Good Reads, Back in the 21st Century Edition

A Willingness to Remain SilentBlogging is linking. I think you see this in many posts I write – but unfortunately, I cannot include links to all the inspiring reads I encounter during my voyages through the (mighty) interwebz.

That’s why I decided to create a column to spread a few precious links worth your time, and also share some personal updates with you. (As for that, the silence last week is owed to the special “You pay the bills, we disconnect you” weeks sponsored by Telefonica, followed by power outages and burning transformers sponsored by Electricaribe. I am now officially back in the 21st century, at least as long as it doesn’t rain. Living on the cheap in the Caribbean is great fun, but you have to bring some patience. In the end, the beach is even nicer when it rains.)

No worries, though: I won’t start to bomb you with noise. While there are many good posts out there, I only want to post stuff that really struck with me and that might be valuable to all you friendly anarchists out there. Thus, I won’t have a schedule for these posts, but only do one once in a while, whenever I found enough links worth sharing. If you have any proposals, feel free to get in touch!

[¶]

“Those who dream by night in the dusty recesses of their minds wake in the day to find that it was vanity: but the dreamers of the day are dangerous men, for they may act their dreams with open eyes, to make it possible.” (Metafiltered Crowd Wisdom curated by Colin Marshall.)

[¶]

“You want to be a visionary? Stop reading Seth Godin and take some psychedelics. Then you will be a visionary.” (@ericschiller)

[¶]

“Here’s what I think about lifestyle design being a bubble ready to burst:

1. Lifestyle design is a rebranding of ‘improving your life’ by Timothy Ferriss.
This means that anyone working under the moniker has to deal with associating themselves with him, which makes it difficult to find their own voice.

2. There will never be enough writers encouraging people to live their lives.
Too many of the souls on this planet are wasted. People spend their entire lives waiting for a retirement that will never come, because they’ve been taught by the system to keep their heads low and wait for their big payday. It isn’t coming.

3. There is more than enough room on the Internet for all of us.
If you read The Long Tail by Chris Anderson, you start to realize just how freaking big the Internet is. Even the 172,000+ subscribers that Leo Babauta has isn’t touching the tip of the iceberg for people that are interested in this living a life that is better than the one they have. That’s because most people have sucky lives that they hate, and they can do a lot to do them better, they just need permission to do them better.

4. There’s room for you too.
Write what you believe, write about the life you dream you’d have. If you lead enough, the people will follow. You only need 1000 true fans to support yourself, and then you can do anything you want — I know, because I crossed that threshold earlier this year.

The planet is freaking huge, and we’re all connected now.”
(Everett Bogue in the comment section of Lifestyle Ignition. Word. All I can say. Word!)

[¶]

“So the thing is… people have become obsessed with avoiding danger these days. Problem is, danger is hard to avoid.” (@johntunger in a great multi-tweet rant on Twitter. I saved the whole thing for humanity on my Tumblog.)

[¶]

“Almost anything can be made playful, and therefore enjoyable. I’m not saying that you should try to transform the things you hate doing and do them anyway with mind-blowing excitement and euphoria. You can happily stop doing those things any time (you have my permission).” (Really useful self-employment lessons by Jonathan Mead of Illuminated Mind.)

[¶]

“So, after much trial and error, for the last five months I’ve stuck to a schedule of 1000 words a day, Monday to Friday (with the occasional holiday and break thrown in). Some people may balk at this puny 1000 words, after all if a typical book averages 100,000 words it is a mere drop in the ocean. That’s how I felt at first. But five months later I’ve done 85,000 words and counting!” (Yay! James Mallison of Part Time Wage Slave writes a book, tempo giusto style. Consistency is king!)

[¶]

“The thing that bothers me more than anything is that Wage Slave Rebel has slowly morphed from something that at least aspired to be revolutionary into something that looked exactly like every other “revolutionary” blog out there. It stopped being an authentic call to arms and instead transformed into bullshit marketing. I’m reminded of this any time I visit a self-described lifestyle design site. They seem to think that it’s revolutionary to become the oppressor instead of the oppressed.” (JD Bentley is changing the way he blogs on Wage Slave Rebel.)

[¶]

“Slow Blogging is a willingness to remain silent amid the daily outrages and ecstasies that fill nothing more than single moments in time, switching between banality, crushing heartbreak and end-of-the-world psychotic glee in the mere space between headlines.” (A slow blogging manifesto by Todd Sieling.)

[¶]

“Never forget the things from which you’re escaping.

I walked past an office building in downtown Montreal this evening. I was on my way to meet my girlfriend for a family meal, which we would follow by attending a magazine launch party. Inside the office, meanwhile, the desk jockeys were working overtime beneath florescent lighting.

No more of that for me, thanks. I felt immediately grateful for the fact I was on the outside of the stone wall and not on the inside any more.” (Robert Wringham of New Escapologist remembers what we’re escaping from.)

Comments 10

  1. Nate July 6, 2010

    Good stuff Fabian! I think I like the comments by Everett Brogue the best…simple, not wordy and truthful. It’s something I’ve been working on. Stop worrying about what everyone else is doing or that you can’t do it or that there’s too much competition, etc, etc, etc. There’s enough out there to share among everyone. The most important part is to just be your crazy, unique, awesome self.

    • Fabian July 6, 2010

      Yup, what Everett wrote there was really so good that I had to quote it completely. I think it’s worth re-reading and remembering, whenever one feels unsecure about how to continue in the online world.

  2. J. D. Bentley July 6, 2010

    This is probably the most useful and thoughtful “link” post I’ve seen and I wouldn’t mind seeing more of these. The things you’ve quoted contribute to a profound conversation, which I always appreciate (especially after being pigeonholed into the superficial self-inflated world of lifestyle design and personal development).

    Aside from the “There will never be enough writers encouraging people to live their lives” line, I agree with Everett. I’d like to see less writing and more action. Especially within the lifestyle design community, most writers lack any credibility. Too much “fake it till you make it” nonsense.

    • Fabian July 6, 2010

      Thanks JD! Glad to see this post actually works as intended, and I’ll try my best to keep the quality in the future.

      As for “fake it till you make it”, that’s certainly not desirable, and Everett surely wasn’t implicating that. At the same time, I see some truth even in the sentence you quote: Of course one day it might be too much, but there are so many different people out there, resonating with so different words and thoughts. So in this sense, there’s still much space for new writers inspiring people with their very own words, while backing it up with action.
      That said, I think you are right in that more focus should be put on the action, and less on the talking part. When I recently wanted to interview an old missionary nun in Austria about her decades of work in South America, she told me: “Words, words, words… words do not always help, and they can even cause so much damage. One word is enough to destroy everything. What we’re lacking, is action.” And while action, of course, can also be damaging, I think she was as right as you: Words can become an excuse to not really DO anything, CHANGE anything, and then they become useless, or even harmful.

    • Nate July 7, 2010

      I’m not sure if it’s so much the ‘fake it ’til you make it’ approach that many have that has turned me off from the lifestyle design popularity train. I think it’s more some of the concepts itself…this promotion that you somehow have to quit your job or travel or start your own business to be happy and find ‘freedom.’ All of us are already free and looking for some outside source to make us happy whether through travel, another job, etc is likely going to push us further down the wrong path. Now, I’m not saying travel or working for yourself are bad things…they can be wonderful. I more think that people need to look within first and really examine why they are unhappy with their current situation…that’s where we will find the answers.

      Fabian…per your note on wanting to interview the nun and her response…that’s kind of why I had stopped blogging for some time. I needed to take action on my end. Not action in the sense of posting more or guest posting or whatever…but personal action. I started focusing on my meditation, I picked up yoga and I joined a sangha (which has now unfortunately disbanded, so I’m looking for another one). I’d also love to get involved in some community action, helping others out. Not sure what that would entail yet, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot.

      • Fabian July 7, 2010

        Nate, a big “yay” for taking more action in the offline world. I think it’s important to make a difference in our communities – and it is inspiring, leading to interesting and original content ideas for our blogs, too! If we don’t manage to get some input from the real world, we just end up in unnecessary meta discussions…

    • James July 7, 2010

      Agree with J.D. Bentley about this post. A lot of link posts tend to feel like blog padding (I’ve done it myself in the past), but there is a lot to take out of this post. You’re definitely approaching this the right way, look forward to more in the future. And thanks for mentioning my recent PTWS post!

      Regarding people being turned off lifestyle design, I do feel the marketing side of it – with the emphasis on escaping from the workplace, and of travel being the ultimate expression of freedom from the rat-race – can be a big distraction. It sure sounds tempting… but it’s not an answer for everyone.

      • Fabian July 7, 2010

        Thanks James! Glad you like it! As for LD, I agree with you and Nate about the travel/anti 9-5 notion. I wrote a long post on what I understand by LD a few weeks ago here.

  3. Michel J. Gagnon July 8, 2010

    I also really like the format Fabian. I particularly like your gesture to preserve @johntunger’s multi-tweet rant for posterity. It was clearly worth it.
    With regards to the lifestyle design debate, I’m willing to remain silent and refrain from adding any more words to it. You’ve said it all guys. Great post!

    • Fabian July 8, 2010

      Hehe, the rant was great. John told me he would have continued a little more but had to leave for dinner! :)

Comments are closed.