The Voice

January 3

The way to recover the meaning of life and the worthwhileness of life is to recover the power of experience, to have impulse voices from within, and to be able to hear these impulse voices from within. – Abraham Maslow

From the time I was young, I was entranced with words. I can remember in the fourth grade the teacher did this activity where she put up the word carpenter, and she asked us to come up with as many words as we could with just those letters. “Ant,” “pet,” “car,” etcetera. And I just thought, “Wow! You mean you can take letters like this and recombine them into words?” I was entranced. These childhood attractions are hard to put into words. Abraham Maslow called it “impulse voices.” He noticed that children know exactly what they like and dislike from a very early age. It is extremely human and powerful. You had those impulse voices too. You hated this kind of activity and you loved that other one. You didn’t like math but you were drawn to words. You were exhilarated by certain kinds of books and fell promptly asleep with other kinds. The importance of recognizing these early inclinations is that they are clear indications of an
attraction that is not infected by the desires of other people. They are not something embedded in you by your parents, which come with a more superficial connection, something more verbal and conscious. Coming instead from somewhere deeper, these inclinations can only be your own, reflections of your unique chemistry.

Daily Law: Do something today that you used to love doing as a kid. Try to reconnect with your impulse voices.

Robert Greene in conversation at Live Talks Los Angeles, February 11, 2019

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *