Subtitles section Play video Print subtitles One night a young boy looks out of his window and see this. He points at it and says, “what's that daddy?” “That's an owl!” says the dad. The young boy is so happy to know, “wow, an owl” he says before he goes to sleep for the night. The next morning, he looks out the window, points at this bird, and says “look dad, an owl!” “No, son, that's actually a sparrow!”. As the kid grows up, he continues to see lots of things that can fly and learns different labels for them. This ones a bat and this ones a plane. They can all fly but two of them are birds, one of them is a mammal, and one is a mechanical device. In essence, the boy learns to create categories around things in a way that is meaningful. It's important and useful that he can communicate the difference between an owl and a plane. Let's say I showed you these two colors. What colors would you say they are? Red and blue of course. But, what if I showed you these two colors. Would you not say red and blue? They might be a different shade from the last two colors but it's not meaningful for you to make that categorical distinction at this point in time. I want to share one more example that I used in my “why focusing is so hard” video. Normally, you see a glass as a household object that is used to drink liquids out of. But, if you got into a fight at a bar, the glass switches categories from that of a liquid carrier to that of a weapon. At every single moment in your life, your drawing a mental boundary around things and grouping things into categories. The most important thing you'll ever do in life is decide when and how (or how not) to draw these lines. I can categorize my experiences as successes or failures, or I can categorize them as successes and learning opportunities. Businesses play with your categories. If I'm Apple, I want to be connected with the categories of beauty, design, and technology. Politicans play with your categories. If I'm a president, I'll try to fit into certain categories depending on what voters I'm trying to win. I might literally advocate for open borders or closed borders depending on whose vote I want. The scientist plays with categories too, creating new ones and shattering old ones. Darwin showed us that we are not a part from nature, but we are of nature. I'm a man of color and if you hate that, you might put me alongside other things you hate. But you might need my help one day. A lack of willingness to change your categories is dogmatic, and your categories become chains that restrict your growth. On the other hand, your categories may change so wildly that they become meaningless and without something to anchor you, you fall into an endless abyss. Perhaps, the most important category you'll construct is the one of yourself. Every category you impose on the world is one that you also impose on yourself and you decide if you do or don't fit into that category. It's the most important decision you'll ever make. How will you draw the line?