Dec 18, 2017

Mental states become neural traits. Day after day, your mind is building your brain. In effect, what you pay attention to — what you rest your mind on — is the primary shaper of your brain.
— Rick Hanson, Hardwiring Happiness, The New Brain Science of Contentment, Calm, and Confidence

Dec 16, 2017

Do ordinary things with extraordinary love.
— Mother Teresa
So, put your mobile down and look at the people around you. Take a chance and ask someone a question, and then really listen to their answer. You might be surprised by the change in your perspective.
This, then, is your awkward predicament: you don’t feel like a jerk, but this might just be because you’re such a jerk. And if you introspect honestly, asking yourself if you’re a jerk, you’ll find you aren’t, even if you usually are. So is there any way to determine, objectively, if you’re a jerk? Schwitzgebel thinks there is: stop looking inside yourself, and look at how you view other people instead. Do you find yourself often feeling besieged by idiots? Since jerks take such a dim view of others, that’s a red flag. “Everywhere you turn, are you surrounded by fools, by boring nonentities, by faceless masses and foes and suckers and, indeed, jerks? Are you the only competent, reasonable person to be found?”
If so, bad news: you’re probably a jerk, at least sometimes. On those days when you seem to have an issue with virtually everyone you meet, it’s a good bet the cause is whatever all those encounters have in common. And, not to be a jerk about it… that’s you.

Dec 11, 2017

I think we have created tools that are ripping apart the social fabric of how society works.

Dec 8, 2017

The modern consumer economy is full of spurious quasi-luxuries, falling into a category the writer Venkatesh Rao brilliantly labels “premium mediocre”: not the basics, but not true luxury, either, and usually overpriced. Premium mediocre includes “cupcakes and froyo”, Rao explains, along with “‘truffle oil on anything”, “extra-legroom seats in economy”, plus any product labelled “signature”.

Dec 6, 2017

Social media is not just personally unhealthy, it has become a threat to democracy. The tech companies that give us access to an infinity of information have become all-powerful and morally corrupt. And the lack of diversity in Silicon Valley fosters the development of products that idolize efficiency and greed, points us towards a dystopic future global monoculture. We don’t just hear all this, but we feel it, too. Something is profoundly wrong.
Doubt increases with inaction. Clarity reveals itself in momentum. Growth comes from progress. For all these reasons, BEGIN.
— Brandon Burchard
We’ve all heard the saying, stop and smell the roses. But it would be far better to be the gardener who grows the roses and lives with them constantly.
— Deepak Chopra

Nov 24, 2017

The point is that what makes something a distraction isn’t necessarily that it’s stupid or silly. It’s the role it’s playing in your life. If it’s helping you numb out, or put off important but scary tasks, or avoid asking tough questions about how you’re spending your time, it’s a problem, whatever the details. Seemingly productive work can easily be a distraction, if it’s not the work that counts. Even deeply meaningful activities can be distractions. That’s the logic behind a suggestion attributed to the investor Warren Buffett: first, write down your top 25 goals for life; then identify the most important five, focus on them, and avoid the other 20 like the plague – because they’re the seductive ones most likely to distract you, precisely because they do matter. They just don’t matter most.
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