How’s that working out for you?
Movie dialogue can be a useful source of insights: think life, business, love, communication, and, well, everything. It turns out that “useful” is le mot juste to keep in mind on this last day of the year, according to Seth:
It’s not possible for anyone to actually see the world as it is.
But there’s a significant opportunity we can work toward:
To experience the world in a useful way.
Not correctly, but usefully.
If the methods you’ve used . . .
have been helping you get exactly what you seek,
For the rest of us, there’s a chance to work
on our filters, our habits and our instincts.
Or, in the somewhat pithier, cheekier persona that Brad Pitt embodies as Tyler Durden in Fight Club:
Tyler Durden: How’s that working out for you?
Tyler Durden: Being clever.
Narrator, shrugging: Great.
Tyler Durden: Keep it up then.
Nature and nurture handed me a package I didn’t choose. Part of that was/is a tendency to conflate correct and useful. “Correct” matters for many activities in the physical world: solving calculus problems, launching rockets, diagnosing ailments, even choosing how long to bake cookies. “Useful” matters more in many human interactions: nurturing children, managing teams, living happily with other people, and interacting with slightly fuzzy seniors (including interacting with myself).
I can’t change what I’ve done with my tendencies thus far. But even at an age where I’m playing with house money, I don’t need to keep it up unless I choose to. As Seth says:
Today’s a perfect day to begin a whole new pattern.