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Old 02-20-2017, 04:26 PM
Location: Los Angeles area
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I agree with Matisse12 and others that no one should feel bad if they don't seem to have a special purpose in life or if they don't seem likely to leave any particular legacy. A few people seem to know from early childhood what they want, such as Yehudi Menuin (sp?), who was once one of the world's greatest violinists. That seems to be somehow given to them. So if it was not given to us, that cannot be our fault. To wish to impose that upon everyone is indeed grandiose and pretentious.

Earlier in this thread I wrote about working with young people, which for me is far more than a way to pass the time. It is a calling of sorts, and if it seems pretentious to some, well, that's O.K. All I can say is that I wrote honestly about it. But I do not look down on those who have no particular calling. Callings come from inside, as if planted there by an outside power. (Note I wrote "as if". I am making no claim.)
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:06 PM
Status: "0-0-2 start!" (set 13 days ago)
Location: The beautiful Rogue Valley, Oregon
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Not something I worry about in the slightest.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:27 PM
Location: Omaha, Nebraska
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I've begun the process of endowing a scholarship at my undergraduate university (a five year project), and hope to be in a position to leave some decent-sized gifts to several regional conservation organizations. It's not Bill Gates levels of giving, but I figure even a little bit helps.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:34 PM
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My dad only went through elementary school and worked at blue collar, small wage jobs his entire llife. He loved his family and was married for over a half century. On the day of his funeral there were so many people present they had to stand in the hallways of the town's largest funeral home. His legacy was established in the eyes of his family.

If my daughter and grandchildren remember me fondly, I'll be happy.
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Old 02-20-2017, 05:40 PM
Location: Coastal New Jersey
56,000 posts, read 54,493,040 times
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A woman who called herself a psychic healer told me after 9/11 that my experience was a catalyst for doing what I came here to do.

Not sure what that was, but I have spent some words, verbal and written, about putting aside our tendency to lump people into groups that we can hate, as was done to us on that day, and instead taking people as individuals and find our commonalities. If I made someone think about that, I am satisfied.
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Old 02-20-2017, 07:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Escort Rider View Post
Sorry, not so. All the work, dedication, passion, desire, and critical thinking in the world, as important as those traits are, will not lead to great achievement if talent and native intelligence are absent. Let me give some examples:

1. Musical Achievement Some people are born without a good musical ear. With plenty of practice one's ear can be improved but there is a certain minimum of inborn musical talent that is required for achievement at the highest levels. Of course lots of hard work, dedication, and passion are still required, but those will not be enough for all individuals.

2. Athletic Achievement The same is true as for music. Balance and coordination are given to some at birth in far greater quantities than to others. Hard work and lots of practice will improve an untalented person's athletic skills, but natural talent plus the hard work and practice are required for real achievement.

3. Achievement in Mathematics A certain minimum of math achievement is required to be an engineer or a scientist. The same is true about inborn mathematical talent as is true for musical and athletic talent. Hard work will result in improvement, but will carry one only so far in the absence of a certain degree of natural gift.

It is a delusion to think all of us "can indeed do great things". And it is cruel to set children up with that delusion.
You example of musical achievement has long since been demolished. Great musicians often have modest abilities and no special innate abilities, no special "ear", no special sense of rhythm. Mozart was not some child genius when it came to music and composing. He was trained, and trained and practiced and practiced. Advancement in music has been the basis of the 10,000 rule. In addition to learning to do something like play an instrument, that 10,000 hours of practice does other things. It changes the processes of the brain. This is an absolutely fascinating field were we are just beginning to understand.

I have been delving into the knowledge of sports psychology and sports development for the past year. It too is a fascinating field where we are just starting to make some progress in understanding. It is already becoming clear that "talent" is not some sort of magic innate property. It is largely something we learn and develop. For some sports a body type is essential. That is clear for sports such as basketball or football and even running and some other very highly specialized sports. For a great many sports, a very average person can excel to the highest levels. My current interest is archery. There are plenty of 90 pound Korean women who do extremely well and can compete against male archers who have much greater strength. For a great many sports, archery included, the mental aspects greatly outweigh the physical. Due to the importance of national pride in Olympic competitions, we are starting to understand the mental aspects of winning at sports and other competitive ventures. These mental aspects can be learned and developed.

Our understanding of mathematical ability is also growing rapidly. It is also incredible that math ability grows rapidly for those who practice a musical instrument. It is not a coincidence that Einstein played the violin. But surely a great mathematician must have a very high IQ. IQ now there is another unbelievable trait. For a long time we though IQ was innate. Now we know that people can greatly alter their IQ by any one of dozens of complex measurement. Luminosity (R) may not be the best approach, but it is not a scam.

As a matter of absolute fact, very "average" people can do remarkable things. It happens all the time in all human endeavors. If that is the case, why do so many people seem to lead undistinguished lives? You see the reason in this thread, in this forum. No motivation, laziness, lack of confidence, fear, insecurity and not wanting to be "different", all sorts of reasons who knows. It is such an incredibly sad situation. It does not have to be that way. Rather than just reproduce more of the same, we can help children, friends and family to achieve and excel and learn and understand and explore and GROW. Most good teachers know these things and have seen the power that can come from the right guidance, examples and education.
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Old 02-20-2017, 08:53 PM
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Thus far, most participants in this thread have embraced self-effacing modesty, and have extolled a basic decency and dedication to one's craft, as being superior to some extravagant ambition. I do not presume to offer a countervailing argument.

It does however surprise me, that nobody has admitted a desire to be remembered for having proved an important theorem, or for having written a seminal literary work, or to have otherwise advanced the intellectual cadence of our times. While I don't presume to include myself in the league of people for whom such contributions are realistic, I do confess still harboring some intense yearning to attempt such an achievement, and more so, the immaturity to still regard failure in that respect as something regrettable.

Indeed, I must confess - somewhat to my embarrassment - that throughout life I've been more motivated by the adulation and the good opinion of colleagues, superiors, or even "the crowd" - than by genuine achievement. I have found that I revel in the applause more than in the doing of good performance that might merit the applause. In terms of legacy, I want to be remembered for significance, more so than for good character or the making of a positive personal impact on the young, on people in need, etc. It is a narcissistic, puerile thirst for legacy - a matter of which I'm not proud, but which I can not deny, and which has taken some years to admit, even to oneself.

I wonder if, as we age, our dreams for legacy become more modest, and more of a moral than a quantifiable nature.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:05 PM
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very interesting post, ohio_peasant - but you'll be dead, completely unconscious, and will not know anything whatsoever that happens to your accomplishments or lack thereof after your death. So how can it possibly matter that much for your personal gratification as opposed to its worth in contributing to society?

It may matter temporarily while you are still alive, and appease that part of you desiring accolades, appreciation, and the contribution of something intellectual and meaningful, but that is so hopelessly temporary, while death is forever and for eternity which is the state in which you will be unconscious, brain dead.

I am aware that this future unconsciousness does not curtail creators on earth, inventors, intellects, artists, scientists, builders etc from achievements.

Great achievers do live on in society and in memory for their contributions to society, but unfortunately your personal gratification is curtailed dramatically by the descent into eternal unconsciousness and nothingness.

Last edited by matisse12; 02-20-2017 at 09:31 PM..
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:17 PM
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Originally Posted by matisse12 View Post
very interesting post, ohio_peasant - but you'll be dead, completely unconscious, and will not know anything whatsoever that happens to your accomplishments or lack thereof after your death. ......
Great. Another reason not to try to accomplish anything in life.
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Old 02-20-2017, 09:21 PM
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not really, jrkliny, a lot of people like to make their brief life on earth as interesting as possible!
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