• Derek Stoppels

Controlling Stimuli

I'm reading a book right now called The Power of Agency. I heard Paul Napper on the Art of Manliness podcast talking about this book and it made me want to go buy it because it sounded like something I can learn from and something I can share with my students.

I've started the book, but so far it's awesome! I just read about the importance of controlling and reducing stimuli in our lives. It can be a great source of stress for most people. The fact that we're always connected and always stimulated. There is always something to look at and/or think about. There is always something to consume.


I was on my morning walk this morning thinking about it, and realized one of the things I love the most about my morning walks is that there is so little stimuli and yet it's jam-packed with stimuli. Being out in nature is the most stimulating and relaxing thing all at the same time. It gives me the power to be alone with my thoughts, and to acknowledge them, to deal with them or to dismiss them. I spend a lot of time consuming nature on these walks, but I also spend a lot of time talking to and with myself. I'm happy to report that I've never lost an argument!


Being outside is a chance for me to disconnect and to sort through the things I need to sort through. Whether I'm dealing with the things that happened yesterday, or the things that are coming up today, I get to work through it all at my own pace, and when that's done, there's something more beautiful and powerful to look at in my surroundings.

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