Photo via Pexel
Curiosity is often the common denominator that drives some of the worlds most interesting people, ranging from authors, artists, innovators and creative people. Those who go on to revolutionize the world, are greatly curious people, who follow and engage that curiosity of their’s – people like Leonardo da Vinci, Albert Einstein and my present day hero; the amazing Elon Musk – founder of PayPal and CEO of Tesla, SpaceX and Solar City. So curiosity is actually a good thing, if you have a ‘child like curiousity‘, never loose that or if you find it lacking, then start collecting few embers and light up that curiosity fire within you. One of my throbbing curiosities these days is actually learning more about the lives of such creative, succesful and multifaceted people. I am insanely interested in how they work, their habits, their backstory and the other small minute details behind their success. This is one of the reasons why I am very selective about what I read, listen to or watch over the internet.
I have to say that I am greatful to be living in an age where the internet is available and accessible almost everywhere. Where I am currently writing from, in this rural part of Fiji, I often have to compromise a bit on the internet speed and I am often adjusting myself, sitting in uncomfortable places in order to get better internet connection. This small limitation requires me to be a bit more creative, and at times a bit desperate too, in gaining connectivity.
Mostly, I have to hunt for interesting information and store them for my ‘off the grid’ days – like a hunter and gatherer – a modern, digital age version of it. I proudly consider myself as an inspiration seeker and the internet is my bountiful hunting ground. It’s how the internet continually opens up my mind to the world and its seemingly endless reserve of interesting’ness that makes the hustle for connection totally worth it.
My ‘Internet Diet’ consists of a very small but carefully curated list of trusted and interesting sources which gives me a great deal of value for my very limited time and internet data. Off of these sites I learn a lot of thought provoking, informative and at times life changing information which feeds my mind and fuels my curiousity. Also from them I get to uncover a wide array of other interesting subjects and interesting people, who are living interesting lives. I spend most of the time on the internet mining through these three mediums: You Tube, Podcasts and a few free Websites and Blogs that I am drawn to perusing constantly.
A great deal of my data is consumed by watching You Tube videos. Because it quickly wolfs down data, I either watch several short videos – that highlights great and important points in just a few minutes – or I would watch the longer one’s -that has a vast landscape of great resources to mine over the course of that 1 or 2 long videos.
My current interest area – which becomes my focus areas when watching You Tube videos – lies in writing, entrepreneurship and creativity. I am often out on You Tube learning about writers; their life, perspective and their writing process, entrepreneurs and business moguls; on their journey, work ethic and how they build businesses from startup to great success and I also like to watch creative people for their work, their creative process and how they achieve a creative flow.
I am a great consumer of Interview videos on You Tube. Mostly I would watch interviews of people who intrigue me like writers. For instance, I’ll watch all of Malcolm Gladwell’s interview videos from multiple You Tube channels because I am admiring his books and his ideas at the moment. I like the Charlie Rose interviews for it’s simplicity and how he is able to get writers, and other guests of his, to reveal more of the important stuffs about themselves without being too intrusive into their lives. I also love to watch writers interviews through channels like; Barnes and Noble Studios, The New Yorker, CBS This Morning, Good Morning America, Oprah book club and Big Think. I have learnt a lot from them and I try to implement them into my routine as a young writer.
For entrepreneurship, business moguls and creative people I enjoy channels like the Lewis Howes: The School of Greatness show. Lewis Howes brings a lot of interesting guests on it who share their success stories and also their failures. It’s very motivational and Lewis Howes is a cool, down-to-earth guy, with a sense of wonder in his eyes and he is so devoted to lifting people up into reaching their greatest potential. Also, a channel which is similar to it is Marie TV; Marie Forleo also brings in great doer’s and thinkers and she does these short advice videos which I find very useful.
I also love videos by Forbes, which perfectly covers the day in the life and success stories of exceptional, high achieving, young entrepreneurs. I also think that the Y – Combinator videos are very useful for entrepreneurs, I have only watched their interview with Elon Musk but they seem to have this other great reserve of content on interviews with a lot of other succesful entrepreneurs from the Sylicon valley that I intend on watching soon. And there is this other You Tube channel that I love too; Ympact. It does these motivating 30 minutes documentaries on entrepreneurs and Start up Incubators around the world.
For entertainment I like to watch Wendy Williams show ( how you doing! ), VlogBrothers ( vlog by ‘The Fault in our stars author John Greene with his brother Hank Greene which is also educational ) and several booktubers ( readers vlog ). With all this buzzing excitement I get from watching videos of writers, creatives and entrepreneurs, I like to wind down and get myself in touch with my spiritual side by watching the Oprah Winfrey Network’s supersoul videos and sometimes, the old Oprah Show interviews too. At the end of a long week, or a long month of trying to hustle, I need me some Oprah so that I can reconnect with the Universe.
Oh my goodness, I just want to declare this out loud – I love listening to Podcasts! I have been finding great value from listening to Podcasts. It has become a substitute for listening to music for me – well, not entirely, I still keep a few songs to listen to; 2 favorite songs that I have been listening to repeatedly these days are Ed Sheran’s – Galway Girl and Mackelmore’s – Glorious.
In case you are new to this concept of a Podcast, or don’t know what this fancy sounding word is – like I was – a Podcast is something like a Radio show, but it is in episodes of 1 to 2 hours (atleast for the ones I listen to) and it is mostly an interview or a discussion on a specific topic or subject.
I first started listening to Podcasts from the blog The Minimalists. The Minimalists is a black and white, simple themed blog with compelling, thought provoking content by Ryan Nicodemus and Joshua Fields Milburns about ‘living a meaningful life with less stuff.’ I talked about how this blog had changed a lot of my thinking in a previous blog post earlier this year, it helped me re-evaluate the meaning of a succesful life. They helped me simplify my life into being more focussed on doing work that is meaningful. I had been enjoying their writings on the blog prior to them begining a Podcast. At first I was reluctant to check it out, but when I did, I just got swayed away by the very authentic and intimate nature of the conversations and I ended up listening to their single Podcast episodes repeatedly.
But to be honest I haven’t been checking them out lately as much as I would like to because I have been voraciously devouring this other Podcast by bestselling author Tim Ferriss, called The Tim Ferris show. Most of his contents are very useful, and this is a guy who takes his curiosity very seriously and translate them into the books that he has writen and through his Podcasts. Through his Podcast episodes, Tim Ferris “finds worldclass performers and deconstructs them, to show us how they do what they do, what makes them unique, their routines, habits, favorite books and other things“. He deconstructs the lifestyles of world class performers through his podcast and I try to construct my life by listening to it.
Some of my favorite episodes that I listened to recently are: Lessons from Steve Jobs, Leonardo da Vinci and Ben Franklin | Maria Popova on Writing, Work Arounds and Building BrainPickings.org | Maria Popova on Being Interesting, Creating more time in a day, and how to start a succesful blog |
Websites and Blogs
I try to make it a habit to read a few websites constantly, because again they produce great content. Also, these websites and blogs are writen by great writers whose writing style and perpective I admire.
Firstly I love Maria Popova’s website BrainPickings.org. I first came across it on twitter few months ago and it has to be the most greatest internet discovery of mine this year. According to it’s writer Maria Popova;
BrainPickings – which remains add free and supported by readers – is a cross-disciplinary LEGO treasure chest, full of pieces spanning art, science, psychology, design, philosophy, history, politics, anthropology, and more; pieces that enrich our mental pool of resources and empower combinatorial ideas that are stronger, smarter, richer, deeper and more impactful. Above all, it’s about how these different disciplines illuminate one another to glean some insight, directly or indirectly, into that grand question of how to live, and how to live well.
I can’t find the right words, or some fancy expression to describe how much value I get out of reading the BrainPickings website. My life and mind is enriched by reading it. Maria reads all these great books from the library and she condenses it down to the useful and essential for our consumption and reflection. You must check it out if you haven’t.
Apart from BrainPickings, I read from a few other literary websites. I read writing pieces from writers who I admire on The New Yorker online. Admitedly, I am trying to fine tune my writing, so reading The New Yorker articles by some of the greatest writers today is something that I have to do. There are 2 other websites that I also try to keep up with and they are; On Being, The Minimalists, Sam Harris blogs and Hazlit. Also I like reading this blog by a very talented young writer who I admire – Cody Delistray. I read them all for the same reasons; great writing and an array of interesting ideas that gets me thinking and writing myself.
So that is my Internet diet which I use to get me informed, interested and excited. There is a lot more exciting things to uncover for I feel that my internet search – in a useful and meaningful way – has just begun. It has been a great so far with this particular internet diet, I feel more leaner and full of energy, in the head that is.
If you share my enthusiasms for anything mentioned above do let me know. Also I would love and appreciate suggestions for anything that you enjoy and feel that it could be useful to me too – like your favorite you tube channel, podcast, blog or website. Thanks for reading, stay happy and safe in your personal internet adventures.