Books, and Audio, and Video, Oh My! (Public Library)

Back when I was a just a wee one, we would spend a lot of time on Saturday afternoons and sometimes week nights, in a fairly small building, located near a mini-mall.

Over the years I watched that building swap out it’s wooden swinging doors for automatic ones, the introduction of scanners to prevent theft, switching from rolodexes, to Apple 2’s, then finally Dell computers. Even an eventual re-brand of bright colours everywhere and a functioning website that offered pickup became normal for this place.

I loved spending time there, and I think probably spent more time reading snippets of books, magazines, and movie summaries, then I did actually focusing on one topic.

Come to think of it, I’ve always had that “curiosity” attitude about books. I couldn’t just read any old book for 10’s of hours. I was very particular about what I committed to, but that was my personal journey through the experience of reading and eventual maturity of my adult tastes.

I may have mentioned this once or twice before, but my parents didn’t have a bunch of money laying around when we were growing up, so the library was an incredibly inexpensive way for me to be entertained and grow into knowledge.

But now that we have the internet, kids don’t have to use the library to pursue their interests do they?

Like everything in life, it depends.

Because of this fast development of digital communication, it seems to be quite common for social services like public libraries to face heavy scrutinization and threat of budget cuts in today’s world of lean politics and business. At least that’s the impression I often get from people whenever I bring it up. But as is often the case, public perception and personal assumption aren’t that close to reality.

It appears to be more realistic that the city is doing all sorts of things to keep it’s populous invested in learning and participating in self-improvement.

This is a very good thing, like this quote from blogger Kathy Dempsey states.

Libraries are portals to all of the world’s knowledge. And librarians make sure that knowledge continues to be recorded and saved for the future, even as information-storage devices and formats change.

– Kathy Dempsey, Libraries Are Essential

There was a time when larger retail services and public services could be very particular about what they participated in, but with this information shift, brick and mortar services need to be more diversified and inclusive than previously. That means more outreach programs AKA assistive services for those who don’t know where to start, are new to the community, are young or are elderly.

That also means providing online solutions too. In the case of the library, we can now temporarily download ebooks and audio books, and participate in seminars online. The website is online 24-7, so planning your next visit becomes even easier, you can place items on hold and then quickly drop-in to grab your books or whatever you want to borrow.

And because the library keeps archives of books, music, film, and other learning resources, the likelihood of them having something I want to see on my Watch List or Back Catalogue is quite high.

As I’ve mentioned previously in the current Wisdom Wednesday series on self-improvement – Attitude Is Everything. It is so important to participate in library culture, no matter where you are in life or what your personal goals are, the public library is an excellent way to entertain and engage your mind.

Even if you don’t like what you find your first time out, the brilliance of it all is that you haven’t spent money, and you have a wealth of titles available to look into as an alternative. And librarians are so knowledgeable of ways you can focus your efforts, they can look up material by subject, recommend authors, even tell you about local events the library is hosting which might benefit your journey.

I recently rewatched Night at the Museum, because it was in my list of blu-rays I had acquired but not opened, and there was this quote in it about the museum being a place “where history comes to life,” and while that is true the library is even greater, because it’s a place where ideas come to life. As cheesy as that sounds, dear readers.

And the theories are done for the week, my friends. Have a lovely weekend. Please comment! Please subscribe! Please contact me if you want to participate in the future!

Tim!

Top 10 Reasons Why You Should Work Smarter (Life Hacks)

Another week! Another Wednesday! Another opportunity to share some wisdom with you dear readers! Today’s topic – how YOU can make art and also balance the other areas of your life simultaneously!

Think about it for a minute, what’s the most fascinating subject in this life to dedicate years of your life studying? The answer is none other than yourself, dear reader(s)!

I know it sounds selfish, but is there really a better use of your time then working on yourself? Let’s be serious, we all do need to ask the question – what’s in it for me? If you can’t answer that, you can’t begin to contribute in this world.

Okay, with that aside, I don’t truly have a life-changing list of top 10 ways to improve yourself, make life easier and get your art out there (it’s a lifelong commitment), but I definitely do have a resource to get you started and at the very least start working on basic areas of your life that are universal and can be refined to your specific purpose.

Lists or no, I honestly think the reasons are innumerable for why you should streamline your internal process, so timotheories came up with a curated strategy of things we all need to work on in order get our rear in gear, and remove that fear!

First lets get in the right mindset.

You can’t outsource being CEO of your own life.

– Leo Gura, Actualized.org

No one knows your life purpose better than you, and no one is going to hold you up and guide you directly towards your goals, but if you focus on these habits below, you’ll realize that life becomes just a bit easier, and you have more energy for the things important to you.

I visited a number of sources in order to come up with this list – from Inc., to Readers Digest, WikiHow, Buzzfeed, a blog called BufferSocial, Time, and finally Life Hack.

So what did I determine from the swath of tips?

 

Here are my top 10 skills to invest in, in no particular order.
  1. Time management – Improve your time management skills by looking at your results regularly to see if you are on track or wasting time – Set up your calendar and having dedicated concentration time on specific tasks. Through time management systems, and recognizing that there is a difference between being quick versus in a hurry, you’ll improve here for sure.
  2. Learning to love learning – You need to learn new things in order to keep up with the fast pace of digital tech. That means using keyboard shortcuts, improving your typing speed, and your reading speed, for starters. If you can figure out MACROS on your spreadsheets you’ll be surprised how much automation you can get out of menial tasks.
  3. Communication is key – In a time when texting, email, and social media are the new favourites, try to use the phone more often. It saves on countless back and forth. And speaking of back and forth, be concise in your emails. Respond to calls and emails as quickly as you can, and when you can’t do that, set up a regular time to respond to your contacts.
  4. Multi-task misery – Learn to multi-task the right way, by cutting it out of your life. If you keep a million tabs open on your browser, you’re gonna have a bad time. Please remove distractions while you work and spend time with others. Turn off your phone, close your tablet, and focus on the task at hand.
  5. To-Do list – The ever popular to-do list is perfect for organizing your day into bite-size chunks. Make a daily one to automate certain processes, and really focus on the unique difficult tasks first. As the saying goes, eat that frog. If you want even more reinforcements, create a “to-don’t” list, of things you’ll never do, and stick to it!
  6. Attitude is everything – Expect failure and fight paranoia in life – Failure is common when you are exploring. But not failing is never okay. Keep positive and realize it won’t always be this bad, but it won’t stay easy either. If you ask lots of questions, aren’t afraid to do menial work, and spend 10 minutes a day laughing out loud, when Sunday night appears, you’ll be excited for Monday.
  7. Evaluate life – Make major decisions in the morning and divvy up your day based on your productivity habits. Assess your passions at the end of each year, each month, each week, and before you go to bed. If you can do that you’ll focus and delegate out the unnecessary. Flexibility is important too, but if you get stuck try this – pretend you are away from work and/or home for a week, and you only have a few hours to accomplish your tasks.
  8. Plan to make plans – Plan regularly! Build routines to start your day AND end your day. You are going to have to organize throughout the day too, so make an outline to insure you aren’t starting from scratch over and over. Please also set deadlines for major projects by planning ahead. You’ll benefit from organizing your desk/workspace, minutes saves hours, believe me.
  9. Community of colleagues  – Please be social at work, so that you have a support base and network to lean on in your endeavours, and don’t be afraid to say no to anyone. If you can learn to do that AND under-promise while over-delivering, you’ll definitely find the time to finesse your brand pitch about you and gain some fans in the process.
  10. Health matters – Your greatest resource is you. So build good habits to help you stop working and walk away after a certain point. Working smart doesn’t mean you also work hard. Health is important and managing stress, anxiety and depression are part of it. Try a standing desk for posture and circulation, get up every 45 minutes and move around too. Finally, pick a “Sabbath” day to refresh your soul, body, and mind.

 

So there you have it, I took all of the most brilliant advice on life hacks, and summarized it even further. No easy task, but worthwhile!

And that’s all the theories I’ve got for today! Are any of you already doing some of these things? All of them? Leave questions or comments, or send me an email! Subscribe if you liked this post and want to see more.

Otherwise, come back tomorrow for some love tips or something mushy related to it, at the very least.

Tim!

Take A Look, It’s In A Book… (Learn to Love Learning)

You want to be successful at your art, dear readers? And to be successful, the first step is recognizing what is required of you. For instance, do you have the right attitude (or have you developed a strategy if it’s out of your control)? Because you need to stop making excuses and take advantage of free resources available to you. The environment you have set up for yourself can definitely factor into the equation too… But don’t fret because happiness is within reach!

You really have to start forming excellent habits though.

One of the ways to best accomplish your goals is to create lists and break those lists down into manageable tasks, but to be honest, that’s only going to take you so far. Once you accept that life is not something which you can complete and then coast through, that it goes on and on, you will change your expectations and invest in processes which allow you to live a good lifestyle. Look at last weeks Wisdom Wednesday on timotheories if you need more information on how to get started.

Once you start setting those habits, goals will naturally get completed, but an interesting occurrence can also happen, and if you aren’t ready for it, you’ll fall right off the horse.

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Boredom can set in.

And one of the surest ways to combat boredom is through discipline. But here is the secret dear readers, and it’s a theory I have found is very likely to be true. Very rarely do teachers, coaches, gurus or whatever they want to be called tell this. I hope it becomes common knowledge at some point soon – you need to be in good spirits in order to maintain discipline. That means diet, exercise, and sleep.

Okay timotheories, but those are kinda obvious habits to keep up, we already knew that! 

Touche, my friends, touche. But you see, I haven’t quite gotten to my point just yet. If you would just give me another minute to build up the anticipation, I promise the payoff should be worth it…

Diet and sleep are straightforward, eat healthy food that is unprocessed and do your best to limit carbohydrates as well as most sugars. Next, get somewhere between 7-9 hours of sleep every night and commit to a routine to ensure your circadian rhythms get lined up correctly (slow to start, ramping up into the middle of the day, and winding down in the evening). Now talk to your doctor and also a certified professional about a workout which suits your current body type, and ease into it.

The problem is that we are forgetting something, and I just don’t know what… Oh right, the boredom. Those activities are boring if you aren’t also exercising your mind.

Your brain automates a lot of the daily processes you use, and your mind is integral to your mood. If you aren’t in a good mood, new routines become a lot more difficult to set up. That means reading books which stimulate your mind in positive ways. From classical literature, to self-improvement, to education in the arts and sciences, to philosophy, to biography, there are a number of genres that you can and should be reading to keep your mind sharp.

You need to read if you are going to stay the course, because just like with exercising the body, if you don’t use it, you will inevitably lose it and suffer from health problems.

Now timotheories, that’s all well and good, but a lot of us don’t have TIME for reading, we work 40+ hours a week, have to fit in meals, exercise, sleep, and spending time with loved ones, AND find time to obsess over our art. How the heck are we going to fit reading into the mix?

Well, the question has been asked before, but never has it sounded so sweet to the ears.

Should you consider listening to audio books as reading? And if you do, is it a viable alternative? Yes! The answer is a resounding yes! If you can’t make the time to sit down and read, do it while you work on routine tasks, on your commute or in down time before falling asleep.

You might not be able to absorb the information as readily, but the truth of the matter is that there are a number of ways to get a hold of audio books – look here at overdrive.com for starters. This website is what a lot of libraries use to store digital copies of their books. And if you have the technology (you should), you can put the content on your phone or mp3 player for convenience.

So do yourself a favour, develop your mind, bolster your imagination, and discover new things in the process. That’s all of theories I’ve got for a today my friends, so I’ll catch you tomorrow with a timely update.

Tim!

Sand Castles In The Sand (10 Lists To Success)

Do you ever just want to say f**k it, I’m out?

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I’ve talked about motivations before dear readers, and I’ve hinted at how I stay on top of goals, but I don’t believe I have really and truly detailed for you the significance of keeping a variety of functional lists available at your fingertips at all times and the incredible satisfaction you will get from this habit – whether you are highly motivated, stressed out, feeling aimless or a combination thereof.

In fact, 2 of my oldest and first posts specifically addressed the areas of my own motivations and some of the ways I intend to achieve them, one was The Watch List and other was titled Motivation and Movies.

Motivation and Movies is about more than just my love of movies and their incredible ability to connect an introverted type like myself with the world around me. The heart of that post demonstrates that we all love to tell stories, be involved with the storytelling process, and that ultimately our various types and niches of society break down and are usually broken because of communication issues.

Sure I may be simplifying it, but don’t tell me that you believe we all keep this information top of mind!

That’s why today’s Wisdom Wednesday post is all about list making and how it connects with motivation. That’s right my friends, I got to the point of the post through a direct correlation of thoughts, without me using a story, meme or analogy to build it up for 500+ words worth of exposition. WHOA.

It can be done.

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Granted, I threw in some fun memes, but they didn’t drive the plot forward, they were fun visual aids.

Having worked in marketing as my day job for almost a decade (and barely scratched the surface, might I add), I’ve read quite a few books and articles about the subject, and I’ve also learned some things along the way.

You see, I have this theory that the future of what’s cool and engaging is not going to be furthering technology and scientific achievement, though those things will continue to permeate our globalized village. Instead, because of the advent of the internet and the information age, those two achievements are going to lead us to the next logical step, refining our communication and storytelling ability.

This branding article kind of takes the roundabout to explain what I’m stating rather plainly, but to be fair the author IS referring to the future of business, which is full of plot holes.

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So let’s get down to brass tacks, talk turkey, and strike while the iron is hot.

If you want to be successful in life, you have to be persistent, work hard, sacrifice, be prepared to deal with lots of failures, and keep up good habits. Ask anyone who YOU think is successful, and they will without question give you some variation of that short list.

That’s why I am going to let you in on something pretty straightforward. If you build these lists laid out in this article for yourself and maintain them, ie work at them and add to them, then you are on the track to success.

  1. list of goals
    A reason to get up in the morning, reasons to respect yourself
  2. list of tasks
    Milestones to goal completion, daily – personal and professional
  3. list of contacts
    Reliable, skillful people, who you maintain a healthy and natural relationship with
  4. list of expenses
    Monthly obligations, to create a clear overview and stick to your financial guns
  5. list of useful tools
    Apps for restaurants, maps, task management, learning, etc. AND physical resources too
  6. list of self improvements
    Things you would like to improve or change about yourself, one thing a year may be more viable
  7. list of creative ideas
    To hone your focus and keep your mind occupied. Needs to be new, make sense, and have a use
  8. list of future plans
    Events, changes in law, trends, software – keep you well-informed and prepared for life
  9. list of contingency plans
    Be prepared for the backlash of major projects
  10. bucket list
    Keep your regrets to a minimum – put the impossible down, then find the next best thing, use to restore will power and keep going

If you can maintain these lists, you will never lose sight of yourself and what you need to be doing in your life to achieve your purpose.

I’ve said it before, but creative types are just as prone to dreaming rather than doing as those deem themselves more pragmatic and functional.

Be vigilant and you’ll achieve your goals. And those are all of the theories I have for today dear readers.

Tim!

 

 

Wizards & Wisdom (Actualized)

Okay folks, let’s talk turkey. It’s Wednesday and that means I need to share some wisdom with you.

Wisdom about self-improvement.  Big topic, I know, and one which I can probably spend a countless number of posts on in the future. *Hint* I’m going to *hint*

Oh come on now, you know I can’t keep secrets from you guys and gals.

That’s right, you must have sensed that I would dedicate today to share a resource (and set up future resources) with you that cover specific skills and traits that can be worked on. The kind of pragmatic stuff we need to level up and become the best versions that we want to be and should be.

That stuff related to physical health, mental health, emotional health, and spiritual health.

The stuff we all quietly promises ourselves we will get to but often struggle with the time or simply figuring out where to start looking.

But before I begin the fabulous and (hopefully by now) familiar practice of sharing a resource, I’m going to share a theory with you. Unfortunately it is not my own, so I can’t take any credit for it, however, it’s too brilliant not to share, so I’m going to source it and we’ll go from there.

The person who came up with this thought on the matter was writing about wisdom as it exists in the Dungeons & Dragons universe, specifically the 5th edition, but let’s face it, it’s damn useful for pretty much anyone.

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So here is what Kindulas of reddit has to say about wisdom

First off, the 5e description is “Wisdom reflects how attuned you are to the world around you and represents perceptiveness and intuition.” …The big thing I realized while thinking of Wisdom vs Intelligence as worldly vs academic knowledge is that animals have high wisdom. Low intelligence, high wisdom. Animals do not have streetsmarts or worldly knowledge, they don’t actually know the kinds of things wisdom is sometimes explained to cover. So I began, instead, to think of Wisdom as all the intelligences animals do exemplify. Perceptiveness and intuition – instinct and purely sensory awareness and alertness. We know Wisdom has to do more than just physical senses because insight, but that’s the place to start pondering.

So I came to the conclusion, especially seeing how 5e handled Intelligence (Investigation). Intelligence is all higher cognitive thinking and all conscious knowledge. Worldly knowledge, booksmarts, all just different expressions of intelligence. Wisdom is subconcious intelligence and sensory awareness. It’s your ability to spot things offhand, your clarity of thought and presence of mind, the accuracy of those “feelings” you get about people.

Now if we are really interested in wisdom in all it’s forms and variations then that sounds pretty dang good doesn’t it?

Well look no further, I’m going to share a ridiculously rad resource I totally and randomly stumbled onto when I was taking my lunch break about a week ago and when I was thinking about toxic behaviour of all things. And yes, I’ll share the first video I watched to give you a potential jumping off point, and if you are interested in letting go of what others think about you.

Actualized.org is a website dedicated to advanced personal development. Leo Gura is the founder and face of this project and has accomplished some rather impressive things in his life thus far. This claim to fame is that he teaches you life lessons which roll up into a skillset. A skillset that let’s you take advantage of your full potential and realize it so that you are consistent in your output.

The topics he covers include happiness, motivation, productivity, money, emotions, confidence, enlightenment & meditation, health & fitness, dating & relationships, sex, depression, life skills, and an assortment of other areas of life.

He has over 80 hours worth of free videos but some of his most popular videos are titled as such –

  1. How To Make A Girl Squirt – Give Your Girl An Explosive Orgasm
  2. How To Meditate – The No Bullshit Guide to Meditation
  3. How To Become A Millionaire – The Truth No One Tells You
  4. Why Am I Depressed? – The Shocking Truth Behind Your Depression

What is great about timotheories.com is that I am sharing with you stuff that I read, stuff that I watch, stuff that I try, and because of this, all of these posts feature content which is met with trial by fire, trial by combat, or whatever your favourite method of filtering is and won out.

If you want to face your personal challenges head on, you should check out what Leo has to say. Now having put that down, I have not signed up or paid for his “Ultimate Life Purpose Course,” but I am considering it a viable option to focus my own efforts. And besides, the free content alone is enough to make use of.

Why not spend some time building up that wisdom? Otherwise this is just a theory until you can prove it otherwise. See you tomorrow with something timely.

Tim!