Why everyone should blog

Everyone should blog. You do not have to publish 500 words a day. You do not even need to post at all. In fact, writing comes easier when you can write for yourself, in private. #blogging

Everyone should blog. You do not have to publish 500 words a day. You do not even need to post at all. In fact, writing comes easier when you can write for yourself, in private.

Use a smartphone journal like the Day One app or the ever popular Morning Pages Journal where you write by hand. When it comes to blogging effectively, you have to be a little vulnerable. Don't tell all but don’t hide everything either, especially if your advice will benefit the lives of other people.

“Everyone should write a blog, every day, even if no one reads it. There’s countless reasons why it’s a good idea and I can’t think of one reason it’s a bad idea.” 

Seth Godin

I have been blogging for years (click here to view my guide to setting up a blog on WordPress). It is harder to get an audience who cares to read your stuff today than it has ever been. You have to assume nobody wants to read your shit because he or she is busy or would rather be social networking or playing games instead. However, for those readers who do read your blog frequently, they have subscribed for a reason.

Luis Suarez has been blogging since 2002 and recently offered some advice about using your blog to reflect the real you.

“It’s all about having a meaningful presence and how you work your way to make it happen, to leave a legacy behind, to share your thoughts and ideas others can learn from just like you do yourself with other people’s vs. pretending to be who you are not…Just be yourself with your own thoughts and share them along! It is what we all care for, eventually. The rest is just noise.”

No, blogging is not dead

People like to say blogging is dead. But not only are new platforms emerging like Medium, but blogging is just writing. Words will always be a powerful way to say something meaningful, whether it is in print, online, graffiti, or the walls of a cave.

I started this blog so I could show the world what interests me. It is no surprise that what you read here is information I learned from other blogs. In other words, blogging acts like a canvass where you synthesize, remix and interpret in your words. Above all, blogging is free, what Seth Godin calls “the last great online bargain.” Blogging gives you a voice, and it is an excellent incentive to think in a world that just wants us to consume.

Blogging is a bicep curl for the brain. Write daily, and practice the art of conviction.

“Use your blog to connect. Use it as you. Don’t “network” or “promote.” Just talk.”

Neil Gaiman

Creativity: A way of thinking and doing

A girl with creativity twirling a ball with her mind

Creativity is a game of trial and error. The only thing under one’s control is the willingness to experiment.

But being a creator doesn’t just happen. You must compel yourself to see in order to mix and match disparate things and tap into imaginative conclusions.

“Creativity is intelligence having fun.”

Albert Einstein

The right brain needs constant firing in order to facilitate new ideas. In fact, it's the schooling that tries to steal its thunder. However, the synthesis of zero to one thinking and practicality makes for good business.

Creativity is free to practice. With an open mind and the right tools — even if it's just a napkin and pen — anyone can recreate a theater inside their head.

art by @thekinardist

The number of combinations

Art of an eye converted to gif

To make anything is to change perception, as every viewer comes with their own interpretation based off the culmination of experience. Even twins see things differently. 

Even more, impressions continue to pivot with the accumulation of knowledge. 

There is no formula for novel creation when there's a prebuilt audience of understanding. The act of pioneering is a shrewd guess, for what comes back are numerous and diverse combinations of interpretations.

Variety unlocks new ways of thinking inside and out. 

Experiment with your life

You have a right to experiment with your life. You will make mistakes. And they are right too. No, I think there was too rigid a pattern. You came out of an education and are supposed to know your vocation. Your vocation is fixed, and maybe ten years later you find you are not a teacher anymore or you're not a painter anymore. It may happen. It has happened. I mean Gauguin decided at a certain point he wasn't a banker anymore; he was a painter. And so he walked away from banking. I think we have a right to change course. But society is the one that keeps demanding that we fit in and not disturb things. They would like you to fit in right away so that things work now.

Anaïs Nin, Delta of Venus

Consuming valueless info

Image of eyeball in neck, neat graphic art from giphy

The tabloids will always outsell good books because people like valueless info. 

Instead of chasing the interesting, our eyeballs fall into the hands of attention merchants who monetize our dopamine-obsessed heads with precision drone strikes. We sell our souls to click on ads

The outcome of a Brave New World is short-attention spans and foolish entertainment. Even in a environment of niches, all this consumption amounts to an escape from the self. Variable rewards increase the appetite for more and deplete the things that matter. 

We need new ideas and different ways of doing things.  Otherwise, we are lost ships sailing to beliefs of nothing. 

gif by tessieng

Amplified lives

Gif on incoming face time

Social media has graduated from edited real life. It is now presented in story format, free from the reigns of filters and surfeit hashtags. Yet, the content is more contrived than ever before. 

As each of us become influencers on this Shakespearian stage, the presentation game has changed. We amplify everything. We don't just broadcast our lives, we sculpt it into far-fetched fantasies. The second-screen is where we act out our dreams, with all types of dupery that viewers expect. So much for the days of authenticity! 

There's little difference between the wannabe entrepreneur and the Silicon Valley vet online. The former is faking it until they make it, renting a reality that even the most established adores. As we venture into the next iteration of social media buttressed with artificial intelligence and augmented reality, there's no telling what the actors on the internet stage will do. 

image via giphy

Act before you think

Illustration of girl surrounded by brain space

Trying too hard, the artist or the athelete lets slip their best abilities. The aim for perfection breeds imperfect results. 

The monkey mind always tries to woo one into unnecessary complexity and confusion. But let it be. A good way to negotiate with a chatoic mind is to let it be while you keep it simple and execute. 

Trapped and drained by limited beliefs, you beat the neural activity of doubt to the punch by deciding to press forward. 

Bailong Elevator, the highest outdoor elevator in the world

Bailong Elevator, the highest elevator in the world image
Image via @nk7

The Bailong Elevator is the world's highest outdoor elevator, towering an astonishing 1,070 feet high inside the National Forest Park in the Wulingyuan area of Zhangjiajie, China. Opened in 2002, the elevator allows 50 visitors at a time to skip up the mountain in two minutes versus a dangerous five-hour car ride.

As you can imagine, the outdoor lift also provides panoramic scenery to its riders of bridges and villages below. Meanwhile, the top of the mountain features the scenic Yuanjiajie natural heritage spot.

Add Zhangjiajie National Park to the list of places to visit, along with Vietnam's Golden Bridge and Coron Island in the Philippines. See more about the Bailong Elevator in the video below.

Notice the light inside

Art gif of light inside body

The artist over the critic, the maker over the collector, the writer over the reader. Once we become creators rather than passive consumers and dive deep in, we preserve our own history. 

Ignoring our calling to shake off a responsibility merely postpones an itch that intensifies with time. Unlike robots, humans are light inside. We want to live the stories we see in our heads, otherwise, what's the point of slogging on to work that fails to define us? 

We can put a fence around our intuition and simply buy things to feel better. But investing in our own heads and hands produces manifest discreteness. Individuality is happiness. How are we going to be remembered if we can't be ourselves? 

The listener relationship

gif of thumbs up on blue background

Who's your trampoline? Who's the person you can depend on to bounce off ideas when you get stuck or need an additional opinion? I'm not talking about receipients who provide you the desultory nod.  

There's a good listener out there always waiting. But you must compel yourself to ask. No one is going to pop the question for you. 

Be cautious of approval though. The creator seeks input and a fresh approach, not reassurance. Discontent becomes self-evident. Nothing lights the flame of a creator more than a tangle of insightful contradictions. 

gif by @davidshrigley

Styrofoam dancing to sound waves

gif of dancing sound waves

Put your hands in the air and wave them like you just don't care.

What looks like a dubstep rave is actually styrofoam dancing to sound waves in a massive flexiglass pipe. The faux mosh pit is the result of a process called sound looking which demonstrates what audible vibrations may actually look like.

Watch the entire video below.

What unlocks you?

A gif image of a lock

A good read, a daily meditation, journaling, a simple contemplation, a trip overseas—it's the moments of rest and reflection that shape you. Head down in the sand or at the desk at work can be expansive but exhaustive. We need more activities that generate thinking without thinking, unmoored from the depths of the laborious ritual. 

The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results. The challenge in making life feel new again is figuring how we can copy and combine the observations and artifacts we collect into something that feels original. 

We should lean more on our guidance—everyone knows what they need to do, as long as they are willing to embrace the pain. Change is on the palette, a necessity no matter how subtle it presents itself. Not surprisingly, it evinces itself only when you step away. Tapping into the world around you unlocks the potential of one's mind.

art via giphy

Week in review: Genius athletes, Andy Warhol’s Whopper, what introverts do at parties, and more…

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Hi Friends-

I still have more than a dozen subscriptions to The Browser to give away. Here's the link.

And now for the most intriguing links I think are worth sharing: 

  1. In Search of Greatness. “All inventive and creative peoplethey're not hung up on fixed definitions of what any form of life or reality may be,” said the philosopher Alan WattsDirector Gabe Polsky explores the creative genius of athletes like Michael Jordan and Muhammad Ali to explain what sets them apart from the rest. 
  2. Everyone needs a dragon day 🎨
  3. Andy Warhol's Super Bowl commercial. “Art is whatever you can get away with,” said Andy Warhol. I learned a few things about that strange Andy Warhol Whopper commercial in last week's Super Bowl
  4. What introverts do at parties.
  5. I wrote a 30-second read on embracing your inner rebel

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