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The Power of Expansive Thinking

July 29, 2021

From Last Week: I use to keep Sunday protected for myself.  Kept it up until I started struggling with medical school. Then I decided to work on Sunday, thinking the increased study time would help me become successful. BIG MISTAKE. These are my reflections:

There are two interacting dynamics:

  • In a capitalistic system, people are rewarded for being more productive. People who produce more receive more compensation and, therefore, get to level up in their social status.
  • The most productive thing in our modern day is a machine.

When machines are highly productive, we want to mimic them to become more productive. We often describe ourselves in the language of machines. We look at our productivity per hour, we look at our capacity, we create rest time like a “cool-off period”. We design large corporations to work like a systematic machine so we can produce more goods and services. That’s why I gave up Sunday, to “increase capacity.”

However, it didn’t work. Why? I had the wrong understanding of the root of my success. I wasn’t successful because I read a bunch of books and regurgitated what it said. I was successful because I always allowed my mind to creatively compile all the information in such a way that it gave me insight into the overarching story of how the world worked. I did most of this on Sunday. This is what fundamentally motivated me.

This is what I will call “expansive thinking.”

How much time do you devote to “expansive thinking”? You might say to yourself, “Ugh, I don’t have time for this. I have work do to and not enough time to do it.” This is true for most of us because most of us are being treated like machines. Expansive thinking is a luxury.

However, if you’re doing machine work, work that is repetitive and mind-numbing, are you being compensated for that? How much so? And will that compensation continue? Will you eventually be replaced by a machine?

The value we bring as humans is the ability to expansively think about the world, to bring our will to the forefront of the future. Machines (even Artificial Intelligence) can’t do that. The great advances of humanity is built on the expansive thoughts of leaders, not a more efficient execution of machine-like processes. Be an expansive leader.

When I gave up my Sunday, I was trying to become a machine and failed. When I took my Sunday back, I became quintessentially human and succeeded. Find your Sunday and never let it go.

Dr. Eric

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