Intellectual Roundtable needs your help.
For more than a year, we have been publishing a new question every Sunday, designed to bring some quiet contemplation to your otherwise busy lives. As time goes on, the number of people visiting the site has been steadily decreasing. Fewer and fewer people are answering the questions, or are even being exposed to them.
We’re looking for ways to reverse this trend, and have more people read the questions, answer them, and interact with others doing the same.
Hence our question: How can you help? You might look through our list of past questions, find one that you like, and answer it. Maybe you can propose a question of your own using our online form. Perhaps you can share the blog on Facebook, via email, or other social media platforms via the icons on each page. Even if you don’t want to contribute to content in any way, you can provide some feedback about what does or doesn’t work for you with what we are doing and how we are doing it.
But there’s a second meaning to the question as well. In your life, there will always be people or causes that you care deeply about. Something may be a passion project for you or for your community. How can you bring attention to a cause, or take actual, concrete steps toward improving or enhancing something you care about? What are the ways you can strengthen bonds between you and loved ones?
How can you help?
Related questions: How can we turn ideas into actions? What are our responsibilities to others? What makes a community? How do you define success?
At any given moment, how do you decide what you will do? Maybe you will read a book, or play music, or pay bills, or make a meal. To help you with that decision, you might have an explicit (or maybe just a subconscious) list of priorities.
Setting priorities can be a tricky thing. You need a mix of short-term, medium-term, and long-term tasks or goals, and you might need to have some time set aside for no goals at all, for pure recreation or to recharge. But how do you determine what is most important, and how does that change from moment to moment?
How do you set priorities?
Related questions: How do you define success? How can we turn ideas into actions? What is important?
You need a certain amount of confidence to do anything that involves some risk, like speaking in public, starting a business, righting a wrong, or standing up for yourself or for others. Why will your book, or blog, or podcast, or request for a raise, succeed? You need to have confidence that what you are doing is worthwhile.
Often, perhaps too often, lacking confidence in our ideas or our talents prevents us from taking risks, and while that might keep us from failing it also keeps us from stretching and doing something worthwhile.
How can we get past this? How can we build confidence?
Related questions: How do you define success? When is it useful to fail? Why do we care what strangers think of us? Why do we put up with unhappiness?
The saying goes, “I would have rather have tried and failed than to have never tried at all.” Is this true? Doesn’t some failure have far too lasting and unwanted consequences? Still, we would learn or experience very little if we stuck to doing what’s already comfortable to us. And, trying new things we might fail at for awhile can be enriching and exciting.
So, when is it useful to fail? What level of failure do you find acceptable? What are your limits?
Related questions: How do you define success? Do we learn more from our successes or failures? Is it okay to be wrong sometimes?
In order to have success at whatever you choose to do — career, relationships, hobbies, etc. — you need to know what it means to be successful. How would you know you’ve done it unless you know what it is?
So let’s hear from our individual readers: How do you define success?
Related questions: When is it useful to fail? Why are definitions important? How do you set goals?