Lessons Learned to 2014
Another year, and another reflection on the bits of wisdom hard-earned and learned. Be your own personal Santa Claus It was after reading the ‘Hedonism Handbook’ I started to realise I didn’t expend much effort in keeping myself happy. I get by with fairly simple needs, all told, but I was making my life unnecessarily hard by making unrealistic demands of myself. Namely, the demands that I fit 27 hours into a 24 hour day, with no downtime to recuperate.
Lessons Learned in 2013
In years past I’ve written down the lessons I learned from the year. I didn’t blog a thing here in 2013, so I am starting this back up. Simplify 2013 was a busy, difficult year. I changed jobs, houses, took up springboard/tower diving, and filled out paperwork for what seemed like days. The simple little processes and practices that I had figured out and put in place when my time was more plentiful saved my bacon.
Lessons Learned in 2011
2011 has been a strange year, but no doubt I’ve learned plenty this year. As with previous years, I’ve collected wisdom that I’ve found along the way: A new bed *is* worth it I had a lot of oddball injuries this year, but my body has felt a lot better since we bought a new bed. You don’t need a top-of-the-line model, just something better than your 8 year old IKEA futon.
Making Eyes: Get Better at Making Eye Contact
I’ve always had a touch of social anxiety, but fortunately this is something that is easy enough to overcome with practice. Eye contact is one of the biggest parts of social interaction - you can even have entire conversations with nothing but eye contact. One of the books I read to help me with eye contact was Michael Ellsberg’s The Power of Eye Contact: Your Secret for Success in Business, Love, and Life.
It's About Confidence
Up to this afternoon, I’ve held the belief that “the first step is the hardest.” And many times, the first step is very hard, indeed. Anyone who has ever faced a metaphorical (or literal) blank page has felt that sense of dread. Inertia is a powerful foe. But as I was typing up another article for your consumption, I came to a point where I was unsure of how to continue on with the article.
Lessons Learned in 2010
I had a good time writing about the life’s lessons I learned in 2009. 2010 has been a really good year, and once more I thought I’d share what I’ve learned, which has so far has been invaluable. Be assertive in finding love Early this year, I found someone who’s been a really positive force in my life so far. We were both shy at the start, and if I hadn’t made the first move, we may have not even met.
One Novel Later - Reflections after finishing book #1
This year I took another stab at National Novel Writing Month, determined to finish after last year’s poor performance. 50,123 words later, I’ve written down some personal good practices that I’ve discovered along the way. Your working conditions and lifestyle will be key to finishing a novel. You’ll need to find your productivity hotspot during the day and guard it - mine is the morning before work, so I try to get all of my serious thinking and writing done then.
Being a Lazy Writer
I’m working on another book (two, actually), and it’s sort of been chewing up my free writing time (which includes blog-writing time). Here’s a few of the little tricks I’ve picked up while writing that make the entire process easy and enjoyable. Write it all down When you write, write as uninhibited as possible. You can spend a week on a sentence, or you can spend 30 seconds. Just remember that your first draft is just that: a draft.
Tips for Interviewing People on the Phone
While writing for the Gauntlet, I had a disastrous phone interview with Henry Rollins (of Black Flag and Henry Rollins Band fame). I had been so psyched to interview him that I skipped a class during mid-term season. Lesson learned? Don’t ever talk to your heroes: it will ruin you. I made a list of some other lessons I learned on that catastrophic phone interview: Test your equipment beforehand The phone was so screwed up that Henry sounded like he was talking through a straw.
Tapping Your Creativity
I read Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi’s book Creativity: Flow and the Psychology of Discovery and Invention, and the book was so good that I want to share some of his creativity tips with you. Mihaly gathered these techniques first-hand from some of the finest minds of our time (14 Nobel prize winners alone), and using them you can shape your mind into a factory of great ideas. Anyone can be creative, and you can start seeing results very quickly (think weeks, not years).