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Follow Forward: An Alternative to Following Back

follow-me-and-i-ll-follow-back-2Follow the people you’re interested in, not the people who promise to follow you back as a reward for feigning interest.

Following back is reactive. It says “I’ll follow you if you follow me” or “I’ll give you my attention if you give me your attention.”

As an alternative to following back, I offer the concept of following forward.

Following forward is about orienting your activities around a forward-looking focus on the interests, interactions, and ideas that move you towards your goals.

Following forward says, “If you’re doing something interesting, I give myself permission to take delight in your gift whether you want to be my fan or not.”

Following forward says “I will never turn away from what fascinates me merely because it fails to offer the promise of greater popularity.”

The value of social media lies in its capacity to facilitate real connections with real people based on real preferences and real passions; not in its potential for making us appear more connected than we actually are.

Instead of following people who make you seem like you’re the person you wish you were, follow people who will help you become the person you intend to be.


“So it only makes sense to see weekends and vacations as the highlight of your working year, right? Actually, no: If you feel you endure the workweek just to get to the payoff of the weekend, you’re in the wrong business. Find work you enjoy; then you won’t see time off as a chance to finally do something fun but as a chance to do something else fun. While you’ll never love everything you do in your professional life, you should enjoy the majority of it. Otherwise you’re not living–you’re just working.” -Jeff Haden, “5 Things to Un-Learn from School”


Let’s turn that into “Thank God It’s Fulfilling!”

When we follow our bliss, We don’t have to wait until Friday to start having fun.

For the dreamer, passion is an everyday affair.

That’s today’s two cents.


T.K. Coleman

That was a terrible decision, but I’m glad you made it

“Against criticism a man can neither protest nor defend himself; he must act in spite of it, and then it will gradually yield to him.” – Goethe

A close friend of mine recently celebrated his 5 year wedding anniversary.

When he initially proposed to his fiance, his parents were livid. They didn’t think she was a good choice for him, but he did. So, he followed his heart and married her.

A year after their wedding day, my friend’s father said to him “I would have never chosen her for you, but I wouldn’t exchange your pick for the world. I can’t imagine a woman on Earth who would be better for you. You made the best possible choice and we’re glad to have her as a part of our family.”

Being yourself works 100% of time

Not everyone will agree with your choices, but you have to make them. You have to do what you have to do or risk living your life in regret.

Take your attention away from other people’s opinions long enough to forge a strong connection with who you really are.

You know what you love. You know what you can live with and what you can’t live without. You know what you have to try. You know where you have to go and what you have to leave behind.


Know that the world is always better off when you follow YOUR bliss.

If you really want to please others, there’s something you ought to know

Everyone wants to believe in better possibilities. Everyone wants to believe that dreams come true. Everyone wants to believe that love wins and creativity reigns.

When you move toward your dreams with confidence and conviction, expressing no need to justify or defend yourself, you provide skeptics, cynics, and naysayers with the very evidence of well-being that they need.

By moving towards your dreams, you actually put everyone else one step closer towards theirs. Sometimes, people are going to find that a bit frightening, but they will be okay and everything will eventually turn out fine. You’ll never find that out, however, by conducting interviews. You have to trust your heart; that “still small voice” of God within.

“Don’t ask yourself what the world needs. Ask yourself what makes you come alive and then go do that. Because what the world needs is people who have come alive.” – Howard Thurman

It’s ironic that we ignore what excites us due to fear of what others may think. If we spend more time ignoring what others think, we might actually give this world something to be excited about.

That’s one way to look at it.


T.K. Coleman

Excitement is the engine

The creative process is not about the results we create. It’s about the energy that we flow while in the act of creation.

Creativity is not just about getting somewhere other than where we are. It’s also about tasting the aliveness of the present moment by bringing the presence of imagination to our ordinary affairs.

As children, we were conditioned to think of “excitement” as if it were a distraction from productivity. Excitement, however, is actually the very essence of productivity.

To be in a state of excitement is to be in a state of alignment with the energy that creates worlds. There is no mode of being that is more powerful, productive, and prosperous than this.

Excitement is not just an internal sensation. It is a web of energy that is interconnected with everything else in the Universe. This web is the force that holds everything together. When you connect to your passion, you become a part of this great Chain of Being.

When you hold yourself in a place of excitement, everything that was meant to be yours is drawn into the vortex of your alignment.

Excitement is not the result of getting what you want. It is the path that takes you there.

T.K. Coleman

Go after it!

Sometimes you just have to admit to yourself that you want something and decide that you’re going to go after it.

If you don’t specify the results you intend to create in your life, you leave the fulfillment of your heart’s deepest longings to chance.

Acting indifferently and being open to “whatever comes” initially feels safe because it protects us from the possibility of failure, but the cost we pay in the end is nothing short of emotional bankruptcy.

We have not been given the gift of free will to merely sit back and passively observe. We’re designed to be deliberate creators and nothing less than a creative life will truly satisfy us.

The attempt to accept everything, no matter what, is self-defeating for it denies the natural inclination we feel to alter the existing state of things.

To truly accept everything, and resist nothing, would require that we ALSO embrace our innate desire to create change. Would it not be hypocritical to resist that?

Embracing our creative impulses, however, means we must let go of the notion that it is somehow unspiritual or ignoble to consciously change the way things currently are.

If there’s something present  in your life that you wish were absent, you have the permission and power to create change.

If there’s something absent from your life that you wish were present, you have the permission and power to create change.

“But what if that way of life fails? What if i try to change something and my efforts don’t work?”

In a worst case scenario, you will have lost nothing because you can always go back to the philosophy of being a powerless effect who can’t change anything. That’s why there’s no rush to subscribe to a philosophy like that. It will always be there. Because, like the people who practice it, it’s not going anywhere.

On the other hand, what if it works? What if you discover, like every single civilization in human history, that your generation’s definition of impossibility was wrong? What if you begin to realize capacities within yourself that you never imagined?

Aren’t those possibilities worth exploring? If so, stop being neutral and nonchalant about what you want in life and just go after it.

That’s my two cents,

T.K. Coleman

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