Common: Spending time, money, and energy on education without converting it to sustainable value.
Uncommon:Alcohol and many other drugs are addicting. You already knew that. But what I denied for a long time is how a seemingly positive longing for education can also become an addiction.
If you told me 5 years ago that too much learning could be detrimental, I would have sought the nearest soapbox to beam my message of opposition. But during these last two years, as I’ve spent an increasing amount of time online, I’ve realized how a deep desire to learn can actually become a liability at times. Allow me to explain (with a rather surprising confession).
Years ago, a term was introduced by those in the tight circles of the self-help industry that was used to refer to clients and avid supporters who became addicted to self-help material and the positive environment that many such conventions provided. These people were appropriately called “self-help junkies.” Now, of course, the term has become mainstream. These individuals get their “high” by attending personal develop seminars, bobbing around the nearest guru with ogle-eyes, and chain book-reading, among other things. These behaviors are fine… in moderation, and if balanced with application.
Common: When a lack of information and/or inaccurate information perpetuates fear, doubt, and stupid behavior.
Uncommon: After spending one decade researching the topic of human behavior I’ve noticed some important trends that have led to a surprisingly simple theory of mine:
The sources of our greatest problems are two fold: One, a lack of information and two, perhaps most importantly, a plethora of wrong information.
Accordingly, we can divide the majority of the population into two camps:
- The uninformed
- The misinformed
Yet, here we are, supposedly the wittiest species on Earth making fundamental erroneous assumptions that undermine our ability to triumph over our more inherent human flaws. But ignorance need not be one of those flaws. Even in our super-connected, fast-paced, informational and technological age, we paradoxically still suffer from many harsh consequences of this needless ignorance.
Common: Falling into a rut of uninspired thought
Uncommon:Society is looking at creative ideas with increased appreciation. Ideas, in this new emerging marketplace (appropriately labeled the “creative economy”), are rapidly becoming viewed as extremely valuable commodities. More than ever before, the world relies on human creativity to solve the many problems we have created, combat the threats of nature, refine elements of function and style, and simply make life more enjoyable. For this reason, I thought it fitting to discuss the source of ideas… imagination.
Albert Einstein makes a perfect subject for this topic. He is considered one of the most influential individuals in the history of our world. His impact on humanity has been made possible not by way of natural intelligence, but instead, his freedom of mind, his questioning, his enigmatic experiments, and his boundless creativity—all derivatives of, not surprisingly… imagination.