We are all currently enthralled in a situation way beyond our individual control. COVID 19 has happened to all of us. Our response by way of what we choose to do with this time will determine the wealth of the outcome. My humble suggestion is, we utilise this time to bulletproof our mind, health and fitness to empower us and prepare us for the other side, because as we know… this too will pass (click here)
And when it does it is those of us that have invested this time on mindful preparation, dedicated learning and tireless physical exercise, that will be best prepared for the next phase of our lives.
A french philosopher once said: Life is the “C” between the “B” and the “D”: The B is Birth, the D is Death and the C is the choices we make in our lives.
Most of us spend our time in a circus of distraction, between social media, smart phones, mindless television and idol gossip. The fact that we have now been offered a unique opportunity to pause, let’s use the time wisely and effectively.
There is absolutely No limit on human potential or creativity, just a limitation of our mindset.
Jim Kwon’s LIMITLESS MODEL: THE 3 MS
You might have learned a technique to remember names, but if your mindset says “I am not smart enough,” your behaviour is going to be affected by your limiting beliefs, and you will struggle to apply your knowledge.
Your motivation is your drive, your purpose, and the level of energy you bring to action.
If you have the mindset that it’s possible to read a book a week, but don’t have the motivation to do it, how do you increase your motivation?
The aim is to create sustainable motivation, not just a surge of motivation, so it becomes about who you are on a daily basis.
3. LIMITLESS METHODS
You might believe it’s possible to study something, and feel motivated to do it, but you are using ineffective methods to learn, you will not achieve the results you want.
Limitless methods are about upgrading your learning on the best methods for learning, reading and thinking to help you achieve your goals.
THE UNLIMITING PROCESS
This process is about removing the limitations you have in each of the 3 areas.
Mindset and motivation intersect to create inspiration, and motivation and methods combine to create implementation.
The 3 Is: ideation, inspiration, and implementation. When all three intersect and combine, you have a limitless state.
Whenever you realise there’s a gap between where you are and where you want to be, and whenever you are starting to self-sabotage, start retraining yourself.
Ask yourself: where is my limit? Is my limit within mindset, motivation or methods?
Explore more: here
Standing on the shoulders of giants
“Nothing is original. Steal from anywhere that resonates with inspiration or fuels your imagination. Devour old films, new films, music, books, paintings, photographs, poems, dreams, random conversations, architecture, bridges, street signs, trees, clouds, bodies of water, light, and shadows. Select only things to steal from that speak directly to your soul. If you do this, your work (and theft) will be authentic. Authenticity is invaluable; originality is non-existent. And don’t bother concealing your thievery—celebrate it if you feel like it. In any case, always remember what Jean-Luc Godard said: ‘It’s not where you take things from—it’s where you take them to.’”
Innovation is always sparked from somewhere or someone. However unique an idea or concept seems at first glance, there is always an inspiration to them.
Replication and imitation are natural human traits. The way in which they are executed, determines how humanity will benefit.
“If I have seen further,” Isaac Newton wrote in a 1675 letter to fellow scientist Robert Hooke, “it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.”
The actual origins of this phrase predates Newton, and can be traced back to 1519.
John Salisbury wrote in his Metalogicon: "Bernard of Chartres used to compare us to dwarfs perched on the shoulders of giants. He pointed out that we see more and farther than our predecessors, not because we have keener vision or greater height, but because we are lifted up and borne aloft on their gigantic stature
It is common in history, science, technology or art, for there to have been a similar preconceived idea that did not create the same impact to the one that is celebrated.
Touch screens existed well before the Iphone. What Steve Jobs did was to stand on the “shoulders of giants” to advance what he saw and create an advancement in technology.
Wisdom/ What I'm Reading...
Bored and Brilliant
There is a school of thought that says: Our brains need boredom to explore true brilliance
boredom enhances creativity and excitement inhibits attention. Our usual everyday lives are brimming with distraction.
When bored we become less focused and the mind starts drifting in a state of reflection. Similar to meditation, our minds don't automatically dispense of all thought, but regular practice and consistent focus improves our ability to quieten the mind.
With the volume of technology we interface with, Boredom is rare these days.
Being bored is something of a novelty in the age of smartphones. And in her 2017 book, Bored and Brilliant, Manoush Zomorodi posits that this lack of boredom in our lives can actually zap us of our creativity.
The book was inspired by an experiment that the author conducted on her podcast;
Manoush led her listeners through an experiment to help them unplug—and it was a huge success: after taking part in the experiment listeners reported feeling more creative and productive, and more satisfied with their lives.
Tech is altering the way in which we think and read.
Pre internet we read linearly now we read non linearly, we scroll and skim and follow links to other resources randomly.
All this scrolling, skipping and skimming is affecting our attention span and our ability to retain valuable information.
Learn how the convenience of the internet has changed how we think and act, how to unplug and use technology in a healthy way
Unplugging has a lot of benefits. Taking a break from technology will enhance creativity and prevent burnout.
Young people are vulnerable to technology and non stop stimulation. Steve jobs wouldn’t let his kids use an IPad!
Many studies have been conducted and demonstrated that the attention to detail and time is seriously impeded. The noted and brilliant challenge - The challenge has 7 days of activities designed to help you reflect on your use of technology, mobile phones in particular:
Day 1 self observation, take note of your technology usage. Use apps to track this if you like: moment (IOS) and space (Android)
Day 2 - don’t use technology on the move. Whilst walking, in the car or exercising.
Day 3 - no photos the whole day. Just observe the environment around you.
Day 4 - delete an app you overuse and is not critical or productive.
Day 5 - Take a “fakecation,” be in the office but out of touch.
Day 6 - Observe something else, reclaim the art of noticing.
Day 7 - Get bored and think about a problem you’ve been trying to solve.
After this try a day a week for unplugging - use this for something creative - writing, reading, drawing or simply thinking.
If you dare to take this challenge, please share your experience with me (drop me a line at the end of the blog).
"Your creativity will be greatly stimulated"
The underlying theory behind this effort and the challenges is that modern society has forgotten the importance of being bored, letting our brains unwind, etc. Zomorodi has detailed neuroscience explanations about how boredom is important for allowing our brains’ default networks to activate and more generally about why not being (over-)stimulated constantly is important.
Grab yourself a read here
In her own words : Ted Talk here
Stephen Wilkes is not about that single moment, not exactly. He is, rather, a collector of moments, staking out a location until he has hoovered up enough of them to tell the story of a single place. The reality is altogether more ordinary and yet somehow more striking: day and night -- together. These are not the briefest of moments. They are many moments, as many as possible, collapsed and fused into one.
His photographs are included in the collections of the George Eastman Museum, James A. Michener Art Museum, Houston Museum of Fine Arts, Dow Jones Collection, Griffin Museum of Photography, Jewish Museum of NY, Library of Congress, Snite Museum of Art, The Historic New Orleans Collection, Museum of the City of New York, 9/11 Memorial Museum and numerous private collections. His editorial work has appeared in, and on the covers of, leading publications such as the New York Times Magazine, Vanity Fair, TIME, Fortune, National Geographic, Sports Illustrated and many others.
Wilkes and his team spent three days studying this water hole in the Serengeti National Park in Tanzania before choosing their spot, a sealed crocodile blind some 18 feet in the air. “Nothing could have prepared me for what I witnessed during our shoot day,” he says. “Frankly, it was biblical. We saw, for 26 hours, all these competitive species share a single resource called water. The same resource that humanity is supposed to have wars over during the next 50 years. The animals never even grunted at each other. They seem to understand something that we humans don’t, that this precious resource called water is something we all have to share.”
Find his complete collection on his website here: Stephen Wilkes
The multi-dimensional beauty of “Day to Night” photography : click here
Follow Wilkes on Twitter, Instagram, Facebook and Tumblr.
Widget of the Week...
Computers may dominate our lives, but mastery of handwriting brings us important cognitive benefits.
This minor revolution is causing quite a stir but it is by no means the first of its kind. Ever since writing was most likely first invented, in Mesopotamia in about 4000BC, it has been through plenty of technological upheavals. The tools and media used for writing have changed many times: from Sumerian tablets to the Phoenician alphabet of the first millennium BC; from the invention of paper in China about 1,000 years later to the first codex, with its handwritten sheets bound together to make a book; from the invention of printing in the 15th century to the appearance of ballpoint pens in the 1940s.
So at first sight the battle between keyboards and pens might seem to be no more than the latest twist in a very long story, yet another new tool that we will end up getting used to. What really matters is not how we produce a text but its quality, we are often told. When we are reading, few of us wonder whether a text was written by hand or word-processed.
But experts on writing do not agree: pens and keyboards bring into play very different cognitive processes. “Handwriting is a complex task which requires various skills – feeling the pen and paper, moving the writing implement, and directing movement by thought,” says Edouard Gentaz, professor of developmental psychology at the University of Geneva. “Children take several years to master this precise motor exercise: you need to hold the scripting tool firmly while moving it in such a way as to leave a different mark for each letter.”
Writing notes by hand generally improves your understanding of the material and helps you remember it better, since writing it down involves deeper cognitive-processing of the material than typing it.
Operating a keyboard is not the same at all: all you have to do is press the right key. It is easy enough for children to learn very fast, but above all the movement is exactly the same whatever the letter. “It’s a big change,” says Roland Jouvent, head of adult psychiatry at Pitié-Salpêtrière hospital in Paris. “Handwriting is the result of a singular movement of the body, typing is not.”
Furthermore pens and keyboards use very different media. “Word-processing is a normative, standardised tool,” says Claire Bustarret, a specialist on codex manuscripts at the Maurice Halbwachs research centre in Paris. “Obviously you can change the page layout and switch fonts, but you cannot invent a form not foreseen by the software. Paper allows much greater graphic freedom: you can write on either side, keep to set margins or not, superimpose lines or distort them. There is nothing to make you follow a set pattern. It has three dimensions too, so it can be folded, cut out, stapled or glued.”
An electronic text does not leave the same mark as its handwritten counterpart either. “When you draft a text on the screen, you can change it as much as you like but there is no record of your editing,” Bustarret adds. “The software does keep track of the changes somewhere, but users cannot access them. With a pen and paper, it’s all there. Words crossed out or corrected, bits scribbled in the margin and later additions are there for good, leaving a visual and tactile record of your work and its creative stages.”
Unless you use a computer a lot, I recommend going the analogue route.
You need to be able to easily adjust your schedule as things change. In my experience this is more easily done with a pen and paper.
Plus, notebooks don't need to be charged.
4 Benefits of Writing by Hand
Taking notes longhand has definite benefits, and it can be worthwhile for young writers to work with pen and paper, especially in the early stages of a project. Jotting thoughts down on a pad or in a journal can help you overcome writer’s block and develop a more tactile relationship with your story ideas. Some of the benefits of handwriting include:
Writing by hand is useful for visual learners. Writing longhand notes gives you the graphic freedom to easily sketch an infographic, word web, or another non-traditional layout to put your thoughts down and visualise connections.
Writing by hand boosts the learning process. Psychological science research conducted by researcher Daniel Oppenheimer at the University of California shows that handwritten notes help with memory and recall. Oppenheimer’s study shows that areas of the brain associated with recall and comprehension are more engaged when students write notes with a pen and paper.
Writing by hand can be artful. Many people choose handwritten notes over computer notes simply because they prefer the aesthetic. If you have good penmanship or are skilled at cursive and calligraphy, handwriting notes can give you an outlet to practice a hobby while also working on a creative endeavor. All you need are a simple writing implement and a piece of paper, but many people also choose to work with fancy paper and a fountain pen.
Writing by hand helps you avoid distractions. Technology can be an incredibly time-consuming and distracting part of our lives as writers. Writing fiction requires focus, and shutting out distractions is an obstacle for many professional writers. Writing longhand away from your smartphone, tablet, or computer can help you focus on actual writing with pen and paper instead of with a keyboard or stylus.
Additional resources and reference about the benefits of writing:
Handwriting forces your brain to mentally engage with the information, improving both literacy and reading comprehension.