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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Pockets of attention

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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
Creativity Life & Philosophy

Constant Surprises

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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
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

 

Categories
Creativity Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Social Media

Never Graduated

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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.

You can attach meaning 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, RSS, newsletters, and general curiosity. The best part about is that it’s all free. And in a perfect world, this information helps you or at least inspires you to do your job!

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.

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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