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Abandon ‘Officiality’

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The world advances and decays one person at a time. Institutions follow the footprints of pioneers who do the actual exploring and surveying. Real things are accomplished by hard-working, real people.

Institutionalization, however, is but a shell that remains after the life of an organic society petrifies. Unfortunately, most cultures revere institutions as a kind of "official" status, as if a group or movement is somehow less valid before it incorporates and forms a board. Actually, becoming "official" in that sense makes a group less legitimate.

Just be who you are. Real people will recognize you for who you are.

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Power Softly

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/04/ThePoint2018-04-02-power-softly.mp3

Governing is the opposite of control, not the opposite of anarchy. Anarchy is only 90° off from control and governance.

Governing is soft-handed guidance of a society with a mind of its own.

Governance leads people by recognizing who the people are and thus calling them whatever and whomever they already chose to be.

People have ambitions and responses, a psychology. They respond negatively to bad rules and appreciate rules that fit their daily routines.

When leaders don't govern softly and fittingly, people rebel. Whoever rebels with hard fists fail, but well-fitting soft-handedness always wins, whether in leadership or rebellion thereof.

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Beauty Wins War

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ThePoint2018-03-26-beauty-wins-war.mp3

Even after he has been dead almost nine years, Michael Jackson remains the most popular entertainer of all time, and the most popular household name second to Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Jesus made things out of wood, including our salvation.

Rather than listing acclaimed artists through the centuries, look at people who inspire us to live with more energy. Mao Tse Tung was wrong, no gun barrel can stop the masses when their hearts are strengthened by hope.

Let your artwork blossom. Whatever skill you have, cultivate it, prune it, feed it, strengthen it, do whatever to let it flourish.

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Expand

Expand beyond your comfort zone. Keep reaching. Don't shy-up. Coziness is the enemy of discovery. Heroes are made by stepping out, confessing wrongdoing while playing corporate inside baseball.

You never know what you miss by not going out your front door. Take the road less traveled—by others or by yourself. Learn, make a new friend, help a stranger in need. Of course, never put yourself at too much risk. Carrying hitchhikers is for young men with a conceal carry permit, not old ladies seeking adventure and compassion.

When you reach out, you might touch someone's heart you never knew.

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Patience with Diamonds

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ThePoint2018-03-12-patience-with-diamonds.mp3

The most difficult among us are the most rewarding. It goes for friendships, employees, students, children, and probably every romance.

Diamonds come in the rough and only those with insight recognize them. Anyone can appreciate a diamond once it has been cut to shape, but those who treasure diamonds in the rough stand to earn the greatest reward.

Diamonds are difficult. Not only are they hard and rare, rather than being scratched they often do the scratching. While everyone likes to adorn a diamond, only the most patient, strong, and skilled hands can help them ascend to their full potential.

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Stay Sharp

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/03/ThePoint2018-03-05-stay-sharp.mp3

It is easy to think that nothing means something. When our priorities zero-in on "seeing God in coincidences" and "the wonderful work of our leaders" or "terrible, destructive schemes" to move us all to the moon as Martian slaves—we miss the problems right under our noses.

We are surrounded by fakes and phonies all across our social circles. People we feel guilty about thinking less of, who aren't as good at normal stuff most people are—they are the ones who don't disclose even half of their secret lives.

Don't worry about "sneaks", just keep sharp about what matters.

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Friends Outskill

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ThePoint2018-02-26-friends-outskill.mp3

Isn't it a great thing when your childhood friends learn a technical skill that you could never understand—and you learn another technical skill that they could never understand.

The concept of "mutual non-understandability" seeds the source of respect.

How many people fight because they think their ideas are better than everyone else's! Everyone's an expert referee at a sports game—the ref isn't there because he's smart, he's just the idiot in charge. We treat each other that way.

No one can fully understand a fellow human; advanced, specialized knowledge helps us to realize that just a little more.

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Let Good things Be

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ThePoint2018-02-19-let-good-things-be.mp3

When someone finds something good, let them be and do not take it from them. Don't be the police of which good things other people should be enthralled with.

If someone has a genuine, harmless excitement about something you think isn't so important, maybe you should think that person is more important than you do. Isn't it good enough just that your neighbor is happy?

Be happy with those who are happy. Be with those who are sad. Keep relationships with people different from you. You might never know the difference you make or when you won't see them again.

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Learning the Organic Line

There is a line with an arrow connecting cause and results. That line is invisible to most people.

It's difficult to know how to manage a farm, for example, from one year to the next. Every year's weather is different. The line between good farming and good crops always moves.

It's always changing, always surprising. We never stop learning how to find the line no matter how old we get.

Some never master the art of learning the line. Success doesn't occur according to a checklist or multiple-choice test. Life's line is organic, so must be our understanding of it.

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Money Walls

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/02/ThePoint2018-02-05-money-walls.mp3

The poor don't how the rich get money. It's a mystery to them.

To the poor, wealth is a far, distant country on a far, distant continent with a foreign language that they have only heard about in movies and bedtime stories. They fear it, ponder it, covet it, yearn for it, run from it, loath it, love it—but they never know it's secret:

Wealthy people, the good and the bad, make their money through hard, smart work.

Scaling the walls and crossing the oceans to adopt that truth is as priceless as it is hopeless; yet some do.

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War Wages Itself

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ThePoint2018-01-29-war-wages-itself.mp3

Near-death struggles occur everyday, everywhere.

Every bead of life in every corner lives on the verge of complete annihilation. Every baby almost dies when born; the mother just the same. Everything that breathes has cancer cells throughout its body; once in a while they even form tumors. Every nation, every business, every family, every friendship—everything fights through life on a precipice overlooking death.

Those battles involve skill and resources, but they are won by virtue—honesty, fairness, charity, patience, diligence, endurance, respect, forgiveness.

In your next near-death battle of the day be virtuous and the war will wage itself.

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Paint in the Sand

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ThePoint2018-01-22-paint-in-the-sand.mp3

We don't always need the best equipment to practice with. Drawing a skyline with a stick in the sand every day is better than practicing with oil paints only once a month. While oil paints lend themselves to more color and potential, a paint brush is only as good as the artist who wields it.

Don't wait for all the best equipment and most expensive tools. Their day may never come. Beauty comes from the artist's skill. So practice your painting in the sand. Use whatever is right around you. After all, sunsets use clouds and landscape, including the sand.

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Rights or Lifts

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ThePoint2018-01-15-rights-or-lifts.mp3

Demanding rights and what one "deserves" is a sure sign of immanent downfall. Advocating rights for others is another story—lifting the defenseless from despair. When privileged leaders demand rights for themselves: Look out! That's a captain plowing directly into a field of icebergs.

Many a successor takes over an organization started by someone else. That new leader didn't scrape to lift the organization from the mud. Without dirty, hard work, the organization wouldn't exist at all. Founders don't take their hard-earned results for granted—they don't consider results a "right", but a "privilege to pursue". Buy stock in lifters.

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Don’t Listen to Experts

http://podcast.jessesteele.com/wp-content/uploads/2018/01/ThePoint2018-01-08-dont-listen-to-experts.mp3

Donald Trump and Steve Jobs made the same career mistake: They listened to experts when they already are the experts.

Taking advice from people who know more is always a good thing. But, that doesn't always mean taking advice. Sometimes that means trusting your own instincts.

How do you know whether to take advice or to advise yourself?—proof!

Look at your track record. Does your history—your resume, your folio, your record, your wake of failed kamikaze attackers—prove that you knew what was coming when your opposite-opinion "advisers" still don't fully get it? If so, listen to history.

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