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Life & Philosophy

Celebrate the story you tell yourself

Conformity will always be the safest choice. But honesty is a passport to freedom. As long as you’re living your best self, you’ve got nothing to worry about. #gif #amwriting

You either fit in or strive to stand out. There are promises in both approaches.

You’re more likely to feel more secure in the first route as society rewards mimetic behavior. Every obedient dog gets a treat.

Success is harder on the fringes. Whether you’re an iconoclast, a contrarian, a ‘weirdo’, or innovator, you can expect to be misunderstood for long periods of time.

Walking through the labyrinth requires acceptance of uncertainty. Thinking different from the norm will always require more courage than jumping through hoops.

“It’s as though people expect you to blow one note all the time, and I guess a lot of people can only blow one note. But there are people who can blow two or three notes, and I guess I’m one of them.”

Frank Gehry

Yet, rarely is one unique individual every truly alone — the internet swims in collaborative niches. Different is attractive.

Conformity will always be the safest choice. But honesty is a passport to freedom. As long as you’re living your best self, you’ve got nothing to worry about.

“To be yourself in a world that is constantly trying to make you something else is the greatest accomplishment.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Books Life & Philosophy Quotes

‘Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence’

Nothing in the world can take the place of persistence. The desire and ability to press on has and always will solve the problems of the human race and divide those who achieve from those who might have been.

Ralph Waldo Emerson
Book image of Emerson's Self-Reliance #books
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Books Quotes

‘Don’t water down your natural style’

"What you love to think about, dream about, speak about, learn about and create about is your genius. Don’t water down your natural style or contort yourself into some idealized version of who you think you should be. The impulses that come from deep within are your guide track to greatness. We want you as is." Ralph Waldo Emerson #Quotes #life

What you love to think about, dream about, speak about, learn about and create about is your genius. Don’t water down your natural style or contort yourself into some idealized version of who you think you should be. The impulses that come from deep within are your guide track to greatness. We want you as is.

Ralph Waldo Emerson, Self-Reliance
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Life & Philosophy Psychology Quotes Uncategorized

The benefits of walking in nature

One of the main benefits of walking in nature is that trees inspire feelings of awe. According to research done by psychology professor Dacher Keltner at UC Berkeley, awe benefits not only the mind and body but also improves our social connections and makes us kinder.

Spending time outside is also vital as a de-stressor. One study found that camping gets the stress hormone cortisol back under control. Even sitting near trees at the office help calm us down with “softly fascinating stimulation.”

Spending time outside has many benefits including improving short-term memory, sparking creativity, lowering blood pressure, reducing fatigue, strengthening focus and more.

The benefits of walking in nature
The Hyperion: The world’s largest tree located in Northern California (Photograph by Michael Nichols, National Geographic)

Nature is a higher power

Knowing how little we stand in a swathe of gigantic trees also puts life in perspective. Wrote Ralph Waldo Emerson in his essay Nature:

“Standing on the bare ground, my head bathed by the blithe air and uplifted into infinite space, all mean egotism vanishes. I become a transparent eyeball; I am nothing; I see all; the currents of the Universal Being circulate through me; I am part or parcel of God.”

Nature soothes the sense of self. It reminds us that we are less significant we are, and that fact may make us happier we’re here.

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Culture Life & Philosophy Quotes Tech

You can quote this

When they asked all graduating seniors to record their favorite quote for the high school yearbook, I pulled one from Ralph Waldo Emerson: “I hate quotations. Tell me what you know.”

Even at that moment, I refused to conform. The irony, of course, is that I used a quote to help express myself.

I still have a love/hate relationship with quotes. They are first and foremost someone else’s thoughts, and while they can motivate us, even relieve us, and sum up how we think, they can often be as cheesy as Pinterest. They make words look trapped in between a prison of quotation marks.

“Quotation marks” de-energize quotes, just as much as using them as substitutes for our own thinking de-individualizes us. Call it cynical, but we’re living in the Internet era–the world’s greatest copy-past machine– where everything can be reduced to a shared tautology.

What if, instead, we listened to ourselves rather than allowing others to validated our neuroses. Quotes are merely thought starters; even children like to originate their own opinion.

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Life & Philosophy Quotes

Don’t Quote Me on This

“Emerson didn’t hate quotation, not really. What he hated was our impulse to shortcut actual thought. The Internet didn’t create that impulse, but it has made it far more tempting and easier to satisfy.”

Quotes evade self-thought by stirring the pot with someone else’s words.

It’s easy to get caught up in quotes, the same way we get addicted to sharing link bait. Never be afraid to quote yourself.

Ironically this was my high school yearbook quote from years ago:

“I HATE quotation. Tell me what you know.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Postaday Quotes

‘Insist on yourself; never imitate.’

Insist on yourself; never imitate.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson
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Quotes Science

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

Flowers GIF - Find & Share on GIPHY

“The earth laughs in flowers.”

— Ralph Waldo Emerson, Nature and Selected Essays 
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Uncategorized

Remain Skeptical

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.” – Ralph Waldo Emerson

Doubt on purpose.  Doubt in order to jump start different thinking and experiment, rising above the ordinary.

Narrow-mindedness is accepting things by default. Life requires diversity which begets progress.

Nevertheless, skepticism is only one step one in redefining existence.

Thinking different is a cop-out if there’s no creative work to back it up.

Skeptics are as equally as responsible as conformists.  They have to convert questioning into viable action. Naturally, the next is doing the work.

It’s not about ideas. It’s about making ideas happen. – Scott Belsky

The biggest hurdle in any creative process though is communicating it effectively and converting the work into sales. Creativity is one part making and equal part commerce.

Making money is art and working is art and good business is the best art. – Andy Warhol

If your work matters, then it’ll probably matter to others as you convince them to share your labor of love.

In summary, here are the steps to maximizing skepticism:

  1. Think Different.
  2. Take positive, creative action.
  3. Communicate effectively.
  4. Sell your idea/art.

Uniqueness is a prompt for action, not an excuse to sit back and mock what’s already been done.

Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things the matter. – Martin Luther King Jr.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Quotes

Emerson: ‘All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.’

“All life is an experiment. The more experiments you make the better.”

Ralph Waldo Emerson