During the month of June, I did a digital declutter.

I strongly recommend you try one, too.

It’s healthy and proffers clarity. It reveals blind spots and places where digital connectivity has more control of your life than you might think.

I suggest doing a declutter. Not a detox. This isn’t about taking a break from technology, only to dive back in exactly like before so I can detox again next year. The decluttering process changes your relationship with technology, your digital habits.

To learn more, I highly recommend picking up a copy of Cal Newport’s book “Digital Minimalism”. …

I have a goal to write a novel.

I have a goal to make a movie.

I have a goal to make a million dollars.

I have a goal to lose 5 pounds. Or 10. Or 50.

I have a goal to see the world. Or at least to see the Grand Canyon.

Image for post

But goals are easy. Easy as pie.

You can write them down. Make them S.M.A.R.T. or S.M.A.R.T.E.R. or the S.M.A.R.T.E.R.E.S.T. (I made up the last one. I don’ think it’s a thing.).

People pine their lives away over goals. I will do it. Someday. When I have time. When the kids are grown. When the garage is clean and my work schedule isn’t quite so crazy. When the news cycle isn’t capturing most of my attention. When I retire. Sometime before I’m dead. …

Productivity porn is a real thing on the Internet. There are piles and piles of websites centered on making you more productive. Right now it’s impossible to flip through any social media without boosted posts for planners, journals, systems, and courses to make 2019 your best year yet — but only if you buy this product.

I ignore most of this.

But if Maria Popova started selling her secrets to productivity, I’d buy the crap out of whatever she offered. She is the most prolific reader and writer I’m aware of.

There are two blogs I read every day. …

Every morning, in close alignment with sunrise, tides, and moon phases, Seth’s blog appears in my newsfeed. It’s usually there long before my 5:30 AM rise time. I don’t know if that’s because of the magic of digital automation or because Seth Godin is up writing and publishing by 4:00 AM Eastern — but his blog is in my RSS feed with the daily consistency of the news cycle.

But better.

“Better” is the word I’d use to describe what I’ve learned over the years (and especially this year) from Seth. …

Inspiration is a strange and elusive creature. I’ve also said more than once that inspiration is over-rated. The Muse will reveal herself when she pleases. But it’s up to us to show up. If we don’t, she probably won’t either.

I only write when inspiration strikes. Fortunately, it strikes at nine every morning.

William Faulkner

But inspiration sometimes comes from unexpected places. It has this year for me.

For this last week of 2018, I want to highlight a few of the people who’ve been most helpful, most inspiring in my creative journey throughout this year, with the hope that some of these folks will inspire you, as well. …

As someone who hasn’t taken a math class in over 30 years, I’ve only recently realized I was taught how to do math all wrong.

I was taught how to find a solution to the problem. Tips and trick for math class. Math for dummies.

It would have been far better to have been taught a system. How does the system work? And where does this problem fit into the system? This would have not only been better for the way my brain works, but it would also have been a better way to teach math.

My math teachers focused on teaching mathematical procedures. …

The evolution of language is a natural thing.

I discovered this while learning to speak a language other than English. Our modern era of turbulence exasperates the reality.

““No,” the child tweeted back to his mother, feigning defiance.”

Think about a simple word like “tweet”. Not long ago, this word would only be used in the context of a bird. The only time a human might “tweet” would be artistic description.

Now humans “tweet” all the time, having nothing to do with sounds we make. Tweet is changing.

Words shape-shift.

Meaning changes, culture changes. Some words become less useful. Some words disappear altogether. It’s normal.

Yet, I often wonder what people like CS Lewis would say about the use of language, particularly as connected to social media. …

Several years ago I discovered I was thirsty.

So I did what any thirsty person might do. I drank water. Not just once. But every day.

It’s true. Recent studies show that up to 75% of Americans are chronically dehydrated. We drink. But we don’t drink the right things. We all more than likely need more water.

I read one of these studies a few years ago and decided to do something about it. In order to move from being one of the 75% to one of the 25% — drinking a glass of water when I thought about it wasn’t going to solve the problem. I needed to change my habits. Thus began the “liter of water every morning habit.” Every day the first thing I ingest is not corn flakes or coffee or bacon. …

Last week the world’s youngest nation turned six.

Independence day in South Sudan passed without much of a celebration anywhere, including inside of South Sudan. Festivities were canceled by the South Sudanese government. Could have been in order to keep peace. More likely was because the government is broke.

And broken. Like most of the juvenile nation.

NPR (along with several other news outlets) did a few stories about South Sudan last week, in what at least proved to be a hat-tip to the nation’s birthday. …

On the day after the 2016 US presidential election, I had an early morning flight from Orlando to Nashville, and during those post-election pre-dawn hours at ORD the atmosphere was palpably somber.

I know I probably wasn’t the only straight, white, evangelical male in the airport. But, I felt like I was.

Most of the people who crossed my path that morning were Hispanic or African American. I could see and feel their concern, worry, disgust — and fear. And I felt like I was the problem

I mean I personally did not vote for winner. But the incoming administration — the source of their concern — had just been elected. …


Bernie Anderson

Greenville, SC based writer/photographer. More over at bernieanderson.com.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store