MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “thinking”

Not knowing what we’re after

https://thumbs.dreamstime.com/b/crossroads-confusing-directional-arrow-sign-25350749.jpgWhy is it that when we sit still for a moment, allowing ourselves the luxury of doing nothing, our mind wanders into another realm? Why do we dream so often even with eyes wide open? What is it we so long to escape from? There is a famous quote that urges us to “create a life you don’t need a holiday from”. But that may not be as easy as it may seem. And that is not only because perfection is an illusion.

It is mostly because we are used to moaning and complaining about something, whatever that may be. So much, that sometimes we ourselves create the reasons to bemoan about how things are not going our way or how life is unfair. Unfair compared to what exactly? Isn’t it, therefore, true that we create the life we want? And if the reality is not what we were after, then we have the freedom to change it.

We trip ourselves up by raising hurdles where there are none. We are so used to something being “wrong” or contrary to what we want, that we even become suspicious when something goes right. We argue that it is too good to be true and anxiously wait for when things will turn over badly and we’ll be able to complain again that we knew it would happen.

Humans are strange. We are a kind that is never satisfied with anything, let alone the simple and minute pleasures of life. We’ll dig into the details simply to find something that will reveal how fake something seemingly perfect is. But we don’t try instead to lift ourselves up, to make us seem almost perfect, regardless of everything and everyone else.

If it is true that change comes from within, the human race still has a very long way to go.

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Stretching your mind

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Why do we learn new things? Why are we even interested in something we know nothing about and may possibly not affect us?

We learn because it is how we grow. It is why as children we are so easily excited about almost everything, regardless of how nonsense it may later seem to us as adults.

There are many types of learning, for example, targeted learning simply to pass an exam; specialised learning to become experts in one (or only a few) specific areas; and broader life-long learning that never stops.

Education is the progressive discovery of our own ignorance” (Will Durant). It is how we find our place in the world and how we can discover new ways to make things better.

Indeed, as Benjamin Franklin said, “being ignorant is not so much a shame, as being unwilling to learn”. We should want to learn. We should desire to broaden our perspectives and widen our horizons. We should be willing to engage in more talk than just things we know much about.

 “The capacity to learn is a gift; the ability to learn is a skill; the willingness to learn is a choice” – Brian Herbert

Blink or Think

blinkThe real purpose of books is to trap the mind into doing its own thinking” (Christopher Morley). Some books excel at it. And it is not just the ones that engage you into travelling away from reality, but rather those that make you think more of it.

In Blink: The Power of Thinking without Thinking, Malcolm Gladwell manages to do exactly that. He makes you consider how those first thoughts you have are the ones that matter the most and are often more correct than if you think thoroughly through something.

The book points out that “the key to good decision-making is not knowledge. It is understanding”. That is why, for instance, when people talk, we listen to their words and watch their eyes in order to pick up the expressive nuances that reveal if what they’re saying is true.

Through a series of stories and case studies, Gladwell attempts to “understand this mysterious thing called judgement – the kind of wisdom someone acquires after a lifetime of learning and watching and doing”. “From experience, we gain a powerful gift, the ability to act instinctively, in the moment. But it is easy to disrupt this gift”, because we live in a world saturated with information and sometimes that works against our judgement. Those subtle influences from our surroundings, our background, our experiences, our network, often very much affect the bias of our unconscious. As such, we are already prejudiced in our decisions, particularly if we dwell hard on them.

These are the “unexpected costs of knowing too much”. That you allow your judgement to be clouded by too many things – often stereotypes. “We are inundated with information and we have come to confuse information with understanding.” That is why, as the book very eloquently explains, “sometimes we can make better judgement with less information”.

The impression you form in a blink – in milliseconds – is in fact more truthful than the one you allow yourself to form after thinking a situation through and permitting the stereotypes in your head to barge through. The point is not to listen with your eyes, but with what your instinct tells you. It is the power of first impressions, of rapid cognition.

It is true of course that “there are some situations where the human mind needs a little help” – where more information is required to form a proper decision. After all, “truly successful decision-making relies on a balance between deliberate and instinctive thinking”.

But, in the issues that matter most, perhaps the decisions that stem from the unconscious are the ones that will in the end make us happier.

Think about it. Maybe next time just trust that ‘blink’ you get as a first thought and see what happens.

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