MC's Whispers

Whispering Silences

Archive for the tag “thinking”

The worst place you can be

We all hide a whirlwind of emotions inside, just waiting to be expressed. Often women more than men go through a series of alternating sentiments even during one single day. Perhaps we pay too much attention to the little things, overthink excessively and try to find connotations in every action.

The problem though lies with tolerating too much. With burying emotions inside in the hope of forgetting about them, of extinguishing their force and of somehow making things better. We all nurture that illusion that things will change without action from our part. As if magically the world will improve in the way we want it to.

There comes a time, however, when our feelings take over our reactions. Either because we are tired, hungry or simply exasperated by everything, there comes an emotional explosion that is sometimes out of character. We can’t always control what we feel. Like Elizabeth Gilbert said, “your emotions are the slaves to your thoughts, and you are the slave to your emotions”.

It is during those explosions that we need people close, no matter how far we push them away. We need to feel loved even in our toughest of times, when we are being difficult, obstinate and insecure. It is at our worst that we need the affection. To believe that it is just a phase and will pass, that we will come out stronger, and that, in the end, everything will be better than fine.

Sometimes the worst place you can be is in your own head”.

The making of a genius

He was born out of wedlock so had no right to education. He was considered an outcast and society looked down on him. Yet he managed to ignore them all – all those eyes who stared with loathing when he walked by, as if he had stolen something from them, as if they had become lesser people because of his existence.

He was curious of the world. Of how everything was structured to make things work so seamlessly. He was astonished by the way birds used their wings to fly or how water was present almost everywhere. He had a mind that was constantly alert. His thoughts would keep him awake at night and without food, for he was too busy thinking about how he could make improvements in an already magnificently built world. He wanted humans to go further. But they had to want that too.

He was a scientist, an inventor, a sculptor, an artist, a musician, a thinker. He was a genius. One who comprehended the need to go out and do things to achieve something. One the world acknowledged too late in time.

He was the one who proved the world was a better place because of him. But people couldn’t see it.

His name was Leonardo.

“There are three classes of people: those who see, those who see when they are shown, those who do not see”

“Learning is the only thing the mind never exhausts, never fears, and never regrets”

– Leonardo Da Vinci

A commercial of truth

https://www.mexperience.com/wp-content/uploads/ClockTime-Watches-NBS-1200x800.jpg

There are some commercials that are so mesmerising, you get lost in them and you are left wondering what on earth that mind-blowing scene had to do with the product it advertises. That is how good it is. Because it makes everyone discuss it, becoming viral in record-breaking time, even if no-one even knows what the product does. But it has achieved the greatest marketing target of all: it is being talked about.

One such commercial is the Spanish 2018 Ruavieja commercial “Tenemos que vernos mas” (We have to see more of each other).

It makes you really stop for a minute or two and think.

Because it makes you realise that we don’t have all that time we think we do.

It talks about how we all consider our loved ones our priority, yet we spend so much time apart and on screens instead that we don’t see so much of each other.

We are programmed to avoid thinking about how long we’ve got left to live, so we think that we will always have the chance to do the things that really make us happy.

It makes you realise how much time we actually waste doing things that don’t really make us happy.

Using a calculation and data from the National Institute of Statistics, an algorithm was created to find out how much time we have left to spend with our loved ones given our habits, age and routine. But would you really want to know this truth? Wouldn’t you rather simply be made aware of it and do something about it? To change the fact that we spend so much time in a virtual world rather than in the real one?

The commercial serves as a wake-up call. A reminder that the things that truly matter are not things; they are the people who are with you, the emotions you feel around them and the experiences you share with them.

Life teaches us to make good use of time, while time teaches us the value of time”.

Admitting to the problem

https://img.fotocommunity.com/sehnsucht-nach-meer-e5071e7c-1c5a-4ce7-88e1-8e87a1f6e2ce.jpg?height=400They say that the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. In fact, it is true that more people would learn from them mistakes if they weren’t so busy denying them. In the same light, in order to begin to find some peace of mind, we need to acknowledge that we have none.

In our modern age, being (too) busy is a problem. But the thing is, we think that it is a privilege, an asset, or even something to be proud of – we actually boast of being busy. Of not having time for anything, not even of living.

We have lost touch of the things that matter. Instead of talking to each other and trying to help one another, to learn from each other and mutually improve, we have become so competitive that what dominates our relationships is hypocrisy and shallowness.

What is more, we don’t know how to relax anymore. We have become so obsessed about constantly having something on our minds and in our hands that we turn into inexplicably nervous freaks when we are faced with “doing nothing”. Keeping calm is not a concept the modern world understands. Yet, we so love to cant about it everywhere, we have drawn numerous gifs and images and posters and anything you can imagine, that begin with “keep calm and…”.

Let’s face it. We have become a troublesome kind. We are so afraid of being left out of pretty much anything that we create trouble where there is none, do things we don’t really want to do, and adopt styles that don’t fit us simply because they are the current trend. In the process, we choose to follow the crowd than stand out in our own unique way. And, like everyone else, we criticise or adore whoever and whatever is ‘in fashion’ at the time.

We don’t think anymore. And that is perhaps the most pitiful and severe problem of us all.

The lure of a bookstore

https://s26162.pcdn.co/wp-content/uploads/2017/11/bookstore-slide-2MCD-superJumbo.jpgFor Martia, walking into a bookstore was like walking into a magic realm. In the words of Jen Campbell, “you see, bookshops are dreams built of wood and paper. They are time travel and escape and knowledge and power. They are simply put, the best of places”. In fact, she could hardly ever walk into a bookstore and not leave without buying something.

Martia’s life revolved around books. She loved reading, wrote a blog about books and worked as an editor in a publishing company. She lived and breathed books.

Yet, ironically, she could not find the words to describe how much she adored these tomes of paper. As environmentally-unfriendly they were, there was nothing like the smell that transpired when flicking the pages of a new book. Used books also held their secrets gripped within their pages. Because no one could read a book and remain the same person.

Martia had learned to appreciate even more people who read. Not on an electronic device, but the actual paper copy. Books, she said, made our minds sharper, life more exciting, they lift your spirits, lower your stress levels and make your heart more compassionate. Books always had something new to say. And there is a book on almost anything by almost anyone. What you should be careful to do is pick out the right copy – find the book that says something, in language worthy of the paper it is printed on, that makes you think and makes you want to change things.

“A bookstore is one of the only pieces of evidence we have that people are still thinking” – Jerry Seinfeld

Be the chess player

chess-eyes

©Jeff Arnold

Chess is a game of tactics. One where forethought wins. It embodies life skills.

That’s why her grandfather taught her how to play since she was only a child. He said a chess game resembles life in that you shouldn’t waste even a single move.

At first she could never win a game. But like a Japanese proverb says, “we learn little from victory, much from defeat”.

Every movement of the chess pieces had to be carefully planned. It required independent and cautious thinking. She learned to move in silence and only speak when it was time to say ‘checkmate’.

 

Chess helps you to concentrate, improve your logic. It teaches you to play by the rules and take responsibility for your actions, how to problem solve in an uncertain environment” – Russian chess grandmaster Garry Kasparov

 

Also part of Friday Fictioneers

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.

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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