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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.

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

Neil Gaiman
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Balancing opposites

Animation of frogs trying to balance each other out

Settle into the system or shake it up. Pursue happiness or devour tranquility.

Expect disruption or create your own law of contrast. Strive for greatness or let go and let God. 

Chase power or be your best self. Maximize productivity or step away from the grind.

There's an inverse relationship between forcing something to happen and actually achieving it. When you take your foot off the gas and relax a little, that's when things to start to open up. 

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“When you try to stay on the surface of the water, you sink; but when you try to sink, you float’ and that ‘insecurity is the result of trying to be secure.”

Alan Watts

Building layers of ideas

Gif of woman's head spinning around with flashing colors

Examining the world, collecting artifacts, awaiting that sudden flash.  To believe that epiphanies are a result of short-term thinking is a canard. Good ideas emerge from gathering string over stretches of time.

Whatever it is–a mental note, a collection of brain farts or images, bunches of index cards or Pinterest pins–the most important thing is to get any observations recorded so you remember them now and then again, later. 

Having a system of aggregation is vital to the thinking process. Like a series of connected synapses storing up bytes of memory, building on top of ideas spurs on a curiosity that lends itself to an aliveness unheard of in the day to day numbness. 

Digging into the crate to uncover the truth is a never-ending process. Every time we discover something new, we create new challenges for us to solve. Persistent novelty keeps us awake.

gif by @boy_betts

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Crossing a telephone with a TV set

Image of old Western Electric ad for telephone and TV set

What do you get when you cross a telephone with a TV set? That's what Western Electric was asking in 1968 with this advertisement for its Picturephone.

Western Electric is crossing a telephone with a TV set.

What you'll use is called, simply enough, a Picturephone set. Someday it will let you see who you are talking to, and let them see you.

The Picturephone set is just one of the communications of the future Western Electric is working on with Bell Telephone Laboratories. Western Electric builds regular phones and equipment for your Bell telephone company. But we also build for the future.

What is now considered FaceTime on the iPhone, the convergence of video and phone technology took another 42 years to come to fruition. The above image appears in the book The Golden Age of Advertising: The 60s.

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Thinking through the repetition

Gif of brain bouncing from wall to wall

Doing the dishes, sweeping the leaves, shooting free throws, organizing your records—repetitive tasks can also be mindful experiences.

There’s something about the fluidity of motion that jogs the brain into a presence on par with meditation.

You’d think that boredom would set in and condemn our brains to seek dopamine-hitting pleasures. But some of the most everyday activities, even driving the car, can be therapeutic.

Thinking without thinking is a liberating experience. Unlike the robot, the brain never rests; rather, it is collecting itself in moments of pause to seek understanding and clarity of purpose.

gif by @liannedias

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Endless spin

Illustration of naked woman in wheel of fortune

When the mind gets overstimulated, it floats in a sea of indifference. Hyperactivity stuns the moment in exchange for immediate gratification. We consume and forget, like a goldfish.

Screens monopolize attention, the same way TV, books, and other forms of media put us in a trance. The difference in smartphone starting is the surge of variable rewards delivered into the thumbs. We refresh and spin the wheel again, awaiting the next like, follow, retweet, reply, or instant message.

Spinning around like a ping pong ball in a wheel a fortune, the pause kills the excitement of anticipation. The moment is over, boredom sweeps over until we go for another whirl.

gif by @ilkafranz

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Debugging the messy days

Illustration of sand dripping from head

We spend more time debugging the messy days than celebrating the good days.

Negativity is sticky—and harping on it merely strengthens the doldrums.

The trick to moving forward is reprogramming the mind machine. That is, instead of beating ourselves up, we should view our mistakes as learning experiences.

A dose of pragmatism never hurt anybody.

gif by andreeailisai

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