About Joshua Spodek: Topics this blog covers

April 3, 2011 by Joshua
in Blog

This post continues my About page.


This blog is about

  • values, meaning, purpose, importance, passion, self-awareness, and emotional intelligence
  • enabling you to develop yourself and improve your life through better understanding these things
  • the underlying science, mostly evolutionary psychology, positive psychology, and cognitive behavioral therapy
  • observations of the world arising from this perspective

This blog’s perspective is founded on 1) my Model of the human emotional and motivational system that determines how we as humans perceive, evaluate, and react to our worlds and 2) my Method to act on the Model to improve our lives. This blog only discusses natural explanations for causes and effects. Why do we learn about our worlds and selves if not to improve our lives?

For a strategy to improve your life to be effective requires knowing what it means to improve — what is better or good for you. Answering these questions is simple when we understand how the systems of evaluating our worlds we inherited from our ancestors works, no matter how complex they seem to some. That’s the foundation of my Model. The strategy that arises from the Model is the Method.

Learning about where we came from tells us who we are. Every system to improve yourself I know of has some concept of know thyself in it; evolution gives us an extra billion years of self to know. Who we are tells us how we determine our values, what brings meaning, what creates purpose, how we determine importance, what stirs passion, and so on. Your environment and your capabilities are different than mine so you feel and behave differently than I do, but our systems for perceiving, evaluating, and reacting to our worlds are much more similar than they are different.

This perspective leads to similar strategies to many traditional sources for personal development and self improvement, though there are some key differences. This blog is unique in focusing on the scientific foundations of our values and how to apply it, at least as far as I know. Evolutionary psychologists study us but don’t suggest what to do with what they learn, which is responsible. Positive psychology, cognitive behavioral therapy, and coaches help us improve, but rarely ground their models with natural explanations.

What self-improvement, leadership, and management gurus know, you can too. You can lead as rich, purposeful, effective, fulfilling, and rewarding a life as anyone else, including them. You can give advice as good as theirs, including to yourself. You don’t have to memorize things, you can just understand it from simple principles.

As I write these words, I haven’t written in the blog the Model and Method I’m using as the foundation to the whole blog, though every post helps illuminate them. The world looks different — much simpler and easier to get reward from — from the perspective of the Model. Many posts include observations of the world from that perspective, hopefully helping reveal it.

Anyway, the core ideas running throughout the blog are evolutionary psychology, positive psychology, systems theory, curiosity, testing, and mental models.

Some posts are also about related topics or topics special to me, like entrepreneurship, creativity, physics, and art.

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