10 Learnings from 10 Years of Brain Pickings, Maria Popova
Fluid reflections on keeping a solid center
1. Allow yourself the uncomfortable luxury of changing your mind.
...it’s infinitely more rewarding to understand than to be right — even if that means changing your mind about a topic, an ideology, or, above all, yourself.
2. Do nothing for prestige or status or money or approval alone.
...prestige is like a powerful magnet that warps even your beliefs about what you enjoy. It causes you to work not on what you like, but what you’d like to like.
3. Be generous.
Be generous with your time and your resources and with giving credit and, especially, with your words. It’s so much easier to be a critic than a celebrator.
4. Build pockets of stillness into your life.
What could possibly be more important than your health and your sanity, from which all else springs?
5. When people try to tell you who you are, don’t believe them.
You are the only custodian of your own integrity.
6. Presence is far more intricate and rewarding an art than productivity.
“how we spend our days is, of course, how we spend our lives.”
7. Expect anything worthwhile to take a long time.
...the flower doesn’t go from bud to blossom in one spritely burst and yet, as a culture, we’re disinterested in the tedium of the blossoming. But that’s where all the real magic unfolds - in the making of one’s character and destiny.
8. Seek out what magnifies your spirit.
Who are the people, ideas, and books that magnify your spirit? Find them, hold on to them, and visit them often.
9. Don’t be afraid to be an idealist.
Supply creates its own demand. Only by consistently supplying it can we hope to increase the demand for the substantive over the superficial — in our individual lives and in the collective dream called culture.
10. Don’t just resist cynicism — fight it actively.
There is nothing more difficult yet more gratifying in our society than living with sincerity and acting from a place of largehearted, constructive, rational faith in the human spirit, continually bending toward growth and betterment. This remains the most potent antidote to cynicism. Today, especially, it is an act of courage and resistance.
Thank you, Maria Popova.