July 21, 2010

Ambient Thought

Paul Graham describes the importance of what he calls your “top idea.”

I think most people have one top idea in their mind at any given time. That’s the idea their thoughts will drift toward when they’re allowed to drift freely. And this idea will thus tend to get all the benefit of that type of thinking, while others are starved of it.

You can’t directly control where your thoughts drift. If you’re controlling them, they’re not drifting. But you can control them indirectly, by controlling what situations you let yourself get into. That has been the lesson for me: be careful what you let become critical to you.

As a friend of mine once advised me, don’t get good at something you don’t want to do.

The Top Idea in Your Mind  [via]

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