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Opting In

A man is worked upon by what he works on.” – Frederick Douglass

I’m not a photographer by profession, but I fill Instagram with pictures.

I’m not an author by profession, but this will be my 416th blog post.

I’m not a horticulturist. but I’ve spent hundreds of hours painting vibrant portraits with amended soil and pruning shears.

And so on…

We aren’t what we want to be, we’re what we do. Theodore Roosevelt’s Man in the Arena comes to mind. There are too many cavalier critics in the world. Too many armchair quarterbacks. Get out there and do something already! Opt in and act. Memento mori; remember we all must die, so do something meaningful while you’re here!

“People get the mind and quality of brain that they deserve through their actions in life… people who are passive create a mental landscape that is rather barren. Because of their limited experiences and action, all kinds of connections in the brain die off from lack of use. Pushing against the passive trend of these times, you must work to see how far you can extend control of your circumstances and create the kind of mind you desire.” – Robert Greene, Mastery

The more you do, the more you become. And the more interesting you become. Being interesting is a byproduct of being interested. Being interesting to others of course isn’t the objective, but being interesting with others should be. Engagement offers enlightenment. The curious mind is alive, vibrant and accretive, the disinterested mind is on life support, dull and diminishing.

Hobbies like gardening and photography aren’t going to get me invited to do a TED talk mind you, but they do make the world a little better, move some electrons around in the brain, and hopefully give me something more to contribute than someone less interested in opting in. If you’re still talking about your conquests in college when you’re over 50 or freeze up when the conversation goes beyond last week’s game you aren’t really growing, are you? Writing for me is no longer a hobby, but not [yet] a profession. Blogging, fueled by travel, reading and curiosity, is my apprenticeship; Teaching consistency, discipline and the art of putting words together from the mind to the screen. I’ll never use this blog to make money, but hope to enrich myself in other ways in the process of daily, consistent writing. I owe that to myself.

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