Wear Space is a cubicle for your face

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Panasonic is developing blinders for your face so you can preserve a “personal psychological space.” The company debuted the item dubbed Wear Space last year at SXSW in Austin. Writes the product website:

As open offices and digital nomads are on the rise, workers are finding it ever more important to have personal space where they can focus. WEAR SPACE instantly creates this kind of personal space – it’s as simple as putting on an article of clothing. The device can be adjusted based on the level of concentration you desire, so it adapts to the various situations you’ll find yourself in.

The device also comes with Bluetooth headphones just in case you want to shun the world, office, or coffee shop out even more.

While these look like ridiculous racehorse blinkers, they could actually be remarkable. Until then, I’ll stick to my scientifically optimized music to help me focus.

A coherent me

Stuck and predictable. We stop beating the heart to our own drum.

Instead of chasing our dreams, we ride the coattails of others.

We become a cog that seeks to please rather than to push.

How we align our attention, to the duty or to the clusters of individual freedom, is what determines our self-worth.

The story we tell ourselves works to combat the harsh reality of Monday mornings.

We buck the reassurance of controlled variables for the sake of a cloudy destiny.

Self-scrutiny is the thief of joy

What do you for a living? It’s either the first or last question you want to answer at a dinner party.

Any time you have to open up about a personal topic it burns the lips.

Comparisons are natural, contentedness is artificial. Everyone acts happy but they always want what they don’t have.

If you earn $50,000 a year, you want $100,000. If you’re stuck in a cubicle, you want to work from the beach. If you’re single, you want a partner.

The opposite is true: just switch the latter with the desire for more time, a stable job, and more privacy.

Life is a game riddled with paradoxes. This realization should elucidate what truly motivates you.

Your level of happiness depends on your ability to appreciate what you got multiplied by a personal projection of where you want to go.

Self-scrutiny is a therefore a type of theft.

Creativity is a game of inches

It comes as no surprise that bad work begets good work — the more you create, the more you have to play with.

People mistakenly believe that successful artists excelled all along. But what you see as the viewer is mostly the result of trial and error.

What I enjoy about the internet is that you can show your work. Anyone can put their art out into the world and get immediate feedback, even if the latter is crickets. Dead silence may inspire you to be more expressive, in some cases, intensely provocative.

“It is a joy to be hidden, and a disaster not to be found.”– D.W. Winnicott

It takes a lot of time and a ton of practice to recreate what you consider good taste. It also takes a lot of courage to be one of the crazy ones trying something new. But the artist can’t combat convention until they master the basics first.

From emulation to originality, the entire creative process seems to happen slowly and shimmers when it thinks you’re ready. Until then, cultivating talent is a game of inches.

Doing honest work

You write the story pic / Doing honest work

When it’s all said and done, your satisfaction will depend on your level of completeness.

Should your efforts have skirted the work in any way, incompleteness may leave an indelible stain.

It’s better to surround yourself with honest efforts and avoid being dirty. Only cheaters hide in the soil.

Does automation make us less human?

Life on auto-reply

How much of our thought process do we want to relinquish to artificial intelligence?

Even Gmail’s auto-replies takes the burden out of typing in two-word responses with pre-populated text likes “yes, great,” “sounds good,” or “awesome.” Soon enough the computers will be the only ones conversing and high-fiving each other.

Just as the painter imitates the features of nature, algorithms emulate human memes. The problem is the tendency to abuse these recipes to avoid thinking altogether. Bathing in such idleness set the precedent for laggard times.

Without thought and action, our memories will starve. When we type, we produce pixels on a screen. Auto-reply forfeits the experience of being there. But such detachment may not be as harmful as we think. 

The symbiosis of man and machine begs for innovation. AI may free up cognition for other more intensive tasks. In other words, having a dependable personal assistant may compel us to do even more great work. 

The only fear of AI is complete human dependence. We need elements of crazy to keep creating. We’ll die off as soon as we stop winging it.

The hidden power of focusing on ONE to-do ✔️

The to-do list is a strange paradox. It compels you to get stuff done yet it can also make you feel inadequate for leaving boxes unchecked.

“We like lists because we don’t want to die,” said Umberto Eco.

Perhaps instead of trying to do everything you pick one thing to execute.

Called the Hunter Strategy, it asks you to surround yourself with a simple Post-it note to get stuff done.

All you do is choose one task that is going to be the focus of your day, even if it doesn’t take you the whole day to complete. You write that item down on a Post-it note, stick it to your laptop (or a wall, we presume) and use it as your lodestar. Look to the note when your mind begins to wander to your waiting text messages, to your dry-cleaning, or to any of the ridiculous things people do when they should be working.

gif by Mia Page

How do you know which task to start with?

According to the CEO of Jotform Aytekin Tank, “If you’re having trouble thinking of something I’ll give you a hint — it’s usually the thing you least want to do.” That thing is probably the activity we reserve for the end of the day, other than brushing our teeth.

There’s no need to throw our phone into the ocean just yet. But if we‘re using the mobile as a way to procrastinate, perhaps we should consider it. 

PS. Also consider giving the Pomodoro Technique a shot.

Confronting reality 👀

Goal setting is like game setting. You start at level 1 and graduate into unforeseen directions.

If you’re lucky, you’ll ping-pong forward, making leaps and bounds.

But more often than not, declaring your ambitions acts as a compass, guiding you with mere suggestions on how to proceed.

The lighthouse may tease what’s ahead yet what remains murky is only cleared up when confronted in reality. 

Still, the opposition throws roadblocks, trying to flip your resiliency into a foot-dragging laggard.

On, in, or around — you’ll find a way to build a bridge or crush through the wall with a persistent hammer. Give into the resistance, and it will proudly celebrate your inaction.

The goose gets bones via experimentation, the same way an athlete strengthens their body through bicep curls or a monk jogs the brain through meditation.

Even the machine evolves to beat a chess master after learning from its own failed iterations. Wrongs accumulate until they make it right.

The choice is yours to either show-up and move or yield to imperious anticipation. It is recommended that one spend less time pausing and more time living en medias res.

Effort investigates the self and paves the road of life with a bunch of guesses. Fortunately, those assumptions appear to get more accurate with time.

3, 2, 1…action!

Risky indecision

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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.

Creativity is a fancy version of productivity

People confuse busyness with productivity. Answering emails all day is mostly a waste of time, as is instant messaging co-workers. Doing something — typing into little boxes all day — fulfills the human desire to feel useful.

Similarly, people often perceive what artists do is an unnecessary use of time. But creativity is a fancy version of productivity.

When it comes to painting, songwriting, and any other artistic vocations, nothing gets wasted. Scraps and shitty rough drafts lead to the best answer.

Sensible work gets us paid. Yet, when we photograph everything, we look at nothing. Without propelling the imagination and putting work on the canvass, we are just waiting for the next rebound under the basketball hoop rather than looking how to score.

‘Intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you’

Andy Andrews, The Noticer

Despite popular belief to the contrary, there is absolutely no power in intention. The seagull may intend to fly away, may decide to do so, may talk with the other seagulls about how wonderful it is to fly, but until the seagull flaps his wings and takes to the air, he is still on the dock. There’s no difference between that gull and all the others. Likewise, there is no difference in the person who intends to do things differently and the one who never thinks about it in the first place. Intention without action is an insult to those who expect the best from you.

— Andy Andrews, The Noticer

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

Open to detours

Open to detours, fixated on the wrath of curiosity. The single-minded goal-setter scrounges for practice.

In theory, doggedness is the least path of resistance. Like a magnet, we’re drawn to specialized learning.

But we can’t afford to put the right brain to sleep. Quiescent, it too begs to act.

The creative compulsion knows no boundaries. It explodes in those non-cash working hours, when you’re raging with inspiration.

Like making music, the notion of work and play intertwine.

“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

We’re programmed to be ourselves, following the siren song of our vocation. Fight our calling, and we’ll lose. There will be no such luck.