Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Negligible things we find important

It sometimes seems that small things play a very central role in our lives.

Has not I had this small phone call of this annoying person, my mood would have nto worsen.

Have not I eaten this cookie, I would have not felt so bad about myself.

If not this sad song in the radio, I would have not gone so badly.


It is very impossible to manage many little things (although we some times got to).
But this is not the point.


If you find yourself bothering about the small things, you have not got the point.
There are many times bigger issues that you do not know or ignore. Concentrating on the small things is NOT a solution. It is many times a delusion


PS. This is rationally. In terms of experience, many people derive great satisfaction from "doing it right" which works even for very very small things. For others it creates a feeling of order and coherence. (like when cutting the cake exactly may creates some joy)

4 comments:

i.c. said...

I agree completely - though in some sense you contradict yourself implicitely. Not dealing with (all) the small important things is dealing with them - a nice example of the generalized view being clearly better than a localized...

And adding: I would add some asymmetry - the negligible positive,brilliant, amazing things should be enjoyed and cherished locally, in the moment, as a present,...

Yechezkel Zilber said...

Clearly, Ihave written about that earlier here http://yzilber.blogspot.com/2007/07/short-term-is-place-to-look-for-in.html

Dan Ariely did some research showing that. That people who do Yoga or religion, get happier long term, but he attributed it to short term efects that accumulates.

Getting off the hedonic treadmill, one step at a time: The impact of regular religious practice and exercise on well-being

http://www.people.hbs.edu/mnorton/mochon%20norton%20ariely%202008.pdf

T. said...

Might there be a constructive role to play for counterfactual regretful thinking? Imagining how we could have avoided past failures could motivate us to avoid future failures if viewed appropriately.

But I consider that the delusion aspect of regret might arise from a loss of proportion. Trifling regrets concentrated upon too much can squander present opportunities for positive brilliant and amazing things. What yoga, and some religious practice, and exercise have in common is the potential to reframe experience more broadly. The small things in another context may then appear properly small.

Sara said...
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