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Creativity Life & Philosophy

Creating a life of constant surprises

Every blogger wants to be an author. Every Instagrammer seeks to be a photographer. Every kid that plays FIFA wants to be Leo Messi.

The path to professionalism in real life is arduous and unlikely. Success takes a lot of talent, excitement, and some luck. But at least we can use web platforms as launch pads of interest.

If you’re a writer, write. If you’re a photographer, go out and capture. If you’re a football player, play.

Make constant mistakes, with good intentions. Everything is practice.

You don’t need permission to make stuff and share it with the world

One of the greatest advantages of the Internet is the ability to share your work and get feedback. The edgier you are, the likelier you are to stand out and get noticed.

You already have a Facebook profile, so you’re already naked; no one is truly anonymous anymore.

The world doesn’t want you to challenge it. It vows to impede your curiosity with short-sightedness.

So imagine if you could just learn and do the work, staying open to new possibilities. One thing leads to the next if you’re willing to use all the colors in the palette.

Categories
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.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Pockets of attention

alice-hampson-5714

Issac Asimov used to spend four hours a day writing. He wrote nearly five hundred books in his lifetime. Warren Buffet says he spends hours a day reading in his office.

What does this say?

There’s a time for consuming and a time for producing.

Those that will thrive in the 21st century are those who can toggle between the rapid digital pace yet still create little pockets of attention for themselves to write a blog post or read a book. Single-tasking intends to go deeper.

Attention is scarce. But the abundance of information is also helpful. It feeds you with ideas and makes you realize there’s so much to learn and so much more to do. But without moments, even half-hour, of single-tasking it’s almost impossible to obtain the deep insight you’re looking for. For that, you need to chew on something for a while.

The ability to weave in and out of pockets of concentration, to get some stimulation and then come back to your work is the key, per say.

Categories
Apps Creativity

A zibaldone was a 14th-century scrapbook

Zibaldone italian scrapbook

Whether you journal, blog, or keep a collection of inspirational images and quotes on Pinterest or Tumblr, you’re continuing the tradition of zibaldoning. A zibaldone was a 14th-century scrapbook that means “a heap of things” in Italian.

“Some media scholars argue that commonplace books and zibaldones were precursors to the Internet, which is similarly scrappy and mixed-up, rich in influences and perfectly willing to zig-zag between genres.”


19th-century Italian poet Giacomo Leopardi was the person to modernize the zibaldone to include musings, drafts of his poems, and observations. Others hodepodgers like Thomas Jefferson copied passages of their favorite novels into his scrapbook for quick reference.

Zibaldones were a way to archive memories, bookmark notes, and make sense of the world. They served as a bank of reflections and a guidepost for a living. Said Leopardi’s on his commonplace notebooks:

“You learn about a hundred pages a day about how to live. But the book (this book) has 15 or 20 million pages.”

Modern-day zibaldones are web-based applications that have become a way to show your work and thinking as it progresses. But if you still prefer analog, “All you need to start your own zibaldone or commonplace is a blank notebook, a pen, an open mind, and maybe a roll of tape.”

How to Keep a Zibaldone, the 14th Century’s Answer to Tumblr

 

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Uncategorized

Mastery > Passion

When’s the last time you were excited about something you were bad at?

Mastery leads to passion.

Instead of looking for something you love, which tends to change the older you get any way, look and do things you’re naturally or already good at. If you continue to harness those skills you’ll become scarce and therefore highly valued.

Summary: Don’t look for passion. Ride the skills that make you unique. That’s what creates passion.

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Uncategorized

You don’t learn about yourself by being alone, you learn about yourself from other people.

Lev Grossman
Categories
Writing

The Best Way To Remember Something? Take Notes By Hand

The researchers postulate that the effect might stem from the fact that while typing, it’s easy to write down verbatim what the speaker is saying, without really thinking about it. Taking notes by hand requires listening to the information being said, processing it and then summarizing it in your own words.

Less is more. Writing notes down in your own words helps you recall more information than if you type them out.

Note-taking is all about succeeding slowly.

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Uncategorized

When you go off into the real world, you need to find a way to stay a student. Continue to learn and surround yourself with those who want to learn.

Allan Comport

Never stop learning.

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Uncategorized

Always and forever. (via Tristan Walker)
Always and forever. (via Tristan Walker)

Categories
Life & Philosophy Psychology

Ask more questions

“Asking for a friend” usually means you’re asking a question for yourself.

We’re all just trying to figure shit out so we can move on with our lives a little less stressed.

Got an embarrassing personal issue? Confused about a work task?  It only gets worse if you hold it back and waste time googling or sending additional emails to find a solution.

Honest questions receive quicker answers.  

Asking questions projects ignorance but it’s never as bad as suffering from the unknown. Plus, your questions are never as dumb as you think. The wrong question is the one never asked.