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Archive for April, 2010

the modern day walkabout

the walkabout is actually a ritualistic journey native to early cultures of aborigines in Australia. Walkabouts lead young men to live in the wilderness for a period of six months. it is a rite of passage for the culture.

the walkabout is basically a manifestation of solitude and soul searching. for modern day purposes the walkabout does not have to be that intense. the idea should be the same though, getting solitude to find purpose for your present direction.

individuality and autonomy

“i search but never find, hurt but never cry
i work and forever try, but i’m cursed, so never mind”

-lil wayne

we should take notes from this early culture while trying to escape what mc lil wayne describes in this quote. in order to really feel like “yourself,” truly express who you are you must be able to understand yourself in the present. the walkabout may be what you need. feeling as if others drive you is not healthy, nor is it productive.

getting control of your situation is beneficial, people love to feel like they are the captain of their own ship. for instance solitude in some of my social circles seems to be frowned upon, but i need it. if I had no solitude when would i have the opportunity to work on myself? nobody will feel the need to work on you in all facets expect for you. the walkabout will help you as an individual find something inside yourself, that will send you in a new direction.

spontaneity

when was the last time you were spontaneous, doing something substantial that was completely unplanned? if it was a big transition there was some sense of anxiety before it. even if it was suddenly going to have fun in leu of some obligation even if for just an hour, there was still anxiety, but there was also a feeling of freedom.

most often people feel freedom when they bring themselves closer to non-material things. the fact that you walk; something done sense the dawn of time makes you feel power. walking costs nothing, but you are able to do it for entertainment, therapy, and excitement; there is great power in that thought.

i will embark on my own journey shortly and I encourage you to do the same.

 

“destiny is no matter of chance. it is a matter of choice: it is not a thing to be waited for it is a thing to be achieved.”

-william jennings bryan

 

the experiment

i have devoted this post to a little experiment that will enable you to send questions and have them published in the next post.

the idea is that you email me questions that you have on the topics of minimalism, success, innovation, well you get the picture, then i will submit the responses during the next post.

send questions to:

minimalistthought@gmail.com

Categories: Uncategorized

one gift from the autodidact

previously i posted about what an autodidact was; someone who is self-taught. one quality of this type of person that i mentioned was the disposition or the willingness to learn. speaking for myself, i have always had a disposition for learning. question is, if you don’t have a disposition, how do you get one?

motivation

developing a disposition is possible, but it depends on what you are trying to learn. based on what we know about motivation there has to be ownership involved. you must feel like you have the greatest benefit from what you are learning. starting in a place of interest would be a great idea.

finding interests could be a difficult task so prepare to try and fail. interest is only gaining access to what could potentially make you feel purpose while learning. purpose is the key.

this young man is the prime example of having a purpose. this is william kamkwamba the boy who harnessed the wind. william on his own learned different aspects of physics, and irrigation. going to a library he set out on a quest to make his village better, something he achieved. this is a picture of his windmill which brought power to a village that had little.

william is an autodidact that distributed his disposition into something that gave purpose. people in his village thought that he was insane, but soon realized that he was embarking on something that would change life for their village.

think of the gift that is in this story what does it mean to be self-taught, to direct your own learning? well, it means that what matters to you takes you to new heights of understanding.

devising a world take over could not happen without the disposition for learning.

Categories: autodidact Tags: ,

the lost soul

the toughest thing about being lost is not knowing when you will find yourself. in film today; like the popular tv show lost, and dating back to plato’s republic, finding yourself and finding truth are related to the cave.

of course we all know that the cave throughout history has enlightened people. dating back centuries wall paintings have been found in caves. naturally telling stories that depicted venturing into the unknown (outside the cave).

in order to find yourself you first have to know that you are lost. you have to know what parts of you are lost. the method by which a cave is created takes time, but for most specialists; those who study caves think they are something wonderful, somewhat of a masterpiece. this is no different than man or woman. you have a whole lifetime of experience that people must study, and examine to truly understand who you are. you will never be able to sum yourself up in a paragraph or phrase, nor should people sum you up that way.

why then do most people feel the need to search. i find myself in this place all of the time, just wondering what purpose i have, believing that there is something more. if i wonder then i am lost, am i not?


plato in his allegory of the cave speaks of a set of prisoners who only see shadows on the wall coming from the light outside of the cave. they cannot move, they don’t remember anything before the shadows, then the question becomes whether they are truly seeing the world. some argue of perspective, some defend the idea of the outside world as truly seeing the world.

think of this in your own life, are you truly seeing the world the way it was meant to be seen. does it matter in what way you see the world? well the truth is, that everyone should have a cave, a place they go to in solitude to evaluate what is happening in their world.

and now, I said, let me show in a figure how far our nature is enlightened or unenlightened: –

behold!  human beings living in an underground den, which has a mouth open towards the light

and reaching all along the den;  here they have been from their childhood, and have their legs and

necks chained so that they cannot move and can only see before them, being prevented by the

chains from turning round their heads.  above and behind them a fire is blazing at a distance, and

between the fire and the prisoners there is a raised way; and you will see, if you look, a low wall

built along the way, like the screen which marionette players have in front of them, over which

they show the puppets.

i see.

and do you see, i said, men passing along the wall carrying all sorts of vessels and statues and

figures of animals made out of wood and stone and various materials which appear over the wall?

some of them are talking, others silent.

you have shown me a strange image, and they are strange prisoners.

like ourselves, i replied; and they see only their own shadows, or the shadows of one another

which the fire throws on the opposite wall of the cave?

true, he said; how could they see anything but the shadows if they were never allowed

to move their heads?

and of the objects which are being carried in like manner they would only see the shadows?

yes, he said.

and if they were able to converse with one another, would they not suppose that they were

naming what was actually before them?

very true.

and suppose further that the prison has an echo which came from the other side, would they

not be sure to fancy when one of the passers-by spoke that the voice which they heard came from

the passing shadow?

no question, he replied.

to them, I said, the truth would be literally nothing but the shadows of the images.

that is certain.

and now look again, and see what will naturally follow if the prisoners are released and

disabused of their error.  at first, when any one of them is liberated and compelled suddenly to

stand up and turn his neck around and walk and look towards the fire light, he will suffer sharp

pains; the glare will distress him, and he will be unable to see the realities of which in his former

state he had seen in the shadows; and then conceive someone saying to him that what he saw

before was an illusion, but that now, when he is approaching nearer to being and his eye is turned

towards more real existence, he has a clearer vision – – -What will be his reply?  As you may

further imagine that his instructor is pointing to the objects as they pass and requiring him to

name them, will he not be perplexed?  will he not fancy that the shadows which he formerly saw

are truer than the objects which are now shown to him?

for the full writing of the allegory of the cave go here



online tv up


in a previous post i discussed my leave from cable tv due to cost, and suggested other options that were less costly. well in a study done by retrevo that i found on mashable.com there were findings from 1,000 people that suggested they were shifting to internet television viewing. 51% suggested they watched some tv online. to illustrate the story i will finish discussing my switch.

money

the cost of my cable package before was steep. when i thought about the amount of time i actually used the things in my package it was not worth it. i was perfectly willing to sacrifice some of my favorite shows, and sources of information, but i didn’t have to. i am using a combination of tv solutions which are half the cost. see the before and after below:

  • before:
    • $120 per month for cable tv package (with internet & phone)
  • now:
    • $58 per month (with internet)

this is an excerpt from a previous post that indicates how i did it (not including what is crossed out):



would venture to say i had a more productive lifestyle. plus cable prices are absurd for a service you do not use 24.7, currently i am researching alternatives to digital cable, and have come up with a list of things. this list is only for tv solutions not internet, because the speed of cable internet is unmatched in the U.S.would venture to say i had a more productive lifestyle. plus cable prices are absurd for a service you do not use 24.7, currently i am researching alternatives to digital cable, and have come up with a list of things. this list is only for tv solutions not internet, because the speed of cable internet is unmatched in the U.S.

alternatives:alternatives:

  1. read a book or a journal articleread a book or a journal article
  2. netflixnetflix
  3. sites like hulu.comsites like hulu.com
  4. satelitesatelite
  5. tv nights at other people’s housestv nights at other people’s houses

benefits:benefits:

  1. as a society we have taken the fun out of discovery, hunting is an age old deal and you will definitely be better informed, maybe not as entertained, but i recommend print for getting your news.as a society we have taken the fun out of discovery, hunting is an age old deal and you will definitely be better informed, maybe not as entertained, but i recommend print for getting your news.
  2. netflix is a great alternative. i would recommend netflix through a netflix ready device. i have a free trial, and the speed and clarity of my xbox’s application is unbeatable.netflix is a great alternative. i would recommend netflix through a netflix ready device. i have a free trial, and the speed and clarity of my xbox’s application is unbeatable.
  3. of course the web is full of resources maybe you are not able to be the prime time hound watching your favorite tv shows the day of, but a day later is fine if you are paying less.of course the web is full of resources maybe you are not able to be the prime time hound watching your favorite tv shows the day of, but a day later is fine if you are paying less.
  4. satelite is a cheaper alternative to cable, but not a great internet solution.satelite is a cheaper alternative to cable, but not a great internet solution.
  5. why not enjoy the company of people you can tolerate while watching a program, and making a routine thing of it. in this way you are benefiting from others materialistic ways and can’t reciprocate but some people are fine with that.why not enjoy the company of people you can tolerate while watching a program, and making a routine thing of it. in this way you are benefiting from others materialistic ways and can’t reciprocate but some people are fine with that.

quality

so in terms of cost the shift to the internet is no surprise to me. not only is money a benefit, but having the choice in what you watch is a different experience. on demand tv is a very different experience than traditional tv. think about it as shopping at a shopping center having the freedom to choose, versus shopping in a single store. today’s technology has allowed tv viewing to be like browsing a book in the library. the fact that you have a choice gives a plus to the quality of tv you watch. viewing becomes more customized. therefore it is a better viewing experience, think about he same idea in terms of news, politics, and gossip.


the future


the graph here is what people would like to see to make the complete shift. take my experience and build the type of viewing experience that would see you save money and not waste time.

what do you need to take the step? this website is an open discussion so please leave comments indicating:

  1. what you do now for television
  2. what could change that

timeless

“a classic is a book that has never finished saying what it has to say.”

-italo calvino

minimalism=timeless

the only thing that has ever mattered in life is a legacy, and the only people to beat death where legends. minimalism allows you the opportunity to be timeless and ever existent. minimalists are always useful, and therefore truly immortal. the fact that a minimalist is not pre-occupied with things that are not timeless is reason enough to believe that minimalism is timeless. just in case it is not here are a few reasons to believe this bold statement.

finances

the minimalist has a long term strategy with money. if you don’t spend it you save it. families who have strong legacies always had a spring board. most millionaires are not self-made in fact they had opportunities based on what economic status their family had. there are very few self-made millionaires in the traditional sense. those families usually have a strong legacy as something that benefits their lives (money) has been passed down. but as you all know that’s not important money’s not important.

tradition

if you think about what your family and the people you impact will look like deades form now what will you leave them. often we don’t think about those who have passed in terms of money, but in terms of merit and honesty. basically the characteristics you carry with you, and unlike most people minimalist exhibit the characteristics that actually matter all of the time when most people never practiced it much but when they did it mattered.

style

“my swagga is mick jagger anytime i’m on the track i asthma attack it.” -kanye west

there are many musicians that are still on tour and successfully i might add. those musicians are timeless because they typically stay away from the gimicks of the time. as a minimalist you are not trendy, even though you do have a swagga because part of minimalism is showing personality and not wearing it. you focus on things like fun, love, passion, and you will have a timeless swag about you.

leaving a path

when you are a minimalist you focus on the important qualities of life. the things that most people take for granted you free yourself up for. you live a passionate life and you are timeless because how many passionate lives will come after you.





Categories: Uncategorized Tags: ,

message to my newborn

with the entrance of my daughter i think about the power that an infant has, unlimited potential. it is a fascinating thing to think that if power were measured in potential the younger a person was the more powerful they would be. i look at her and i can see into the future what she could be, and as a first time father i would want what she could be, to be her decision. so i dedicate to my daughter a story that reveals the secret of life:

there’s a little boy and on his 14th birthday he gets a horse…

and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful. the boy got a horse”

and the zen master says, “we’ll see.”

two years later, the boy falls off the horse, breaks his leg, and everyone in the village says, “how terrible.”

and the zen master says, “we’ll see.”

then, a war breaks out and all the young men have to go off and fight… except the boy can’t cause his legs all messed up.

and everybody in the village says, “how wonderful.”

now the zen master says, “we’ll see.”

my little girl has all of the potential in the world, but in the end she will be met by the world, and it will be her interpretation of that world that shapes her as a person. she will come to me many times thinking that she has failed and each time i will say “we’ll see.”