Self-command: Learn this powerful thinking tool

When should you censor yourself, and when should you speak up? Emily Chamlee-Wright explains moral philosopher Adam Smith's 'impartial spectator'.

  • 18th-century moral philosopher Adam Smith argued that you could measure the appropriateness of your words and actions by satisfying an imaginary judge he called the impartial spectator.
  • Switching perspectives to listen to that impartial spectator is a difficult skill as it requires self-command to triumph over self-love. Wise people imagine the spectator's response and use it to help steer productive discourse – especially in difficult and chaotic debates.
  • Self-command is an intellectual virtue. It's a thinking tool that helps us know when to self-censor and when to speak up in the interest of civil discourse and truth seeking.
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Sponsored by the Institute for Humane Studies

How to make sure you stay on track with your goals

Setting goals might be easy, but sticking to them? That's when it gets tough.

We all have a list of goals — either written down or floating around in our heads — that will help take our lives in the direction we want.

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Personal Growth

Coming out trans: How social narratives can stop us from being happy

Many of us don't fit perfectly into existing social narratives. But we can still find our own way.

  • Many of us are trying to fit into existing roles that aren't specially crafted for us, and, as a result, we don't fit perfectly in them. This causes us a lot of stress and anxiety.
  • Though many people aren't transgender, they can still relate to the feeling of not completely fitting in, and having to figure out their own path. Often finding out own way directly overlaps with figuring out what makes us happy.
  • When someone is trans, it is possible for them to feel attracted to either gender. For example, Breanna wishes she could tell her teenage self that it is possible to "be a girl and like girls."


Videos

Depression is different for everyone. Here’s what it’s like for me.

Depression is quicksand, says comedian Pete Holmes. Try this method to help you cope and live with depression.

  • Everyone's experience with depression is different, but for comedian Pete Holmes the key to living with depression has been to observe his own thoughts in an impartial way.
  • Holmes' method, taught to him by psychologist and spiritual leader Ram Dass, is to connect to his base consciousness and think about himself and his emotions in the third person.
  • You can't push depression away, but you can shift your mindset to help better cope with depression, anxiety, and negative emotions. If you feel depressed, you can connect with a crisis counselor anytime in the US.
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Videos

Stand up against religious discrimination – even if it’s not your religion

As religious diversity increases in the United States, we must learn to channel religious identity into interfaith cooperation.

  • Religious diversity is the norm in American life, and that diversity is only increasing, says Eboo Patel.
  • Using the most painful moment of his life as a lesson, Eboo Patel explains why it's crucial to be positive and proactive about engaging religious identity towards interfaith cooperation.
  • The opinions expressed in this video do not necessarily reflect the views of the Charles Koch Foundation, which encourages the expression of diverse viewpoints within a culture of civil discourse and mutual respect.
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Sponsored by Charles Koch Foundation