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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Feeling like a failure

There’s a reason why we always feel like a failure: We’re better off than ever.

With the Internet at our fingertips, it feels like we can all get ahead but mostly all we do is fritter time away in the cesspool of news. Even when we make something, it adds to the millions of other pieces of content everyone produces every day.

But there’s a difference between the artist and the creator. The former tries to find themselves in their work. The latter wants to find themselves through the acquisition of likes.

Remove the social currency and influencers are purposeless in the change they seek to make. A lack of clout fails to ignite their raison d’être. But a goal, a mission, drives the purposeful anticipation of a true creator.

The world keeps on spinning to the drumbeat of the maker, even if the well of confidence runs dry. Feeling needed is not the point for expression is the true release.

The only way to get ahead is to feel vulnerable.

Categories
Life & Philosophy

The big picture view

An animation of girl lying down dreaming in the sand

Everything is a work in progress. From your health to relationships, to making art, the finish line remains elusive because we’re always preserving the status quo or making things better. Even democracy is a work in progress.

En Media Res — That’s Latin for being in the middle of the action. If inertia is the enemy of action, then we can’t afford to sit the good life out.

What’s your modus operandi? What’re your criteria for a successful future? Is there an ethos you’re trying to build for yourself over the next few years?

To stay on track, you need to set goals. Not the ones that invoke jealousy, make you unhappy, enforce you to keep up with others. Chase goals that inspire a way of life, benefit those around you, help develop a sense of purpose, and inspire you to say hell yes despite the burn!

Live by choice, not by chance. Taking control allows one to stay connected to the big picture view. Hold on to your ideas and ideals on how the experience should be and never be afraid to see it through.

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Creativity Photography Travel

Urban stimulants

Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)
Photo by Wells Baum (Grand Central Station)

There’s a compelling story everywhere you go. But some places (e.g. New York) are more content rich than others.

All you need to do is walk a few blocks and observe with the cerebration of your senses.

The graffiti scrawled on the outside of million dollar apartments, the street smoke billowing out from the sewers, the smell of hot dogs and nuts from the street vendors, the sound of delivery trucks running through potholes, and the scratch you get from someone’s suitcase as they rush by you.

Everything is attractive, a potential a souvenir of the present moment.

New York manufactures an excess of content and inspiration, much like the Internet. Such hyperactivity is overwhelming and hard to parse — some thrive on The City’s ubiquitous stimulus, others feel compelled to escape to Florida to refuel.

External provocation is integral to any environment. After all, that’s why we travel — to be astounded by newness.

If boredom is your enemy, seeking interesting places with variable rewards may be your calling. But that last thing you want is to get abused by the infinite. It’s better to scroll with intention to coalesce out of the void of 24/7 distraction.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

How to close the gap between near and far

How to close the gap between near and far

The basis for life is all interpretation, an internal chatter that either zaps positive momentum or dwells on negativity and drains the well.

For starters, your attitude should weave together what optimizes you rather than what conflicts with the experience of inner freedom. For example, instead of looking at your day job as a means of necessary survival, try to find how it bends toward your expectations.

You should never feel like you have to do anything. Rather, you should feel lucky enough that you get to do it.

Even more, have something to look forward to even if it’s an exaggerated goal. Moon shots will push you to find the right focus.

The law of magnetism attaches near and far more often than you think.

gif via @abjahanbin

Categories
Daily Prompts Poetry Productivity & Work Psychology

‘To be or not to be. That’s not really a question’

'To be or not to be. That’s not really a question'

“To be or not to be. That’s not really a question,” quipped film director Jean-Luc Godard back to Shakespeare’s most famous line.

To be is rather a false start. We think that success breeds confidence, but it’s actually the little lessons along the way that build up our future.

Struggle makes us human

Similarly, it is our impairments that deem to weaken us that actually but end up making us stronger. As we overcompensate for our flaws, we excel in creating our own unique survival methods that are almost impossible to replicate.

Humans thrive in their own slow march, detached from the cult of action and the tyranny of business and competition. True progress embraces the route of the tortoise, slow and perceptive, inching forward and sometimes backward, bit by bit.

Said Malcolm Gladwell: “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.”

We are all underdogs in something, a compromise that gets us out of bed in the morning and back to work.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

If you’re struggling to get started, do it badly

“Work finally begins when the fear of doing nothing exceeds the fear of doing it badly.”

Alain de Botton

Perfection is the antithesis of inspiration — it prevents you from getting started.

The trick to getting going is to do it badly. That’s right: Be intentionally messy.

Producing crap isn’t the end-goal. The point of taking small actions is to create enough momentum to feel like we’re winning.

What sustains persistence are small improvements. You’re looking to go from one pushup a day to two the next week. You’re trying to walk five thousand steps a day before graduating to six thousand.

You’ll need to write one-hundred words day after day before developing the muscle to get down two-hundred words on a consistent basis. By the way, there is no such thing as writer’s block!

Do small things to get started — no matter how poorly — to avoid second-guessing yourself and to prime the motivational pump.