Categories
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
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Psychology

Habits can change your life

A habit can change your life.

A book can change your life.

A piece of advice can change your life.

The internet can even save your life.

Of course, inheriting good genes can also be a boon.

The closed ear inoculates someone against self-improvement. But when the mind’s vault is left open, just a little tweak — what productivity author Charles Duhigg calls a ‘keystone habit’ in his book The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business — can lead from one positive change to the next. Take exercise for instance:

“Typically, people who exercise, start eating better and becoming more productive at work. They smoke less and show more patience with colleagues and family. They use their credit cards less frequently and say they feel less stressed. Exercise is a keystone habit that triggers widespread change.”

Small things, big change.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Quotes

André Gide: ‘A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly’

A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.

— André Gide, The Immoralist
Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy

Be open to change

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You are elastic, not stagnant.

“A caterpillar who seeks to know himself would never become a butterfly.”

— André Gide

You may not be a morning person now. But you might be when you have kids.

You may not think of yourself as a meditator, but after listening to Tara Brach, you may become hooked.

You may have loved drinking chocolate milk and eating fruity pebbles as a kid. But do you still consume them as an adult?

You may order an espresso each morning until someone introduces to you the Americano or flat white.

And so forth…


You’re made to change, in small and significant ways. To think who you are today is final is nonsense, an illusion that falsely imagines the end of your own history.

“We all think that who we are now is the finished product: we will be the same in five, 10, 20 years. But, as these psychologists found, this is completely delusional – our preferences and values will be very different already in the not-so-distant future.”

Perhaps instead we should ‘practice becoming,’ as Kurt Vonnegut so wisely encouraged.

Want to be happier and more fulfilled in life? Learn to be open to change

Categories
Life & Philosophy

Anxiety is a thinking problem

Anxiety is a thinking problem. It is a presence in flux, stuck in gear between looking backward and looking forward simultaneously.

To better cope with the onslaught of worry, you need stronger cognitive tools or algorithms to live by. You need some cognitive presets and habits to inculcate them.

For example, a basic tenet of Stoic philosophy is that ‘What’s outside my control is indifferent to me.’ Another way to step back, is to realize that imagination is always worse than reality.

If you’re looking for more tactical strategies for coping with anxiety, particularly Obsessive-Compulsive Disorder (OCD), please consider reading my book Rule OCD: 20 Tips to Overcoming OCD where I outline 20 tips for dealing with the doubting disease. 

Habits will change your life

If you want to get unnecessary doubts under your control, consider practicing some positive daily habits like meditation, fear-setting, or journaling. I recommend writing by hand in a daily journal like The Five Minute Gratitude Journal or if you’re an artist, the ever-popular Morning Pages JournalIt’s these kinds of diurnal practices that reinforce affirmative beliefs like bicep curls for the brain. 

People worry as a preventative. But it’s not worth worrying before it’s time, inching closer to the giant sucking sound of a depressing gif loop.

“I’ve suffered a great many catastrophes in my life. Most of them never happened.”  

Mark Twain

Try to avoid looking forward to a future you can’t control. The sooner you embrace uncertainty and greet your anxiety instead, the more present and happier you’ll be.

Pro tip: One of the ways I also encourage people to get unstuck is to blog out their anxieties (btw, you can start a free blog on WordPress right here). When it comes to blogging effectively, you have to be a little vulnerable. Don’t tell all but don’t hide everything either, especially if your advice will benefit the lives of other people. 

Categories
Culture Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work Tech Uncategorized

To err is human

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gif via kidmograph

Technology evolves. Customer expectations change. Facebook tweaks its algorithm, again! All strategies and proven methods are temporary.

The pragmatist is always looking for a better way while following the practices that already work.

But there’s no way to identify what works without identifying what doesn’t work first. Strive a little toward imperfection.

Trial and error is the essence of survival. Consider doubling down on efforts that are showing promise.

We must remain in beta.

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Falling apart to bring it together

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We all share complex inner worlds. But how and what we think often conflicts with how we act. Such paradox calls for change.

We are a creature of rituals. It’s no surprise that when we stop drinking, smoking or acting cynical, other opportunities seem to open up. The mind and body work as an entire system; shoring up one vice motivates you to patch up the rest.

Developing self-awareness raises the flag for development. Acknowledging our vulnerabilities triggers the desire to improve. Taking care of yourself is an important job. And it starts right now.

Read Shakespeare’s Characters Show Us How Personal Growth Should Happen

Categories
Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

New year, new you

If you want to predict your future, scan the collection of moments from the present to the past.

Presumably, there are some things you want to change going forward in the new year. But the want is usually temporary; passion ebbs after the initial boost of interest.

The game of goal setting is tricky. Most people start too high and end up quitting. One way to counter high expectations is lowering the target to make it feel like you’re winning. Do three sets of one push-up instead of five. Run for half a minute. Read for 3 minutes. Do whatever it takes to rev up the emotional engine of accomplishment.

You are improvable. You care. This is why you have goals in the first place. A mind focused on progress defeats the stress of perfection. If you can remain consistent–maybe even a little excited–everything will take care of itself.

Categories
Uncategorized

No Matter What I Do, There Is Always a 27-Year-Old Doing It Better

I have come to understand that no matter how successful I become, there will always be a 27-year-old who is doing it better. Accepting this is an important step in overcoming the pain of jealousy.

Jealousy stirs up competition. But everyone needs some competitive edge otherwise we wouldn’t challenge ourselves to progress. Other people are our barometer. But if you’re not first, you’re not necessarily last either. You can still influencer; plus, you probably offer a different perspective.

The fact remains though: There’s always going to be someone better than you.

Categories
Fashion Life & Philosophy Productivity & Work

Body Moving

  • You are what you own.
  • You are what you wear.
  • You are where you work.
  • You are what you say and tweet.

Is your lifestyle a clear indication of who you are and what you really desire?

Most of the time we can’t get what we want, so our actions are pragmatically confined to what we can actually get and make the best of.

But if you adopt the thinking of your existing lifestyle you may dent your imagination. The will to believe beyond the way society defines you is the only way to convert fantasies into reality.

Reflection is both internal and external. You can accept it in perpetuity or you can think and chip away at the things you need to be happy. The work is waiting, but only if you really want it.