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Selective Ignorance: A Blessing in a World of Chaos

https://www.dansilvestre.com/selective-ignorance/

dansilvestre.com

Selective Ignorance: A Blessing in a World of Chaos
In 1999, Dan Simons and Christopher Chabris - two cognitive psychologists from Harvard - conducted one of the most groundbreaking experiments in selective ignorance. They asked volunteers to watch a short video and count how many times players wearing white shirts passed the basketball. A few seconds in, a gorilla casually enters the scene.

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Selective Ignorance

When it comes to focus, knowing what to ignore is as important — if not more — than what to focus on.

Selective ignorance is not about lack of knowledge of information. Instead, it’s intentionally choosing subjects, facts, people, that you do not wish to know about.

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Steve Jobs
I’m actually as proud of the things we haven’t done as the things I have done. Innovation is saying ‘no’ to 1,000 things.”

Steve Jobs

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Henry David Thoreau

“A man is rich in proportion to the number of things he can afford to let alone.”

Henry David Thoreau

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Ignoring Your Way To Success

The more selective ignorance you cultivate in your life the more time you’ll have to the things that matter:

  • Get your news from only a few respectable sources and only check them at specific times at the end of the day.
  • Treat checking emails as a to-do. Schedule two specific times to process email: late morning and late evening.
  • Turn your device into a minimalist phone. Turn off notifications and sounds and delete unnecessary apps.

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