Pronoia, not paranoia

jasonleow  •  21 Jun 2022   •  

Paranoia is the belief that everything and everyone is out to get you. The opposite of paranoia is pronoia, the belief that everything in the universe is conspiring to help you.

This is like my latest favourite word.

It’s like the scarcity vs abundance mindset. You can see everything as scarce and zero sum game, or you can see everything as inherently abundant and positive sum.

Of course, it’s not always 100%. It’s not always homogeneous. This isn’t a statement of fact about reality, but more a personal stance one takes when encountering reality.

The classic half empty half full situation. Optimism vs pessimism.

This word caught my attention because it’s exactly what I think I need now. I’ve not been feeling very optimistic or hopeful lately. I did a quick list in my head of all the major changes in my life in the past 2 years:

  • Becoming a father
  • Surviving through a generational crisis (aka pandemic)
  • Switching careers for real (from consultant to indie maker)
  • Switching chronotypes (from night owl to early bird)
  • Switching diet to meat based
  • From working only outside in cafes to working from home exclusively

Each one would have been more than enough to handle singly, but all at once? No wonder I feel like I’m barely keeping my head above water. It’s easy to start feeling paranoid, like everything’s working against me. While I have mostly no control over what happens externally, I do have control over some aspects, and especially inwardly. I need pronoia instead.

So yes, pronoia. Let’s go get pronoid now.

Comments

I am a huge fan of pronoia, unsurprisingly.

To me, it’s also my tactic for survival. Keep your head high my friend! Hope you can continue to find inner peace in such turbulent times.

andrewtsao  •  21 Jun 2022, 3:47 am

Haha yeah it does come through in your writings Andrew! Agree re: survival tactic… these days, anything lesser no longer works

jasonleow  •  21 Jun 2022, 7:46 am