How to Read: Lots of Inputs and a Strong Filter

Esteban Tala

Hatched by Esteban Tala

Mar 24, 2024

4 min read


How to Read: Lots of Inputs and a Strong Filter

Reading is a powerful tool for expanding our knowledge and understanding of the world. However, with the vast amount of information available to us, it can be challenging to navigate through it all and find the most valuable insights. This is where having both lots of inputs and a strong filter comes into play.

Without flooding your brain with inputs, you'll be limited to the narrow scope of your personal experiences. It's crucial to expose yourself to a wide range of ideas, perspectives, and information from various sources. This could include reading books, articles, research papers, engaging in conversations, and actively seeking out new learning opportunities. By doing so, you broaden your horizons and open yourself up to new possibilities.

On the other hand, having a strong filter is equally important. With an overload of information, you can easily become overwhelmed and paralyzed by indecision. Mark Twain once said, "The man who doesn't read good books has no advantage over the man who can't read them." This quote highlights the need to discern between valuable and irrelevant information.

Developing a good reading filter is more of an art than a science. It requires finding a method that works for you. One effective approach is being ruthless in your evaluation of the material. Just like in dating, if a book fails to capture your interest within the first few minutes, it's unlikely to lead to a satisfying experience. Don't be afraid to close the book and move on.

It's essential to remember that quitting a book or rejecting information doesn't make you a failure. Instead, it signifies that you value your time and energy. By quickly identifying what doesn't resonate with you, you increase your chances of finding the right piece of information that will truly enrich your life.

The idea of having lots of inputs and a strong filter extends beyond reading books. It applies to all forms of data, research, conversation, and learning. By exposing yourself to a diverse range of inputs, you broaden your understanding and gain new insights. However, it's equally important to develop a discerning filter that allows you to separate the valuable from the noise.

In addition to reading, there are other activities that can reshape our brains and influence gene expression. For instance, alcohol and drugs have been found to directly impact changes in gene expression in areas of the brain associated with memory and reward responses. Similarly, certain medications for mental health disorders can modify DNA and alter gene expression.

Interestingly, dietary changes and meditation practices have also been shown to affect gene expression. A high sugar diet, for example, can reprogram the ability to taste sweetness by tapping into gene expression networks. Intensive meditation, even after just one day, can regulate gene expression related to inflammation.

Exercise is another powerful tool for altering gene expression. Studies have shown that regular physical activity can increase the activity of genes involved in the plasticity and function of neurons. This supports the idea that exercise improves learning and memory and may even reduce the risk of dementia.

Drawing connections between these various areas of research highlights the interconnectedness of our bodies and minds. Our genes can be influenced by external factors, such as reading, substance use, diet, meditation, and exercise. By understanding how these factors interact, we can make more informed decisions about our health and well-being.

In conclusion, reading is not just about absorbing information but also about honing our ability to filter and discern what is valuable. By exposing ourselves to a wide range of inputs and developing a strong filter, we can navigate through the overwhelming sea of information and find the insights that truly matter. Here are three actionable pieces of advice to help you in your reading journey:

  • 1. Embrace diversity: Seek out information from diverse sources to broaden your understanding of the world. Read books, articles, research papers, and engage in conversations with people from different backgrounds and perspectives.
  • 2. Be ruthless with your filter: Don't be afraid to abandon a book or reject information that doesn't resonate with you. Trust your instincts and prioritize your time and energy for materials that truly enrich your life.
  • 3. Explore beyond reading: Remember that reading is just one avenue for expanding your knowledge. Experiment with other activities such as meditation, exercise, and dietary changes to see how they can influence your brain and gene expression.

By incorporating these practices into your reading and learning journey, you can maximize the benefits of both lots of inputs and a strong filter. Happy reading!

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