Where it sings

gif by Glen Faught

A mind running on the “factory setting” defaults to organizational distraction. Everydayness overtakes what was inherent fascination.

A mind surrendering to the television or the internet sits stuck in a ludic loop of changing the channels or flicking to the next app.

A mind in search of its stimulation stumbles upon daydreams and mind wandering.

The mysterious power of doing nothing intends to fill in the void. There is no lapse in creativity.

Boredom is where the synapses sing.

Intimacy in the midst of indifference

The internet is a sea of intimacy in the midst of indifference. 

We all hang within our tribes — the Picasso heads, the hip-hop enthusiasts, the mommy bloggers — without curiosity for a broader perspective of differing interests.

“Your whole life informs your eye.” 

Roger Deakins

While no one can attain Da Vinci's single holistic way of looking at the world, we can make the effort to heighten our senses to a new stimulus. 

There's little need to understand every little detail of the casual interest. But we can acknowledge that the world when we decide to notice it, is often surprising. 

Material to hone

It starts with something to play with. Then it builds into an enormous flower of connections and surprises.

The problem isn’t speeding up — it’s calming down the circuits of the brain that are overworked and over-wired.

A prompt here, a rough sentence there, stock phrases, we inject certainty onto the page. But the dominance comes later through the editing itself.

Once we loosen up the control and do the work, we realize that perfection never meets the maker with great exactness. Everything is at first messy, as it should be.

The hardest part is calming down enough to see it out.

The world is colossal

gif via BBC Earth

The world is still colossal, a gaping map of mystery our brains fill in with imagination.

It’s delusional to think we know it.

Thankfully, any time we traverse the planet we’re awakened by our own trained incapacity, an ignorance blind to nature’s surprises.

The ever sprawling internet promises to teach us a few things, but it’s just an appetizer.

If we want to know the world, we have to drive around it. Exploration is the only way to coalesce the wonders out of the world.

Automattic (aka WordPress) acquires Tumblr

I used to blog on Tumblr exclusively. But then the community got stale — other users stopped posting cool art and gifs as they gravitated to Instagram.

Even worse, Yahoo acquired the Tumblr platform for $1.1 billion in 2013 and never made any major upgrades to the micro-blogging site other than inserting in invasive and irrelevant ads.

Like Flickr, another great product that went bust under Yahoo's control, Tumblr dissolved into irrelevancy. The site took a further blow when it banned porn, including artsy content like this.

Don't get me wrong. I still use Tumblr today but for mere syndication for this blog.

But Automatic, the company that owns WordPress.com, just bought Tumblr from Yahoo for $3 million.

No one's expecting a revival of Tumblr's once-creative community but it could signal an effort to get back to the service's micro-blogging core that made it unique from Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and every other social network.

Wrote Automatic CEO and founder Matt Mullenweg on his Tumblr blog:

The Tumblr team also has some exciting functionality they’re eager to unlock once we close the acquisition officially in a few weeks…

Matt Mullenweg

So let's see what exciting things WordPress has in store for Tumblr. I, for one, might be rediscovering/reblogging content on there in the meantime.

The value of pushy mothers

The extra push. It can come from within, but it also helps to hear it from outside influences.

Pushy moms are more likely to build a successful kid. Being annoyed is good for you.

It is later on that you’ll steer your own life and develop the habit of pushing yourself.

The lessons hatch in your head, inculcating an operating system that values independence and hope.

From parts to wholes and back again, the most important thing is to follow through in an effort to inspect the self and all the world's knowledge.

Meet Bolivia’s powerful female wrestlers, Flying Cholitas

Photographer Todd Anthony took pictures of Bolivia’s indigenous female wrestlers for his new project, Flying Cholitas.

This unique group of athletes wear more than stylish dresses and beautiful petticoats — they come together to demonstrate pride in their history.

Once colonized by the Spanish and rejected as lower-class citizens, pejoratively known as “cholita,” they have since embraced the name to symbolize their persistent fight against subjugation and hierarchy.

Symbolizing the culmination of strength, power, and beauty, the cholitas will not be denied in activism nor aesthetics.

How to prevent grit from becoming the grind

We need passion to prevent the grit from becoming a grind.

It might take years to discover what occupation or hobby ignites our interest.

Our intuition tells us if something is there — there's no need to manufacture a vocation that's missing a calling.

That hustle muscle

Enthusiasm is an extra muscle. It provides added energy for the road ahead and pushes us forward despite failed results.

Conversely, we don’t like work that feels like work and erodes our lives with it.

We should expect ourselves to do great things without added pressure. Take this advice from author Peter Bregman on finding our most important work.

So instead of worrying about what life is going to be like tomorrow, focus on these three things today. Answer these three questions: Are you working on something meaningful and challenging—something for which you have about a 50 percent chance of succeeding? Are you relating to other people at work or socially—people you like and to whom you feel close? Do you feel recognized for the work you are doing—paid or unpaid? Can you influence decisions and outcomes? If the answer is yes in each case, great. You’ll be motivated. Wherever it’s not, create those opportunities immediately.

Peter Bregman, 18 Minutes