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We live in a time of information abundance, which far too many of us see as information overload. With the sum total of human knowledge, past and present, at our fingertips, we’re faced with a crisis of attention: which ideas should we engage with, and why? Big Think is an evolving roadmap to the best thinking on the planet — the ideas that can help you think flexibly and act decisively in a multivariate world.

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The Big Idea for Wednesday, February 05, 2014

We can very easily become involuntarily slaves to our egos, particularly when faced with a difficult or stressful circumstances. Your ego makes demands, and you follow what that inner voice says. This does not often lead to good decision-making.

Mindfulness techniques, however, can help open up other levels of thought in your mind. There are, after all, a plurality of voices in your mind, Robert Thurman and Sharon Salzberg point out in today's lesson. Mindfulness techniques are designed to free you to listen to your most practical voice.

The purpose of mindfulness training is to develop the ability to be aware of what you are feeling quickly - whether it is anger, hatred, fear or other destructive impulses. Then you might be able to delay your reaction, Salzberg says, and this will allow you to consider a response that is practical and constructive.



  1. 1 How to Tame Your Inner Enemy
    Big Think Editors Big Think Mentor
  2. 2 Mindfulness: How to Call Off the Emotional Attack Dogs
    Paul Ekman
  3. 3 Lessons in Mindfulness from Sherlock Holmes
    Daniel Honan Book of the Month
  4. 4 How to Drive Your Enemies Crazy
    Big Think Editors Big Think Mentor


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