#120 A lifetime of practice ahead of you

If you knew you’d write more words tomorrow anyway…

If you knew you’d put your body in a yoga pose every day…

If you knew you’d write the same song over and over again either way…

If you knew there’d be no pressure to nail the guitar piece because tomorrow there’s another chance to play…

If you knew you’d have a lifetime of practice ahead of you – what would you focus on today?

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#99 Why bother to journal?

Stream Of Consciousness writing isn’t about what you write. It’s about the very fact that you’re writing.

Nobody cares about the words on the pages. Nobody will read them anyway. Neither should you.

This is not a novel. This is not a love song. This is not a poem. This is but an externalization of your mind’s chatter. Ugly, pretty, insightful, bland. It doesn’t matter.

There’s no great work. Nor is there any bad work. No high standards, no judgment. Nothing but what flows out of your mind.

So if none of it matters… why bother to write Stream of Consciousness?

Because it forces you to slow down.

Because it forces you to pay attention to what’s on your mind.

Because it forces you to listen to the way you talk to yourself.

Because it helps you get all the overwhelming thoughts and worries out of your system.

Because it helps you gain clarity.

And because sometimes, insights emerge. Not necessarily in the words on the page. But due to the fact that you’re writing the words on the page.

Stream Of Consciousness journaling is writing. Venting. Self-therapy. Problem-solving. Meditation. Goal-setting. Creative liberation. And anything else you want it to be.

Because you have all of that in you already – if only you’d re-learn to listen.

And listening to yourself, it turns out, is much easier when you put it all on the page.

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#70 Day 70 – This Is My Path

Daily blog post number 70.

Sometimes I’m frustrated I get less “work” done than before I started publishing daily posts.

Until I remind myself: who do I want to be?

A writer. Who writes. And publishes his writing. Every single day.

Then I realize: it’s not just who I want to be anymore, but who I choose to be. Every single day.

This is my path.

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#66 Scarcity is like pollution

Some days I have ten ideas to write about. Some days, zero.

But when I lack ideas to write about, the ideas aren’t really gone. I’m in a scarcity state: my brain chemistry prevents me from accessing the insights.

When I feel lonely, friends and family I can connect with aren’t really gone. I’m in a scarcity state: my brain chemistry prevents me from connecting with them.

Scarcity is like pollution.

When noise pollution of cars, planes and construction machines drown out the singing of the birds, the birds aren’t really gone. I just can’t hear them.

When light pollution drowns out the stars, they’re not really gone. I just can’t see them.

So how do I get out of scarcity? How do I reduce pollution?

Here’s what works for me:

Notice I’m in scarcity mode. Then move. Meditate. Do stream-of-consciousness journaling.

Then find a place where I hear the birds.
Find a place where I can see the stars.
Write anyway.
And connect with friends and family anyway.

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#62 Productive vs prolific

Plants are productive when they’re fertile: capable of producing fruit or offspring.

Plants are only prolific when they actually produce fruit in abundance.

When it comes to creativity, we humans are all productive in the sense that we are capable of creating.

Productivity tools and “hacks” can help to create more space in your day for that creative potential.

But you’re only prolific when you use that creative potential and actually create something in abundance. Like Picasso.

Without prolificacy, productivity is just an empty container – unfulfilling, unfulfilled potential.

What can you be prolific in? What do you want to create in large quantities? What’s important enough to you to start sculpting away, day by day?

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#61 Talent vs discipline

In all his life Picasso produced about 147,800 pieces, consisting of: 13,500 paintings, 100,000 prints and engravings, 300 sculptures and ceramics and 34,000 illustrations – an impressive 78-year career.

13,500 paintings; that’s almost 37 years of producing a painting, every single day.

How good would you be if you had painted daily for 37 years?

Maybe still not as good as Picasso. Or maybe better. Hard to tell, because while many people might be born with talent, few people have the discipline to combine it with that level of discipline.

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#57 Fill in the blank

Most of your daily actions are guided by unconscious patterns and habits. But since actions overrule thoughts, even unconscious actions contribute to how you see yourself.

The more conscious actions you take, the more of a say you get in who you are (or want to be).

I choose to do ………… because I choose to be someone who …………

I choose not to do ………… because I choose to perpetuate my identity of ………….

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#53 The flow of skill- and habit-building

First, build trust in your good intentions. In other words: take actions that are “votes for the person you want to be“.

Then, build trust in your ability to persevere. In other words: build a habit.

Only then, you start building trust in your ability to constantly improve and become good (or excellent). In other words: build skill.

Building the habit is the hard part – even more so if you simultaneously try to “be good at what you do”. Once your reach habit escape velocity and the habit is in place, building skill becomes way easier.

Another reason why there’s power in publishing imperfect work.

First I become good at writing every day.
Then I become good at writing.

First I become good at playing the guitar every day.
Then I become good at playing the guitar.

First I become good at doing yoga every day.
Then I become good at yoga.

First I become good at meditating every day.
Then I become good at meditating.

Lukas Van Vyve

#52 Missing the stars on a clear night

Can I see the stars on a clear night? Or is light pollution blurring my vision?

Can I hear the voices in my mind? Or is noise pollution drowning out the quiet?

Can I feel the sensations stirring my body? Or are the superstimuli of the modern world numbing out my feelings?

Where else is overwhelming human-made input making me blind, deaf, numb to the natural world? To the wordless world? To my inner world?

Where am I missing out on Musenküsse, for lack of silence and empty space?

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