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Arts Creativity Life & Philosophy

The archaeological dig of the self

A synchronization of mind thought, and people — symphonies boost enthusiasm, concentration, and memory power. Their confluence is the great harvester of human attention.

If you’re always polishing the car, you’ll never go anywhere to discover new things. If you’re always rushing, you’ll never reap the benefits earned through reflection.

The inner and outer worlds work together to stimulate the imagination.

Money and passion fail to make one rich and happy automatically. Creators are doers. And work demands all the scars.

Invest in yourself — spiritual and mental health — and see it a role to play the orchestrator of your own life.

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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Writing

The streak goes on

Writing can be a painful activity. The idea of thinking and starting from scratch every day frightens the resistance.

But just as in exercise, the trick is in getting started.

Knowing that we can remain uncharged by the underground voltage of curiosity and enthusiasm, we have to depend on a non-thinking routine.

Showing up to practice is the number one priority. Then one writes poorly and gradually with more force, putting the bones in our words.

Discipline is a secret hidden in plain sight, only visible in the long look beyond the glance.

Swimming in impulses and doubt — remembering the possibility of revision helps tame the symphony of perfection.

Relaxed in the process, mincing and mixing words into a jigsaw puzzle of sentences holds material and belief more firmly.

We finish another day until the brain strains for another run tomorrow.

Addicted to vocation, flush with anxiety, we numb all feelings with the most adamant flow.

The streak goes on.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to doubt your fears

Fears are the mind-killer. They will eat the soul if you let them have their way. 

But fear is unavoidable — it’s in your DNA to fight or flight. There are no limits to what the lizard brain can fabricate. The imagination toggles with ‘what if’ scenarios, enduring anxiety before ever experiencing an event.  

Yet the head is also psychologically safe, physiologically sound. You own the decision rights to the brain domain, driven by the string of your heart.  

Fears are, in their very nature, abstract. Wade into them in their stark simplicity and irreality, and they lose potency.

Easier said than done, of course. It takes bravery to examine the validity of your negative thoughts to gain a more realistic perspective on them. 

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy People

A celebration of difference

A tasteless mishmash, a remix so variegated it ends in shatters.

The point of the melting pot is to blend and spit out something cohesive.

The past, present, and future are all intertwined in diversification, miles away from standardization.

Bounded to each other, we celebrate our differences.

Plurality and assimilation are indispensable allies.

So we let our characters churn, breaking apart to congeal all the same. The glorious past happens all together now.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

The burn of discontent

Everything starts and ends from the burn of discontent.

We all have an inkling for something, a dormant enthusiasm, waiting to erupt so we can pour our hearts into it.

But the wait is killer. Toiling in anonymity while practicing in mediocrity needs a special kind of patience.

The resistance can only win at our own capitulation. The work is all that matters. 

As they say, “the only place where success comes before work is in the dictionary.”

If self-promotion along the way helps one build up the confidence to ship, by all means, do it. We must seek the respect we deserve.

We are the audience and actor in the play of life, trying to step back and compose with the highest quality. 

No one is going to announce our emergence. All we can ask for is to be consistent with our time. 

Show up. The only talisman is the heart and head work.

Categories
Culture Poetry Politics & Society

Nobody strange

She was out there, in ideas and intentionality.

By high school, she had already separated from the herd. She refused to abuse herself into the maw of conformity.

College was a continuation of being different. The more she resisted, the more natural it came. Listening to herself ranged beyond self-absorption.

But then the internet came along, and she found herself a social creature once again. She joined a tribe of like-minded others on Twitter. Web 2.0 flattened the world, vitiated maps of their territories.

Just as fast as niches became mass, destroyed by the stylization of the hipster, she withdrew into rebellion once again.

She ceased shoulder-surfing and went off the grid to depart the maelstrom of information and the celebration of indifference.
She developed a type of buoyant skepticism to defend herself against the easy access of the mind and harmonized tastes.

“What if our capacity to imagine has been so badly damaged by the information climate of our times that destruction is all we can see?”

John Freeman, Dictionary of the Undoing

The illusion of immediacy burnt the truth and convinced her that no one knew anything. The constant bombardment of shocking news entertained others into inanition.

She revolted against weird and felt compelled to reinforce normalcy. She morphed into a fully formed and groomed individual.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

Creativity: Faith in process, faith in rest

Rest is integral to unlocking creativity.

Your best ideas come when you’re not trying to grind it out, but when you’re not trying at all. Ideas hit you when your mind is at ease. 

Says composer and playwright Lin-Manuel Miranda:

A good idea doesn’t come when you’re doing a million things. The good idea comes in the moment of rest. It comes in the shower. It comes when you’re doodling or playing trains with your son. It’s when your mind is on the other side of things.

Lin-Manuel Miranda

Creativity is always awake

The brain never shuts off. It’s always processing knowledge, thoughts, and experience, even in a perceived dormant state. 

Creativity is always awake, but it needs time to bloom. The head takes in new information and gets feedback along the way. 

The ‘eureka moment’ is, therefore, a canard. The sedentary body helps the neurons and synapses synchronize thoughts. 

Neurochemistry thrives off disconnecting, in which connections mount unforced.

A good idea is an accumulation of bad ones, clever hybrids cleaned up and simplified through trial and error.

The creative thinker enters a relationship through a swift reflection process.

Discovery is not a matter of giving up but giving in to the process of waiting and wondering, all the while keeping the faith.

Categories
Funny Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Writing

Streaks

The artist never stops, continuing a streak of a thousand days.

Each day, rain or shine, they either pop with energy or force it. Discipline is freedom; fulfillment is worth every penny. 

Consistency is not neutral. Bowing down to habit ensures the only possible outcome. 

The brevity of life requires a sense of urgency and provocation. And a daily routine gives us space to be creative and thoughtful.

How one navigates the tension between doing and knowing is less important than showing up and doing the work. 

As a library of longings, there is propulsion of curiosity in feeling undone. No one will ever finish all the books in the world, yet we read on anyway.

Ignorant of what the future holds, the only schedule worth keeping is one that begs us to do it all over again tomorrow. 

Real artists build their own adventure and persevere. They’re numb to discomfort. When done, they work on shipping the next. 

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Zooming out to see in

We benefit from zooming out. Often so close to life’s endeavor, we benefit from filling in the gaps between the gaps.

Reflection elucidates the lived experience. Acknowledging celebrations and missed opportunities unite the partial mind.

Everyone walks into their own why. It’s the regrets on inaction that sting the most.

Looking back at the windshield of life, it’s the indecision that stems the letting go.

Living more meaningfully is a mindful decision if we wish to avoid the myth of ourselves.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

How to stem the fright

The actor slips over their words; the violinist freezes mid-song; the shortstop misses an easy grounder.

Mistakes happen, no matter the expert. But how many errors are due to overthinking?

We worry as a preventative, living through hyperbole in our heads before experiencing any such horror in real life.

Dizziness of anxiety indicates a lack of preparation. Deliberate daily practice not only improves our skills but also quells our fears.

We work better when we unthink. Doing the work reconciles with the monkey mind.

We may be unable to think ourselves better, inculcating a hardened thought as a placebo. But we can strengthen habit, cementing positive action through bicep curls for the mind.

Uncertainty tries to shipwreck lives. Doubt likes to spread and replicate like a virus, preempting all our efforts and encouraging us to play it safe.

All the energy comes from beheading the internal resistance and replacing it with hard work. We must permit ourselves to attack life and refuse to negotiate with the dialectic and its ”what ifs.”

Thankfully, we starve for expression. Our craft is a serious matter.

Discipline is freedom. It’s the only thing we can fire up to help control rising self-doubt.

The most significant gains in confidence come from executing the production process itself.