• All posts,  Well-being

    Our love of distraction is stealing our time

    We are all terrified of silence. Not just the sort of silence that is the absence of sound, but the sort of silence that takes shape when we sit in front of a blank screen, ready to write something from scratch. Or when we shut off the TV, and try to settle in front of a textbook to revise for an exam. Or when we sit down to work out which pension plan to get. We get an itchy, twitchy feeling at such times. Our minds start throwing out helpful thoughts like, “did you remember to turn the dryer on?” and “oh, isn’t this experience hard? I should tweet about…

  • All posts,  Well-being

    Minimalism as the examined life

    A couple of thousand years ago, an uncompromising Athenian philosopher by the name of Socrates said that the unexamined life is not worth living. It’s a provocative idea. Similar sentiments surface and resurface across history, and across cultures. Perhaps we need to hear this message again and again precisely because we find it so hard to take on board. Perhaps, as Simon Longstaff has suggested, it is because living an examined life can be challenging that Socrates adopted such strident language. (Or perhaps that was the doing of one of his students. We’ll never know, as Socrates didn’t make free and loose with a pen.) Socrates’ message is as relevant…