3 New Ideas 💡
The practice of Shinrin-yoku (森林浴) describes the psychological effects of “forest bathing” (as it is directly translated from Japanese). Regarded as a form of nature therapy and promoted by the Japanese government, the act of “taking in the forest atmosphere” has been shown to lower stress, heart rate and blood pleasure.
Our thoughts, feelings and behaviours are all shaped by our context. Giving our minds a change of scenery and providing them with a breather from the screens, stress and decision making is a good way to refocus and decompress.
Something about nature restores a calm inside of us that can be hard to find when surrounded by tall looming buildings, the hustle and bustle of the streets and the abundant messaging coming off of everything around us. Combine that with the stimulating act of walking and you get the perfect way to take a proper break.
Don’t worry about not having any nearby forests to bathe in. Even just walking in a park was found to improve cognitive performance and memory when compared to walking on the streets.
The civilised world provides us with a great deal of opportunities and stimulation but returning to nature brings us back to our roots of simplicity.
Exploring vs Exploiting 🧭
This great post from Anne-Laure of NessLabs dissects the ambidextrous mindset required of anyone pursuing new fields of creation whether that be in business, content creation or the arts.
In order to build from the ground up, we must balance two opposing modes of thinking: exploring and exploiting
- Exploring is the process of immersing yourself in new streams of people, ideas and contexts in order to figure out what is out there. It involves covering large surface areas to find and test new ideas and look for something fruitful.
- Exploiting on the other hand, is about settling down and digging deep into what you find from your exploration. It’s about leveraging the things which have the most promise and optimising for the rewards you are seeking out.
Exploring represents broadening your view while exploiting is all about narrowing your focus. Both are important mindsets that we have to adopt at different times of our lives.
The key is not just committing to one: endlessly exploring doesn’t give you the chance to capitalise on the idas that it inspires and staying stuck in exploiting mode means not being able to innovate and getting left behind as the world changes around you.
Substituting Nuance for Novelty ✨
How do we avoid getting bored of consistency - the things that we commit to doing everyday? An answer to that question came to from psychologist, author and podcast host Angela Duckworth in this episode of No Stupid Questions: substitute nuance for novelty.
Our brains crave new experiences that light up our neurones. Travelling to a new place, learning a new skill or finding a new hobby can be exciting and yet, constantly flip-flopping between areas of interest for novelty sake can only bring us so far. To achieve and improve, there is a need for digging our heels in and sticking to the sustained practice and repetition that yields results over the long run.
To overcome feeling stagnation, the key is to satiate that craving for novelty with nuance. Nuance are those small changes - taking a new route on your daily walk, taking on a new type of project at work, switching up your exercise routine - which can keep you engaged with the things that you are in for the long-run.
Consistency is a boring superpower but we can make it more exciting by introducing a bit of nuance into the mix.
3 Favourite Saves 💾
The Problem with Work-Life Balance dives into the problems behind the ‘work-life balance’ ideal that we are told to chase after. Work-life balance in the traditional sense may not fit what work is for you and the attainment of some perfect state of balance doesn’t match our unpredictable and changing lives. A reminder to question what you want out of your own life and not allow others to impose their ideals onto you.
Festus Ezeli is a professional basketball player who won the NBA championship with the Golden State Warriors in 2015. In this episode of Justin Kan’s podcast, Ezeli dives into the unlikely story behind his success: growing up in Nigeria, moving to the US to pursue a career in medicine, first picking up basketball at the age of 15 and overcoming his complete lack of skill to become a star University player who would later be drafted into the NBA. What stuck out to me about Ezeli’s story was his history with injury and how being unable to do the thing he loved didn’t stop him from staying optimistic and doing whatever he could for his team and himself. I’ve added this episode to the growing list of things to revisit whenever I’m feeling defeated or uninspired.
The Common Pattern To Procrastination gives a breakdown of a chain of events we are all familiar with - the descent into procrastination and all the things your mind tells yourself to rationalise it. With extracts from Piers Steel’s “The Procrastination Equation”, the piece explains the flawed thinking that leads to procrastination. Something to think about and develop more awareness when you fall into the same procrastination traps. My favourite line and slap in the face: “You value rewards that can be realized quickly far more highly than rewards that require you to wait; simply, you are impulsive.”
3 Quotes to Think About 📝
“The person who says he knows what he thinks but cannot express it usually does not know what he thinks.” - Mortimer Adler in How to Read a Book
“We can be blind to the obvious, and we are also blind to our blindness.” - Daniel Kahneman, Thinking, Fast and Slow
“Inaction in all forms feeds fear.” - David Schwartz in The Magic of Thinking Big
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