How Description Leads to Understanding
Describing something with accuracy forces you to learn more about it. In this way, description can be a tool for learning.
Accurate description requires the following:
- Curiosity about what you are witnessing
- Suspending assumptions about cause and effect
It can be difficult to stick with describing something completely and accurately. It’s hard to overcome the tendency to draw conclusions based on partial information or to leave assumptions unexplored.
— How Description Leads to Understanding // Farnam Street
I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not lived?”
“Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.
Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.”
― Bruce Lee
It’s Just the Weather
You are the sky. Everything else—it’s just the weather.”
— Pema Chödrön (via swissmiss)
Stop measuring days by degree of productivity, and start experiencing them by degree of presence.”
— Alan Watts (swissmiss)
The Clock is Ticking
“You have to cherish things in a different way when you know the clock is ticking, you are under pressure.”
— Chadwick Boseman
To begin a process of contemplation, one must begin with these four premises. They are self-explanatory.
- Life happens in the present, so you don’t have a minute to waste.
- The past was meant to be learned from, not to be re-lived in the present. Regrets are useless because you can’t go back and remake the past.
- All your experiences and people in your life, whether you see them as good or bad, helped shape who you are today.
- You are the only one responsible for changing your current life to the one you want.
I wonder how many people I’ve looked at all my life and never seen.”
― John Steinbeck, The Winter of Our Discontent