Your “Second Brain” Is Actually a Map of Your First “Self”

Begin thinking about your productivity as a system. It’s something apart from yourself that you can step back and design and change. When you start to feel that sense of information overload rising, instead of succumbing to it or thinking there’s something wrong with you, ask yourself a question. “What is going wrong in my system that is creating this feeling?” In other words, it’s not you, it’s your system.

Tiago Forte

This is something that Vicky Zhao mirrored in one of her videos about focusing on your “system” as well. What I found interesting about this video by Tiago though is that it actually verifies something about his Second Brain system that intuitively felt off to me before but I couldn’t put my finger on it.

What I told him is that it shouldn’t be called your Second Brain but rather your Second Self. He thought that was hilarious because he thought that dealing with one self was overwhelming enough and two would be crazy.

However, when you reread his quote above though and realize that your constructed sense of “self” is actually a “system” embodied within your worldview, everything suddenly makes sense. It’s not about creating a Second Self but rather about defining your “self” in the first place. The construct that you believe to be your “self”-identity, your ego, is actually separate from your larger and infinite sense of Self.

I’ve likened this before to you as a player playing a character within the MMORPG called Life. Your character is just a construct of who you think you are. But don’t confuse the character, the role that you’re playing, with who you truly are or you will get lost and stuck in the role and won’t be able to grow and development beyond it.

Photo by Erik Mclean on Unsplash

So again, you’re not really creating a Second Brain but rather are mapping your sense of “self”, your identity, which is embedded and integrated with your worldview. Thus the more your “system” can help you see the “edges” and “gaps” (of your worldview), the more potential it gives you to grow and development beyond them.

Unfortunately most systems don’t do this today. Most systems try to hide the “edges” and “gaps”, trying to make the person believe that the system is the one and only possibility, truth, and reality. Yet it’s not. It’s just a system for perceiving ourselves, our world, and our reality that we can evolve and grow beyond, creating something with greater possibilities that we can play within.

Storyteller, elder, shaman, trader, or craftsperson.
Anchor your creative endeavors to the role you are playing.

Vicky Zhao

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