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Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

Write to be misunderstood?

The write to be understood trope is itself, misunderstood.

Don’t be too specific. Keep it vague enough to goad a broader curiosity.

The details ruin everything, especially if they’re explained by a loudmouth. Revelations squash the guts of great imagination.

The best approach therefore is one that’s provocative yet tactful. Stay determined to keep the reader entertained while also giving them something to chew on.

Keep the reader guessing.

The writer is still trying to figure it out themselves.

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Arts Creativity Quotes

Why simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication,” wrote Leonardo Da Vinci. He would paint over work that didn’t meet up with his expectations. Not surprisingly, Steve Jobs adopted da Vinci’s maxim in designing Apple computers.

Simplicity is the reduction of complexity. It unclutters the multiplicity of crayons and fence-sitting gray space in the middle and replaces objects with mere black and white.

Simplicity comes from revision

Simplicity retains the essence and deletes the rest. Take a look at the sequence of Picasso’s drawing of a bull. He pairs down the bull from full detail down to its fundamental shape.

The simplicity of design directly relates to the clarity of design — retained and kept implicit is the main thing which gets featured in the work.

'Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication'

Only when we remove the excess can we appreciate the beauty of simplicity. What results only appears natural because all the explaining was wiped our during reduction.

The experts know what to ignore.

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Arts Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The trick to staying motivated

Money and fame often serve as motivation. So too does doing good for the world. You’d think it’s impossible to be motivated every day.

But you don’t have to be 100% motivated to get stuff done. It only takes a little motivation to get started.

Fortune favors the motivated

Motivation is not a prerequisite to doing the work.

People often work even when they don’t feel like it. Whether they’re following a passion project or exercising pure grit, fortune favors the consistent.

For some like artists and athletes, the daily grind is a profession. It is through starting, action, that is both the cause and effect of motivation.

Motivation is a psychological muscle. If everyone was purely ruled by mood, they’d probably reach for a candy bar or a red bull. The right type of motivation takes looking inside yourself — intrinsic motivation — for the push forward.

Self-help blogs, books, and streams are wonderful but they only provide temporary motivation. Motivation is fickle.

The trick to getting better at any craft is through persistent practice.

Never let being extraordinary prevent you from starting. Even more, spending time thinking about how well things may go can also become also a demotivating force.

If all else fails to inspire, ask yourself whether you were really interested in the first place.

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Creativity Productivity & Work

“Creativity is like breathing”

A friend once told me that creativity is like breathing. When you make stuff, you’re exhaling. But you can’t exhale forever. Eventually, you have to breathe in. Or you’ll be dead.

Matthew Inman, Cartoonist

The more you make, the more you have to play with. But the creativity flame burns out too.

Don’t be afraid to step away every once in a while to go on vacation or read a book, whatever gets you out of your own head.

It’s ok to break up the consistency.

PS. Never worry about breaking the chain — if you learn to rest, creativity always comes back.

Matthew Inman of The Oatmeal

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Arts Creativity

Make culture, don’t just consume it

Consumption is a conduit to creativity.

Reading and curation inspire us to reproduce our thoughts and ideas to others.

The problem is, most people eat the news for entertainment’s sake.

Scrolling through Facebook and Instagram are passive experiences, doing more to keep us in our seat rather than encouraging us to get out of it.

A sedentary mind is a wasted one.

We must be proactive in structuring our systemic consumption habits.

Creativity should be the upshot of things we like and aspire to.

Developing a rhythm of productive output stimulates a flagging sense of information control. The consumer who lacks a purpose to make something of value builds neither satiation nor fire.

Feeling compelled to do something with what we see, we turn desire into a real-world creation.

When we contribute to the culture, we open up a new Pandora’s Box.

Humans consume ideas, remix them, and create culture. The history of contribution demands no right answer.

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Arts Life & Philosophy

The magic double-consciousness

The confluence of attention and boredom is vital to creativity.

Attention works like a gate, opening and closing at the will of perception.

We snatch what we aim for. The photographer’s eye spots patterns the same way a poet finds beauty in the mundane.

Yet, boredom offers a gateway to mind wandering. The empty mind is a trigger for connecting the disconnected, kickstarting the imagination, and firing up the ability to notice novelty in the driest of places.

The mind zig-zags between concerted effort and pause in the attempt to pick up more knowledge. Emphasizing attention over boredom over the other negates their impact. Sometimes, one has to let go to grow.

Just as we try to float, we sink. Active control requires the opposite: a calm and disengaged discipline.

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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 muse.

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

Knowing that we’re not always propelled by the underground voltage of curiosity and enthusiasm, we have to depend on a non-thinking routine.

Showing up to practice is what puts the bones in our words.

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

Relaxed in process, mixing words into a jigsaw puzzle of sentences, we hold 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 adamant flow.

The streak goes on.

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Life & Philosophy Poetry Psychology

How to mirror the beat of our heart

It seems that in preparing to live up to our best selves, we often fail to follow the very advice we give others.

Dizziness caused by the freedom of indecision goes at odds against reality. So we jump at the quickest cognitive register — whichever requires the least effort.

Everyone seems to have a clear idea of how other people should lead their lives, but none about his or her own.

The ALchemist

We control our expectations which shape how we experience our actions and their outcomes.

At the wheel, we lay our own foundation and build a world from those bricks. The difference lies in the rigidity of our inner-narrative.

Those who believe in their own potential, jump into hurdles with enthusiasm, go further, even if they exaggerate their faculties.

Since the lights are always on and the imagination on tap — even when we fall asleep — it behooves us to preprogram the subconscious with positive mental vitamins.

In the age of diminishing expectations, the story we tell ourselves is everything. We drive our own voice, intimately, and directly.

Surrounded by mirrors, the real “self” is the aggregation of different angles that aim to ride out the beat of our hearts.

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Creativity Life & Philosophy

Creating a life of constant surprises

Every blogger wants to be an author. Every Instagrammer seeks to be a photographer. Every kid that plays FIFA wants to be Leo Messi.

The path to professionalism in real life is arduous and unlikely. Success takes a lot of talent, excitement, and some luck. But at least we can use web platforms as launch pads of interest.

If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a photographer, go out and capture. If you’re a football player, play.

Make constant mistakes, with good intentions. Everything is practice.

You don’t need permission to make stuff and share it with the world

One of the greatest advantages of the Internet is the ability to share your work and get feedback. The edgier you are, the likelier you are to stand out and get noticed.

You already have a Facebook profile, so you’re already naked; no one is truly anonymous anymore.

The world doesn’t want you to challenge it. It vows to impede your curiosity with short-sightedness.

So imagine if you could just learn and do the work, staying open to new possibilities. One thing leads to the next if you’re willing to use all the colors in the palette.

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Life & Philosophy Photography

How we decode reality

We are not born with information.

The severity of an illusion lies within its shadow of a doubt. Objects as artifice are as credible as our eyes make them out to be.

The gut loves to sensationalize fear. The beating heart frustrates under the tick-tock of boredom. The mind interprets thoughts that drive reality.

What makes the external world feel real?

From the outer world to the inner state, sculpting perception is irrational but intentional as we all seek to decode reality into meaning.

What is the external world but just a bunch of code that exists in our heads, sorting out the facticity of objects?

Our impulse intends to give experience the benefit of “truth, both in matter and in mode.” We use our pragmatist razor to cut comprehensions down ruthlessly.