The irrationality stick


Irrationality runs rampant, pervading every human that dare unthink its power. 

Call it karma. Call it branding. Call it exuberance. The effect is burning beyond the reality of facts. Instead, perceived progress is all visceral. 

But like any other placebo, a little drunkenness works still. All we need is conviction. The rest of the story perpetuates itself. 

Risky indecision


risky indecision.png

In the absence of ideas, we’re lost floating at sea.

Weighed down in idea debt, a lack of action can have the same debilitating effect.

Interia is the purported enemy. Just write the truest sentence already.

What works better is facing fear and proceeding right into it.

Keep your eyes on the prize and spend your time wisely, for the latter is never under your control.

Remain undecided at your own risk. Faith knows that even the wrong ideas fail successfully.

Winning a coin toss


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“There never was a man who could go out in the morning and find a purse full of gold in the street today, and another tomorrow, and so on, day after day. He may do so once in his life; but so far as mere luck is concerned, he is as liable to lose it as to find it.” — PT Barnum

At some point in your life, you’ve probably been lucky. And while you have more luck to come, there will be pitfalls along the way. Such is the sine wave that is life.

As John Berger wrote, “You can plan events, but if they go according to your plan they are not events.”

Good photographers always seem to be in the right place at the right time. That’s because they are in a position to capture the magical shot when it happens.

With the right intentions, you can manufacture your own luck. But you want long-term serotonin over short-term dopamine.

A harsh test always follows beginner’s luck. And that is when you’ll know if the destination was meant for you.

“It’s called the principle of favorability, beginner’s luck. Because life wants you to achieve your Personal Legend.” The Alchemist 

Embracing uncertainty


Monkey embracing uncertainty

Bored when you know too much. Anxious when you know too little.

The good news is that you can’t control the universe. Acknowledging your powerlessness should set you free instead of trying to float onto absolutes.

Writes lifehacker Darius Foroux:

Lighten up. Relax your muscles. Get rid of that tense face. Don’t worry. And have faith in yourself.

Every minute that you’re investing in yourself will have a return. You just don’t know when that is.

Maybe it’s tomorrow, or maybe it’s in 10 years.

Who knows?

Who knows if your most electrifying life and work are yet to come or shit’s going to hit the fan.

But if you’re reading this, chances are you’re probably worth fighting for.

The quest for self-improvement at least brings novelty, even if the impact is rarely immediate. 

Gamed and uattended


Beyond the robot. Waiting for the robot.

The question of who does what won’t matter when the automata yield the paintbrush, teach Castilian Spanish, dance, and write best-selling romance novels.

Even if this is all simulation, the gamers from above played their part in permitting the unscripted.

Like hungry pigeons, we were just picking up the scraps following in the footsteps of Neanderthals, cavemen, and dinosaurs before us.

Now the era of wonderful nonsense gives drones and bees a first person perspective.

Looking sideways


An inner radicalism tugs away at the illusion of coherence. What we strive for often makes zero sense to others, if at all to ourselves. But we feel it.

The contrarian begs to differ if only to avoid the stuckness of traditional thought.

In all likeliness, it’s the things misheard, misquoted, misunderstood — mere accidents — that provoke innovation.

“I like hearing things incorrectly. I think that’s how I get a lot of ideas is by mishearing something.” 

Tom Waits

When we remove the obsession with absolutes, we roll the dice on what could be. Never certain in any outcome, confidently looking sideways at the cracks. Think different.

Facing opposites


face to face

We want to reduce the stress in our lives, yet we keep piling on the number of things we need to do. We travel arms wide open into a tidal wave of responsibilities.

We want to restrict the data tech companies collect from us, yet we swipe right at consent. All terms, all conditions, in favor of the Leviathan.

We want to think we’re a curious bunch, open to a world unknown, yet act like novices at the ways of seeing. What is new leads somewhere new, absent the spot.

We meditate to detach the mind from surfeit consciousness when simply going for a walk, doing the dishes, or shooting hoops produces the same relaxing effect. With little effort, the neuronal spike trains intensify in voltage.

Opposite to everything, without opposition to anything. Whatever one says is true, the opposite is equally true.

Inside the head


gif by Jason Clarke
  • Mute/unmute
  • Blind to our blindness
  • Freedom within the cube

Our sensory perception tells us how we should interpret the world, which is often a series of paradoxes. It’s the bits in the brain that make the world a reality, not the external stimuli itself.

“If you could perceive reality as it really is, you would be shocked by its colorless, odorless, tasteless silence.”

David Eagleman, neuroscientist

Like breathing in air, we take the information we need and spit it back out. A cycle of gases, presence is a gif loop stuck on belief.

The only reassurance you need


We treat fame and social media status like currency. We presuppose that anonymity or a lack of engagement trivializes what we do.

Even worse, we let TV and Instagram determine our self-worth.

But what and who matters is rarely popular. No one wants to pull back the curtain and see the sweat and tears of a Van Gogh, who toiled in obscurity his entire living life. He never knew publicity.

Even if you’ve achieved some level of recognition, what you consider your best work will almost always contrast with the public perception.

At the end of the day, humans want to feel necessary. They want to commit themselves to a worthy discipline, whether’s it’s expressed through art or driving an Uber to support the art or vice versa.

It’s a canard to think that fame predetermines whether your matter or not. The most important things in your life are provided by the most anonymous people.

Fame is fake stimuli. If you feel like your work matters, that’s the only placebo you need.

From bytes to bits of reality


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We demand privacy yet admit ourselves to the culture of exposure. But rather than celebrating our uniqueness, we publish the same things everybody else does: selfies, food porn, and bullet journal snapshots.

The one benefit to seeing other people’s stories is the reinforcement of FOMO (fear of missing out). The unlived life taunts one into action. In such a way, FOMO can represent a positive form of encouragement. It gets off our screens and into the real world.

Life’s richest data emerges from lived experiences rather than the pixels on a screen. Exposure carves us into beings rather than lemmings of technology’s manipulative desires.

Inspired by adventure, we pull ourselves up by our bootstraps and explore more of the parts unknown.

Oblique Strategy: Turn it upside down


“Turn a seeming disadvantage to your advantage. The greater the seeming disadvantage, the greater the possible advantage.” 

Robert Fripp

via Brian Eno

Give it time to simmer


Nothing ever gets wasted. It just needs time to ‘simmer.’

Gather everything you need to know, facts and crazy ideas, and then let them have sex while you do other stuff, even procrastinating.

Revelations follow not when you’re always on but when you let the unconscious mind go to work. Being overly wake, in other words, spurns the lucidity of ideas.

Don’t force it.

Wanting discovery and getting it is a process of patience. The rest of the time begs for play.

“The physical universe is basically playful. There is no necessity for it whatsoever. It isn’t going anywhere. It doesn’t have a destination that it ought to arrive at. But it is best understood by its analogy to music. Because music as an art form is essentially playful. We say you play the piano, you don’t work the piano.” Alan Watts

gif by David Koblesky

Impatient with action, patient with results


Impatient with action, patient with results.

Taking consistent, small steps, each day turns thousands of drips into a bucket of water.

But it’s not so much the practice that matters. It is the execution.

Shooting the basketball with improper form every day is not going to help come game time. The fundamentals for adaptability go missing.

The mice who run the same track each time to get a pellet may miss the more appetizing snack on the detour.

The purpose of continued work is to reveal new opportunities. The beam of attention we direct at the world corresponds to what we receive in return.

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The running conversation in your head


The mind is perpetually stuck in the future, worried about tomorrow instead of tomorrow’s yesterday.

It’s as if we’re running toward an elusive finish line, lured by the temptation of retirement.

Hold up…why do we move so fast?

Skimming and skipping produce a race to the bottom. We expect the algorithms and Google shortcuts to provide the answers and solve a lack of intelligence.

Learning, of patience, through experience, stokes pure wildness. It is how we evolve.

Insecurity is life. In the attempt to lock it into place, we forfeit the musicality of motion.

Putting down the irreality of our screens, foregoing speedy impressions, we finally realize our potential.

This pace is the place to be. 

gif via Toby Cooke