I recently had the opportunity to interview minimalist and co-founder of Asymmetrical Press Colin Wright, about his upcoming book titled Considerations.
(You can pre-order this new book in Kindle format here. I highly recommend it)
I received a review copy, read it over, and it’s an exciting book. So, I asked questions that were designed to give you a taste of what the book is about.
Let’s not waste any time, here’s Colin with his answers (my questions are in bold):
COLIN: These are awesome questions! Let me know if you need anything else from my end.
1. First, a question that is rather cliche, what inspired you to write this thought-provoking book?
A lot of the topics in this book are things I’ve written about before, and things I tend to discuss a lot, but I hadn’t even put them together into one cohesive picture; hadn’t shown how the concept of minimalism connects to the process of developing habits or being nice or ways of looking at attractiveness.
I’ve actually been outlining this book for quite some time, so finally being able to sit down and write it, and to present all these ideas in one place, is a big weight off my shoulders.
2. To give people who read this interview a little “taste” of Considerations, you have a chapter titled “Consider The Monk” … would you mind offering a little “sample” of what you are talking about when you are asking us to “consider the monk”?
I’m a bit reductionist in talking about monks, because there are obviously so many flavors of ‘monk’ in the world; so many beliefs, so many practices. But for the purposes of the argument I make in that chapter, a monk is someone who’s dedicated to an ideal, and in that dedication, they dampen the impact of anything that might hinder their pursuit of their ideal.
So the prototypical warrior monk would focus completely on becoming a human weapon, and anything else that doesn’t support that pursuit would fade into the background, or be re-calibrated to help them reach their goals (eating, for instance, wouldn’t just be a means of survival, it would be fine-tuned to allow for optimal muscle mass, speed, etc).
The same goes for those monks who are meditative, or who want to improve the world in some way, or whatever. The key there is that we can learn something from this single-mindedness; this focus on an ideal. We just need to know what our ideals our — what we believe — so that we might fine-tune our habits and actions to support those beliefs.
3. In “Social Quotient” (my favorite chapter) you ask us to consider that there is more to our personalities than the binary “You’re an introvert” or “You’re an extrovert” … could you offer what inspired you to pursue this particular line of thinking?
This is actually something I struggled with for a long time, as someone who tests as an extrovert (a strong ENTJ, if you’re into the Myers-Briggs), but who has very introverted tendencies. I’ve come to realize over the years that I generally need at least 50% of my time to myself, and a lot more than that in some cases, despite also being quite into socializing and people and stereotypically extroverted things.
I don’t actually know anyone who’s purely introverted or extroverted; everyone falls somewhere on a spectrum. And those who understand what they need in terms of alone time and social time tend to be a lot happier. They’re more capable of using their time constructively, and are more able to recharge their internal batteries. They get what they need to be happy and healthy, and are able to do so without offending those who might want more of their time.
4. Then you ask us to consider our “darker side.” You offer the solution in the book, but could you provide us some background on the problem of the dark side of our personalities that inspired this chapter?
I really wanted to reach out to people in a very vague way because this ‘dark side’ we’ve all got will be different for every single person. A lot of people I know have something inside themselves that they don’t want to show the rest of the world, and that might be prudent in some cases, but accepting it as a part of what makes them, them, is important.
To put it in context, maybe someone sees their sexuality as a ‘darkness’ they have to conceal. Or maybe they are proactively antagonistic to other people; mistreating their coworkers or significant others. Or maybe they are inclined to steal, or hurt people or animals, or whatever.
Some of these things are inherently harmful to society (the predilection to hurt other people or animals), while others are fine, but maybe perceived to be bad because of where they come from (being gay in a conservative town), but whatever the case, it’s important for people to acknowledge and explore this facet themselves. To ignore it means not being able to act with it in mind — to either counter such impulses, or to embrace it and change their lifestyle accordingly — and means they can never really be comfortable with themselves. Which would be tragic.
5. If there was one, over-reaching take-away you hope the reader would get out of Considerations … what would that be … and how would that help the reader live their life at a deeper level?
I would love for people to have a lot of new questions to ask themselves. Some of these questions have been asked in the book in a very straightforward fashion, while others are implied, and I think just looking at the world from this perspective — that asking these questions isn’t harmful, but actually quite productive — will be the big takeaway for most people.
I would love for people to be more comfortable in their own skin, to be happier, to be more creative, to have a much rounder set of perspectives to draw from when making decisions. That’s all a process, though, so a victory for me would be having people who read the book start along that path of personal exploration and maybe ask themselves a question they’ve never thought to ask before, or one they’ve been afraid to ask.
And then all I can hope is that they keep asking, keep looking for answers, and adjust how they live according to those answers.
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JOE: That’s all for the interview, I will have a book review written soon that will give you (the reader) a little more insight into what I thought about the book.
It officially releases November 1st, so pre-order your copy today (I highly recommend it). If you pre-order, it will load into your Kindle immediately when it releases (or on your computer if you use the Kindle app for desktop or your laptop).
You can connect with Colin at his websites below…