Claude Shannon, considered as the Einstein of the Information Age, made many contributions to science and society during his lifetime.
That thing you’re holding in your hand or that’s sitting on your lap, reading these very words, are made possible by Claude Shannon.
Shannon was an American mathematician and electrical engineer known as “the father of information theory”. He is also known for inventing digital circuit design theory in 1937, when he was only 21 years old. He’s considered as one of the greatest inventors in modern history.
I often wonder, “what drives these great minds?” Is it the recognition, money, contribution, praise?
Believe me, that thing you’re using to read this article is not your friend.
And even if you’re reading this on your laptop of PC, there’s one thing I want to ask you: How important is your device to you?
I was shocked when I read a weird statistic a while back. An experiment, which was conducted by the universities of Würzburg and Nottingham Trent, revealed that 37.4% of the participants rated their phone as more or equally important in relation to their close friends.
Life is complex. One day you’re happy, working on your daily tasks, and the next day you wake up, thinking: “What the fuck should I do with my life?”
Am I right? We’ve all been there. When one of my readers responded to an article last week, I asked her: “How’s it going?”
She said: “Am doing well. Been interesting times figuring out which direction to go to next in my life journey.”
Last week I talked to a friend who was in the same position. And everyone will face the same challenge one way or the other over the course of a long career.
I’ve been there many times as well. No one is immune to being confused. Let’s face it — there are literally a million things you can do with your life.
Every piece of personal or professional growth you achieve in life starts with one thing: Self-knowledge.
Lao Tzu, the ancient Chinese philosopher, who lived in the 6th century BC, put it best:
“He who knows others is wise; he who knows himself is enlightened.”
Whether you want to make a million bucks, build a strong relationship with your partner, or get in the best shape of your life — you can’t improve yourself without knowing yourself.
Self-knowledge is a skill, not a trait, talent, or divine insight. I used to live my life without one bit of introspection. Naturally, I had no idea who I was. Now, I’m getting better at it with practice. And the impact on my life has been huge.
Do you ever think, “who cares about anything that I have to say?”
Every time you have a similar thought like that, you’re developing imposter syndrome. There are many ways imposter syndrome expresses itself in your mind:
- “If I fail this, I will lose everything.”
- “What if people call me out?”
“I feel like a fake. I’m not the right person to talk about this.”
After these type of thoughts, we often try to downplay the effects:
- “It’s not a big deal.”
- “No one cares anyway.”
- “It’s a matter of luck, anyway.”
Those secondary thoughts are just a defense mechanism. We try to convince ourselves that our work isn’t important and that no one cares.
Today I received the 4765th email from a reader who said they are bored and stuck at work. And, almost all people I know, answer this when I ask how’s work? “Not bad.”
Not bad? You might as well say, “I’m bored. Stuck. And not challenged.”
In today’s economy, job burn-out is not the biggest problem. People are more likely to get bored instead of working so hard that they get a nervous breakdown.
People are also more likely to get an emotional crisis because they are bored out of their minds. Sounds familiar? If this is you, you must be careful if:
Do you sometimes struggle to be happy despite knowing that you live a good life?
I get it, we all chase happiness because it makes a difference on the quality of our lives. I’m no different.
But I also believe we should be careful that we don’t mix up happiness and pleasure. Otherwise, you end up on the Hedonic Treadmill: A state of continually chasing pleasure to elevate your happiness levels.
But the problem is that pleasure only gives us a temporary boost in happiness. Drinking alcohol, smoking nicotine, having sex, buying the latest iPhone—it gives us pleasure. But we always go back to our set level of happiness.