Satisfaction, Joy, Expression, and Enthusiasm

Your creativity starts with whether
you're curious or not.— Frank Gehry
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Technique and Principle

Technique and principle are
just like the two wheels of a cart.

Technique and Principle

Even though you know principle, you must make yourself perfectly free in the use of technique. And even though you may wield the sword that you carry with you well, if you are unclear on the deepest aspects of principle, you will likely fall short of proficiency. Technique and principle are just like the two wheels of a cart.

Biomicry Design and Circular Economies

Learning from life on earths 3.8 billion years R&D.

The Biomicry Design work of Janine Benyus

Janine Benyus idea was brilliiantly simple: designers should get in the habit of bringing a biologist to the table, and let them help solve problems by mimicking nature. The three ways to do this are to mimic its form, its shape and even by mimicking whole ecosystems.

You can learn more about Jane's work at her Biomicry Institute. Or by watching a fascinating video on Biomimicry design which features Janine Benyus.

Circular Economy

Jane Benyus also introduced me to the concept of a Circular Economy ...

There's a thing that's a buzzword right now, that's really hot, called the circular economy, which is essentially industries saying there should be no such thing as a byproduct in a manufacturing facility that goes to landfill. It should be used by something else, and at the end of a product's life, that product should be upcycled into something else. It's being called the circular economy.

We’re awake now, and the question is how do we stay awake to the living world? — Janine Benyus

Google Optmise

Testing and personalization tool for websites.

Run website experiments

I have been playing around with Google Optimize, which enables you to run website experiments to determine what converts best with your visitors. You 'Create experiences for your visitors', the idea being you personlise your website based on the actual visitor. Then we we know what's relevant to their interests – and what's most likely to achieve our objectives, Optimize can serve personalised experiences to promote engagement and improve conversions.

Optimize allows you to:

  1. Test a hypothesis by running website experiments.
  2. Deploy the leading variant permanently.
  3. Personalize your website to create the best experience for your visitors.

Optimize offers 4 experiment types

  • A/B (two variants of a product page (A and B)
  • Redirect (a type of A/B test that allows you to test separate web pages against each other)
  • Multivariate (MVT) tests (tests variants of two or more elements simultaneously)

Optimize is a free product that allows you o get started with experimentation. Optimize 360 is a premium testing and personalization tool for the enterprise that is part of Google Marketing Platform.

Neeva Search Engine

Subscription based search engine.

An Ads-free Search Engine

Neeva is a gearing up to be a subscription based search engine, an alternative to ad-supported search engines like the elephant in the room, Google. Google obviously priorities advertisers and ads revenue, where Neeva is a private and ads-free search engine. They state their in Digital Bill of Rights they are building Neeva to respect our privacy, online and offline.

Neeva will enable us to search the public web or personal accounts we choose to connect. It's in beta, I've joined the waitlist, and time will to.

Beginner's Mind

In the beginner's mind there are many possibilities, but in the expert's there are few — Shunryu Suzuki

Shoshin

The Zen Buddhism word Shoshin means 'beginner's mind', referring to having an attitude of openness, eagerness, and lack of preconceptions. Practicing shoshin is letting go of preconceptions and adopting an attitude of openness when studying a subject. A true beginners mind is empty and open. 

From Zen Mind, Beginner's Mind, by the late Zen master Shunryu Suzuki.

For Zen students the most important thing is not to be dualistic. Our "original mind" includes everything within itself. It is always rich and sufficient within itself. You should not lose your self‑sufficient state of mind. This does not mean a closed mind, but actually an empty mind and a ready mind.

In the beginner's mind there is no thought, "I have attained something." All self‑centered thoughts limit our vast mind. When we have no thought of achievement, no thought of self, we are true beginners. Then we can really learn something. The beginner's mind is the mind of compassion. When our mind is compassionate, it is boundless.

So the most difficult thing is always to keep your beginner's mind. There is no need to have a deep understanding of Zen. Even though you read much Zen literature, you must read each sentence with a fresh mind. You should not say, "I know what Zen is," or "I have attained enlightenment." This is also the real secret of the arts: always be a beginner. Be very very careful about this point. If you start to practice zazen, you will begin to appreciate your beginner's mind. It is the secret of Zen practice

Keeping a don't know mind

A ‘don’t know mind' is an open mind, a clear mind. Don’t know. Not sure.  No fixed opinion. These are the qualities of a ‘don’t know mind'.

The author James Clear has put it well like this:

"There is a danger that comes with expertise. We tend to block the information that disagrees with what we learned previously and yield to the information that confirms our current approach. We think we are learning, but in reality we are steamrolling through information and conversations, waiting until we hear something that matches up with our current philosophy or previous experience, and cherry-picking information to justify our current behaviors and beliefs. Most people don't want new information, they want validating information."

From Warren Buffet, the worlds most successful investor.

"The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything."

Seven things highly successful people say no to regularly

  1. They say no to opportunities and things that don't excite them or further their mission in life.
  2. They say no to superficial networking events.
  3. They say no to spending time with uninspiring, critical, or negative people. 
  4. They say no overworking, which can cause everything else to suffer.
  5. They say no to doing all the work (they delegate).
  6. They say no to letting other people set our agenda in life.
  7. They say no to people-pleasing, and yielding to others' wishes and desires in place of their own.

Buffet's three-step rule of focus for success

  1. Write down a list of your top 25 career goals.
  2. Circle the five most important goals, our most urgent goals.
  3. Now focus on your top 5 goals and say no to the rest. "Everything you didn’t circle just became your ‘avoid at all cost list’. No matter what, these things get no attention from you until you’ve succeeded with your top 5.”

No-mind and choice-less awareness

The best thing I've ever found is no-mind and choiceless awareness. This boils down to the art of simply being (not trying to be something). I then take actions that come out of being aware and present.

Practicing no-mind and choice-less awareness

I call the situations I imagine to be exciting 'impressions'. I don't focus on how to create these impressions. I just imagine them, feel them, then let them go. 

The choiceless part, is being aware and present each moment as best I can, and taking the action that occurs to me in that moment. Or I jot down the action to take if I can't immediately act on it. 

Being like this, moment by moment, is what I have learned to be the best way to set myself free, and set my 'impressions' free to come about in their own space and time.

Being is living with an absence of fear, straining, wanting or trying to be something (like a success). It is a natural easy state. In our noisy fearful modern world this requires cultivating. And trust. It's a scary time to be alive, and easy to to fearful.

I am an aspy powered, type-a individual, and have spent an exorbitant amount of my life running around stumbling, struggling and failing. I am now in my late 40's, and I have finally learned to surrender to being rather than doing. Being is the opposite of trying to be something. There is quite a difference.

Being for me is being as aware as I can, and mainaining a focus on full awareness ( I call it 'wide awareness'). I then take action that come out of that wide awareness. Ideas arrive. I act. The only other requirement is patience, and allowing what happens to happen (with acceptance).

Being is quite easy, as long as I am not giving into fear. Or working hard to try and be something. Being is just living with emptyness and awareness, which I find it wonderfully soothing and blissful.

Living without trying to be something is the idea behind 'effortless action'. Effortless action translates to being a human being, not a human doing. That quiet and lovely absence around us is full of energy. Things can happen easy when I allow them to. And I allwo them by getting out of my own way.

Being, is being awake and aware and 'here now'. It's that simple. And that challenging.


One of the many boons that come from cultivating awareness is I am always alinged to the the things I want to be now. And not who I wanted be yesterday, or tommorow. I can be easy, open and empty, and allow things to come about in suprising ways. It's a very interesting way to live.

In a nuthsell, I form a light 'impression' of what I want, I feel it (it has be exciting), and then I allow it to come about in ways I could not have imagined. All that's required is having impressions I find exciting, and cultivating no-mind. And with some patience and allowing, life unfolds in suprising ways.


Life is easier when I am not running around trying to be something.

Meet Glimpse

Stay ahead of the trends as the world changes with Glimpse. Glimpse tracks every topic across the internet to identify growing trends. It analyzes hundreds of millions of consumer behavior signals from across the web into reports on products, companies, and industries. They proposition is fabulous 'Glimpse helps top companies see around the corner'.

Unconditional love

Unconditional love is a term sometimes associated with other terms such as true altruism or complete love. Unconditional love has no bounds and is unchanging.

All States are Perfect States

The Buddhist position is no matter how things change, all states are perfect states. There is nothing wrong, nothing to do or fix.

Birth Day

Our birthdays are occasions to celebrate the fragile little flame that is our lives. We can consider where we're going, how short our lives are and what they are for. And we celebrate with genuine friends and close family.

Change

Existence is constantly changing. It takes courage to accept this and to move gently with our flow of life. Living with awareness and acceptance of change is our way to live blissfully. The Persian poet and Sufi master Rumi wrote: Try not to resist the changes that come your way. Instead, let life live through you. And do not worry that your life is turning upside down. How do you know that the side you are used to is better than the one to come?

Doing Nothing

The paradox of Wu Wei, or doing nothing, is being 'effortless in action'. It's also been described as relaxed action, and is an absence of activity. Wu Wei is the opposite of rigid and anxious and is as simple (and as difficult) as acting with a state of heightened awareness, and flowing in the given moment. With full awareness, we can see what we are doing in a moment and let things drop, without the act of dropping them. We can let activity disappear, without forcing it to disappear. It’s about the realisation of a perfect economy of energy.

Unmotivated Celebration

Osho talked about energy having two dimensions. One is motivated, goal orientated, going somewhere, a doing energy, and an energy where everything is a means. Then there the other energy, unmotivated celebration. With unmotivated celebration you relax, there is no tension, no seeking is done, there is nowhere to go. Here is all. You are the goal. Your energy flows, but not toward a goal. It flows as a celebration. A celebration of breathing and consciousness. There is no need to do anything but understand the movement of energy, the unmotivated movement of energy that flows but not towards a goal. He stated 'You are breathing and you are alive you have consciousness, celebrate it!'

Simple Emptiness

I've discovering Buddhism teaches us to become responsible for ourselves, as only then can we understand the mind. Buddha taught that when we depend on others our dependence will not allow us to understand who we are. And when we become totally independent, even though we might tremble in that aloneness, we can encounter ourselves. Buddhism teaches that being independent, alone, is the only way to reach the source of our being, and to encounter ourselves, understand the mind and comprehend the immaterial, or simple emptiness. Thought is seen as the inner material and when dispersed, you can encounter only immaterial space, or immaterial emptiness. This is also where physics arrives, as matter when studied can be observed to disappear, where it can not be called matter, so they call it immater, immaterial, or not matter.

Letting Nature Take Its Course

Dr. Shoma Morita (1874-1938) was a psychiatrist, researcher, philosopher, and academic. He developed 'Morita therapy', which was about accepting life as it is. The 'patient' learned to set and achieve goals, but to be satisfied with their life in the moment. Morita therapy emphasised the importance of letting nature take its course.

Above All, Don’t Wobble

Sitting, just sit, walking, just walk... above all, don’t wobble.

Living Immediately

According to Osho, to live well is to live totally, intensely, passionately, spontaneously, without any fear. And for a life lived like this, death can come as a great rest. He describes death as the ultimate 'flowering of life' which can be enjoyed and celebrated if it follows a life lived rightly.

Choiceless Awareness

Choiceless awareness is essentially a message of Buddha from twenty-five centuries ago. Choiceless awareness is to be in a state of unpremeditated, complete awareness of the present without preference, effort, or compulsion.

Jiddu Krishnamurti

Krishnamurti advised against following any doctrine, discipline, teacher, guru, or authority, including himself. Krishnamurti (1895–1986) often commented on choiceless awareness, writing "the presence and action of choice indicates confusion and subtle bias: an individual who perceives a given situation in an unbiased manner, without distortion, and therefore with complete awareness, will immediately, naturally, act according to this awareness – the action will be the manifestation and result of this awareness, rather than the result of choice. Such action (and quality of mind) is inherently without conflict."

Choiceless Awareness

Choiceless awareness is to 'reflect' and 'watch', being aware, but not choosing. When we choose, we lose watching, because the moment we choose we will start clinging. And when we have fulfilled these two simple things – reflection and watchfulness, then... nothing binds us. We are free. If we can practice only these two things – reflection and watchfulness – nothing else is needed. You are free you.

Freedom Through Choiceless Awareness

Krishnamurti stated "Freedom is found in the choiceless awareness of our daily existence and activity." Krishnamurti stated that for true choicelessness to be realized, choice – implicit or explicit – has to simply, irrevocably, stop; however, this ceasing of choice is not the result of decision-making, but implies the ceasing of the functioning of the chooser or self as a psychological entity. He proposed that such a state might be approached through inquiry based on total attentiveness: identity is then dissolved in complete, all-encompassing attention.

Observation Without The Observer

Krishnamurti asserted that choiceless awareness is a natural attribute of non-self-centered perception, which he called "observation without the observer".

No-thinking

Osho, was an Indian 'godman' who stated thoughts are not ours; they are just floating in the air. His wisdom was to live in a state of no-thinking, where we simply watch, remain conscious, but don´t think. The practice he advised was to become really integrated in our awareness, and absolutely open, but use our energy of awareness to become like a citadel, where thoughts can't enter.

Fatherhood

Fatherhood is an emerging field of study, with the impact of fatherhood being an objective and documented phenomenon. Kids who grow up with a present, engaged dad have an overall sense of well-being and self-confidence, fewer psychological problems, and tend to have higher IQ test scores by the age of 3. They are less likely to drop out of school or wind up in jail and are more likely to have high-paying jobs. They also tend to avoid other high-risk behaviours, and enjoy healthy, stable relationships when they grow up. The 'Father Effect' is the umbrella term for these benefits of having a present, engaged dad. There needs to be a minimum amount of time spent together, but the quality of time is more important than the quantity.

Adversity

I've never had an overarching 'vision' for life. I instead lived spontaneously, taking action on the things that excited me. It worked famously for nearly two decades, until I stumbled into adversity. But adversity is a marvellous teacher, and while it hurts like hell, it also provides perfect opportunities to grow.

The Meaning of Life

I have often thought there must be meaning to living. One of my oldest teachers suggested the meaning of life was practicing your will-full directing of attention. Following your focus of attention. Following your expectations. And arranging your activity according to your imagination. This morning I found this from Allan Watts, who was one of the first to interpret Eastern wisdom for a Western audience. Allan put it like this: The art of living... is neither careless drifting on the one hand nor fearful clinging to the past on the other. It consists in being sensitive to each moment, in regarding it as utterly new and unique, in having the mind open and wholly receptive.

Beauty

Beauty has been deemed to be an essential ingredient in a good life dating back to the earliest recorded philosophers. The philosopher Immanuel Kant defined beauty as a reflective judgment and viewed the experience of beauty as something we feel. Kant also thought that when we think something is beautiful we want everyone to agree with us. While an aesthetic judgment is essentially a verdict of taste, studies have found that a population will predominantly find unison in what they determine to be beautiful.

Landscape

Some time after the 5th century, the terms landskift, landscipe or landscaef were adopted in Britain, describing human-made spaces in the land. Dutch painters had used the term landschap when referring to paintings of inland natural or rural scenery. In 1988 Daniels & Cosgrove (The Iconography of Landscape) defined landscape not in physical terms but as an outward expression of human perception, stating “any landscape is composed not only of what lies before our eyes but what lies within our heads.”

The Creative Economy

The Orange economy, or the creative economy, refers to everything that is developed through people’s creativity and inspiration. It was coined by British writer John Howkins, a British author and speaker on Creative Industries. John argues the creative economy will be the dominant economic form for the 21st century with ideas, creativity, imagination and innovation experiencing exponential growth. The colour orange is associated with youth and happiness, and considered by many consider to be the colour that is the most fun, and associated with culture and creativity.

Loneliness

The universal human emotion loneliness is actually a state of mind, despite its more common definition as a state of solitude or being alone. Researchers define loneliness as feeling lonely more than once a week, and it's not necessarily about being alone, but feeling alone and isolated. Just three or four quality relationships who share similar attitudes, interests, and values has been proven to ward off loneliness and reduce the negative health consequences associated with this state of mind.

Humour

Rod Martin, a psychologist, started studying humour seriously in the 1980s. He concluded that there were four humour styles: self-enhancing, affiliative, aggressive, and self-defeating. Self-enhancing is smiling wryly at life’s absurdities, affiliative is cleverness designed to make people like us, aggressive is having a laugh at the expense of others, and self-defeating is making yourself the butt of the joke. Martin found that affiliative and self-enhancing humour are the healthiest, with self-enhancing humour being especially useful for personal mental well-being. Life is a humorous experience, and if we lighten up we can see mistakes, fumbles, faux pas, failures, plans gone awry, and awkward moments with the humour they deserve.

Misinformation

People can self-generate their own misinformation. It doesn’t all come from external sources. They may not be doing it purposely, but their own biases can lead them astray. And the problem becomes larger when they share their self-generated misinformation with others. These memory errors tended to get bigger and bigger as they were transmitted between people. We need to realize that internal sources of misinformation can possibly be as significant as or more significant than external sources.