I think it’s cool that I’m reading about the same idea from many different places, and seeing it being paraphrased with multiple angles of significance.

IDEA: Realizations that call into question our bedrock understandings about something are, by far, the scariest things to recognize, but hold the potential for enormous change (for better or worse)

  • Subtle Art of Not Giving a Fuck- we get really comfortable with making coherent pictures of people, and find that, at times, you’d interpret all of one’s actions completely differently if you were to just tweak your opinion of that person (eg. that sweet gift you got from your friend now looks like a condescending gesture). We’re reluctant to do things that challenge our existing perception of ourselves because it’s scary and sometimes it generates more questions about ourselves than answers. Or we’re just afraid to see the tower of self-identity that we’ve painstakingly built over the years, brick by brick, topple before us.
  • The Design of Everyday Things — Hill climbing is often the easiest option for product improvement. Incremental changes and bug fixes and feature additions will just be small, tentative steps towards the product’s local maximum. The scariest, riskiest, but sometimes most rewarding leaps in progress happen when people muster the courage to take some “stupid questions” seriously, puncture a hole through old foundational understandings, and take the leap of faith to land on a completely different hill (taller one, hopefully)
  • Thinking Fast and Slow — System 1 stubbornly tries to align facts and observations to follow a cohesive understanding about something for the sake of cognitive ease.
  • On Friendship — Friendships are seriously challenged when you face a realization (sometimes small) that forces you to rewrite/ revise your neat description of them. This causes all your previous understandings about them to be reassessed in a new light; it’s like the tiny loose thread that, when tugged, ends up unraveling the entire proverbial sweater into a heap of yarn. “ I know you better than you know yourself” is a statement that has two wildly different interpretations if it came out of the mouth of a best friend, or an ex-best friend/enemy.

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Writer, Cog-Neuro Research Assistant @ Yale. Presenting my thoughts about self-development and life as a former college student || gloriawfeng.com

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