The Parent I Aspire to Be

Taking a cue from Leo Babauta over at Zen Habits:

It’s nearly Father’s Day, and that always causes me to reflect on what kind of father I am. I think I’m pretty decent, though I’m not where I’d like to be.

Leo’s list is pretty great. For me, I aspire to:

  1. Be slower to anger and frustration.
  2. Be less critical of mistakes.
  3. Be less concerned about their future and more concerned with the present moment.
  4. Inspire them to be passionate about the things they like, but have less expectations of the path they take to find and use those passions.
  5. Inspire them to be honest, courageous, empathetic, and vulnerable to experience life and relationships in the best way possible.

I have a lot to learn about each of these, but I also have four (including my wife) great teachers to help me along the way.

Jon Stewart on Charleston

The whole video is worth watching, but the real heavy hitting part is this:

“I honestly have nothing other than just sadness, once again, that we have to peer into the abyss of the depraved violence that we do to each other in the nexus of a gaping racial wound that will not heal yet we pretend doesn’t exist,” Stewart said. “I’m confident, though, that by acknowledging it — by staring into that — and seeing it for what it is, we still won’t do jack shit.

(Source: Watch Jon Stewart simply lose the ability to tell jokes over America’s gun violence – Vox)

Truly saddening, so unnecessary, and so preventable — even the racist jackass that did this admitted he had second thoughts because they were all so nice to him. Can you imagine that? Actual nice people that didn’t look like him! WTF.

Beyond all that, the whole ‘is this terrorism or not’ debate is ridiculous. He intended to start a civil war, he had an intense hatred toward another group of people, and he committed mass murder. How is that any different than any other person we define as a terrorist? Nothing, that’s what. White people can be and are terrorists too. End of story.

In other news, Jon’s guest for the day, Malala Youfsafzai, is truly inspirational. It’s worth watching the whole episode.

Removing Yourself From the Echo Chamber

Great ideas and direction from Shawn Blanc’s email newsletter:

The inspiration and motivation needed for your best creative work will not come from the echo chamber. 

  1. Limit your feeds and inboxes. Subscribe only to the people and sources of input that enrich your life and give you the motivation and tools to do your best creative work. 
  2. Seek out inspiration from offline sources. Such as books, nature, conferences, silence, prayer and meditation, relationships, journaling, building your own projects, etc. 
  3. Create something every day. Write in your journal, come up with 10 ideas, take a photograph, draw a sketch, etc. 
  4. Curate what you share. Be a source of motivation, encouragement, and equipping to those who follow you. Put thought into the work you publish. Even your tweets and Facebook updates can be nuggets that motivate, equip, and encourage.

Permission to Let Go – The Minimalists

Great, quotable post over at The Minimalists:

Like your stuff? Keep it!
Find value in that wardrobe teeming with unworn clothes?
That closet brimming with mismatched bath towels?
That basement abound with un-played-with toys?
That garage stuffed with collections of trinkets?
That shelf overrun by dusty DVDs, CDs, VHS tapes?
Hold tighter if you feel so inclined. Permission granted.
You have permission to keep anything that adds value to your life.
And you have permission to keep anything that doesn’t.
But you also have permission to let go.
You have permission to clear the clutter.
You have permission to remove the excess—the clothes you don’t wear, the junk you don’t use, the things you hold on to just in case—and focus on what’s truly important to you: health, relationships, passions.

Step one is selling the records I don’t listen to any longer…

Why This Is Not the Golden Age for Photobooks


“If we’re working in the car industry, we’d say that there’s overproduction,” adds Lewis. “So we need to shift gears. Take our time. Avoid rushing into bookmaking. Think everything through. If that were to happen, we’d have fewer books and better books. Then, we can start talking about a golden age.”

It’s not just writing, music, video, and digital content. The democratization of media via computers and the internet is a good thing overall, but large quantities of creative production cheapens the end product and increases the value of attention (the fan’s/consumer’s/etc.) Too much choice, too much distraction, too little time to enjoy or even care.

How to Slow Down Your Family's Schedule

Becoming Minimalist has some great advice for slowing down as a family:

  1. Discern where the motivation is coming from: you or your child.
  2. Determine an ideal baseline number of activities.
  3. Elevate the importance of family dinnertime.
  4. Schedule time for yourself to be with them.
  5. Leave space between events.
  6. Develop a family, weekly routine.
  7. Reduce your personal commitments.
  8. Own less stuff. It is difficult to recognize how much time and energy our possessions take from us.
  9. Leave room to add.