Sunday, February 12, 2012

18th Century: "Dare to Know"

The enlightenment was a time when great thinkers started exploring outside of society norms. They explored many areas. For example, the Catholic Church had created kind of a mold of thought and didn't allow for people to go outside of that. One of the great discoveries during the 18th century was the power of thought. It is often named the age of enlightenment or the age of reason. This was that individuals could discover things on their own and learn for themselves. Instead of being told things to believe and the way things are, they began to think on their own. 

"More than a set of fixed ideas, the Enlightenment implied an attitude, a method of thought. According to the German philosopher Immanuel Kant, the motto of the age should be "Dare to know." A desire arose to reexamine and question all received ideas and values, to explore new ideas in many different directions-hence the inconsistencies and contradictions that often appear in the writings of 18th-century thinkers." 

Charles-Louis de Secondat, baron de La Brède et de Montesquieu
In the 21st century, there are many people talking about thought. Some of the thought I am particularly interested in has to do with success. I have heard the term "Law of Attraction" float around before. This isn't the type of attraction to a significant other, but rather, an attraction to success- or the ability to attract success. This type of thought can be specific to a certain business and skill, or it can be pertaining to knowledge and learning. About six minutes in, Jeff Combs speaks a little bit about the law of attraction in this nine-minute video clip(skip to 6 mins and start there - watch the 6 min to 7 min gap of video - unless you want to watch all the way to the end). I'm not sure I necessarily agree with all that he says, but I am interested in the topic.

I worked doing door-to-door sales this past summer. A lot of this kind of thought was introduced to me during that time. The nature of that kind of work is very difficult, but I was around some incredible men who learned to master their thoughts. Mental and emotional strength was a requirement to success in that job. When they learned to master their thoughts and think positively, they were much more effective and had incredible success. How much power really is in thought?

People in the business world-such as Steve Jobs, whom I recently did a blog post about-what is their opinion? Is there a lot more needed than just thought? What about training; natural gifts? Can an individual truly change his life and become successful just by changing his/her thoughts?

"Dare to know" is just what I'm talking about. I believe these men of the Enlightenment were able to make great discoveries and be successful in their field of study or work because of thought. They were not afraid to think outside of the norm; they were willing to take some risk. Breaking out of the mold is what they did. So many people in this century end up in molds. They don't have to be- if they would just "Dare to know" or dare to succeed, or dare to be rich, or dare to be smart, or dare to be the best. We face a lot of intimidation and different distractions or resistance and illusions of limitations. One great example is the very concept we are learning a lot in this class; the digital world. Thanks to the lessons of the 18th century, we can step into a foreign area/field and dare to master it- my bet is that good things will come from it.

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