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On Confinement

The encouragement to think

Few of us dedicate their time to solitary thinking that can restore our spirits and move our lives ahead.

When we spend time in quiet thinking, we create an occasion for the mind to make some order and understand itself. Emotions and feelings become easier to name, we grow less scared of the thoughts in our own minds, and we are calmer and more precise about our direction.

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IDEA EXTRACTED FROM:

On Confinement

On Confinement

https://www.theschooloflife.com/thebookoflife/on-confinement/

theschooloflife.com

5

Key Ideas

A challenging concept

French philosopher and mathematician Blaise Pascal stated: ‘The sole cause of man’s unhappiness is that he cannot stay quietly in his room.’

His idea focuses on one of our common beliefs: that we must always go somewhere to feel and discover new and worthwhile things. Perhaps our real problem is not that we are not allowed to go anywhere it this time of isolation, but that we don’t know how to appreciate and to use what is already available.

The encouragement to think

Few of us dedicate their time to solitary thinking that can restore our spirits and move our lives ahead.

When we spend time in quiet thinking, we create an occasion for the mind to make some order and understand itself. Emotions and feelings become easier to name, we grow less scared of the thoughts in our own minds, and we are calmer and more precise about our direction.

"Traveling" trough our memories

This idea may sound a bit weird and even sad, but it has a real potential of comforting and sustaining us when we are in distress. 

We usually are very negligent when it comes to curating our own memories: we push the important events at the back of our minds. But if we neglect our memories, we are like spoilt children who enjoy only a part of the pleasure from experiences and then throw the rest aside to seek new thrills. This is part of the reason why we seek so many new experiences.

Our own virtual machines

We need nothing technical to help us focus more on our memories. Our minds can take in everything we've ever seen. We don't need a virtual reality machine. Our minds are the finest virtual machines.

We can shut our eyes and travel into the very best and most consoling and life-enhancing parts of our pasts.

A good mindset

The pleasure we find in traveling is maybe more related to our mindset than to the destination we travel to.

The core traits of this mindset are receptivity, appreciation, and gratitude. We don't have to wait for a journey to use this mindset. We can apply it to our own house and immediate neighborhoods and local walks.

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In spite of the fact that wearing a mask makes our connections weaker due to less visibility of the face, one still needs the interrelation with others in these uncertain times of death, fear and loss.

Comparison vs. First Principles Thinking

Comparison Thinking (reason through analogy)

When you make decisions and judgement calls based on what you or others have experienced. An easy mode of thinking but also

Advantages of First Principles Thinking
  • Allows for a more personal, customized mode of thinking and application.
  • A key to doing any sort of systemic inquiry.
  • Even though it does take far more mental energy to work in this mode, the results can be quite staggering.
  • A new and innovative way of thinking.
Applying the First Principles Thinking

Identify the Problem

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Deconstruct the Problem

What are the causes of my problems? How does it affect my life?

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Start creating your new framework. You could think of multiple ways to achieve your goals easily.

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“Physics teaches you to reason from first principles rather than by analogy. So I said, okay, let’s look at the first principles. What is a rocket made of? Aerospace-grade aluminum alloys, plus some titanium, copper, and carbon fiber. Then I asked, what is the value of those materials on the commodity market? It turned out that the materials cost of a rocket was around two percent of the typical price.”

First Principle

A first principle is a basic assumption that cannot be deduced any further. 

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Dealing with to-do lists

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Most of us put way too much stuff on our lists. And that puts us on the path to failure.

Overstuffing our lists causes a continuous thrum of worry in our heads. And the worry that results from having too many conflicting goals causes our productivity as well as our physical and mental health to suffer.

How we're making to-do lists

We're just not good at constructing our to-do lists. It's not as simple as it looks. 

Many of us aren't any good at formulating the tasks on the list, failing to think through steps and plans, so that when we're faced with too many tasks and too few suggestions on how to proceed, we don't complete tasks. Remember that the to-do list string around your finger is for you to make better plans using the list.

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3 areas of life to clarify

You need to have absolute clarity over 3 fundamental facts:

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Chair tricep dips
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Obstacles define your path

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Risk and uncertainty are key ingredients of the process. Without it, you can only hope for stale approaches, rehashed concepts and minute improvements to another's ideas.

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  • Unsymbolized thinking, which is a thought that doesn't manifest as words or images.
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At the moment, everything feels confusing, but hindsight will be 20/20 vision. 

Define your success

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