We have grappled with the idea of doing a post like this for some time now. For the longest time, we have struggled with understanding when the best time to get something for ourselves or doing something unique and memorable. For many people, life has two extremes: 1) do everything you can while you are young and able to do them; and 2) wait to reward yourself until you have the means to do so. The underlying concept behind this dichotomy is delayed gratification. But what is delayed gratification and why should people care about it? This post on Delayed Gratification and Its Importance answers those two questions directly.Continue reading “Delayed Gratification and Its Importance”
We live in a world where doing more and more every day, whether personally or professionally, is the norm. But not everything you do effectively uses your time. For example, any one with an office job knows that constantly checking email gives the illusion of working. But what it really does is sap your energy for when you really do have a major assignment. Most people think busyness equals productivity. They are often wrong. It is not how much you do in a day; it is how you do it. Effectiveness and efficiency typically outweigh busyness but often get overlooked. How can you overcome that? Check out The Seven Best Books Productivity That You Must Read.Continue reading “The Seven Best Books on Productivity That You Must Read”
We have been following the NFL season since the 2022 NFL Draft. Every trade, signing, draft pick, and practice has led to one of the most interesting NFL seasons in recent memory. As the NFL reaches the midway point of its season, we and our friends, According to Chren, wanted to provide you with our definitive power ranking.
“Idle hands are the devil’s playthings.” Fitting words for the undisciplined. But discipline starts immediately when you wake up. Enter the morning routine. The morning routine provides necessary structure to your day without second thought. But many people see a morning routine as monotonous and drab. Whether it is because of widespread distraction through social media or a fear on falling into a rut, most people choose to start their days with flying by the seats of their pants. They make things up. The morning routine might seem thoughtless, but there is substantially more to it than meets the eye. Here are five reasons Why You Should Have a Morning Routine.Continue reading “Why You Should Have a Morning Routine”
Whether you are a blogger, lawyer, accountant, or an author, writing is the most important skill you have. In addition to being a communication form, writing is a tool you can use to express yourself. Even if you do not write for a living, having the best writing matters. This post delves into what you can do to become the best writer you can be. Without further ado, here are Ten Tips for Becoming a Better Writer.Continue reading “Ten Tips for Becoming a Better Writer”
A few months ago we did a post on the Five Common Misconceptions about Life (click here). While that post focused entirely on life, it omitted another big part of people’s everyday lives: work. Unless you work for a construction or plumbing company, the amount of work you do will not accurately reflect your productivity and value to those who hired you in the first place. With notable exceptions, like private practices in law and medicine, the amount of time you work will not accurately reflect what you have to offer. So, here are Five Common Misconceptions about Work.Continue reading “Five Common Misconceptions about Work”
We can all use a little extra simplicity on our journeys towards success. Despite the known differences between achievement and success, like tangible things versus an emotional state of being, there are some things that help significantly in easing your path to success. Don’t get us wrong, achieving great success takes time, energy, and an unwavering determination. But we have discovered some life hacks that really work in helping get you one step closer to the success you want. Before we get into the post, don’t forget to connect with and follow us on Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. Now, here are the Five Life Hacks You Can Use Today to Help Achieve Success.Continue reading “Five Life Hacks You Can Use Today for Success”
Staying healthy and fit are some of the hardest things one can do in a world that does not stop spinning. You have obligations at work, in your family, and in your own life, which makes easy to neglect certain things. One of the first things we see go is the motivation to work out or eat healthily. When you are stressed, your body wants sugar and grease instead of what it really needs: fruits and vegetables. If you have a mentally taxing job like lawyer, economist, or accountant, your mind just wants to shut down and consume content and nothing. We have been there, but we have discovered and implemented things in our lives to safeguard our health and fitness. Here are Seven Game-Changing Things You Do For Your Health and Fitness.Continue reading “Seven Game-Changing Things You Can Do For Your Health and Fitness”
Reading has become a staple of lives since fall 2020. There is no better time than fall to get a good book, a cup of coffee and apple cider, and read for hours. Combine an amazing temperature with gorgeous scenery, and you have a reading setting like no other. To celebrate the first weeks of fall, we decided to participate in this Book Tag.
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Nothing More to Tell by Karen McManus
We have read a couple of Karen McManus’s books before, and Nothing More to Tell is a great return to form much in the vein of The Cousins and One of Us is Lying. What happens when a high-school senior takes her true-crime internship too seriously in investigating a death close to home? Well, that’s what we are excited to find out!
The Final Gambit by Jennifer Lynn Barnes
No YA mystery/thriller series has captivated us more than Barnes’s Inheritance Games series. From the cool premise of an unrelated, little-known teenage inheriting $46.2 billion to the tit-for-tat strategy the other family members use to uncover why the deceased grandfather would transfer over $46 billion to a teenager that the rest of the family have never heard of. We are excited to read the final chapter and cannot wait to see what other secrets the elder Hawthorne had.
Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
Book smarts are not the only thing people need to succeed in personal and professional life. You must have a keen awareness of how your actions affect others, both physically and emotionally. This book may sound overly complicated and a far reach for a fall book, but we think developing a strong emotional intelligence is a perfect way to navigate the changing seasons. Plus, it just feels like a book you would want to read with a cup of apple cider.
The Da Vinci Code by Dan Brown
As crazy as it sounds, Dan Brown’s bestselling The Da Vinci Code is a spectacular fall read, and not because we read it for the first time last fall. Something about Paris and the English countryside just screams beautiful scenery with crumpled leaves and gentle cool breezes. Combine that with Brown’s signature action scenes and historical/philosophical commentary, and you have a book that will leave you wanting more cozy fall reading.
The Confidence Game by Maria Konnikova
Something about the psychology of con artists just feels right for fall. Fitting given con artists do not need Halloween to dress in sheep’s clothing. Why do we fall for scams? Often, our own pride and arrogance lead to our downfall. The Confidence Game provides the reasons, and there is no better time like fall to learn a crucial branch of psychology. We cannot wait to get into this one!
Factfulness by Hans Rosling
Call us nerds or weird, but with the mid-terms coming up in the United States, key elections in Brazil, and a recent change of prime minister in the United Kingdom, there is not a more important book out there than Factfulness. While not a book set during fall, one can best feel its effects during this wonderful time of year. Leaves and atmospheres change, cool breezes lead to sweaters, and reading becomes all that more enjoyable. We look forward to adding this one to our fall reading, and we hope you do too.
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The Sagrada Familia. Parc Guell. Casa Mila, or La Pedrera. Casa Batllo. Casa Vicens. What do they all have in common, other than being UNESCO World Heritage sites? They all came from the brilliant mind of Catalan-born architect Antoni Gaudi. If you have ever been to Barcelona, Spain, you will no doubt visit at least two of these incredible structures. But what may not be as clear to you is the lessons one can instantly learn from their out-of-the-box-acting creator. While you can learn several lessons from Antoni Gaudi, we decided to focus your attention to the five most necessary. Here are the Five Lessons Everyone Should Learn from Antoni Gaudi.
Follow Your Passions
Antoni Gaudi was a visionary architect who credited much his ingenuity to nature. He also focused his attention towards architecture and form, choosing to follow his interests rather than following someone else’s vision of his interests. Gaudi dedicated his entire career to challenging the status quo, a passion of his. Gaudi’s passions led him to create some of the world’s most recognizable and unique structures, something we can all learn from and emulate.
Passion is an indiscernible desire for something. It comes from the limbic system, your gut, and you cannot fully explain why you feel so strongly about the thing. Gaudi let his passions control his designs, not his rationalizations. Nature fueled much of his designs. Just look at the Sagrada Familia’s Nativity façade or Casa Mila’s outside structure to see what we are talking about. Take a page out of Gaudi’s book and find something that screams to you. We typically care more about things we are passionate about. For us, it’s helping people. For the artist, it could be about creating something because they have something to say. And in the flame of passion, you put in long hours and test yourself because you genuinely want to see something come to life. Antoni Gaudi stands for this, and we are hard-pressed to find anyone who can better represent this lesson.
To conform, or not to conform? That is the question. When you look at Antoni Gaudi’s work, it is hard to see anything else like it. Sure, you can identify other architects who worked in his form of architecture: modernisme, or Catalan-based Art Nouveau. But none of them compare to Gaudi. A great example of this is the block of discord on the Passeig de Gracia, where Gaudi’s Casa Batllo abuts Josep Puig i Cadafalch’s Casa Amatller and is close to Lluis Domenech i Montaner’s Casa Lleo Morera. You can see the modernisme in each building, but Gaudi’s Casa Batllo stands as the most recognizable. Why? Because Gaudi was unapologetically himself, and that attracts interest.
In an earlier post, we stressed several reasons why you should start today. One of the reasons we gave was that no one can compete with you being you. Gaudi epitomized this sentiment. While he had contemporaries who did followed the modernisme style, Gaudi basically bucked the trends and did his own thing. Gaudi’s originality and unapologetic individualism stood on its own. Gaudi once said that “originality” stems from going back to the “origin of things”, going back to basics. We agree.
You should recognize that being yourself does not mean ignoring trends or what others think. It means knowing that no one can be a better version of you because your experiences make you unique. That uniqueness draws people in, not how you try to copy or take directions from others. Gaudi’s genius stemmed from an unrivaled individualism, and yours should too. Always remember that you can only affect what you can control, and who you are and how you project it to the world is squarely in your control.
Never be afraid to push boundaries
Part of Gaudi’s genius stemmed from a willingness to push boundaries. While at the University of Barcelona, Gaudi took several classes on architecture, which covered the architectural norms of his day. He acknowledged them, but he proceeded to ignore them altogether. Why? Because he had a vision of what he wanted to create, and that vision did not include following the generally accepted ideas of the time. Casa Vicens looks otherworldly, Casa Batllo literally looks like a mountain that the sea carved out, and no other structure can compare to the Sagrada Familia’s exterior and interior aesthetics. Each of these buildings highlight the genius existing in nature, something no one architect recognized throughout history.
Gaudi’s Barcelona looks nothing like the neoclassical- and gothic-inspired Madrid, Seville, Berlin, or Lyon. It even does not look like other parts of Barcelona itself. The gothic Barcelona Cathedral might have some similarities to a very small part of the Sagrada Familia, but the two of utterly different. When you push the boundaries, you challenge the status quo. You invite others to see things differently than what they currently do. While it is one thing to “think outside the box”, it is an entirely different thing to act outside the box. Gaudi not only drew inspiration from things hidden in plain sight, he implemented those ideas in his works. Nothing will ever compare to Parc Guell or Casa Mila because pushing the boundaries means stepping out of the comfort zone. Gaudi and his boundary-pushing works teach the perfect lesson of fearless creativity.
Always stand up for what you believe in
Born and raised in Catalonia, Antoni Gaudi was a strong proponent of Catalan nationalism. While he did not politically advocate for Catalan independence through public discourse, Gaudi still represented his homeland proudly through his works. Modernisme looks like no other contemporary styles like Art Nouveau in France or modernism in Italy because it sought to change society through artistic forms. Having grown up in Catalonia, Gaudi understood that the best way to make an impact and send a message was through creating unapologetically distinct structures that would stand the test of time. Mission accomplished. Gaudi’s commitment to his culture, faith, and craft represented more than artistic genius; it represented a soul inherently different from a more classically inspired style like Spain’s Royal Crown.
Gaudi’s commitment to what he believed encourages people to recognize that the status quo does not change without action. Again, the world does not reward passivity. Gaudi’s works dominate Barcelona, giving it a unique feel, because he never waivered in his mission to represent his beliefs. Everyone should emulate that. There are issues in this world that merit real dialogue, and it takes a fearlessness to accomplish that. That fearlessness comes from an unbridled passion to see change in the world, to leave the world better and more informed that it is. Gaudi understood that, using architecture and landscaping to show that another heart beats in the Northeast corner of the Iberian Peninsula. Gaudi’s stance certainly teaches the impactful lesson. You just have to be willing to apply it.
Approach learning enthusiastically
Learning is one of the most important skills we can have in this world. It informs us of how the world works and what we believe, allows us to learn new ideas, and even pushes us to grow. Before his meteoric rise, Gaudi embodied this lesson. While he studied architecture at the University of Barcelona, Gaudi took every opportunity to learn. He studied the hard sciences, mathematics, foreign languages (German particularly), religion, nature, and architecture. Taking a polymath approach to his studies, Gaudi developed a perception of the world very few could match. Combined with his Catalan upbringing, he approached each project he had with real vision.
We once heard that the moment you stop learning, you stop growing. Learning does not stop after you graduate high school. It continues throughout life, whether through on-the-job training or reading about new things simply because of intellectual curiosity. Gaudi understood that learning allows one to level up and test themselves, force them to push themselves out of their comfort zones. Palau Guell, Casa Vicens, Casa Batllo, and Casa Mila pale in comparison to the Sagrada Familia, and Gaudi would not have conjured up his “magnum opus” if it were not for a persistent need to learn and grow. He understood that growth matters because it encourages innovation.
Tech companies do not have a stranglehold on innovation. Innovation entails doing things a little differently than they were once done. Architecture has existed for thousands of years, but an enthusiastic learning allowed various people to create never-before-seen structures. An enthusiastic learning also allows one to see things that might have seemed obvious to them but not to others and implement them, pushing the collective knowledge stores forward. Learning enhances innovation, and enthusiastically approaching it makes for better and more impactful ideas.
What Gaudi teaches regarding this lesson is that learning comes easier and is more enjoyable when you focus on things you are passionate about. Following your passions inherently includes an unrelenting enthusiasm to learn. Recognize that learning allows you to level up, and no one leveled up more notably than Catalonia’s most famous architect. An intellectual curiosity goes a long way.
What about Antoni Gaudi interests you, and what lessons have you learned from him? Let us know in the comments. We greatly appreciate it.
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