Know Yourself

Aaron Hurst, the CEO of Imperative, a site that helps people find their purpose and act on that knowledge, and the author of The Purpose Economy, has advice for recent graduates: Know yourself.

College may have taught you certain things—hopefully!—but your twenties, says Hurst, are about getting to know yourself.

Hurst says that he’s jealous of people graduating right now into what he calls “the purpose economy.” Now is the time, he says, to find what sort of legacy you want to leave behind. That is the driver for young people today: seeking to make a positive impact on the world.  Of course, figuring out what that impact is takes time. And college may not have prepared most people to find it. “In some sense your twenties are about getting your real college degree by going out there and learning in the real world and learning about yourself,” he says.

This may be a shock, especially after years of working hard for a high G.P.A. and an expensive degree. When people graduate college, that’s when the “real work"—getting to know oneself—often starts.

“I think too often we look to outside influences. We look at what people expect of us instead of just trying to really figure out who we are, what drives purpose for us, what matters to us," he says.

For more on Hurst’s advice for recent graduates, watch this clip from Big Think’s interview:

Car culture and suburban sprawl create rifts in society, claims study

New research links urban planning and political polarization.

Politics & Current Affairs
  • Canadian researchers find that excessive reliance on cars changes political views.
  • Decades of car-centric urban planning normalized unsustainable lifestyles.
  • People who prefer personal comfort elect politicians who represent such views.
Keep reading Show less

How to split the USA into two countries: Red and Blue

Progressive America would be half as big, but twice as populated as its conservative twin.

Image: Dicken Schrader
Strange Maps
  • America's two political tribes have consolidated into 'red' and 'blue' nations, with seemingly irreconcilable differences.
  • Perhaps the best way to stop the infighting is to go for a divorce and give the two nations a country each
  • Based on the UN's partition plan for Israel/Palestine, this proposal provides territorial contiguity and sea access to both 'red' and 'blue' America
Keep reading Show less

NASA astronomer Michelle Thaller on ​the multiple dimensions of space and human sexuality

Science and the squishiness of the human mind. The joys of wearing whatever the hell you want, and so much more.

Flickr / 13winds
Think Again Podcasts
  • Why can't we have a human-sized cat tree?
  • What would happen if you got a spoonful of a neutron star?
  • Why do we insist on dividing our wonderfully complex selves into boring little boxes
Keep reading Show less