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Showing posts from August, 2020

Nuance

I have a tendency to be "all or nothing," and this pattern manifests in many areas of my life. For instance, I stopped all substance use this year as part of my New Year's resolutions. A large part of the reason why I create these kinds of guidelines for myself is to better my life by simplifying my decision-making and thus reducing uncertainty. While I believe this has really served me in some areas of my life—not allowing myself to drink caffeine when I've felt tired this year has helped improve my relationship with sleep—I think it no longer serves me when it comes to some of the expectations I have of myself. Generalizations are one way that being "all or nothing" can manifest in your beliefs. There are all sorts of generalizations you can make: X is a good thing, Y is a bad person, Z can't bring you happiness. A generalization is something that happens or is true less than 100% of the time, but that we round up to 100% as a cognitive simplification…

How do I know what to say?

A pattern that I've had for a really long time has been to ruminate over and second guess the things that I've said to others. Like, "I should have said this instead!" or "Now they're going to think that I'm X because I said that wrong." This pattern is still present in my life, but far less than it used to be, and when it does happen, my response towards myself is far less harsh than it used to be as well. Acting in a way that I am able to live with both in the moment and afterwards is something that is important for me—doing this allows me to live with fewer regrets. As I've started working(/grown older?), I feel that many of my perspectives have become more pragmatic (as opposed to theoretical or idealistic). The perspective that I want to write about in this blog post is the framework that I use to decide what to say.Honesty and kindness are two qualities that are really important to me, and that I identify with. It may be easy to imagine a …

Chesterton's Fence

A blog post that I've wanted to write for awhile is one where I talk about ideas that I reference on a regular basis, since that kind of post would be really interesting for me to read! Ideas can be really powerful tools for thought and growth, especially when they're used as analogies. However, I haven't written a post like that because I find that usually only one or two ideas are readily on my mind at any given time. 
Right now, an idea that I've been thinking about a lot is Chesterton's Fence. The premise is that if you come across a fence in the middle of nowhere, it's good practice to try to understand why that fence was built (even if it seems useless to you) before trying to take it down.
This idea has been popping up for me in self-growth contexts, especially whenever I hear myself or someone else say phrases like "Why can't I just X," "Oh, I guess I could just X," or "I should be able to X." In these situations, if you …