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Enjoying Silence – Nerdful Mind #50

December 27, 2020 by Simon Mannes

When was the last time you enjoyed silence?

Silence is not only the absence of sound. It's the absence of visual distraction and movement as well.

You've probably heard that a great speech needs pauses at the right times. This is not only true for speaking. Singers and musicians also use pauses in their performances.

A pause doesn't need to be 100% still. If you've ever seen a professional dancer, they are using silence. When the music pauses, the dancers seem to pause, moving extraordinarily slow (watch this).

It's difficult to learn to endure silence. Our minds feel as if we need to do something. With our minds wandering, or people watching, the seconds spent in silence feel so much longer.

But there's hope. You can not only learn to endure silence, but to thrive in it. To use silence to your advantage. To enjoy silent moments by yourself. And to use silence when interacting with people or doing a performance.

“The closer you are to the truth, the more silent you become inside.”—Naval Ravikant

Reading Recommendations

Subtraction

“We act as if it’s an inventory problem. As if that Instagrammable couch or that area rug will ‘spark joy.’ As if that indoor planter or that vertical bookcase will complete us. As if that new shirt or those skinny jeans will make us anew. Subtract the ‘wrong’ things; add the ‘right’ things. That’s the key, right? Yes, that’s the key to anxiety, restlessness, and dissatisfaction.”

Impossible Knowledge: Are You an Expert?

“The scientists decided to test this connection in the area of personal finance [...]. They first asked about 100 men and women to rate their general knowledge of personal finance, and to compare themselves to the average American. Then they asked the subjects to rate their knowledge of specific terms related to personal finance. But here’s the rub: Only some of these terms were real—fixed-rate mortgage, home equity, and so forth. The others were non-existent terms invented by the scientists—pre-rated stocks, for example, or annualized credit. The results were intriguing.”

The Absolute Minimum Every Software Developer Absolutely, Positively Must Know About Unicode and Character Sets (No Excuses!)

“Ever wonder about that mysterious Content-Type tag? You know, the one you're supposed to put in HTML and you never quite know what it should be? Did you ever get an email from your friends in Bulgaria with the subject line "???? ?????? ??? ????"? I've been dismayed to discover just how many software developers…”

Weekly Mindfulness Practice

Sit down for 5 minutes and listen to your surroundings. What can you hear?

Cars in the distance? The fridge humming along? Your own breath?

Find a few minutes of peace in the sounds around you.

End Note

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Have a great week

Simon

PS: If you found an article you think others might like, and that fits this newsletter, I’d love it if you write me an email. Just reply!

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