Less of This, More of That – The Goldilocks Approach to 2014

I feel that so much of life is cyclical in nature. From the seasons changing to trends in fashion and pop culture, everything has its time and place, naturally fading and returning.

With that said, I’ve put my mind to work thinking about what I would like to see more of in my immediate future and what I can definitely do with less of (or none of)—for awhile.

Can Do Without

Brands being personified through hilariously “interesting” people. Dos Equis did it well and then over did it. Jameson shamelessly followed suit (poorly) and as did many marketing minions after that. It was good while it lasted, but the bottle of unbridled character is empty—recycle it and bring it back as a full bottle of ANYTHING ELSE.

Can’t Live Without

The tiny house movement. I know I’m not on the forefront of this tiny sensation but it certainly has sucked me in. The thing that generally interests me about these little wonders is all the different reasons one might be interested in them: going green, nomadic living, dramatic lifestyle change, living off the grid, reclaimed/refurbished/pickin’+thriftin’, DIY, problem solving and more!

What probably started as a little project to create one interesting home has spread to create companies, websites, blogs, societies, villages and more. Very neat!

Can Do Without

Open letters. It may seem hypocritical for someone blogging to be annoyed by superfluous online content (if there is such a thing), but I am. Like anything done well and not over-done, an open letter can be effective, interesting and the most appropriate way to get your point across. 2013 was not the year for done well and not over-done and that’s why I can do without them in 2014.

Can’t (legally) Live Without

Health insurance

Can (definitely) Do Without

Kanye West interviews.

Can’t Live Without

The new. I’m not a whiz of any kind or an expert in any field. That doesn’t mean it doesn’t brighten up my day stumbling upon all the crazy inventions, applications, designs, ideas and (especially interesting to me) the stories behind their development in the first place!

It’s easy to get bogged down by the public perception we’re all drones upgrading from human connection to #touchscreenforlife. But for me, that [does.not.com.pute], so I choose to focus on all the beautiful ways we’re using technology to create solutions and connections in today’s world.   

Can Do Without

The cold. It took a -50 degree day for me to conclude my 27 year attempt to find enough positive in the Chicago cold to tip the scales in favor of being uncomfortable 5 out of 12 months of the year. It turns out hot cocoa and pretty snow-covered birch branches doesn’t outweigh cabin fever, frostbite, awful driving conditions, flight cancellations, school days (as a parent), ice cold bathroom floors, checking coats anywhere I go, shoveling and talking about the weather.

Can’t Live Without

The old. For me, spending an afternoon connecting with the past is the most effective way to get me motivated to think of the future. Spending a day in antique shops or at a museum makes me think in a whole new way and ask myself: Why was this created? What were they using before this? Did this stand the test of time and/or how long before this was improved upon and/or replaced?

Drawing wisdom from those before us is my favorite way of centering myself to face the future with optimism and excitement. So what can you take from this?

1.  Understand everything has its time and place.

When you find yourself getting stressed out about any aspect of your business, bring yourself back to a mental state that allows you to think freely and openly. This tip won’t provide you with an exact answer to your exact problem but any trick you can draw on to get you back to your optimal problem-solving level is good to have.

2.  Find your recharge button!

When thinking about what’s ahead bums me out in the present, I connect to the past to get recharged. Find your recharge button. It may be a 5 Hour Energy or a midday boxing session, but whatever works, find it and do it.

3.  Be mindful of time

New years’ resolutions are a bit silly to me unless you actually take them serious for the full 12 months. This blog isn’t a new year’s resolution post per se, but it stresses the importance of valuing your time and making the most of it in 2014 (and beyond). Godspeed everyone.

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