Textbook wisdom

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

Theories are productive ways of thinking even if they’re proven wrong. They lead to other research.

Take the theory of evolution. The topic itself lends to all types of discussions around race, identity, brain and body development. Aren’t we all just pond scum who lucked out on terra firma?

This is not to say we should believe in half-truths. Textbook wisdom says that we know only what we know as of right now.

But there is still no substitute for thinking through new possibilities even if it’s separate from our own palette of experience.

art via giphy

Story unbridled

Make yourself not begin.

Keep postponing your creative impulses until you store up some more thinking. The forest always hides secrets.

When you keep gathering string, the variables appear endless. But the extra attending is crucial.

The unbridled story is no longer a diversion when it becomes destiny.

Once the end of the rope ceases to be a pleasurable digression, hold tight and let go.

Do more work and less research

Go through your scrapbook, Moleskine, Evernote every once in a while and cross patterns and connect the dots. Instead of doing more research, review the notes you’ve taken to date.

The big idea exists not in the next article you read but in how you tie together everything you’ve collected to date. What are the major themes and takeaways? More importantly, what are you going to do with that information to make it useful?

Write it. Shoot it. Publish it. Crochet it, sauté it, whatever, make. – Joss Whedon

Learning depends on your ability to synthesize information but also depends on your ability to recast information into something novel.

News You Can Use

You may read the news to stay up-to-date on current events or to conduct research. You probably get your news from multiple sources including social networks, online newspapers/magazines, or blogs. The plethora of resources can be overwhelming.

But no matter where and how often you consume the news, the only thing that matters is how you end up using it. Part of the reason I blog is to make sense of the world around me. Nothing makes sense to me until I write it down and connect the dots.

“We cannot make good news out of bad practice.” – Edward R. Murrow

News is only so helpful as its application to the real world. If you’re mostly a consumer today, I encourage you to use and remix what you discover and teach it back to other people. Apply the facts to experimentation.

Work/Life Synthesis

We spend most of our lives at the office. That’s why it’s incredibly important that we really enjoy what we do.

Instead of focusing on work/life balance, focus on “weaving” the two together. Connect ideas from work projects to side-projects at home. Work is a laboratory where we can afford to experiment and learn from aggregate data.

Work is also a place where we become better communicators. If we can’t explain and justify things effectively to our co-workers chances are we can’t do it at home either.

At the same time, there are certain things we do at home that carry over into work. We want to rest, play, and feel healthy. More companies are allowing for meditation and 20% time at work.

Work/life balance is ultimately about flow. The flow of learning, loving, exercising, and having autonomy in the office and at home. Boredom and burnout are the enemies.

Work and life have to benefit each other. They both have to be meaningful. Who doesn’t want to leave a dent in the world?