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(Disclaimer: This blog post has some foul language.)
“I am, whatever you say I am. If I wasn’t, then why would I say I am?” Eminem seems to have a polar response – either you love or you hate him. When I was a kid, his raps were like cookies in a jar – outlawed and just out of reach. Transparent real and raw, that’s Eminem for you all. Screaming, yelling, shouting – authentic about his feelings. Completely disregarding “social conventions” to get his message across. “You don’t have the guts to say what’s on your mind like the way that I do.” We feel the wrath, anger, and sadness, and we don’t feel comfortable.
Eminem turns the argument of detaching from thoughts and emotions on its head. His raps show us that anger may not make us weak and vulnerable. The upside of anger is that it brings us to action. Being transparent about what we think and letting other people know how we feel gets a lot done. In our anger, we say what we have been meaning to say. Any good art is challenging and makes people mad. Eminem’s raps do just that. They bring personal and societal problems that we would normally ignore.
Every time I write a rhyme people think it’s a crime to tell em what on’s my mind
Eminem reminds us that it is important to express our true selves and be authentic. Some people are unhappy with us. But what road to success is lined with roses? Sometimes there are sharp thorns along the path. Hell, sometimes there are sharp thorns IN the path that we have to step on to make it through.
Terrified of normal!
A rock, sinking down to the bottom of the pond. This pit in your stomach makes you want to quit. You do crazy things, pushing boundaries every day. The sheep eat rotten grass. Eat the green grass on the untrodden path. People are unsure about this road less traveled filled with personal expression because they don’t know if it will work. They don’t know if they would be able to travel down that path and not give up. People who support me don’t say, “Will this be too hard? What if you can’t do it? I don’t believe in this!” Protection from failure never got people ANYWHERE! It is impossible to live a fulfilling life without failing a lot of the time. Some people won’t believe in you, but that shouldn’t stop you from going to the top. Eminem did. People sneered at a white rapper whose music veered sharply from the norm, which was only talking about girls, cars, and money.
The rich and/or famous tell you to do it your own way! Don’t let society dictate how you do things. How do you think the rich and famous they got to be that rich? By being “normal” like everybody else? NO! In his song Remember Me, Eminem talks about these naysayers in his rap. “I’ve been told no but it was more like NO NO NO!!”
The only person I trust is me!
Eminem has a strong belief in himself, and doesn’t trust others. In Bitch Please II he makes this clear with the rap “You don’t really wanna fuck with me. The only nigger that I trust is me.” Eminem challenges that you don’t have the guts to say what’s on your mind like he does. He disregards social and rapping conventions. Think about it! Young, white rapper, who has raps that are stories, with added sound effects, foul lyrics, and explorations of society and media. Does that sound normal to you?
“Slim shady does not give a fuck what you think. If you don’t like it, you can suck his fucking cock” – Eminem
Think about the things you do in your normal day to day routine.
Why do you do it that way? Ask if there is another way to do it?
What would happen if you changed them up and closed your eyes!
Eat Taste the flavors! Taste the rainbow!
Exercise Do you really want to exercise your balance? Try doing a squat with your eyes closed and really feel the movement.
Play a racing video game It’s even better in the company of others, because then they can laugh at your futile attempts at success.
Meditation I gueeess you could have your eyes open. Doesn’t closing your eyes and breathing deeply give a great sensation (affiliate link)?
I just read the ebook Life Nomadic. Let me just say, I was totally blown away.
It’s one of those books you read that makes you think “Why didn’t someone explain this to me before?” Tynan makes sure to describe what he does in detail. This book was FULL of quotable quotes and principles for travelling and living life.
My favorite part was about minimalism. I would consider myself very minimalist, and lots of my friends are weirded out by how few things I have. But it appears that my minimalism or even the 100 thing challenge don’t even begin to measure up. Life Nomadic shattered my standards of minimalism. Three shirts? Cool! Sign me up. Selling all your stuff so you can be wherever you want when you want? I’ll do it.
The only parts I would change is some of the parts in the chapters about flying on airplanes. This is a very small problem, but some of the descriptions could have been better.
Here’s an example:
Tokyo -> SF -> Bangkok. Get roundtrip from Tokyo to SF “Set the return date for when you want to go to Bangkok, then take a cheap flight from Tokyo to Bangkok.”
I could be wrong, but what I got from this was Tokyo to SF roundtrip. Go back to Tokyo on return flight, then go to Bangkok.
Overall though, this book provides a ridiculous amount of value. It is full of inspiration, information, and quotes and principles that will help you in life.
Thank you Tynan for creating such a great book!
Here is a short review of 4 Hour Workweek.
I read it and thought to myself “Why didn’t I read this earlier?”
To be honest, I thought the 4HWW was a scam. And it may still be. I haven’t tried it out yet.
But, this book has some GREAT principles! I mean great. The main thing Tim Ferris talks about is making the best use of time. He recommends looking at everything you do and using the 80/20 rule. Which 20% of time will be the most effective?
I have already figured out many ways to implement this. By cutting out my twitter, google reader, and gmail use to 4-5pm each day, I have saved hours upon hours. This has helped me get a lot of time to read and do other things.
Then I realized I could do the 80/20 rule to take cold showers (the cold shower being fast and effective), and do the two most important tasks in the morning.
Basically, here are the main principles:
Hope you liked my short but sweet review of 4HWW. You won’t know if you like it until you read it. If nothing else, think about how you can apply the 80/20 rule into your life.
Raskolnikov. The Russian in Dostoevsky’s Crime and Punishment. He kills the annoying hated pawnbroker of the town. He was able to kill her because he was above the law, like Batman the vigilante. This gave him a strange boldness. He became obsessed with the crime he committed and finally told the world what he did.
Raskolnikov’s reality was that of pain, fear, and obsession. Artists make their own perceptions of reality. They perceive the world through their craft. Their world is viewed through a vision of beauty. In some cases, you will have the “troubled” artist. They may be bipolar and have their work be inspired by their pain.
Obsession is what artists feel. When they can’t go to sleep because they’re busy thinking or even making art! Their mind is pulsing with ideas as they refine their craft and practice what they love. Artists see beauty in many things. For example, a macro photographer finds beauty in small things. All artists don’t let other people decide what is beautiful to them. No one else can tell you what is beautiful!
This reality of freedom for artists is not the case in the novel 1984. The government surveyed and controlled their population. They had the thought police to stomp out revolution and creativity. In Equilibrium, art and music do not have value. Beauty does not have value. The government destroys things that give us feeling and provoke emotions. The premise of the movie is that extreme emotions are the root of ALL evil and cause wars.
In Equilibrium and 1984, each main character breaks out of the imposed reality. They don’t only try to make the world beautiful for themselves. Their own ART of rebellion is made to make the world beautiful for all. In our culture, we don’t let others decide what has value. We decide as individuals, because our reality is ours to keep. We can see life from the eyes of a bug to a bird. Those in charge can’t change what you find to be beautiful.
PS – Those books I listed are my favorite books! I love the scary governmental control of 1984, and the thrilling suspense of Crime and Punishment
I can’t believe all the things I’ve done this past new year.
I’ve made new friends on twitter who have helped me out quite a bit (Thank you Andrew Rodgers, Shelli Langdale, and Ashley Ambirge!)
Making my serene simplicity website has shown that if I work hard and overcome obstacles by coming at it from a different direction, often the answers are the simple ones and I can figure them out
Everything I do is a choice. At any point I could delete my todo list and start from scratch
I got a flickr and started engaging in the social network
I made an idealog (and I daresay came up with some pretty decent ideas!)
My blog has been getting some views. One day it got 20 views!
I have a twitter with followers
I remade myself into someone who is really fun to be around and fairly social in the group of friends. I don’t care if I am a dork.
I’ve stopped being shoved around and started thinking for myself more.
This year, in 2010 I want to:
SELL A PHOTOGRAPH
This year it has been great meeting new people on twitter and feeling generally closer to the friends I have at home.
What epiphanies have you had in 2009? Please let me know here or on twitter 🙂
Thank you for reading!