Unconventional Monthly, Vol. 8: Super Self-ism

Hello!

Welcome to Volume 8 of The Unconventional Monthly, where we explore better ways to do things on a new topic every month.

This month we’re rolling out the X-rays to look deep into a topic nearest and dearest to our hearts: Ourselves.

Combining psychology and philosophy, we’re going to psycho-sophize over “just be yourself” mumbo jumbo, why we need more de-motivation, a new model to replace Maslow’s pyramid, a formula and rules for directing super life stories, and more. 

This month: Super Self-ism.


Find direction in life cover image

SUPER SELF-ISM / WHAT’S YOUR STORY?

We’re designed to eat, sleep, hump, and tell stories. And our favorite story to tell is our own. Consciously or not, we’re constantly telling it to ourselves and making it self-fulfilling (or self-un-fulfilling).

Here’s a simple storytelling formula to ensure it’s a good one:

The Story Formula for Directing a Great Life


SUPER SELF-ISM / BUCKLE YOUR SEATBELTS

To keep our self-directed stories from going off the rails, we have to stick to some rules. Rather than restrict us, rules free us up to focus on what’s important and experience a wild ride through life. Here are eight of them:

  • Deal With It
  • Act First, Ask Questions Later
  • Improvise
  • Be Unbeatable
  • Edit as You Go
  • Create Memorable Scenes
  • Make it Make Sense
  • Be Results Disoriented

8 Rules for Wild and Meaningful Ride Through Life


SUPER SELF-ISM / THE ART AND SCIENCE

Our parents (or sperm/egg donors) gave us genetic frames we have no choice but to live with. Fortunately, they’re just frames. There’s a lot we can do with them no matter how weak and wobbly they seem. The hard part is A) Figuring out what our frames are capable of and B) Making something socially useful with them. For this two-part job, there’s a two-part approach:

To Be Your Best Self, Experiment Like a Scientist and Exhibit Like and Artist


De-motivational speaking cover image of Kim giving thumbs down

SUPER SELF-ISM / DE-MOTIVATION

Let’s take a brief breather from COVID-19 to discuss a less-heralded pandemic that’s sweeping society:

The Positivity Pandemic.

Participation trophies and “If you can believe it you can achieve it” mantras are turning into us into a bunch of deluded, entitled, self-talking lunatics. It’s like an eternal grown-up Halloween of people pretending (and believing) they’re superheroes and getting candy for it. 

The antidote? Bursting bubbles with de-motivational speaking.

De-Motivational Speaking: Enough Being “Nice,” Let’s Get Real


SUPER SELF-ISM / THE UNBEATABLE MENTALITY

The most unexpected and controversial conclusion I came to from all my research and psycho-sophizing this month is this: Competition is way overrated.

Me from a month ago would have thought that’s loser talk. Now, I’m pretty confident these can’t-lose strategies will give competitive ones a beating:

The Can’t-Lose Strategies for Winning at Life


Sailboat model to represent Maslow's hierarchy of needs.

SUPER SELF-ISM / A NEW MODEL OF MOTIVATION

One of the more interesting books I read during last month’s research was Transcend, by Scott Barry Kaufman. In it, Kaufman bulldozes Maslow’s hierarchy of needs pyramid and uses modern science and unpublished work from later in Maslow’s life to assemble a new model in its place: a sailboat.

Achieve Self-Actualization by Ditching Maslow’s Pyramid and Setting Sail


NEWS FROM US

VANISHED

Another month in lockdown in South Africa vanished as quickly as our valuables did when a very lucky thief came into our rooms and helped himself as we were having lunch upstairs. 

At least it makes our bags a bit lighter for our long trip back to Canada…

VANCOUVER

After much consternation and even more wallet-emptying, we managed to land a repatriation flight back to Canada. On June 5, we’ll be saying goodbye to our lockdown buddies here in Plettenberg Bay. If all goes according to plan, we’ll be in Vancouver 72 hours later.


FRESH FROM OUR FINGERTIPS


NEXT MONTH

TASTE

We’re going to dig into the science of savoring to get better acquainted with our taste buds and see if there’s a way to acquire a taste for foods we don’t like. Maybe also see if there’s a way to lose the taste for some unhealthy foods, too.

Thanks for being better than just yourself,

Kim & Chris

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