Make Someone’s Life Better

Mr. Patrick Rhone, being … just the way he is:

"I want to change your life…
…For the better. Even if it’s just for a little bit. But, my goal is to change it for the better for good. So that you are just a bit happier or a bit better.

That’s why I write. I know that if I put out enough posts, or enough books, or share the right things that one of them, eventually, will make someones life somewhere out there just a little better."

Thank you, Patrick.

Inspired, Not Afraid

Here's something that's been on my mind for a while now, and I sure am not alone with this thought. Actually there's enough proof that many other feels that way as well, but I'll get more into that later.

One of the main reasons something doesn't get shared with others is often due to having a fear of being seen as an impostor, or thinking that no one will read what you wrote anyway, or maybe just that what you're "contributing" isn't worth people's time. I can't find a better way of saying this, but that's "BS".

First of all if someone clicks on a link that directs to your article, they already decided that their time was worth it, so whether someone reads it or not is not your concern.
More important though is who you're writing this for. If it is not a publication where you were specifically asked to write for a particular audience, you are writing it for yourself. John Gruber puts it perfectly on the SxSW '09 talk with Merlin Mann: [transcribed from "HOWTO: 149 Surprising Ways to Turbocharge Your Blog With Credibility! (~16:20)"]

"Merlin Mann: ’Who are you making it for? Who's your ideal reader?‘
John Gruber: ’My ideal reader … is like a second version of me.‘"

I know that there are people out there who feel the same way. They want to create something, but somehow always get back to keeping everything to themselves out of fear.
There really is no reason to keep your work to yourself. As CJ Chilvers wrote: "All You Need Is 1". To extend on his thought, even if you reach just one single person with what you did, you've achieved something great. With your creation, you may have changed this person's life.

Coming back to why there's proof that you are not alone with this feeling of insecurity and not knowing if your next move is the right one, because everybody is constantly struggling with it.
Last year Shawn Blanc had a great episode of his podcast The Weekly Briefly, where he talked about the impostor syndrome. As I mentioned in the beginning, I've been thinking about this particular "problem" for a while now and what a better approach of dealing with it would be. I've come to the conclusion that you have to look at it from a different perspective.
When dealing with the fact that you might be copying someone, think about it as getting a lot of inspiration from that person. Point out to your audience where this idea came from. You could even be overly cautious and say that [your muse] got you to write [that topic]. After all this is how this very special community works.

There is no shame in having some names spread out all over your site. It's only good to have someone you look up to. Your sources of inspiration will change throughout your creation process. Relish the fact that you get inspiration to do something you enjoy.

You Can't

I stumbled over this wonderful piece in my library today and thought it was a perfect follow-up on yesterday's post.

Patrick Rhone on "what the world tells us": You Can't.

While his article isn't about change, you can perfectly read into it that way. Even if it's not verbally, you'll feel that sometimes you just fell like you can't change.
Well, here's Patrick's perfect answer:

"The world is wrong. You really can be anything you want to be if you put your mind to it. Those that do so, those that dare to dream and who refuse believe in limitations always figure out a way. The kid who rejects such notions becomes the adult who shows it all to be a lie. And, for every “can’t”, I’m betting there is at least one example of someone who proves the “can too”.

Change

"This year I will …" is something you tend to hear for the first few weeks of the new year. Why? Because people want things to be differently. They do not say if they're not happy with the current state the thing is in or if they just feel bored with it, but they want it to change.
"You can change" is a phrase Shawn Blanc likes to use in his course when he wants to empower you to believe in yourself and get the best out of you.
"Change is a good thing; Change is a bad thing" will be thrown around all year long when either one is happy or feels bad about something they have or are working on.
To go further into the good/bad topic, there's a really thin line between what's the right change. If you're a writer, podcaster, musician, or "creator" in any other way, you will always have people supporting you for what ever direction you take, but also "haters". They will follow your upcoming moves precisely and may probably tell you more than you would think about what they don't like how your change, "ruined" their thing. Either way, you will find your way and work with it, or upon review tweak it a little more and make it better.

So what is all this about? It is part of my change. Several times I've come back to writing, online I have to specify as I love the way of expressing myself this way. Personally I never quit. My journal and folders have been filled with thoughts, ideas, projects, drafts, etc. about things I wanted to get out of my system, but rarely has something been seen by someone else's eyes.
This is where change comes in again. Over the course of the last year I've been listening to many shows and talks, reading books and articles about - to put it in an easier way - "work that matters to you". I had the chance to be part of the early Focus Course program which I've mentioned several times before, which helped me define the term "meaningful work". While I haven't gotten to the point I wanted to see myself last year, I sure have changed a lot during this time. I have no idea where this new journey will take me, but I'm certain of where I would want to go, and that is something I have been missing for a long time.

Writing this isn't hard. All it takes is a blank page and an input device, but also something very important, the time and will to show up and do it.
The difficult part about it is not keeping it to yourself; sharing it with people who may feel the same struggle and could themselves feel empowered to sit down, take a moment and write, record, draw, perform, create, do what they want to do and get good great at it.

Change can be hard, but it mustn't be.

On Being Fired Up

Seth Godin once again hits a vulnerable spot. I'm sure many of you have felt this way before.

"Fired up isn't something you can count on, but it's certainly possible to create a job, an opportunity and a series of inputs and feedback that makes it more likely that people get that way.

And fired up sometimes drives people to do amazing work with you, especially if you've built a job description and an organization that can take that energy and turn it into work that matters."

When I wrote about still being here, I had initially planned to release some more information about a project I'm working on; I was all fired up one could say. The problem though is keeping this internal fire burning.
Many obstacles have been put in my way again like sand that's continuously being thrown into this said fire. There's one thing though with fire, when the spark is still burning, there's always more to come.
Don't let anything put that fire out that's burning inside you. Learn to handle it. Become master of your element.

Create Memories With Your Minds, Not Your Phones And Cameras

Benedict Cumberbatch is hopefully raising awareness for a terrible bad thing people are doing at "events". As he said in the above video (which fortunately went viral on PetaPixel):

"Speaking to the large crowd of fans gathered outside the theater, Cumberbatch politely says that seeing cameras pointed at him during the play is ‘mortifying’ and that there’s ‘nothing less supportive or enjoyable’ for the actors on stage.

‘This isn’t me blaming you, this is just me asking you to just ripple it out there, in the brilliant beautiful way that you do with your funny electronic things,’ he says."

This is something that's been angering for quite some time. Wherever you go, you can constantly see people capturing moments with their phones/cameras. There's no problem in doing so, but not the whole time!

There's no value in "recording" a whole performance of something you actually paid for. You are actually missing out on it. How often are you going to review this recording at a later time? You can't feel anything if you've only looked through this little display. When looking at a picture or a short video of the experienced moment, you'll be able to return to this moment in your mind.

A long time ago I wrote a piece called "How A Smartphone Can Ruin A Moment". This is exactly what I was talking about. Don't put the moment behind a tiny screen; enjoy it now!

(Via The Loop)

Another Reason To ❤︎ ("Heart") Apple Watch

Ken Robson self-diagnosed his heart arrhythmia with Apple Watch which "vastly improved [his] life much quicker than it would have otherwise" as he told MedCity News:

"When he got to the hospital, Robson told staff that he had been tracking his heart rate on the watch, and had two weeks of back data. “Going in with the data certainly reduced my stay by a couple of days,” he told MedCity News. It also assured that he could have the operation nearly immediately.

Because the hospital could check his Apple Watch data, Robson did not have to wear a heart monitor for a week before the medical team at Scripps Mercy could confirm the diagnosis of sick sinus syndrome."

It's moments like these that make Apple Watch the magical device Apple always talks about. Life changing experiences is what makes you appreciate this technology even more and drives you to create a better future with every step.

A New Computer Class

Ben Brooks on the idea of adding the "MacBook as New Computer Class":

"[…] I think we need a new computer class that includes MacBooks and iPads together.
"[…] [I]f you want to touch your screen you buy an iPad. If you don’t want to touch your screen you buy a MacBook. Yes, a MacBook. And yes that applies to everyone asking that question, because anyone asking the question of which Mac to get, doesn’t care about performance and they only care about good enough. If you care about performance, then you are asking a more specific question: should I get X, or X with B, or Y with Q?"

Really good point when trying to explain why people should use X as their device. I often get asked "Have you heard about the new …? Why do you think they chose to do …?". Simple questions like Ben's could make the conversation/answer easier.

Living Without A Sense Of Smell

A really interesting and well written article by Emma Young on how Nick Johnson lost his sense of smell due to an ice-skating accident. Besides trying to describe how Nick feels without one of his most important senses, the articles also goes into some details about how important smelling is for our other senses as well.

It is fascinating how much odors can tell you about the person you are currently facing and how it can change the way you feel about yourself as well. Young writes:

"Friends who can smell somehow seem to be picking up on signals [those without smell are] missing, signals that are so powerful they can override the emotional information contained in a smile or a frown."

The most fascinating part about smelling something is the memory component though. As Jason Kottke mentions:

"[…] [M]y favorite thing about smell is its connection to memory... […] There are certain scents that when I smell them, they zap me so vividly back to when I was a kid or in college...it's like time travel."

As previously mentioned, I find memories fascinating. One thing you can't encapsulate in any form is an odor. There's no way of reproducing a smell that means something to you, to make someone else understand the emotional component behind it.

The smell of a freshly cooked meal when you visit your relatives. The smell of the nature, trees, water, etc. when you're on vacation. Even the smell of the rain after a storm. I'm sure you know what feeling I'm talking about.

(Via kottke.org)

Father And Son Posed For A Photo In The Exact Same Way For 27 Years

A beautiful photo-story of a father and a son taking a similar picture of themselves every year for 27 years. As written on Mashable:

"The familial love between the father and the son is palpable in their body language."

I'm a huge fan of creating and recalling memories – especially related to family, future and past. There's nothing more beautiful than being able to see familial love and share it throughout the years, and keep this memory for later generations.

The whole set can be seen on Imgur.