Issue #021 | August 16, 2020  


This week: 'break all them rules', Tim Ferriss has a messy writing process too, overcoming money blocks, how to protect your energy + more.

Cool But Strange Shit You See When You Peep Through Windows

stick figure girl ripping up the rules - rule breaker

Everyday between 10 and 11 am my neighbour walks his dog.

Nothing remarkable about a man taking his golden retriever for a stroll. 

Except for this.

A few seconds after leaving their house, a third companion shows up. A short haired white cat with black patches... real scrawny looking in the face. 

(No idea what breed it is.)

And this whole set up is the strangest. 

Because cats are solitary creatures. Not followers in the slightest. 

They're not known for engaging in typical subservient canine activity. So this man-walks-dog-cat-follows ritual puzzles the heck out of me.

Oooh but it gets weirder.

On the rare occasion I catch the trio returning home, I'm struck by what happens next. 

Man arrives at front gate. 

Holds gate open for cat. 

Cat nonchalantly saunters in. 

OK, this isn't some cat who just happens to be leaving the house at the same time as its hooman. This cat is mimicking obedient dog mentality. 

But not really

Because from the looks of it, he or she (whatever sex the cat is) clearly is the boss of that guy.

I know. I know. I'm over analysing.

It's strange, but cool.

And no. The spying on your neighbours bit isn't cool. It's sad, and odd, and a little creepy.

(Thank you COVID-19! I've now sunk to the lowly depths of a curtain twitching weirdo).

heres to the crazy ones quote - not fitting in

Yet I'm sitting here. Stuck on this image of a man and his complicit fur babies.

I blame my childhood. 

Lemme explain... 

I grew up watching Tom & Jerry cartoons. 

I learned early on that dogs saw cats as prey. While cats saw dogs as mindless gullible hooman pleasers; too dumb to ever catch a feline.

My inner five year old was under the impression the two species hated each other. 

Cats and dogs aren't supposed get along, let alone do family walks. 

It's against the rules of the animal kingdom... Isn't it?

The Rules We Break

This observation-fest got me thinking. 

About the rules we break as creators.

Not just in our work, but in our daily lives.

And so you know, I'm not talking about the kind of rule breaking that'll land your ass in jail, get you killed or sued. I'm talking about breaking the common rules followed by society and our peers.

The kind of rules that don't serve free spirits like us.

It Takes Courage To Break Them Rules

If we want to do anything meaningful in this world, certain 'rules' need to go.

It's not easy being a rule breaker.

Not when these rules have been transmitted to us since birth. 

People will mock, or ridicule, or gawp at you from behind a dingy window pane *whistles innocently*.

But when you own who you are, what you stand for, and what your purpose is, breaking protocol becomes second nature. 

You start:

  • Ignoring people who tell you 'you can't' or 'you're not good enough'.
  • Speaking up and offering your honest opinion when most people choose to sugarcoat things.
  • Un-apologetically putting yourself first even when others think you're selfish.
  • Being open about the messiness of your life when most people hide behind an Insta-fake version of themselves.
  • Saying no to wasteful weekends. You value working on your craft over getting tipsy in some random club with the 'living for the weekend' brigade.
  • Writing in a way that'll get you banged up by the grammar police but you don't give two bananas because it's all you. And you're having fun being you.

And you get to:

  • Release yourself from inhibitions that once held you back.
  • Make the impossible possible. 
  • Re-frame other people's perceptions of what is doable (even if they still hate you a little bit on the inside). 

Ultimately, you create magic. 

And who wouldn't want the gift of creating magic... eh?

What rules do you find yourself un-apologetically breaking?

Or would like to un-apologetically break? 

Do tell. My inbox awaits news of your rebellious ways.

Mena x

Little Gems of wisdom

🔥 A sneak peek into Tim Ferriss's creative writing process (and it's messy AF)

I'm curious about other creator's processes for two reasons: 

(1) I want to see if I can 'steal' a technique here and a tactic there. 

(2) I want to know whether their process is as messy as mine. Whether they too feel the pain of editing their thing 5 million times before releasing it into the wild.

It's reassuring to know that more experienced creators face the same creative shit-storm - that messy middle where we're figuring out how to make our words work.

In this article you'll see a few of Tim Ferriss's edits for one of his books. And what a beautiful mess it is - the edits, not the end result. The book, as you'll see, turned out just fine.

→ The Ugly New York Times Bestseller — The Creative Process in Action (Tim Ferriss Blog)

🔥 Learn how to stop thinking you can't afford it (because you probably can) [video]

Running a business changes your thinking in so many ways. And quite possibly one of the biggest mindset shifts is in how you see and treat money.

In this video Tarzan Kay and Joanna Wiebe offer advice on:

  • Identifying and changing negative beliefs that hold you back financially.
  • How to pay yourself and handle the flow of money into your business.
  • Techniques for managing the mindset.

If you've been feeling a certain way about investing in courses, hiring a virtual assistant, getting an accountant, paying for ads etc, etc. watch this. 

It'll get you thinking about your relationship with money. And that can only be a good thing.

→ The Money Mindset for Freelancers / Small Business Owners (Copyhackers)

🔥 How NOT to burnout despite juggling multiple interests

"... the multipotentialite tendency to jump into a new interest immediately and go hard is one of our greatest strengths. Our fiery passion means that we learn at lighting speeds and acquire new skills much faster than most people... But at the extreme, even strengths can become liabilities…"

  • As a person with multiple interests, I can relate. Life would be so much easier if I had fewer interests. Alas, that's not my reality. I want to do all the things. Which is why, every so often I need to check myself for burnout.
  • And as someone interested in creative pursuits, I'm guessing you struggle with this too.
  • In this article Emilie Wapnick does a walk through of the cycle of burnout (I need to learn how to stop at stage three) and offers tips on how to recover. These include: crying it out, taking a break, setting your priorities and regrouping.

→ How to Deal with Multipotentialite Burnout (Puttylike)

🔥 How to protect your energy and save yourself from a crappy day

Jason Connell tells a story about the time a client refused to pay his invoice. Even though he had grounds to sue, he decided to let it go. 

  • There are times when you need to chase these people down, and then there are times when you have to look at everything else you've got going on and ask yourself: “Do I really want to invest my energy in this?”
  • I'll take managing my energy over just managing my time all day everyday. It's a more fulfilling and productive way to do life.
  • Jason shares a strategy for identifying and protecting your energy peaks, as well as tips on avoiding energy drainers like toxic people and mindless screen time.

→ How to Understand, Cultivate and Focus Your Energy (Jason Connell)

🔥 Five unusual things to do to find success quicker

"Conventional wisdom applies to conventional activities. And that ain’t us, kids. So for stuff like getting your oil changed and your teeth brushed – absolutely – abide by the recommended practices. But growing your business? Learn what the common practices are in your space, and then apply your own common sense, individual style and values."

  • Ideas are 10-a-penny - we can come up with them all day long. Not turning those ideas into something you can make a real living from, well that's something else.
  • Sam Bennett offers five unconventional tips that'll help you find creative success - faster. Advice includes: breaking the rules, standing still and being selectively negligent (but in a good way).

→ Five Unusual Success Tips For Creative Entrepreneurs (YFS Magazine)

Just for Fun!

For when you're tired of looking out of your own window, and want to snoop someone else's → WindowSwap

Amrit's window - Goa, India