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Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Social Media

The student never graduates

Learning stops in adulthood because people think all they’ll be doing the rest of their lives is working. But the cubicle, formerly called the ‘action of office,’ is where ideas and learning go to die.

You can put your head down and work for the same company for 20 years if you want. You’ll gain title and support the family. Everything will be safe and stable.

But you’ll never use up all your vacation days. You’ll get stuck in the maelstrom of email and meetings and come out feeling no smarter than where you started. Even worse, no company offers pensions these days.

Learning is a life-long endeavor

You can attach all the meaning you want to your job, but it’ll never replace the significance of continued learning that the Internet makes so accessible.

Tools for continued learning in adulthood include podcasts, tweets, blogs, newsletters, and a place to synthesize it all — whether that be your notebook or a blog.

The best part about the web is that most of the information is free, like air, minus a few paywalls. And yes, being a paid subscriber to a few respectable publications will make you appreciate shared intelligence even more.

Reading the right stuff can give you the knowledge and motivation to do your job better.

Sustenance, or in some cases chasing the Benjamins, is no substitute for education. Throwing in the towel helps nothing but time fly, a distraction from the things that matter.

Business isn’t necessarily learning. It’s just business.

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Books Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

'She ignored whatever did not interest her'

She ignored whatever did not interest her. With those blows she opened her days like a piñata. A hundred freedoms fell on her. She hitched free years to her lifespan like a kite tail. Everyone envied her the time she had, not noticing that they had equal time.

Annie Dillard, The Maytrees

A wonderful perspective on life and work as we go into the New Year and new decade.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Work x "Work"

There are two types of work:

  1. Work that you do for fun
  2. Work that pays the bills

The first is sexy and fuels your creativity. These are typically side projects that you wish would one day turn into a long-term job that pays the bills.

The second type of work is the one you do to live. These are your standard projects and office jobs that support a commercial company. They’re not sexy but they’re reassuring and provide enough cash flow to do more creative work.

The difference between the sexy and the dependable types of work is what Hugh MacLeod calls the Sex and Cash Theory.

There’s always friction to create stuff that matters, at least to you, versus creating stuff that maintains someone else’s bottom line. Both nonetheless complement each other as an influence of skills. It’s all practice, anyway.

The end-goal for all creators is the fusion of sex and cash, to get paid for doing what you love. But even that sometimes runs its course. Whatever you end up doing, at work or on the side, make it a good one!

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Tech

Making meaning removes meaning

gif by John Walters

Making meaning removes meaning. What we make is what we want to make. The only supervisor is ourselves.

But we do need signals — something that tells us that we’re moving in the right direction.

“The muse has to know where to find you.”

Billy Wilder

Accept professions but don’t become them

Tied up in labor, we forget that the day job is the means of survival. Home is where the real sex happens, where we enjoy the liberty to play and rage into our work.

Doing the work we enjoy is the best use of our time. After all, more time is better than money.

Paradoxically, everything we don’t want to do feeds our basic survival. That’s why such priorities always feel somehow aslant.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

Building a prototype

via giphy

Amorphous. Elastic. A concept within a concept.

You can wait until you get your hands on a 3D printer to build out an idea, or you can create one now with silly putty, legos, or pen and paper.

The tools are tools, and our minds fabricate the rest. Stick figures may not produce reality, but they’re good enough to get a design across.

People learn best visually, information as a collection of stills. Tangibility is a nice to have. Whatever stimulates the senses, drives home the point.

You’re better off pulsating the mind with image clusters rather than depending on the persuasion of deadwood words.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Working backward

We all know what we want. Our main challenge is in getting there. But if we take our end-destination and outline the steps to achieve it working backward, it suddenly becomes less intimidating.

We can’t afford to skip any steps. Mastering each tread fortifies the fundamentals which help push us through temporary and unforeseen hurdles.

Greatness is scarce because so few people want to struggle.

They think they can perfect the work in theory over practice. Success is ultimately a summary of our failures.

We should feel compelled to identify what you want and map out the road it takes to get there. We may never arrive at the final destination but instead, be redirected to something even better than we could’ve imagined.