4 thoughts on “My Philosophy

  1. Chris, as simple as these seem they are really incredibly difficult to accomplish. A large part of it has to do with the entire Western Culture and the ethos that we live in or at least believe that we do.
    Eat when hungry? We are bombarded with messages to eat all of the time. Most of us don’t have a clue as to what being hungry is even in a very minor way.
    Rest when required, sleep when tired? We are taught, you can sleep when you are dead. No pain, no gain, as in forget resting, is not just a sports slogan. You are tired, so what, work through it. At least here in the USA we don’t even take the limited amount of vacation time we are given.
    Listen when addressed? Very, very rare for us to really listen. We hear a phrase or a word and rather than listening to what is being said as well as HOW it is being said, we are busy with our reply which so often has nothing to very little with what was being said to us.
    Relax when deserved? How many of us ever really feel that we have earned the right to relax. I know that if I finish a particularly difficult job, project, whatever it may be and feel that I do deserve to relax, it lasts about five minutes if I am lucky. My brain automatically catalogs the next project that needs to be done. Of course, if I am relaxing, I am wasting time on my next project.
    Accept when invited?Do we deserve to be invited, will it take away too much time from our own work, family, etc. Is this a person, business, institution, government that agrees with ME? At least for the last sentence, we used to be more than willing to sit down with all but the most strident and have discussions. In the last couple of decades, it has become, US & THEM and THEY are evil. This is not just government but virtually all causes and issues. So, accept an invite, no chance.
    This is incredibly poorly written by me but I hope that points will understood. No one is required to accept or believe a word that I have written. In addition, you may have completely different reasons why we do not follow Chris’s philosophy from above. You could also believe that you live these principles or you might actually live these principles in which case, I salute you.

    For me, this is still a journey and as much as I strive to live these goals, I still find it much easier to slip back into bad old habits.


    1. Hi Fred,

      Thanks for your detailed, thought-provoking comment. I am aware that these points are indeed counter to Western culture where we are bound to structure.

      Have you travelled much and experienced different cultures? I haven’t, but I’m not convinced that we North Americans have chosen the best way of life. I think we’re too busy and focused on being productive and making money.

      Resting when required) and relaxing when deserved are the two areas in which which require the most improvement because, like you, I am driven to keep working.


  2. Chris,

    You are quite welcome. In college I was an Asian Studies & then European Studies major. Specifically we studied the cultures, the religions and the histories. In Asian Studies we went into depth with China, Japan and India.

    Unfortunately, that is the depth of my knowledge as I have not traveled abroad which is something that leaves me feeling quite ashamed. However, I am very much convinced that we North Americans have not chosen the best way of life overall. However, I am in no way disparaging the vast majority of our way of life as we have so much that other cultures do not. In my opinion, it appears to me that we desperately need to meld pieces of other cultures into our ethos.

    As an example of what I am speaking about is all here in my short story. 15 years ago I was selling ergonomic software that resided in the background of your computer. We sold to large corporations and had a ace up our sleeve that was expected to make the difference. Our software was the only third generation ergonomic software at that point and it not only monitored every keystroke and mouse movement or click that you made, it also measured intensity. Based upon the intensity the software broke in and prompted the typist to take a short 30-60 second break with a little stretching exercise.

    Our ace was that we had two double blind studies done by Cornell University. These studies both showed that by slowing down and stretching, the overall productivity of all of the combined typist within the corporation, whether the typist was in a secretarial pool or an executive, was raised by 1%. While 1% does not sound like much, in a multi-billion dollar it is a huge amount especially as it was an after-tax return.

    The point of this story is that major corporation after major corporation turned us down. The reason they turned us down was because it felt warm and fuzzy/touchy feely. It went against our ethos to believe that by slowing down it could makes us better/faster. Yet if you really thought about this it was very easy to see that if you take several of these mini breaks and stretch that by the end of the day, your arms, shoulders, neck, etc. are not as tired. If they are not as tired, you make fewer mistakes. In addition, there are soft dollar rewards for the corporation by doing something like this. By that I mean that by taking breaks and stretching, you lessen the chances of a repetitive stress injury(RSI). Having fewer RSIs means less money spent by the corporation for medical costs, which can also lower the health insurance cost over time.

    This is just one very, very small example of how a small portion of our ethos is hurting us literally and monetarily. It is also just one very small piece where our entire culture could benefit. The thing is that us not changing is not because the heads of corporations say no or because the 1% are saying no to a change such as this. We are all saying no because we have been inculcated with the ethos of push, push, push. Slowing down is bad. I am the same way and I know better.


    1. Fred,

      That is an excellent example of the “working harder is the way” mentality. Do you believe that it is up to each of us individually to choose whether or not to buy into this idea?


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