Any Solution Other Than Reps

“I don’t want that hour back.” There’s simple way to measure the satisfaction of time spent. When you’re done reading a book or listening to a podcast or going to a party, do you wish you had that chunk of time back? If not, what you did was meaningful. For example, suffering through three painful hours of Les Miserables, I wish I had that time back. Going for a walk in the park, listening to my favorite playlist and taking pictures of bizarre found items, I regret nothing. Inspired by Jeff Garlin’s delightful interview with Mad Men creator Matthew Winer.

“Any solution other than reps.” When I hear the word reps, I think bodybuilding. Muscles. Knocking out sets of curls until you can’t lift your arms anymore. But the value of repetition pays off in every part of our lives, not just the gym. Personally, I love practice. I could practice all day. In fact, most days I do. I learned many years ago how meaningful life becomes when you approach everything as practice. Inspired by a fascinating discussion about addiction and recovery with Dr. Drew.

“I’ve never had a door that wasn’t next
to someone else’s.”
 Beautiful article aboutneighbors. When I moved to Portland after college, the first person I met was Laszlo, the guy across the hall. He and I became fast friends, made tons of great memories––even helped each other through some storms––and still remain friends to this day. All because our doors were adjacent. Isn’t it amazing how proximity affects influence? After meeting Laszlo, and after readingBowling Alone, I’ve vowed never to ignore my neighbors again. We don’t always have to be best friends, but we do have to acknowledge each other.

“My purpose in writing is to say things,
not to sell things.”
 I grew up reading Calvin & Hobbes. Decades later, seeing this transcript from Bill Watterson really hit home with me. I’ve always been the kind of artist who’d rather be heard than paid, which, as an entrepreneur, was a blessing and a curse. On one hand, there was a certain purity to the work, never having to bow down to some corporate master who’s looking over my shoulder with a giant red pen. On the other hand, I was only really making enough money to buy more time so I could do more work. Not exactly a sustainable business model.

“There comes a moment in history when
ignorance is no longer a forgivable offense.”
 Powerful passage from Dan Brown’s new book. What’s crazy is, no matter how devastating ignorance is, sometimes we choose not to know. About important things, too. The problem is, when ideas don’t jive with the identity we’ve created for ourselves, our beliefs become too convenient to be killed. And we end up hurting ourselves, our neighbors and our planet. But don’t worry. I’m sure that whole global warming hoax will pass. Climate change is just another fad like slap bracelets and stonewashed jeans.

Clients Are Not Paid To Take Risks

“Like swinging a flyswatter at an incoming asteroid.” Every few months, my office shuffles seats. It’s a simple system for enabling collaboration, creativity and connection. The only thing is, it’s totally random. Which means wherever you end up, you end up. And that got me thinking:Futility is a funny thing. We’re such control freaks, and yet, despite our best efforts, most of life’s fickle forces treat us like pawns in their cruel game of cosmic chess. But the best moment, though, is when we surrender. When acceptance washes over us like an afternoon shower and we bask in the beauty of our own vulnerability. Unless the guy sitting next to you smells like an ashtray. Inspired by a passage from Dan Brown’snew book.

“Clients are not paid to take risks.” There’s what the client wants. There’s what the client wants to want. There’s what the client thinks they want. And there’s what the client really needs. Our job, as service providers, is to listen loudly to all of those things––do some serious alchemy and jujitsu with our team––and usher the client into the space they should be. The secret is, never let them catch you acting. The art is hiding the art, as Michael Cane used to say. 

“You can’t teach integrity.” Not to adults, that’s for sure. Yes, you can model it. You can inspire it. But our job isn’t to teach people how to be good people. That’s why we have parents. Our job is to find people who already have integrity, and give them places to put it. If a prospective employee or volunteer shows up without integrity, we can have all the meetings in the world, but we’re not going to magically morph them into good workers. Integrity is like virginity, you either have it or you don’t. There’s no preheat setting. This post inspired by somebody pissing me off.

“The usual vortex of opponent
 Physically, humans have their limits. But mentally, psychologically, our species is capable of limitless powers. 
Floyd Mayweather is a rockstar who happens to box three months a year. What I love most about his fighting style is, he gets up in your head. That’s why he’s undefeated. By the time Floyd’s opponents insist he will never get to them, it’s already too late.

“What do I already know that will help
me solve this?”
 In the problem solving process, our first instinct is to look for answers externally. Turns out, many of our toughest challenges can be resolved by asking this simple question. Especially if we have a wealth of experience to draw from. We didn’t go through all that bullshit for nothing. Everything we’ve been through is more grist for the mill, more input to scan and more data to bounce of a richer matrix. 
Inspired by Eric Maisel’s new book

All Have Love But Few Know How To Use It Right

“Everybody is a frustrated something.” Not necessarily. It all depends on your relationship with your expectations. For example, I’ve been writing and performing music for twenty years. Composing, playing and singing my own songs is one of the most satisfying and rapturous experiences of my life. But I’m practical enough to treat it as a passion, not a profession. I’m no rock star. I’m completely okay never making money off my music. And because of that level of expectation, there’s no frustration. Ever. Inspired by a conversation between Doug Benson and Dr. Drew.

“Unemployment is so high, we’re watching other people work.” Brilliant observation by comedianDov Davidoff. Got me thinking about two statistics. First, eleven million Americans are unemployed. Second, Americans watch thirty-four hours of television a week. It doesn’t take an economist to do the math. Here’s my idea: What if, for one year, we stopped watching other people make art, create value and earn money, and instead, we got to work ourselves? The repurcussions would be glorious. More tax money would come in. Less junk food would be eaten. Greater morale would be established. Less depression would be reported. All we’d have to do is put down the remote. 

“All have love but few know how to use
it right.”
 Contrary to popular conditioning, 
it’s not hard to be single in this town. In fact, it’s not hard to be single in any town. Like any worthwhile pursuit, looking for love is only as hard as we make it. If we’re willing to do the work, we’ll find someone. If we’re waiting for love to fall in our lap, we’ll remain alone. That’s it. When we approach the problem in a simple, honest, binary way, our hearts will thank us forever. Inspired by a greeting card I gave to my fiance.

“I always had the notion that I had a tiny garden to cultivate.” Purpose is a word that gets thrown around like a rag doll. And a few years ago, I discovered something. Purpose isn’t an activity or a talent or a job or hobby, it’s everything. It’s the way we live our lives. Most of us have too narrow a definition of purpose, and as a result, we sell ourselves short. Purpose isn’t a box to be checked, it’s a project to be lived.

“We are amazingly adept at being
defensive creatures who can deny almost anything.”It’s the same old story: Everyone knew she wasn’t right for me. Everyone except me, that is. I had no idea my girlfriend was a flaming ball of manipulation and negativity, because I was too busy seeing what I wanted to see. Thankfully, a few brave friends lifted the veil and loved me enough to pull my lovelorn ass out of the mine field before it was too late. That was a close one. Inspired by Eric Maisel’s new book, Making Your Creative Mark.

Jobs That Are Too Small For Our Spirit

“It was an itch I’ve been trying to scratch for many years.” Love this story about Nigel Clark, a call center employee who spent seven years working out shortcuts to help customers skip through the dozens of menu options. Proving my theory that anger is the ember of initiative, that only pissed off people change the world, and that once we channel our frustration into something useful, all the bullshit we endured becomes worthwhile. Exhale. Nothing beats the exquisite satisfaction of spinning straw into gold.

“I added this app to ensure trust in my
loving relationship with my boyfriend.”
Reviews in the app store are a comedy writer’s dream. This particular user installed a family member locator app on her phone that nearly ended her relationship. Allegedly, the push alert inaccurately notified Marcy’s boyfriend of her whereabouts. When he found out what club shereally went to, the waves of jealousy came crashing down and they ended up getting into an epic fight. Thanks,Life360. The point is, if you need an app to ensure trust in your loving relationship, you shouldn’t be in a relationship. Or have a smartphone.

“Budget time so it’s not all sucked up by one step of the process.” I used to work with a designer named Chu. He was a master at managing his time, and inspiring others to do the same. The best was, if he noticed someone getting bogged down by one particular task, he’d sneak up behind them and whisper, “You’re spending too much time on this.” That’s all it took to get people back on track. In fact, even today, if you hold your ear up to a mousepad and listen closely, you can make out the faint voice of Chu’s ghost. Doooeeeeeit.

“Jobs that are too
small for our spirit.”
Over the years, I’ve waited tables, sold furniture, parked cars, sold watches on Ebay and refereed youth basketball. But none of those jobs were beneath me. I did what I had to do at the time. The problem is, when you’re housing an immense spirit, witholding your best skills and talents and gifts and abilities, it’s not only a misuse of professional resources, it’s an existential disservice to yourself. You have to pay the bills, but eventually, you have to make the most of everything you are. Inspired by a passage fromWorking.

“To keep her in love with me shall be my
chief object.”
 Timeless marriage advice from a greeting card I picked up the other day. That’s what I tell my lady: My goal is to see how many times I can make you laugh before
you leave for work. That way, your reservoir of joy is overflowing for the rest of the day.
Point being, we
all need something to distract us from the complexity of reality. Laughter works pretty darn well.

“I use
what remains of my dreams of the night before.”
I once bought a book on dream interpretation. Total nightmare. Didn’t understand a word. But I did steal the suggestion of writing down your dreams as soon as you wake up. And I’ve been practicing that daily ritual for many years now. Pretty interesting stuff. Learned a lot about myself, picked up a few good song lyrics, even stumbled across a good idea or two. Sure beats reading another dense psychology textbook. 
Inspired by the infamousinterviewswith Eugene Ionesco.

She’s My Second Favorite Narcissist In New York

“It’s like quitting cocaine by crazy gluing your nostrils together.” Snap. That was Bill Maher’s take on Chris Christie’s stomach stapling. And my thought is, what’s the problem with crazy glue? For those of us who lack self-control, people for whom abstinence is cheaper than moderation, sometimes the best way to block a punch is to not be there. In my experience, forcing yourself to live in a more black and white world knocks out excuses, reduces your experience of anxiety, prevents the rationalization of poor choices and enables daily decision making to be a million times easier. Absolutes are highly underrated. Hooray for glue.

“A society of mourned and misplaced creativity.”
 I’m eternally grateful to come from a family of artists, musicians and entrepreneurs; an 
upbringing that encouraged, supported and applauded all forms of creativity. Sadly, not every family has such fortune. People grow up, but their expression never bubbles to the surface. Beaten into submission
by the sleepwalk of work, t
heir art never finds a home. Thank god for interviews with artists like James Rhodes. He inspires hope that it’s never too late for the gates of dammed up dreams to be opened.

“Bad words don’t make it into the public sphere.” My friend Tony pointed out a fascinating distinction between public space and digital space. Online, selectivity determines discovery. We only engage with content that mirrors our identity. We scroll through feeds, subscribe to blogs, listen to podcasts and press like buttons for people and things and ideas that perfectly reflect our belief systems. And, we do so with anonymity. Offline, proximity determines discovery. We engage with whatever is around us. We have conversations in unexpected places and bump into people who aren’t like us and encounter viewpoints that, god forbid, force us to think outside of our outdated beliefs. And, we do so with accountability. Maybe I’ll start listening to Glen Beck, just to keep me on my toes.

“Growing wealth as a side effect of living your life creatively and intelligently.” Wealth isn’t the target, wealth is what we get for hitting the target. It’s the incidental consequence of the intentional commitment to make meaning in accordance with our values. Who said anything about money? Five years ago, my income was significantly higher than it is now, but my relationship sucked, my health suffered and my happiness staggered––therefore, my wealth was significantly lower than it is now. Inspired by Jaron Lanier’s new book, Who Owns The Future

gotten so used to it that
doesn’t seem weird anymore.” Yesterday I was telling a new coworker the origin story of my nametag. Her immediate response was, “Why would anybody want to read a book about that?” And I replied, “Exactly. They wouldn’t. But they did. Repeatedly. For twelve years. And because of that, I built a profitable business, a successful career and an iconic brand. So, who’s the joke really on here?” Inspired by a heartbreaking documentary on professional YouTubers.

my second favorite narcissist in New York.”
 I overheard this comment during a happy hour conversation between two unemployed drunks. Made me think of this. When we decided to move to a New York, the first thing we did was interview friends who lived here. As expected, everyone bemoaned how exhausting, stressful and overwhelming the city was. We considered ourselves warned. Eighteen months later, I’m not sure I agree. Yes, New York is fast, cold, hard and rude. And I’m probably more tired than I used to be. But I’m also more relaxed, more slow paced and more at peace than I used to be. Perhaps overwhelm is a choice to be made, not an inevitability to be feared.

Creating A Secondary Layer Of Worries

“We’ve shattered the myth that
demography is destiny.”
 Last week I watched two documentaries about charter schools, Waiting For Superman and The Lottery. Both movies made me cry. The notion that families are pinning their hopes to a bouncing ball, that kids have to get lucky to get an education, and that destiny is determined by a draw, just breaks my heart. Ugh. Still, after visiting one of these charter schools in person, I legitimately believe our educational future is brighter than ever. Have you ever watched a kindergartner deconstruct a poem by E. E. Cummings? Holy shit. These are our future leaders, and I love them.

“Starving people aren’t allergic to shit.” Thank you. Alonzo Bodden proves that our country is officially out of problems. Look, I don’t doubt that peanut allergies are series health concerns for certain people. But the real issue isn’t the spreading allergies, it’s the spreading of anxiety. In the past twenty years, we’ve become an overly hygienic, hyper sensitive, uber litigious population––phenomenally busy but radically empty––addicted to our own drama, unable to pause and realize that we’re the luckiest goddamn humans on the planet who haven’t earned the right to complain about anything. Ever. The end.

“The less you need to spend each month,
the easier it is to follow your dreams.”
Sweet collectionof entrepreneurs giving advice to their younger selves. Reminds me of the time my company got audited by the government. Twice. In one year. What a delightful experience that was. However, it was a lesson I badly needed to learn. Changed my entire perspective on financial management. Turns out, you can’t always make more, but you can always spend less. It’s disgusting how quickly twelve bucks a month adds up.

“Food gives us something to focus on that’s not our emotional landscape.” I have a habit of eating my feelings. Whether I’m annoyed, stressed or unhappy, there’s nothing a bag of chocolate covered pretzels won’t fix. But the more Dr. Drewtalksabout this issue, the more I realize that it isn’t about weight management, it’s about emotion management. If the feelings are there, we need to deal with them. Head on. Without a culinary coping mechanism. Years ago, I learned how to do this throughmorning pages. It’s my go-to ritual for confronting emotions and metabolizing experiences. The best part is, it’s free, it doesn’t make my pants fit tighter and it doesn’t make me feel guilty when the bag is empty.

“Creating a secondary layer of worries.” If delayed gratification is king, strategic indifference is queen. I promise, once we master the fine art of not giving a shit, life is infinitely more enjoyable. Subway running late? Coworkers annoying you? Raining pouring down at lunch? Husband stanking up the bathroom? Teach yourself to not give a shit. Seriously. Save your heart for the moments that matter, care like crazy when it counts, and just let the rest go. Stress is the number one cause of everything bad that happens to us, and we don’t need any more of it. This rant sparked by anarticleabout North Korea.

They’re Karaoke Machines Of Themselves

“You’re tough the way tofu is firm.” This joke from my favorite comic strip hits awfully close to home. Tough is a facade. It’s external. It’s the shell we construct to make sure nobody knows how vulnerable we are. In fact, the word tough means “not easily broken or cut.” And that’s pretty much the polar opposite of me. I take everything personally and cry all the time. So I’m not tough. Sue me. What matters more than being tough is being brave. Bravery is a character trait. It’s internal. It’s the willingness to hang your balls out there in the face of complete humiliation. Tough is for wimps.

“They’re karaoke machines of themselves.” Jakob Dylan rants about the performance style of aging musicians. They’re not singing songs, they’re doing impressions. They’ve become caricatures of themselves, hopelessly inhabiting the younger, thinner, sexier version of a rockstar from days past. The key is to avoiding this, I think, is to surround ourselves with people who don’t remind us how we are
no longer what we were. People who have no memory of us when we
were any better than we are now. That brand of compassionate support is what enables us to evolve gracefully.

the hormonally charged waters.”
I read a fascinatingarticleabout the teenage obsession with virginity (or lack thereof) and it got me thinking. Delayed gratification is wildly underrated.If it’s worth pursuing and worth achieving, it’s worth waiting for. When I ran my own business, I often booked clientsfive yearsafter meeting them initially. And not for a lack of value, sometimes our timing was just off. Same goes for relationships. Had I met my fiance a year earlier in life––when my head and heart were stuck in dark places––we might have never clicked. The point is, patience is a muscle that needs its own personal trainer. The earlier we start practicing delayed gratification, the better prepared we’ll be for life’s inevitable limbos.

“They never limit their vision to serve
petty competitiveness.”
 There are two kinds of people: Those who play to win, and those who play to keep the game going. Personally, I’m the latter. Competition was never a mechanism that operated very strongly in me. I was always less interested in winning and more interested in playing. Trouble is, that attitude doesn’t sit well with the agressive, alpha personalities of the world. In fact, the only thing that infuriates competitive people more than losing, are people who don’t care about winning. Which, ironically, is a sweet victory in itself. Inspired by an article aboutloving your job.

“The more labels you have for yourself, the dumber they make you.” Timeless article about keeping your identity small. Brings to mind one of my favorite phenomena, premature cognitive commitment. That’s when we fall in love with our own way of seeing the world, keeping our minds blocked off from any information that isn’t consistent with the label we’ve attached to ourselves. Reaffirming what I’ve believed for a long time now, that nametags should be first name only. Enough letters to admit that we’re human beings, but not so many letters that we brand ourselves into a corner.

“I’d rather be an hour early than five minutes late.” Imagine running late for a big meeting. En route, you get sweaty, hurried and anxious. You start preparing the excuse barrage for your client. And you start beating yourself up for acting unprofessionally and disorganized. That’s one way to do it. Here’s another option. Yesterday when I got off the subway, I realized I was 40 minutes early for my meeting. So, I walked around the neighborhood, bought a snack, listened to a podcast and inhaled a few chapters from Inferno. My commute was completely relaxing, satisfying, even a little productive. And I wasn’t sweating through my jacket.

Sad Facsimiles Of Happiness Crapped Out By An Uncaring World

“To learn what we couldn’t possibly learn if we were stuck in our own orbit.” What I love most about space exploration is, it’s the prefect metaphor for intellectual curiosity. We may not have uncovered alien civilizations on planet Zoltar, but our country’s space program helped advance the fields of communication, solar energy, videography and mechanical engineering, just to name a few. All because we admitted that our planet wasn’t the center of the universe and dared to dig for answers outside of our own orbit. There’s a huge lesson there about empathy and mental flexibility that most people miss. Fortunately, we havedocumentariesnarrated by William Shatner to help crack open our brains.

“Sad facsimiles of happiness crapped out by an uncaring world.” If you want to expose yourself to a smorgasbord of untapped literary genius, spend an hour readingproduct reviewson the iTunes store. You’ll find some of the most insightful, entertaining, witty and lucid product criticisms the likes of whichWired has never seen. Seriously, stumbling across passages like the one above reaffirms my faith in humanity. If we could only find a way to redirect our collective brilliance from ranting about pointless video games to rebuilding our education system. Maybe the government should start recruiting employees from the app store.

“Television is leading someone else’s life for a short period of time.” Carolla finallyarticulatedwhat I’ve been trying to say about television for years. It’s not that I hate the programming, it’s that I love life. Excuse me, but therehas to be a better way to spend thirty-four hours of our week than watching an entire season ofHouse of Cards. We may as well get second jobs. And yes, there are holes in my argument. First, every television show is amazing. Second, not having a television makes you sound like a douche. And third, when people aren’t watching television, the only thing they talk about is watching television. Which means you’re the odd man out. Dang it.

“Sustained intimacy with mortality does
wonders to replace perception with perspective.”
 A friend of mine runs a funeral home in Cleveland. Third generation family business. Very successful. Several years ago, I stopped by to say hey on my way through town. And maybe it was the smell of p
hemaldehyde, maybe it was the showroom of coffins, or maybe it was just the ambient presence of death, but after about five minutes, I had to step outside. Ugh. That place made my blood run cold. Justin, being the master of compassion he is, told me that my reaction was quite normal. He also told me that growing up in the funeral business forced him to confront his mortality on a daily basis, and inspired him to live life to the fullest. I wonder how much television he watches. Triggered by an article about author Philip Roth.

“A place where your voice can take flight and travel.” Crucial article about thecost of being boringin a job search. Reminds me of a strategy worth adding to the list, possibly the most underrated and underleveraged strategy of all:Showing up in person. I’m shocked more people don’t try this approach. It’s bold, it’s unexpected, it’s personable, it’s simple, and nobody does it anymore. Nobody. I’d rather invest my unemployed days getting kicked out of offices than sitting at a coffee shop, pressing send and hoping for the best.

“Forever tethered to the unproductive dance.” The secret to productivity is building momentum. Installing rituals that ensure our day has a cadence and rhythm that include
movement. Typically, I don’t leave for work until about nine. So I spend the first few hours of my day practicing meditation, creativity, reflection and relaxation. By the time I get to the office, I already feel energized and accomplished. These rituals set the tone for the day, stoke my work fire and keep the momentum going until I pass out at my desk around three. Inspired by the new Brian Solis book.

The Awareness Of An Inner Necessity

“Everyone could listen and hear what was on their minds.” I love this article about Egyptian dance music. Unlike some countries whose pop music is talentless, forgettable shite, these guys literrally overthrow governments with their songs. So cool. Their music gives people the language they don’t have. It’s not a product to be bought, it’s an object to be socialized around. They’re real artists, who would rather be heard than paid, who would rather tackle social issues than tally sexual conquests. That’s how it’s done, son.

“History’s backstage players who manage
to put a wrinkle in the social fabric.”
 Reading a good obituary fires inspiration into me like nothing else. There’s just something about the completed life of an interesting person that keeps you humble, energized and grateful. Yesterday, I read about a brilliant classics professor who was unsung, underpaid and undercelebrated. And yet, I got the sense that she was okay with that. She was the kind of person didn’t have to be at the center of everyone
else’s life. Huh. Who knew backstage could be such a refreshing, satisfying place to work?

don’t want disease to be our easy answer.” 
The problem with being an overly sensitive person who takes everything personally is, you allow one obnoxious comment from a complete stranger to be the drop of meaninglessness that poisons your whole day. Until you remember that mood trumps meaning. You’re not depressed. Life doesn’t suck. Unhappiness has simply leaked in. And the only antidote to this sadness is to take passionate action. To decide to bite into something meaningful––that makes use of your talents and resources––and do it really well. Five minutes into that activity, and you’ll erase the memory of the asshole who had nothing better to do than leave a nasty comment on your blog. Thanks for thenew religion, Eric.

“The truth can be more elastic for a comedy writer.” Comedians don’t own the monopoly on lying. All artists have the right to bend the truth. Isn’t that why we got into making stuff in the first place? To render our version of of the story? Like Dylan said, art isn’t about being truthful, it’s about what should have happened. It’s the difference between a story that’s true and story that’s the truth. We remember things the way we need to. We do what we have to do, in service of our work, and nobody has to right to tell us any differently. Inspired by a review of the new Sedaris book.

“The awareness of an inner necessity.” I was never not an artist. There was never a period in my life in which making things was an aspiration. It was always an action. It just happened. Point being, somewhere around five to seven years old, each of us encounters a unique set purpose-driven urges that, for the rest of our lives, won’t let us leave them alone. And if we don’t find multiple ways to scratch that itch, something’s always missing. On the other hand, once you wake up the
human animal, you can’t put it back to sleep again. 

“Have you ever shot a charging lion?” Midnight In Parisis the best movie I’ve seen in years. Specifically, thisscenewith Hemingway, which makes me laugh so hard, it hurts when I pee. The other thing I love about this movie is, it makes me want to live in the twenties. Everyone was drunk, everyone hooked up, everyone was a writer, the party never ended and all the girls had short hair. Doesn’t get much better than that. I don’t care what anybody says, Woody Allen is the greatest of all time. Forget about what the guy does in his private life. You gotta separate the man from the maker. 

All Love Is Saying Yes To Something

“Sucked into a social tornado.” Spending twelve hours a day online, pretending to be happy, is not art. It’s one thing to use the Internet to help your
business, but the Internet should not be your business. D
uring my entrepreneurial days, that was one thing I never understood about my contemporaries. They did everything under the sun to grow their businesses except the one activity that mattered: Actual, physical work. Not checking email. Not digital narcissism disguised as work. But real, physical creation of things that are valuable to the world. Everything else should be secondary to that. This rant brought to you by an article about Woody Allen’s new website.

“All love is saying yes to something.” Yes to the changing of pronouns. Yes to the sharing everything. Yes to the modifying of expectations. Yes to the desires of the other. Yes to the things we don’t want to do. Yes to a life that stretches us. Yes to the vulnerability we swore off years ago. Yes to the surrendering of selfish impulses. Yes to the beautiful, ecstatic energy that cannot be conducted alone. Amen. Life works better when we say yes. To everything. Especially love. Inspired by eavesdropping on a conversation between a mother and a daughter. 

“Inspiration is found through verbs.” Fresh ideas demand fresh fuel. When I get the urge to restock my creative reservoir, I go fishing. Not for fish, but for inspiration. I’ll start by taking a long walk to the bookstore. En route, I’ll listen to a podcast and take pictures of cool things I notice. Next I’ll spend a few hours reading magazines, taking notes and staying open and vulnerable to every shred of stimuli that crosses my path. Once I’ve inhaled all my lungs can handle, I’ll email the notes to myself, switch back to a podcast and make my way back home. Works every time. It’s amazing how easy it is to have the world arrange itself for your work.

“Pay your bills while still lea­ving enough band­width after­wards to really pur­sue your calling.” After reading Hugh’s theory on following your bliss in your downtime, I’m convinced that day jobs are wildly underrated. Never thought I’d say it. But If you’re lucky enough to get a job doing work you love with people you love, and still have time at night and on the weekends to work on passion projects, you won. It’s the best of both worlds. Yes, negotiating that situation is a lot harder than it used to be. But if you can pull it off and still pay the rent, holy crap. Sweet gig. 

word vacation was not used at the turn of the twentieth century.”
 Going on a cruise, s
itting on a beach for a week or spending four days fishing is torture for me. I don’t care how blue the water is. After two days of doing nothing, I get restless. It’s just the way I’m wired. I need to make things and be active and contribute to the intellectual and creative commons of the world. Otherwise I don’t feel fully human. I’d rather set up a life I don’t need vacation from than get into a staring match with the calendar. Thanks to Michael for sharing this interesting factoid.

Every moment is a relationship.” What an interesting way to approach the world. What a powerful filter to install into our daily lives. I wonder how differently people would treat each if they operated that way. Reminds me of an amazing book I read years ago called Playful Perception. Talks about awareness plans, which are procedures or mental recipes for perceiving and thinking about the
world around us. This book should be required reading at every art school. Thanks to Rashida for the inspiration on this one.

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