In what environment do you think the best? This is a quick audio snippet of what I think a good 'distraction' is.
[00:00:05]Norman Chella: Positive distractions. That sounds pretty strange. And even ironic to say in the first place. But I think that we can find positive distractions in any aspect of our lives.
[00:00:19]And the reason why is that they are positive. And they are just as important as figuring out the standard negative distractions that we have.
[00:00:28]Just as we can recognize negative distractions. And say no to them recognize how bad they are to our lives. Maybe to our health. You know, like doom scrolling or going through Twitter for too long or something like that. Positive distractions serve as a way for us to engage other parts of our attention.
[00:00:49] Our thinking. All of these rabbit holes that we can deep dive into interesting fields because One, they satiate our curiosity And two they give us the chance to spend our time. Deep diving and asking complex questions into a new field. In order to bring that back and be applied to our daily routines or our current modes of thinking.
[00:01:13]So what are positive distractions in the first place? Well, these are activities that allow you to move your body automatically, passively. And suspend your mind so that it will be given the space to think freely. Without any creative constraints without any form of structure that will inhibit the creativity muscles that will allow you to ask and formulate deep quality questions. That if it's lacking in quality will prevent you from going further into whatever field or whatever thought you've been having this entire time. So positive distractions are essentially specific environments or specific ways to embody a certain type of thinking Because your physical body is too busy doing something else. So some examples of this. Are taking a shower, you know, you have those shower thoughts and all of a sudden you're thinking about something weird. I think I had one recently where I was taking a shower and I was thinking about the speed at which food goes down a giraffe's throat.
[00:02:20] Because, you know, that's really long, like giraffes have long necks. So how long does it take for food to go down one's gullet? Is it a lot slower as it, a lot faster than the humans. I mean, I'm assuming it's a lot longer, but you know, is there like what the, can you factor different speeds? Just strange things like that.
[00:02:39]But on a more relevant note, sometimes you can have these shower thoughts in many other environments such as when you're meditating or when you're on a long drive, your physical body is preoccupied with doing something that does not take too much of your mental capacity, therefore leaves the rest of your brain free to explore the thoughts that you've been subconsciously having.
[00:03:05]On Twitter, Brandon Toner describes this as active stillness. It's a great way to put it. Although I disagree with the word stillness, because if you are capable of. Occupying your physical body of an activity, But your mental self is heavily involved in these unraveling of questions and thoughts and strange ideas and everything in between.
[00:03:30] You're not exactly still internally within your head. But rather you have successfully put your mind. In a sort of mental space.
[00:03:38]Where your thoughts can expand all throughout you. Sort of like a form of expanded awareness, But the awareness of the environment of your thoughts. Where can it go to? In what direction? Everything is accepted, nothing is inhibited. Therefore allow your thoughts to start pursuing these questions. Seek these answers. Because no matter how strange or how crazy they can be.
[00:04:03]These thoughts are what make you, you and you have given yourself the space to do so, but first you must distract your current present self hence distraction. It does lead to positive resultsm hence positive distraction. So this episode is a little bit of myself, deep diving and further expanding on this definition, a positive distraction, because I've been trying to articulate it.
[00:04:29] There are moments when I'm on a long drive. And my mind just expands because my body is just too busy driving on the road. Other than the usual honking at, you know, crazy drivers. But other than that, My mind is just far away and they're, it's in imagination land thinking of the strangest things, but it is positive. It is engaging. And sometimes I can apply these thoughts that I've had while driving.
[00:04:55]Into my work into my career, into my writing, which is great. And it makes me want to drive more, but that's not exactly the most. Shall we say productive environment. Mentally. Yes. But in terms of. Ability to do things, maybe not. So I'm not at a laptop to actually write things down. At most, I actually have recordings or I have my phone on record rather.
[00:05:17]And just speak into it as I'm stuck in a traffic jam or are driving to someplace.
[00:05:21]Can I emulate that? At home at my desk, in front of my laptop? Maybe. It's a bit hard to do. So it is a bit hard because there's too many contexts and there's too many environments that fit well into this one desk that I have such as my work, such as the sources of my anxiety, all of the things that I have to worry about, you know,
[00:05:42] Emails, creating podcasts, et cetera, too many things serve well on this one desk. I'm not always here just to think. So I need to find ways to suspend my brain. So that I can allow my thoughts to expand so. Other environments include when I'm dancing, when I'm doing Capoeira. Or when I'm in the gym.
[00:06:04]But yeah, here's to positive distractions and finding a place for them in our routine. Maybe I could time block, positive distractions. I don't have to start driving to someplace every single day, but maybe I can emulate certain aspects of driving, uh, in other parts. Of my routines within the house.
[00:06:26]And just from saying this out loud, I've just realized there is some connection to Alexander technique, to a certain extent there, but I think we'll save that for another episode.