Making seemingly random connections across disciplines...
Some people choose to receive The Present when they are young. Others when they are in middle age. Some when they are very old. And, some people never do.
Four Stages of the Creative Process - Graham Wallas
Preparation - The work that you put in. Your research, your reading, your writing, your thinking. Not unlike the overcoming of inertia. Attacking the problem from all angles.
Incubation - The simmer. The stage of "unconscious processing." This can take two forms; active and passive. The first, active, is where other unrelated conscious tasks are performed. Working on one's car, arranging a jig-saw puzzle, tackling another project. The second, passive, is where one simply is taking a break. Going for a hike, walking the dog, swimming laps, etc.
Illumination - The a-ha moment when the answer bursts into one's consciousness. In the shower. Mid-Sunday morning run. Often when we're least expecting it and with minimal, if any, exertion.
Verification - A return to the conscious. The integration of the eureka back into your research, your reading, your writing, your thinking.
Giftedness, inborn talents - Nietzsche
"Do not talk about giftedness, inborn talents! One can name great men of all kinds who were very little gifted. They acquired greatness, became 'geniuses' (as we put it), through qualities the lack of which no one who knew what they were would boast of: they all possessed that seriousness of the efficient workman which first learns to construct the parts properly before it ventures to fashion a great whole; they allowed themselves time for it; because they took more pleasure in making the little, secondary things well than in the effect of a dazzling whole." - Nietzsche
"Why don't we learn this in school?"
In an age of information and opinion overload, learning foundational tenets is paramount. So is learning how to think critically. Harari states, "In a world deluged by irrelevant information, clarity is power."
Our schooling is a stepping stone. To learn the necessities and to develop critical thinking skills. To learn what is relevant and to learn how to develop a filter. A filter that is important now, more than ever.
See the forest.
Foundational Skills Common to the Best Therapists - Stuart McMillan
From Stu's twitter feed. Includes some discussion on whether or not Compassion should be included either in place of, in addition to, or integrated with Empathy. My personal opinion is that compassion (I care) can make empathy (I understand) so much more powerful.
On that note...
Gospel of Relaxation (1899) - William James
A small, but powerful excerpt from this classic essay by William James:
“One of the most philosophical remarks I ever heard made was by an unlettered workman who was doing some repairs at my house many years ago. ‘There is very little difference between one man and another,’ he said, ‘when you go to the bottom of it. But what little there is, is very important.’"
Appropriately, I'm reminded of the old adage, "Stop managing your time. Start managing your focus."
Also, as it pertains to the modern day prevalence (recall, this was written over a century ago) of the culture of overwork or "grind", James further states:
"Some of us are really tired (for I do not mean absolutely to deny that our climate has a tiring quality); but far more of us are not tired at all, or would not be tired at all unless we had got into a wretched trick of feeling tired, by following the prevalent habits of vocalization and expression. And if talking high and tired, and living excitedly and hurriedly, would only enable us to do more by the way, even while breaking us down in the end, it would be different. There would be some compensation, some excuse, for going on so. But the exact reverse is the case. It is your relaxed and easy worker, who is in no hurry, and quite thoughtless most of the while of consequences, who is your efficient worker; and tension and anxiety, and present and future, all mixed up together in our mind at once, are the surest drags upon steady progress and hindrances to our success."
REST by Alex Soojung-Kim Pang
My most recent read and one of my three favorite books this year. Here are some teasers: