Gretchen Rubin

Gretchen Rubin

My experiments in the pursuit of happiness and good habits


Something Becomes Important Because We’re Paying Attention.

April 20th, 2015

Episode 41 of 473 episodes

I take giant amounts of notes, and I’m constantly copying passages from books that I read. It’s a lot of work, but it’s also one of my favorite things to do. Oddly, I’ll often take notes, or copy passages, where the meaning isn’t clear to me. Sometimes it takes me years (if ever) to understand the meaning of something that I knew was significant, but didn’t know why. And then, when I grasp it — so thrilling! Nothing makes me happier. This kind of epiphany happened to me recently, when I was in London, where I managed to visit the beautiful Wallace Collection. Years ago, I read a fascinating book called The Conversations: Walter Murch and the Art of Editing Film, by Michael Ondaatje, and I copied down a passage from Francis Ford Coppola’s notes for the script of the movie The Conversation. Coppola wrote: The opening might be built out of fragments of various conversations. So that when we first meet the two young people they seem like just another conversation until we see that the microphone is trained on them: they are important only because someone is listening. Something becomes important, because someone is paying ...

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