Everyone has a story...


Pondering...

One form of originality is creation. Another form is synthesis.

People often focus so much on creating new ideas that they overlook the value of synthesizing ideas from different sources. Reading, observing and evaluating every situation is extremely beneficial when trying to develop new skills. From experience, We tend to lead lives based more in the future allure rather than appreciating and enjoying the present moment. Our need for anticipation devolves us from fully appreciating the essence of the present.

One sure way to capture the present moment is to craft a story around each event and action, with the aim to project this story onto others.


The essence of good storytelling

The spoken word, written text or artist’s stroke, whatever the medium, storytelling can illustrate an event very powerfully.

Simply explaining a scene will not draw the attention of the viewer, reader or listener, but an explicit story will transport them to the core of the story allowing them to experience the event far more vividly and in a manner that resembles experiencing the event personally.

When a story catches our attention and engages us, we are more likely to absorb the message and meaning within it than if the same message was presented simply in facts and figures.

Each person has his or her own unique story to tell.

Stories are our primary tools of learning and teaching, the repositories of our lore and legends. They bring order into our confusing world. Think about how many times a day you use stories to pass along data, insights, memories or common-sense advice.

The oldest story in the world: The Epic of Gilgamesh – an ancient Mesopotamian poem written sometime around 2100 BC.


The Science Behind How Stories Affect Your Brain

Listening to a story that’s being told or read to you activates the auditory cortex of your brain. Engaging with a story also fires up your left temporal cortex, the region that is receptive to language. This part of your brain is also capable of filtering out “noise”; that is, overused words or clichés. That is why the most skilled storytellers are careful about the language they use, employing a host of literary techniques to keep your brain engaged.

Once you begin to feel some kind of emotional engagement with a story it is because the frontal and parietal cortices have been stimulated. Powerful descriptions of food, for example, will also stir up your sensory cortex while descriptions of motion or action will get a response from the central sulcus, the primary sensory motor region of your brain. Indeed, just thinking about running can activate the neurons associated with the act.

Research also shows that all this brain activity can last for several days, explaining why good stories tend to stay with us.

Peter says, emotion combined with information becomes memorable and actionable.

Stories are one of the most powerful tools you can use to engage and connect with your audience. The power of a single story goes far beyond simply relaying facts and data and can be a highly effective tool. Stories emotionalize information.

Humans are born storytellers, it's an innate feature of our existence.

In business as much as in everyday life. Storytelling is essential and a fundamental part of getting our message across.

Chris Burkard

Using photography as a platform to Illustrate The significance of the environment and the power of Storytelling. Chris Burkard is an accomplished explorer, photographer, creative director, speaker, and author. Traveling throughout the year to pursue the farthest expanses of Earth, Burkard works to capture stories that inspire humans to consider their relationship with nature, while promoting the preservation of wild places everywhere.

Chris is most famous for capturing the picturesque beauty of Iceland. He is probably the most followed photographer on Instagram with 4m followers.

Chris Burkard :

The Road to Inspiration

Portfolio


"Reading is the nourishment that lets you do interesting work."

Novelist Jennifer Egan


Jennifer Egan is an American novelist and short story writer.

Egan has published several books, amongst them “The Keep” and “A Visit from the Goon Squad,” which won the Pulitzer Prize for fiction, in 2011.she is interested in technology, American society, and the passage of time, Egan can sometimes seem capable of predicting the future. In the last chapter of “Goon Squad,” which was published in the age of the iPhone but mainly written before it came on the market, she introduced the Starfish, a touch-screen handset for children.

A book written on Twitter!

Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jennifer Egan is not new to innovation in fiction. In her novel A Visit from the Goon Squad, which won the 49-year-old author the prestigious writing award in 2001, Egan used unusual methods to tell a story with one chapter being written like PowerPoint slides. In an apology to her twitter followers, who were recent victims of spam through her twitter account, Egan decided to reveal her new short story, “Black Box” one tweet at a time.


Read “Black Box” here or here








Egan embraces the virtues and pleasures of traditional storytelling delivered through a wholly new, digital format.

Here we have an artist executing a genuinely intriguing project with “the odd poetry that can happen in a hundred and forty characters.” Certain generations of writers and thinkers make such a big deal about that 14o-character limit, but I notice that nobody under 35 blinks an eye at it. It’s just the way we communicate now — Egan must understand this makes it one of the most important mediums for writers to take on. Welcome to the world of the microblogging novel!


Thought-provoking...

With the Internet at our fingertips 24/7, we forget how easy it is to outsource our brains to phones. Choose a restaurant, get directions, ping a friend, go on a date, select some music, download a health app; when in doubt, ask Google.

Everyday interactions that were commonplace 20 years ago, simply don't exist today. Like asking directions, talking to strangers or just sitting on a park bench listening and watching the world go by.

Along with this invention, we have lost a considerable amount of creativity and focus.

Our lives have become time bound, driven by distractions and limited to short bursts of inspiration which will have a long term detrimental effect on our ability to create and be.

When was the last time you got lost in time focusing on an activity in the present?


The Power of Focus

The arrival of the smartphone has meant that we can have the Internet with us day and night, wherever we go: something that is hard to say no to. There’s a lot of interesting stuff out there, plus a whole lot more that’s quite dull but is still capable of owning our brains through smartphone addiction.

It’s time to create some healthier boundaries in our relationship with technology, for a better quality of life.

The fact that we are always “connected” has meant that we are now unable to be alone. Mastering solitude is what creates the essence of creativity. The absence of connection in a connected word gives rise to “Loneliness” But it is the act of being alone that fuels our ability to be creative, to think clearly and develop new ideas.

There should be a new world movement to “Disconnect” simply because it is healthy.


Inspiration:

Peter Neby

Petter Neby, founder & CEO of Punkt., is a Norwegian technology entrepreneur.

He launched his first business in Norway in 1989, at the age of seventeen, and in 1991 moved to Paris, to work for an international consumer electronics company.

Innovation and creativity have led Peter to launch and manage successful businesses in the telecommunications, enterprise software and website creation.

Petter created Punkt. in 2008 to offer straightforward alternatives to multi-function devices that were starting to dominate the consumer electronic marketplace.


Wisdom/ What I'm Reading...

Think Like a Monk includes a combination of ancient wisdom and Jay Shetty’s personal experiences (based on his 3 years stint living as a monk in India) to help individuals apply a monk mindset to our lives. Think Like a Monk aims to show you how to clear the roadblocks to your potential by overcoming negative thoughts, accessing stillness, and creating true purpose. It can be challenging to apply the lessons of monks to busy lives. However, Jay provides advice and exercises to reduce stress, improve self-discipline and focus, and maintain relationships in the modern world.

The book is broadly divided into 3 categories:

Let go - Grow & Give

Our identity is like a mirror covered in dust. We have no idea who we are, what we want to be, who we seek, and what we want to value. This is because of the dust that obscures our vision. Jay explains that cleaning your mirror will not be a pleasant experience. However, only once you have removed the dust obscuring your mirror can you see your true reflection. Removing the dust allows you to see who you truly are.

Jay distinguishes between detachment and attachment. Jay defines attachment as wanting something to happen in a very particular way. In contrast, detachment is wanting something to happen in the best way.

You need to be more deliberate about the values that you follow. Our values guide us in life.

Jay uses the analogy of acting to explain how most of us travel through life imitating others or trying to play a role that is different from our authentic self. The aim of the book is to move us towards our authentic self, free from imitation and adapting to situations.

Life is about the growth we create, growth in wisdom, growth in experience and growth in self.


“When you learn a little, you feel you know a lot. But when you learn a lot, you realize you know very little.”

Jay Shetty


In the book Jay talks about routines as being the habits we create (especially in the morning) to lead a more purposeful and meaningful existence.

He illustrates the powerful concept of Location and time.

Location has energy, and time has memory. If you do the same thing day after day in the same location, you will find your days considerably easier.


Jay gives a lot of credence to the power of routines and habits, claiming that the more we plan out our days the less likely we will have decision fatigue and the more time we will have to be creative and mindful.

Jay explains that his experiences as a monk helped him quickly learn that our minds influence our values.

One way to ensure you are feeding your mind with positive things is to observe and evaluate effectively through integrating space, stillness, and silence into your life. “When you tune out the opinions, expectations, and obligations of the world around us, you can begin to hear yourself.”

Jay provides three approaches that can help you actively create the space, silence, and stillness required for reflection:


  1. Sit down daily to reflect on how the day went and what emotions you are feeling.

  2. Every month, try and go to an environment you have never been to before. Visiting these new places will help you explore yourself within a different environment.

  3. Get involved in something meaningful to you, such as a hobby, charity, or political cause.

Jay also brings out the stark contrast between the monk mind and the monkey mind. A monkey mind is one that overthinks and procrastinates, is distracted by small things, seeks short term gratifications, is demanding and feels entitled, is self-centered and obsessed with multi-tasking, and is controlled by anger, worry and fear.

While the monk mind is single-task focused, mostly quiet, looks for meaning and genuine solutions, controls and engages energy wisely, is enthusiastic, determined, and patient, seeks long term gains, and is compassionate, caring, and collaborative.

Jay describes a concept called mudita. Mudita is a principle that involves taking sympathies or unselfish joy in the good fortune of others. Mudita is a pure joy unadulterated by self-interest. This principle is embodied in those that choose to live a life of purpose and giving.


“Mudita is the principle of taking sympathetic or unselfish joy in the good fortune of others. If I only find joy in my own successes, I’m limiting my joy. But if I can take pleasure in the successes of my friends and family—ten, twenty, fifty people!—I get to experience fifty times the happiness and joy. Who doesn’t want that?”

Jay Shetty


Get the book here: Think like a monk

About Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty is an award-winning host, viral content creator, motivational speaker, and author. Jay launched his YouTube channel in 2016 to provide wisdom videos. Four years later, he has obtained over four billion views on YouTube and has over 20 million followers globally.

At age 22, he spent three years traveling across India and Europe as a monk. His daily routine was waking up at 4 a.m., taking cold showers, meditating, and being of service to others. He would meditate approximately 4-8 hours every day. Today, he has moved back into society. However, he aims to help people apply the monk mindset to busy city lives.


See you next week...