The Art of Learning

Art of Learning
Get a solid foundation fueled by understanding the principles of your discipline, then you expand and refine your repertoire guided by individual predispositions. However, abstractly, keep in touch with what you feel to be the essential core of the art. What results in the network of deeply internalized, interconnected knowledge.

It is all too easy to get caught up in the routines of our lives and lose creativity in the learning process. This is the unfortunate correlation for some between consistency and monotony. We lose presence. Then an injury or some other kind of setback throws a wrench into the gears. We are forced to get imaginative. We should always come off an injury or a loss better than when you went down.
Deep mastery of performance psychology involves the internal creation of inspiring conditions.

A basketball player should play lefty for a few months, to even out his game. Once we learn how to use adversity to our advantage, we can notice external events that trigger the helpful growth of performance opportunities, and then internalize the effects of those events without their happening. In this way, adversity becomes a tremendous source of creative inspiration.

Intuition is a hand of God. Intuition is the most valuable compass in this world. It is a bridge between the unconscious and the conscious mind, and it is hugely important to keep in touch with what makes it tick.
If we blithely consider the unconscious to be a piece of machinery that operates mystically in a realm that we have no connection to, then we lose the precious opportunity to have open communication with a wellspring of our creativity.

If you relax your eyes and allow peripheral vision to take over, your visual awareness will take in much more; you can see things that are well off to the side. Now, the next step is to refocus, while maintaining a peripheral awareness. This is the skill that some martial artists cultivate for situations with multiple opponents or other unpredictable occasions.

Looking at very little and seeing a quite a lot is critical.
You can zoom in on something with high precision while maintaining a very deep awareness of surroundings. Along these lines, chess players must let the unconscious flow while the conscious leads and follows, sorting out details, putting things in order, making precise mathematical calculations.

If the opponent’s movement is quick,
then quickly respond;
if his movement is slow,
then follow slowly

In our discipline of choice, we cultivate this experience by converting all the other surrounding information into unconsciously integrated data instead of ignoring it.

In time, I have come to understand those words. “At the opponent’s slightest move, I move first” as pertaining to intention-reading and ultimately controlling intention. The deepest form of adherence or shadowing involves a switching of roles, where the follower becomes followed in the relationship in which time seems to twist in a tangle of minds – this is how the great Tai Chi or Aikido artist guides the opponent into a black hole.

I turned this training to my advantage making my opponents explode from mental contribution because of my higher threshold for discomfort. In every discipline, the ability to be clearheaded, present, calm under fire is much of what separates the best from the mediocre. In competition, the dynamics often painfully transparent. If one player is serenely present and other is being ripped apart by internal issues, the outcome is already clear. The prey is no longer objective, makes commanding mistakes, and the predator moves in for the kill. While more subtle, this issue is perhaps even more critical in solitary pursuits like such as writing, painting or learning. In the absence of continual external reinforcement, we must be our monitor and quality of presence is often the best gauge. We cannot expect too much of excellence if going “through the motions” is the norm of our lives. On the other hand, in deep fluid presence becomes second nature, then live, art and learning take on a richness that will continually surprise and delight. Those who excel are those who maximize each moment’s creative potential for these masters of living, presence to the day to day learning.-climatic moments when everything is on the line.. The more present we are at practice, the more present we will be in competition, at the exam, operating table, the big stage…We have to be prepared for the lifestyle of reinforcement. Presence must be like breathing.

Thoughts from a book “The Art of Learning: An Inner Journey to Optimal Performance”by Josh Waitzkin

The Environment that Make Up your Life

environment - poster

In reality, you have to be uncomfortable enough to be willing to move to a new environment. Typically, we do not pay attention to our health until you had health issues. But, how do we prefer to deal with it: out of inspiration, or out of desperation?
One way to do it is to “marinate” yourself with “good” stuff, so we become “good.”
If you change one environment, that will have a ripple effect on other environments. If you exercise, your body environment improve. What happened with your self-image? It will improve as your networking.
Our purpose on this planet is to evolve spiritually. When you die, your body environment decay. There will be no energy illuminating the cells. Your soul comes to this physical plane and leaves this physical plane. What is the purpose for you to be here, on this planet, for …that many years? Upgrade your environment to upgrade your life.

Thoughts from Unmistakable Creative Podcast“The Environment that Make Up your Life” with Jim Bunch

Active Viewing

Looking at the photograph
How long should we look at the photograph?
When we are in a gallery, in average we spent no more than 2 sec. to see each picture. So, how do people look at the photograph? They do not look at the photograph based on the merrier itself. They tend to scan the photograph at the glance moment. In this fraction of the second, we apply unfair analyses. Do we like it or not? In other words, does this photograph portray the world we would like to perceive? Does the artist agrees with our point of view? How much this piece of artwork matches our preconceived ideas? More interesting question is “what do we think about it?”. If we extend the time we look at the photo, the relationship with the photo changes. What if we adopt the term for active viewing. This involves an act of predetermined questions:
1-What is it about it? (idea behind it)
2-What we are suppose to feel it? (Does it imply emotional influence. Is it’s about me? Why do we have these reactions? Is it our prestige, upbringing, knowledge? How do we relate to the artwork?
3-What is this photograph like? Did I see it before? Is it different? How different? Did we put this picture in some kind of content in history?
4-Is it a lucky accident or consistent plasticity? Does the photographer know what techniques to use it?
5-Why should I care? What difference does it make if I have seen this photograph? How does it change my life? All the effort and energy to make this artwork for what?!? If I cannot relate to that, it is hard to have a relationship with a photograph. You cannot answer all these questions if you look at the photograph at glance.
At last, is it an art or entertainment?
Art is meant to be seen over time. Entertainment, on the other hand, is designed for a temporary audience. It is reproducible, inexpensive, available for many. It could be enjoyed and let go. The way we see photography today is more like entertainment. We have HTML galleries, flicker, photo books. We look at it, enjoy it and let it go. How are most people interfering with photography today? In my opinion, fine art photography has to recreate personal estate. The time we spent to view personal imagery is much greater and more profound. If the personal content disappears, is the beauty resonate with the same vitality?

Thoughts from LensWork Podcast “Active Viewing” and “Art or Entertainment”
(Reference: how to engage in active reading. Book: “How to Read a Book” by Mortimer J. Adler and Charles Van Doren)

Work More Compelling

Compelling Work photo

When we separate ourselfs from what we do and who we are, then we can more objectively price our work and ask for a sale. We have assumption what other people would pay for something. We think our idea is valuable while valuable is what people do with our idea. What problem this idea would solve? Only then, it is easier to put a price on it and sell it.
How do we know our idea is valuable?
Here are some helpful questions:

What makes you most interesting?

intuition, unpredictability, spotting, experimenting, detecting, spirituality, care, openness, rebelness, loyalty, exploring….

What makes you most compelling? Things that makes us really angry show a lot of light on what we find the most compelling.

somebody hurt, injustice, deceive, violence, waste, judging, no respect, imposing… 

On the other spectrum is what you really love. What kind of transformation you want to create for yourself and other people and why.

beauty, peace, truth, creative risk, confidence, generosity, caring, protecting values, flow, passion, unpredictability, simplicity, uniqueness, straightforwardness…

What is the problem you need to solve in your lifetime? What is your community problem?

Creating visual aura of calmness with healing reflection of life stillness and connection to organic comfort.

“You measure a man by an amount of problem he is tackling. If you are tackling a problem of poverty now, you are not going to think that your shirt got messed up in dry cleaning.”

Thoughts from Unmistakable Creative Podcast “Make your Work More Compelling” with Tara Gentile and “The Keys to Exponential Personal and Professional Growth” with Salim Ismail

Joyful estate

conductor photo

Our behavior by default is run by the subconscious program. The program comes from our environment: parents, family school. It does not have own wishes. It holds wishes those who programmed us (The average person thinks 95% of the day.) Conscious mind controls your life and operates less than 5% the time. By definition, our wishes, desires, aspirations are not running thru our nervous system. What is running thru our nerves system is a program. 95% of our day is run by the subconscious program. These programs are sabotaging and limiting us when we have a problem. The program is playing and we do not pay attention. These programs are taking us away from our destination.  When there is no conductor, there is no harmony. 

People are less happy when they wonder with their minds. Most of the time when our mind wonders, we think about unpleasant things. (worries, anxieties, regrets.) 47% of the time people think about something else than what they are doing. Mind wondering seems to be consequences of unhappiness. We are universally happier when we are fully engaged in the activity. So, How can you be at the moment? Notice where your attention is and brings it back when it wonders. Slow down and observe it.
We are a culture of speed – it’s sexy. “Slow” is perceived as inferior, lazy and stupid.

Since the human brain is not able to sustain one feeling for a long time, it is important how we frame events. It is a work. But, if we are grateful we are not fearful. If we are not fearful, we are not violent. We are more in a joyful estate.

Thoughts from Gary Null (11.03.15) Progressive Commentary Hour – interview with Dr. Bruce Lipton and “Simply Happy” – TED Radio Hour

School of Greatness

Photo-School of Greatness

When you go to a bookstore to what section you want to go and read everything?

I go to art sections to pick up books and magazines with imagery. I gather a stock of articles searching for a life force.

When are you the happiest?

When I convert others personal pathway of importance to the form that resonates with a larger audience.

Imagine perfect day from morning to night.

Wake up by silence filled with hushed early morning sounds. Resonate to the world outside by meditation, prayer and momentum journal. Begin with some stoic act – cold shower, exercise. Create new imagey. (Remember, when you create something every day, you do not have time to criticize other people.) Listen/read some word of wisdom. (Re-imagine the story you like the most – it makes you think what the author was thinking when he/she made that decision.) Explore the opportunity to help others to shine. Taste something new and appreciate it. Explore and practice unpredictability. Be around loved ones. Go to sleep with a heart filled with beauty.
What things makes you the happiest?

Music structured around unpredictability and surprise. Art forms meld into a mist of an ethereal dream … light, color and abstract shape. Emotion filled with curiosity, innocence, and wisdom and laughter. Wisdom that appear like shiny light ray in a murky pond. A sense of belonging. Finding new undiscovered territory within-promise of adventure. A fruitful barter paired to comfort.
Not necessary in that order.

Thoughts from James Altucher interview: “Lewis Howe’s School of Greatness” with Lewis Howes.

Willingness to make something that matters

ships photo-willingness to make something that matter

Willingness to make something that matters. It is the most intriguing proposition. Self-knowledge is the necessary preparation. We want to come up from an authentic place. (When people are fake, it is not comfortable to be around them. The energy spread out and our body and nervous system detect that and crunch.)

Most of the time, there is no shortcut to get there. When we sail from one place to the other, you do not go by the straight line (the shortest distance). We go the way the way the wind blows. From San Diego to Seattle the easiest way is to go is to sail toward Hawaii.

So, where is the wind? We want to pay attention to our emotions. They give us a clue to explore our needs. When we connect to our emotions, we gain insides about our needs. We learn that our needs are not met. Our needs are contributions, purpose, fulfillment, acceptance, confidence. When we are able to connect with the feeling of others, we are able to learn about their needs (values). When our need for fulfillment is not met, it might be because we highly value fulfillment. If we value security and we are terrified, it might be that our need for security is not met. When we are judging, there is a sigh of emotion in play. It’s time to pause and recognize what these feelings are. What are they trying to tell you about our unmet needs? Then, we need to provide correct strategy. We all rank our needs differently. I value freedom. Freedom sacrifices security. A strategy is to understand a different level of prioritizing our needs. Conflicts arrive at the level of strategies, not needs.

What if the wind changes direction? When we are rejected in life, it’s not because we are not creating value. It’s because the story that we tell the person who rejected you doesn’t match. An antidote for fear is practice to share something about the world that you noticed. In my mind imagery, (music, movies, books) give us the invitation to be a part of the unfinished idea. Pictures become completed when they resonated on a personal level with the viewer. The price we pay is our willingness to be wrong and be criticized. But, somewhere there lay what matter. So, commit to own uniqueness. Everything we do in life is a practice.
You can only keep what you give away. Time is something you cannot get back.

Whenever we put our attention, we shape the reality of your experience. The movie we are watching the 2nd time it is not the same movie. The second time we watch it from different perspective, point of view and experience. It is a different movie.

Thoughts from two interviews of Unmistakable Creative: “Designing More Self-Aware Life” with Whitney Hess and
“What to do when is your turn” with Seth Godin

Act of paying attention

Murky Window Picture - act of paying attention

Often in resignation and resentment lie our goal. It’s not for me It’s too late – connect right to it.
The act of paying attention is like a flicker of goldfish in a murky pond. Trust that, follow it and learn from it.

We are the only spices that have the capacity to pose between stimulus and response. Pause, learn and apply the knowledge from previous experiences. Next time, respond rather than react.

If you invite me to your house to show off your successful project, I do not care. If you invite me to talk to me about your life, we both experience something. I will be up to it at any time.

If we all hang up on hope, we will create unnecessary suffering. We need to increase the probability and leave out the possibility. We increase our chances in an environment where we can be vulnerable. We should look for safe places where we can explore our flows. We need to feel safe around people we trust. We do not need an environment with people we cannot tell the truth.

Be who you are at the core by peeling away what is not really you.

Thoughts from two interviews of Unmistakable Creative: “Finding the Thread of our deepest desire” with Jen Louden and
“How to live well and die well” with Greg Hartle

WuweiTaiji – ‘doing by not doing’

Night Landscape Photo

The most practical approach to experience reality is appreciation (deep understanding – not gratitude). The more we appreciate it, the more we let go conscious mind from a tendency to control. If we allow our micro players to use its own intelligence, we see reality clearer. Appreciation is a deep understanding.
Awareness feeds our internal senses. If we want to get better at anything, we need to have more awareness. Feeling of comfort is our positive feedback performance. [Comfort – give support] We must not do what is unnecessary. Without listening to our interior players we introduce anxiety. Our intentions tend to be unrealistic. In result, external manifestation and effort create stress. So, conscious mind role is to listen, appreciate and encourage all internal parts to do its job. Unconscious space captures much more information about reality. We just need to learn to stay quite and listen.

Thoughts from Wuwei Tai Chi, Princeton, New Jerseyfrom Master Wonchull Park teaching

How we find things that give us a meaning?


How we find things that give us a meaning? Do the things you do during the course of your day align with your values?

Experiment with a school sidewalk: An architect looked at the path that students made during the year and then build the sidewalk.
Look at your data. When you were the most motivated, a passion is driven.

Waking up five in the morning makes me feel good but in practice I hate it. It’s like a bad breakup. You fall in love with the idea of this person but in reality, you hate to be with that person. The idea to change our life is so lovable. But, what do we actually have to do to achieve that change? How do we transition from an idea to a habit?
Successful people are those who can connect most dots. (Uber – they knew about the taxi industry and app development so they connected that). It seems like creativity could be the way to connect the idea with a habit.

Production fall into 3 components:

  1. – managing your time
  2. – managing your energy
  3. – managing your attention

Although it is not about how much we produced; it’s how much we accomplished.
Here is the “golden triangle” – exercise, eating, getting enough sleep
Also, working on one thing at the time add good spin to it.

Thoughts from Unmistakable Creative Podcast“Living an Insanely Productive Life” with Wesley Chapman