COIN PHRASES

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Jan
28

Goals OR Intentions? Part 2/2

My previous post had the best of goal setting that I have seen.

Danielle La Porte alluded to how it is essential to feel you DESERVE the goal you set.

And… here’s more thoughts on why goals are a bad thing.

We often set goals from a place of lack. It’s possible to set a goal when you’re feeling great, and you just want to move in a different direction. But even once that is set, in my experience, once there’s a set goal in front of me it’s really, really difficult to strive and feel happy about not having had achieved it yet. Or, if I’m not making enough progress in time, it’s really, really hard not to feel down on myself.

Even if, from the perspective of core desired feelings or values or being, we are actually moving in a better direction, or we have moved to a different goal, or we just feel better – it’s really hard to pull that piece of paper down of my wall without a sense of failure. Shortcoming.

JP Sears here makes some great points about whether you are becoming who you want to be, and think you are – and how creating goals sets up the construct between an ‘old me’ and a ‘new me’. And that involves a rejection of who really are, in going after who you want to be.

It’s interesting that JP Sears actually thinks goals are a good thing – but what you need to ask is what part of you is creating your goal?

The insight that struck me, is that setting a goal is often to reject yourself. And if you do that, you’ve set yourself up for failure. Because achieving that goal wouldn’t resonate with the real you in the first place.

“Goals (wanting to improve) are not consistent with contentment (being happy with where you are).” – Leo Babatua

I first read the idea of having no goals in this post at The Minimalists:

 

100 Days with No Goals

“As for my new novel, I intend to finish writing it—I’ve never worked harder on anything in my life—but I’m enjoying the process of writing it, and if I never finish, that’s okay, too. I’m not stressed about it anymore.” – Joshua Fields Millburn.

Now when I first read those, I felt a bit empty and unfocused. I felt a bit of despair and a lack of purpose. That was a few years ago.

I have regretted not doing things year on year, and when I set goals to do it I often feel so much better for having achieved them. In the absence of goals, then, what do you replace it with – in order to ensure that you grow?

Kyle Cease in this video explains why we should set intentions. 

 

I love this video. I watched this the other day and it really hit me.

“Move yourself out of a sense of a do, and more into a sense of be” / “Allow yourself, more and more and more, to just be you.”

So, while marker pens can make my goals bold, and help me focus, and it’s a step up from how I used to be, I also see that the intention to simply do more good things every day e.g. meditate or write is a more grounding process.

So, of course, goals are important, and necessary to start to move forward. But there is a darker side to goal setting and I would like to either feel better about the entire process of setting and achieving (or not achieving) goals, or, feel more free altogether and simply become more of who I am as an intention.

When I feel at my best, I am open to possibilities, happy, and free to simply own who I am. I know, deep down, what I want. The question is, how do I accept where I’m at now, and also strive for a new goal? Similarly, how do I accept where I am now and feel proud of myself and have confidence, unless I know what I’ve achieved so far? Writing out goals helps with that, and helps me to see both my strengths and my weaknesses, with evidence. Instead of being swayed by my changing perceptions and the opinions of others, I have my own bold and trusty marker pens and paper.

So what do you do – do you set goals, or intentions? How do you set goals and how do you feel about them?

Jan
21

Goals OR Intentions? Part 1/2

Here’s my two favourite videos on goal setting.

So, I’ve continually gone back to this video by Clark Kegley. Since July last year, I’ve created a goal list each month. When it didn’t come easily, I listed everything I would ever want to accomplish, and pared it down to my 3 categories: adventure, health, and work (contribution, achievement, etc).

He also kinda got me into marker pens. Goals are way better to tick off with marker pens.

I’ve been pretty happy to see the goals bright and bold and ticked off – or not. I really like all his videos, and his channel dedicated to growth and learning new things to become a better person has really inspired me to drive for more each month. It’s not about the specific achievement, it’s about growing in the time that you have. It’s working for me, it’s making me prouder of what I do each month, and driven to make my goals new, interesting and bigger each time.

If you’re not growing, you’re dying – Tony Robbins

HOWEVER

Danielle La Porte has been really close to my heart for years. And this interview with Marie Forleo is how I first found her. From such an ‘ambitious cat’, it was a relief to hear Danielle articulate all the less-than-good feelings around goal setting, and come up with a wonderful new solution.

The concept of finding your core desired feelings also alludes to whether those goals are from you or simply to be seen as successful, or approved, by other people in your life (family, peers, society). How do you know? Knowing how it feels is the one true way to test why you want something. Expansive, or contracted? Is it your own intuitive joy, or some feeling of vague obligation? It really shifted my perspective and the more I worked through The Desire Map: A Guide to Creating Goals with Soul… the more I brought out a clearer picture of who I want to be, inside.

“The goal isn’t about the goal, it’s about the way I want to feel.” – Danielle La Porte

Even when I couldn’t bear my goal list, or when I didn’t want to achieve anything. I get those days.

This concept also navigates the way setting goals often – not always – comes from a place of lack. Learn to love the process, not the outcome. Instead of saying you’ll be happy when x, how about finding a way to be happy now? Fulfilled. Loved. Worthy.

Enough.

(By the way, my present core desired feelings? Love, Expressive, Free / Possibility, Ecstatic, Grounded. That’s me, yo.)

HOWEVER

Should we scrap goals and not set any at all? 

In my next post, I’ll explore the case for that.

 

Dec
14

Hygge – the new trend. What is it?

It is no accident; it has been crafted and manufactured with much deliberation for this zeitgeist. How it went from a BBC article to a huge proliferation of books, articles, and looking to other countries for guidance on how to live our lives, amid Brexit.

Did the industry provide one trend, and then provide an antedote?

 

This is the audio of this article in The Guardian, here:

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2016/nov/22/hygge-conspiracy-denmark-cosiness-trend

 

The Hygge of Oasis: Why I find the band strangely comforting: New Statesman:

http://www.newstatesman.com/politics/uk/2016/11/hygge-oasis-why-i-find-band-strangely-comforting

 December 14th, 2016  
 aleekwrites  
 Creativity, Current Affairs  
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 0 Comment
Oct
07

Warren Buffett: Aesop and birds in the bush

Audience: Second short question is why haven’t you written down your set of formulas or your strategies in written form so you can share it with everyone else?

Warren Buffett: Well I think I actually have written about that. If you read the annual reports over the recent years, in fact the most recent annual report I used what I’ve just been talking about, I used the illustration of Aesop. Because here Aesop was in 600 BC- smart man, wasn’t smart enough to know it was 600 BC though. Would have taken a little foresight. But Aesop, in between tortoises and hares, and all these other things he found time to write about birds. And he said, “A bird in the hand is worth two in the bush.” Now that isn’t quite complete because the question is, how sure are you that there are two in the bush, and how long do you have to wait to get them out? Now, he probably knew that but he just didn’t have time because he had all these other parables to write and had to get on with it. But he was halfway there in 600 BC. That’s all there is to investing is, how many birds are in the bush, when are you going to get them out, and how sure are you?

Now if interest rates are 15 percent, roughly, you’ve got to get two birds out of the bush in five years to equal the bird in the hand. But if interest rates are 3 percent, and you can get two birds out in 20 years, it still makes sense to give up the bird in the hand, because it all gets back to discounting against an interest rate. The problem is often you don’t know not only how many birds are in the bush, but in the case of the internet companies there weren’t any birds in the bush. But they still take the bird that you give them if they’re in the hand.

But I actually have written about this sort of thing, and stealing heavily from Aesop who wrote it some 2600 years ago, but I’ve been behind on my reading. Yeah?

Source: Warren Buffett Speech to University of Georgia Students Part 1 (Archive 2001)

Money Chimp have made a really explicit formula here.

 

 October 7th, 2016  
 aleekwrites  
 Cash  
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Sep
19

Cuddling kittens – but they might kill you!

One interpretation

They may be the cure for depression, but they could kill you!

The Telegraph today:

Cuddling kittens can kill you, warn scientists

 

 

 September 19th, 2016  
 aleekwrites  
 Creatures, Current Affairs  
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 0 Comment
Aug
28

Lyrics and songs I find beautiful

” ‘Cause this youthful advantage fades while the sand is
Dripping from the hour glass”

“Fashionably sensitive, but too cool to care”

“Mistaken you for someone else –

Someone who gave a dam… somebody more like myself”

“Wanna slay ’em, wanna lay ’em, wanna play ’em

My favourite toys

American boys”

“A simple life’s my cup of tea
I don’t need nobody but me
What I wouldn’t give just to be left alone
I want to be a millionaire someday”

 August 28th, 2016  
 aleekwrites  
 Music, Music  
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 0 Comment
Jul
21

Poem/Question: Why do you write?

When you hate, what you read, from the day before

When you’re never finished

When the feeling never comes

And it’s hard to remember…

Why do you write?

 

When you’re not sure even you believe

In the words

When you’re not sure it does good

When you question this odd hobby

That sits you in a crumpled heap on your chair, again

And there’s an answer lurking inside of you

But you’re not sure it’s a good one…

Why do you write?

 

When the people you care about, tell you to get real

When people you want to care about you, don’t

When you receive no recognition

When there seems to be no beauty in your words

And it’s everything you dread…

Why do you write?

 

This could be like Rudyard Kipling’s ‘If’ – then, you’ll be a writer, my son:

When you can do all the above and keep going.

And not give up the dream, even if it’s necessary and good to take a break from it, for life,

But you grow in that break, and you return to that dream with different perspective.

When you can doubt yourself but work through those doubts, and learn about yourself

And you can still, confidently in a crowd, or alone at night, you can still call yourself a writer.

Then, you’ll be a writer, my son.

 

 July 21st, 2016  
 aleekwrites  
 Poetry  
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 0 Comment
Jul
14

Pitching is the new commute

I’m finding the hardest thing about freelancing is pitching. Regularly.

I have all the ideas in the world – they’re not all good, obviously. But when I think of the infinite number of publications out there that could possibly take any of those ideas, and how I could adapt it for several different publications if I was organised enough, it’s often overwhelming – and crafting a good pitch is an art, and takes time, and research. And yet all that – all that is part of the dream. It’s fun, it’s creative, the endless possibilities are inspiring, and you love that response.

But what I’m finding hard about it; it’s uncertain, it’s work-intensive, I risk rejection (without any constructive criticism) and even if they do accept it, it might be changed and revised beyond recognition or the pressure starts when they give the commission and then it could be pulled, or not published (and therefore not paid) or the rejection could come at the end of all the work, rather than at the beginning (and without any constructive criticism).

In short, it’s unpaid work. And potentially pointless; if there’s no results, it means I have no work, and I am left with doubts and tumbleweed.

Sure, risk it, for the biscuit. If I don’t try, I don’t get. But I am talking about the very real possibility that I put all that work in, and nothing comes of it – if I’m endlessly pitching and nothing is good enough (for those companies, for whatever reason) then, am I still working? Am I still a freelancer? Do I still exist?

The equivalent in a normal job.

So, the way I have reconciled this in my brain.

The work of pitching (which includes coming up with ideas, researching publications, reading news and anything else) would be, if I was working in a role for a company, the equivalent of the commute.

So, say in London (where I happen to be based) I don’t get paid for commuting on the London Underground for an hour each way. The office doesn’t value that time; there is no reward for hacking it or doing a ‘good commute’ (whatever that means). Essentially, a boss doesn’t care how you get there, they just care that you do get there.

As for the risk of rejection? If you’re late, you could lose your job. (Equivalent: if I don’t pitch, or don’t pitch in time, I could lose my work).

But it gets you (to) work.

In fact, that gives me an idea to frame it. I could aim to pitch (think of ideas, research companies and read news, etc) for an hour each way. One hour before work, one hour at the end. It could help to see which time of the day I’m better at it – and it becomes a habit. And it is the most important part of freelancing – which is why it’s the hardest. Without pitching, without setting your own ideas and agenda, you are nothing. You don’t exist as a freelancer.

(Which, by the way, is fine – freelancing what works for me right now, and I’m committed to it because it improves my skills. I also apply for roles where I can apply those skills. Here’s my CV on LinkedIn if you’re interested in a journalist/marketing/research type.)

 

Jun
21

Anything *IS* possible (and here’s how)

Wild woo woo: “ANYTHING IS POSSIBLE.”

Realistic rebuke: “is it though? You can’t fly.” 

 

My thoughts on this:

Well, anything IS possible… when you want to dream. And find what motivates you. And be prepared and aware that it might not (in fact, 99% of the time, it won’t) go AS expected, and you might have to adapt, or check in with yourself and how you feel about it and listen to yourself if you might have to change the goal completely. If you start flapping your arms, you’re not going to fly. So? If you still want it to be possible?

 

So THEN, you specifically break it down into what’s possible and go for it as a goal, with checklists and stuff for practicalities, then you achieve what IS realistic. But you might as well dream big and worry about whether it’s possible later when you’ve figure out if it’s even a priority for you in the first place. Do you really want to fly with just your arms? Instead of berating the fact YOU JUST CAN’T think a) why not? because it’s unsafe and do you want to be unsafe? so then the question is b) how can you fly in another way, with SAFETY which is the thing that makes it not possible initially. Do you want to fly in a glider across the hills or fly to New Zealand in a jet plane? What part of flying do want here? Or do you just want that feeling that you CAN fly – freedom (money in the bank, ability to set off at any moment, no ties), or wind through your hair (buy or rent an open top car for a day, or race a Ferrari day, learn to ride a galloping horse with your arms outstretched) and then work on getting THAT.

 

HERE is an awesome video I love, on how to learn ANY skill:

No, But I Can Learn

 

Jun
14

Evernote vs Dropbox: for freelance journalism

Evernote vs Dropbox:

Organising my freelance journalism work flow

Mission:

I needed to store and find/search easily: recordings, notes, saved web pages, sources and other research.

I needed to store my written notes, ideas and questions, and tags across topics and publications are especially useful.

I already use Wunderlist so something easy to integrate and share to sync my research and notes, with my to do’s and progress, would be ideal.

 

Evernote – I used to use it 2-3 years ago and stopped. (I got into the bad habit of saving web pages to bookmarks and ideas all over the place – and not doing journalism). I am a hoarder of web pages, videos and anything and everything that gives me a light bulb moment of insight or an idea that I must do at some point in the future (and might not – my ideas list is pretty cluttered at most times, and when I see them, then I get overwhelmed and procrastinate and want to consume shiny new things for new ideas instead – it’s why I like Pinterest, and why I write and draw lots but don’t manage massive projects…!)

Now I’m embarking on bigger pieces I REALLY need a better system. And Evernote seems perfect for journalists.

So today as I was happily rocking to music and uploading ALL articles and scribbles (the typed ones) and crap from disparate – and insightful – sources, I suddenly had a panic.

The whole purpose is to access and ensure these parts are accountable and safe – and I had no idea how secure it was.

Not just from the outside. But for me.  

And not just because I might get hacked – that’s a matter of online security and if there’s a hole there, I only have myself to blame, and I am pretty solid on that – but…. what happens if Evernote disappears? Goes bust? Moves everything from one cloud to another cloud and it all falls to Earth? I mean, anything is possible, right?

This forum thread only exacerbated my fears of these realistic worst case scenarios that people are convinced about. https://discussion.evernote.com/topic/65776-what-happens-to-my-notes-if-evernote-goes-bust/?page=2

All businesses die. Everything dies! And it’s somewhat mirrored my own tendency to give up on systems – why wouldn’t they give up on me?! If I’m about to put my entire freelancing system onto Evernote I don’t want to wake up one day to find a repeat of Megaupload.

I am concerned about where to safely and confidently store all interviews, information and confidential sources – and new ideas – that I would rely on at any point in the future and it could be hugely important for legal reasons and for my own integrity. My own integrity would be down to this choice of software – so, kind of a biggie.

But I remembered that quiet and solid app I use without even noticing. Dropbox. Aren’t they the same? Just one is a bit more hip and millennial than the other?

So I delved into what the internet had to say about this. I found some clarity for myself and I hope it’s useful to you. (Plus I’m a bit of a productivity systems geek, and here’s my outlet.)

Initial picture in my head: Wunderlist = to do’s, checklists and project priorities and progress. Evernote = the actual files, notes, research and creation. And collaboration. Dropbox = shared access and standard for Word and PDF files (whereas a written Evernote file requires a copy and paste).

So, maybe Dropbox is better for writing in progress in a Word doc, while Evernote collates the research from the internet? I’d rather have everything in one place.

And in one place, capacity matters.

Evernote Basic (free) limits your note size to 25 MB and each month gives you 60 MB.

Dropbox Basic (free) doesn’t limit file size and gives you 2 GB free and you can earn up to 16 GB performing various tasks and syncs, but that’s the limit.

I wanted a nice way to think about it clearly (read: I never want to worry about this again, and just want to get on with pitching and creating loads of great stories and other projects with a seamless work flow system that I know is 100% accountable and I know where I can find anything if there’s a query)

Udemy split it quite nicely for me, and for those who like physical, stationery equivalents for their software:

Evernote = “the sticky notes of the modern age” / Dropbox = “the filing cabinet”

Who even has these anymore? Source: Morgue File

Who even has these anymore?

Best of all was Michael Hyatt’s consolidation of all the major pros and cons:

Evernote = storing the written word with easy search and editing. Word, Excel and Powerpoint files can be stored but not transformed/edited inside Evernote.

Dropbox = store software, big files, photos, code etc… everything else

So then, I would use Wunderlist for the checklist, to do’s and project management and schedule, clip research, sort it and write my stuff in Evernote, and put the finished product (or the next stages e.g. video) into Dropbox – for attachments.

I use Wunderlist for specifically actionable tasks; to do’s, priorities, deadlines, schedules and reminders. While Wunderlist does easily clip and save and order anything, I want that app to be as specific and decluttered as possible (not very, most of the time – and that’s the point).

 

 

Data security:

Evernote’s Three Laws of Data Protection

https://www.dropbox.com/en/help/27

Dropbox vs Evernote on security