Sunday, March 3, 2013

The Difference Between Interesting Things and Useful Things

How many times has this happened in your life?
You're travelling in a bus, and the person sitting in the first seat at the front suddenly puts his face outside and looks at something. Within milliseconds, people sitting in the window seats in the 5 rows behind him do the same. And in the next few milliseconds, others who can't just turn their head and see outside, stand up and do so.
Sensing and responding to changes around them as quickly as possible, gives monkeys a survival advantage. And there's a monkey carrying out its survival trick hiding inside all of us. He guides our senses towards all stuff that's different from the normal - a cool new gadget, random shit facts, photoshoped images uploaded in facebook, utterly useless questions on quora, the gap that a broken tooth leaves, a friend's new haircut, uncovered body parts - any stuff that's new. These are the interesting things.

Unfortunately for us, interesting things most of the times aren't useful things.

Books, subjects, exams, practice, revision, exercise - things that happen everyday, the normal things. They are what turn out to be useful in one's life.

It's only been a fraction of a second since that first person turned his head. You still have a choice - whether to turn your head or not.

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