Fluid Thought: The Art of Exploring Without Expecting
by Lawrence Yeo
I highly suggest consuming the full piece here (7 min. read time)
“We take in information from the world around us, convert the interesting bits to mental bricks, and put them all together to create a concrete vision of what we want to create next.” — Lawrence Yeo
“The problem with developing visions is that it creates expectations. The moment we conjure a result in our minds, we tie ourselves to that result, and become attached to that idealized blueprint. We start thinking linearly, as we already know where we want this project to end up. The cost of certainty is usually curiosity, and that is one of the first things to go once an end goal is chased.” — Lawrence Yeo
“Focused Thought: guides our work lives, primarily because it’s tied to a practical end result. This result has been imagined from the beginning, so Focused Thought is about investing the energy necessary to have the present moment catch up with that future goal.
Fluid Thought: has no end state in mind. It’s thinking for the sake of thinking. There is no practical value to extract, no expectation to fulfill.” — Lawrence Yeo
“…we live in a world where we are rewarded to provide value, so Focused Thought will always feel more practical. An efficient hustle receives far more praise than an aimless meander, so having goals and visions will be the default setting our minds operate on…Paradoxically, you must balance [Focused/Fluid Thought] by dropping your present expectations to position yourself toward a brighter future.” — Lawrence Yeo
“Exploring without expecting is what it means to be present. Thinking without striving is what it means to be introspective. By putting aside the desire to make something out of everything, we allow our childlike wonderment to re-emerge and learn from a truly earnest place.” — Lawrence Yeo
“When you have no expectations, you drop all the defense mechanisms you’ve developed in your pursuit of mastery, and reset your curiosity back to its baseline levels. This allows you to experiment with all kinds of novel ideas, as you have nothing to lose by doing so.” — Lawrence Yeo
My two cents: I loved this short and sweet article. Some shorter essays tend to not pack a punch, but this one is worth the 7 minutes entirely. I’m falling more and more in love with Lawrence’s writing and style. It reminds me so much of Tim Urban’s Wait But Why blog. I came across Tim’s work first, but I’m not entirely sure who started their blog first. Anyways, both are great and I look forward to sharing more of their most valuable pieces of content.
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