Paying attention to my lifeline

Social Media Detox Project: Day 19

I am exploring self-employment, which is like submerging into a mysterious abyss. As I dive deeper, I’ll discover all sorts of new and interesting treasures, wildlife and other people who live here. My entire worldview is shifting.

But I am just visiting, and I can’t venture too deep just yet.

Currently, my day job is my lifeline. As I continue exploring, I have to pay enough attention to it so that it doesn’t snap.

But if I spend enough time down here I will adapt; I will find other lifelines.

Then maybe I’ll be able to survive on my own.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Blog writing

Exercise

Something I Read Today

“If you’re not proud of what you actually do, perhaps you can explore doing something else instead.” –from Seth’s Blog: “Say What You Want” by Seth Godin

Something I Learned Today

That George Washington suffered more defeats than any other General at the time of the American Revolution.

The History of Things

Social Media Detox Project: Day 14

History, the stories of how societies and nations evolve over long periods of time, is unusual. Growing up, I always took for granted the things they taught me in school. Now that I’m an old man, I’m absolutely riveted by history. It’s like entering into another world, yet this isn’t fantasy. These are events that actually happened. These were people that really existed. Their decisions shaped the way our world is now.

We take the term “The United States” for granted, but during the long, tumultuous birth of our nation, such a thing did not exist. Imagine how weird it would be if each state was its own independent nation–how different history would have been shaped.

Strange to think about…

What I Did Today

Worked on novel

Shot a bunch of videos in the park

Family time

Band practice

Freelance writing

Something I Read Today

“By rejecting proportional representation, the architects of the Articles were making a clear statement that they did not intend the Confederation Congress to function as a national government once the war was won. The closest approximation in our time is the European Union.” –The Quartet:: Orchestrating the Second American Revolution, by Joseph J. Ellis

Something I Learned Today

Not related to history, but random thoughts about how marketing and branding really relies heavily on emotion.

Some of the things successful brands do is make their message reach into people’s emotions and mess ’em around a bit.

It’s interesting how we all buy into it.

A World To Explore

Social Media Detox Project: Day 13

The connections we seek exist all around us; not inside our phones. If we think otherwise, it’s because we haven’t tried hard enough.

We all need genuine, physical, social interaction, and Twitter will never be that.

Maybe we want to make friends, so we get on social media and stay because we found one or two genuine connections.

Maybe we just want more fans to read our books.

But, the thing is, most of those “followers” will never be friends or fans.

And we’re never satisfied; it’s never enough.

So, we return to our feed day after day searching for something we’ll never find.

The key is that you can use Twitter to make connections. But you don’t need it to sustain those connections.

The answer lies not on Twitter, but in the physical world we live in.

Go explore it.

What I Did Today

  • Worked on novel
  • Got a haircut
  • Worked on freelance writing blog
  • Finished A Gathering of Shadows
  • De-cluttered my kitchen
  • Shot a bunch of video
  • Family time

Something I Read Today

“…you cannot ask me to stop living.” -A Gathering of Shadows by V.E. Schwab

Something I Learned Today

“People like us do things like this.” -Seth Godin

A Distorted Self

Social Media Detox Project: Day 11

Look in the mirror, and stare off to the side a moment. As you do this, you’ll notice that your face will distort; it will appear deformed, strange, unrecognizable.

This is known as the Troxler Effect and is the same thing that happens with various optical illusions scattered around the internet.

While this scientific explanation is certainly interesting, I like to think this distortion occurs because you are not focused on yourself. You’re looking toward something or someone else, so your self becomes distorted.

Then again, if you stare at yourself in the mirror long enough…

Auuugghh! My face is melting!!

In other news, I finished The Alchemist today and read some of the critical reviews on Goodreads. It seems to me these reviews are written by people who do not understand the message of the book.

The message is simple: follow your dreams.

It is a phrase easy to say, easy to start, but extremely difficult to put into practice and maintain throughout your life.

Those who criticize get what the book is trying to say but they don’t *get* it. To me, it seems this is because they have a distorted view of themselves and the world, which has made them cynical and complacent (then again, who am I to judge?).

They think the Personal Legend refers to running off and doing whatever you want. But that’s not what it is…it may be for some, but not all.

My argument is that those who follow their Personal Legend, or personal goals, will bring more positivity in their own lives, and then radiate that positive energy into the world. A Personal Legend can be anything from starting a charitable non-profit, to creating a new technology that benefits millions (or a book that helps one!).

I think the thing is that most people severely underestimate their own potential and overestimate the amount of perceived truth in their minds, which is really just our old “friend” self-doubt.

Think about the hours in your day.

How much truly important work do you engage in each day?

How much more can you do?

I plan to strive for excellence until I die.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Worked on my resume for a potential interesting career opportunity

Freelance writing

Finished the Alchemist!

Had an interesting conversation at book club (which I might write about tomorrow).

Something I Learned Today

So, here’s something awesome that some awesome people made.

There’s a search engine called Ecosia that plants trees the more you use it! They use the ad revenue generated by normal shit we do, like browse the web and put it towards something good.

How fucking awesome is that?!

https://info.ecosia.org/what

I swear, the brilliance and innate goodness that exists in people is limitless.

I replaced Safari with Ecosia

Something I Read Today

“When you possess great treasures within you, and try to tell others of them, seldom are you believed.” -The Alchemist, Paulo Coelho

Going in Search of Your Treasure

Social Media Detox: Day 9

What did you want to be when you were a kid?

Did you ever achieve your dream?

Did you ever find your treasure?

If not, why?

It’s hard to pinpoint the exact moment when the dreams of our youth begin to falter, because I think it’s a process that sneaks up on us.

Before we know it, we’re miserable in our job, in an unhappy marriage, and/or just plain dissatisfied with life.

This is often blamed by the amount of responsibility we accumulate over our lives. Once we start a career, have a family and a mortgage, our dreams tend to fall by the wayside. We spend too much energy in ways we never anticipated during our youth.

But, the reality is more closely associated with the fear that we’re not good enough. This is a bigger energy drain than the responsibilities we garner just by living our lives.

We abandon our dreams of finding treasure, or our “Personal Legend”, as Paulo Coelho calls it in “The Alchemist” (which you may or may not have seen me mention in 1-to-all of these posts), and so we stop searching.

When we stop searching for our treasure, life’s meaning begins to fade.

But we are creators.

We have to create.

So, if you want to search for treasure again, I’ve got a shovel you can borrow.

What I Did Today

Novel writing

Freelance writing for startup blog

Meeting with my cousin’s video game development team

Something I Learned Today

Those who really want gold mine for it on a daily basis until they find it or die trying.

Something I Read Today

“[Creative people] use their responsibilities as excuses for not pursuing their dreams. They underestimate the power of starting small and taking consistent actions.” -Srinivas Rao, “How to Make Creative Ideas Happen by Organizing your Life into Projects”

Social Media Detox Project: Day One

Here we are! Day One of my Twitter detox. If you haven’t already, you can check out what this project is about here.

These posts are going to highlight the things that I spend my time doing now that I am not using any social media apps except for Buffer.

I am still figuring out the structure of these posts but I think each post will include something similar to the structure below.

What Did I Do Today

  • Worked on novel for 90 mins
  • Launched the QA page for SMDProject July
  • Exercised
  • Scheduled a few tweets for Buffer
  • Watched a development stream for my cousin’s forthcoming video game

Something Interesting I Read Today

I’ve been reading The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and am loving it. This book could not have come at a better time in my life, which is also interesting because the book itself contains the theme of the universe working in your favor.

The book contains many simple truths written in a beautiful way. Here is one that I think is relevant to the theme of the month:

…people become fascinated with pictures and words and wind up forgetting the Language of the World.”

And here’s another just for fun:

Whoever you are, or whatever it is that you do, when you really want something, it’s because that desire originated in the soul of the universe.”

Something(s) Interesting I Learned Today

  • That I am 100% ready for this thing to fail and to reach no one at all. And that’s okay.
  • I am working to bring myself out of the mindset that this is all just to gain an audience. I have decided to commit to the month of July to finish this project whether or not anyone reads anything I have to say. I have quit too many creative projects in my lifetime, so now its time to start one with a defined end point and see it through to completion.
  • I want to do this to remind myself that I have 100% control over my projects themselves, even if I have zero control over how they are received.
  • I also want to use this opportunity to practice deep focus. My mind tends to wander quite frequently, so I want to work it like a muscle and harness that focus.

You Can Join Too!

Feel free to get in touch if you want to share in this MAGICAL experience.

Just imagine: a life free from the bonds of social media…

Just imagine………………………………………………………………………………….