Think you're special? That just proves you're normal | Oliver Burkeman
Most of us are more normal and far less special than we'd like to believe.
Thinking you are different is just one more way in which you're normal.
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When we struggle with something that most people don’t seem to struggle with, we start to think there's something wrong with us. And we tend to live in ways that avoid making our struggles obv...
We get to know the world and its challenges through a unique, personal experience, which nobody else can see, so nobody has a direct view of what’s easy or hard in the experience of others. We piece together what’s “normal” by observing how others, on the whole, seem to be doing at the same challenges.
Two people’s experiences of the same challenge differ wildly, beyond any desire, effort, and perseverance. But most of the messages we get about success (at school, at work, in the media) minimize everything else. Nobody can ever tell you how hard or easy something should be for you. They don’t have enough information.
Around 30 to 50 percent of people sleep between the hours of 11 pm and 7 am. Another 40 percents are either slightly morning people or slightly evening people.
The body is an orchestra of organs, each providing an essential function. In this metaphor, the circadian rhythm is the conductor. The conductor makes every neurotransmitter, every hormone, and every chemical in the body cycle with the daily rhythm.
This makes us our sleep habits unique and tailored.
Being a morning (or evening) person is inborn, genetic, and very hard to change.
One of the good things about social distancing and lockdown is that everyone is trying to come out of this healthier, more grounded, saner, more connected and more empathetic.
Meditation requires no equipment, can be done indoors, and is extremely beneficial to cultivate calm, balance, focus, and emotional resilience in these times of uncertainty.
It helps us live, work and sleep better. It is an immediate remedy to lessen your anxiety and provide clarity of mind.
The main stumbling block for most people is the mastery of the skill of meditation. Meditation cannot be compared to any form of exercise or hobby as it is an internal skill.
Most people get some benefits out of meditation, but it is not transformative. We have to learn it by ourselves, without having images or ideas in our minds, of what it is, how it is done by others and how it would feel.