The Rider and the Horse

A few days ago, I posted an article about my reading list for the next few months.

I woke up early and read the first chapter of “The Laws of Human Nature” by Robert Greene.

The first law of human nature is The Law of Irrationality

I consider myself to be an rational person. This is an interesting statement because everyone considers themselves to be rational.

But we are not rational. We are emotional. Every single one of us. Our lizard brains and our mammalian brains have evolved for us to quickly generate emotions that can keep us alive in the wild.

But we’re not in the wild anymore. So what do we do with these lingering emotions we have?

Robert Greene forces you to look at yourself and analyze all the errors in your ways. He’s a brilliant writer and a brilliant researcher. If you read him, you will walk away from each chapter wanting to meditate on what he wrote and apply it into your life.

The Ways I Have Been Irrational

Naturally, it got me thinking.

If I’m such a rational person, how come I still spend time dealing with internal emotions? How come I still waste time each week being angry or feeling resentful or living in fear?

These “feelings” are natural. It doesn’t make me (or you) a weak person. But rather, it’s a moment for me to self analyze and look at all the irrational behaviors that could potentially be holding me back.

So what are they?

In No Order, and Without Thinking About it Too Hard…

  • I made an emotional investments this year - I wasted about $500 trying to ride the GME wave. I even said to myself out loud when I bought the stock “fuck it, it will be fun.” That’s a completely irrational investment strategy.

  • I have irrational fears - No matter how hard I work, and no matter how much growth I see, I still spend time every day living with anxiety about the things that can go wrong. There’s no evidence to support my fears.

  • I said some things while emotional - I wrote a long post after the capital insurrection and although I stand by everything I said, I don’t think it served anyone to say those things without actually presenting solutions.

The Rider and the Horse

The Rider and the Horse is an ancient Greek concept that looks to find the balance between emotions and rational thinking.

The horse is the emotional self. It is full of energy and drive. It is powerful. It is one directional and it can take you far.

The rider is the rational self. It works to control the horse. It decides whether the horse should be in a trot, a stroll, or a full gallop. It decides whether it wants to let the horse lose or rein it in.

We can’t live in a fully logical mindset. We would be robots. But we also can’t run on our emotions. This is how demagogues come to power and how conspiracy theories run wild.

The balance between logic and emotion is a powerful force.

Be Water

This concept also reminds me of a video I used to watch over and over again. It is an interview with Bruce Lee. I hope you enjoy it.