A Brief Autobiography of Jordan Bates

Once upon a time, I was lethargic, arrogant, and apathetic.

I was content to play video games and watch TV for hours. I thought my perspective was worth more than everyone else’s. I was absorbed in my own appearance and worries.

I didn’t realize how privileged I was, how many opportunities were within reach, or how grateful I should’ve been.

Gradually, though, I began to feel like I was living in a cold world. My indolence and self-interest only produced dissatisfaction and discontentment.

I’d been programmed to act out of pure self-concern and to strive for comfort and status, but over time, I came to see only emptiness in those motivations.

I hadn’t been a bad or stupid person. I was a good individual, misled and misinformed by a culture of judgment and self-absorption.

I realized all of this, and I was startled. I grew restless and knew I needed to re-think, re-learn, re-imagine, and refine the way I saw the world. Life had to have more to offer.

I began to dedicate myself more thoroughly to what I could gain from each experience and to learning as much as possible.

I stopped asking what was in it for me and started seeking ways to share my ideas and talents for the good of everyone else.

I pivoted 180°, and something wonderful has happened.

I feel purpose and peace that I never knew could be.

I learn more each day and grow in humility and appreciation.

And you know what? You can too.

We can all be thoughtful, loving, and generous if we choose to, and I started this blog because I believe we owe it to ourselves to do so.

My vision for Refine the Mind is a community of open-minded people, supporting and learning from one another as we make our way through this existence.

If this vision is something you can stand behind, please subscribe and stay awhile. It’s fast, and you can unsubscribe in a jiffy if you change your mind.

What I’ve Done So Far

I’ve taken many positive actions, and I’ve learned volumes in the process. Here are a few things I’m proud to say I’ve done:

  • Lost 45 pounds of fat and gained 20 pounds of muscle
  • Studied abroad and lived with a host family in Spain for 4 weeks (and blogged about it)
  • Volunteered 250+ hours in Enactus, a non-profit organization that helps the less fortunate
  • Cleaned, organized, and de-cluttered my space (and kept it that way)
  • Went from never working out to exercising 4-5 times per week for the past 2 and a half years
  • Created this blog
  • Delivered presentations in front of 100+ people
  • Earned Dean’s List academic honors every semester in college
  • Cultivated and maintained great relationships with a diverse group of friends
  • Began reading and writing daily

Look, I don’t list these things to brag. I just want to give you a glimpse of who I am and what has brought me to this point.

I have a lot of ideas, and I want you to know that they haven’t come from nowhere.

I’ve taken action with an open mind and focused on learning as much as possible, and I created this blog to start a conversation with other students of life.

If you relate to what I’m saying, I’m asking you to become part of this community.

Please contribute your voice and ideas to a movement — an uprising of generous and thoughtful individuals — that can be greater than you or I alone.

I hope that in this space we can think, discuss, understand, and disagree; and in doing so, help one another to better negotiate this life.

I’m honored to offer you my ideas, and I’m so curious to hear yours, too (so don’t be shy).

Thanks for dropping by, and I hope you benefit from my labor of love, Refine the Mind.

Your friend,
Jordan

P.S. Want to hear more? Read about the mission around here and check out the welcome page. Also, if you prefer not to subscribe via e-mail, check out these other ways to stay in the know.