(Photo: Horia Varlan)
In the past few weeks I’ve been developing this, thinking a lot about this theory. It’s still a work in progress so I hope that you think about it, expand it, propose changes, remix it, refute it.
Life is about three things:
As humans have been around, we’ve relied on stories. Stories gave birth to religion as throngs of people believed a story enough to swear by it. Stories gave birth to science as throngs of people tried to explain how our world works. Stories gave birth to history, literature and a million other things.
Life is all about telling a good story. Everyone is interesting if they tell a compelling story. You sell yourself, products, ideas, through stories. You meet friends, enemies, boyfriends, girlfriends, new people, all through stories. When stories overlap, they allow us to connect and relate to one another.
Your mental perspective can change rapidly if you tell yourself a brand new story.
Alex White, the CEO of Next Big Sound, gives great talks on the importance of storytelling. Watch Alex’s recent talk from TechStars For a Day in Boulder (skip to 25:06).
Contrast in people, fashion, viewpoints, relationships, skillsets, color.
I started thinking heavily about contrast as I’ve learned how to design. Think back to Powerpoints that your classmates would give in middle school. Remember the neon green text on the yellow background that destroyed your retinas? Contrast was hard back then. It’s still hard.
Contrast makes outfits and websites beautiful. It guides our eye from one thing to the next and helps us discern vital information. Contrast helps us make decisions.
Think about the person you’re dating, or most recently dated…or whatever people do now that someone used to call dating. You guys were similar in some ways and different in others. Similarities and contrast make that other person interesting to you.
Companies with great contrast are able to be more than the sum of their parts. Specialization comes from contrast and helps create more total good in the world.
I also call this “making decisions easy for other people.”
What I mean is this: If you do your share of the legwork in most situations and communicate your desires and intentions effectively, it should be relatively easy for someone to make a yes or no decision.
Non-verbal communication also falls into this category, showing – not telling – the world what you want.
If I’m starting a band and I walk up to a drummer with and idea of what I want kind of music I want to play, demos, a little knowledge of his past projects, the musicians who influence me and who I imagine the band sounding somewhat like, he or she can take all of that info, know that I’m semi-legitimate (at the very least) and make a decision from there.
If I want something from you, I need to do my part to communicate that I’m thorough, that my plans are thought-out and that my intentions are just.
Like I said before, this is all a theory. I hope that I can evolve and expand upon this as time goes on. I hope you modify this and lend your input, if you feel so inclined.
If you enjoyed this post, I would be flattered if you followed me on Twitter.
I’ve heard that if you’re stuck creatively, that making a list of things on your mind is a great way to move past them to what you actually want to do. I gave this a try for the first time:
1) I want to learn a little bit of Ruby - Maybe my desire to learn to code is perpetuated by startup job listings, the fact that I have so many ideas or the simple desire to build things with my hands - I’m not sure. It’s not the best use of my time, right now. I recognize this. But I want to learn a bit of Ruby to be able to make things I’m proud of. Coding for me is something that I need to be more persistant about. I want to push myself and what I can do.
2) Location vs. Job - I’ve been thinking about this the last few days, does one pick a location and find a job or does one find a job wherever one exists for them? Obviously there is no right answer but I’m in the camp of “figure out where you want to be and then go find meaningful work there.” Whether it’s starting your own company or joining one that you love, think long and hard about where you want to live.
3) Slowing down and being present is tough - So often I find myself thinking about what’s next. “If I get to this place in my life, things will get better,” we often say to ourselves. I did for a while. It’s incredibly hard to just take today for today without thinking of next week or next month or December. I’ve come to realize that this is a practice and that I will fail. So will you. Keep going
4) I want to blog more - I want to share more with you.
5) I’m excited to show you my next project - Been working on this for a few months now with a few friends. Hoping to show you very soon.
6) I’m dying for a snowball.
7) Trying to break my sugar habit - This is incredibly hard to do. I tried one day without sugar and got pretty snippy by the end of the day. Gradual is probably best here.
8) Chase Your Questions - Is hovering in my mind. I announced the blog and haven’t started on it. Maybe I’ll add Ruby to my questions that need answering.
9) “Be Good Enough to be Dangerous” - My good friend Matt Haltom said this to me the other night when we were talking about my learning design and UI/UX right now. I love this phrase. I hope you do too.
10) I want to practice cursive - Yes, I realize that few people my age write in cursive anymore. There’s something about cursive that I really like. I’m going to give it a try more often in my notebooks when I’m jotting down ideas.
Feel free to leave in the comments anything on the top of your mind.
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