Our eyes are funny things aren’t they? We see everything through them, and for that very reason, we can’t see them. Other than by mirrors, the things we see with are the things we see least — and which everyone else sees.
And as with our eyes, we all have figurative lenses through which we “see” the world: the beliefs we have that shape the things we see and the way we see them. And without the “mirrors” of relationships (whether directly, or through books or movies or songs), we may go long periods without ever really examining our internal lenses.
And it’s important because like we’ve seen in thinking about attention, it’s not everything that we experience that we are aware of, because much of it gets filtered out — using our past experiences, our brains determine what’s of interest ignores the rest. And even what gets filtered through is changed by passing through the filter. Hence the saying that we don’t see things as they are, but as we are.
I’ve often thought about my lenses, which I’ve narrowed down to what I think of as the three Bs:
There are other things of course, like my being male, which obviously influences my view of things in ways I’m still coming to terms with. But these three are, I think, more fundamental to who I am, more foundational to understanding where I’m coming from.
Like I said before, I’ve been focused up until now on the first lens, behavioural science, but the truth is the other two have also often come through in some way or other. So in some ways, this letter isn’t about to change: it’s still me writing it after all. To those worrying that I’ll maybe stop writing about mental health (which I’m including under behavioural science), worry no more.
What will change is the letter will become, I hope, even richer and more flavoured as I explore my lenses with you more and more deliberately. That is, I’ll be both examining the lenses themselves and examining more carefully what I see through them.
Which means, of course, that I’m hoping you‘re interested in one or more of the lenses, and maybe we’ll all connect over them. That is, even if you don’t identify with, say, the Bible or being Black African, I’m hoping you find it interesting to engage either or both with me — and maybe that helps you engage better with the Black Africans or Christians in your life. I’d definitely be excited to engage with other lenses myself.
But like I said, I won’t only be examining these lenses with you, I will also be examining stuff through them. There’s a lot I’m interested in and would love to think about with you: from technology (and Apple!) and popular culture (including movies), to education and creativity, leadership and productivity.
There’s so much to talk about!
But I also don’t want to clog up your inbox, so I’ve got two ideas I’m considering. One is to add a couple sections to the Friday letter (maybe it’ll become Five For Friday?), which means it’ll be a little longer, but hopefully a lot richer. And then when paid support starts, the other idea will kick in: fortnightly or monthly videos for paid supporters, where you can jump on calls with me and we can just chat about interesting stuff and learn from each other!
Want to invite someone along for the ride? You can forward this to them, or just share the link on your social media! Thanks!