thinkers

BRIDGING THE GAP

​There is little chance of success in your ventures, plans, projects or business without a well thought out executed strategy or well applied action. However, beautiful the strategy you have to look at results drawing toward your goal as this is just as important.

Everyone begins as a rookie or novice. Every Individual, business, empire starts with a vision or goal. No doubt, a vision is a good thing. Like a journeyman or traveller, the vision is your desired outcome and the North Star guides you to your desired point of interest.

Your strategy is your map and involves a designed plan of action. A vision is nothing without execution. Taking action is just as important as the plan made or the success desired. Deliverance is the spotlight moment, the do or die moment as to whether the plan goes as planned.

The execution is vital. Strategy involves a conscious decision to move from your current position to the one you have envisioned. It requires you to take the steps needed in order to achieve the goal.

There are a lot of numerous examples of people who moved from point A to point B. Point plan to point achievement by taking good effective action. Yet there are also more examples of people running out of steam and becoming stagnant or going backward during execution.

Sometimes, the problem isn’t that the strategy is wrong or because it is outdated and circumstances change, of course one can never truly see or determine the consequences of one’s choices. But the most likely cause lies in the failure to properly execute the strategy.

Bridging the gap between the strategy and the goal is the most difficult in any venture. Rudy Giuliani says “Change is not a destination, just as hope is not a strategy”. Anyone can work hard when you feel like it or are feeling super motivated or if life is basically going well for you but, what about when you get bored? The journey feels hard as it usually does.

What separates losers and winners when genetics, talent, luck or resources mean little? Top performers in any act embrace the daily practice that requires mastery of their act and simply deciding not to change course, following the North Star, adopting and never giving up –no matter what. So true execution comes from embracing execution through the daily grind.

So of course, Rome wasn’t built in a day and execution is just as important as the plan and the results you hope to see and in one way or another better than the goal itself. 

Take for instance, mountain climbing, the thrill of it all isn’t reaching the top per se but, battling and overcoming the elements, overcoming the self and embracing the constant zest and zeal of the unknown, no turning back but, being in constant motion. 

For it is true, as with life, goals and desired results only begin out of the comfort zone. To move from strategy to execution in all aspects of one’s life makes “a man worth his word” 

“All men can see the tactics whereby I conquer, but what none can see is the strategy out of which victory is evolved…Strategy without tactics is the slowest route to Victory, tactics with strategy is the noise before defeat”

– Sun Tzu

DAILY LIVING

​How do we listen to our hearts? What kinds of insights or aid is required to be authentic? How do we embrace the daily grind? The monotony of daily living without regrets, managing our despair and other general ailments?

Existentialist Martin Heidegger’s reply is that everyone comes equipped with an existential conscience that calls to them to live authentically. This conscience turns out to be you talking to yourself about yourself.

This conscience is you trying to shake the part of you lost in the crowd, yourself out of its conformity. When you heed the call of your conscience, you take a necessary step toward embracing yourself and living authentically.

Your existential conscience shakes you from the inauthentic life of the crowd by reminding you of your guilt, which in turn, points out to you your responsibility for taking ownership of what you are as a self or as a being. What this means is that your conscience wants you to own up to the fact that as an existing, choosing, self-determining being, you’re incomplete in some key ways.

The possibilities available to you for self-definition aren’t limitless; in fact, the options you have are structured by the historical and cultural world you’re born into and you can’t simply make all the possibilities available to you, it’s an inescapable reality.

“Think of the call of conscience like a phone call. On one end, you have the person dialling (the caller). That’s you. But it’s the you who’s always in there, in your life, always capable of authenticity (no matter what you do, unless you magically turn into a stone or an animal, this part of yourself is always present). That self always capable of authenticity is the caller. We call it the “You-Self.””-Greg Gale

The You-Self (person you want to be) is dialling up the you who is presently lost in the crowd. It must: Heidegger says the call can’t be addressed to the They-Self. The They-Self is the self of the everyday — the self within you that represents the voice of the crowd. 

The They-Self is the everyone-self that has no identity of its own, the identity you take on when you become steeped in your conformist routines. The They-Self actually avoids the call. In fact, as Heidegger puts it, in the call of conscience the They-Self “gets passed over in this appeal.”

Just to be clear the existential conscience calls you to recognize your guilt — not moral guilt, the difference between the two is that Moral guilt typically acts as a spotlight of sorts. The former results from performing some shameful action, and the latter points to an absence of something in you. 

When you steal or lie, moral guilt pains you because it makes apparent your lack of honesty. Moral guilt makes clear to you that you’re incomplete or limited in some important way.

In contrast, existential guilt doesn’t point to an action, but to you as a being. Moral guilt points to a lack in you that causes that action, but existential guilt points to an absence that’s a fundamental and an essential part of what you are as an existing being. The lack that moral guilt points to should be filled in; the lack that existential guilt points to should be embraced.

To be completely assured that your choice is right, you need to be able to step outside any context that may influence your way of looking at things. What you want is a timeless, “God’s-eye” view of your situation. 

From this standpoint, you could objectively and dispassionately sort through the possible options and figure out which option is right. Heidegger’s point, however, this is when you truly see what you are, you see that this will never happen. You can never step outside your biased framework to see with assurance what’s objectively right or the one true choice.

Heidegger’s point here is that, as a self-defining being, you have to make choices within an historical and cultural framework — one that structures not only what’s possible for you, but also how you think about those possibilities. 

What’s possible for you, in a given situation? Whatever is in your situation, you don’t share the same world or the same history as everyone else. You would inevitably respond differently even to the same situations.

Being a self-defining being daily requires recognising that one is “thrown” into a certain historical situation, a certain time period, a certain culture, and a context that makes a specific set of lives possible. Heidegger thinks that although this does function as a limit, because your power of self-definition is indeed limited, it isn’t something to complain about. 

Instead, it’s the very ground of your freedom. To want to create yourself from the ground up should be seen as inauthentic, essentially obscuring and refusing to face up to the fact that your human existence is a situational one. All lives have a context in which they should be understood.

One as such makes a resolve to embrace their death and view the seriousness of one’s choice as joined together with one’s past, heritage, and selection of possibilities. This joining involving your past and future, birth and death is now expressed in the way you act in and see the present. 

Your life as a whole is unified and self-driven; your present situation and your action make sense in a story that connects your past, your present and your future. This means you daily are an authentic individual. You have to keep it up and keep marching on. This is in a sense, who we are daily and anything else does mean we are living inauthentically. 

FREDRICK NIETZSCHE ON CHALLENGING ONESELF

​Critics of Nietzsche accuse him of being an elitist who was obsessed with greatness and with the creation of the Übermensch (or superman). He believed great individuals go beyond good and evil to accomplish their ends as such, this fuelled a lot of Nazi ideas of fascism.

The Übermensch is largely misunderstood but, is more of an individual and spiritual goal. Nietzsche calls himself the Übermensch (which means superperson or overman, the person who is beyond the form of current humanity)  has yet to exist on earth.

Nietzsche says, Live dangerously! Build your cities on the slopes of Vesuvius! Send your ships into uncharted seas! Live at war with your peers and yourselves! He instead challenges us live passionately, to challenge ourselves and to always push the envelope.

Nietzsche doesnt actually mean that you should literally sell your home and rebuild on the slopes of an active volcano but, life is no fun without risk and challenge through self-mastery. Nietzsche thinks of self-mastery as a kind of art. 

He says, Only one thing is needful; to give style to ones character  a great and rare art! In a sense, when you strive to be an individual, you are at the same time the artist and the mound of clay. You fashion yourself into a sculpture. You look at the desires that compose you and decide what goal or aim you want to see for your life. 

This self-formation requires choice. You have to decide that the clay should take on some particular shape as opposed to some other. Self imposes upon desires a sense of style by making them conform to that self-chosen shape. Nietzsche doesnt mean the imposition of some contemporary style but, a notion of style as expressive of ones individual creative and aesthetic nature.

This ability to give style to your own person requires a lot of inner strength. Treating yourself as a work of art isnt easy. Organizing your life in accordance with a purpose or meaning that reflects your own unique individuality. Only in this way can you be said to truly control your own self. Nietzsche thinks of this person as a noble”.

Being a self requires unifying those warring desires under a central purpose or meaning. So being a self requires mastering yourself by giving your desires a common direction. Challenging self requires the activity of mastering your desires and ordering them around a choice that expresses the meaning youve given your life.

True power seeks to develop internal beauty as a result we must embrace challenge. Truly honouring your purpose in life is living it passionately  pushing it to go faster and faster, each time pushing it, and yourself, to the limit.

Embracing change means exposing yourself to new and different perspectives. This is challenging oneself at best.

Greg Gale put it, Read a book on a subject that completely disagrees with the way that youve chosen to live your life. Learn about your history. See whether youre the victim of self-deception.

Seek to unsettle yourself; shake up what you think and believe. When youre in public, seek out the kinds of people who disagree with you passionately, and talk to them. Cultivate friendships with these kinds of people. Surround yourself with the seeds of your own destruction.

 Nietzsche once claimed, I am not a man, I am dynamite! Well, if youre dynamite, surround yourself with matches. Love the ashes that through it you build your empires.

Life will always be an uphill battle, whether you realise now or not and in true fashion, Nietzsche to put it bluntly in a modern sense says Fight the Power. He views a good and excellent life as one thats always put at risk. Thats the only way to truly value and honour life.
Are you ready to be a warrior for your self-created identity and goal? Can you subject your identity to that kind of battle? Do you love yourself enough? Are you willing to be who you are?

“”Who am I?” remains the ultimate question of human existence, and it is a question we are continually challenged to answer anew, as we go on evolving. 

Nathaniel Brande

MARTIN HEIDEGGER ON AUTHENTICITY

​How can we live authentically? Since the dawn of philosophy, many have paused such a question. Also questions, Like how do we know we exist? Does this object exist? How do things exist? But Heidegger, said before asking about existence we must ask what the meaning of being is?

In being and time, he introduces man as “dasein”, the being that stands out from everyday consciousness and recognizes his own being and asks the question “what does it mean to be”. Before this one fact, one realizes this one fact. One is completely absorbed in the world, dasein is in the world.

Living authentically involves dasein’s understanding of itself as a being that exists and that potentially doesn’t exist or eventually will not exist. We do our everyday things but, with everyday monotony, most don’t heavily realize how their acts respond to themselves and others. 

A craftsman has tools and doesn’t see the tools as independent of self but, when the tool breaks the craftsman sees the tool independent of self and this promotes the thought that dasein will in fact be of non-existence or will cease function as does his tools and the craftsman’s self as does his tools are subject to entropy.

Living with the reality of non-existence or that one may die one day is of importance to living authentically. Heidegger brings out the idea of the “own most” which means that by fact, you will experience your own death and you can’t share it with someone, no one but, you has your life and no one but you will have your death.

“We were born into a world of quiet conformity.

Initially everything we do and say, think and believe

Have been done, said, thought and believed before. The activities we regard as worthy of our time and effort, the ultimate values and meanings we pursue

And the particular styles and forms through which we pursue these goals have all been provided by our various human cultures.”

Unless we find ways to wrest control of our own lives from society,

All of our decisions will continue to be made for us by the unnoticed forces of the cultures in which we live.’

They (Other People) even hide the process by which ‘they’ have quietly relieved us of the ‘burden’ of making choices for ourselves. 

It remains a complete mystery who has really done the choosing. We are carried along by the ‘nobody’, without making any real choices, becoming ever more deeply ensnared in inauthenticity.”

[Martin Heidegger Being & Time, Macquarrie p. 312-313; Stambaugh p. 248; paraphrase]

The authentic dasein sees one existence as one’s own, to be defined and made by one’s thoughts and self. The unauthentic dasein is moved and defined by the public and allows one’s self to be socially constructed and one is lost. 

One must not live alone to be authentic but, to be authentic has more to do with your attitude, it involves confronting one’s values, understanding the social, universal reality one exists in, ceasing one’s existence and making it one’s own.