Categories
Productivity & Work Psychology

Thinking less to do more

Rhythm builds thoughtlessness. Work can become more natural out of mechanical motion, a kind of doing without thinking.

Employees can’t make one hundred sandwiches in a couple hours without silencing the monkey mind. The process of unthinking begets a chorus of action.

Similarly, we can’t dribble a basketball nor soccer ball effectively while focusing on the mechanics of the perfect touch. The gears of cognition get in the way of flow. Continued practice helps numb the disease of crippling doubt.

Habits are bicep curls for the brain

Good habits strengthen human software, primarily if we aim to do something consistently.

Like brushing our teeth, it’s the repetitive locomotion that undermines inertia and compels one to keep connecting the chain.

We can get used to being productive if we choose to make practice non-negotiable. All such preparation helps plow the field.

Categories
Psychology Science Video

What your thoughts look like

To be in your own thoughts — language, like headphones, delivers a sense of privacy.

Of course, no thinking is linear. Neurons are always crashing into each other, trying to connect and build new avenues of ideas. The whole of brain waves is greater than the sum of its parts.

Neurons that fire together, wire together

But knowledge presents a key constraint in the gobbling of information — it requires a dishwasher of synthesis to make even more sense of the apparent world.

What’s most dizzying is experiencing nothing. Whatever your neurons are up to this very moment determines what you do next.

Categories
Business Creativity Life & Philosophy Psychology

Finding aim through purpose

Some people need that motivational voltage to get them going.

So they collect positive quotes on Pinterest, post inspirational tidbits on Facebook, and believe — albeit mistakenly — that the law of attraction will get them on the cover of Forbes.

The barest encouragement, even if forcibly imagined, provokes enough optimism to keep the wannabe achiever moving forward.

But an obsession with success may be the biggest handicap.

Humans crave meaning just as much as fame or a paycheck.

We create seeking systems that ensure what we chase fulfills our values.

Instead of going after what other people want, we prioritize a way of life that generates momentum toward the highest resolution.

Avoid following the flock of sheep. Don’t jump through hoops, go around them.

The only way to escape a labyrinth of conformity is not entering it in the first place.

If we can be outside and genuinely enjoy the road, stay outside.

gif by SoulPancake

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Psychology

Enjoy the silence

Silence is the loudest sound — unprovoked, it can screech worse than nails on a chalkboard.

The pursuit of distraction is man’s attempt to escape the cacophony of a deaf monkey mind.

To break from mental prison, we conjure up an oasis of sound: Facebook or TV, dual-screens, infinitely scrolling through feeds and channels without remembering a thing.

The content Ferris wheel never ends. The circus rages on, burning into a dead-end of doldrums.

Perhaps the noiseless, originally our worst fear, is the pocket of sanity we needed all along.

gif by Carolina Costa

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
Arts Life & Philosophy Science

The flashes of the arts

If at first we emulate, then we originate.

Thankfully, our bad memories serve a grand purpose in helping us forget most of what we learn. But then the urge of discovery restarts, leaving us compelled to relearn our sense of wonder.

Life is not a rote study course.

We’ll all be remembered not for what we copied but whatever we did differently.

The role of any artist is to adopt a
system of experimentation that is open to chance encounter and new ideas.

There is a tendency amongst creators to make things for the purpose of instant gratification.

These pieces and posts may get likes but they are consumed and quickly forgotten like the fast fashion of Forever 21.

We sculpt perception through our own diligent work.

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 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.

Categories
Psychology Tech

The link between boredom and creativity

Boredom drives creativity for no other reason than that your mind needs something to latch onto in idle times.

When you’re bored, anything goes. Ambiguity and hyperbole are the names of the game. Your mind loves stretching the imagination and embracing irreality.

Daydreaming is a thinking activity too

Sometimes people are too corrupted by everydayness. To perceive something that doesn’t even exist is a bicep curl for the innovative brain.

So try this: take a seat, put the phone down, and do nothing. You’ll have no choice but to think outlandish thoughts to keep yourself entertained.