Input or Output – 200 words project


Here is this week’s 200 words project – from the Superhuman by Habit: A Guide to Becoming the Best Possible Version of Yourself, One Tiny Habit at a Time by Tynan

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We can think of everything we do during our lives as either input or output. Either we’re creating something new or we’re taking in outside influence.
Superhuman by Habit by Tynan

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I want to examine this thought today – about everything in life being either input or output.

At a basic physical level it’s obvious. We are always inhaling and exhaling. We are imbibing and excreting, shedding.

At an emotional level too, it’s true. We all know how, in a emotionally charged situation, you are influenced by the emotions around you, and if you give in to the pull of strong emotions emanating from everyone around you i.e. take the emotions in as input, you just get more worked up. On the other hand, if you are calm, collected, peaceful, you can actually discharge such highly charged situations, i.e. your output helps to calm the situation down. Your serenity affects everyone around you in a positive way. So, at an emotional level as well, there is either input or output.

Intellectually, you are reading, listening, seeing, hearing – taking in ideas from around you. Or, you are writing, speaking, explaining your thoughts, ideas and learnings. Input or output.

Here, a state arises – of introspection which seems at first glance neither input or output. In this state, you are thinking through, sorting all the ideas you have collected. You are also making sense, understanding, simplifying and creating new insights from your inputs. So this state also produces output. Rather than a passive output, where someone else’s ideas are just transmitted, you are actually transforming the input in a more profound way and then outputting it to the world.

The only situation I cannot classify as input and output is the meditation process. Here we just sit and let everything be and try to concentrate on our breath or be empty of thought. We try to actively withdraw from taking in and being influenced by the inputs around us, and at the same time, stop the thinking, word-smithing, feeling part of us from constantly creating outputs. Maybe, that is why meditation is so hard.

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