These Are The Days

Recent question from a friend: “Hey, I notice that you’re always posting a bunch of inspirational self-help stuff on your Facebook pages. Do you ever have days where things aren’t all hunky dory and positive?”

Me: Yes. Those are the days when I usually write all that inspirational self-help stuff.

Arguing Is Not A Substitute For Creating

You can justify your intentions or you can go about your business and do the work that summons you, but it’s hard to do both at the same time.

Creating is a very different kind of activity from explaining to others why it’s sane, permissible, or necessary for you to create.

So many people fail to ever get around to making art because they’re too busy trying to transform their friends into fans.

As Steven Pressfield wrote, “leave your buddy behind.” Thrust yourself into your calling with faith and trust that your work will move the people it was meant to move.

You can defend yourself until your face turns blue, but at some point you have to face the blank page, the blank canvas, the blankness of a life lived without passion.

The most noble form of integrity is the kind that proves itself not through argument, but through action.

What I’m Up To: An Update on My Adventures in Learning & Creating

Failure is all the rage.

It’s nearly impossible nowadays to listen to motivational speakers and self-help gurus without hearing them say something about the value of failure and the lessons it can teach us.

But when failure is brought up as a concrete topic of discussion, it’s typically talked about as something that only happened in the past (ie. “once upon a time, I was poor” or “once upon a time, I had a horrible marriage” or “once upon I time, I put my foot in my mouth and totally embarrassed myself”).

While I think it’s tremendously important to talk about past failures, I also believe it can be just as inspiring (and interesting) to talk about our current failures. After all, creative challenges are a part of life. And it’s the illusion that some people are exempt from such challenges that often keeps us from learning valuable lessons from the people we respect and admire.

This observation is what inspired me to launch (starting today) a new podcast called “What Are You Failing At?”

“What Are You Failing At?” is a series of short conversations with entrepreneurs, educators, and various experts on what they’re currently failing at and what strategies they’re currently employing to cope with and/or conquer those failures.

I published two episodes today and I’ll be updating the podcast with new episodes every Monday. To learn more about the show and to see today’s episodes, visit my podcast announcement page over at the Praxis blog by clicking here.

In other news, I’ve been hard at work with the Praxis team as we’ve been preparing for our Opening Seminar in Charleston, South Carolina. Our Fall session begins next week with a talented group of nine participants. Joining us for a week of inspiring talks, professional development workshops, and entrepreneurial training will be Adam Witty (Founder of Advantage Media), Jeffrey Tucker (Founder of Liberty.me), Patrick Bryant (Founder of GoToTeam), Levi Morehouse (Founder of Ceterus), John Ramsey (Founder of SeedCess), Claire Kittle (Founder of TalentMarket), and Antony Davies (Economic Professor & Entrepreneur).

It’s been nearly three months since I took my hiatus from blogging and I’ve enjoyed every minute of it, but it’s time for me to return to a regular schedule of learning and creating. I’ll be starting up my next experiment in personal development soon, so stay tuned for updates. In the meantime, create a great day/week/month/life/everything.

Cheers,

T.K. Coleman

I’m Ending My Daily Writing Streak Today

The most important thing to remember is this: To be ready at any moment to give up what you are for what you might become. – W E B Du Bois.

For 1,113 consecutive days, I’ve shown up here and written a blog post about some aspect of creativity, philosophy, spirituality, or self-determinism. That streak will end today.

As of today, I’m going to take an indefinite hiatus from daily blogging for the purpose of stepping back, replenishing the well, and brainstorming about how I would like to challenge myself as a thinker and a writer in the future.

This is an exceptionally difficult thing for me to do, but in the long run I think it will make me a more inspired person, a more informed thinker, and a more polished communicator. I began this blog as an experiment in personal development. The initial goal was to observe the effects that daily writing would have on my attitude and worldview. I would like to continue the practice of experimenting with daily rituals related to personal and professional development, but I will need some space and time to discern what sorts of rituals would best serve the person I have become (as well as the person I intend to be).

Although the daily writing streak has personal importance to me, I don’t want to fall into the trap of doing the same old thing just for the sake of saying “I showed up.”

I recently watched Curtis Martin’s Pro Football Hall of Fame Induction Speech. In that speech, he tells the following story about a conversation between him and his coach:

One day we’re in practice and he calls me off the field.  So I go over to the sideline and said, “hey, what’s up, Coach?”  He’s like he called me Boy Wonder.  He said, “Boy Wonder, have you been working hard?” I said, “yeah, of course, Coach.  I mean, you know, that’s just what I do.  I want to outwork everybody in the building, not just the players, I mean, the janitors, front office people, everybody.  I said, but why would you ask me that?”  He said, “I just want to make sure you’re not fooling yourself.”  I said, “What does that one mean?”

He said, “Boy Wonder, as long as you live, never forget this.  There is a big difference between routine and commitment.”  He said some people just do the same routine over and over again in life.  He said some people even get better at that same routine over and over in life.  But there are few people who commit to the next level.  And I tell you, that left an impression on me that even though I knew I had worked hard, it made me work harder.  And I applied that principle to every facet of my life.  Mentally, emotionally, spiritually, financially, however it may have been, I’m always trying to commit to the next level. Thank you, Coach Parcells.

After 3-years of not missing a day, I’ve proven to myself that I can persistently show up, come hell or high-water, and write everyday. Now I’m ready to challenge myself in new ways. I’m ready to “commit to the next level” whatever that happens to be for me.

I treasure the value of showing up consistently, but I place equal value on the achievement of conceptual breakthroughs, paradigm shifts, and personal epiphanies. And sometimes, in order to experience these sorts of things, we have to step back from the details, go within, and listen to what the “still small voice” is whispering.

This is something I’ve been thinking about for the past two months. When I read the recent announcement from James Clear (a blogger that I follow) that he would be taking the month of June off from writing, it really inspired me to give myself permission to do something similar.

I fully intend to return to this blog. I can’t say when. It may be in two days, two weeks, two months or even a bit longer. We’ll see.

For those who have been reading my posts, thanks for your time, attention, and support.

For those who may experience any “concerns” about my decision, I assure you that I am well and in good spirits. I have not lost my love for ideas or my inspiration for writing. In fact, those affinities have only increased. Moreover, they’ve increased so much that I need to give some attention to the kind of ritual(s) that will best express the intensity of that love.

Until next time,

T.K. Coleman

In-Formation

It’s not the ideas that matter; it’s what the ideas do to you that matters.
 
Studying is the process of allowing yourself to be challenged or changed by the power of an idea.
 
Transformation, not memorization.
 
Learning hasn’t began until the student has felt some part of their self being destroyed or redefined by the concepts they engage.

Trust Yourself

Why place your judgment in someone else’s hands?

When you say, “I can’t trust my own judgment,” then how can you trust your own judgment enough to know that you’re really untrustworthy?

When you say, “I can’t be trusted to make good decisions. Therefore, I’m going to let other people make my decisions for me,” how can you be trusted to make good decisions about who is and who isn’t capable of making good decisions?

It’s impossible to deny your own trustworthiness without simultaneously affirming it.

So, trust yourself. You already do. Now it’s time to own it.

 

 

Before You Follow Their Lead, Make Sure You’re The Destination

Whatever, or whoever, you’re following, make sure it (or they) are inspiring you to follow your own heart, your own values, your own convictions, and your own bliss.

Good leadership ought to lead you to a deeper awareness of your permission and power to be the main leader in your own life.

Self-knowledge, self-respect, self-management, self-determinism: this is the aim. All external forms of guidance are just ways of helping you get there.