Comment threads at popular (and strongly opinionated) news sites are fascinating from a human psychology perspective. Thousands of posts can be added in less than an hour... far too many for any one person to read, contemplate, and reply in any meaningful way - especially for a topic of great importance and/or complexity.
I was at our local grocery store buying a lottery ticket (because that NY 'Dollar and a Dream' meme always give me hope of serendipity) when I saw a very neat chinese character tattoo on the arm of the older woman handing me the ticket. Now most tattoos have some cool story or meaning and I always like to chat it up with strangers to try and brighten up their day. But when I mentioned how I liked it, I was shocked at the story behind this one.
There is a reason why public speaking is a fear worse than death for most people. The human ego can rarely stand being judged and picked apart for all of its alleged flaws (not pretty enough, not charismatic enough, not smart enough, etc.) Given enough eyeballs and enough opinionated outsiders, they'll surely find something wrong. The pressure is increased with the quantity of eyeballs in the audience just waiting to catch us make a gaff.
I have a hard time believing that you would sit idly by if you knew a company was intentionally scamming you out of your time, money, and other resources. Yet we all let our fears, worries, doubts, and other conscious/unconscious beliefs to rob us daily of our happiness, creativity, and peace in life. What a paradox! Knowingly steal $200 from me and I'll have you arrested. Knowingly destroy my happiness for 2 years and I'll just drink my sorrows away because I believe something crazy like "I deserve it" or "I had it coming."
Mark Twain once remaked "The difference between the almost right word & the right word is really a large matter--it's the difference between the lightning bug and the lightning." In my days of coaching track and field, I had the exact same experience when trying to teach a group of athletes at the same time. 7 different athletes could hear the very same instructions and (based on their life experience, personalities, etc) come away with completely different interpretations. And it didn't matter how explicit and detailed I was in my directions. I sometimes felt like I was asking for their reaction to a poem or gut reaction to a piece of abstract art.
Recently a close friend of mine was faced a major upheaval in his life (the details of who, what happened, etc are unimportant). In the aftermath, confusion, and grieving he was consoled my many people and offered lots of advice as friends tend to do. One surprise happened as a particular piece of advice given really hit home - it was exactly the same advice he had doled out 2 years ago. He didn't even recognize the words, as if they had been uttered by a stranger rather than his former self.
Rome was born, some amazing advancements happened (unless you were the ones being conquered!), and then Rome fell. And this pattern was not an isolated historical event nor is it only relevant to countries. Very few things that expand worldwide can sustain themselves into perpetuity unless their foundation is strong, altruistic, and based on integrity (AA might be an example but even it is only a few decades old and might become irrelevant if society were to evolve enough to no longer have addictions).
The "self-image" is the key to human personality and human behavior. Change the self image and you change the personality and the behavior.
— Maxwell Maltz
So you want to achieve that amazing new goal (lose 50 pounds, quit smoking, start that new hobby)? Great! But for many this is where the voices in the head creep in saying things like:
Depending on what fact source you believe, somewhere between 60 million (U.S. Obesity Trends - CDC) and 400 trillion Americans (ok, I made that one up) are obese. To combat this alleged problem (alleged only because I believe it's not the root cause and thus the real issue lies elsewhere), there is an entire industry of products, bills, books, etc to get people back to a 'normal' body mass index.
Playing a guitar is hard. It takes impeccable timing, hand eye coordination, discipline, and tons of practice. One incorrect hand position and a masterpiece can be off key or sound like a middle school band concert. And even getting to that point requires a lot of technical know-how (learning to read music, how to create chords, etc).
Playing guitar hero is easy. All the complex positions are reduced down to 4 buttons and a 'whammy' bar. Learning all the music notes (treble, bass, quarter notes, staccato) is replaced by a tele-prompter.