Meet my Writing Superhero Identity, Nightwriter!

For more writings on this blogI’m often working hard to write late into the night these days, fighting a never ending battle against Writer’s Block and Written Diarrhea that it feels too epic for a human writer. As a result, I have conjured up my vision of a writing superhero to visualize my glorious quest to push me through any barrier that stands in my way. I call him Nightwriter, and his symbol is that W you see to the right!

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Options Instead of the Extra Point for the NFL and CFL

In North American football, the extra point is a single point short kick after a 6 point touchdown to give the full 7 point value a touchdown can give a team. The full 7 points also makes the touchdown more valuable than two field goals, at 3 points each, in not only concept but also score. Otherwise, the extra point is also a second chance to cheer loudly for the touchdown just scored if it were your team to have done so.

Once upon a time, the extra point used to require an actual effort so it was not a sure thing by any means. However, these days, it has a success rate of over 99% according to New England Patriots coach Bill Belichick. It has become too easy for the players playing to execute it that it not only becomes boring, it’s also a waste of time. Sports Illustrated’s Peter King feels the same way about it, calling it “the biggest waste of time in sports”. Nothing in sports should be that automatic, basically. What kind of competition is there if the outcome was the same more than 99% of the time?

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Six Life Philosophies from an Obituary Writer

The Boston Globe recently had a great short article about six life lessons given by Bryan Marquard, their obituary writer of over 800 obits in the past 3.5 years. His perspective was that he looked at life through the lens of death. The article ended by asking “what have you learned from life”?

I’ll summarize the article here and give a few answers for this post.

1. Be nice.
No matter what you accomplish, how you treat people has a lot to do with how you will be remembered.

2. Don’t be mean.
You can be #1 or #2 without being the other.

3. If you want to live long, retire young…
Leave some time for fun in your life.

4. Or don’t retire at all.
Pursue your passions.

5. You don’t have to be rich – or even have a home.
It’s you, what you are and what you do that matter most.

6. Act now.
Don’t put off what you’ve always wanted to do.

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I liked the article because it looks at life through a very different perspective than one that I have. It’s not that I think most people have the view of an obituary writer, but rather how much I stay away from the thought of death. I have never fully read an obituary, even of some people very dear to me. And I don’t have insurance except for where I can’t avoid it, like to drive or insurance with my job. Sure, I appreciate a health plan and such, but insurance is like a constant reminder, with payment, of unfortunate things. As someone who believes that if you think about something enough, it might just happen to you, I stay away from those negative things.

As for some of what I’ve learned from life? For starters, I’ve got 26 life philosophies through this link. But if you’re not interested, I’ll leave three different ones here:

1. Act now, enjoy the moment, but live like there is always a tomorrow.
You couldn’t hope to either truly live every day or moment like it’s the last of your life, or last long doing it.

2. It’s not how you start that matters, but rather how you finish.
Save the best for last, and something better for tomorrow.

3. Everything means more the more you had to earn it.
“Earn” is any kind of effort you have to put in.

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If you want lots of life lessons, please check out my blogging buddy’s Lifelessons4u blog. She’s got more life lessons than you could learn in a life time!

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In the spirit of how the Boston Globe article ends, please feel free to leave comments regarding

What have you learned in life?

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Flesch-Kincaid Grade Reading Level: 4.2 (pffft! topic is a little beyond grade 4!) ๐Ÿ™‚

Sources of Inspiration Facebook Note

facebook notes for thinkersCopy the text between the dotted line as your note in Facebook, MySpace or other places. Put each of your answer on the line just below each prompt.

To make this an English as a Second / Foreign Language exercise, assign the note with some degree of explanation for each answer, whether a sentence, short paragraph or presentation.

—————————————————————————————

We are all inspired by others to some extent.

List a person or thing in the categories listed who inspires you, who lifts your spirits or who you admire. You may choose a few if it makes it easier for you since it isn’t always easy to choose one. You may also choose someone no longer living. However, challenge yourself to have an answer for each one because more sources of inspiration isn’t a bad thing in life, you know! If you absolutely don’t have an answer, though, you can write NONE. Your answers don’t have to be your best choice, just a choice that is true.

So put your CAPS LOCKS key ON to accentuate your answers and let’s get going!

 
1. Musician / band / singer

 
2. Natural object or event

 
3. Immediate family member

 
4. Animal

 
5. Athlete

 
6. Relative

 
7. Fictional character

 
8. Religious figure

 
9. Coworker / professional / entrepreneur

 
10. Actor / actress

 
11. Teacher of any sort at any level

 
12. Writer / poet

 
13. Someone who deserves more respect

 
14. Scientist / engineer / technology person

 
15. Politician / diplomat / ambassador

 
16. Book

 
17. Activist

 
18. Song

 
19. Someone you don’t like but respect

 
20. Friend

 
Say something on any or all of your choices, individually or as a group:

 

Please tag some friends to encourage them to try this note, along with anybody you mention who can be tagged. You may want to avoid using full names of people you know who are not famous because they may prefer it that way. Please include me in your tags because I want to know your sources of inspiration.

For more introspective Facebook notes like this, please see https://digitalcitizen.ca/facebook-notes/

 
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1. Musician / band / singer
BOB DYLAN

2. Natural object or event
SUNRISE

3. Immediate family member
WHOLE FAMILY

4. Animal
KILLER WHALE

5. Athlete
MICHAEL JORDAN

6. Relative
ENTIRE MOM’S SIDE OF THE FAMILY

7. Fictional character
LT. COMMANDER DATA ON STAR TREK

8. Religious figure
THE DALAI LAMA

9. Coworker / professional / entrepreneur
MY DOCTOR

10. Actor / actress
HUGH JACKMAN

11. Teacher of any sort at any level
DRS. T.S. CAMERON AND M.A. WHITE

12. Writer / poet
EMILY DICKINSON

13. Someone who deserves more respect
DAVE S. IN VANCOUVER

14. Scientist / engineer / technology person
STEPHEN HAWKING

15. Politician / diplomat / ambassador
BARACK OBAMA

16. Book
EMOTIONAL INTELLIGENCE

17. Activist
DAVID SUZUKI

18. Song
BLOWIN’ IN THE WIND

19. Someone you donโ€™t like but respect
TOM BRADY

20. Friend
DENISE R.

Say something on any or all of your choices, individually or as a group:
This wasn’t hard for me as I find inspiration easily in life, whether people or things. I could have done this note with 10 names apiece. I could have done this with people I know only rather than some famous people and some I know. I live by the philosophy I can learn something from everyone I meet, hear of, read about, etc. Most of it is positive and that usually equates to inspiration. It’s a wonderful mindset to constantly be in. It’s only too bad that with so many choices, in doing this note quickly, I didn’t come up with some more interesting answers since some sources of inspiration are much more prominent than others.

Embrace the Improv Mantra for a Better World

The best improvisation (improv) actors and actresses, like Canadian Mike Myers, but especially those in theater games, will tell you that it’s simple in a philosophical sense. You only had one rule and that rule was also the key to success.

You can’t deny another person’s reality, you can only build on it.

Mike Myers

Mike Myers

That is, whatever someone said or did, you have to accept it and build on it, not contradict it because it stops everything in its tracks. However, I would be willing to bet main reason most people have trouble doing improv is that it’s more natural for them to contradict than to accept. Most times we don’t get something, we stop to clarify if we say anything at all. Most times we don’t agree, we stop to assert ourselves if we say anything at all, which you have to in improv to avoid one person dominating the act. It’s just hard for a lot of us to obey that rule because contradiction is done so commonly these days that it is second nature to us, if not always but maybe not ever to the same extent today given people are given voice on so many medium. You have to act to act right, basically, and that acting to be something rather than believing it it so you do it second nature will give you away as a fraud or bad actor to an audience.

Not being well versed in improv theatre, when I heard Mike Mayers say the improv mantra on the Bravo channel a few Sundays ago during an episode of Inside the Actor’s Studio, I was blown away and thought wouldn’t that be a nice thing to embrace more often?

I didn’t think it was something to do all the time like the mantra. I love debate, but I also believe in giving things a chance and opening one’s mind, and this definitely allows that if I only would embrace it more often… as well as others around me.

Emily Levine

Emily Levine

Coincidentally, four days later, on TED.com, my favourite learning source these days, the video below was put up. It was of humorist, writer and trickster Emily Levine talking about a lot of things in her Theory of Everything, “intelligent comedy” format style. In this superbly philosophical and hilarious talk, she philosophized a thought similar to mine of said improv mantra being a great ethic for a society.

How these things played into my mind, I don’t know, but last week, I came up with the idea to try acting classes as my new thing to try this year. I looked up local acting classes and found one, Intro to Theatre Acting, which is improv style stuff, not scripted acting like on film.ย  Fortunately for me, it started yesterday so I didn’t have to wait long to get into things before my enthusiasm might have faded.

Then I came home and saw that WordPress.com came out with a great announcement of how to embed TED videos into your post easily. Thanks, WordPress folks, and keep up the phenomenal work! This TED news to WP was the trifecta of the perfect storm for me to create this post and share this very thought provoking and gut choking talk so I hope you will have a look, listen and enjoy.

Be warned, though! I’ve told you. This is intelligent humour! If you don’t think it’s funny, either check your intelligence, anatomy for a humour bone or both!

Check the TED.com category on my blog for other posts where I’ve shared my favourite TED videos with some blog material. Otherwise, see my full collection of TED videos I liked enough to share on my Vodspot vlog. Or just see what I’ve viewed recently (and others through this blog) via the Vodspot plugin WordPress allows at right.

Can you tell I LOVE TED? ๐Ÿ™‚