does it mean to truly "be yourself" and why it is challenging? Can
language truly describe the shades of our experiences and feelings? Why is it
important to look at things from as many points of view as possible?
Can integrating life experiences help you feel young
I've thought about
these and other questions for years, first as a philosopher, later as
founder and president of Flow Research: Now in Shades
of Experience: How to Be Yourself and Love What You Do I explore these
topics in depth.
What does it mean to
be yourself? It might seem as if we could not help but be ourselves.
After all, we can’t be somebody else! Yet it can be surprisingly
difficult to be truly authentic. We face pressure from peers, family
and society to be anything but ourselves if we want to be accepted.
Almost everyone wants to be accepted and to belong. The problem comes when the price of belonging conflicts with
our core self, or when it makes us unhappy. How can we be authentic
and still thrive in the world? Find out in "How
to Be Yourself."
One of the cornerstones of my philosophy of life and work
a simple but profound concept I call "viewpoint pluralism."
Essentially, it proposes that the more perspectives or points of view we have of something, the better our knowledge and understanding of it, and, potentially, the richer our experience of it. This applies to everything from life, love, and work to buying a
put it into practice in our Flow Research studies to get a complete picture
of the flowmeter market. And I've applied to to my life-long quest to
understand what it means to "be yourself."
Over the past
few decades I have arrived at the conclusion that our language is not really adequate to describe our experience.
Just as there are many more different shades of color in our experience than we have names for, there are so many other aspects of experience with “shades” that are not adequately reflected in our language.
When we see the world from multiple points of view -- as I believe we must
-- we need a language that can adequately describe our experiences.
Think of all the different shades of color that have the same name:
"green." We do distinguish shades of green by referring to them as "light green," "dark green," “forest green,” “lime,” “teal,” “avocado” and so forth. But there is no generally accepted set of words to describe the many shades of green, and we are
"conceptpoor" (a "duonym" I invented) in our color language in that we often use only one widely accepted word, “green,” to describe a wide range of color
The idea that we are conceptpoor with respect to some color experiences
applies to other areas of experience as well. We have one word, 'love', yet there are many types of love and the experience varies greatly from one type to another.
invite you to take a look at our Shades of Experience and then start exploring your
1: How to Be
Pluralism: Experience the World from as Many Points of View as Possible
3: 50 Shades of Green: Conceptpoor to Experience-Rich
4: Feel Like You’re Twenty Again: Ten Steps Towards Personal Integration
(includes original poems)
5: Be Your Own Guru: How to Develop Your Own Life Philosophy
6: Language: The Key to Expression and Experience
Connection: Who is Experiencing What -- and How?
8: Flowtime: A Form of Decimal Time