Seeking ignorance and uncertainty

Curiosity is a powerful tool. It makes us question our surroundings and compels us to ask why things work the way they do. It kicks the mind into exploration.

But the addition of courage takes curiosity a step further; it tries to fill the void through hands-on experimentation. These small tests are fuel for failure in disguise as they convert ignorance into knowledge.

The greater challenge, therefore, is the audacity to continue guessing. Even when something gets discovered, it opens up a whole new can of ignorance.

The learning never stops if the asking never stops. The more we know, the more we desire to know.

Pursue the irrational mind to get what you want

You have to be a little irrational to get what you want. If you’re too practical, you may curb your chances from the start.

The whole point is to at least give the moon at least a shot, not because you’ll achieve exactly to your wishes but because you’ll be motivated to keep pushing forward.

Playing in the NBA is a pipe dream for most of us. But by playing basketball you may acquire the leadership and motivation to move on to coaching or take what you learned and apply it to something else like another sport, job, or side project.

The whole point is to build up enough confidence to take action, to persist a little bit, but also to identify your strengths and see new opportunities. Your job is to find the gaps and build up the courage to fill them in.

You have to be somewhat unrealistic to give anything a go; otherwise, you’ll hesitate and hold back. You’re just shooting to make a point to yourself that anything is possible if you believe in the unbelievable.

It pays to be ignorant.

The design of the classroom from 1750 to today

The design of the classroom is a technology, and you can interpret that in a lot of different ways. Architects can make that look more, and less, typical. But the point is the instruction, the interaction in the classroom, not that it looks more like a circle or more like a square or whatever else.

The Design of Childhood: How the Material World Shapes Independent Kids by Alexandra Lange 

(via NPR)

Facing the blank canvass

The blank page means go. Attack. Write for five minutes straight. Put “TK” (to come) in for things that need to be flushed out or fact-checked. But keep writing, jogging the brain.

Once you have everything down on paper go back and dig through the trash. It's like sampling music: pluck the highlights and play with them, recasting them into something new.

Never be afraid get into the weeds, get more specific, and explore the deeper angles of a thought or a word.

The writing process is messy. It's supposed to be, like smacking paint on a canvass. Writing is observing, splurging, and then editing. It only knows work and process.

So how you do write? You spill your thoughts first, and then you go back and clean up the mess.

Writing is the best app

A closeup picture of a typewriter keyboard

I have a brain training app — it's called writing and it's the hardest thing I do.

The code of writing is practice. You can't possibly get writer's block if you force yourself to publish something every day.

When's the last time you got talker's block?

Writing is creating. It's an art, like painting and drawing where the end-game is clarity, abstraction, or intricacy weaved together.

It's not the writing that bogs down writers. It's the editing. It's the painful process of crawling through the brain dump you just took on paper. As the Marines say, “Pain is weakness leaving the body.”

So why write if the process hurts so bad?

“Why write? To write. To make something.”

Claude Simon

More on writing: The Blank Canvass