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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

More than just a pipe dream

Dreams come and go but leave the loftiest impressions.

How is it that something can leave such a big imprint but rarely create a reality of the same intensity?

Accruing likes are rarely a good barometer of progress. The only validation of advancement is the grade you give yourself behind closed doors.

Imagination is one thing; dreams are another. The latter needs some hustle muscle. Life requires that you dream with the brain awake.

Visualization starts the heart and manifests the dream. Nothing is more lucid than real action itself.

Beyond ridiculous — that’s the point. Have the courage to deserve it. More than apparition is a hail mary come true.

Whatever musters both desire and fear, do that!

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

The flaws of forecasting

Predictability is a loose formula that describes how things usually go. What works today won’t necessarily work tomorrow.

But what may increase our chances of success is a little confidence.

“Be confident, not certain.”

Eleanor Roosevelt

Confidence breeds success. Overconfidence begets failure.

When we work hard, we instill a practicable faith in ourselves. But we also understand that diligence does not guarantee that we’ll get what we want.

Effort merely gives us a chance to retain our snag of the pellet.

The ways of achieving success are perpetually changing, with the urge to nail down a replicable formula, futile. Success means never settling for what worked in the past.

One can’t smell the wind of their success unless they’re willing to buy more lottery tickets in the work we choose to believe.

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Productivity & Work Psychology

Thinking less to do more

Rhythm builds thoughtlessness. Work can become more natural out of mechanical motion, a kind of doing without thinking.

Employees can’t make one hundred sandwiches in a couple hours without silencing the monkey mind. The process of unthinking begets a chorus of action.

Similarly, we can’t dribble a basketball nor soccer ball effectively while focusing on the mechanics of the perfect touch. The gears of cognition get in the way of flow. Continued practice helps numb the disease of crippling doubt.

Habits are bicep curls for the brain

Good habits strengthen human software, primarily if we aim to do something consistently.

Like brushing our teeth, it’s the repetitive locomotion that undermines inertia and compels one to keep connecting the chain.

We can get used to being productive if we choose to make practice non-negotiable. All such preparation helps plow the field.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

How to turn a handicap into an advantage

“A lot of what is beautiful and powerful in the world arises out of adversity. We benefit from those kind of things, but we wouldn’t wish them on each other.”

Malcolm Gladwell

Some people have no choice but to try harder than others because they’re handicapped.

So the shorter basketball player develops quickness and anticipation in order to compensate for a lack of height.

A dyslexic student practices harder than anyone else to read and write — in doing so, they unlock a new way to play with prose. Maybe they even become a poet or build a media empire, like Richard Branson.

A disability can be a gift in disguise

In working harder to overcompensate for these perceived disadvantages, one begins to see that what makes them successful is exactly the thing that causes them so much struggle.

As the author Bernard Malamud once said, “if you haven’t struggled you haven’t yet lived.”

Embracing the dialectic of a beautiful struggle is what underdogs do. They have no choice but to cope with their weaknesses and find other ways to win.

The following formula helps explain the phenomenon of beating adversity:

Handicap + Struggles + Diligence + Overcompensation + Creativity + Innovation = Success

With the right mindset and effort, a handicap can outweigh its inherent limitations.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Inspiration is a myth

All the inspiration exists and is equally distributed.

But the ubiquity of motivational quotes and rags to riches biographies can be sheer fodder. Instead of doing the work, we get caught in the cycle of disattention.

The role of the artist is the create a reality for themselves. We can’t expect to copy and paste someone else’s experience as our own.

Inspirational quotes exist to help is reflect, rewind, and then compel us to push us along. Our mood board is a visual impetus, not an excuse to procrastinate.

The environment is continually changing, with a priori information overwriting the old ways of doing things.

We can always expect our path to be messy, but with the right mentality, our bodies and minds equally resilient.

Scouring the internet for a hit of motivational dopamine is only temporary. It’s the perspiration that has to be permanent.

Categories
Arts Creativity Productivity & Work

Doing something is better than doing nothing

A lot of people never start because of the fear of imperfection. But when it comes to creating, something is better than nothing.

That something could be as little as a blog post — private or public — a diary entry, a podcast, a simple doodle, or if you prefer to speak through images, an Instagram post.

The habit of making and sharing your art builds confidence. Of course, there will always be others that want to put a dent in your endeavors but most people are encouraging.

Show up and do the work

Even more, two things happen when you show up to produce every day.

1. Your craft improves.

2. You establish an archive of work to pull from.

Once your daily practice of making art is set in the stone and you’ve kicked down the frustration barrier that prevents so many from being consistent, then you can go back and pull inspiration from your work.

“The unknown was my compass.”

Anais Nin

New ideas will bloom from the stems of your first drafts, especially the shitty ones. You’ll start making connections and flag concepts that need further elaboration or clarification.

The best thinking emerges when you give your work time to breathe. Reflection increases the sophistication of one’s knowledge and experience.

Through this journey, it’ll start to become clear what types of trade you enjoy, what you want to be known for, and where you want to spend the most time improving.

Creativity is not rocket science. But it requires diligence, impatience with action, and patience with trial and error.

The professional shows up on both the good days and the bad days to hack away at their inner genie. There are zero shortcuts to building quality and long-lasting output.

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