With the first six months of 2016 almost over, here are a few things I’ve learned and been thinking about so far this year:
A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.
More information does not necessarily lead to better decisions. Take a break from Twitter, Facebook, newspapers, CNBC, texting, etc. Arthur Conan Doyle noted the following:
I consider that a man's brain originally is like a little empty attic, and you have to stock it with such furniture as you choose. A fool takes in all the lumber of every sort that he comes across, so that the knowledge which might be useful to him gets crowded out, or at best is jumbled up with a lot of other things, so that he has a difficulty in laying his hands upon it. Now the skillful workman is very careful indeed as to what he takes into his brain-attic. He will have nothing but the tools which may help him in doing his work, but of these he has a large assortment, and all in the most perfect order. It is a mistake to think that that little room has elastic walls and can distend to any extent. Depend upon it there comes a time when for every addition of knowledge you forget something that you knew before. It is of the highest importance, therefore, not to have useless facts elbowing out the useful ones.
Meditation is not about controlling or eliminating thoughts; it is about learning to be at ease with them.
Training the mind takes practice and patience. This video provides a great summary.
It is a common misconception that success creates happiness. However, it is actually the reverse: happiness creates success.
Make it a priority to read this article.
Our environment and the people we surround ourselves with have a larger influence on us than we think.
Via The Start-up of You by Reid Hoffman:
Relationships matter because the people you spend time with shape who you are and who you become. Behavior and beliefs are contagious: you easily “catch” the emotional state of your friends, imitate their actions, and absorb their values as your own. If your friends are the types of people who get stuff done, chances are you’ll be that way, too. The fastest way to change yourself is to hang out with people who are already the way you want to be.
The first half of 2016 has gone by quickly to say the least. The four points above are some of the bigger lessons learned. As always, reflection is one of the keys to lifelong learning, and one would be mistaken not to take a moment to look back as we enter the second half of the year.