Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Wants and needs

via reddit

We always want things we don’t have and disregard those same things when we do have them. This is the paradox of desire, which also manifests itself with items we think we need. 

We don’t need anything other than food, water, and some proper rest. Yet we often take these physiological needs for granted. If there were ever a food storage, god forbid we should hoard all the bread and water! Needs are a means of survival. 

Everything else (art, technology, cars, love) are symptoms of social belonging. What makes them feel necessary are mimetic desires and the will to communicate, also essential to survival. If one doesn’t have a smartphone with email, do they even exist? 

The non-essential becomes pervasive through social utility. Being jealous of what other people do or have compels us to conform. Feeling needed, heard, and important is vital to mankind. 

No one is neutral. Most of our choices arise from the productive promise of hope — that is, only after we get something to eat and drink. And maybe a little bit of Wifi too.

Categories
Productivity & Work Psychology

A single holistic view

gif by Mattis Dovier

There’s a private voice and a public voice, things we say internally and keep caged out loud.

The former helps instill the external self, the latter influences our inner narrative.

Somewhere between the middle of our diary and how we act among people represents who we really are.

But there’s a third self that exists on the web.

We live an edited real life in the social media age through our avatars. Yet a curated identity can be an addictive substance, especially when the behavior is oblivious to our staring.

Life, like the weather, is something we can only try to control. At some point we’re forced to ride the wave chance has given us. Adaptability is key, per say.

We should develop our own time recorder, know it and understand it. Because the loveliest people are already at peace with themselves.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

A sober risk to deny reality

Alcohol and coffee are a study in consciousness — they both trigger experiences beyond the normal architecture of aliveness. 

Neither beverage medicates problems away. Rather, they open the door to other choices and chapters in life that we may not have otherwise made. That second beer gives us the courage to ask that girl to dance or that double espresso powers us through a tough or dull assignment. Conversely, both actions could also result in equally damaging results.

Stimulants and depressants aside, we’re better off starting before we’re ready because the tyranny of hesitation thwarts all possibilities. It takes courage to go out of our comfort zone and bomb.

Once stripped of the ideal results, we let go of perfection and embrace the positive psychology behind tiny actions, despite any failure. We quickly realize that reality is too sober and feel compelled to act.

“There is a positive correlation between the fear of death and the sense of unlived life,” writes Oliver Burkeman in The Antidote.

When it’s all said and done, we will have at least gained the satisfaction of trying. Because we already have everything we need to get going.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology Travel

How Japan uses blue LED light panels on station platforms to prevent suicides

Tokyo runs 13 billion passenger trips each year, making its train stations some of the busiest in the world.

Using sound design and various other psychological nudges, rail stations are able to bring some order to the chaos. One of the most effective tactics has been its use of blue LED mood lighting to prevent suicide attempts.

Photo by Allan Richarz/City Lab

Writes Tokyo resident Allan Richarz for Citylab:

According to a study by researchers at the University of Tokyo published in the Journal of Affective Disorders in 2013, data analyzed over a 10-year period shows an 84 percent decline in the number of suicide attempts at stations where blue lights are installed.

Operating on the theory that exposure to blue light has a calming effect on one’s mood, rail stations in Japan began installing these LED panels as a suicide-prevention measure in 2009. They are strategically located at the ends of each platform—typically the most-isolated and least-trafficked area, and accordingly, the point from which most platform jumps occur. Some stations, such as Shin-Koiwa Station in Tokyo, bolster their LED regime with colored roof panels, allowing blue-tinted sunlight to filter down on to platforms.

Whether it comes to the iPhone or infrastructure, Richarz’s piece is yet another reminder of how everyday design can impact our lives.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry Productivity & Work Psychology

A coherent me

When we are stuck and predictable, we stop beating the heart to our own drum.

Instead of chasing our dreams, we ride on the coattails of others. We become a cog that seeks to please rather than to push.

How we align our attention — to mimetic desire or to the clusters of individual freedom — is what determines self-worth.

The story we tell ourselves helps to combat the harsh reality of Monday morning meetings.

We buck the reassurance of controlled variables in pursuit of a cloudy destiny. 

We read life to read ourselves. The copy is the original.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Airing out the ego

gif by John Corsi

Never at rest in yesterday’s form. We are always chasing something unique, railing against the establishment.

Chances are we’ve already forgotten the information we learned yesterday.

With half-closed eyes, we bustle through through life forging connections between experiences.

But then one day, it all slows down. It’s not about us anymore but other people: our kids, partners, and close friends.

The ego must be aired out.

Insecurity and security, certainty and uncertainty — it all flows from subjectivity into a way of life that helps other people too see themselves.