Life lessons from 1883 Montana

June 20, 2018 by Joshua
in Awareness, Fitness, Visualization

People keep acting like I have some special discipline that most people don’t. They think the burpees, cold showers, avoiding packaged food, and so on take effort. They don’t. Creating a lifestyle where they are normal and easy took effort—a once-in-a-lifetime effort—followed by their being the default for the rest of my life.

Almost no willpower or discipline needed.

People don’t believe me. I think they find it easier to say someone else is different or special than to dig out from themselves what they haven’t used most of their lives, even though they know that bringing it out will improve their lives.

Anyone can. I’m not special.

The 2002 PBS reality TV show, Frontier House, showed three families living in Montana for three months living as people did then—period clothes, habits, tools, and so on.

Frontier House

Frontier House

We get to see the work people did then, their experience of it, and compare those things to today’s equivalent. I recently re-watched all six episodes and remarked on how the show taught us about just these issues.

I compiled the clips telling a story of what I consider the most important lessons of the show.

I don’t care how amateurish the video looks, it was my first time creating slides, narrating, and a few other new things. I’m proud of my technical achievement.

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3 responses on “Life lessons from 1883 Montana

    • Thank you. It took more work than I expected since I’m not a video editor, but I’m glad I did it, and your note helps motivate me to do more.

      At first I thought I’d only put the middle clip I mentioned, but ended up rewatching the whole series. I realized I’d have to include more. Then the clips alone lacked context so I had to make the titles. They were too bare, so I did the voice over. I could probably do more, but I’m happy with this level of context.

      The process led me to look in more detail and more personally at the differences between then and now. We’ve come to see work and sweat as something to avoid, not considering the outcome. We want labor-saving devices. Do we want lives without work or effort? Without effort, can we have teamwork?

      We don’t have to examine those questions abstractly. We can see the results of effort and the joy, independence, and other growth they bring. I should clarify: not random work—work that resonates with our values, which makes it meaningful, like building a home, growing food, cooking food, resolving conflicts with neighbors, and so on.

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