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a 20% model for the individual | work and play

the picture above is part of a great sociological experiment which found that work productivity does not increase with reward like money but rather with a sense of autonomy. this was an experiment created by a behavioral scientist named karl duncker in 1945.

first a group was asked to take the above materials and attach the candle to the wall in such a way that it would not drip on the table. those incentivized by money were less likely to complete the task faster than who were prompted to do the problem without any reward or extrinsic gain.

think about how you would accomplish this feet, and then click read more to see the end result of the experiment. Read more…

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pocket full of dreams

February 25, 2010 2 comments

i interact with dreams all day long, i work on a college campus, and there is no greater pleasure than seeing people pursue better lives. there is no greater pain than seeing some of those dreams not realized, and no longer pursued.

why minimalism leaves you open to pursue the wildest of dreams

a lot of times dreams are not reached not because we are not passionate enough, but because we prioritize other things. some things are definitely worth prioritizing, but others we can do without. a lot of people say chivalry is dead and even though it isn’t completely you get the point. the same way that chivalry is dead i believe sacrifice is close to taking the plunge. what are you willing to sacrifice to realize your dreams, and for how long are you willing to sacrifice it.

when you choose to take a path of minimalism you are basically willing to put yourself in a position where you will sacrifice, possessions and relationships. what things do you need, and what people do you need for the next month, or year, or beyond?  these are questions that you have to ask yourself. one problem with the college students i work with is that many of them limit themselves to sticking close to home, and there is little opportunity if you limit your proximity. hence you may have to sacrifice family for a particular amount of time in order to succeed. it isn’t a requirement for success, but it is an option to create easier and more accessible opportunities.

here are a couple of methods i came across on the zen habits blog

  • Make a list of your top 4-5 important things. What’s most important to you? What do you value most? What 4-5 things do you most want to do in your life? Simplifying starts with these priorities, as you are trying to make room in your life so you have more time for these things.
  • Evaluate your commitments. Look at everything you’ve got going on in your life. Everything, from work to home to civic to kids’ activities to hobbies to side businesses to other projects. Think about which of these really gives you value, which ones you love doing. Which of these are in line with the 4-5 most important things you listed above? Drop those that aren’t in line with those things.
  • what are my dreams?

    after college and after any turning point many people ask themselves now what? this is more ironic in college because you get handed a degree that is supposed to tell you what to do, and still…..now what?

    we have answered this question since we were kids whether blatantly or quietly. this question was answered for me long ago but realized only recently. looking back i loved only a few things; my imagination, learning, and growing up on a ranch. now, my goals are to achieve those things at full force. i have defined all of these things and thought about how to achieve them and all of them are multi-layered but for today i will let you in on step one of achieving something that let’s me express my imagination.

    imagination, as a kid my cousin and i would play with action figures all day long, and between ages 4 & into the teen years (kind of embarrassing now, but not really because we loved it) we would create complex feature length events. when i sat down at the drawing board getting my wiley coyote on, if you will, i realized these childhood memories were some of my happiest moments. what could give me the same feeling; film! one thing i want to succeed in is filmmaking. one goal for this year is entering a script into a contest. now all i need to do is sacrifice. and if you are sacrificing something important for a certain amount of time the more ambitious you are the sooner you will get that thing back….positive thing ambition.

    ……so, what will you give up?



    the direction of this blog and my first e-article

    when i embarked on the journey of starting this blog i assumed a lot of things. i assumed that a blog was only a chronicle of something you were doing; like becoming a minimalist. i also assumed that i had to completely know who i was to start it, but i don’t.

    however in the process of working on it , and doing a ton of research i realized that i am more than just a minimalist or becoming one, i am a product of my environment, i am determined to have success and rule the world, i am determined to give to people the opportunities that change lives, and i am determined to be a minimalist while doing all of those things.

    the direction of this blog will be a combination of me posting only a couple of times a week (quality over quantity) and producing several larger works throughout the year.

    my hope is through my soul searching and bravery in revealing my past; my rise, fall, and rise you will be able to find yourself and your direction.

    the first large work that i will provide for free is: Soul Searching A Minimalist Journey In The Art of Knowing Yourself and Owning It So that You Are Successful




    emerson on the self-reliance of human beings

    February 22, 2010 1 comment

    There is a time in every man’s education when he ar-

    rives at the conviction that envy is ignorance; that imi-

    tation is suicide; that he must take himself for better for

    worse as his portion; that though the wide universe is

    full of good, no kernel of nourishing corn can come to

    him but through his toil bestowed on that plot of ground

    which is given to him to till.

    -ralph waldo emerson

    through a recommendation to read the writings of nfl/soldier pat tillman it was mentioned that he prized the self reliance essay by emerson. in this quote emerson emphasizes commitment, and seizing opportunity, it made me think of us as people and the way that things (material possessions) drive what we do instead of passion and our true personalities driving us to success. having little clutter agrees with the ability to create and seize opportunities because it promotes optimal focus.

    the way to success

    February 10, 2010 1 comment

    i have just finished reading malcolm gladwell’s outliers. i could not put it down for three days I was emersed in a theory of: opportunity + timing + 10,000 hours of practice = success. a phenomenal argument was presented that optimal conditions must exist for a person to be successful, if they practice for 10,000 hours.

    as a holder of a philosophy degree this is reminiscent of Michel Foucault who suggested that any change in scientific thinking (the world was flat and now it’s round) has to have the optimal political conditions and such for the paradigm shift to occur.

    what does outliers mean to me as a dreamer, a person that has always dreamed of achieving greatness. many skeptics believe that gladwell gives a realist interpretation of the impossible feat, but this book merely makes me want to log 10,000 hours of practice. if i can quantify things that i have always dreamed of then that makes it a little easier, and i only think of one thing, “i will not lose.”