Updated date:

Slow Down and Learn About Yourself

Tristan is an 18 year old about to go into university and has been trying to find out more about himself.

We’re always being told to push hard everyday for any form of success. We spend most of our time developing interpersonal relationships to build networks and recognition in the hope that this will pay future dividends.

We forget to build a relationship with ourselves.

Someone once told me that we have to be happy with ourselves before we can be happy with other people. That advice sounds easy but in normal life it is difficult to take action on with the unbridled fractiousness of most days.

It must be said that although quarantine inspired some of the content within this article, this advice can certainly be applied to everyday life. We should take the time to understand how we actually think about ourselves.

This is the time to slow down and think about what actually beings true value to our lives.

slowing-down-learning-about-ourselves

Advice

During an average day at the moment we can allocate large amounts of time as we please. Although you may decide to work from home, I guarantee that you can complete the same tasks in far less time than a full work day. It’s called Parkinson’s Law and it essentially means that ‘the time need to finish a task expands to fill the time allocate to do it’. Therefore, setting a certain amount of time to do all your necessary tasks can free up large chunks of time throughout the day.

Now, we have to use that time and I have found that it is excellent to fill with reading, writing, activities that perhaps we would ordinarily not allocate significant time towards.

Not everything must absolutely be ‘productive’. If you want, spend some time baking, doing home workouts, playing video games or reading fiction books. Learn new skills or relax in front of a TV show that you have never taken the time to watch before. Everything different to normality allows us to establish how we react to these new stimuli and if we find any value in these new activities.

All of this ‘internal research’, as I call it, is in the endeavour of perhaps discovering positive reactions to new activities. Once we have found new and different things that we enjoy doing or thinking about then we can decide to allocate more time to these endeavours during an average week.

slowing-down-learning-about-ourselves

Building a Second Brain

A few months ago, I came across an article written by Tiago Forte about building what he called a 'Second Brain'. I have been using this method to ensure that the media that I consume which resonates with me is not forgotten.

Instead, I use a system of curating this information for use at a later date. Anything that I wonder about or find inherently intriguing is added to a system which I have called my 'Resonance Resources'.

I have tried to use different solutions such as word documents or the iOS Notes app but after all this trial and error, the best solution for my needs is Notion.

Notion is essentially a visual way to organise the database of information that you decide is worth remembering. There is not enough time to talk about all of its features in this article but believe me when I say that it is very powerful and infinitely customisable while not being overly complicated to get your head around.

I have used Notion as my personal knowledge management system of choice to ensure that any research I do is relevant. I can revisit the articles, videos, podcasts, websites whenever I chose or reference them when people ask me related questions.

I once heard that our brains are excellent at computational tasks but are poor at memory storage. Therefore, it is best to offload this heavy information to leave more room for our brains to be creative and to think about current issues.

My Notion database.

My Notion database.

Summary

We are all happier doing things we enjoy so why not spend the time needed to figure out what that is? We can all hit the ground running once life returns to a more normal state.

In life we are not really searching for ‘happiness’. If we were then a bar of chocolate would be a shortcut to that state of being. In reality we are searching for excitement. Find the things that you truly feel excited about and your future self will thank you for putting the effort in when you had the time.

Thanks for reading.

Comments

Eric Dierker from Spring Valley, CA. U.S.A. on May 23, 2020:

Quite interesting. Very valid points. This will have me paying more attention today.