Hi 👋, I'm Mitch Olson
Meaningful Participation is a philosophy of life and theory of reality that has grown out of my personal curiosity of what life is. This curiosity always felt like it was something that had me rather than me having it, and as such it has accompanied me my whole life. I have always felt that there is an underlying order and architecture of life, and that this expresses itself as a fractal pattern, evident in all manifestations of life.
Running parallel to this inquiry has been the more personal curiosity about my own life and my reflections on what contributes and detracts from my satisfaction in life. As I have spent more time here I have repeatedly found that what seems to make the biggest difference is my own responsibility, or what I call Self authorship. That life is as much something that I shape as it is something that shapes me, and that I am not a passive spectator in life but a meaningful participation. Here I mean “meaningful” in both senses of that word. Meaningful in the sense that my contribution is significant and makes a difference. And meaningful in the sense that the trajectory and outcomes and experiences of my life have meaning as an expression of that most profound of all questions, “What is important”.
In between these dual curiosities sits what I have come to call Meaningful Participation. A philosophy of life that attempts to be relevant and have something useful to say at both the most eternal questions of life, as well as the most immediate ones. I think that philosophy has mostly worked at the eternal end of the scale but done a poor job at having anything relevant to say about how to meet the everyday moments of our lives. Other philosophies like for instance Stoicism, does the reverse but leaves itself irrelevant beyond what its long dead founders have already said.
Over the last 20 years of my life, and with increasing momentum, I have uncovered and developed the fruits of my inquiry into this body of work, generously supported by a range of brilliant thinkers who have been My influences. Before this website was conceived I kept my thinking in a personal digital notepad, solely for my own purposes with an audience of just one. My task now is to move my notes into this website and translate them from supplemental thoughts to myself into a more public form. I hope that in that process I can adequately express what it is that I find so compelling about both life itself and about Meaningful Participation as a combined map and manual of life.
I am fifty-something and live in Auckland, New Zealand. I have spent most of my professional life in psychology and technology. At the intersection of these two domains, not usually adjacent, I have found my most satisfying work as a Behaviour engineer. I have worked as a software developer, management consultant, life coach, and entrepreneur. My purpose in life is in integrating and applying psychology, philosophy and technology to help people develop their capability to build a better life.
- I’m currently working on a sister project to this called IDOJO whose aim is to do exactly this at scale.
- Meaningful Participation forms the underlying philosophy out of which idojo delivered.
- My personal website is at https://www.mitcholson.co.nz
I would love to hear from you if the concepts and Distinctions expressed in this site resonate with your own thinking; you can use the "Leave a message" link at the bottom of any page to do this.