Notes from a Floating Life Thoughts about productivity, digital living, and leading a simpler life

See Deeper

We live in a world where the superficial seems to have taken control. Sound bites, 140-character messages, short headlines, news briefs.

We graze. We catch only a few drops out of the fire hose of information that is spraying online. We only see the surface.

But rarely do we see deeper.

What do I mean by that? Striving for more depth in what we take in. Depth is what not only gives us deeper insights, but also offers context and detail. That depth can lead us to an informed opinion and to deeper understanding. It can help us see what’s not readily apparent.

To see deeper, you need to make an effort to dig for that detail. To do that:

  • Avoid relying on tweets, headlines, and summaries.
  • Read analyses, in-depth essays, and listen to or watch in-depth interviews and news stories.
  • Vary your reading, watching, and listening.
  • Challenge yourself and your assumptions.

Most of all, think. Try to understand. Try to move aside or lower your filters. Try to approach an issue or an idea from different angles.

It’s not easy. No matter how open minded we think we are, many of us have built up a wall of assumptions, opinions, and positions that we jealously protect. And that wall is the biggest barrier to seeing deeper. Breaking through it, or even just climbing over it, isn’t easy. It will not only be difficult, it could be painful. It could cause you to doubt what you know and what you think.

And that’s the whole point of seeing deeper. To challenge your belief. To shake up your opinions. To put cracks in your assumptions.

Once you start to see deeper, though, you’ll view the world and yourself in a very different and, I’d hazard to say, better way.

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