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We are Big Idea Hunters…

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.

A word about Big Ideas and Themes — The architecture of Big Think

Big ideas are lenses for envisioning the future. Every article and video on bigthink.com and on our learning platforms is based on an emerging “big idea” that is significant, widely relevant, and actionable. We’re sifting the noise for the questions and insights that have the power to change all of our lives, for decades to come. For example, reverse-engineering is a big idea in that the concept is increasingly useful across multiple disciplines, from education to nanotechnology.

Themes are the seven broad umbrellas under which we organize the hundreds of big ideas that populate Big Think. They include New World Order, Earth and Beyond, 21st Century Living, Going Mental, Extreme Biology, Power and Influence, and Inventing the Future.

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Big Think’s contributors offer expert analysis of the big ideas behind the news.

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Mindfulness

The Big Idea for Thursday, August 08, 2013

Since our emotions are the result of a complex survival system, they can easily overwhelm us. While we are not born with tools to control our emotions, psychologists have developed mechanisms that we can learn.

One psychologist, Paul Ekman, compares an emotionally healthy person to a Stanislaskian actor, someone who is able to draw on a reservoir of emotional experiences. In the case of the actor, he or she develops a rigorous process of accessing emotions to deliver a convincing performance. On the stage of life we can also use this tool to access our database of emotions and discover what triggers them. 

If we are able to exercise this kind of mindfulness, Ekman argues, we can delay our actions that would otherwise spring directly from our impulses. We are therefore learning to control our emotions. 

 

Perspectives

  1. 1 Paul Ekman: Outsmart Evolution and Master Your Emotions
    Big Think Editors Big Think TV
  2. 2 Lie to Me: The Biological Basis of Emotion
    Daniel Honan Think Tank
  3. 3 How Our Brains Feel Emotion
    Antonio Damasio
  4. 4 Mindfulness: How to Call Off the Emotional Attack Dogs
    Paul Ekman
 

Mindfulness

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