Where are you really? By Dan Millman

“…He asked, “Where are you today, right now?”

Eagerly, I started talking about myself. However, I noticed that I was still being sidetracked from getting answers to my questions. Still, I told him about my distant and recent past and about my inexplicable depressions. He listened patiently and intently, as if he had all the time in the world, until I finished several hours later.

“Very well,” he said. “But you still have not answered my question about where you are.”

“Yes I did, remember? I told you how I got to where I am today: by hard work.”

“Where are you?”

“What do you mean, where am I?”

“Where Are you?” he repeated softly.

“I’m here.”

“Where is here?”

“In this office, in this gas station!” I was getting impatient with this game.

“Where is this gas station?”

“In Berkeley?”

“Where is Berkeley?”

“In California?”

“Where is California?”

“In the United States?”

“On a landmass, one of the continents in the Western Hemisphere. Socrates, I…”

“Where are the continents?

I sighed. “On the earth. Are we done yet?”

“Where is the earth?”

“In the solar system, third planet from the sun. The sun is a small star in the Milky Way galaxy, all right?”

“Where is the Milky Way?”

“Oh, brother,” I sighed impatiently, rolling my eyes. “In the universe.” I sat back and crossed my arms with finality.

“And where,” Socrates smiled, “is the universe?”

“The universe is well, there are theories about how it’s shaped…”

“That’s not what I asked. Where is it?”

“I don’t know – how can I answer that?”

“That is the point. You cannot answer it, and you never will. There is no knowing about it. You are ignorant of where the universe is, and thus, where you are. In fact, you have no knowledge of where anything is or of what anything is or how is came to be. Life is a mystery. My ignorance is based on this understanding. Your understanding is based on ignorance. This is why I am a humorous fool, and you are a serious jackass.”

My 3rd, 4th and 5th Weeks in Denver

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Crazy that I’ve already been in Colorado for a month. Time goes by fast when you’re living life to the fullest! —My car ride seemed like it took a whole month to get here; although it was less than 24 hours. Anyway here is what I have been up to the past few weeks:

During my third week in Denver I moved into my new apartment! No more sleeping on a couch. The hot tub and pool at the apartment complex were some big deciding factors, even though they are being renovated currently and I haven’t used them yet! So I moved all my stuff into the apartment, chatted with the new roommates-they are super chill and awesome. I also went to an orientation for substitute teaching after hours of paperwork to get there. I was outside most of the week really just hanging out with friends and enjoying the week before I started teaching. The weekend was fun, and then I began teaching during my 4th week here.

Monday I taught at a pretty rough school. I have previously been working with juvenile delinquents so I thought that teaching at all these schools would be a breeze…not so much. I taught freshman Biology that Monday and these freshman definitely challenged me and tested my patience but I made it through the day. Tuesday I taught a French middle school class. They were filled with sooo much energy-The classroom got loud, so I got a little loud back. Wednesday was amazing! I worked as a physical education teacher and the school does “team teaching” where some teachers work together for the lessons. This made classes very easy and the day flew by. Thursday as a middle school math teacher was okay; some classes were great and some weren’t. Friday I was a math teacher at the school I was at on Monday so I was ready for chaos, but since it was a different class with different students it wasn’t bad. Only one class was out of pocket. Substitute teachers experience all sorts of interesting situations throughout the day, and I was already beginning to experience these things.  Overall it was a decent first week of teaching.

My 5th week and 2nd week of teaching here…This week was a lot better than last week as far as teaching goes. Monday I taught gym at an Elementary school and it was awesome. I got to play basketball and other sports with the students as we jammed out to music. Tuesday and Wednesday I was a floater. They needed me as a 4th grade teacher on Tuesday-I was not the happiest about this, but I do what they need me to do. The kids were crazy. Wednesday was okay. I taught another loud group of students, but I did get to leave early so that was awesome. I went to a park after school and played some football with a friend. Thursday was the best day of the week for teaching!! I was a high school gym teacher and the students listened and behaved so well. I was at a great school and I got to run and workout with students in each class. The teacher I was subbing for had a prep period at the end of the day so I got to leave a little early again! Good times. Friday was a good day too. I was a math teacher at a pretty good school and some of the kids had really funny jokes. I laughed a lot during the first period class.

A few things I have learned while working with students:  Be patient, listen, and from the start make sure they know what rules and expectations they should follow.

In my free time I have been reading, writing, playing Fifa with friends, going to parks, working out, and I bought a new laptop!

“I think people who are creative are the luckiest people on earth. I know that there are no shortcuts, but you must keep your faith in something greater than you, and keep doing what you love. Do what you love, and you will find the way to get it out to the world.”

Someone You Should Know: Derek Sivers

Writer, entrepreneur, musician, programmer, and student, Derek Sivers.  I first heard Derek speak on the Tim Ferris podcast, and thought, “This guy sounds very interesting.”  I had never heard of Derek Sivers before, but he is definitely someone worth knowing!!

I continued listening to Derek speak, and I took a few screenshots of his name on the podcast so that I would remember him and be able to look him up on google later.  As I looked up Derek on google I saw a picture of him that seemed appropriate to his voice as I heard him through podcast.

DerekSivers

Derek has made millions of dollars and has given away millions of dollars.  He lives a life worth living.  His writings focus on the usable psychology of self-improvement, business and philosophy to name a few.

Out of the numerous amounts of writings Derek has completed I could write about them all, but I am choosing to discuss his notes on “How We Understand What Others Think, Believe, Feel, and Want.”  This book and Derek’s notes remind me of the person Derek is, an open-minded, understanding, genuine illusion-breaking person.  One of these illusions is that we know our own minds more deeply than we actually do.  This can make your mind appear superior to the minds of others.  Most people will live believing their mind is superior to others, but Derek breaks through this illusion.

I was electrified when I received an email back from Derek this past week, but after reading his works it makes sense.  Mr. Sivers is a giver, he likes to connect with his fans and does the public a service by answering emails from mostly anyone.  So if you have a question for the down-to-earth millionaire, email him at derek@sivers.org.  I very much appreciate what you do Derek, and thank you for your humble lifestyle.

Here are some useful quotes from Derek’s notes:

“Your brain’s greatest skill is its ability to think about the minds of others in order to understand them better.”

“You are consciously aware of your brain’s finished products-conscious attitudes, beliefs, intentions, and feelings-but are unaware of the processes your brain went through to construct those final products, and you are therefore unable to recognize its mistakes.”

“Naive realism: the intuitive sense that we see the world out there as it actually is, rather than as it appears from our perspective.” (In other words, a person thinks other people are wrong for their views because their own views are “right”)

“Universal tendency to assume that other’s minds are less sophisticated and more superficial than one’s own.”

“Treat workers with respect, encourage them to think independently, allow them to make decisions, and make them feel connected to an important effort.”

“The social spotlight does not shine on us nearly as brightly as we think.”

“Be who you are and say what you feel, because those who mind don’t matter and those who matter don’t mind.”

“Engage the minds of others more routinely instead of treating nearby neighbors as mindless objects.”

“The expert’s problem is assuming that what’s so clear in his or her own mind is more obvious to others.”

“Politicians talk about what ‘the people’ want: the speaker’s own beliefs.”

“You define yourself by the attributes that make you different.”

“Nearly everything you know is secondhand: things you know only because someone told you.”

“You can’t judge another person until you’ve walked a mile in their shoes.  You hear it so often because the advice is so routinely ignored-by the rich who judge the poor as lazy and incompetent, the sober who judge the addicted to be weak and immoral, and the happy who can’t understand why the depressed don’t just ‘snap out of it.'”