Number of pages written this week: 14
Number of pages written since project start (25th February 2015): 14
Reading: Frozen Music by Marika Cobbold
Number of of pages read this week: 64
Number of pages read since project start (25th February 2015): 64
I discovered a brilliant app, Blinkist. It gives a summary of a non-fiction book. You can read one overview per day without incurring a subscription charge. I read the summary and make a few notes about the interesting points, which I then respond to. An interesting one this week was The Upside of Your Dark Side by T Kashdan and R Biswas-Diener. It explores the idea that painful emotions, despite being considered negative, can have a positive effect and shouldn’t be ignored in the pursuit of happiness. Do I think that anxiety, anger and guilt are good? My immediate reaction is no but perhaps they can be positive if we look to understand where they are coming from and why. The authors, citing psychological research, suggest that anxiety heightens perception and makes us more vigilant and alert. Anger increases creativity and guilt leads us to avoid or repair damage. I also find the idea that we should be mindless, and follow our intuition when making decisions, rather appealing.
Other Blinkist summaries I’ve read include Venture Deals by Brad Feld and Jason Mendelson. I didn’t know anything about venture capitalism; at least, I now have a basic idea of what it is. 10% Happier by Dan Harris looks at managing emotions through meditation and is as persuasive as The Upside of Your Dark Side, despite having an opposing viewpoint. Economics: The User’s Guie by Ha-Joon Chang gives an overview of the Neoclassical and Keynsian schools and explains their theories. The Art of Influencing Anyone by Niall Cassidy does what it says on the box, particularly with reference to sales, but the theories can be practised and applied in other situations.
Other topics I’ve covered in my journaling include some musings on the benefits of keeping a journal. I’m keen to explore this topic in more depth and also to read other people’s journals. I read back through some of mine and as I’ve been going through a challenging time over the past few years, it was interesting to see how much stronger I’ve become.
In Frozen Music, I was drawn to the exploration of certainties in life, as the following quotations (p246-247) show:
“There are no rules and there are no certainties, we live in the kingdom of randomness.”
“You’re trying to work out a way of living your life receptive to the changes and the uncertainties, willing to adapt and learn. That’s all you can do.”
“I think it’s wrong, too, to say there are no certainties. There might not be any external ones, but you can have your own.”
Perhaps we crave the security that certainties appear to provide but are they just an illusion?