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Productivity & Work Psychology Quotes

The law of reversed effort

"“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.” Alan Watts #gif #quotes

“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.”

— Alan Watts on the ‘law of reversed effort’, also known as the ‘backwards law’ when doing what’s right make things wrong (as featured in The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking)

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Psychology Quotes

Theodore Roethke: ‘I trust all joy’ 😄

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“I trust all joy.”

Theodore Roethke

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Psychology Social Media Tech

We look at things twice 👁📱

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gif by Wells Baum

We look at things twice, once in reality and then with our third eye, the mobile phone.

We take photos to remember, literally cut and paste the external world into our devices to be stored as bits of data.

While an image can be reproduced to infinity, its lifespan is ephemeral. We collect moments wherever go only to be consumed and quickly forgotten.

Images spill into our cameras and out into a vapid Instagram wall while the viewer drowns in abundance, no match for the chaos.

It’s no coincidence that those who stand out are doing the opposite of what everyone is doing by taking a pause.

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Life & Philosophy Science

Hardware of the head


The phone is negentropic; it gets better through software. Similarly, the human head carries a brain that improves over time.

Scientists have shown again and again that the mind, like a piece of software, is elastic. We are the sum of a hundred billion neurons that strengthen through knowledge and experience. Our skull evolves within a gooey flesh.

But there has to be a cap on human acuity, surely. At some point, exponents can’t go any further. We can’t get any smarter, nor pinpoint the largest number which is infinity and beyond. Even “Moore’s Law peters out, “as microchip components reach the atomic scale and conventional lithography falters,” says computer scientist Scott Aaronson.

The chances of maxing out our neurons or counting to the last number are just as slim as downloading the entire internet; it’s an impossibility, no matter how much time, cloud space or algorithms try to lead us there.

So we remain, fulfilled but never finished, searching beyond the robot and frazzled by immensity.

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Creativity Culture Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology Quotes

“Trial and error is freedom.”

“The trick is to be bored with a specific book, rather than with the act of reading. So the number of the pages absorbed could grow faster than otherwise. And you find gold, so to speak, effortlessly, just as in rational but undirected trial-and-error-based research. It is exactly like options, trial and error, not getting stuck, bifurcating when necessary but keeping a sense of broad freedom and opportunism.

Trial and error is freedom.”

― Nassim Nicholas Taleb, Antifragile: Things That Gain from Disorder

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Business Psychology

A little less data, a little more action

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It’s easy to lose yourself in the details and get caught in the maelstrom of facts. But if you turn your focus on the customer experience, you can start to see the forest through the trees.

McDonald’s can keep improving the taste of its smoothies to negligible sales results. It turns out that it’s not the taste that drives consumption but rather the purpose.

According to a study led by Harvard business school professor Clayton Christenson, the majority of smoothies sell in the morning. Commuters revealed that they wanted to hold onto something filling in their hand for the ride to work.

Data tells only half the story. The other half explains the actual choices people make. Practical observation goes beyond a spreadsheet and into the streets.

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Life & Philosophy Psychology

The backlash of presence

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If you’re like me, you have a love and hate relationship with the mindfulness practice. It only seems to work when you’re actually doing it, at home in your chair far away from the chaos of life. The rest of your time you’re trying to install this moment-by-moment awareness into your real life to no avail. It’s both frustrating and hilarious.

The author of America the Anxious Ruth Whippman sums up the insidiousness of mindfulness in a recent op-ed in the New York Times:

“Mindfulness is supposed to be a defense against the pressures of modern life, but it’s starting to feel suspiciously like it’s actually adding to them. It’s a special circle of self-improvement hell, striving not just for a Pinterest-worthy home, but a Pinterest-worthy mind.”

There are some benefits of meditation–it calls attention to our lack of focus. We’re all so easily distractable in the smartphone age. Instead of acting smug about inner-noticing and our failure of presence, perhaps the quickest path to emotional calm is to stop trying so hard to be here now in the first place.

“This is a kind of neo-liberalism of the emotions, in which happiness is seen not as a response to our circumstances but as a result of our own individual mental effort, a reward for the deserving. The problem is not your sky-high rent or meager paycheck, your cheating spouse or unfair boss or teetering pile of dirty dishes. The problem is you.”

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Life & Philosophy Psychology Quotes

How to stop worrying by Mark Twain

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“I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened.”

— Mark Twain (as seen in)

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Uncategorized

Meet The Super Taskers

His findings put a new spin on memory lapses, suggesting they may often be due not to recall errors, but a failure to tune out distractions.

Memory is a combination of focus and flow, both of bridge together during multi-tasking. That is, if you’re one of the 2 percent who’s a “Super Tasker.”

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Uncategorized

Where Ideas Come From

  • Other people: We steal like artists and then we recreate giving attribution to the source.
  • A note: We write down what we want to remember right now, not tomorrow.
  • Disconnecting: Ideas emerge when our brains step away from our work and just relax. That’s why we get great ideas in the shower, when we listen to music or meditate, and while we exercise and drive to work. We need to turn off the brain to reactive it.
  • Research: First we collect, then we deduce and decide. The start of any major project is always the scariest because of surfeit resources, different opinions, and multiple possibilities. But mere action simplifies complexity, and the end becomes clear. As Nelson Mandela once said, “it always seems impossible until it’s done.”

Ideas come from everywhere, everything, and every little experience.

Ideas are the food for our senses. But ideas are always elastic, meant to be retested, rejiggered, and improved.

Life is an idea, for instance, as is the notion of democracy, and they too ultimately fail and restrengthen.