How do you tell the difference between a good idea and a bad one?
Most folk think they can simply do it. They know a great suggestion when they hear it.
Most of them are wrong. It’s a difficult art.
Consider venture capitalists, with decades of business experience and billions on the line, struggle with this. A lot of them use shortcuts like focusing on the person – if they seem smart, methodical and driven, then give them a shot. Their idea is almost irrelevant.
If you’re old enough to remember a time before Twitter, would you have thought it’s the next big thing? “Yeah… it’s like a blog platform… except you can only write uselessly tiny posts… great idea, huh?”
It’s all so obvious in retrospect…
One handy heuristic to assess the value of an idea is how old it is. If folk came up with it thousands of years ago and we’re still talking about it today, it clearly has staying power.
Now, ‘staying power’ can come from negative places. Slavery is an old idea, for example. But it didn’t survive off its own merits. Slavery appeals to greed, hatred and a sense of superiority over other folk.
Some ideas have had to stand on their own two feet, though.
If that did nothing – if it was all con artists, the placebo effect and people deluding themselves… well, that describes a thousand practices, 999 of which died out in a few centuries.
But I invite you to think beyond meditation.
Think Buddhism – the ancient religion that influenced all the old meditation practices.
Buddhism survived to today because there are hundreds of great concepts buried in it.
Not everything it says is useful.
But a lot of it is.
Like the concept of impermanence. It’s much easier to accept what happens to you when you remember change is inevitable.
And like removing your ego. An egocentric thought is something like, “I’m in pain”. A broader, wiser thought instead goes, “this body appears to be experiencing discomfort”.
Take ‘you’ out of the picture and challenges become easier to face.
But I’m not about to list the philosophies of Buddhism for you.
Some are exactly what you need to hear right now. Others, not so much.
So if you want to improve as a person, your task is simple:
Begin learning about Buddhism.
About its histories, culture and practices.
Explore what it means for Buddhists and what parts of the philosophy can enrich your life.
Be open and curious about it. Maybe you’ll convert. Or maybe you’ll find the one nugget of wisdom that makes everything else in your life make sense.
Either way, you win.
You can begin that simple self-improvement technique now.
And enjoy its benefits for the rest of your life.
If you really want to take your mind to new places? To improve more you dreamed possible?
You might want to read about this mind training program: