You

Express Yourself (Ethan Hawke Edition)

Ethan Hawke gives an inspiring talk on creativity and how it forces you know yourself, lets you empathize with others, and gives you room to be a happy fool.

In singing our song, in telling our story, in inviting you to say, “Hey, listen to me, and I’ll listen to you,” we’re starting a dialogue. And when you do that, this healing happens, and we come out of our corners, and we start to witness each other’s common humanity. We start to assert it. And when we do that, really good things happen.

If you want to help your community, if you want to help your family, if you want to help your friends, you have to express yourself. And to express yourself, you have to know yourself.

You

The Shortest Self-Help Book Youโ€™ll Ever Read

Having now read enough (too many) self-help books, I was starting to think that they all overlap and are just saying different variations of the same thing. I feel like I have unofficially graduated from self-help school. ๐Ÿ‘จ๐Ÿปโ€๐ŸŽ“

So I was happy to see this post that basically captures all of the self help out there in one concise list. It’s a really good summary of how to take charge of your life and your own happiness. It has “chapters” on goals, limiting beliefs, growth mindset, thinking too much, self-care, gratitude, and all the other top hits.

๐Ÿ‘‰ The Shortest Self-Help Book Youโ€™ll Ever Read

My favorite quote is from The Mortality Chapter.

You have to go about every day like you might live forever, but also like you might die tomorrow afternoon.

That pretty well describes one of the key tensions in life. Well said, Jessica Wildfire (is that a pen name or what?).

You

Maslow’s Pyramid

A while back, I posted a link to the Artist’s Hierarchy of Needs. The idea seemed useful, although it was not a hierarchy per se, but more of just a list. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

I think the idea of the artist’s hierarchy was inspired Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, which is more of a real hierarchy. So it’s kind of cool to see this post.

๐Ÿ‘‰ SELF CARE PART 2: CREATIVE HIERARCHY OF NEEDS

Basically it says that you need take good care of yourself before you can aspire to your “ultimate self-actualization”. I guess that’s super obvious, but still it makes for a cool idea and a good visual. ๐Ÿ˜†

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And the Creatively, LLC blog looks great overall beyond this post. I like their motto, “Create Your Best Life”. Via Fresh Ink Austin

Software Dev

“Itโ€™s time for me to build an app”

Here is a funny and relatable perspective on being an app developer wanting to just make your own goddamn app. Via iOS Dev Weekly.

๐Ÿ‘‰ Going indie, step 5: Suffer from crippling imposter syndrome

You want to build something that belongs to you, you want to pour your heart into it, and frankly, youโ€™d like to find some success doing it. โ€œItโ€™s time,โ€ you proclaim boldly, โ€œfor me to build an app.โ€

The post does spend a lot of time talking about social media stress and imposter syndrome, which doesn’t bother me too much. Personally, I have long let go of any dream of having a big, important Twitter or Instagram account. Or even making any money off of an app. I just want to make my own apps.

A big part of you still feels that, as someone who can competently design and build software, you are uniquely positioned to create your own lifeโ€™s work… Wouldnโ€™t it be a shame not to try? Youโ€™re tired of deferring your dreams to your future self; itโ€™s time to act!

My own situation is further complicated by my additional dreams of writing a book and making some songs. I’ve actually made some progress on those dreams already. Can I really fit another dream into the rotation?

Stay tuned and see. Give me like a year. Baby, I want everything!

Reaching to place your app among the very best
You

The Secrets to Happiness (Distilled)

I went to this talk by a Buddhist monk about happiness. I’m not a Buddhist, but one thing I like about Buddhism is that it’s more of a philosophy than a religion (from what I’ve seen). There was absolutely no talk of a religious greater power. And no attempt to convert anyone.

The talk was pretty simple, logical, and grounded in reality. It was basically just useful life hacks.

After the talk, I told a classmate, “That all seemed pretty simple.” And he said, “Simple to understand, but really hard to do,” So happiness is like chess in that sense. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ

Anyways, here’s the quick guide to happiness, according to this class.


Happiness is about a peaceful internal state, i.e. a happy mind.

External rewards (like money, status, etc.) are fine, but they won’t give you lasting happiness. (I know this sounds self-righteous, but it is also self-evident. There’s nothing wrong with being rich, but we all know about rich people who are unhappy and poor people who are happy. ๐Ÿ™ƒ)

To reach an internal peaceful state, act on things you can control and don’t worry about things you can’t control.

If you can do something about it, don’t worry about it.

If you can’t do anything about it, don’t worry about.

Example: Stuck in traffic on the way to a doctor’s appointment? Call your doc and say you’re running late. If they can work you in later, great. If not, reschedule. Then relax and don’t worry about it. And don’t get mad at your fellow drivers. They’re all in the same situation as you.

Also, a happy mind is a clear, uncluttered mind. This is why mediation is so helpful. It is a quick way to clear out the clutter of your mind and reset to a more relaxed and productive state. It’s like cleaning out a cluttered closet.


And that’s it! Simple and hard, just like life.

๐Ÿ’๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ As a side note, it’s funny that this guide to happiness comes from Buddhists, who say that life is suffering. There is something kind of perfect about the people who embrace suffering to be experts on happiness.

You

12 Qualities of Effortlessly Cool People

This article breaks down the characteristics of cool peeps. And thankfully it’s not the high school “popular” kind of cool, but more in a sense of being effortless and smooth.

๐Ÿ‘‰ The 12 Coolest Human Traits: Do You Have Them?

I like this list because it’s all pretty easy stuff. It’s not about being crazy funny, talented, or rich. Just be cool. ๐Ÿคท๐Ÿปโ€โ™‚๏ธ๐Ÿ˜†

[Cheat sheet: they’re adaptable, they like people, their clothes match their personality, they donโ€™t take criticism too personally, they’re present, they self-regulate (food, alcohol, exercise, work, emotions), they’re curious, if youโ€™re mean to them, they wonโ€™t make a fuss, they do interesting things, they wonโ€™t judge you, they find fun in small stuff, you wish you could see more of them.]