Costs and Benefits of Awareness



I’m standing half-nude in front of a full-length mirror pinching and poking at my midsection.

Throughout the past two weeks I’ve been on a dietary cleanse—mostly raw foods, no alcohol, no caffeine, no processed foods, no animal products. Plus I’ve been hitting the gym with Shawn each morning for a rigorous workout. Two fine improvements to my daily routine. Without a doubt I’m healthier now than I was a month ago. Less body fat. More muscle. Better sleep. And, most important, I feel great (after all, how we feel is the best barometer of health).

So why am I more frustrated with the image staring back at me in the mirror?

Whenever we make radical changes—diet, exercise, career, etc.—we shine a spotlight on our flaws. Our blemishes shimmer in the light. This is the cost of awareness.

Our standards change whenever we are infected with a new awareness. We scrutinize ourselves more. The more we scrutinize, the more the spotlight brightens, and the more our imperfections stand out.

Awareness isn’t always pleasant. But becoming aware is important and necessary, because the benefits, especially the long-term benefits, can be experienced only once we’ve seen our flaws for what they are: past weaknesses. Only then can we work toward strengthening ourselves. Only then can we move toward the best version of ourselves.

True awareness allows us to improve, to grow. To become better, but not perfect. Our lives will never be perfect. We’ve all been cut deeply. But that’s okay. Awareness helps us heal, and our scars make up the best parts of us.

[Read more articles from The Minimalists like this one: How to Write Better]

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Poor Mentality vs. Rich Mentality Of Startup Entrepreneurs

Poor Mentality vs. Rich Mentality Of Startup Entrepreneurs

Money is not bad. It’s the greed of money that is bad. This chart simply called Poor Mentality vs. Rich Mentality by Funders and Founders lays it out in a very straightforward way. If you catch yourself having a poor mentality, try shifting your thoughts to a rich mentality.

Read the article:

( Source: )

#entrepreneur #mentality #startup

Mapping Your Mind for Organized Success

Image courtesy of Lifehacker

Image courtesy of Lifehacker

Do you like Mind-Mapping things?

Every time I think about mind maps I’m forced to recall my 111 year old History teacher… I think our assumption of his age was spawned mainly from the fact that he was REALLY old and he, rightfully, taught an ancient subject.

Apart from all the lessons I spent listening to Mr. McFarland’s heavily sedating Irish voice go on and on and on. One thing did stick, though: Mind Maps. Towards my third year of being educated by Mr. McFarland, he was suddenly possessed by some mind-map-spirit that transformed his whole classroom into a monastery for mind map monks. All we used to do was draw mind maps. Note that we never took notes- we drew mind maps. A lot of the time he’d stress the importance of these little (sometimes big) pages of scribble in our files, he often spoke about how these would help us a great deal after high school.

3-years later and I’m a law student with hardly any sign of text inside his notebook just lines and circles and colours and… stuff.

These things work so so well.

Courtesy of Tumblr

Courtesy of Tumblr

Here are some benefits of creating mind maps:

    • Mind Maps generate ideas.They’re great for brainstorming and even better, they work super well for gaining insight as you see how your ideas fit together giving you a glimpse of the “deep structures that underlie your thinking and make new and unexpected connections.
    • Mind maps will help you plan as you can visually prioritize and assign resources.
    • Mind maps are great way of bringing to surface the strengths and weaknesses of your plans and projects. By looking at the map, you can see which route to take and which to abandon
    • Last but not least (especially not for me) is the issue of keeping track. As any law student will tell you: we have to remember a lot of things! And a list will simply NOT cut it! Lists are long and too “wordy”.Mind maps offer a far more graphic experience, helping you visually associate words and phrases with different colors; blocks; shapes and lines.

Mind mapping gets you organized.

In comes MindMup. This app let’s me abandon my writing pad for a while. There’s a lot of mind mapping tools and software out there but this app comes out superior for one of many reasons… It’s on your browser. So, there is no more need to keep Alt + Tab-bing whenever you are reading an article and then trying to map it as you carry-on . Now you can do all that plus store your maps in your Google Drive and be able to export your mind maps as PDF or as an HTML document.

So, if you’re like me and usually only have Chrome open- this app is a DREAM for productivity.

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The above list is originally curated from the Mind Meister Wiki

the fear of becoming


Time, is a gift. It’s there to bring to our attention: the “limited” moments we get to experience in each life-time. Being that as it may, Time is also a load of bullocks. What does Time mean to you right now? There is the now, the coming and the before. Yes, the Past. One of nature’s biggest repressors.


Time is also a reference; a reference to an old you the you before this you. The lazy you. The confused you. The loser you. And perhaps, the foolish you. This reference is not really a bad thing; except that if you wish to implement some extremely radical but necessary change in your life- you need to step away from that person. So as to become the person you’ve always wanted to be. Someone who is improved/upgraded/remodeled/renewed… perhaps even: more awake

In the case where you have “failed” in the past, and note that failure is merely another process of success, a point in the other direction (in that: you now know what NOT to do). This failure becomes embedded inside your ‘Time Wallet’ and you are then reminded of this failure. And what does that do? It creates uncertainty and doubts within you. You are now suddenly unsure of your strengths, your abilities and Your Plan. You are now flooded with images of your epic failure and how you felt when things all crashed down on you. You begin to think: “I don’t want that happening to me again! I don’t want to go through that pain again!” But you manage to tell yourself that it will be different this time… Only problem is: you’re only Telling yourself this, when you should be Doing what you’re supposed to do to make it happen differently. You’re not doing it because you still have that little bit of fear developed from past failures.

That fear opens a gap for the one thing that you don’t want back- Old habits.
Now you find yourself back where you came from: planting ass-cheek-molds on the couch continually thinking about what you’re going to do next.

How do you conquer this slacking?

!Take Action!

Use what you’ve learnt through this journey of entrepreneurship to pivot yourself to the Next level. Fear, will always try to meddle in your issues. Get rid of it!

Here’s a couple of things that you could do to allow your seed to become R.IP.E

  • Reaffirmation. Review and re-affirm all that you truly desire. Go back to the root; the answer as to why you’re putting yourself through all this anyway. Once you realign yourself with your true goals, targets and aspirations- you will reckon with what it is that you want.
  • Intention. This is the most important key to overcoming this fear. You need to have a burning desire to get what you want. You need to clarify, again and again, what you’re willing to give to obtain this desire (hard work, sweat, tears, hours, long-nights, hunger etc). Then carry, within yourself, this burning desire all day every day!
  • Planning. You need to make sure that you are sure about the plan that you have set forth. If you get the strong  feeling that the plan makes sense and you feel as though you can make it work- stick with it. Constant iterations of the plan before taking the first step wastes a lot of time, especially when this starts becoming an unconscious stalling tactic. This “lost” Time will become what stirs up these doubts and then those become fears and you’re then back where you started. Make sure that the plan makes you Feel good because it is the prominence of this feeling that will determine whether or not you take that first step into the unknown.
  • Execution. Now that you have figured out what is you want, you’ve also made sure that this is all that you want (turning that want into a need); you’ve also come-up with a brilliant plan that YOU are satisfied is fool-proof.
    Now, all you need to do is do it! Just leap.

All you have to keep doing is feeding this burning desire by repeating the above steps over and over again. The rest is just inertia.

Law II: The alteration of motion is ever proportional to the motive force impress’d; and is made in the direction of the right line in which that force is impress’d.- Issac Newton, first law of motion

Overcome your past doubts and memories of “failure” to finally do away with the Fear of Becoming.

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Preaching to the Congregation

Preaching to the Congregation

Preaching to the Congregation


When you call yourselves The Minimalists, people love to give you shit. They find it necessary to point out every irony, every seeming incongruity, every gotcha moment—everything they think makes our way of living wrong, an effort unnecessarily justify their lifestyle.

For example…

When our article, “The New Minimalism: Less Is Definitely More,” made the cover of Elle Canada next to a picture of Victoria Beckham, people asked why we would agree to an interview with an organ who’s same issue featured an article titled “Shop Now!”

A women at a meetup last December asked us about a newspaper interview in which we discussed minimalism, even though next to our two-page spread was a Mercedes Benz advertisement.

And now, as we prepare for our June Alberta Mini-Tour, people want to know why our Edmonton event’ll be held at a bookstore that happens to be in one of the world’s largest shopping malls.

The answer to each little cavil is simple…

We believe in our message. So much so that we’ve dedicated our lives to sharing that message with the world. We know that other people believe, too. These people already understand the power of simple living. That’s great, but we don’t need to focus all our efforts to reach those folks. Doing so is tantamount to preaching to the choir. Read more on The Minimalists

Company Eco-Systems

Google Offices

Google Offices

Instilling a good core company culture within your startup will help align (perhaps, realign) your team’s vision for the future. Improving the company culture is like improving the ecosystem of a certain area of vegetation. Once that is done, then the plants; the insects and everything else living within that “community” can be afforded the chance to grow stronger, faster and healthier.

Like an ecosystem, your startup team is basically a community of “living organisms” that have all their efforts combined towards a specific goal: the fruition of the mission.

But a company culture isn’t merely about goal-setting; it’s more about setting the kind of environment from which such goals can be achieved. Google has a company culture focused on spawning the creativity and innovation of its employees through their environment. The office culture is as such that you wouldn’t want to leave the office.

The company’s offices are fully equipped with cafés, pool houses, game rooms, zen gardens and much more. All in the attempt to present to their employees, an environment where they feel comfortable enough to become creative and spark up inspired conversations amongst one another, thus improving the overall movement of the company.

There’s a reason why such a big company like Google, is still incorporating the startup-culture philosophy within their company policy-

It Works!

The usual “come to work at 9am, sit at your desk, have an hour’s lunch, go home at 5pm” routine doesn’t really give you the chance to become creative. The monotony in itself will kill your dreams.

Innovation, no: Continuous Innovation, requires a degree of ease and flow between one iteration and the next.

So your goal as the founder/co-founder is to make sure that you do all that is possible to fuel this transition. The most effective way for this transition to occur indefinitely is by having a constantly engaged staff. A staff that feels like the office is an inspirational palace that is suitable enough to afford them a chance to truly shine within their comfort-zones…

HubSpot Offices

HubSpot Offices

…Whatever those may be.

And when your startup’s ecosystem is aligned with its vision statement and mantra, then the possibilities become endless, in terms of the chances for constant ideation and development.

Check out this article on the companies with the best office culture

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The Combustive Mind Mixture


Taken from

There is definitely an advantage in collaborative thinking. The results of such thinking are substantially intelligible and fruitful. This might ring reminiscent to the truism that: two minds are better than one.

The one thing that separates collaborative thinking from the conventional “I’m going to lock myself in my room and figure it out all by myself” type of thinking is: perspective.

When you are merely listening to the sound of your own voice all the time then you won’t really be able to relate the idea to the next person. You’ll then be stuck with a situation where no one understands your idea/product. And thus, you’ve created a great product… that nobody actually wants. People, are the best books that we can turn to for more information, inspiration and for further development on the information that we may already possess. This collaborative thinking allows us to build a house upon the foundation of a single idea.

MindMixer, is a startup that allows for communities to interact with each other and collaboratively help municipal decision makers make the best decisions for their communities!

Check it out on TechCrunch.  


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