When was the last time you felt creative?
The last time I truly felt creative was when I was sitting on a beach under a palm-thatched roof in the middle of the Caribbean. Sure the app that I thought of while on that beach is still on the drawing board but that’s besides the point. The idea behind that app is one that I regard as one of the most creative things I have thought of to date. A couple of months later I sat down one night and the whole app was there before my eyes and I could see how the entire process, between the clients and the app and the users and the app, worked. After writing down every section and interaction that would be involved I contacted one of the few developers I knew.
What connects both times I was in a creative mindset?
Freedom of thought.
When I was on the beach watching the people walk by and listening to the crashing waves, that’s all I was doing. Nothing else was going on. I wasn’t worrying about checking my email or what I will have for my next meal. I had nothing but time on my hands. My mind was able to completely focus on the idea and if there was a problem with the process of the app I was able to think it through and come up with a solution. I felt like I could accomplish anything I wanted to.
Create a time and a space that you can escape into. Take a walk through the woods. Go for a long drive with no destination in mind. You are a creative person but you need to allow yourself to get into that state of mind.
Freedom of thought will allow you to be the creative person that you have always wanted to be.
This is a list of things that, after 12 years in “the system”, I haven’t been taught but feel I should have as they are all crucial to my success in every aspect of my life and subsequently everyone who goes through those 12 years.
- How to learn on my own. Sure I have had to use resources like Khan Academy and the antiquated textbook but I have never had a lesson titled “How to learn on your own”.
- How to study. “Study for tomorrow’s test.” I would love to if I knew how to but besides flash cards, what is involved in studying? How do I make sure to actually retain the information?
- Why we skip the grade letter E. A, B, C, D, and … F? What did E ever do to get ousted?
- Taxes. I know 2 things about taxes. 1) The forms and everything else (what ever that may be) is due by April 15th each year. 2) The money goes to the government to pay for various things such as the police and official’s salaries. The third thing I would like to know is how to actually go through that process. Everyone should at least know how to do them but yet again, it is something that isn’t taught to us.
- Communication. By this I mean, do you know how to write a polished, professional email to someone? We practice verbal communication in class everyday and also with our friends but we haven’t been taught how to communicate to someone in a mature way with the written word.
- How to search on Google. There have been many times that I have spent 10+ minutes just trying to think of the correct keywords to type into Google so that the results match with what I truly mean. There is an art to searching but we assume that we can do it when we can’t.
- How to search for a job. Be it an internship, part-time or full-time job, how does one find a job? They certainly didn’t give us much advice when we had to find our end of the year internships.
- How to find the things that you love to do. It kills me every time I ask someone what they are majoring in and they don’t know yet. Those 12 years of education should be a time for self discovery and good amount of that stems from doing something you love. The people who drop or fail out of college do so because they are studying something that interests them because they haven’t found it yet.
- How to relieve stress. Stress is inevitable and we first experience it during our school years, especially as we rise through the grades. Learning when we hit the threshold and then how to manage it is a vital part to success.
- What else should we have been taught? Share your thoughts in the comments!
Starting in January I began the shift from main “doer” and main manager of Daytaro to strictly the main manager. And while that shift has been slow, it is beginning to speed up as we get closer to launching Colupon. Between school, volleyball and work, I have a limited amount of time to spend working which calls for optimizing my time. Read the rest of this entry »
All he wanted was to do what he loved, was that too much to ask for? Always doing what other people wanted him to do and never doing what he wanted to do. He lived in a country founded on freedom but yet the first 18 years of his life were decided for him, before he could even breathe. Read the rest of this entry »
I’ve been looking for a challenge. What I have done in the past hasn’t given me a challenge, which is why last year I decided to create a challenge for myself. What was that challenge? Start a business with no background, no experience and no clear path to take.
I had the idea, social media management (originally we called it social media advertising but quickly realized that we mislabeled ourselves), I was only a junior in high school so I had no background in really anything and the only path I had was a foggy vision of what I thought a business was. So what makes this the right kind of challenge? Compare what I did to what the common student does. A student sits before a teacher who tells them exactly what they need to do, how to do it and what the result should be. After doing that for about 11 years, I finally thought, “what’s the fun in that?” Why read a book when you know the ending? Why watch a movie when the twist has already been spoiled for you? I love surprises and telling me exactly what the result should be doesn’t excite me. And that’s why it’s the right kind of challenge for me to have started Daytaro and now start ListYard and help start Colupon.
The benefit about this time around is I have a better idea about what I am doing and how I should do it, but I still retain the lack of knowledge as to where the business will end up. The ‘surprise’ factor is still very much alive and that’s what lights the fire inside. I get up to go to school so that I can start working earlier, the sooner school is over, the sooner I can get back to working.
The ultimate part about this challenge is I also don’t know when the obstacles will arise, just as how I don’t know when a success will come my way. Working hard and smart helps to increase the amount of successes and decrease the amount of failures but the possibility of failure never goes away. Being able to overcome obstacles that you may not think you are ready to handle are the best way to gauge how good you really are. Can you think on the spot and under pressure? Can you schedule your time when you have no time? Others will see this as impossible, but if you find this kind of challenge appealing then you know that nothing is impossible. What limits people from doing the impossible is themselves.
Finding the right kind of challenge for you is how to find happiness. I can’t tell you what the right challenge for you is but I can help you to see what the making of challenge consists of for me. The right kind of challenge wakes you up in the morning, it keeps you going all day long and it keeps you from going to sleep at an honest hour. You may not see it as a challenge because you gravitate towards it every time you have a free second. Find your challenge, find your passion, find your happiness. After that, life falls into place and is, dare I say, easy.