Venturing Beyond the Known: A Reflection on Human Propensity for the Familiar and the Comfortable

I felt really drawn to this passage while reading “The Overstory” by Richard Powers:

“People see better what looks like them... They think the thoughts they’re already comfortable with. They give themselves the pleasure of their own soft, agreeable confirmations. Confirmation bias. It’s why people learn little from others. They’re dying to be told what they already know. Given a choice between their world and someone else’s, they pick their own. Why would anyone pick a strange world when you could pick a familiar one?”

In this passage, Powers delves deep into the human propensity for choosing the comfortable and familiar over the unknown and different. The passage dissects the tendency to favour information that validates one’s existing beliefs and perceptions, shutting out differing perspectives and ideas. It highlights a fundamental aspect of human nature, the search for affirmation and the avoidance of the unfamiliar, and challenges us to recognise this bias within ourselves, inviting us to venture beyond our comfort zones and embrace the unfamiliar, to learn and grow through the exploration of “strange worlds.”

The message within these lines is a contemplation on openness, learning, and the willingness to see the world through myriad lenses other than one’s own.

This reminds me of a passage by Aldous Huxley in “Brave New World”:

“But I don't want comfort. I want God, I want poetry, I want real danger, I want freedom, I want goodness. I want sin.”

It conveys a desire for experiences and knowledge that lie beyond our comfort zones and familiar territories, resonating with Powers' observation about our propensity to prefer affirmation over challenging encounters with the unknown.

Both excerpts compel us to contemplate our inherent biases and the comfort of the known, challenging us to venture into the diverse and profound realms of existence and understanding, to break free from the cocoon of our preconceptions and to embrace the richness of the unfamiliar world around us.

I've found myself pondering...

How often do we truly challenge the foundations of our beliefs and step willingly into the disquiet of the unknown?

Do we dare to unravel the threads of our ingrained perceptions and weave them anew, allowing the unexplored and the unfamiliar to reshape our understanding of the world and our place in it?

Can delving into the discomfort of unfamiliar territories enrich our spirits more than the warm embrace of the known ever could?

#CognitiveBias #BeyondComfort #ReflectiveReading

Constructing and Confronting Reality

Murakami writes:

“It’s all a question of imagination. Our responsibility begins with the power to imagine.”

I read:

Our ability to imagine shapes our reality, and with this creative power comes a profound responsibility to both confront and construct the world we inhabit.

We are the architects of our own destinies and the arbiters of our own perceptions.


A Journey Through Inner Seasons

One of my all time favourite quotes from Albert Camus:

“In the depth of winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.”

Reflecting on these powerful words from Camus, I see myself wandering through the symbolic landscapes of our inner seasons. The depth of winter stands for those really tough times in life, those moments filled with despair, doubt, and darkness. The invincible summer, on the other hand, represents the strength and resilience we all have inside, a source of hope and light that's always there within us.

Camus’ words speak to me about the importance of self-discovery. They act as an anchor that grounds me and urges me to find my own strength especially during tough times. It reminds me that we all have the ability to overcome difficulties, to find the warmth, and to start again.

It’s under that cover of snow that we face our weaknesses, our fears, and our pains. Only by accepting these dark sides, we can find the answers that will help us to turn up our light.

#InnerSeasons #ArtOfLife

Ordinary People With Extraordinary Results

From the book “Good to Great” by Jim Collins:

“The good-to-great leaders never wanted to become larger-than-life heroes. They never aspired to be put on a pedestal or become unreachable icons. They were seemingly ordinary people quietly producing extraordinary results.”

Impactful leadership does not necessarily come from those with the loudest voices or the most charismatic personalities, but often from those who focus on results and inspire others through their actions.

#TrueLeadership #OrdinarilyExtraordinary

The Intersection of Trust and Vulnerability

They asked me “What does trust mean to you?”. I responded:

It is 'embracing vulnerability'.

Trust is intriguing; it isn’t easily built by merely being honest and consistently offering help.

Strangely, it is often more readily formed when one dares to expose their vulnerabilities and seeks help.

I find this fact fascinating.

After all, it is not about being vulnerable by itself; it is about being confident enough to explore your vulnerability.

Trusting yourself is the first step of all.

#EmbracingVulnerability #ArtOfLife