25 January 2014

Food For Thought // #05

Rempart Automnal // Personal photo

I initially planned to have about one "Food for Thought" post a month, but I have read so many interesting pieces lately, I already have 3 posts full of links in queue. So I decided to publish these posts as I find inspirations, rather than imposing a defined regularity. Without further ado, here is the Food for Thought, number 5.

On Buffer - The Case For Having no Goals in Your Life
In this article, James Clear explains the difference between (long term) goals and (daily) systems we put in place to achieve them - making a case about how setting goals is not that good an idea after all. This is kind of oversimplifying his demonstration, so I can only suggest you to go read the whole piece. A different take on life projects and objectives.

On Steve McCurry's Blog - To Change the World
This post is made of photographs and quotes about the importance of education. I like how powerful this visual post is - no long explanations, yet the message is strong, and clear.

On Brain Pickings - An Antidote to the Age of Anxiety
This article presents the philosophy of Alan W. Watts, "a pioneer of Eastern philosophy in the West" as introduced by Brain Pickings. Pioneer indeed, since he wrote this book, The Wisdom of Insecurity, in 1951. He writes about our society's desperate need for security and stability and relates it to the mindfulness of the present moment, or lack thereof. I didn't pick up the book yet, but this article is a great introduction to this philosophy of embracing insecurity - of sorts.

New Page - The Third Metric
The Third Metric is a themed page on the Huffington Post, focused on "Redefining Success Beyond Money and Power", and gathers articles about an alternative version of success and happiness - that debunks the traditional idea of sleep deprivation, burnout and neglecting our private life. The articles offer variations around this theme - reclaiming time, thinking about ethics and social links, new metrics to work on as objectives, different views on money... All based on a more humane, sustainable definition of success.

Kali's Featured TED Talk: Why Dieting Doesn't Usually Work
Diets aren't very popular among the medical profession, and all sorts of myths revolve around healthy eating and food deprivation. This TED talk s very simple and efficient in explaining how diets (a.k.a. self induced malnutrition) impact our bodies in terms of physiology, and why most dieters end up putting on weight on the long term. A good reminder that we should accept ourselves the way nature made us instead of starving ourselves.

Photography: Another one of the shots I took in Auvergne last Autumn (I still haven't sorted out my holiday season photos). Testing perspective and focus on a castle wall.


  1. Wow, I really needed to read two of those articles above: An Antidote of the Age of Anxiety and The Case For Having No Goals In Your Life. Thank you for sharing, exactly what I needed to read this Saturday morning! Insanely perfect timing.

    1. I'm glad to hear that! I hope you enjoyed these reads :)

  2. bien, je n'ai encore lu aucun des liens que tu proposes, une bonne fournée donc ! :)

  3. Thank you for posting these links! I'm really enjoying your posts.

  4. Speaking of food for thought, and harking back to discussions of the Dove campaigns, I found this piece neatly articulated some of the thoughts I'd had about Dove's approach to its ads:
    Leaving aside the fact that its ultimate purpose is simply to drive sales, it's interesting to think about its impact on women in terms of their self-esteem - the campaigns might make some (or lots of) women feel better about themselves, but is that a positive thing when it's still within the context of making women define themselves by their looks, since that will always lead to feelings of inadequacy? Or is this the best we can hope for in the context of a pervasive culture that indoctrinates women into believing their worth is at least substantially defined by their looks?

    1. First, thank you for the link, I didn't know this site and they have a wealth of interesting articles! They will end up on one of the upcoming food for though links for sure.

      I also tend to agree with what's inside the article - I haven't seen the selfie campaign, but I agree that ultimately, the problem is that they are still enforcing the idea that women should be defined by their beauty, and that self esteem issues are linked to beauty and feeling attractive.

      That being said, it is true that most self esteem problems women have today are linked to their body image and wanting to be taller, younger and thinner. So I think acknowledging that we are beautiful the way we are is a necessary first step to reconstructing a healthier self esteem. It is, though, a *first step*, and I agree that physical appearance shouldn't be the cornerstone of one's self esteem.

      Now, back to the context, Dove is a for-profit company selling *beauty products*, it seems normal that they approach the self esteem issues from a beauty perspective, no? It is quite nice that they approach the self esteem issue at all rather than preying on it to sell their products, to my opinion.

      I agree with the point Beauty Redefined raises about the campaign, and it is most certain that Dove is hitting an emerging marketing target by promoting 'real beauty', and we shouldn't be naive about Dove's intentions. But I don't think it is fair to expect from Dove to not want to sell their products, and to lead the debate beyond physical beauty, being a for-profit beauty products company.

      I guess my position in quite in line with their disclaimer at the end of the article - in the context of Dove being a for-profit beauty products company, and the "real beauty" being a marketing campaign, it IS a first step toward contesting the "tall & slim" beauty standard which still stands stong among most media. Besides, it creates a deeper debate about self esteem in parallel, which does go beyond physical appearance. I'm still the "half full glass" optimistic who wants to see Dove's campaign with a kind and hopeful eye. I do agree with the article though, that we ought to question this campaign and bring the debate deeper into what should really drive women's self esteem. Which is exactly what we are doing right now :)

  5. Merci beaucoup pour ces liens. Je ne connaissais pas Third Metric, c'est une excellente initiative !
    Je viens de découvrir ton blog et j'aime beaucoup tes réflexions.

    1. Merci beaucoup, et bienvenue! J'ai beaucoup aimé le concept de Third Metric également, j'espère que c'est un signe de changement, petit à petit, de nos façons de penser.