Reflections (From the First Year)

Reflecting back on an experience, a task, or a blog can help you go forward with more clarity.

This blog has gone through many changes throughout its first year hosted on this URL. The header changed. The main themes of the content changed. Many things changed. I just updated the layout yesterday as well.

I remember when I took the leap a year ago. I had no idea what to expect and where this blog would go. It’s been a wonderful ride full of ups and downs.

-I had 5000 views in a day from having one of my posts go viral.
-I have 20 loyal views from yesterday.
-I received over 60 comments on my awkward moments blog post.
-I had many posts with 1 amazing comment.
-I have met people doing all sorts of things all over the world.
-I got lost within my own writer’s block.
-I did my best to be honest.
-I had quite a few guest post opportunities.
-I received rejections from many top sites regarding my blog.
-I enjoyed every unique email in my inbox.
-I enjoyed all 25 of them.

Is year one a success? It depends on what my definition of success is. If I define success as gaining experience and learning from the ups and downs, then I would say it has been a great success. Now it’s on to year two.

Reader: Think about your life one year ago. What positive and not so positive things has happened in your life, blog, etc.? Remember you always have the ability to change that idea to a positive experience.

The Complete 21-Day Honesty Experiment (Or Why I Haven’t Written Here for 21 Days)

In the past couple of weeks, I have learned the importance of honesty.

I’ll be completely honest with you, the readers. I haven’t written here because I feel that this blog is at a transitional period. I have writer’s block. When I attempt to write a post, I feel the quality lacking. Instead of forcing out crap, I want to uphold myself to a certain standard.

I continue to brainstorm where I want to take this blog. Should I change the URL? Should I add in crazier experiments? Should I write about more of the people I met? All those ideas and thoughts are in my mind constantly. Please be patient with me during this period.

Why is honesty the best way to go about things? People love vulnerability. You have the guts to put yourself out there. That is an endearing quality to those around you.

This idea came up from writing the words above:

I’m going to be completely honest in everything I do starting today, April 16, 2012. I’ll do this for at least 21 days.

-If I see a girl that is really attractive, I will tell her.
-If I see something that is awesome, I will say that it is awesome.
-I will say whatever I am thinking, especially if it benefits myself and/or other people.

My personal exception:

Negative honest comments. For example, what if you think that person next to you is a joke? I would try to make it as constructive as possible. “Hey, honestly your haircut isn’t as good as I think it could be.” If you think they’re just a terrible person in general, then I wouldn’t say anything.

There is a difference between value giving honesty and being a straight up douche.

Readers: Comment on what you think about this. Be honest. Think that exception itself is a joke? Go for it. Want to give good feedback? Let me know.

The Fleeting (Interaction)

There are people in real life or online who will be in the moment with their interactions. For example, I had a nice 28 tweet exchange with @rvxn about a week ago.

It was a fleeting conversation with no guarantee of anything more.

These fleeting interactions are the only promise of this art form. It has no celebration of accomplishment. Even if it turns into friendship or whatever sort of relationship, it is what it is in the moment. Barring a photograph or recording, there is no physical evidence for that interaction happening except in your own mind.

But we need to take advantage of fleeting moments. They’re the bridges to different worlds of people. There’s something mystical about that.

Twitter is simply one of the many enablers and recorders in this highly connective human era, so why not use it?

Similarity Sucks (And It’s Boring)

From Wired Science, Opposites Don’t Attract.

From the article:

“What they found was that people tended to interact with the people who were most like them, so that investment bankers chatted with other investment bankers, and marketers talked with other marketers, and accountants interacted with other accountants. Instead of making friends with strangers, the business people made small talk with those from similar backgrounds; the smallness of their social world got reinforced.”

I’ll argue that staying within one’s own small group causes a lack of understanding. It extinguishes compromise and empathy for those with greatly differing viewpoints about the world.

Why is the US general election so polarized?
Why is there a disconnect between those who are rich and those who aren’t?
Why do people identify themselves with a certain city or team so easily?

Sure it’ll be easier to chat with them because they’re a mirror image of us, at least in that particular interest.

How can we obtain a greater understanding of other people and tolerate those with differing views when we never hang out with different people?

I walk to the edge of the social comfort zone because it’s more enjoyable to:
-be denied entry into elitist groups
-be accepted to explore a certain subculture
-welcome randomness into my life
-talk to strangers
-break down hardwired “in-group” oxytocin
-reduce boredom

Life expands when you let your comfort zone expand.

On Overthinking (Three Ways to Stop)

Overthinking hinders many opportunities.

Connor Delaney’s comic over at Drawing Board depicts it perfectly.

In the comic, many hypothetical situations occur in a never ending layered thinking sequence.
A guy is sitting inside a subway train. All of a sudden, a girl sits next to him. Or does she? Do either of the two want to talk to one another? Or is silence better?

Instead of overthinking it, there are three contrasting solutions towards taking action:

1. Expect the best outcome. Everyone is a friend. That girl/guy wants you to talk to her/him. Your idea will create positive change. You will lose those 10 pounds within a month.

2. Expect the worst outcome. Everyone will laugh at you. The girl/guy will think you’re a waste of space. Your idea will ultimately fail. You won’t lose any weight no matter what you do.
(Therefore, you’re forcing your brain to actually do it to prove that imaginary idea wrong. Then you realize it’s never as bad as you think it’ll be.)

3. Expect no outcome. Let things happen and control your own actions. Let people decide for themselves. Create your idea and see what happens. See what happens when you exercise. (When using this method, I imagine a blank canvas or an empty mirror.)

Figure out which one works best for you and use that one.