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”.


"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.