Intelligent Distraction

Recently many people have asked me questions such as: “How did you get into this stuff on the internet?”, “Why don’t you play video games?”, or “How did your learn about startups?”.

The best way I know how to encourage continuous¬†curiosity is through intelligent distraction.¬†I read blogs for at least an hour daily, I contribute to online tech communities, I read editorial magazines, and I browse twitter. I don’t play video games, and I rarely watch TV. And my preferred sporting activity is rowing.

To summarize, reading is my distraction and that’s how I learn. I stay curious by discussing or writing about the things I read daily. Two groups at Wake Forest have been valuable to me for facilitating intelligent discussions. First, the Arch Society meets weekly to discuss a high-level issue facing the world and we talk openly about our opinions on the subject. The debate often dabbles into many viewpoints, depending on the background of each participant. Second, the Masterminds group is an unofficial group led by seniors who have taken a special interest discussing social science and psychology. We most recently discussed body language, and how it can invoke positive judgement or actions in others.

It’s these few but precious hours throughout the week that are so critical to me. Take a break from the gossip and TV. Read something cool, and share your thoughts with others.

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11 2011