Time Trappers

We are all able to be trappers of time.

Time trapping is as old as time itself. What started as storytelling in ancient times, led to language that was translated into the written word. Humanity then brought the past to life with audio recording, photography, and video. Now, emerging technologies are allowing telepathic thoughts to mark our memories.

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Proof? Here’s a Nueralink Show & Tell.

Time trappers wield an ability to more actively revisit life experiences. To test your trapping skills, grab a device and open your favorite place to store creative content. Whether it’s writing, audio recordings, photos, video, or other types of art, go back to see what you captured yesterday and one week ago. Now travel back in time even more. Revisit this day last year, two years ago, five and ten years ago! As you enjoy your own nostalgia, consider the quantity, quality, and different types of content you’ve created.

Avoid distractions and stay in the moment, but if you’d like to enhance your time trapping capability, think of fun ways to create more content. This might be a day dedicated to taking an exorbitant amount of photos. Perhaps it’s trying a new app? Maybe it’s finally downloading the video from a memory card and trying your hand at editing it together? What if it’s taking the time to share time you’ve trapped with others? Whatever the exercise is, see if you can form a habit doing it for a few months. Set a milestone, then enjoy looking back at the results.

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What’s our first memory together?

Think about it. Many idea machines prefer to physically write into ideabooks. Music lovers often choose vinyl over endless streaming and how great is a live theater performance compared to any TV show? The time, skill, and passion from those generous enough to create art, makes thoughtful time trapping more strenuous, but more fulfilling in a way.

We are already cyborgs and biotech will further augment the way we seamlessly capture, organize, and share our realities. Until we autonomously enhance our bandwidth, telling a story, writing, recording audio, taking photos, or shooting video will still take manual effort. Let’s mitigate the risk of AI and optimized efficiency, but might the elbow grease required to set each time trap make our personal creations more memorable? Yes, but that will soon be an excuse. In the future, creativity may be the essential currency to add heartfelt context to our trapped time.

I’m without a thesis, but I’ve arrived at an appreciation for long-term, creative devotion. Caring enough to habitually go beyond what’s expected. When ambitious initiative is a fundamental part of your creative system, you’ll be a timeless time trapper who stays in focus, strategically organized, and inspired with lasting purpose.

Sticks on Ice

A friend suggested I write about micro vs. macro.

These two words have related, but opposite meanings. Everything happening right now (micro) is transitory, yet these micro-moments coalesce into the story of our comprehensive progress (macro).

The distraction of each micro-moment is impossible to avoid, but the Canadian saying, keep your stick on the ice, reminds us to chill, keep it simple, and be ready for anything. No matter where stuff lands on the spectrum between good and bad, micro eventually accumulates into macro. Alright, take a deep breath, enjoy a sip, and let’s brew on how staying mindful of the macro, helps us appreciate the micro.

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Want me to lean into a topic on your mind? I’m ready when you are.

Last week’s writing on intrinsic motivations seemed to resonate, as it was encouraging to hear from many of you. After a few dispirited days, I was back at full speed with Global Entrepreneurship Week. Our web3dsm gathering, 1 Million Cups, an angel investor event, premiering our Techstars Iowa Accelerator 2022 Demo Day video, and watching friends like you bring so many things together, was a groovy way to celebrate entrepreneurs who serve their local communities and bolster the global economy.

A focal point for me, was an opportunity to speak at the United Fall Leadership Conference. To maximize the impact, I cranked up the volume in a new talk tuned specifically for students and educators. I call it “No Permission Required”. The energy of accelerating others is unmatched, but there’s an extra boost as we’re exploring education and making a ruckus to activate linchpins along the way! It was cool to connect with 200+ high school students from all around Iowa and one of my sessions was recorded, so here’s me sharing my heart in full effect.

Alright, by now you’re thinking, how does this have anything to do with micro vs. macro or staying ready for anything by keeping your stick on the ice?

Well, after this whirlwind of wonderful, the brutal cold season found it’s way into our home. The highs of so much stimulant collided with the lows of isolating sickness. As always, mental fitness was tested. Within the worry of caring for loved ones and the frustration of my own pain, the goodness from days before felt distant. Agitation is hard to fend off during tough times, but with sticks on the ice, we can better embrace the challenge, bend without breaking, and appreciate what makes good times great.

As we give thanks, keep your stick on the ice by recognizing how special each micro-moment is, as they compile into our own macro-moment called life. Happy Thanksgiving!

Winterizing

As temperatures drop, those who live in seasonal climates start preparing for winter. Winterizing your world can mean many things. There are chores to do around the house, gatherings to coordinate, and year-end tasks to finish strong in business. These activities can be uplifting, but the cold that’s coming can also be disheartening.

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My favorite season is the transitional times between each season.

We often resist things we can not change, and this resistance causes suffering. To stay centered, find enjoyment in your changing reality. Celebrate the subtle elegance of winter and remember that all things have a beginning, but also an end. As we accept change, we become more resilient, which invites openness and more enjoyment within the moment. This makes the bitter cold feel refreshing and even in the coldest of winters, an invincible summer will burn from within.

100th

I’ve written into Roasted Reflections every week for almost two years and this is the 100th entry!

I put a lot of thought and energy into every one of these friendly jolts, each brewed to keep you building in different ways. Whether it’s taking the time to read, sharing a quick reply, crafting a caffeinated contribution, or just paying the good vibes forward, I want to thank everyone who starts your Wednesdays with me. As I reflect on this literary journey, here are things I’ve appreciated along with way.

Writing helps us understand ourselves.

– Translating ideas into words is easier the more you do it.

– Verbal dictation can produce a base, then a round of editing brings things together.

– Having a home to organize your writings is more lasting and easier to share anywhere.

– It’s challenging to keep writings concise, but this makes more impact in less time.

– Attention is hard to earn, let alone keep. Stay curious, listen to those you seek to serve, and diversify content creation to stay interesting.

– If you’ve written a book, a complimenting library of shorter entries make it easy to connect ideas back to the book while sharing organized thoughts based on the context of any conversation.

– The thesaurus is a fun tool thats helps us learn new ways to express ideas with fresh vocabulary.

– Publicly publishing your art creates connection.

– I enjoy encouraging others to write.

– Writing is not free. It costs time.

– Without much financial capital involved, the ROI of this type of initiative comes in the form of intellectual, human, cultural, and network capital that churns evolving layers of satisfying value.

– Even so, doubt creeps in. I find myself wondering if I’ll run out of meaningful things to write about every week. Would anyone care if I quit sharing these reflections? If I do decide to quit or reduce the frequency, what’s my why and how might I change the way I ship this art? Would I miss the sense of connection or somehow lose momentum? Perhaps there’s peace knowing the impact can continue being made without weekly additions? I plan to push through these dips as long as I continue to enjoy the challenge, but it can be lonely when we give our best, so please know that I always welcome support from those who have walked this path before.

– Consistency requires sacrifice.

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If you like seeing Roasted Reflections land in your inbox each week, can you help me stay caffeinated? Share this link to invite a friend to subscribe.

Training Wheels

When training wheels come off a child’s bike, it’s a breakthrough moment.

Learning to ride a bicycle was not as easy as it looked. The early excitement of that new bike was bolstered by the comfort of training wheels. These little stabilizers provided balance, but eventually became self-limiting. Whether you remember learning to ride a bike or have helped a little one figure it out, the urge to remove such limitation forms fast.

Removing training wheels only takes a minute, but then fear sets in. The challenge of staying upright, maintaining speed, avoiding obstacles, and falling without getting hurt feels overwhelming. Even with the support of others, success seems out of reach, until it clicks. Like magic, trepidation transforms into gliding independence.

Moving beyond the comfort zone that training wheels provide children, reminders us how wonderful it feels to overcome hardships. Considering how easy it can be to leave training wheels on too long, also awakens thoughts of how contentment can lead to complacency.

Being content without becoming complacent is a constant test. One moment you’re grateful for all that is, then soon you’re wondering why you feel oddly stuck. Perhaps this is because the more complacent we become, the more rigid we get. This rigidity often devolves into a stronger fear of change. When the movement that comes with change becomes associated with risk, it’s common to feel stuck, stagnant, or even irrelevant.

If training wheels are holding you back, initiative can set you free and persistence will keep you moving. When movement is gratifying, even when it’s hard, you’re set free to keep shifting gears as you ride toward what’s next.

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It was energizing to see so many friends at #TSDemoDay! This was a community celebration and milestone moment for entrepreneurs pushing beyond their own comfort zones, as this 2022 class emerged from the Techstars experience.