I love thinking. I’ve also spent years trying to do it less.
Seasoned meditators often advise against progress.
They’re right too – at their skill level. That’s wrong for beginners though. Beginners need to put in time and make mistakes. This requires motivation. Motivation comes from a reason.
There’s deep things to say about meditation, but this post has none of that. For experienced meditators, it’s a little wrong too.
Instead, it’s the reason to get started – the ‘why’.
Continue reading Why Meditate?
The colour spectrum is made up of lots of intervals.
Apparently, English speakers slice this continuum up differently than Tagalog speakers. This is because words, like ‘blue’, categorise the spectrum. This isn’t about colour though, we impose linguistic frames on everything – including feelings.
‘Happy, sad, jealous’
In Turkish, ‘huzun’ refers to a gloomy feeling in which things will gradually get worse. In Portuguese, ‘saudade’ means a bittersweet nostalgia, memories both fond and painful because they’ve past. In German, ‘torschlusspanik’ literally translates to ‘gate closing panic’ – a sense that opportunities are fading. (More examples here)
If we knew every such word from every language, we’d be able to explain feelings in new ways. Still though, there’s only so much vocabulary.
Thoughts prompt emotions and emotions prompt thoughts. If I think about a sad memory it’ll make me feel sad. If I feel sad it’ll make more sad memories. They both create oxygen for each other.
Still, words are just a frame, they’re aren’t the actual feelings themselves. I dunno if it’s 100% of the story, but feelings are inseparable from physical feelings – butterflies in the stomach, a pit in the stomach, warm fuzzies in the chest. Emotions can only transpire in a body.
What’s happens when the words are subtracted?
Continue reading The Vocabulary Of Emotion
Plans are important. To author our lives instead of being a pinball, we need to project into the future. Problem is, it’s often overdone.
Much human behaviour is an attempt to tame the mind. Wether it’s meditating, cleaning incessantly or working 50 hour weeks. Planning has therapeutic too – a sense of direction creates mental order.
A common assumption is that success is simply the execution of a superior plan. The domino’s are carefully placed and the lead is simply flicked. A man with a plan flicks a persuasive switch too.
But design is often an illusion.
Superior planning matters, but to become better decision-makers we need to overcome to-do list addiction. We need to overcome the domino myth.
Continue reading Rethinking Planning
Most think rational thinking looks like this.
The evidence is examined with a microscope and then a smart conclusion is formed.
In fact it’s probably the opposite, we form an opinion and then look for evidence to back it up. Locking prior beliefs in a box before weighing evidence is rare, if not non-existent.
Also, I think I’m rational and everyone else isn’t. So do you and so do stupid people.
But ignoring human bias for a second, the evidence based approach makes sense.
There are domains where we have figured it all out. With enough diligence, we’ll get the right answer. Problem is, these domains are often simple and boring. People transfer this same approach to areas we haven’t figured it all out yet. It doesn’t work so well here.
Continue reading 2 Types Of Rational Thought