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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Uncategorized

Growing one block of reality at a time

We take one step forward and two steps back. Effort never guarantees success but it always ensures learning.

All great things happen because of discomfort. If we can persist through the pain and develop patience, there’s usually a rainbow waiting for us at the other end.

But whatever we’re chasing needs to give us purpose. Purpose drives passion which in turn makes it easier to persist through all the CRAP: criticism, rejection assholes, and pressure.

Whenever any that goal gets less sticky, perhaps it’s time to pivot or take more risks.

Toggling between the predictable and unpredictable makes us feel more alive.

Pour one out for the emotional journey of creating anything great.

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Arts Creativity Productivity & Work Writing

A still inchoate creator

A woman spinning in a chair
gif by Sharon Liu

The blank page doesn’t write itself. It stares at you, pleading for you to quit and move on to something else.

Those who persist pace themselves into unfamiliar territory. A big bang does no artist any good. What matters is not the end result, but pushing through in a gradual approach.

Creators strive for long-term serotonin over the short-shock dopamine.

They’re the ones that embrace vulnerability. They dance with fear while building up the bicep of the brain. Confidence speaks as if it were alone, dying to go public.

The barrier lies within the self. It tries to impede greater personal growth. You are your own worst enemy of nuclear insignificance.

To wait in the ambiguous middle while everyone else flies by on the racetrack of certainty.

You have to do the work now, because you don’t have forever.

Spike Jonze

Doing the work is a conscious anxiety-ridden habit, but it can run with it like a GIF loop. Chances are if you did it yesterday you can do it again today.

The race to patience is on. It’s settling that’s the problem.

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Arts Creativity

Tools for Titans

What’s the device that unlocks you? Is it the camera, a pen, or a paintbrush?

Creativity is a passport to freedom. We combine divergent tools to strengthen the entire arsenal.

The running conversation in your head is to focus on one thing — photographers speak through photos, writers only write, cartoonists draw, etc.

“We become what we behold,” Marshall McLuhan said, “We shape our tools and then our tools shape us.”

Miniature tools by William Robertson

In exploring different widgets we collect different sources, drawing analogies across a variety of subjects.

Said the Greek poet Archilochus: “The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing.” All the hedgehog knows how to do is protect itself with its spines. But the fox is more elastic — it can adapt to different conditions that enhance its chances to survive.

The palette expands in so far as we want it to. Once we learn to live with the possibilities we can stem the discomfort.

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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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Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Quotes

The emotional journey of creating anything great

The emotional journey of creating anything great #persistence #courage
via Bill Gross

Why is it that every new idea begins with excitement but ends in the ‘dark swamp of despair?’

Writes Angela Duckworth in her book Grit

“Enthusiasm is common. Endurance is rare.”

Angela Duckworth

The key to achieving anything is not necessarily maintaining that excitement but pushing through all the CRAP (criticism, rejection, assholes, and pressure) and maintaining a beginner’s mindset.

Of course, you’re likely to lose interest, energy, and emotional support from family and friends along the way. That’s why it’s equally important to have a vision of where you want to go and what you’d like to accomplish. Developing habits, a daily practice, also help fight the resistance.

Good things are supposed to take time. Progress ebbs and flows. It’s beneficial, almost necessary, to step away from the work and plan unscheduled time. Even when you’re not thinking, you’re thinking; the brain never turns off.

If innovation were easy, anybody would do it.

Categories
Creativity Productivity & Work

Give yourself permission to build 

Give yourself permission to build 

Motivation ebbs and flows. It is fickle and short-lasting.

So we can’t wait for the muse to compel us to work. As Chuck Close said, “inspiration is for amateurs.”

However, what we can do is develop a passion for something and use it to solidify our grit. Having a little excitement helps us push through crap (criticism, rejection, assholes, and pressure).

If pertinacity and practice are a powerful combination, then discipline is true freedom. We are nothing without planned intent.

The fight is already there. The rest is permission, one that we can only give ourselves.