With Good Intentions
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"Study of a Young Woman" by Johannes Vermeer, ca.1665–1667./MET (public domain)
Wellbeing

With Good Intentions

On Cultivating Mindful Intention
Magdalena Róża Skoczewska
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For the intention to act to form in our brains, a sense of freedom, will and need must first emerge. It is good if we can recognize each of these. As a psychologist, I often wonder what the reasons are behind human behaviour. What processes take place before we act in a certain way? One of the more enigmatic elements of the decision-making process is intention – a seed in our mind, the starting point of all other things. But where does this intention come from? Is there anything that enables or impedes it? What is its use?

In order to understand what an intention is, it is worth examining in chronological order how a decision is formed. Here, our inner sense of freedom is always the starting point. Without it, no decision-making process can take place – whether conscious or not. Second comes will, which is the feeling of knowing that we want something, but we don’t know yet what that might be. Will – contrary to common vernacular – is neither good nor bad. It is the accumulation of pure energy, a potential that

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The Art of Negativity
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“Caricature of a misanthrope thinking about how he will commit suicide” by Honoré Daumier, 1833, Rijksmuseum
Wellbeing

The Art of Negativity

On Rejecting Positive Thinking
Enis Yucekoralp

Maintaining a positive attitude can undoubtedly assist us during tough times – something that we are keen to promote at Przekrój. But what about adopting an opposing approach? Our contributor reflects on the merits of responsible negative thinking.

The American ironist James Branch Cabell wrote that “An optimist believes we live in the best possible of worlds. A pessimist fears that this is true.” Far from the sunny entitlement of life’s Panglossian amblers, to practice the art of negativity is to see the world with darkly artful perception. While a valorization of the negative may be hideously alien to some, its paradox holds cast-iron worth.

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