Tag Archives | advice

“Do What You Love” is Terrible Advice for Creative People

Artist at Work 2 by enjosmith via Flickr. CC by 2.0

Artist at Work 2 by enjosmith via Flickr. CC by 2.0

I’m curious to see what everyone here thinks about this.

via Medium:

Is there a more common piece of career advice today than “do what you love?” I’ve heard it for ages. I certainly think that being in a bad job can be soul-crushing experience, and that liking your work lightens your life considerably.

But in the course of studying the lives of creative people, I’ve come to the ironic conclusion that for writers, artists, and just about everyone, “do what you love” is actually terrible advice.

Here’s what’s wrong with it: it’s unnecessary.

The problem with the “do what you love” mantra is in how we follow it, which is with a single-mindedness that carries unnecessary risk. We interpret “do what you love” to mean “Do only what you love and nothing else,” and the implication of that is that if you don’t practice this kind of creative monogamy, you’re being untrue to yourself.

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Anyone Can Change the World: The Animated Wisdom of Nobel Peace Prize Winner Jody Williams

Do you feel passionate about something? Do you want to create change? Do something about it.

via Open Culture

Here’s a little animation for those times when the unlikelihood of winning public recognition for your work has you dejected to the point of inaction.

Children are repeatedly told that they can change the world, and, in my experience, most of them seem to believe that this is true.

How is it, then, that so many adults are paralyzed by feelings of powerlessness? Did something happen in middle school, or are the problems of the world so immense? (Both, probably.) Why bother, right?

Activist Jody Williams may have won a Nobel Prize, but she’s also a fan of starting small.

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Hunter S. Thompson’s Superb Advice on How to Find Your Purpose and Live a Meaningful Life

Hunter S. Thompson graffiti 2Maria Popova takes a look at the advice of Hunter S. Thompson given in a letter to a friend when he was 20-years-old. From Brain Pickings:

As a hopeless lover of both letters and famous advice, I was delighted to discover a letter 20-year-old Hunter S. Thompson — gonzo journalism godfather, pundit of media politics, dark philosopher — penned to his friend Hume Logan in 1958. Found in Letters of Note: Correspondence Deserving of a Wider Audience (public library) — the aptly titled, superb collection based on Shaun Usher’s indispensable website of the same name — the letter is an exquisite addition to luminaries’ reflections on the meaning of life, speaking to what it really means to find your purpose.

Cautious that “all advice can only be a product of the man who gives it” — a caveat other literary legends have stressed with varying degrees of irreverence — Thompson begins with a necessary disclaimer about the very notion of advice-giving:

To give advice to a man who asks what to do with his life implies something very close to egomania.

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Some Primary Lessons from Some Amazing Teachers

via chycho

Our personal perspective is a reflection of our influences, i.e., in large part we are a byproduct of our environment and lessons learned from influential teachers, which is why my About Page contains a list of some of the prominent teachers that I have had the good fortune to stumble upon.

Considering the vast body of work that is represented in this list, I thought it would be a good exercise to try and share at least one primary lesson from each teacher. Below you will find teachings shared by fifteen of those on the list. More will follow, but for now, here is what I have learned from:

1. Terence McKenna: The word “mine” has been the primary destructive force in society as it relates to raising children and building communities.… Read the rest

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Some advice to those who have lost loved ones

via chycho

I had not planned on getting involved in the following discussion, however, a conversation was started online which I felt inclined to participate in, and since my initial reply was well received, I thought it would be worthwhile floating the information here as well. Some of what I have posted were extremely hard-learned lessons and I hope the information finds its way to those who seek such advice.

The following question was posted on AskReddit:

    “My parents just lost their son of 27 years. I am now an only child. Will it ever get easier for them, or will this bear on their soul until the eventual day where I must say goodbye?

    “I guess I’m not exactly sure what I’m asking for. Stories, anecdotes, puns, and assholes maybe. I want to be there for my mom and dad but I’m unsure of what may even help. What in this world can help someone overcome the grief of having to lose a child?

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This Was Not Written by a Machine

THIS WAS NOT WRITTEN BY A MACHINE

Somewhere there is a human who, as part of their job, once wrote out the following sentence: “A VARIED AND BALANCED DIET AND A HEALTHY LIFESTYLE ARE IMPORTANT”. Remembering this is not the work of a machine is important, at first my brain casually imagined it might have been[1]. The truth is, a thinking, breathing, living, person is behind that unhelpful statement on the back of  a packet of Wrigley’s gum.

Best case scenario they were a freelance copywriter doing a bit of contract work and had a word limit they needed to be as close to as possible. In this world the words become “filler” material and were only reprinted on an industrial scale because of a quirky clerical requirement. It’s still an irritating waste of resources but it seems less awful than the possibility anyone invested real thought into the process.

Ironically the more consideration that has gone into these words the worse the situation is.… Read the rest

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Martin Luther King Jr.’s Life Advice Column

6-2008-04-dr-martin-luther-king-jrCould history’s greatest minds help you with your mundane daily problems? Perhaps not.

From 1957 to 1958, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. penned “Advice for the Living”, a feature for Ebony magazine in which he answered readers’ questions on everything from the atom bomb to capital punishment to dating and how to catch a nice young man. (Make sure you have the “radiating personality, a pleasant disposition, and that feminine charm
which every man admires.”)

King recommends playing gospel music rather than rock, as rock ‘n’ roll “so often plunges men’s minds into degrading and immoral depths”. He tells how to gain self confidence. His admirable strategy of love and passive resistance seems to function a bit strangely when put to use in situations such as when a friend hits you on the head with an iron pole.

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