curiousdiscovery

An artist's musings about art, location-independence, personal discovery and digital technology

Audacious goals, new music and speaking to the enemy

I discover a lot of amazing things each week. Everything from books, to blog posts, to videos, to music, to ideas, to stories!

 

I had initially thought about showcasing such discoveries only via Akumu TV (my Youtube channel). But then I figured, why don't I write these things down too? Why don't I document them in words, in something other than my terrible-handwriting idea book? Why don't I house them in my very own online real estate?

 

And so here I am. Writing. On my blog.

 

Call this edition 1! Or perhaps issue 1! 

 

Ok, never mind. Labels will confuse and abuse our minds. Let's not focus too much on them for now. The most important thing is that THIS is happening.

 

And you know what else is awesome? I finally get to utilize the words "Curious Discovery" and their relatives, somewhere! 

 

In case you've never noticed, those are the exact words on top of this page right here. The actual name of my blog. The actual name of this blog side of my website. And I've finally found a way of infusing it into some of my content. I'm doing my happy dance!

 

So with an extremely goofy smile, a five-year-old's kind of excitement and "tr-eager" fingers, allow me to get us started.

 

Here are five of the best curious discoveries of the past week.

 

1. One of The Best TED/TEDx Talks I've Watched

 

There are a lot of TED/TEDx Talks online to go around. Enough to fully educate our future kids and their grandkids in one fell swoop.

 

Some talks are exceptional, some are informative, some are downright forgettable.

 

But I got lucky recently. I became a lucky watcher of a TEDx Talk that achieves a trifecta. It's exceptional, it's informative and it's unforgettable.

 

Stephen Duneier is its maker - or at least I think he is.

 

His talk is about how to achieve ambitious goals. 

 

According to him, any ambitious goal can and should be broken down to its simplest form in order to make it achieveable. He has achieved a lot of feats with this simple nugget of wisdom. And he's truly inspired me to get off my behind and get some dusty old goals going!

 

Here he is:

 

 

 

2. Something Called Moonshot Thinking

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This is a concept I came across as I listened to a Tim Ferriss podcast featuring Astro Teller.

 

Astro Teller is an author, a scientist, an entrepreneur and one of the founders/directors of Google X, now just known as X.

 

X is research and development facility that spearheads HUGE ideas. HUGE is in caps because HUGE means HUGE!

 

Take HUGE here to mean whatever your Muggle brain deems to be "impossible".

 

X creates these HUGE ideas using moonshot thinking. 

 

With this kind of thinking, the idea is to aim for 10x improvements on your current reality and not just mere 10% improvements like most people are used to. 

 

It's a concept that can be applied to our own lives especially for any goals we seek.

 

It's literally a go-hard-or-go-home type of thinking.

 

Once you kick that goal of yours up to its 10x equivalent, it'll push you beyond that proverbial the-sky-is-the-limit thinking. 10% increments are just not audacious enough to kickstart the kind of life-altering achievements that move the world forward.

 

Considering the first discovery I've just mentioned, I'd say use moonshot thinking to aim and marginal adjustments to implement. Makes sense?

 

 

 

3. A Scary Genre of Music

 Eleonor Roosevelt famously said, "Do one thing every day that scares you". Well, I acted according to those exact words some days ago.

 

I situated my earphones into my earphone-clumsy earlobes, cranked up the volume, and clicked "play" on some hip hop music as I got some work done.  

 

Hip hop has always been scary to me. Something about its deeply metaphorical rhymes and lightning fast intonations give me a reason to steer clear of this genre of music. 

 

And if modern hip hop scares me, then old school hip hop TERRIFIES me. It always has. This was true up until that particular day when I gave it a chance.

 

Yes, I didn't understand much. And yes, I got lost in that heavy rap jungle.

 

But, I discovered how much sampling is done from old hip hop tracks. And I realised I was listening to the kind of cultural influences that the next generation will need to know about. That made me cherish the experience! My very own new-old-music education and adventure!

 

Getting schooled by the Old School.

 

Next in line (yet still reeking of Akumu-induced boredom) will be: reggae, lingala and extremely electronic electronic music. These ones will be tough! Especially because I usually place them at the very bottom of my music preferences totem pole. 

 

4. Creative Creativity And Dirty Computers

I have a thing for creative people. The kind of people who can transport the wildest ideas and jaw-dropping dreams from their mind's eye and straight into our wide-eyed gawking senses. 

 

Janelle Monáe is one such person. She is actually one of my favourite musicians. But honestly, calling her a "musician" doesn't do her justice. She is an artist in the truest sense of the word.

 

She demonstrates all this in what she calls an emotion picture - a video depiction of her new album, Dirty Computer.

 

While the album and the emotion picture might together carry themes likely to scare some people off, the creativity utilized in them is undeniable. The melodies, the lyrics, the scripting, the set, the costumes, the overall style of delivery - heck, the unapologetic boldness of it all. That's art. And it'll need you to have nothing but your Art glasses on.

 

Rick Rubin said "the best art divides the audience." Dirty Computer certainly does that but what that means is it's pushed the boundaries of creativity. 

 

Watching the emotion picture has inspired me to go into my art unafraid. Unafraid to channel my inner creative courage whenever I choose to embark on a project.

 

5. Speaking to The Resistance

I mentioned the Resistance when I wrote about doing art for art's sake.

 

In his book, The War of Art, Steven Pressfield explains the Resistance as the force within us that stops us from doing our work and chasing our dreams.

 

I recently started speaking to it. Yes, speaking to it.

 

I speak to the Resistance. I personify it and then I express my opinions towards it. It's pretty much the same way we are told to speak to our fears as an effort towards acknowledging their presence.

 

Any simple acknowledgement to such conniving enemies takes the power away from them. Once this happens, it's easier to rise above their evil and emerge victorious.

 

I began doing this some days ago. I've even managed to do it a tad more effectively by adding anti-Resistance reminders on my phone. And it's actually working!

 

I'm doing much better at getting rid of my usual half-assed excuses and the ridiculous procrastination antics. 

 

So to summarise:

 

 

Let me know what you think in the comments section. Until next time, stay curious and keep discovering!

 

 

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website & design work by Akumu Fiona

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