Creation Without Validation

I started reading a short book (with a long-ass title) from Nate Green. I only made it through the introduction of What We’ve Learned: 85 Practical Solutions for Getting Your Shit Together, Improving Your Relationships, Figuring Out Your Career, Boosting Your Self Confidence, Overcoming Self Doubt, Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone, and Living a Better Life, but I was inspired by this little tidbit…

Bonus points if the thing you create helps people; when those two things meet, it’s like magic. (It’s also, occasionally, a business.) Here are two things I know for sure: It feels good to create things and it feels good to help people. But creating things — especially good things — is difficult. It takes time, focus, and courage. Maybe even a little masochism.

Helping people is easier. There are a million ways to do it: You can hold the door open for the guy whose arms are full of groceries; you can help an old woman across the street (that’s still a thing, right?); you can share your life experience and hope that someone will read it and find it applicable to their own life.

This little nugget reconfirmed that I have a strong desire to create. So, why don’t I create more?

I feel many times I have created in search of validation.

Businesses were created. The validation? Money.

Many times these businesses were abandoned after the validation did not materialize in what I felt was an adequate amount of time. I am sure that my lack of perseverance snuffed out many legitimate business ventures. I’ve never been very good at “treading water.”

I’ve never been materialistic, but somewhere along the journey of life, I allowed money to become the primary source of validation. I began to take interests and allow their lifespan to be determined by their monetary value. So… if a hobby could not produce money, it was discarded.

My LEGO art… a hobby that didn’t sell

My blogging has also become a victim, allowing validation to fuel creation.

I would write in spurts, and if posts did not receive views… I stopped.

I enjoy journaling my thoughts and experiences… sharing. Still, I need to learn that my musings do not need to find an audience to have value. If they do, cool, but the validation of increased views or comments should not drive (or deter) me from writing.

So… having shared all of this… I’m back. 😁 👍

 

Break the Twitch

young mobile phone users

It’s time to take a step back from the smartphone. Check out these stats from Break the Twitch.

  • The average person receives 63.5 notifications per day. [Telefonica, 2014]
  • 52% check their phones a few times per hour or more, whether there’s a notification or not. [Gallup, 2015)]
  • Meanwhile, 91% of millennials say they have a healthy relationship with tech, but still check their phones 150 times per day. [Qualtrics, 2017]
  • It’s not just millennials, though—52% of boomers use their phones during meal times, the highest percentage of any age group. [Nielsen, 2015]
  • U.S. users spend over 4 hours per day on mobile devices. [eMarketer, 2016]
  • During which, the average user touches, swipes, and taps their phone 2,617 times per day. [Dscout, 2016]
  • The average age when kids get their first cell phone is now just 10.3 years old. [Influence Central, 2016]
  • 74% of mobile users ages 18 – 34 report an urge to immediately pull out their phone, open an app when bored. [ComScore, 2017]
  • The creators of the Facebook “Like” button substantially limit their own social media usage, and the guy that literally wrote the book about designing addictive smartphone apps has his home internet shut off on an automatic timer every evening. [Guardian, 2017]

Wednesday Weeklies

Something that I’ve been doing since I came back to the US is writing out a list of novelties for myself each week. I call them my Weeklies, and on this list—I make mine on Wednesdays—I write down a recipe, a song, a place, a movie, and a non-standard task. By the following Wednesday, I aim to have cooked that recipe, learned to play that song, visited that location, watched that movie, and completed that task.

It’s a framework for newness. And it can take a little while to get used to, but if you find yourself in a rut or a repetitive spiral, you might consider making your own list, with your own you-shaped goals, to see if it helps you diversify your growth, as well.

Exile Lifestyle

Other people’s fears

In preparation for My Scotty Adventure, I began watching a lot more YouTube. I still do this because it allows me to stay connected to people that are on a similar path.

One of the people that I follow is Carolyn and her channel, Carolyn’s RV Life. She hit the nail on the head with this little nugget…

Don’t let other people’s fears and preconceived ideas keep you from living your life.

I was seriously considering Slab City before watching her videos. After listening to her insights, she cemented the deal. Here is a two-ish minute excerpt from her last day in Slab City.

Continue reading

Anti-social?

feet-piedmont-park
relaxing with a book and a blanket in Piedmont Park

I love that I have the opportunity to pace my day based on what I want to accomplish. I love that my space, my apartment, is custom-fitted for me and the work I do and the lifestyle I live, rather than for guests I might someday have, or someone else’s ideas of what a space should look like and contain.

It sounds horribly anti-social, I know. But that’s kind of a loaded term, isn’t it? Anti-social?

It implies that social is what we should aspire to be, while quite often ‘social’ gets in the way of what we really want to accomplish.

Why not ‘pro-self’? Individual-focused? Me-shaped?

There are immense benefits to having a good group of friends. People you can reach out to when you want a conversation and a beer. People you can discuss heady topics with when you’re feeling intellectually stopped-up. Folks who help you track time and make memories, sometimes by just being there.

But there are aspects of one’s development that can actually be stunted by an over-focus on socializing. Not being able to be alone — and to not just survive, but thrive, as an individual — seems like a limiting trait.

Colin Wright, Lifestyle for One

No… I didn’t write this, but it sounds like something I would write (or at least say).

Colin’s post is a bit of serendipity. I am headed out to do some solo tent camping today near Lake Lanier. Pics to follow on Instagram.