Twenty posts in and it still astounds me how hard it is for me to put my name to my writing and send it into the world. I’ve spent a lot of the last few months on my craft, working out what words best describe that voice that lurks at the back of my mind the voice that is the source of my questions and the spark for my writing. I’d like to think my writing is not just that voice but a combination of that and something more. The compulsion is what intrigues me. The compulsion to find a soap box and let go of the ideas knocking about in this not so old head. Time for me is like a sitcom that can only be enjoyed in context. Friends is one of my favourite shows of all time but 10 years earlier it would have made no sense and 10 years later it’s already losing relevance. Looking at my writing I have similar feeling each day that passes between an idea and the release of that idea on paper or a screen it becomes less relevant, less real. Until the idea like grapes left to long on the vine spoil and ferment leaving nothing but regret at a seasons work wasted for a few days laziness. Time is now, everything else is dreaming or remembering. There is no time in the future and all the time in the past has been used up. Go forth and kick ass, 20 posts in and I’m starting to feel it.
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There is a warmth to candlelight a warmth that’s has been counteracted in the 21st century. The cold calculated face of technology has stolen that warmth from us. We have light but Somewhere along the way we lost the wonder of light, the glow of candlelight the sound of silence competing with natures orchestra.
I was reminded of my love for that warmth and the sound of that silence last week when some genius in a Coca Cola truck flattened a fairly important pole down the road from me. Plunged into darkness I found myself free. Free from the temptation of the television, free of the drone of the technology, my apartment walls looking a alive as the shadows crept up and down the walls as if chased by the candlelight.
I ended up reading most of the evening in the silence time seemed to be feeling a bit soppy and enveloped me and instead of running away from me as it’s been known to do, we proceeded through the evening in a sweet embrace. For once I didn’t feel rushed or anxious. Technology withdrew and calm descended in the space it left behind. Continue reading »
Continue reading »
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It’s a tricky business. You can think you’ve pulled all the weeds of in-authenticity and the next thing you know, you’re realizing you’re doing something for the sake of “growth” that doesn’t really matter. The prolificacy of fake growth often hides in hard-to-find corners of your mind. It often arrives in unassuming forms.
In the realm of Personal Development, Real growth is the key indicator of success or failure. So what defines real growth or false growth? Much of the information and programmes in Personal Development available are at best insincere and at worst scams. The belief that your problems can be fixed from the outside in, that your goals can somehow be found in between the covers of the latest glossy Personal Development book is the myth. Personal Development is well, personal. The Personal Development industry can only help accelerate real growth, it can’t start it.
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“Procrastination is the fear of success. People procrastinate because they are afraid of the success that they know will result if they move ahead now. Because success is heavy, carries a responsibility with it, it is much easier to procrastinate and live on the ‘someday I’ll’ philosophy.”
As old as I am this success thing still confounds me. As hard and as long as I work toward my goals it often feels like I”m using large amounts of my time fighting with myself. There’s just no way to win. Now this is not going to be a scholarly discussion of fear of success. I’m no psychologist I can’t diagnose a phobia and I’m definitely not a wiki.
All I want to do today is discuss what I know, the frustration caused by the symptoms of fear of success and how to combat it before failure moves into your spare room and starts bonding with your kids. The definition and psychology of the fear of success is pretty simple its fear of change dressed up like an elephant and standing in your living room. No one mentions it but we all know it’s there as we choose over and over to be mediocre.
Supping on the Bananas of disappointment
When we talk about fear of success, the change we fear just happens to be positive. We hairless apes are very clever but we long for routine. Change in any shape size or flavor scares the crap out of us. Until we find the motivation to change, the motivation to succeed we will continue on our negative path supping on bananas of disappointment feasting on meal worms of failure until we finally hit rock bottom or worse still, never hit rock bottom and live our neat lives of quiet desperation living in constant fear of success.
So how do we escape the clutches of this self inflicted mediocrity? Let’s not try let’s do!
Feel the Fear of success, and connect with your Passion
- Start right now and admit your fear of success and the changes it will bring
- You’re afraid of that promotion, afraid of losing that extra weight just plain afraid
- Take a bit of time to understand why you’re afraid of success. The most common fear is that after you solve your biggest problems you cease to have excuses without excuses what ever would you complain about.
- Connect with your passion when mediocrity comes calling in your life never focus on what you don’t want focus on what you do want let that connection with your passion become the rope that binds you to it and keeps the fear at bay
- Visualize success and all the benefits that come with it often
- There is abundance in life open your eyes, focus on your goals and on all the success you see in the world, look at all the ways you are already successful. No one needs to lose for you to win there are infinite opportunities for everyone.
- Failure isn’t the worst thing on earth
Forget thinking, do!
- Stop over-thinking, success is good, they say that our ability to reason sets us apart from animals well sometimes we just need to put our brains in neutral and focus on doing.
- Once you start doing you start learning and that learning is invaluable it also takes your mind off of all those imagined problems success will apparently bring.
- Success is good go read the definition in the dictionary you fool
- When you start doing you start learning to flow, to tune out the world stop thinking and take pleasure in the doing. Allowing you to auto-pilot your way to success. Remember what it feels like when you are in flow and are able to produce at a high level for long periods. being able to call on this flow state is the key to lasting change.
Talk your way to success
- When you’re not doing talk. Talk about what you’ve done talk about what you are still going to do keep the dialog going. Everything is created twice. Talking about what is going on in your head breathes life into your dreams and makes them real to you and your network. Talking makes you accountable for your actions to others and yourself
- Plan big go ahead and plan every part of your success, every step you plan to take, every meeting every document, hell plan your outfit when you make it. The best way to combat change is to anticipate it. Plan for success and you’ll find your fear will become trivial.
Start Small but start!
- Start small see this guest post based on Leo Babauta’s excellent The power of less for tips on how to approach your goals effectively
- The only failure is failing to try start as small as you feel comfortable with but start now.
As the world barrels along the enemy of great truly is good. We are all of us settling for good when great is within our reach. We need to remember that success lies on the other side of failure if we turn tail and run whenever we fail we’ll never make it. Fear can be the fuel for your success or for the flames of your failure. Only you can decide if good is good enough though.
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Ok now for a little rant. I have recently become genuinely annoyed with the state of the blogosphere. It seems the more I trawl the net the more it seems that bloggers (especially newer bloggers) are caving under the pressure to produce content to please Google and their fascist bots. Now I’ve only got a few posts up and I spend some time on SEO writing on all my posts just like everyone else but it’s not an obsession. If my content is good and I keep at my strategy for getting my blog out there, good SEO writing or not, people will show up and they’ll bring friends. I’m pretty sure I believe this.
SEO Keywords and A nice carcass metaphor
Why bother driving tons of readers to your site with great SEO writing strategies only for the crowds of people to arrive have a look round and realize, that after they’ve picked the meat from the carcass of your keyword riddled body they still feel distinctly unsatisfied.This is self defeating. You’re wasting your time and you’re wasting mine! Me and my SEO illiterate, keyword abhorring friends will leave your site never to return ever again.
I believe and use the idea of SEO writing religiously
First and foremost for me SEO writing means my writing
O ther (people)
Pick your own ‘E’ word or any other letter I’m just illustrating a point here. The important bit here is other people. If you write content that entertains yourself, congratulations! You no longer need a television. The important thing is does, it entertain others. Does your content solve a problem for other human beings. If it’s not, you’re going to find it tough to go from a great SEO, high traffic, high bounce rate blog to a positively viral blog. Where readers arrive and for better or worse you’re stuck with them till a really offensive post you do part.
SEO and SEO writing
SEO writing is the problem, not SEO in and of itself. SEO writing is the practice of dumping in a ton of keywords then trying to hang some content on to them after. Real SEO writing that drives conversion is a by-product of good focused content. See the difference? You need to write your post then go back with your SEO glasses and give it polish. SEO writing for the sake of SEO writing is self defeating drivel. Unless you’re a poet write clearly and plainly. Fitting the word artichoke into a sentence because it Google friendly is just dumb, artichoke. When writing a post do your homework, find a topic people have an interest in, answer questions people are asking pimp your post. If it’s good meagre SEO will be enough. If it’s bad supercharging it’s SEO will only give you a much larger group of people reading a bad post and being less likely to return.
Writing for people is transcendental
I enjoy writing for other people, nothing excites me as much as when I receive a reaction from a reader, when I’ve made a connection and somehow my words have stripped away the many thousands of miles between me and my reader. When my words have made irrelevant the differences in culture religion and beliefs and my ideas are laid bare. Keyword abuse in SEO writing strategies tend to strip away the value in all internet writing. Keywords drive hits and become a “SEO iron curtain” behind which good sense appears to have gone to sleep. These bots don’t care about my ideas which i quite frankly find condescending and and arrogant. I mean sure i can’t read millions of lines of text a day, but I can write mean things about bots, take that bot bastards! I refuse to spin any yarns for your pleasure.
Bots are a fickle bunch
Impressing bots is a tough job. They’re a fickle bunch and as dense as your keywords may be i can make mine denser, really I can, don’t tempt me. The problem is, there is a point where traditional SEO writing just becomes comical. The bots giggle with glee as they promote these semi nonsensical posts to the top of heap for their relevance, knowing that over the long run they’ll be overhauled by the articles actually written for people. These articles gain authority. These articles are passed around, bookmarked and linked to. Ultimately great keyword use will only get you so far. If you want traffic build a rapport with your readers not a paint by numbers SEO writing strategy.
Quality of traffic counts
Write about what you’re passionate about. Write to be understood by people. You may find less traffic but higher quality of traffic. Most every type of monetization works better when you have authority. When the reader is invested in your site and in awe of your knowledge they are more inclined to trust any offers you have on your site. When a reader lands at your site and feels that they’ve been duped with insincere SEO writing, fancy keywords and meta tags they’re more likely to think I’m not buying anything this sleazy ad serving, spammer is selling thank you very much.
How to write Content that engages other people
- Solve a problem for your readers
- Turn a common problem on it’s head and give a different take on an old chestnut
- Get annoyed about things that annoy your readers, like dodgy SEO writing (oh how I hate you)
- Be a little controversial, play devils advocate now and then
- Use comments from your readers as content for future posts (the comments will come in time)
- If it sounds right but isn’t bot friendly go with what sounds right
- Read your writing out loud no one likes a smarty pants make sure your language is natural
Bots never get picked first for dodge ball
Traditional SEO writing is a reality of the modern internet however with the advent of web 2.0 we are no longer completely at the mercy of the machinations of the search engines. As a result I suggest spending time building your networks and writing content that is useful to people. Bots don’t have friends and don’t click on ads. I kinda feel sorry for them sometimes.
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