Slow Carb Diet: Day 3

Not much went on today, other than working from 12-9pm sort of screwed up my eating schedule because I didn’t get to eat until 4pm and 10:30pm. Not sure if that would affect it but what can you do? I work again from 6am(ugh) to 2pm so I’ll be making today’s breakfast for tomorrow.

Breakfast:

  • Turkey Bacon and Scrambled Eggs

Lunch:

Dinner:

I forgot to mention that yesterday we decided to marinate some chicken breasts in olive oil, soy sauce, garlic, salt and pepper. Probably should have mentioned that, because that’s what we ate tonight, photographed nicely here:

Honestly I couldn’t handle this diet if the food didn’t taste so good. Mimi’s a huge reason why I’m sticking to it, since it’s nice to have a partner who is also doing it, and cooking good food is a hugeeeeeee plus. Regardless, we both have running lists/plans for our cheat day(!) on Saturday.

I realize that this diet has been sort of unstructured, and these blog posts are quite short, so I promise things will be a little more polished and refined next week. It’s just the nature of starting something new, we’re getting accustom to it and finding a nice baseline. Major apologies and look forward to better structured content next week 🙂

Cheers,

Patrick

 

Slow Carb Diet: Day 2

Started work today, which was nice, except the fact that my lunch was a horrible attempt to eat healthy at a not at all healthy restaurant. Here’s how the meals went down:

Breakfast:

  •  Scrambled Eggs
  • Broccoli

Lunch was utterly retarded. Since it was my first day everyone suggested we go to the one place that was the most tempting for me: Shake Shack. Know what I end up getting? A double hamburger with no bun. This went against everything manly I once stood for. The lady even asked me “Do you have a gluten allergy?” to which I said “No. I just don’t want the buns.” Anyway I just ate it. It actually wasn’t bad if you don’t mind using a knife and fork and having the lettuce sort of wilt on you due to all of the grease. Anyways I love the job and everyone there is so nice and understanding of my 2 week diet. They all were open to joining me on my cheat days 😛

Dinner:

The Final Showdown. After a horrific, traumatic experience which can only be described through a picture, I can say that this time, we totally kicked dinner’s ass. Oh yeah. Feast your eyes on this….

Taco Guaco Salad, Ladies and Gents.

It was so good. I’m being the most cocky on this blog right now, I’ll hate myself when I read it again, but THE NIGHT HAS BEEN WON AND WE ARE THE VICTORS. Check out the recipe at Mimi’s blog. We used the shopping list from the previous post and modified it to suit our needs, and spent around $55 for the next week, which is not bad at all. For now, shake shack’s shack stack and cheese fries, is at the top of my cheat day list. Oh and the doggie treats, too. Can’t forget about that.

Cheers,

Patrick

Slow Carb Diet: Day 1

Okay so we sort of slap dashed our first day, since planning totally failed. Here are the meals that we had:

Breakfast:

  • Boiled Eggs
  • Coffee

Lunch:

  • Chipotle Burrito Bowl (Steak, Guacamole, Tomatoes, Black Beans, Brown Rice, Lettuce)

Dinner:

This.

Hideous, this was. We ordered it from Lyric Diner, which has great disco fries, but probably not the best for healthy food. We ordered the “Turkey & Avocado Diet Delight,” which, considering the words “Diet Delight,” should have already sent red flags up in my mind to avoid it at all costs. All the food was raw, and Mimi called it “rabbit food” which is totally plausible. The above was our attempt at a 10-minutes-before-she-had-to-go-babysit dinner. We sautéed the veggies in garlic and olive oil, sprinkled salt and pepper, and even added soy sauce. You can’t see it because all the turkey(dried from our attempt at cooking it) is covering it all. Not the best of dinners we’ve had. I’m not hating on Lyric, it was totally our fault for thinking it’d be anything remotely delightful at all. Mimi took one bite and said “I hate this diet.”

Be that as it may, we’re still going to do it, and a couple of things need to be addressed after our first day. We need to get a scale to weigh ourselves, since essentially we’re shooting in the dark in terms of progress if we don’t know what we’re working with(we should also do our body fat percentage, but we both hardly have any, so…whatever). Next, we need to plan a balls out trip to the grocery store and plan all our meals out for the week. Luckily there’s this website, which seems perfectly designed for us, called FourHourBodyCouple.com and has a wonderful shopping list for the week that I plan on using. We’re probably going to end up making our own burrito bowls, since spending 13.75 a day at Chipotle is just not gonna roll with us being in college and all. We just need to beef up breakfast(probably add veggies, beans, and more eggs) and avoid things like above from happening for dinner.

For workouts, we’ve decided two times a week with at least 2 rest days in between, since, if you didn’t know, muscle is built when you rest, not when you work out. The number of rest days will increase as the weeks pass. Mimi’s doing some thing with elipticals and ab workouts that I have no idea what it is, and I’m doing some machine weight exercises with a 5X5 cadence (5 seconds up/down) so as to workout my muscles in a short amount of time. I’m too lazy to put the entire specifics, but I’m not focused on the workout as much as I am planning on the diet right now. I’ve attempted this diet before, and I crash and burn if I focus on implementing too many things at once, so after two weeks of successful dieting, I’ll tackle muscle building after that.

All in all, not a bad first day.

Cheers,

Patrick

Help Fund “Les Saveurs De Mimi” Cooking Show!

So I just met you..and this is crazy..but here’s my Paypal..so donate maybe?

Hello all,

You may or may not know me, but my girlfriend Mimi and I are planning on starting a cooking show. The thing is, both of us have decided to try and make a living off of just blogging, so we can travel the world to try different cuisines and photography different areas. We’ve both seen a lot of different blogs providing a sustainable income in various niches like personal finance, cooking, even general life improvement, etc. Some are wildly successful, others are just comfortable with 50k-100k. I’d like to be wildly successful eventually, but I’d like to separate my income from my time, which is definitely possible, although quite difficult.

Like I mentioned in the last post, this blog has yet to find a voice, but for now I’d like to aim for attempting to make one’s life better, less cluttered, and to free one’s time in order to do what they love.

Anyways, we’re trying to raise $850 for a Nikon D5100 with Kit Lens and a shotgun mic. The reason is because my current camera (Nikon D3100) while excellent with stills, has crappy audio and no external mic jack. We have the lights, the set up, and everything else handled, plus we’re saving up for $850 with our respective jobs and things, but anything you donate will be greatly appreciated..oh and you might want to check out the post on what you’ll receive if you donate.

If you don’t have time to view the post, here’s the basic run down of it all:

For those of you who donate $5- $25

  • Baked Good + Personal Note

$30-$50

  • Baked Good & Framed Photo of it, Personal Note, Shout Out on the show.

$55 – $100

  • Baked Good, Framed Photo, Personal Note, One Month Access to one of our upcoming online cooking or photography classes.

$100+

  • Baked Good, Framed Photo, Personal Note, Shout Out, One Month Access to both of our classes.

Amount to Fundraise: $850

Items that will be bought with the money:

Nikon D5100 with Kit Lens: $700

Rode VIDEOMIC: $150

We will continue to update you on how much we have saved up. The paypal donation button is just to the side so if you don’t mind helping us out, we’d really appreciate it, and we will reimburse you with thank you nomz.

Muchas Gracias,

Patrick

 

Starting Slow Carb Diet with my girlfriend for the next 2 weeks.

So my girlfriend and I have decided to start what Tim Ferriss has coined the “Slow Carb Diet” (which is basically avoiding white carbs, cycling through the same ingredients, and having an all out cheat day once a week) for the next two weeks. We will probably end up posting pictures and recipes of the various foods that we eat and how we’ve made it, which will end up on her blog at Les Saveurs De Mimi. Since she’s the one who cooks, it only makes sense to put it on hers. I also have a copy of the book in which Tim goes into greater detail, The 4 Hour Body (highly recommended) which you can purchase here on Amazon (yes, that’s an affiliate link).

If you’ve clicked on the post, you see that people have lost 100+ pounds, or as my friend has done, 30 pounds in 30 days. We really aren’t planning on trying to lose a ton of weight (we’re both essentially sticks) but eating healthy is a top priority, and abs. We both love abs on our opposite genders, so why not attempt to fulfill each other’s lust? Also a plus. It’s also a fantastic way for Mimi to practice using the same ingredients over and over in different ways, and myself to continue to practice food photography, and sort of learn how to cook and cut things.

I also figure I would add some strength training to the regime, mainly for abs and endurance, since neither of us want to look like body builders. More details to come on the specific regime laid out, but as far as the eating plan goes, these are the rules that we shall adhere to(courtesy of Tim Ferriss’ post):

Rule #1: Avoid “white” starchy carbohydrates (or those that can be white). This means all bread, pasta, rice, potatoes, and grains. If you have to ask, don’t eat it.
Rule #2: Eat the same few meals over and over again, especially for breakfast and lunch. You already do this; you’re just picking new default meals.
Rule #3: Don’t drink calories. Exception: 1-2 glasses of dry red wine per night is allowed.
Rule #4: Don’t eat fruit. (Fructose –> glycerol phosphate –> more bodyfat, more or less.) Avocado and tomatoes are excepted.
Rule #5: Take one day off per week and go nuts. I choose and recommend Saturday.

For our one cheat day a week, it will be Sunday. We will be shopping at Trader Joe’s/Whole Foods for the most part, and trying to keep our costs down(which is nearly impossible at Whole Foods). This experiment will be 2 weeks long, starting tomorrow(although tomorrow will be more of a planning day, so dependent upon our schedules it might be on Tuesday).

We will try to post our results at the end of the day, but understand due to our schedules, this might not be possible. Expect a post within a day or two if that happens.

Wish us luck!

Cheers,

Patrick

Patrick’s Musings

Considering the title, I figure that this could easily be a series, and it probably will be.

I’ve just started doing some pro bono marketing and web design (read: wordpress installations) work for some students at NYU. I feel its a much more relaxed atmosphere since there isn’t exactly any expectation going on towards it. While I would like it to be that way forever, I know it’s not the truth, but when money is put into the equation, I feel like one would want to get his or her money’s worth, right?

Still, it feels good to help people and give them advice on how to effectively influence their followers or gain their own set of followers. One day, I hope this blog can cultivate a following that trusts me. I’d like for this blog to be my test area for ideas and experiments and curiosities and a whole bunch of things.

How to do that? Only time will tell. This blog is still developing, I have no clue what to do with it. I essentially want it to be everything. Sort of like the stage in my life that I am in right now. In my own development as a writer, consulter, photographer, good boyfriend, whatever, I feel like the progress and the development of oneself, paradoxically, comes through an exposure to other people and the attitude that you have towards people and how you treat them. Specifically putting others before yourself and learning how to compromise, sacrifice, and empathize is something I’m continuing to learn. Considering how humans are social animals, we are also prideful, so it’s such a hard thing to do on a consistent basis. I’ve learned most of it through my relationship with my girlfriend. She’s seriously the nicest person I’ve ever met, and puts herself in other people’s shoes constantly, it’s quite admiring. I’m sort of hard headed at times, but I always try to keep an eye on the big picture of things.

With tons and tons of friends who are aspiring entrepreneurs with awesome ideas and driven attitudes, I think its great that our generation is at the center of it. We’re seen as both the hope and the loss of the world, of two polar opposites existing within one generation. This is not at all anything new, and I suppose with the media playing a bigger role in labeling us it is less unique, but people are doing amazing things from both sides, mostly thanks to the Internet. There are countless stories, like the 18 year old who got 1 million in funding from Richard Branson, who’s actually one of my friends at NYU. She took an academic leave this year to work with her company on the West Coast.

This allure makes entrepreneurship and the Internet look like an awesome opportunity, and it is, but it makes it look like anyone can just get funding and start a company and be rich. Not so. I’ve tried and failed about 3 times, and I know others who have tried and failed so much more than me. I’m not giving up so easily, but it’s damn hard. While Einstein says insanity is doing the same thing over and over again but expecting a different result, I believe there is a certain amount of insanity and blind optimism that is necessary for any entrepreneur to become successful.

I have no idea how to end this, since there wasn’t really a closing thought…so…The End.

How I *Really* Get Things Done

As a student, I feel like I can’t finish or accomplish everything I need to in a day. As an entrepreneur/freelancer, no one’s there to kick your ass. For the most part you have to set your own deadlines and stick to them, but not everyone has the willpower to do it. I damn sure don’t. I feel like I get super inspired with my projects and once I’m bored, I just switch to another one. Perhaps it’s the constant state of limbo I’m in that makes me unsuited to finish anything I start. Sometimes I have no idea where my time goes, but I can guess it’s probably a mixture of facebook, tumblr, and twitter. I’ve decided to try to kick the habit of mindless wandering using a simple concept.

Minimizing spending time in unproductive ways and maximizing spending time in the productive ways.

Sounds simple enough, right? The one common denominator is time. I figure if I know specifically where I’m spending my time, it can act almost like a trigger that I should be spending my time doing something else.

So I plan on recording a week’s worth of online activity starting tomorrow using RescueTime, and seeing which sites I spend the most time on. Any offline activities I’ll have to record manually.

Next I’d have to define what I should be doing instead, which would stem from one of my many goals.

Here’s the top 3 things that HAVE to get done for me on a daily basis:

1) Write/Edit a blog post (to be published the next day)

2) Research prospective clients list for Drunken Panda Consulting

3) Write a paragraph for my e-book

I have other tools like Antisocial and Freedom to keep me focused (or for you cheap-o’s out there, here’s a free alternative). I work hard and focused during the allotted time, and save some of the creative energy in the bank for the next day. I’ll also keep a notebook handy(like those hardback pocket-sized moleskins) in case during the day I have ideas to add for a blog post, potential client, or for the e-book.

Time is your most valuable asset, since, well, you don’t have that much of it. Not trying to get all existential here, but seriously. Life is short to not do great things for yourself and others. I lose sight of how short life is way too often, and I have paid dearly for it.

One should be able to develop a sort of autopilot system to manage one’s life. Sure, as much as most free thinking entrepreneurs recoil at any sign of structure, this is a part where routine is necessary to make a long lasting impact, both on ourselves and our habits and on others. Consistent delivery day in and day out is what separates the goods from the greats. By focusing on only a couple of things a day, it helps our own sanity as well as helps maintain an active, curious lifestyle for parts of our life that don’t include work.

While I do like picking my top 3, it’s personal preference. Three happens to be my magic number, with businesses, to do lists, etc. I do commend the people who focus on just one thing. That might be much better, and harder. One day perhaps.. Okay just to kind of “practice,” ask yourself this question:

What are the top 3 things that absolutely HAVE to get done, where, if you did these things, you’d be completely satisfied with your day?

Comment with your answer!

the disadvantages of a 9-5 + an alternative.

Some of us like to be told what to do. I know I have for a long time, and well.. I still do. I don’t have to think. I just do what I’m told, follow directions and follow it well. I’m the classic “Yes” man when it comes to work. I do it because I know I’ll be rewarded for it eventually, right? At least it seems that way. I’m writing this in the back seat of my car (on paper because I forgot my laptop, or really didn’t bother to bring it) waiting for my shift to start because they told me to take a break until 5 after I came at 3:30p. It might not sound that bad, but considering that I drove 40 minutes to work, with another 30 minutes to find and pay for parking, my remaining shift will probably leave me with little left to spend on anything. And it pisses me off, honestly. The time invested in driving is easily not worth the money I’m getting paid.

But I’m desperate.

I have a photography business to finance, some bills to pay(although not as much as my parents just yet) I may just need a second job(UPDATE: as of the time of this posting, I’m schedule for an interview later today I didn’t take the job.).

In states of desperation we sometimes do the unthinkable: taking crappy jobs doing crappy things we don’t like with management who is giving you the impression that they got your back but at the end of the day only care about the bottom line. And I can’t blame them, because I’d probably do the same in their shoes. It’s a business, and in business the bottom line is the only thing that matters. I’m feeding a system that the majority of people in our age group are part of unless they go to college. Not that there is something wrong with that, because there are really nice and awesome people who take the road most traveled, however it’s not conducive to living a high quality life, in my honest opinion. I’ve talked before about how influential your friends are and who you surround yourself with tells you a lot about yourself, so living a high-quality life means hanging out with the people you aspire to be, so I’ll admit I’m not exactly doing that working at this job, but I do realize I gotta bite the bullet and pay my dues for this job.

After working 6 out of the 7 days a week last week and getting my minimum wage on (to the max, yo) I seriously wanna kill myself. Figuratively speaking. Whatever that means. Either way, I know I can’t be doing this forever, and I don’t want to. I just signed a $20k student loan with Citibank for this semester, and got a $6.5k federal stafford loan. YAY.

Especially after reading Mr. Sethi’s Money Diaries on the twenty-something who still works from paycheck to paycheck with two jobs and can’t find the money to pay her student loans and still spends like an idiot, I’m seriously in panic mode at this point.

Soooo I’ve decided to take some initiative in learning this whole “how to create an online business from scratch” thing, and I’ve taken Niche Profit Classroom 3.0 (yes that’s an affiliate link) as a recommendation from my good friend Glenn Bridges whom I met over at the 4HWW forum (check out his Total Muse Creation book..great stuff (not affiliate link)) and also from a blog I follow called Strayblogger by a legit guy named Nate(don’t know his last name). So I’m gettin super familiar with SEO, Keyword research, and (my personal favorite) writing sales pages. I say that non sarcastically because it’s just like seduction: you entice the reader to buy muahaha..loljk it’s about giving value and lots of awesome free content and overdelivering to a very needy audience.(not that you should do that to get girls, cuz needy girls suck.)

The biggest epiphany I’ve had in actually taking Internet Marketing seriously is that…it’s really, really easy once you “get it” and understand the system(hint: kiss Google’s ass…just kidding..sorta) and honestly, it’s a really great alternative to crappy 9-5 jobs.

The main difference between Internet Marketing and “traditional” entrepreneurship though is that IM focuses more on finding the market demand and filling in the need, rather than trying to create an idea out of thin air and make it stick. We’re pretty much the lazy type of entrepreneurs. Don’t get me wrong, we work hard and all that jazz, but we figure out where all the money’s going, what people are searching for on Google, and we simply provide what is painstakingly wanted.

Anyways, it’s all really interesting to me and once I get my first little bizzy biz off the ground, I’m definitely going to create a replicable system and teach you how to do it, so I’ll keep you updated once everything is off the ground. Ta-ta.

Patrick

How To Not Suck At Picking Friends(Guilty.)

[DISCLAIMER: This post is pretty long, and I did go on a lot of rants and all over the place. It’s all unedited with a few exceptions, but yeah, just warning you, you’ll find out a lot about me and what really ticked me off that night.]

Until recently, I really can’t say I had super-duper close friends. I wasn’t a social outcast or anything, I just had a crappy childhood and trust issues (who hasn’t?) which led me to believe that people my age sucked and that older and younger friends were better, since you could learn from one and teach the other. I felt like it was a give and take thing, that relationships were built purely on what you could do for someone, which is true to an extent, but still pretty limited. I was a mature (read: boring) little kid, and I seriously couldn’t wait to “grow up.” Seriously. I loved the idea of paying bills and doing my own finances. I was (and still am) fucking weird. But anyways, this post is about you, not me.

Or maybe you and me. Who knows? I’m still trying to figure it out.

Anyways, once college hit, I went on a whole roller coaster ride of meeting new people and now this whole “best friend” ordeal is taken care of. I’ve gone through the whole “being polite” then “deep talks” then “fucking around cuz you know i’m kidding even though it’s pretty fucked up” stages I believe are part of making friends. I’m sure you have, too.

Lately, though, I’ve been trying to find people my age who are better than me and act as mentors to this whole blogging and internet thing. Monetizing it, staying motivated to write, etc. And it’s really great to have an online support group (Blogger’s Anonymous?..no wait that’s not right.) to provide..well..support and advice and such..but I think it’s important to find people who are physically close to home as well.

Unfortunately, what I’ve found is that I’m taking a path that’s not traveled by many people who succeed to tell the tale, at least I don’t know anyone personally in my immediate friends and family. I guess I shouldn’t be surprised since I go to college, live in a family where becoming a doctor is praised (Asian..Filipino to be more specific) and business is “too risky”(lol) and aside from that I seriously care what my mom thinks of me…and one of my main motivations is to really just shove my paypal and clickbank statements in ALL of their faces as a proverbial “fuck you for not believing in me” testament and show them that YES I CAN MAKE A LIVING NOT IN THE MEDICAL FIELD. My friends (at least here in California) are lazy as shit and like to party all the time. Or maybe I’m just the stuck-up asshole, too neurotic and un-chill for my own good. Holy shit this post is not going where I wanted it to go. Yeah, I am kind of an asshole sometimes. The whole lesson was supposed to be relevant to the title…umm.. my friends in California are nice people, seriously, they’re so chill and go with the flow it’s nerve-wrecking. Unfortunately I had to learn how to chill out consciously, which is hard. Props to them. [EDIT: I originally had the title as “Have Friends Who Are Better Than You…But Don’t Forget About You.” and changed it. Yay honesty.]

So if you’re reading all the way down to this, I already love you, and you know more about me than most people in my life do. Just to remain relevant, I think it’s important to make sure that you have friends that you’re proud of, and not just friends that you put up with. Seriously, like with my above example, one thing about my Cali friends (and probably Cali people in general) is that they’re flaky as shit. The whole “yeah i’ll definitely hit you up” and they don’t hit you up, and then your ego is too strong to hit them up or call them out on their flakiness so nothing happens, is utter bullshit. I’ve done that so many damn times this week alone it’s sickening.

FUCK THAT.

If they were your friends, you should legit be able to be real with them and call them out on their bullshit. That’s why I feel like you have to go through the fire with a person to truly find out if that’s a friend or not. I found out a good friend of mine is going out with my ex-girlfriend. While it was never a serious thing, and I really could care less what they do, he failed to tell me. While he’s still a good person, I’ll admit I have lost some respect for him. Why? Aside from it being an unspoken man law to at the very least notify you’re fellow man about it, he’s had multiple chances to let me know, and well he just sucks.

Look he’s a great person and I’m not going to make it a habit to use this blog as a weapon of bashing on people, but it’s just merely a lesson to not suck at picking friends(like I have found I am quite skilled at…). Real friends would drop anything for you, not just hang out with you because you’re the most convenient. You know how you do that? By doing it first. Drop the ego and be real. Like with my above example of not texting back, if he really was a good friend of mine, like straight up family, I definitely would have. I haven’t found that he’s really got my back, and it’s through his actions I can see that. I’ve found that looking at what someone does(how they react to situations, adversity, etc) aside from what they say really does say a lot about a person. As DMX once said:

“Talk is cheap, mothafucka.”

Tim Ferriss wrote a really good (and quite amusing) post on the subject, which I suggest you check out and apply on a not-so-extreme level. You gotta keep it OG gangsta, yo and BE REAL. Honestly it’s one of the best lessons from the cliche, idolized world we all know as “the hood.” If you aren’t real, you’re shady and you aren’t trusted. I’m all about being selfish about my goals and being 100% self-reliant, but if you start steppin on people’s toes, that shit’s gonna come back and bite you. I know I’m probably sounding all over the place, but there’s a fine line between ambitiously taking what you want and deliberately doing something just to hurt someone. I feel like anything of worth requires sacrifice of yourself(your time, energy, focus. etc) rather than it coming at the expense of someone else. That’s too old school and unidimensional. I truly believe that you can have your cake and eat it too. That is, achieving what you truly take time to do and having high-quality friends who support you and that you can have a good time with.

I’ll be honest though, it is something that requires you to meet new people. The higher standard of living that you set up for yourself, the harder that you gotta work. You want a high-quality lifestyle with friends, a girlfriend/boyfriend that are on the same level? You have to seek them out.

So on your next networking event escapade extravaganza, do not arm yourself with business cards and a firm handshake, but with the natural curiosity of getting to know a person, and to develop a legitimate connection with. (Good book, Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi, it’s so good you have no frickin’ idea. Highly recommended)

So just a recap, if you want to have good friends:

0) Don’t suck at making friends(just kidding)

1) Go First. Take initiative in befriending someone, inviting them out to lunch, whatever.

2) Listen to their actions, not their words

3) See how they handle adversity (through their #1’s)

4) Really get to know them and be genuinely curious about their lives.

Remember: These are just guidelines, not a rulebook. Go with your gut. If someone feels shady to you, you’re right more times than not.

-Patrick

Time To Rebel: Artsiness Not Required

When we think of rebels, we think of those radical, anti-establishment, hippie, tree-loving people. At least I do. I’m definitely not alone in this. I’ve also felt that that preconceived notion of rebellion –at least on the surface– sort of fueled my need to be creative and innovative. It’s great, don’t get me wrong, but I feel like it’s a bit limited.. to say that would mean that all the artsy fartsy kids have all the fun. And while I’m pretty artsy myself, I’m just going to assume that you aren’t. And you don’t have to be to be completely liberated.

You could be the most straight-laced, shoe -shining, tie-wearing motherfucker and still feel the freedom and liberation.

While going against the crowd might come easy to some, for most of us, it’s a learned lifestyle. We have to constantly keep that idea in the front of our minds, and Jesus it’s hard to stick to it when there’s no one else who’s “down with it.” Just a little background on me: I’m from a upper-middle class suburb, and I go to a 55k/year school. I’m spoiled like hell. My mom gives me whatever I want, even though I don’t ask for much. And I hate it. It’s definitely not teaching me how to fend for myself..but that’s another post.

The bottom-line is, we must hangout and thrive with like-minded individuals, and it doesn’t have to be art students! Be a part of a movement, whether it’s here, or over at Uncollege.org, or even at The Art of Non-Conformity. We can’t do this alone, and it’s obvious, but while it’s nice to have online e-buddies, it’s also important to actively pursue people who think this way in your immediate environment. Local networking groups? Try The Art of Active Networking. (I see the irony of recommending places with “art” in it, but you don’t need to be artsy. Seriously. Stop thinking that you do. Fool.)

You don’t need to learn how to paint, photograph, draw, freakin anything like that, but you do need to be able to think creatively. What do I mean? Progress is driven by innovation, and pushing the boundaries of what is conventionally acceptable.

So see what you can get away with.

As Seth Godin once wrote, “Ask for forgiveness, not permission.” Have you always felt like you had to impress your parents? a boss? your friends? some girl(or guy)? Think of something that has limited you because you were afraid of the repercussions that would happen if you did take that action.

Do it, and see what happens.

You’ll learn a lot about yourself in the process, how you deal with problems, etc. No paint brushes needed.