Writing

Genius

Why Genius Is Sacred

Posted by | Human Evolution, Quality of Life, Writing | 4 Comments

Corner of Teak and Milbury. The girl behind the cash register at McDonald’s is 17 years old and working a summer job to save up money for college. She works the night shift and in her spare time she works out math equations. Specifically, trigonometry. She is what society would consider a genius level mathematician, quietly working away on her passion in secret.

Given another year, she would earn a full ride to Harvard based on a theory she presents in her final year of high school, which would in turn allow her to go on to become one of the world’s leading physicists. At the age of 35 she would create a break-through in quantum physics, leading to the first grav-lift car that would become commercially available to the public, leading to the eventual eradication of highways and the use of asphalt and other chemicals that are toxic to the environment and an eventual Nobel prize.

Instead, she gets knocked up by some meth-head gang-banger and squirts out a baby before she is 18. She gets tatted up, starts smoking meth, and ends up having two more children with three other men before she is 25. Rather than a life of pursuing her passion to achieve the highest levels of destiny, she becomes relegated to a life of drug addiction and is in and out of jail over the years before finally dying of an overdose at the age of 35.

Is it her fault for not achieving her destiny and pursuing her genius to its maximum potential, or is it the fault of society for not providing an environment in which she could thrive in her chosen element?

The Conundrum

I love Benjamin Franklin’s quote about “He who is good at making excuses is rarely good for anything else”. The vast majority of people will blame their lack of success on everything and everyone but themselves. It’s the economy. The foreigners. The illegal immigration. The war in Iraq. Taxes. The cost of living. It’s never their own fault for working a shitty job and making a shit wage and living a life of servitude. It’s someone else’s fault.

But at what point do we take a look at the burden Western society has put upon people with their mandatory credit addiction, mandatory slave wages, mandatory GMO modified food and mandatory third-world living conditions and lay the blame at the feet of the system? Or do we lay the blame solely on the individual for not taking the opportunities presented to them by life and fate?

If you look at the girl in the above scenario, I’m talking hypotheticals. But the reality isn’t that far from the truth. We all know someone who is a creative genius in their own right who is stuck in a dead-end job working for no money trying to make ends meet just to put food on the table and rather than pursuing their dreams they are working a job they hate for a wage that doesn’t even provide them with enough money to live…all so they can “get by”.

Fuck that. I want to live in a world where creative genius is sacred. Where society puts an emphasis on creativity and allowing people to pursue their true calling. Where mathematicians can go on to create things that benefit humanity as a whole rather than wind up knocked up and cracked out because society forced them into a certain path rather than provided them the opportunity to thrive.

The Reality

Governments don’t want creative thinkers. They want workers. People who are just smart enough to run the machines and keep the system functioning, but  not intelligent enough to think for themselves. Smart people are dangerous. They are the ones who tell their fellow man to rise up, cast off the chains and take their destiny into their own hands. Fuck control. Fuck nationalism and your pledge of allegiance. Fuck 8 hour work shifts and 2 weeks of paid vacation and mandatory military service.

Killing Creativity

Free-thinking people are the bane of governments and organized society. If everyone is allowed to think for themselves, revolutions start. People rise up. Rather than be wage slaves, they cast off their chains and move abroad. They learn other languages, appreciate other cultures, live in other countries, and spend their money everywhere but on the home turf.

Smart people are the ones who change the world. They challenge authority, they speak for themselves, they constantly strive to achieve something greater, something for the benefit of all rather than the benefit of a few, and they are continually looking for ways to improve. Not just upon themselves, but the human race as a whole.

Smart people don’t believe in war. They believe in peace, love and understanding. Equality for all. Man, woman, black, brown, white, Christian, Muslim, Buddhist, Atheist, Agnostic, Lutheran, Catholic…it doesn’t matter. Smart people want to live in a world where creativity is put above everything else, where we can use our collective consciousness to pursue the betterment of all mankind and find a way to live harmoniously together without an addiction to war and oil and raping of the planet around us.

Living In Utopia

From my own personal viewpoint, I think one of the greatest aspects of unplugging from the system, learning other languages, moving abroad and living in other cultures and studying my passions and following my dreams has been simply this: I have been allowed to achieve my own greatness. Absolute freedom, both creatively and financially. I have no debt and I can do what I want, when I want.

But not just that. I can pursue my passions in an environment where creativity is allowed to thrive. Where I’m not burdened by debt, by a 40 hour a week job, by wage slavery and credit and GMO modified foods that force me into sickness and obesity.

As Ken Robinson stated in his 2006 TED presentation, everyone has within them the gem of creativity. A tiny bud of genius, waiting to flower. All it needs is a little bit of watering, some cultivation, and it will grow from there into a future that none of us can comprehend…but only if it is allowed the chance to flourish creatively.

When you look at a genius child, most people will think to themselves, “Oh my…he/she is exceptionally gifted”. But are they really that gifted? I don’t think so. Rather, I know for a fact that each and every one of us, each and every single person on the planet, has that same spark of genius inside of them. We are, after all, the universe experience itself. Stardust, made physical. And within each of us lies infinite possibilities if only we are given the opportunity to pursue those passions which eventually turn into greatness.

Creativity is as important as literacy, and should be given the same level of focus in schools and in society. If a person is a gifted and talented artist, put them in a position where they can pursue their gift. Don’t force them into a position of servitude where they are working at McDonald’s while pursuing a worthless degree in business administration because “that’s the only way you will get a job”.

Creativity is something to be cherished, something to be nurtured, and we need to create that nurturing environment for the betterment of humanity. Musicians should be allowed to thrive in an environment where they write music. Painters an environment to paint. Dancers an environment to dance.

96% of college degrees have been proven to be completely worthless (just ask law students in Boston working for less than minimum wage, or the millions who have had their lives ruined by student debt), so why are we still using them as the benchmark for “the way of doing things?

As Robinson points out, we are educating children out of creativity. We are teaching them to fear being creative, to fear being different, and by the time most people reach adulthood they are branded forever as wage slaves, destined to a life of mediocrity and an early grave without ever achieving anything of value in their life…simply because they are too afraid to do anything other than be a servant.

The Bottom Line

Genius is sacred. Creativity is sacred. It should be nurtured, cultivated, allowed to flourish and grow into something great that will benefit all of humanity, rather than only a select few. But in order to get to that point we have to create an environment where genius is allowed to thrive. Currently, this does not exist except for those of us who have made the conscious decision to break free of the chains of “civilized” society and pursue global careers as digital nomads.

Is it our responsibility to help create an environment to foster creativity? I, for one, think that it is. I think that we owe it to ourselves as a species to teach people to unplug from The Matrix, to stop letting government-funded teachers tell them how and what to think, to stop pledging allegiance to a flag, to stop believing in “god and country”, to stop believing in imaginary boundaries drawn on maps by a select group of people who want to control everyone else.

I believe it is our responsibility to create a better world for future generations. A world where creativity is cherished, where wage slavery is abolished and war is a thing of the past, where humanity can focus as a whole on the betterment of all as opposed to only the betterment of a few and single group of countries (i.e. The West). A world where that 17 year old girl is allowed to grow up and become the mathematician she was born to be, rather than the meth addict that society forced her to become due to broken promises and corruption.

What are your thoughts on creativity and society? Do you believe it is the responsibility of the individual to cultivate creativity, or the responsibility of society to provide an environment where creativity can thrive?

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Da Vinci

Keep It Simple, Stupid: A Study On Maxinomics

Posted by | Blogging, Passive Income, Quality of Life, Social Media, Writing | No Comments

It starts off small. 5 ways to save money for travel. Then someone else comes along and does 7 ways to save money for travel. Then it’s 10. Then 15. Then 25. Then 50. Then 150. Then 200. Then 500. Every subsequent blogger trying to outdo the last, repeating, rehashing and reposting the same, tired old information that can be found in a hundred other blog posts by a hundred other bloggers. An endless cycle of trying to outdo those who came before so that people will follow your blog and not the competition.

Somewhere in the middle, the message is lost in the hustle to outdo the competition. In the rush to offer the biggest, the best or the most numerous, the actual information is left by the wayside.

The Greedy Bastard Syndrome

The Greedy Bastard Syndrome is a disease that affects those who are addicted to consumption and physical possessions. They see the world through the capitalist point of view: me first, everyone else second. They are the type of individuals who are only interested in one thing: being on top of the totem pole.

As a result of this sickness, Greedy Bastards are pushed to the extremes trying to find ways to outdo the competition, believing that if they do not they will fall to the bottom of the heap, forgotten and irrelevant. Quality is not as important as staying ahead of the pack. Quantity is the name of the game, because if you can’t outdo your competition you aren’t doing it right.

As more and more people turn to blogging for a living, they fall back on the old ways of doing things. Unfortunately, old habits are not always the best habits. Rehashing the old and doing things the same way as everyone else is the fastest and most sure-fired way to find yourself being nothing more than another in a long list of monkeys with keyboards, banging out letters as fast as they can without any clear purpose or direction, all so they can stay on top of the heap.

A top 10 list? Screw that…I’m gonna write a top 50 list. Then someone comes along and does a top 75. Then you come back and do a top 150. The cycle continues. Me first, everyone else second. 

Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication

Whether you are talking about Ockham’s Razor (among competing hypotheses, the hypothesis with the fewest assumptions should be selected), or Antoine de Saint Exupéry’s statement that, “perfection is reached not when there is nothing left to add, but when there is nothing left to take away”, it all boils down to less is more.

The tighter the niche, the more focused the results, the higher the quality of the information.

Simplicity

The best way to become an authority in your niche is to keep it simple, direct, to the point and as tightly focused as possible. Be the expert on that topic, and write about it with such detail that you become the ultimate source when people are looking for information regarding your niche. No one wants to read a watered down version of something: they want to read an article written by someone who is speaking with the voice of authority.

Too often in today’s blogging world people are so focused on maxinomics and presenting the biggest, loudest, most obnoxious version of something as a means of garnishing attention that they have completely lost the original intent. Keep it simple, stupid. Make it so refined, so simplistic in its design, that it is perfect in its very simplicity.

Sophistication comes not from maximizing and rehashing a topic fifty different ways so that you can be “larger” and “better” than the competition, but when you strip away all the non-essential bullshit and bring it back to the point where there is nothing more you can strip away. When you reach that point, you have absolute perfection. Ultimate simplicity.

Getting Back to Basics

The first piece of advice I give to students is “write from the soul”. When you strip away all the pretentiousness, the desire to be “just like so and so” and instead write what your heart wants you to write about, you achieve the simplicity that Leonardo was so focused on in his own work over the years.

You don’t have to be like everyone else to make it in this world. In fact, it’s better if you aren’t. If you instead focus on your own unique voice, developing your own unique way of saying things, of shooting photos, of recording videos, of drawing, writing, creating, and keeping things as streamlined, tight, focused and simplistic in nature, your work will shine through all on its own.

But the key is keeping things tight and focused rather than generic. Any monkey with a keyboard can hit letters and eventually make a coherent sentence or two. Your goal is to strip away the non-essential. Take things down to the very core message. Start there and refine the essence until it shines, the diamond in the rough.

Don’t worry about maxinomics. Take your niche and go deep. Find the perfection that Leonardo was talking about. Everything else is extraneous.

What about you? What are your thoughts on maxinomics? Tell us about your success working in niche markets in the comments below; I’ve yet to meet a single soul who focuses on tight niches and doesn’t see an excellent level of success, and it’s always a blessing to read about your success stories.

Looking for ways to refine your niche? Shoot me an email with your questions and I’ll get back to you ASAP. 

Don’t forget to sign up for our free newsletter for several-times-a-week, your-eyes-only travel and entrepreneur tips, plus receive a complimentary copy of our 85-page starter book on location independence and living abroad, 30 Ways in 30 Days.

With over 1,500 copies sold, our flagship 568-page eBook is what started it all. Learn how to travel the world like I do: without a budget, with no plans, funded completely by your website and online ventures.

The Expat GuidebookGet Your Copy Today!

Unplug from The System, cure yourself of The Greedy Bastard Syndrome, tap into your universal potential and create your own reality. Build a brand, travel the world and realize your cosmic consciousness.

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