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Trying Not to Try: How to Cultivate the Paradoxical Art of Spontaneity Through the Chinese Concept of Wu-Wei

Trying Not to Try: How to Cultivate the Paradoxical Art of Spontaneity Through the Chinese Concept of Wu-Wei
by Maria Popova “Our modern conception of human excellence is too often impoverished, cold, and bloodless. Success does not always come from thinking more rigorously or striving harder.” “The best way to get approval is not to need it,” Hugh MacLeod memorably counseled. We now know that perfectionism kills creativity and excessive goal-setting limits our success rather than begetting it — all different manifestations of the same deeper paradox of the human condition, at once disconcerting and comforting, which Edward Slingerland, professor of Asian Studies and Embodied Cognition at the University of British Columbia and a renowned scholar of Chinese thought, explores in Trying Not to Try: The Art and Science of Spontaneity (public library | IndieBound). Our lives, Slingerland argues, are often like “a massive game of Mindball,” when we find ourselves continually caught in this loop of trying so hard that we stymie our own efforts. Art by Austin Kleon from 'Show Your Work.' Share on Tumblr

http://www.brainpickings.org/2014/04/21/trying-not-to-try-slingerland/

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