Alan Watts on the meaning of life

The British philosopher reminds us that meaning is anywhere we choose to look.

Photo: Pictorial Parade/Getty Images
  • Alan Watts suggests there is no ultimate meaning of life, but that "the quality of our state of mind" defines meaning for us.
  • This is in contradiction to the notion that an inner essence is waiting to be discovered.
  • Paying attention to everyday, mundane objects can become highly significant, filling life with meaning.
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Personal Growth

The internet made us weird – just not in the right way

Have swipes and scrolls replaced deep thinking?

  • Technological advancements were supposed to free up our time and free up our minds, leading to a cognitive surplus. That hasn't happened, says Douglas Rushkoff.
  • The digital media environment deals in absolutes: yes or no; thumbs up or thumbs down. Chasing weird uncertainties and lines of thought is not a trademark of today's culture.
  • More time should equal more thought. But humanity seems to be swiping left on true cognitive engagement. So, asks Douglas Rushkoff, has the internet made us smarter, or just busier?
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Videos

5 short podcasts to boost your creativity and success

These quick bursts of inspiration will brighten your day in 10 minutes or less.

Podcasts can educate us on a variety of topics, but they don't have to last an hour or more to have an impact on the way you perceive the world. Here are five podcasts that will boost your creativity and well-being in 10 minutes or less.

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Personal Growth

Master the art of networking, from entrance to exit

4 steps to go from nervous wreck to networking master.

  • This crash course in communication will help you turn an opportunity into a real outcome.
  • There are 4 progressive stages to networking: Ask curious questions, listen and probe (or share), connect and find similarities, and the close.
  • The exit is one of the most important stages; a good close means managing the mood memory – leave the person with a positive mood connected to your conversation, even if they don't remember exactly what you said.
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Videos

Video games and the paradox of failure

The paradox of failure explains why even a healthy rage-quit won't keep a good gamer down.

(Photo from Flickr)
  • When we fail at video games, we discover an inadequacy (however small) in ourselves — yet a growing number of people continue to seek out these digital challenges.
  • Game designer Jesper Juul calls this the paradox of failure and argues it offers a unique space for personal growth.
  • By using the paradox of failure as a tool, video games could teach us to develop open mindsets and evade the pitfalls of learned helplessness.
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Personal Growth