The carrot dangles, tempting a response. But the incentive is not always worthy. What we need more is a beautiful constraint, to cease ourselves from the pursuit of vices. To follow unconsciously is another person’s business opportunity. Once we investigate the soul, the rest follows, and we can avoid the trap. art via giphy Advertisements
If you want to instantly feel better, step into a hospital. The placebo works every time. Unfortunately, the opposite is also true. Hospitals can make the healthy feel a bit ill. Does anyone like hanging out in hospitals? Placebo is a mere expectation. It helps only because we think it helps. But that psychological boon could […]
The biggest threat to a virus is its own exhaustion. It wants to be said, repeated, and spread until it cements into a meme. Words, ideas, and apps are all types of viruses. Pretty much anything that spreads. Most are benign of course but perhaps none is more pervasive and self-inflicted than the sickness of […]
“Don’t whine, don’t complain, don’t make excuses, just do the best you can do,” said UCLA coach John Wooden. It turns out coach was on to something. Recent studies show that complaining every day changes the structure of the brain. Harmful behaviors such as complaining, if allowed to loop within the brain continually, will inevitably […]
Social media is a world where everyone tries to out self-promote each other and in doing so, stretch their lives further from reality. Even the destinations — whether it be a restaurant, hotel resort, or kayaking trip — want to make their experiences more Instagrammable. Sharing has commoditized life, turning us into an avalanche of […]
Even checked distractions will lead you to distraction. What holds attention determines distraction. This very day I have been repeating over and over to myself a verbal jingle whose mawkish silliness was the secret of its haunting power. I loathed yet could not banish it. What holds attention determines action. William James, The Principles of Psychology Was […]
If you don’t believe in yourself, who will? Faith drives action. Faith drives results. Without faith, nothing works. Indifference and pessimism are attractive because they’re the easiest to obtain, the most accessible to deploy and practice. “Ask yourself this: would your childhood self be proud of you, or embarrassed?” — Julien Smith, The Flinch Pursuing […]
Indecision is still a decision. Illustration by Tom Gauld
How many of us are just acting our way through life, adapting to different settings like chameleons? Situational elasticity lends its hand to the collaborative truth, that people inject each other with signaling serum. We try to demonstrate to others ‘this is who I am and this what I do.’ All life is a stage, […]
Twitter’s removal of millions of fake accounts reminds us that not everything is what it seems. The internet is full of bots, replicating humans, even programmed to act more human than the humans themselves. We too are conscious automata, no more authentic than the droids themselves. People are just savvy editors. We present our best […]
Behavioral economists explain why the mid-life crisis is only temporary. Happiness increases with old age. “Life satisfaction tends to decline gradually after early adulthood, bottom out in middle age [or 40s], then gradually rebound after.” Study: Is well-being U-shaped over the life cycle? In short, life gets better after 50.
When you can think aloud your own thoughts, you will strip the mind of its own disfluency. The brain’s pen will be mighter than the sword. “Protect yourself from your own thoughts.” — Rumi At which point it’s too late.
The brain is an empty void. It waits to remember until we give things meaning. Otherwise, it clings to the instincts of the amagdyla for its main sensory perception. Thankfully, our brains are large processors. It knows that survival depends on exchanging information with others. Information is quid pro quo. But the problem with oral […]
The only thing worse than being blind is having sight but no vision. — Helen Keller, The Story of My Life
As digital technology colonizes our mind, self-reflection will become ever more important. But not just any reflection. Reflection in terms of boredom, gratitude, and mental processing. Blogging = Therapy 👇 Boredom No one ever died sitting and doing nothing or staring out into space. These are precious moments where the mind has no choice but […]