Sunday, April 6, 2008

Step 1: Admit There's a Problem

In On Second Thought, 12 Steps May Be Too Many, I cut the number of steps down to 7. Today, I want to talk about the first step:
We admitted that our current worldview was incomplete, and therefore not conducive to a happy life.

I changed this because the important thing is that we're missing something. We have made major scientific and technological advances in the last 100 years, and most of us in America have standards of living better than that of the richest people 300 years ago, but we're still not happy. We spend more money on health care that anyone, but we still can't get rid of cancer and heart disease. Even the most famous and successful of us are not immune to depression, drugs and scandals. And let's not even start about the environment.

Given that our results are suboptimal, the problem must be either with our model of the world, our value systems or our behavior. If it's our behavior, that ultimately goes back to the model and our values, because if we are not acting according to our beliefs and values, we're either insane, or our beliefs and values aren't workable in practice.

So that's step 1. Stay tuned.

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