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Life & Philosophy

Turning problems into opportunities

Opportunities and problems go together, often masked as one of the same. It’s your perspective that determines how well you exploit this dialectic.

It’s always easier to play the role of a pessimist. Bad thoughts are typically stickier than good ones. Optimism is harder to produce.

However, when you look at your challenges with a pragmatic lens, you realize there’s hope.

There will inevitably be some wins along the way, even if they’re incremental. After all, the Chinese word for crisis combines the characters for danger and opportunity.

“The greatest weapon against stress is our ability to choose one thought over another.”

William James

The mind quickly identifies fake and forced positive thoughts. It also catches you from falling into a morass of negativity.

When you run away from a problem because the amygdala has told you to play it safe, you pass the opportunity by.

Dancing with the tension between thought and action motivates the search for solutions. He who hesitates caused by the dizziness of anxiety — a type of failure in advance — is sure to be lost.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Positive thinking can make one feel worse

It’s amazing how positive, negative statements can be.

Double negatives intensify the negation so much that they cultivate positive emotions.

  • Never quit quitting
  • Never say never

Conversely, it’s amazing how negative, positive words can be. In fact, they can end up making one feel worse.

Double positives intensify positivity so much that they overstretch limitations and have deleterious effects.

Take these two motivational sayings for instance:

  • Keep pushing
  • Keep on keeping on

There is a positive correlation between how we think and what we do.

Thoughts predetermine action and willpower. The neurocognitive boost the body and mind need next is just good practice.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Poetry

Mind over matter, what’s the matter with your mind?

Sí, se puede. Where there’s a will, there’s a way.

Trying is a passport to freedom. You can do it, contrary to your negative internal dialogue. Mindset is everything. As is practice.

Showing up consistently matters, and reflects in the quality of the work.

Mind over matter, what’s the matter with your mind?

Discipline = Freedom

Discipline equals freedom — now that’s a bumper sticker!

Guess, what? Whether you think you can or you can’t, you’re right.

You’ve clamored all your life for excellence, only to realize that motivation was obstruction. There is no need to be certain.

Discomfort persists in your keyboard of consciousness, a type of continuous inward revolution.

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Uncategorized Writing

It’s the indecision that’s risky

In the absence of ideas, we’re lost floating at sea.

Weighed down in idea debt, a lack of action can have the same debilitating effect.

Inertia is the purported enemy. Just write the truest sentence already.

What works better is facing fear and proceeding right into it.

We keep our eyes on the prize and spend our time wisely, for the latter is never under your control. We remain undecided and fritter the seasons away at our own risk.

Born in the morning, jolted in the afternoon, and reset in the evening.

Intensely alive with a deliberate pulse — faith knows that even the wrong ideas fail successfully.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The power of choice

Choice rattles decision-making. People don’t like choice, they flinch. They’d rather someone else stear their lives for them.

But given no choice, we’d lack all creativity.

Templates help streamline choice. College is a template for starting a career. Doctors have no choice but to attend medical school if they want to sustain the profession.

Some parents pre-arrange marriage for their kids. Outsourcing choice reduces the uncertainty of making irrational decisions about the future.

Head choice versus heart choice

Life seeks a secure design. It convinces us that we have no choice but to follow precedent.

When choices are abundant, we tend to make the safest decision rather than the one we know is right within our heart.

The power of choice, of course, is to deviate from the string of presets. Once we make the bold choice to choose for ourselves rather than yield to circumstance, we instantly get richer.

Becoming responsible for our life and choices means dancing with the unknown. We select our own outcome and determine our own course of action.

Life is a series of chapters built on the freedom to make bets about our future.

To choose is happiness.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Underseen, often overlooked

Height, skin color, your shoes — People are always trying to prejudge each other’s possibilities in the context of their surroundings.

But the old adage rings true: Never judge a book by its cover.

The good news for the last pick in the draft is that there’s only upside.

For one, underdog status builds up a voltage of motivation.

Psychologically, the forgotten ones are already drafting their own blueprints. With a chip on their shoulder, they already have material to hone: to prove the doubters wrong.

Never question the invisibility cloak of work ethic, practice, and skill.

The star that emerges is rarely the one that we’re all expecting.

Categories
Arts Creativity

The Olivetti Valentine typewriter

An icon of 1960s pop-art design, the Olivetti Valentine typewriter was designed by Italian architect Ettore Sottsass and British designer Perry Ellis for the Italian company, Olivetti.

Sottsass covered the typewriter in red “so as not to remind anyone of monotonous working hours.” Its iconic red color was a precursor to the iMac, a machine that also differentiated itself from other computer products by offering a panoply of vibrant colors.

The late great music icon David Bowie was known to have one of the Olivetti Valentine typewriters in his own private collection.

The typewriter debuted on 14 February 1969, hence the name ‘Valentine’ and also existed in a neutral gray color as seen below.

The Olivetti Valentine typewriter
Photo: Twitter/dean_frey
The Olivetti Valentine typewriter
via twitter
Categories
Life & Philosophy Nature

What are we missing here?

We either open up possibilities for inquiry or close them.

The open-minded tend to include those around them. The shallow-minded prefer to isolate others as a means to an end. Such subjectivity halts the evolution of ideas.

“Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear.”

William James
‘Our view of the world is truly shaped by what we decide to hear’
Image via Deaf Hearing and Communication Center

Attitude predetermines whether we discover facts and establish truth.

We put our minds in the world, shaped by the rhythm of nuance and complexity and weave it into a geometry of thought.

We never know for sure when the old world passes away and a new one begins.

All that’s certain are the infinitude of blind spots.

Categories
Writing

Notebooks are ‘a forgotten account with accumulated interest’

Listening seeds ideas. Overheard dialogue, especially misheard words, are auditory stimulants for the imagination. Said Joan Didion in her essay “On Keeping a Notebook:”

“See enough and write it down, I tell myself, and then some morning when the world seems drained of wonder, some day when I am only going through the motions of doing what I am supposed to do… on that bankrupt morning I will simply open my notebook and there it will all be, a forgotten account with accumulated interest, paid passage back to the world out there…”

From the dull to the senseless, an ambient awareness latches on to snippets of interestingness in any conversation. The journal archives and then whispers for a second look. Simply rereading our notes gives them a new form, turning the slightest quip into a saintly significance.

All writing is thinking.

“I don’t know what I think until I try to write it down.”

Joan Didion
Categories
Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

Write to be misunderstood?

The write to be understood trope is itself, misunderstood.

Don’t be too specific. Keep it vague enough to goad a broader curiosity.

The details ruin everything, especially if they’re explained by a loudmouth. Revelations squash the guts of great imagination.

The best approach therefore is one that’s provocative yet tactful. Stay determined to keep the reader entertained while also giving them something to chew on.

Keep the reader guessing.

The writer is still trying to figure it out themselves.