Articles

This page is that of my blog and consists of my articles on a wide range of subjects such as productivity, health, learning and curiosity, book reviews, happiness, space exploration, business, life and much, much more. I hope you find them as interesting as I do!

  • Big Mind, small mind (#101)

    A popular idea in the Zen traditionBig Mind, small mind—sets out to explain two different, and extreme perspectives of looking at the world.

    One is looking at everything from the cosmic scale, aka the Big Picture, broad view mind-set.

    Most astronauts undergo a profound cognitive shift when they observe the home planet from space for the very first time. It’s famously known as the overview effect. Looking at the whole of Earth in one view, is overwhelming usually, and makes many astronauts realize the pointlessness of many important things. National borders, wars and conflicts, politics, news, money—they all seem meaningless. You see the Earth as one small, pale blue dot. No problems look too big. No place looks very vast, but empty space. Earth is just a small planet viewed from the darkness of nothingness.

    This is the Big Mind. When you have a big-picture, Big Mind perspective, mostly everything seems so small and of little significance. You tend not to get too caught up in the everyday obstacles and competitiveness that life brings forth. You don’t take stuff seriously, and mostly eliminate any small regrets or negativities which may creep up into your mind.

    And the other extreme is looking through the nitty-gritty details of everything. Having a small mind view makes you prone on checking anything within your hands distance as important. That all things are extremely, extremely significant and you need to pay a lot of attention to basically everything. And you ought to take an infinite things a lot more seriously is the way of the small mind.

    One is at the mountain-top, with a high feeling that nothing matters. And the other is tightly engrossed in believing everything matters. The Big Mind avoids detail at all cost, for the small mind—detail is vital for survival.

    Note: a common tendency may be to get the terms Big Mind / small mind mixed up with an open mind / a narrow or fixed mind. But they are not the same. For, that (on the open or narrow extreme) is in link to acceptance and negligence. And this (Big Mind, Small Mind) is on perspective.

    These two minds are extreme extremes. The fact is you cannot live a great life with having a perspective on either end of the spectrum forever. It mustn’t be a choice, it’s a decision of combination.

    Just try thinking about what might happen if you try living with a complete-fixed perspective based on either end of the spectrum.

    When you live every second, thinking and believing spiritedly that most things in the world are trivial, viewing the world through the Big Mind lens, you’re actually putting yourself in a very dangerous place—a spot you don’t want to be in. Having this mental-model makes you overlook any detail, and that isn’t usually always good. For instance some detail is really essential for survival. If you think about it not only do you put yourself in danger, but the world around you too falls into a big danger loop. We can’t just not take anything seriously. Well, we can … but it’s futile. If you take nothing seriously, you may not take yourself seriously. And that could again mean serious danger.

    On the other end, taking everything quite seriously, always being caught up in the smallest of literal trivialities and being so engrossed into detail as to not having the skill of setting back and looking at the world from a certain distance, is also a very foolish thing to do. Sometimes, generally, we delve into a task so deep and get engrossed so much into the detail and perfection of it, that we come back to our senses much later, assessing, “what in the world did I even do the last 3 hours?”
    That’s a pretty lousy feeling. Imagine staying in that sort of tiny little bubble all your life. Not getting any chance to take some steps back, judging the world from a distance, looking at the big picture.

    So. Either of the two extremes is not a good place we want to be in. But it’s important we get a realization of when we want to be looking at things from a distance, a bigger perspective, the Big Mind view, or when we really want to take a look at some serious detail and perceive the world with a small mind view.

    It’s not easy to do. We will get stuck sometimes for;
    – not caring enough, or caring too much.
    – Avoiding the important detail, or getting too preoccupied with it.
    – Steering away from constructive negativities and criticisms, or becoming overwhelmed with all the bad noise reaching our ears.
    But, if we first accept the two extremes of the mind perceiving the whole world, I think we’ll be better understanding of the times we really want to dig in or when we want to be looking at the big picture. Because forever being on either extreme is not a good choice.

    Summary

    An idea from the Zen tradition—Big Mind, small mind is the two extreme ways we perceive the world.
    – Big Mind looks at things from the bigger picture. It looks from a distance, not worrying too much about detail. Big Mind believes a certain many things to be trivial and of little significance. It hates negativities, rather thinks most of them to be pointless.
    – small mind, the opposite, likes detail. It gets stuck and engrossed into the little things, seldom getting opportunities to look at the world from a distance and questioning the meaning and purpose of things.
    Both extremes are not a good place to be at.
    To really understand the world, it’s significant to know when to use the Big Mind, and when to turn to the small mind. Using our tendency for Big Mind and small mind thinking at proper intervals will be wise.

    References

All Articles

Big Mind, small mind (#101)

A popular idea in the Zen tradition—Big Mind, small mind—sets out to explain two different, and extreme perspectives of looking at the world. One is looking at everything from the cosmic scale, aka the Big Picture, broad view mind-set. Most astronauts undergo a profound cognitive shift when they observe the … Continue reading “Big Mind, small mind (#101)”

100

Today and this post together mark day and article #100 on this blog. The enthusiasm and desire to write everyday and share it with a delightful audience through this blog still reside sincerely in my heart, perhaps now more than ever. Since day 1 I’ve tried writing the best I … Continue reading “100”

098 Think Week

I read and think. Warren Buffett Bill Gates has revealed an important practice which helped him think very well during the early years at Microsoft. Twice a year, Gates would take a 7 day Think Week. He would go to a secluded location in Hood Canal, Washington with stacks of … Continue reading “098 Think Week”

097 Fear

Fear always screams loudest when your magic is closest Robin Sharma (EHM) Fear protected us (as it still does, but to a different extent). It was quite important at the time for our homo Sapiens species, when they were hunter-gatherers living in the wild, hunting for prey every afternoon, to … Continue reading “097 Fear”

096 Breaking the Chain

 Vicious cycles. They’re rather deadly. And you don’t want to be stuck in one. I think one of the finest parts about experiencing life is all the differences, all the amazingly vast and diverse stuff on our planet (and beyond!). There are so many different people and a limitless … Continue reading “096 Breaking the Chain”

091 Why I read

Reading books has recently become one of my many favorite things to do. I read everyday for a number of reasons (highlighted further below in this article). I made a goal of reading 25 books from cover to cover this year and I’m presently just one short of that big … Continue reading “091 Why I read”

090 Knowledge and TMI

Here’s the thing. We make stuff seem really complicated. Like really, really complicated. The two key words in the above phrase are make and seem. We live in a time where people tend to get vanquished by “information overload“. You’ve surely heard those two words together before. Information overload or … Continue reading “090 Knowledge and TMI”

088 Running out of time?

You’ll find two kinds of clichéd “motivational” advice given by “successful people” out there. One side says you have all the time in the world. Your life is just getting started. Be patient and trust the process. And the other says you’re running out of time. You need to have … Continue reading “088 Running out of time?”

080 Gratification

Being the species we are, it’s not really easily grasped by us that all our actions are driven through the motivations of our basic needs. It’s a very complex system of motivation and reward, and includes a lot of deep dendritic paths but they all meet at the main node … Continue reading “080 Gratification”

078 What is Burnout?

Burned out. We’ve been hearing that a lot relatively lately. People ranging from the 9-5 job category to famous YouTubers, celebrities, singers, and those “following their ambition” have shared about their perspective on burnout or have been burned out themselves. Whether you have a schedule that has the power to … Continue reading “078 What is Burnout?”

076 Why I run

* This article is the second of the “Why I” series – where I simply share about why I do a certain thing. “066 Why I write” was the first article in this series. For some context first: I deem myself a long distance runner who runs 5-6 days averaging … Continue reading “076 Why I run”

075 Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Never Stopped

A politician, legal scholar, military commander, lawyer, banker, economist, one of the Founding Fathers of the United States, an influential interpreter and promoter of the U.S. Constitution, as well as the founder of the nation’s financial system, the Federalist Party, the United States Coast Guard, and the New York Post newspaper. First secretary of the treasury, writer … Continue reading “075 Alexander Hamilton: The Man Who Never Stopped”

068 Inspiration4

Richard Branson launched into space on 11 July, 2021. Just 9 days later on 20 July, Jeff Bezos went to space on his rocket. These were incredible achievements. Truly amazing giant leaps in space exploration in the private sector.But yesterday, 16 September, 2021, 2 months or so after the two … Continue reading “068 Inspiration4”

067 Aliens?

* This article is beyond what I usually talk about but I felt I could share about this subject here since my curiosity about space is like another part of me. And my recent learning process on astrobiology and other topics related to space exploration allow me to talk about … Continue reading “067 Aliens?”

066 Why I write

* This is the first out of many “Why I” articles to come as I plan to create a “Why I” article series where basically I’ll talk about why I do a certain thing. And I thought it’d be cool to kick it off with addressing the subject “why I … Continue reading “066 Why I write”

064 It’s hard either way

We’ve all probably heard someone say, “Life is hard” and at some point in our lives, we’ve all probably even experienced life’s hardness and it’s unwanted challenges thrown across our paths which make us feel like a failure or just unhappy. You see I think that life is what life … Continue reading “064 It’s hard either way”

058 Tough Days

Some days just get tough. You may also know them as the “bad days”, when just nothing seems to go right. Yes, there are those kinds of days or at least they are “days” which we organize to be in the “bad” category. And hypothetically we’ve all been through them. … Continue reading “058 Tough Days”

056 The 5 Minute Flow State

“The best moments in our lives are not the passive, receptive, relaxing times… The best moments usually occur if a person’s body or mind is stretched to its limits in a voluntary effort to accomplish something difficult and worthwhile.“ Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi Through small bits of observations, I’ve come up to … Continue reading “056 The 5 Minute Flow State”

055 Are we getting Happier? (2/2)

* This is part 2 on the Happiness subject. You can read part 1 here. Revolution. Technology. Evolution. Greater average life expectancy of individuals. Declining poverty rates. Rise in educated individuals. Democracy. Freedom. Skyscrapers, air conditioners, cars and transport, landing on the moon, hoping to reach Mars, computers, books, schools, … Continue reading “055 Are we getting Happier? (2/2)”

053 Time flies

2020 may well have been the most despised year of this generation, but somewhere, somehow, due to situational circumstances, many came across correspondingly relative thoughts when we went into the second half of 2020, “I can’t believe that half the year is over already”. And sometime when we went into … Continue reading “053 Time flies”

052 The way to lead

There is a powerful simple proverb, which can take diverse forms. If well understood, that comprehension can save a lot of time lost due to confusion and blaming, and can create great consequences. It goes: The only one who can lead you is you. Why this is so important to … Continue reading “052 The way to lead”

050 Should-s

“ should verb1. used to indicate obligation, duty, or correctness, typically when criticizing someone’s actions. “ Authority tells us to live in a certain way. It directs us to “should do” defined things. And to live in a way that we’re supposed to. This authority comes in various forms from … Continue reading “050 Should-s”

048 There is good!

“Not every day is good but there is certainly good in every day” Almost always we tend to classify days as being a good day or a bad day. The same grading is then applied with people (one is either a good person or a bad one), the decisions we … Continue reading “048 There is good!”

047 Stop Social Distancing!

This may well be the most controversial title I’ve chosen for any of the articles I’ve written so far, but hear me out by what I mean when I say “stop social distancing“. Even though it’s not great timing to write about this subject since most countries are almost on … Continue reading “047 Stop Social Distancing!”

045 ‘Vivo’

‘Vivo’, the Sony Pictures Animation musical is rooted upon a kinkajou, deeply passionate about music, who sets about on a journey of a lifetime to fulfil a dream of an old friend by delivering a love song. The “original songs” were written by Lin-Manuel Miranda who even voices the kinkajou … Continue reading “045 ‘Vivo’”

039 Why write it down

You may have heard this at least once if not myriad times in your life that- “you should write it down”. ‘it’ can refer to anything ranging from your goals, thoughts and ideas or a documentation and record of your day. It’s pretty much a cliché now (and annoying, sometimes) … Continue reading “039 Why write it down”

037 Doing Things Everyday

Doing things everyday is the best way to get better at anything. Without any speculation, there’s no substitute for getting the work you need to do, done. Just do it everyday. Don’t break the streak. After a while it’ll be like you cannot, you just cannot break the streak of … Continue reading “037 Doing Things Everyday”

036 Right or Left Brained?

You probably are aware of some of the research which divides the cerebrum of the brain into two hemispheres: Right and left. People normally like to refer to the classification as being a left brained or right brained person.The “right-brained” are generally creative and imaginative thinkers and work with their … Continue reading “036 Right or Left Brained?”

035 The Moon

I saw the Moon the night before the previous one. That may sound to many not as such a big deal. It’s really not, but it was for me on that night. I don’t really see the Moon quite often here. And especially during monsoon and when the clouds are … Continue reading “035 The Moon”

034 Auto-suggestion

“Man is what he believes”—Anton Chekhov Think about who you want to be, then become, by believing—who you want to be. Yesterday’s article “033 Subconscious” talked about the subconscious mind being a “memory bank” and the confederate through which we are able to carry out each and every automatic and … Continue reading “034 Auto-suggestion”

033 Subconscious

“Everything is within your power,and your power is within you.”―Janice Trachtman “Until you make the unconscious conscious, it will direct your life and you will call it fate.” ―Carl Jung The subconscious mind is something I like to call a “memory bank”. It is responsible to define all our automatic … Continue reading “033 Subconscious”

030 Curiosity

“Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited to all we know and understand, while imagination embraces the entire world, and all there ever will be to know and understand.”—Albert Einstein “Adults are fools. Children are wise. For children everything is new. The adult hasn’t seen a new … Continue reading “030 Curiosity”

028 No human is limited.

Note: This article is not only on running. Eliud Kipchoge, a Kenyan long-distance professional runner aka “the greatest marathoner of the modern era” has countless achievements to his name. He is the world record holder in the marathon with an official time of 2:01:39, set on 16 September 2018, at the 2018 Berlin … Continue reading “028 No human is limited.”

025 Say “and” NOT “or”

So many of us—so often in life, as though always—have the tendency to make everything—every choice, decision, person, or article we like “or” dislike—an either…or situation. It’s always either this is good or that is good. And it always ends bad because, according to this principle way of living and … Continue reading “025 Say “and” NOT “or””

024 Systems and Goals

In Article 022 on “SMART Goals” I talked about how we can create “smarter” and better goals that are more reliable, and make it simpler to achieve them—because of the so-called fact that we have hence made that goals are one of the most accountable tools for success. You can … Continue reading “024 Systems and Goals”

023 Olympics 2020

Ah, the Summer Olympics. One of the most celebrated sporting events internationally. The games that provide countries the most pride when their athletes win medals. And for the athletes — winning a gold medal might just be the biggest achievement of a lifetime for them. So many (Olympian athletes and … Continue reading “023 Olympics 2020”

022 SMART Goals

We all have heard how goals are so important in determining success in everything, really and in any field. We need to be having a meaning and a direction to achieving something. As Napoleon Hill says is his so famous book “Think and Grow Rich“—“The starting point of all achievement … Continue reading “022 SMART Goals”

018 How ideas tip

The following article was influenced by the famous journalist, Malcolm Galdwell’s first book ever written—The Tipping Point: How Little Things Can Make a Big Difference. Gladwell defines a tipping point as “the moment of critical mass, the threshold, the boiling point”. Once an idea reaches the tipping point, the idea spreads like … Continue reading “018 How ideas tip”

017 Choose, don’t sacrifice

There is a huge difference between the two words “choice” and “sacrifice”. Yet, people use the word “sacrifice” where they really should mean “choice”. Let me explain- I’m sure you must have heard the word sacrifice many times. People say, “Oh, he’s sacrificing his dream job for his family.”, “I … Continue reading “017 Choose, don’t sacrifice”

016 Do What You Can’t

This article is inspired by a YouTube video created by the amazing Casey Neistat. You can watch it here. Now, let’s get to it. We are told: “stay in the safe zone”, “don’t ask questions”, “do as you’re told”, “live in your lane”, “learn to sacrifice”, “don’t dream too big”, … Continue reading “016 Do What You Can’t”

014 Blinking cursor…

Whether you’re a writer or even if you’ve ever considered writing an essay or a novel sometime in your life, you may be well acquainted with the “blinking cursor” syndrome. The phase where you just sit in front of the screen and watch the cursor blink every second, without doing … Continue reading “014 Blinking cursor…”

013 Secrets of Life

In 1994, Steve Jobs was interviewed by the Santa Clara Valley Historical Association. (You can watch the whole interview here.) And what he said in that interview is probably the most wisdom per word ever spoken and certainly really one that just opens your mind and makes it explode! OK, … Continue reading “013 Secrets of Life”

009 Different perspectives

Once upon a time, a traveler came upon three bricklayers. When asked by the traveler, “What are you doing?” the first bricklayer replied, “I’m laying bricks.” Asked the same question, the second bricklayer answered, “I’m putting up a wall.” The third bricklayer considered the query and responded with pride in his … Continue reading “009 Different perspectives”

008 My daily routine-ritual

I typically don’t like routines that much. I love to do something new everyday. Something special, a new experience or learning something new. As much as I crave living like that everyday, I still, unfortunately or not, have a daily routine (which I find amazing, appreciatively) like most do. And … Continue reading “008 My daily routine-ritual”

007 Running

I love to run! I run almost everyday. And it’s something I can’t stay without. All runners have some sort of a connection with the sport. And so do I. So this is my running story. I started running when I was around nine years old. But I haven’t been … Continue reading “007 Running”

004 Journaling

History is packed with many famous and successful (and unsuccessful) people who kept a journal. Visionaries like Leonardo da Vinci, Charles Darwin, Benjamin Franklin, Mark Twain and Thomas Edison are only to name some. I don’t exactly know what those people wrote about but from my research I think they … Continue reading “004 Journaling”

003 Why I started a blog

In my very first article—Article 001 of the blog I talked briefly about how I got started with this blog and some of the subjective challenges that I faced while in the first stages of setting up the website—and which I think many people also face when starting out on … Continue reading “003 Why I started a blog”

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