Monthly Archives: September 2011

A new home

Over the last few years, I’ve moved home several times, including once across the world. Every time, I had to pack everything I own into suitcases and boxes and drag them into a waiting vehicle, ready to be driven off to my next destination.

With all of this work, it’s no wonder I developed my minimalist tendencies to black belt level. I also don’t like to leave ‘unfinished business’, so I tend to get rid of everything I’m not taking, rather than leave stuff behind. It’s quite an exhausting experience to pick up and move, not just physically but also emotionally – saying goodbye to the people I care about (Skype is amazing but it’s not the same as being present) and beginning the next journey with all it’s worries and expectations of what my new life will be like and not knowing what the future holds.

At the same time, it’s exciting, which is why I love to travel and moving is something I’ve learned to take into my stride. But there were many times I wondered what it would be like to settle down, even for just a little while.

Now, for the first time in years, I have finally found a place where I have decided to stay for more than just a few months. I have moved in with one of my closest friends into a neat little studio apartment in the middle of a wonderful city.

Everyday, I experience something new. I can actually buy normal things like a laundry rack knowing that I will get good use out of it. I can rekindle my love for playing the piano. I can read paperback books. I can have my own set of colour pens.

landing pad vs. launch pad

One of my tech heroes Gwen Bell once wrote about this subject and even though the post is no longer on her blog, it resonated with me so much that I still remember it – is a home a landing pad, or is it really a launch pad? 

If I think about it, all of my projects and goals start right here. Everything I want, plan and will do begins with goal setting and research which I do from my home, wherever that is. So, for me, it’s not just a place to wind down but also a place to begin my next endeavour.

With that in mind, I’m actually looking forward to exploring all of the possibilities I have now that I’ve stopped moving for a while. Travelling offers amazing opportunities but having stability has good points too.

still minimalist?

I may have a couple new luxuries but I haven’t turned into a hoarder. I still love to travel, and I still don’t like the idea of having more clothes I can fit into a single suitcase. Wherever I am, it’s in my nature to cultivate a minimalist environment.

The blog will of course continue (thank you for all of your support so far) and I feel I will be shifting more towards minimalism at home rather than minimalism and travelling (for now).

And finally, even though now I have the chance to start growing some roots, I haven’t forgotten one of the most important teachings I’ve learned over the last few years, it’s written on my window to remind me everyday – nothing lasts forever, so why not make the most of every moment?

ps. Apologies for how ‘me-centric’ this post is, it’ll be back to normal next time 🙂

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Minimalize, Focus, Do Part III – Push Publish

Part III of the Minimalize, Focus, Do series.

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“There are three types of people in this world, those who finish what they start and those that don’t.

People have spent entire careers wondering whether there was something special about ‘successful’ people – was there a common characteristic? A secret ingredient? Or just something they ate?

Of course, there are many common characteristics that contributes to ‘success’, but to me, the difference between a successful person and one that comes down to one thing (at the risk of sounding like Ms. Norbury):

Successful people push.

In other words, they:

  • actively put their ideas and themselves out in front of people.
  • make themselves vulnerable to criticism
  • believe strongly in their ideas
  • believe strongly in themselves
  • have the ability to keep perspective
  • strive to finish

On the other hand, unsuccessful people:

  • wait for things to land on their lap
  • hold on to old ways
  • take the path of least resistance
  • stick to only what they know
  • let others put them down too easily

shipping – push your ideas into the crowd

Not everything you think of will be great. Actually, a lot of ideas that have been adamantly stuck to have turned out to be quite bad, but you’ll never know unless you try.

Amazing ideas could be wasted if you don’t bring them to life. Imagine if the greatest inventors and writers cared just that tiny bit too much about how they would look to other people, then we wouldn’t have some of the most useful, innovative, sensational, ingenious, and moving songs, stories, poems, devices, products and services of all time. History is completely made up of people flying into the face of their naysayers (sometimes literally) and going against the crowd.

Imagine all of the ideas out there right now, waiting to change the world. I’m willing to bet there’s one right now, inside yourself. Until you’re willing to ship, no one will know about it.

You have to persevere with your ideas. Don’t be a pushover and let other people put your down. Don’t be pushy and force your ideas onto other people if you haven’t taken a step back to see if it’s right.

Instead, be a pusher – a special kind of person who acts on their passions and gets their creations out there.

how to be a push publish

1. Passion is number one. You can’t push for something you don’t believe in 100 per cent. It can take all of the energy and motivation you can muster to push something to where you want it to be and if your heart isn’t in it, then you’ll burn out before you can get there. Choose something that means everything to you.

2. Be willing to put your neck on the line. Put yourself out there and don’t care about what the trolls have to say. There are people out there who will try to put you down because they’re just too scared to do something great themselves, so they’d rather drag you down with them. It’s a tragedy, but it would be much worse if your joined their ranks. Nobody knows everything and nobody can predict the future, it’s up to you.

3. Take a step back. On the above note, if you receive actual constructive criticism, take a step back and see if any improvements can be made. Remember, don’t be a pushover or pushy – it’s extremely important to remain mindful as much you can. It depends on a person’s character and strength of conviction whether they let people put them down or if it leads to improvement and eventually what is just a good idea becomes a real idea.

4. Keep a balanced standard. Have faith in yourself and aim high. Setting a challenging standard for yourself is a very good thing but don’t aim for perfection, because there’s no such thing.  Try not be too self-critical, otherwise you’ll always be waiting for something that’s impossible.

5. Create something of value to other people and you’re bound to succeed. It’s as simple as this : if people need or want something you can give them, you are already on the way to success. All you need to figure out is how you can give it to them and how you can receive something valuable in return (this doesn’t necessarily mean cash). Something of value in return can be anything from useful criticism, encouraging comments or spreading your name via word of mouth.

Pushing publish doesn’t have to be hard, but unless it’s good, people won’t take notice. Posts like these take me some time to write because I always have to make sure I’ve done my best before publishing something I’ve created for everyone to see.

Anybody can change the world. But not everybody does. Don’t let it be you.

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