Falling flat on your face into a puddle is usually interpreted as a threat. We’ll assume that our clumsiness is a sign to others that we’re incompetent, and that our social status will drop, which is a painful thing.
But this thing is that this is just an interpretation, not a reality. It’s possible to change our interpretations — the filters that lead to the arising of pleasant and unpleasant feelings — either so that different feelings arise, or so we’re able to bear our suffering more easily.
We can reframe by considering unpleasant experiences as being a test, or an opportunity to cultivate patience.
We can reframe by considering that unpleasant experiences are impermanent.
We can reframe by considering that unpleasant experiences are not us, but are simply passing though us, like clouds through the sky.
We can reframe by reminding ourselves that there are others who are suffering as badly, or worse, so that we feel a sense of gratitude.
We can reframe by seeing our misfortunes as being a way to develop empathy with others who are suffering, so that we can increase our compassion.
What’s we’re doing in all of these reframes is changing the mental filters that interpret our experience and that normally lead to the mind flagging up potential threats by creating unpleasant sensation. Now the mind registers our experiences as opportunities. We’ve turned a threat into an opportunity, and although we may not find that our unpleasant feelings vanish (though that happens sometimes) we’ll find them easier to be with, and so we won’t cause ourselves unnecessary suffering by engaging in self pity, and won’t cause others unnecessary suffering by acting out in anger.
We tend to imagine that the special skill of an entrepreneur lies in having a powerfully original idea and then fighting to turn that vision into reality…
…The most valuable skill of a successful entrepreneur … isn’t “vision” or “passion” or a steadfast insistence on destroying every barrier between yourself and some prize you’re obsessed with. Rather, it’s the ability to adopt an unconventional approach to learning: an improvisational flexibility not merely about which route to take towards some predetermined objective, but also a willingness to change the destination itself. This is a flexibility that might be squelched by rigid focus on any one goal…
…”Start with your means. Don’t wait for the perfect opportunity. Start taking action, based on what you have readily available: what you are, what you know and who you know.” A second is the “principle of affordable loss”: Don’t be guided by thoughts of how wonderful the rewards might be if you were spectacularly successful at any given next step. Instead – and there are distinct echoes, here, of the Stoic focus on the worst-case scenario – ask how big the loss would be if you failed. So long as it would be tolerable, that’s all you need to know. Take that next step, and see what happens…
…Uncertainty is where things happen. It is where the opportunities – for success, for happiness, for really living – are waiting.
The Antidote: Happiness for People Who Can’t Stand Positive Thinking Paperback by Oliver Burkeman
We think too much about what goes wrong and not enough about what goes right in our lives. Of course, sometimes it makes sense to analyze bad events so that we can learn from them and avoid them in the future. However, people tend to spend more time thinking about what is bad in life than is helpful. Worse, this focus on negative events sets us up for anxiety and depression. One way to keep this from happening is to get better at thinking about and savoring what went well.
For sound evolutionary reasons, most of us are not nearly as good at dwelling on good events as we are at analyzing bad events. Those of our ancestors who spent a lot of time basking in the sunshine of good events, when they should have been preparing for disaster, did not survive the Ice Age. So to overcome our brains’ natural catastrophic bent, we need to work on and practice this skill of thinking about what went well.
-Every night for the next week, set aside ten minutes before you go to sleep.
-Write down three things that went well today and why they went well.
-Next to each positive event, answer the question “Why did this happen?” Writing about why the positive events in your life happened may seem awkward at first, but please stick with it for one week.
Right now, you are missing the vast majority of what is happening around you. You are missing the events unfolding in your body, in the distance, and right in front of you…
…I would find myself at once alarmed, delighted, and humbled at the limitations of my ordinary looking. My consolation is that this deficiency of mine is quite human. We see, but we do not see: we use our eyes, but our gaze is glancing, frivolously considering its object. We see the signs, but not their meanings. We are not blinded, but we have blinders…
…By marshaling your attention to these words, helpfully framed in a distinct border of white, you are ignoring an unthinkably large amount of information that continues to bombard all of your senses: the hum of the fluorescent lights, the ambient noise in a large room, the places your chair presses against your legs or back, your tongue touching the roof of your mouth, the tension you are holding in your shoulders or jaw, the map of the cool and warm places on your body, the constant hum of traffic or a distant lawn-mower, the blurred view of your own shoulders and torso in your peripheral vision, a chirp of a bug or whine of a kitchen appliance.
Alexandra Horowitz (On looking: Eleven Walks with Expert Eyes)
Your worries relate to real and practical problems in your life, so you cannot rid yourself of them altogether, but you can learn to control when you think about them. Fyodor Dostoyevsky famously commanded his brother not to think of a white bear, and we know from the experiment on thought suppression which followed that, given that instruction, you can think of nothing but a white bear. … Likewise, telling people not to think of their worries isn’t going to work…
Set aside 15 minutes in the morning and 15 minutes in the evening to do nothing but worry about the future. Sit at a table, make a list of all your problems and then think about them. But as soon as the time is up you must stop worrying, and whenever those worries come back into your head remind yourself that you can’t contemplate them again until your next worry time. You have given yourself permission to postpone your worrying until the time of your choice. Remarkably, it can work. It puts you in control.
Time Warped: Unlocking the Mysteries of Time Perception by claudia Hammon
1: To improve your performance, stop thinking about it (unselfconsciousness).
2: To avoid worrying about the future, focus on the present ( savoring)
3: If you want a future with your significant other, inhabit the present (breathe).
4: To make the most of time, lose track of it (acceptance).
5: If something is bothering you, move toward it rather than away from it (acceptance).
6: Know that you don´t know (engagement)
Don´t Just Do Something, Sit There
. . .
Algunos trucos para estar en el presente 1) Para mejorar tu rendimiento, deja de pensar en ello (se natural). 2)Para evitar preocuparte por el futuro, concéntrate en el presente (saborea). 3) Si quieres un futuro con tus seres queridos, habita en el presente (respira). 4) Para aprovechar el tiempo al máximo, piérdelo! (fluye). 5) Si algo te molesta acércate a ello en vez de escaparte (acepta). 6) Saber que no sabes (descubre). Deja de hacer cosas y tan solo relaja
We construct the experience of time in our minds, so it follows that we are able to change the elements we find troubling – whether it’s trying to stop the years racing past, or speeding up time when we’re stuck in a queue, trying to live more in the present, or working out how long ago we last saw our old friends. Time can be a friend, but it can also be an enemy. The trick is to harness it, whether at home, at work, or even in social policy, and to work in line with our conception of time. Time perception matters because it is the experience of time that roots us in our mental reality. Time is not only at the heart of the way we organize life, but the way we experience it…
…we will never have total control over this extraordinary dimension. Time will warp and confuse and baffle and entertain however much we learn about its capacities. But the more we learn, the more we can shape it to our will and destiny. We can slow it down or speed it up. We can hold on to the past more securely and predict the future more accurately. Mental time-travel is one of the greatest gifts of the mind. It makes us human, and it makes us special.
Why do we spend so much time worrying about our appearance…
…instead of looking below the surface?
Nancy Etcoff : Survival of the Prettiest: The Science of Beauty
People judge appearances as though somewhere in their minds an ideal beauty of the human form exists, a form they would recognize if they saw it, though they do not expect they ever will. It exists in the imagination.
The human image has been subjected to all manner of manipulation in an attempt to create an ideal that does not seem to have a human incarnation. When Zeuxis painted Helen of Troy he gathered five of the most beautiful living women and represented features of each in the hope of capturing and depicting her beauty. There are no actual descriptions of Helen, nor of other legendary beauties such as Dante’s Beatrice.
In Brazil there are more Avon ladies than members of the army. In the United States more money is spent on beauty than on education or social services.
Cameron Russell: Looks aren’t everything. Believe me, I’m a model