Viral Visuals – HYPERLAPSE Mindrelic

My hometown in hyperlapse. Mindrelic spent a little over a month hotel hopping in Manhattan (March 12th to April 29th) shooting time lapse. These clips were pulled from over an hours worth of footage.

They have prints available at http://www.redbubble.com/people/mindrelic (I have no affiliation with them, I just think this is really cool!)

Original post here: http://vimeo.com/24492485

Why You Should Write Sloppy and Clean up Later

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Flickr photo by Steven Depolo

“Oh man!” my four-year-old shouts from the kitchen followed by a loud “CRASH!”

A mess has been made.

I run to the kitchen and see: the contents of a bottle of ketchup on the floor, a little boy sitting in the middle of it and an overturned chair, also covered in ketchup. He starts to cry.

My first instinct is to yell, “What did you do THAT for?”

But I know he didn’t do it for any good reason.

He’s four. Four-year-olds just do things to do them. Four-year-olds think it’s a great idea to balance on a chair while gleefully emptying the ketchup onto the floor to make a “painting” for Daddy. Four-year-olds make messes with joyful abandon and alarming frequency.

After picking him up out of the ketchup and checking for broken bones, bruises and boo-boos, I send him to the bathroom to clean up. That’s all you can do really. Clean up your messes and learn from them. Yelling about them just gives everyone a headache.

That’s what I have to keep telling myself about FIRST DRAFTS.

I have to remind myself to be a four-year-old gleefully squirting ketchup everywhere. By letting myself “write messy” I’m accepting the inevitable anyway. Finding a story is a messy venture. The writing process isn’t neat and orderly, it’s filled with wrong turns, purple prose, confusing details, bad, messy writing. That’s a good thing.

Mistakes and messes can lead to new discoveries, new combinations, new possibilities.

Think of all the great things that were invented in error. The Sticky Note. Ink Jet Printers. Potato Chips! (sometimes ketchup flavored)

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If you let yourself be messy, you lower your expectations of a what a first draft should be and you’ll give yourself the space for more of those accidental discoveries to happen.

Just like the ketchup painting my four-year-old made, your first drafts can be wild and wrong and free. The CRAFT comes along during the re-write when you can turn on your editor, clean up your mess and tell us a story that has the shape of your most meaningful experiences. If you never get those meaningful experiences down, though, because you’re too afraid to “squirt the ketchup”, you’ll never have the joy of shaping those experiences into something wonderful for us to read.

Here are a few tips:

1.  Care Less, Write Better

By not having high expectations you’ll get more done with less tension and more relaxation. Your writing will be better because you’ll be more free. Breathe. Write. Breathe. Keep writing. Care less. Write better.

2.  Let Everything Happen

No matter what occurs, a mess, a perfect writing day, a four-year-old squeezing ketchup all over your kitchen floor, it’s all part of the process. There’s a great saying, “That which we resist, persists.” (kind of a tongue twister)

This means that if you are resisting the bad stuff happening, you aren’t focusing on the good stuff happening. If all your attention is on avoiding the bad writing, your focus isn’t really on telling your story. Know that no matter what problem you might be coming up against, you aren’t the first writer to experience that problem and that those problems have been dealt with successfully in the past. Instead of resisting the problem and blaming yourself, acknowledge the problem and move on to the next thing. You can come back and clean up the ketchup later.

3.  The Road to Progress is Never Smooth

There’s a road in Pennsylvania that you have to drive slalom on just to avoid the potholes. Progress is like that sometimes. You’re moving along smoothly when suddenly WHAMMO! a road full of writing potholes shows up in front of you.

What do you do? Just like that road in Pennsylvania, you drive carefully around them when you can. However, you’ll eventually not see one. When you hit it, and hit it hard, stop, examine the damage and get back in the car and drive until you reach smooth roads again. You’ll still be making progress. If you stop and give up just because the road is a little rough, you’ll never get to where you’re going.

4.  Keep Writing through the Mess

Some days, you’ll feel like stopping. But don’t. Do your daily writing. Make messes. Lots and lots of messes. Then pull out the mop and bucket and scrub brushes and polish that mess of a story until it shines. Send it out into the world all scrubbed and shiny and new. No one will ever know that it started as a ketchup painting on the floor of your kitchen – except you.

 

5 Reasons SCARY Goals are Better than SMART Ones

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Flickr photo by profaniti

We’ve all seen this graphic of SMART goals if we’ve done any searching for ways of making our days more productive. Productivity gurus tell us over and over again that we have to set GOALS that are SMART: Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Timely.  A Google search for the term SMART goals returns 86,300,000 results.

But I think SMART goals are kind of DUMB. They might be good for getting that report turned in on time at work or getting all the filing put away, but they seem to encourage the mediocre and bland.

What if you are trying to do the NEXT BIG THING?

If you want to be a DOER of DEEDS, someone who makes a DIFFERENCE, a CREATOR of SOMETHING from NOTHING, I think your goals have to be kind of SCARY.

By SCARY, I mean just that.

When you think about them, you get that funny feeling in your stomach that tells you that you are about to embark on something slightly outside of your comfort zone.

A BIG IDEA won’t feel safe. You’ll feel inadequate, not up to it, like you want to run away. That’s a good sign. That feeling means that you are setting a SCARY goal.

SCARY goals are great because they are just like riding a roller coaster. You stand in line, knowing that you’ll be terrified when you get to the top of the first drop, but that you’ll be in for a heck of a ride all the way down.

You can also break SCARY goals down by the acronym SCARY as well.

A SCARY goal is See-able.

If you can visualize it. You can do it. This has been proven over and over and there are tons of websites dedicated to how this works. If you don’t know how to visualize. Learn. It’s a powerful tool for achieving those goals.

A SCARY goal is Creative.

A SCARY goal is not just wanting to make a lot of money. It is using your powers of creativity to create something that people value and can get some use out of. When you give value, the money follows. Don’t just follow that first idea, create lots and lots of ideas. Work your creativity muscles by keeping lists of ideas on waiter pads. Come up with 100 ideas and then pick one to create. That is what creativity is all about. Not settling for one idea when you can come up with hundreds.

A SCARY goal is Artistic.

Even if your SCARY goal is something that has nothing to do with art with a capital “A”, make it the most artistic expression you can. A SCARY goal is achieved with style and grace and flair. If you want to grow pumpkins, create the farm in an artistic way so that is pleasing to you and the people who visit. If you want to sell cars, make it your art to know everything there is to know about the kinds of cars you are selling and what draws people to them. If you want to climb a mountain, explore all the possibilities of how to make that happen, just like an artist does.

When you are pursuing a SCARY goal, you want to be Ready to Learn.

I never want to stop learning. Any BIG IDEA doesn’t even have the knowledge base developed yet to do it. You have to be ready to learn what you know, learn what you don’t know and learn what you don’t know you don’t know. By always being Ready to Learn, you open up so many more possibilities than if you already have all the answers.

My favorite part of a SCARY goal is that You Get to make a Difference.

Your next big idea, your next SCARY goal, just by pursuing it, will make a difference in the world. By keeping in mind that your SCARY goal, the one that gave you that funny feeling in your stomach, can possibly make a difference in the lives of many people, you’ll continue to pursue that goal no matter how SCARY it is.

Don’t be DUMB by pursuing SMART goals. Try taking on a SCARY goal today.

Let me know what your SCARY goals are. I’m very interested in hearing about them. Stories are the wildest things.

 

Amazing Video featuring Neil DeGrasse Tyson

A bit of inspiration for your weekend.

The Most Astounding Fact is a gorgeous video posted by Max Schlickenmeyer.

Astrophysicist Neil DeGrasse Tyson was asked, “What is the most astounding fact you can share with us about the Universe?”

This is his answer.

Stories are the WIldest Things