Advice for young people: Avoid BULLSH*T | John Vervaeke and Lex Fridman | Summary and Q&A

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September 5, 2022
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Advice for young people: Avoid BULLSH*T | John Vervaeke and Lex Fridman

TL;DR

Find an ecology of practices and a community that supports wisdom and virtue in relationships to have a fulfilling career and life.

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Questions & Answers

Q: What advice would you give to young people in high school or college who are trying to figure out their life path?

I would advise them to find an ecology of practices and a community that promotes wisdom and virtue, prioritizing relationships. By focusing on these aspects, other desired outcomes are more likely to occur, leading to a fulfilling career and life.

Q: How can one identify a suitable ecology of practices and community without falling into a cult-like environment?

Look for places where people are genuinely excited about personal growth and development. Avoid environments that promote dogmatic beliefs and expand one's knowledge by engaging with diverse ideas and perspectives. Trustworthy individuals and communities can provide guidance in finding legitimate ecologies of practices.

Q: Have you personally experienced a difficult time in your life where you struggled with meaning and purpose?

Yes, after leaving fundamentalist Christianity, I faced a dark period where I grappled with the loss of beliefs and the associated trauma. Therapy, meditation, and tai chi helped me navigate this period, but it was an emotionally lonely and deeply alienating experience.

Q: Is the meaning crisis something solely experienced on an individual level, or is it a shared struggle?

Initially, I believed it was a personal struggle, but through teaching and research, I discovered that many individuals share a collective experience of the meaning crisis. It impacts both individual and collective levels, leading to existential anxiety and self-destructive behavior.

Summary & Key Takeaways

  • Find an ecology of practices and a supportive community that aligns with scientific knowledge to cultivate wisdom and virtue, especially in relationships.

  • Avoid falling into cult-like environments and prioritize ideas that promote growth and development.

  • Seek out opportunities to engage in self-governance and collective intelligence to address the meaning crisis and foster deep and profound relationships.

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