One of the biggest problems we have in modern society, I think, is the
decline in separation between thinking and feeling. A hundred years of
"modern education" has refocused people on their feelings, rather than
on the principles of analysis, logic, thought, imagination, and
Ayn Rand coined the term "secondhanding," which essentially means
taking a concept and removing all its internal references, then using
that word or phrase as if it actually has meaning. A lot of
inspirational speakers and so-called coaches do this sort of thing.
It`s not a bad thing, really; it`s just that it doesn`t accomplish
In the video, we hear about 8 "things" a person needs in order to be a
success. There are some definitions, all of which are anecdotal, and
we`re given to believe that the full-length seminars go further into
detail. I doubt it, having seen a lot of these types of discussions.
The problem of anecdotal definition is that it doesn`t really say or do
anything for the individual who`s trying to develop their thought
process. These types of definition (a loose association to the word)
offer us countless stories and examples of what other people have
done. The implication is that by watching those people we "somehow"
will make a leap of intuition and arrive at a proper definition.
Here on Startup Nation we`ve had several discussions about the
objective meaning of "passion," for instance. We know that passion
falls within the category of emotion, but what exactly is it? If we
don`t know and can`t make that guess-by-watching, where does that leave
Inspirational talks make people feel good. The audience leaves the room
with a feeling they`ve actually done something, accomplished something,
and learned something. In most cases, though, they haven`t changed from
when they went into the room. They still have to go *do* something. As
soon as they try to do that something, they realize they`re no better
off than when they started.
What`s sad, is that underneath the feel-good language are true concepts
with real meaning, and powerful capabilities. Passion, persistence,
service, inspiration---all these are terms and concepts applied to what
has made humanity so different from animals. Education used to mean the
development and fostering of these traits in children.
We "feel" things automatically as part of our biochemistry. But to
think requires learned skills---especially to think rationally. Feeling
good about an idea isn`t at all the same as doing something useful with
that idea. It`s like the old joke where someone asks what makes a
consultant. In many examples, all it takes is waking up one morning and
saying, "Gee....today I feel like becoming a consultant. :-)