Note To Self

The Useful Delusion Of Vuja De

In her latest Note To Self, FW editor Emily Brooks explores what our routines can gain from a fresh perspective.

By Emily Brooks

Note To Self

In her latest Note To Self, FW editor Emily Brooks explores what our routines can gain from a fresh perspective.

By Emily Brooks

I am going to let you in on a little secret. If you are reading this, I am currently sitting by the ocean, drinking my morning coffee while enjoying the respite of Out Of Office life, albeit a brief existence. As I wrote this, I was not sitting on a beach drinking my morning coffee for the purpose of pure fun, but onto my third cup of caffeine at 2:08pm out of pure need. Nevertheless, here we are. Hello. I am letting you in on this little secret because I am incapable of lying. I am a Goodie Two-Shoes, you see, but a pre-written newsletter should give that away. However, I am also letting you in on this little secret because it’s important you know I am on holidays, as this knowledge provides an excellent segue.

Holidays bring with them the space to recharge, the time to re-energise, and the annual reward of corporate life which is, of course, the opportunity to take a break from it. And with that comes a side effect. A shift in perspective usually arrives on your doorstep as you veer from the daily hum of your regular schedule. This shift arriving with the hangover of a holiday is one I like to call vuja de, and I don’t do this for my health. As Adam Grant wrote in The Originals, there is such a thing as vuja de. Déjà vu comes about when we encounter something new, but feel as if we’ve experienced it before. Vuja de is the reverse. “We face something familiar, but we see it with a fresh perspective that enables us to gain new insights into old problems,” Grant wrote. “The starting point is curiosity: pondering why the default exists in the first place. We’re driven to question the defaults when we experience vuja de. The hallmark of originality is rejecting the default and exploring whether a better option exists.”

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