No. 520 – April 16, 2023
Timeless ideas and insights for life.
The Art of Being Alone
“Loneliness has more to do with our perceptions than how much company we have. It’s just as possible to be painfully lonely surrounded by people as it is to be content with little social contact. Some people need extended periods of time alone to recharge, others would rather give themselves electric shocks than spend a few minutes with their thoughts. Here’s how we can change our perceptions by making and experiencing art.”
“The key is to choose to look away from the meanings we have been layering onto stimuli. Stop your reflexive response with awareness… as one can do when one is able to see the cause of a reflex. Someone bumps into you on the street. Your first automatic response could be: What an asshole! That is “A.” But just stop. Don’t go to A. Go to not-A. Perhaps the person who bumped into me is ill; that’s why they stumbled, and they may need help. Or they may indeed be an asshole. Don’t know more. Stopping gives you the chance of knowing less, of halting the perception-narrowing force of the cognitive biases that we are always trying to confirm, of taking the jerk out of the knee-jerk and sitting with the meaninglessness of the stimuli, even if it doesn’t feel meaningless.”
— Beau Lotto in Deviate: The Science of Seeing Differently.
You can outwork someone by outsmarting them.
The person who digs a hole with their hands is quickly passed by someone who uses a shovel. Outsmarting is a form of leverage.
The combination of smarter and harder makes you unstoppable.
Not just students:
“More than half of our students say they are uncomfortable expressing views on controversial issues in class.”
“If you say no to a thing, then you’re saying no to one thing. If you say yes to a thing, you actually say no to every other thing during that period of time.”
P.S. The crazy way they make car mats.