So, I recently started writing and sharing my thoughts on different topics on the Internet- called blogging. I enjoy doing this lately because of several reasons that I want to share in this post. I hope that sharing my incentives can make you see the power of writing, and maybe get you thinking about writing more as well (in whatever form and on whatever platform). I sincerely believe that, although I have just started doing it, it has a positive influence on different aspects of my life. Let's get into them.
I have a hard time expressing myself and what I think. However, writing down my thoughts on a topic brings these exact thoughts in order. Writing gives the mind a disciplined means of expression. I realized that before I can put something into words, I need to thoroughly understand the concept first. So when I decide to write about something, it forces me to face this topic intensively, whether this is some theoretical concept, or about my thoughts, opinions, and my self. It helps me reflect on my thoughts and behaviors, and by that, it increases my self-understanding. By writing, I can turn my vague ideas into opinions, difficult concepts into graspable ones, and unconscious behaviors into conscious ones. For my first blog post, for example, I had to put this vague "vision" I had into context, see it from different perspectives and oppose it to scientific knowledge to ultimately make an understandable argumentation. This process made me reflect on why I thought this way and in the end, my thoughts became much stronger and clearer to myself. In the same way, it made me reflect on my habits and their impact on my life for the second post. To put it simply:
Writing brings (more) order to the chaos of information in my mind.
Yes, this sounds corny, but I feel (or at least hope) that these posts can provide value for you, readers. So far, I have received overwhelmingly positive feedback, that I am very humbled by and thankful for (please send all your honest opinions for me to improve). Writing aligns with my purpose of helping people spend their time more meaningfully, which is the main goal of these blog posts. It would be cool to see us come together as a community of like-minded people curious about life design (I just made this term up): A life lived intentionally, by design, not default. However, I do not consider myself the best person, nor the most educated advisor on any of the discussed topics; and I think nobody really is. What I try to do here is to show you how you can experiment with different tools, methods, mindsets, etc. based on my own experience, the books and papers I read, and the scientific knowledge I have. Over time, I expect to learn more and more and share my experiences and knowledge with you. The real value then lies in combining and synthesizing these different sources into easily digestible blog posts. As soon as it can help or provide inspiration to you, the writing is worth it.
There is something beautiful about seeing a blog post come together, both in content and size. In the end, I feel like I have truly achieved something. Writing is a very creative process that is both challenging and enjoyable, which makes the perfect ingredients for, what Csikzentmihalyi calls a flow activity: an activity that you do for the sheer sake of doing it. Also, the books I have read over the last few years made me realize both how powerful and how beautiful language can be. I would like to be able to write as eloquently and concisely as some of the authors whose books I read, and writing regularly is the path to get there.
Last but not least, a dream of mine would be to write a book at some point in my life.
Writing frequently will, over time, create a collection of thoughts and events that I can go back to in the future. It thereby allows me to recall and relive these periods of my life in the future, go back to see what I thought and what I was doing in these distinct periods. I can go back and analyze how my thoughts and behaviors have changed over time and how the experience I gained has influenced me. In terms of reflecting, it can be a very powerful tool to see what has been working for me over time and whatnot. The perks of journaling are well-known, and this is my digital, public version of it.
Serendipity is the idea of finding unexpected luck, the chance of which is expanded naturally the more people get to know your ideas. By sharing what I do and think through blog posts that I publish on the Internet, I can exponentially increase the number of interesting things and opportunities that may happen to me (serendipity) in the exact areas I am interested in. The more people I can reach with my ideas, the more I increase the chance of someone getting in contact with me to work on something exciting. David Perell says that "writing is the best kind of networking". Publishing content online will let you build what he calls a serendipity vehicle. The idea behind that is the following: Imagine you live in a small village and the only people you interact with are the people from this same village. From time to time, a train comes by with visitors from other villages and sometimes, one of them talks to you. Apart from these rare visitors, you only talk, make friends and share your ideas with the people from your village. Thereby, you are very much limiting the serendipity that can happen to you (because not a lot of people could ever know your ideas). Now imagine that from time to time, you take a train to neighboring villages yourself and start talking to people that are interested in similar topics. These people then take trips themselves, and over time, your ideas are spread exponentially, which enlarges your surface area for serendipity. Remember: The higher the number of people who know about your ideas, the likelier it is for one individual to present you with a compelling j. The Internet (if you know how to use it) can be this exact serendipity vehicle for you. If I publish a blog post like this one, computer programs that I pay no charge for, can transport my ideas to the entire world. No matter if I am sleeping, being at university, playing tennis, or whatever it be, small robots are continuously and automatically carrying my ideas to other people, just like a man taking thousands of trains, visiting every village worldwide. This idea is simple: I use the Internet's powers to increase my serendipity.
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi. Flow. 2002.
Jim Kwik. Limitless. 2020.
Cal Newport. Deep Work. 2016.
David Perell. How to Maximize Serendipity. 2020.