expense? Now you have a choice.
If you don't even know why you do it, then it's really tough to make any kind of decision. So I hope that helps.
Bro says, I've been feeling a numbness in my emotions since my breakup a couple days ago.
I've identified this as a behavior learned in childhood and it seems to be for my protection from roommates who would take any moment of emotionality to verbally attack just as my family of origin did.
Could there be other more likely reasons that I feel numbness related to the breakup?
Numbness after breakup due to lack of pair bonding

[35:12] I'm feeling a certain kind of numbness too because I'm not getting any kind of clarity.
I mean how long did you go out for? You're a roommate so I assume you're young and so on.
So in general you feel numbness around a breakup because you did not pair bond.
You may have collided out of lust or you know shared interests as opposed to manifestly shared virtues and values, right?
So, you know, we were both really into photography and volleyball and she was hot and we dated, right?
So there's no pair bonding there, there's just… Right, so the lack of pair bonding is probably why you feel numb.
And also, so if you weren't pair bonded, let's say you got together with the woman out of lust, okay, so the reason that you feel numb is so that you don't go back to her out of lust.

[35:59] So the reason that you feel numb is to prevent you from doing something that's really going to hurt you again, which is to get involved with a woman based on luster or something else.
So your unconscious is trying to save you.
Because if you understand, this is what, like, if you're trying to quit smoking and you put that nicotine patch on, it's so that nicotine gets released into your bloodstream so you don't go through the fairly significant agony of withdrawal of quitting smoking.
And smoking has a higher relapse rate than heroin, right?
And there's things you can do for alcohol, there's things you can do for, I guess, the aforementioned heroin, which will diminish your cravings, right?
So numbness diminishes your physical cravings for a woman who's not good for you.
So it's a way of overcoming the addiction, in my guess. All right, what do we got here?
Why is going to the strip club worse than watching pornography?
They seem to be equally morally abhorrent, except one is sort of out in the open and one is usually kept hidden.
Yeah, I don't really deal with these creepy questions, sorry.
All right, what philosophical value can be derived from sentimentality?
Is it worth it to hang on to things like heirlooms or memorabilia?
Oh yeah, I think so, I think so for sure.
There's a sweetness in looking back on how far you've come.

[37:10] And there's a sweetness, you know, looking at baby pictures of Isabella, it just reminds me what a wonderful time it was, how much I love this wonderful girl And, you know, looking back at old wedding photos, it's just a way of, oh gosh, how amazing it was, what a wonderful day it was And how amazing though that day was, every day since with this wonderful woman has been even better, So, now I think sentimentality is really, really good, I mean, I know that there's a double-edged sword to sentimentality.

[37:37] Sentimentality, according to Jung, is the flip side of brutality.
So there is a certain amount of sentimentality that can be dangerous, right?
Which is where you convince yourself you're a sweet person in order to attack anyone who questions your sweetness, right?
Though that's a different matter. All right. Do you have any advice on helping motivate my almost six-year-old to do her schoolwork? Oh God.
Motivating a child to do schoolwork and the importance of personal interest

[37:59] We homeschool and she struggles to pay attention to her memory work.
She's supposed to memorize two verses a week and to do her arithmetic practice.
It's a hundred addition and subtraction problems every day.
Everything else she gets done without issue. Maybe this is just how it is and if you have any advice for me it would be much appreciated. Thank you.
Now again, I'm going to assume that you know the legalities of what you're supposed to be doing regarding homeschooling and you should of course follow those legalities, but I'm just going to talk to you from a purely free society, future, free market planet practicality and sympathy.

[38:34] I want you to think in your life, this is for everyone, right?
Think in your life, have you ever had something which you hated at first, which then you ended up loving and really it became part of your life, right?
You hated it for years and then you fell in love with it and it became something that you want to do with your life.
I mean in general I think the answer to that is no.
You know, I remember when my math teacher brought in the Atari 400 to this classroom and I saw and heard the faint hum of the star field clouding by on Star Raiders and I was like fascinated and learned how to code and went in Saturdays to learn how to program and so on and it was wonderful, magical.
I'd still program if there was any value in it for philosophy.
I still did even up to a couple of years ago.
So I loved computers, loved coding and it became my career for many years.
First time I started reading philosophy, loved it, warmed up to it, was excited by it. You couldn't stop me from doing it.
I did it for free for decades, putting in tens of thousands of hours studying philosophy.
I did it for free for decades before I was able to find some way to monetize it.
Thank you again, everyone, so much. slash donate for helping out this conversation.
I really, really do appreciate it very humbly, very deeply, very gratefully.
I never particularly liked math. Now I'll do the math that I need to, to get done what I need to get done in life.

[39:57] You know, it's kind of like, I remember trying to figure out whether I should do writing or acting, and I was asked by someone, it's a very intelligent question, when you have free time, do you study monologues or do you write?
I'm like, oh, well, when I have free time, I write. Well, that's what you should be doing.
In an uncoerced situation, what do you do?
And there are some people, I remember having a math teacher in grade 12, who would say, oh yeah, you know, I'd get home and I'd just put on a, get a cup of hot chocolate and do some quadratic equations, it's really great, it's really relaxing, it's really fun, it's really stimulating blah blah blah blah blah right?

[40:29] And he loved that. That was never my thing. I remember writing code to try and solve quadratic equations. That was fun.
But no, that was never, I was never a math guy. I've never particularly enjoyed grammar. Never was a grammar guy.
Love language, love analogies, love metaphors, love reason, love philosophy, got a good instinct for these things and it's a well-trained instinct by now.
Put in like 70,000 hours into philosophy, so I got it.
So your daughter, let's just say, doesn't like math. Doesn't like math.
You have to be able to make a case as to why your daughter should do math.
Again, outside of the legal requirements, that's a whole other matter, right?
But can you make a case as to, oh well, you're gonna need it.
Like, so of course when I was a kid I had a calculator watch which I bought from my one of my three jobs earnings.
And of course what were we always told? Well, I mean, come on.
You can't use a calculator in a math exam. It's not like you're going to have a calculator handy every moment of every day in the future.
Now, of course, with cell phones, you have incredible calculators like uber scientific billion-dollar calculators in your pocket 24-7, right?
You always have access to a calculator.

[41:42] So why should she learn math?
Well, it's the curriculum. Okay, but then you're telling her just follow the rules no matter what, outside of preference.
If she doesn't like math, she's not going to do anything with math, right?
This is like the thing I've mentioned before where I was sort of brought into the guidance counselor and nagged at me for not doing well in math, right?
And he was like, here's all the jobs you can't do if you don't know math.
And I was looking at all those jobs, tax accountant, mathematician, math teacher. I'm like, I don't want those jobs.
I mean, yeah, but you just confirmed! I don't want… I would rather…
I would rather plant trees in British Columbia for the rest of my life rather than do that stuff, right?
No, disrespect to the people who do it. I think it's great that they do it, it's just not my thing, right?
So why should she… why should she want to do things… well, she doesn't want to do them, why should she do them?
Why, at the age of six, why should she do things that she doesn't want to do?
What's wrong with her not wanting to do math? I mean, seriously, this is a really genuine question. What's wrong with her not wanting to do math.
Well, you gotta learn to do things you don't want to do. Yeah, but not necessarily at six, right?

[42:50] Course in life you have to do things you don't want to do, I get that, but every day, quote, forcing her to do something she doesn't want to do, you understand that all you're doing is making her hate math more, right?
If there's any chance for her wanting to do math, you have to take the pressure off and she has to learn how to do it all, what to do it himself.
Like, gosh, Eric Wolfson, Alan Parsons, writing and singing partner, wonderful falsetto, the song Time, you can listen to it live, it's just beautiful, but he figured out piano on his own. Owen Benjamin just figured out the piano on his own.
Appreciating the Piano in Music

[43:23] The pianist for Supertramp, I can't remember his name, but the pianist for… Great keyboards, man.
You're Coming Along, right? It's just beautiful.
You're Bloody Well Right's got a great piano intro, just hypnotically great.
I mean, it's almost as great as the piano solos in The Doors, particularly in Riders on the Storm.
I find that piano just hypnotic and beautiful, that electric piano and it's on par with some of David Gilmour's like the opening of Where were you when I was burned and broken?
When the days slipped by from my window watching?
Beautiful, beautiful. Coming back to life. Listen to that on pulse. Ah, so good.
Right, so these people, nobody forced them to take piano lessons.
They just loved piano, wanted to learn piano, noodled around with piano and right?
The guitarist for Led Zeppelin just figured out piano, learned around piano, you've got the story from the guys from the Beatles marching around trying to learn new chords from people, and just loved it, did it, right?
It's stuff that people that succeed at, they're gonna love from the beginning, almost always.
Again, you can think of occasional exceptions, like, I hated this, but then I broke through, but she didn't like math.
Now, maybe that's a phase, maybe she'll like it later, maybe she'll swing back into it, maybe she… but she also, no, not only does she not like it, she has no need of it.

[44:43] She has no need of it. She has no need of it. If you were to try and teach her how to navigate the command line interface of a pet 2K computer from 40 years ago, she'd be like, what, why?
Whereas if some kid wants to play a game and needs to learn how to unlock a tablet and swipe and open the tablet, then they'll do it.
They'll learn that stuff, right? Because there's a point to it.
Well, the point is you've got to follow the rules. Okay. So you can explain that to her and you can say, listen, I don't want you to make you to do math, but there's a rule and a curriculum that you have to follow, otherwise you have go to regular school, like whatever, then just have to be honest about it, like I'm sorry, it's just a rule, right?
It's a rule that's imposed upon us and I don't agree with it, but we have to follow it, otherwise we have to put you in regular school and that's really bad and whatever it is, right? So, but you have to be honest, right?
But why should she want to do something that she A, doesn't want to do and B, has absolutely no utility for? I mean, do you do that?
Do you sit there and say, well, I think I'm going to learn Klingon this year.
I don't want to learn Klingon.
It has absolutely no use to me in my life, but I'm just going to do these things that make no sense to me.
I don't want to do them and I have no need to do them, I have no requirement to do them, they don't benefit me in any way.
Is that how you live your life? Come on, you're not different, you're the same. Oh my gosh.

[45:57] If I said, you know, you've got to spend the next 15 years studying the sitar, or the, I don't know, the glockenspiel for an hour a day, you'd say, what? Why?
I don't want to be a musician. I'm not going to play that. Like, why? No, because.
Like, you don't do that. Just be honest. You don't do that. I don't do that.
I study things that have utility for me. I either enjoy them in and of themselves or they have value in some way in my life, right?

[46:30] I mean, do you practice how to do taxes in Norway? If you're not Norwegian?
No, you don't practice. Oh, well, okay, let's say I was in Norway.
How would I do my taxes if I'm gonna read a whole bunch of tax code stuff?
How am I, I'm gonna, I'm gonna, why? Because, well, you know, you have to learn to do things you don't wanna do.
It's like, yes, but the things you learn to do that you don't wanna do have value in your life, right?
If you learn how to change the oil in your car, you're saving some money by not taking your car in to get the oil changed by somebody is going to charge you more, right?
You do your taxes because it provides a benefit in your life or at least keeps a negative away.
So you do things you don't want to do but they have some utility and purpose.
You don't combine these two things of something you really don't want to do that has no practical value in your life. You don't do that.
And it's just weird to me and I'm sorry to be annoyed, right?
But it's just weird to me that you'd be on this train track of like, well I want my daughter to do things she doesn't want to do that have absolutely no utility in her life, as if you wouldn't be equally annoyed if somebody imposed that on you, right?
I mean, so, what do you mean, helping motivate my, she's still five, she's not even six yet, she's five years old.
Does she see you? I mean, do you model this behavior? Do you model learning things you hate to learn that have no practical value in your life?
Do you model that all the time?

[47:56] Well, daddy's gonna learn how to operate a plane saw. Why?
No reason. I'll never use it. It has no practical value for me.
It's really dangerous. I could lose five thumbs.
But you know, mommy and daddy just, you know what we love to do is we love to do things we really, really don't want to do.
I hate the plane saw. I'm never going to use it, but I'm going to spend an hour a day for the next 15 years learning how to use a plane saw.
I don't even know if a plane saw is a thing, but you know what I mean, right?

[48:24] Really hate hair cutting but I'm gonna spend an hour a day for the next 15 years learning how to cut hair. Why daddy? No reason.
I never want to cut anyone's hair I just want to learn how to do it.
But you hate learning how to cut hair. I know.
So it has no practical value to me. I don't want, I hate learning it but I'm gonna do it anyway.
Well your kid would look at you like well that's insane.

[48:45] Like why on earth would you learn, would you spend an hour a day over the next 15 years learning how to cut hair if you hate cutting hair, hate learning how to cut hair, and as an added bonus, you're never going to cut anyone else's hair.
So that's a five-year-old's perspective. You don't do that. I don't do that. Nobody does that.
But you want your five-year-old to do that. I hate it. No practical value to me. Gotta do it anyway.
Come on. Come on. You've got to be kidding me. You've got to be kidding me.
All right, so the Daniel Mackler claim that one ought not to have children until you're perfectly healed. Such a thing even remotely possible.
No, it is the act of having and being a great parent that is your final healing, so I don't agree with that. I like Daniel.
Oh Danny boy, the pipes, the pipes are calling.
Yeah, I like Daniel, but no, I think that's, you know, you've got to be perfectly healed before you have children.
No, because the act of being a good parent is really the final boss of healing, so it works out well that way.
All right, I mean, I think you should have some decent self-knowledge and commitment to virtues and all of that, but I hope this helps. Thank you so much for these great questions.
Always feel free to submit more at If you find this to be of value, I hope that you will join the community.
You can also send me donations, I really, really do appreciate that, at slash donate. Lots of love! Bye!

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