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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.”

Luis Suarez

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

Eureka moments are a myth 💡

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gif via Tumblr

In 1726, an Apple dropped from a tree and hit the elder physicist Isaac Newton on the head.  It was then he discovered insight into gravity. Or so the story goes. 

In reality, he had already done a lot of his thinking while staring at the surrounding apple trees. Newton’s friend and biographer William Stukeley wrote: “Occasion’d by the fall of an apple, as he sat in contemplative mood.” 

We polish stories, embellish them, so they’re more memorable and thus more shareable. To quote librarian Keith Moore, the Newton story is “an 18th-century sound bite.”

There is no such thing as a Eureka moment. Light-bulb moments arise because we’ve already spent a long time thinking about them and letting the subconscious do its work.

It’s no surprise that big ideas seem to happen in dull moments when we're in the shower or doing the dishes. Ideas also come to us during rest. A resting mind still hungers for stimulation because creativity is always awake.

This is also why planning unscheduled time is so vital to the work process. We have to get out of our own heads so we can think with more clarity.

Eureka moments are a myth. They occur when we’re thinking without thinking. The right ‘creative’ brain is always on. It splits duties with the left brain to interpret various phenomena.

A plastic brain shaped by the path

gif by Dan Harnden

The external ruggedness poses a challenge that compels an individual to grow. 

We evolve because we must struggle. And it's the endurance that makes the human. 

The only thing we really have any control over is our own experience.

Traleg Rinpoche

As we piece together the scraps of experience, we put the bones back in the goose and we discard the thoughts that don't serve us. 

Like an umbrella, the brain protects us from inertia. It's the giant sucking sound of mediocrity that we have to look out for.

Begin with a bookshelf

Book dam by Jacek Yerka

Build a board of long-distance advocates. These can be authors, leaders or personal heroes of yours you might never meet. You’ll never share coffee, perhaps, but their books and ideas can impact your career. I’ve never met him, but author Steven Pressfield greatly impacted the hustle investment of my Career Savings Account. I never would have been able to finish my first book without the encouragement of his book The War of Art. If advocates or a table of strangers feels like too big of a stretch, begin with a bookshelf.

Jon Acuff, Do Over

Reading not only creates a theater inside your head — it can also inspire you to do the work you've always wanted.

Don’t adopt other people’s anxiety

gif by Luiz Stocklergif

We rely on other people's testimony. It's no wonder, therefore, that their anxiety becomes ours. We then cognize every piece of information to fit the nervy narrative.

Worries spread like viruses. And they provoke an unwarranted shock into health scares, money problems, and job pressures.

A strange and contradictory animal, humans can barely see through the apparition of fear. The brain's chemicals are so easily triggered and duped.

To avoid falling ill to the pitfalls anxiety's publicity machine, we need to create stronger meanings out of the abstract energy of positive motivation. We have to put a mental finger on good feelings.

It's the obedient clerks that manufacture all the negativity. It's the stoics that refuse to buy in.

The all-important gaze

Stuck in a default state of distractedness, we look away for the next magnetic clue.

As the gaze proceeds, a sense of familiarity comes to our aid to help us navigate our way in the world.

But most of it is just noise impeding the short-term incremental goals and long-term moon shots.

Stare at the world and your model

What we decide to pay attention to ultimately determines our lives.

So we might as well keep our eyes on the entire donut, not just the donut hole.

Active by default

gif via Tumblr

We sleep on it, take cold showers, and jog it out. We give the various ingredients time to simmer.

We are always working, whether it's by gathering string or by waiting for the neurons and the synapses to wire and fire together.

The conscious mind applies the deliberate practice while the subconscious does the rest. Says writer and illustrator Maira Kalman, “wonderful things happen when your brain is empty.” That is the magic of thinking without thinking.

The kernel of an idea blooms within all the cerebral apps within. But that's just the start.

Once one idea stops working, we go through the learning process all over again.

“It is amateurs who have one big bright beautiful idea that they can never abandon. Professionals know that they have to produce theory after theory before they are likely to hit the jackpot.”

Francis Crick

Silly illustrations by David Shrigley

The great illustrator David Shrigley does a lot of fantastic weird and funny art loaded with truth serum. He speaks for so many, including myself.

Here are some of my recently discovered favorites. Visit Shrigley's website to check out all of his work, including these ‘oblique comments and strange drawings' from his last book.

Airing out the ego

gif by John Corsi

Never at rest in yesterday’s form. We are always chasing something unique, railing against the establishment.

Chances are we’ve already forgotten the information we learned yesterday.

With half-closed eyes, we bustle through through life forging connections between experiences.

But then one day, it all slows down. It’s not about us anymore but other people: our kids, partners, and close friends.

The ego must be aired out.

Insecurity and security, certainty and uncertainty — it all flows from subjectivity into a way of life that helps other people too see themselves.

Doing more begets more productivity

Busy people get more done. Having multiple priorities creates a state of flow.

We worry more when we give too much form to the unknown.

The most productive days are those in which we go immediately into action, en medias res, with a to-do list baked in our head.

Of course, busyness is not a badge to wear either.

If we're going to chase something, it better be something we enjoy. Passion helps absolves the grind.

Doing meaningful work centers us. But for that, we must also take responsibility and choose ourselves.

Own the confidence to discover and resolve anything by staying busy.