Life Goes On

There’s only an impassible obstacle when you treat life as a finite canvas. You can choose to treat each obstacle as beatable. Or not. Your canvas is either something remarkable, or it isn’t. Regardless, life goes on.

Beyond the Stars

Halley’s Comet visits Earth every 75 to 76 years, a lifetime for some. It took until the Renaissance era for humans to figure out that comets weren’t just disturbances in Earth’s atmosphere, as thought by Aristotle, but periodic. Halley’s Comet was the first comet to be recognized as such.

Tycho Brahe first disproved the long held idea that comets were mere disturbances in 1577. Over 100 years later, Isaac Newton published Principia, in which he presented his laws of gravity and motion. Newton was never able to work comets into his model, despite suspecting it was one comet, not two, that appeared near the end of 1680 and in early 1681 – he was in fact right, as it was the same comet that had only passed the sun and reappeared.

Newton’s friend, editor, and publisher, Edmond Halley, used Newton’s laws of gravity and motion to calculate the gravitational effects of Jupiter and Saturn on cometary orbits in his 1705 Synopsis of the Astronomy of Comets. After looking at records of a comet that had appeared in 1682 and determining that they were the same if not similar of records of a comet that appeared in 1531 and 1607, Halley concluded that all three comets were actually one and the same. Thus, Halley’s comet was born.

Or was it? In reality, it was actually just realized this late into humanity, but in fact, Haley’s comet had been visiting Earth on it’s regular, lonely path through the Cosmos since the dawn of time. In fact, records of the comet’s appearance go back to 240bc, long before the laws of gravity and motion were ever thought up. It took many thousands of years for humans to realize what the distant visitor was, but when Halley’s comet was finally named, nothing changed. Because life goes on.

Your life is a canvas. It’s finite, but only as finite and small as you make it. Once you accept this, though, the size or scope of your canvas shouldn’t be an obstacle, but fuel to your fire. It should make you want to create instead of following well-lit paths or traveling the road more traveled.

What you choose to put on your canvas is entirely up to you. But regardless, life will go on. You have today. Why not start there?

Life Goes On

Life Goes On. Source and Artist unknown.

 

Throw Your Box Away

Muscle atrophy can be a scary thing. When an injury occurs which restricts a limbs movement partially or completely, the muscles within that limb will deteriorate, leaving it’s twin stronger than the other. When a muscle atrophies, it can lead to severe or partial muscle deterioration as the result from many different ailments, diseases, or injuries.

Adrian Peterson

One recent, great comeback story acts as a template for those wanting to throw away their box. In late December of 2011, Minnesota Viking’s star running back Adrian Peterson suffered a season ending injury when he tore both his MCL and ACL. Following a surgery, and weeks of  little movement in his injured leg, Peterson would have to build up his strength again to reach his former form. Many questioned his ability to return by week one, much less make an impact in the following season. Just 8 months after his injury, Peterson rushed for 84 yards and 2 touchdowns in the season opener.

It likely would have been widely accepted had Adrian chose to sit out the first one or two games of the season. Nobody would have questioned him, and he would be safe, comfortably going through the all of the expected motions. He instead threw away his box and went on to have one of the greatest seasons any running back has had, nearly grabbing the record for most rushing yards in the season in the process.   Peterson went on to win MVP for the 2012-2013 season, the first running back to do so since LaDanian Tomlinson in 2006.

Your Box

Like muscles, talents and skills can atrophy as well. Often in our lives, the fear of failing, receiving ridicule, or being outright ignored can lead to disuse of skills, talents, and the pursuit of dreams that inevitably leads to them deteriorating. This is the living inside the box, being safe from failure and living free of ridicule.

The box is boring, but it’s safe. It’s familier. In your own life, your box is your own status quo for every thing in your life – relationships, goals, fitness, talents, skills. Everything. If you let it, it can begin to define you and keep you from ever escaping. Living in the box kills any development you’ve gained from trying to escape it. The common statement of “think outside of the box” should really be “live outside of the box“.

Living in the box kills your dreams. It’s stagnate living.

Plot your escape!

 

 

Broken

All too often people associate failure with being broken. The very act of failure itself is simply learning about a process more intimately than ever before. So why should we associate failure with the act of something being broken?

Kintsugi, or Kintsukuroi, is the ancient Japanese art of fixing broken pottery with lacquer made up of silver, gold, or another precious metal. Kintsugi isn’t about mending something that’s broken and attempting to hide it’s recent failure, but about making something that failed even better and more beautiful than before.

A bowl fixed through Kintsugi wouldn’t be as extraordinary had it not have been broken in the first place. It would just be normal, boring and very ordinary. But failure, or being broken, can indeed make things better and more beautiful. People are the same way.

Unremarkably average people fix or hide their failures as safely as can be and with great care in an attempt to keep their failures from being seen. But this very act ensures that their failures will keep them broken instead of being the doorway to greater opportunities.

Those that change the world fix their broken pieces and failures with the greatest materials they can find. This is their evolution from unknown to known, from poor to great, from unremarkable to one who changes the world. What are you fixing yourself with? Plaster or gold?

7 Branding Rules for Creative People

Everybody has a creative side in them, whether you choose to embrace it or not is your business. There’s no one way to be creative, instead it’s important to create in your own medium and in your own voice, following another’s path significantly detracts from the creativity you can produce.

Want to embrace your creative side? I recommend you live by the following 7 rules:

  1. Ship Now. Inspiration has an expiration date! It simply cannot stay with you until you decide to act upon it. Choose to let your inspirations guide you instead of the fear of failing. Though it’s true failure cannot be avoided, by waiting to ship you are simply avoiding the inevitable. Get your stuff out there, test it in the market, and go from there.
  2. Embrace Vulnerability. The result of your ideas can never be proven unless it’s tested in the market.
  3. Go Public or Go Home. The new economy is about the power and the ability to consume and share valuable content.
  4. Be Visible. If people can’t see you, your products are invisible and the market isn’t talking about you.
  5. Be Accessible. Make it as easy as possible to communicate with you across multiple mediums – phone, online forms, email, social media, etc.
  6. Your Ideas > Big Ideas. While everybody is out looking for the next big thing, you should be concentrating on capitalizing and developing your own idea. An idea is useless unless it can be captured and developed into something real and tangible. A big idea is just as useless as a small one until it’s refined and materialized.
  7. Utilize your marketing department. What’s beautiful about valuable content is that regardless of who created it, as long as it’s accessible, sharable, and has value it will be seen by the market. Therefore, when utilized correctly, the greatest marketing department is your customer base.

Blind in Space

What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever done? If your starting your own business, writing the next great work, or self-branding yourself or your company then you might describe what you’re experiencing now as terrifying, not just scary. But what if you found yourself in a space suit, outside of the shuttle, connected to humanity only by a one-handed hold and a small tether? And then what if you went blind?

Chris Hadfield recently spoke at a TED conference on what he learned going blind in space. You can view it below or click here. It will give you perspective as you build your own amazing adventure and create something remarkable.

Dog Treats

I did something I shouldn’t have done today. I ate a lush, delicious, and completely non-healthy burger from Austin’s own burger joint, P. Terry’s. I had a craving that would not go away and it had to be satiated. And oh boy was it!

There are several P. Terry’s located around Austin and thankfully one of them is just a 2 minute drive from my apartment. I pulled into the drive through line just after 5 and just in time to beat the crowd that was no doubt headed there then just after work. There was only one other car ahead of me in line so I found myself ordering almost immediately. The excitement was building!

I noticed something whilst sitting behind the car in front of me as they received there food. Instead of just a bare counter, or no counter at all, outside of the window, there was a small, open jar of dog treats sitting just outside of the serving window. The guy in front of me was happy with his amazing burger and his dog was happy with an unexpected dog treat. With both parties served I rolled forward and took on my delicious calories.

What are your dog treats?

The dog treats that P. Terry’s gives it’s customers for free are just a small, added bonus to what its customers have come to expect. When expectations are exceeded, even by a small amount, people remember.

What are your dog treats? What unexpected valued are you providing your customers?