22-202 Patterns

Today’s Mandala

“Chess masters don’t evaluate
all the possible moves.
They know how to discard
98 percent of the ones
they could make and then focus on
the best choice of the remaining lot.
That’s the way
expertise works in other fields, too:
Wise practitioners recognize
familiar patterns and
put their creativity,
improvisation, and skill
toward the marginal cases.”

— John Dickerson

“A great deal of creativity
is about pattern recognition,
and what you need to discern patterns
is tons of data.
Your mind collects that data
by taking note of random details
and anomalies easily seen every day:
quirks and changes that,
eventually, add up to insights.”

— Margaret Heffernan

“To understand is to perceive patterns.”

— Isaiah Berlin

Today’s MotD encourages us to recognize our patterns of behavior that serve us, that hold us back, and/or create the need for new and improved ones. To do this requires mindfulness, being aware, being present, and noticing as regularly as possible when our patterns are knee-jerk reactions versus conscious responses.

Plenty of research shows that in order to ”break” a habit, the best recourse is to create a new one. As the new one takes hold, new neuropathways form and the old ones ”atrophy” due to lack of use. So as we start paying attention, we can determine in the moment ”does this pattern fail me or serve me?”. If it fails, then what new ones can we establish and implement?

For instance, we can keep healthier foods more readily accessible and lesser ones farther out of reach. If we need more exercise, we can park farther away from stores or workplaces, we can keep our exercise clothes/equipment more accessible so that when we get up in the morning it’s easier to follow through, or we can make it a routine to walk around the block at the same time each day.

Having patterns and habits have the potential to destroy or improve our quality of life. Which do we prefer?


The Mandala Lady

btw…started with this:


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