COIN PHRASES

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28
Jan

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?

21
Jan

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.

 

14
Dec

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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21
Jun

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

 

14
Jun

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

14
Jul

Facebook statuses, I write.

http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/842545

http://www.morguefile.com/archive/display/842545

‘I’m bored of writing,’ I write, into the accusatorily blinking Facebook status box. I drop the words into it’s post-box slot and release them into the abyss. I semi-pretentiously wonder what to write next, as if Facebook matters, as if it matters if I have quality thought out here.
No. Every day it more and more resembles a lost-and-found prison, painted in clinical blue, where some passers-by with hangovers typing in their memories and contacts from the party the night before. People sometimes lose themselves in here.
Even we, the cute ‘Facebook generation’, see the low-level fun of self-aggrandising, self-deprecating statuses is diminishing. There’s nothing to prove any more. Relationships move on, people forget, people don’t care, or if they do, it’s weird; we get it now. There is a time and a place for passive-aggressive messages. Was it ever Facebook statuses? Perhaps it was always post-its on the fridge.
Sponsored posts and company pages become the realm of the employable social media writers. The nostalgic innocence of idealistic University students indulging in vanity is swept away. I mean, grow up. We’re adults now.
The only people who give their statuses any (unpaid) thought any more are, like, professionally branded ‘writers’, or… people who don’t know much about Facebook, really.
Amirite?
 July 14th, 2014  
 aleekwrites  
 Creativity, Social Media  
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 0 Comment
07
Jun

Signs in Shoreditch

 June 7th, 2014  
 aleekwrites  
 Artistry, Creativity  
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 0 Comment
14
Mar

Why I write. (My reply to Jeff Goins)

A reply to Jeff Goins, here:

http://goinswriter.com/why-i-write/

I write…

Because I only know what I think when I write, and I only know what I feel after I’ve written, mused, and write more. I’m closer to what makes me, me. And what I want to say, to assert that.

To clarify, for peace of mind, to muse. So that when I express, my private thoughts have been given the right attention on paper, to both validate and let them free. I write to let go – I can only let go when I have written it down. That goes for to do lists, emotions and poetically annoying wisps that blind my sight when I have to focus.

For joy. When I write, with a greater control and freedom over what might happen to those words, I really feel joy. And if there is something I need to express – anger, sadness, desperation, happiness – it is all enhanced with joy when I write. Not necessarily directly about those things either – sometimes when I write something completely different, it seeps in and I recognise my intuition churning in mysterious ways.

Because… I just like it. And when I don’t like it, I don’t.

Because I’ve learnt to say no to writing.

I can only drive the supercar at a top speed when I know the brakes are working. To be a writer, I believe it is important to write, often, and deliberately and consciously not write. Both are important. You can’t be a writer without both. Or maybe I just can’t be me, without both.

Because I have a purpose, even if that purpose is simply art for art’s sake. Because morning pages and streams of consciousness refresh me like a shower that pours over the top of my thoughts and in the process, cleans them.

Because I flourish when I appreciate the words I use. And I flourish when I listen to a mastery of language. It is the highest beauty… that I appreciate. Maybe it’s different for others. But I know myself better when I absorb, and become inspired by, the best writing and performing of writing.

And I write…

To thank you, Jeff Goins. You’ve been an inspiration, although you haven’t known it.

 

Why do you write, create, or otherwise do what you do?

Please share with us, either in the comments, or on your blog and link to it below. <3

 March 14th, 2014  
 aleekwrites  
 Creativity, Writing  
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 0 Comment
07
Mar

On being lonely.

From the Coin Phrases archive. First here: 7/July/2013.

 

I want to write but I don’t want to be lonely. I get lonely.

 

When I have poured myself out onto the page or work in isolation, I look up in a haze for interaction to fill up.

 

Some writers like that. And I feel worse about it then. Like, I’m meant to like it.

 

Writers write to connect with people but the actual process of writing involves aloneness.

 

00688-funny-cartoons-writer

 

It might be my situation that is lonely and writing doesn’t help (although it does, once I do it – but afterwards, not so much).

 

Yes, real art and real writing is about real life and real pain and it’s brave and embarrassing and that is how I resonate and connect with you. And sometimes it’s braver to point out what’s good in a cynical world.

 

But on the other hand…

 

nobody-cares

 

A book written badly can be enjoyed by millions of readers. That’s connection, with the book, and with the other readers between themselves. Nice words don’t matter if you don’t have a story, a journey for the reader to experience, and you need to think about that before you write. You have to reveal it slowly if at all and seduce the reader to think and feel. Good writing is not even words. It’s thinking. Alone.

 

Losing a very social and great job at the same time as moving house are the two most stressful things in the world by objective standards. They were the most overwhelming and isolating things when I experienced them. And at that time, my partner preferred alone time while alone time for me was painful.

 

I looked up loneliness and I learned something. With self-awareness, it is a closeness to yourself and a distance from others.

 

I wonder if that’s true for work.

I love it at times and hate it at others. I’m a bipolar writer?

 

At the end of the day, when I haven’t made ends meet, I conclude I have nothing to show for my work and achievements pale in comparison to others. I forget why people read and why people write and then I don’t understand what I do.

 

That’s probably a sign. Often, people feel lonely when they put others first and they come second. Maybe that goes for my work too. When it feels bad, I need to put myself first and my work second.

 

I’m going for a walk.

 

And that… is why I have a resistance to writing freely these days. I know there’s a lot to work on in my life, and writing… just doesn’t help with that, any more.

 March 7th, 2014  
 aleekwrites  
 Creativity  
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 0 Comment
14
Jan

Who are you?

 

Three questions: Write your answers in the comments below, or email me at aleekwrites@gmail.com – and I will reward you*.

1. How long/much have you been reading this blog? Do you want to subscribe? (Why?)

2. Who are you? What do you do?

3. The classic: What do you think is the point of art?

Thank you, so much!

* Extension question: How would you like to be rewarded?

 

 January 14th, 2014  
 aleekwrites  
 Creativity  
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 0 Comment