Hello there old friends. It’s been a while, hasn’t it? I hope this post/email/RSS feed finds you very well. Just a quick note to say that I’ve moved to Vermont and launched a new venture called URSA MAJOR, which means ‘The Great Bear’ in Latin. Please come visit! We’re trying to put into practice many of the entrepreneurial ideas discussed here on Indie Breakfast Club. And, btw, if you feel like partaking in the goods over at The Great Bear, I’ve set up a little promo for my old IBC friends (type in “IBC” coupon when checking out for 20% off your first order + free shipping), good for 30 days. OK, that’s it for now! Look forward to re-connecting if you feel like continuing the dialogue/journey. Onward and upward, Oliver
This post is a month or two overdue, or a month or two premature, depending on how you look at it. Either way, I’ve decided to put IBC on ice for a while so I can focus on a new project. At some point, I may resume this blog or start another one. In the meantime, thanks to those of you who visited, commented and supported IBC one way or another. Here’s to a productive fall ’08.
I went on holiday in search of a quiet beach and some rest.
We ended up south of Tulum in the Yucatan, just in time for a fierce tropical storm.
The wind howled day and night, filling everything with fine white sand, and the rain came sideways and hard.
Three days in, some fierce waves tossed this home-spun raft (from Cuba I’m guessing) onto the beach.
I’ve stumbled across these ravaged vessels before (in the Bahamas) and be assured they leave you standing cold…
Whose raft was this? What godawful circumstances pushed them to set out on such a risky journey? And, inevitably, how did the voyagers die?
Was it the sun? Did they run out of water? Starve to death? Or did a big, black wave fill their lungs forever with brine?
Does it matter? In face of such long odds, death was almost certain.
It’s hard to imagine a life so miserable, so utterly lacking in hope that it drives people to plunge headlong into the dark sea on little more than a stack of bound twigs for a slim chance at something better, far over the horizon.
But millions of course make this stark choice every year; thousands are on the move at this very moment, across mountains, deserts and seas, risking everything to flee dictators and misery in search of safety, shelter and food.
Let’s never forget the plight of all these courageous people, including the intrepid Cubans who built and set out on this little raft, above.
Let’s endeavor to help them, each as we can, in our own way (a note to South Africans and their pressed Zimbabwean neighbors!).
Finally, let’s honor them with a little quote from Ishmael in Herman Melville’s Moby Dick:
“Earnest thinking is but the intrepid effort of the soul to keep the independence of her sea; while the wildest winds of heaven and earth conspire to cast her on the treacherous, slavish shore… better is it to perish in that howling infinite, than be ingloriously dashed upon the lee, even if that were safety!”
It’s good to be posting again, readers… more to come from Vermont and Lohas 12.
A couple of years ago, I was lucky enough to spend a lot of time up in Vermont over the summer. I would get up early, working until about 3 or 4pm, then I would hit the woods for a run or a bike.
I followed this routine for about 10 weeks and after a while I began to notice a clear pattern in my thinking: nine times out of 10, about 45 minutes into my run/bike, my mind would light up on fire.
What I mean is, during any given day (24-hour cycle), I would do by far my boldest, most imaginative thinking during a 10-15 minute window three quarters of the way into my exercise routine.
I’m not a scientist, or an illustrator (clearly), but if one could measure and graph this effect, it would look something like this:
You get the idea…
Yes, I think Vermont’s clean air/quiet woods help, but the same thing happens here in the city when I run down the river or bike through the Park, albeit with more interruptions.
My assessment: I’ve read the articles. I know exercise is good for the heart, helps maintain a healthy weight and releases chemicals that alleviate stress.
But I’m also 100% certain it kick-starts mojo + imagination, unleashing powerful, gravity-free thinking.
I think it’s important to try and create this mental space every day…
Try it for a week (walk, run, bike, hike, swim) and let me know how it goes.
p.s. I’ll be experimenting with some meditation techniques this summer, to see how that compliments all the exercise activity, and will share any useful findings here.
I put up a new About page today to clarify IBC’s purpose and scope. Here it is, in all its gory:
Indie Breakfast Club explores the intersection of entrepreneurship, self-actualization and social responsibility.
Most of us spend 70-80% of our waking hours “working”, so why not make that work productive, fulfilling, useful to others and fun?
In the near term, our goal is pass along one or two on-topic nuggets a day (tips, insight and inspiration) to spark thinking, dialog and action.
Longer term, we hope to extrapolate a useful framework (and maybe some tools) to help people “self-actualize” (reach their potential).
A tall order? Maybe. But we think it’s attainable. Please stick around and participate in the exploration… who knows what’ we’ll discover together?
This is a project of Oliver Sweatman, a keen student of entrepreneurship, self-actualization and social responsibility currently living in New York City.
I also massaged IBC’s tagline (you know how I love to do that). It now reads: “Vitality for creative professionals intent on positive change.”
And now for our viral trailer (actually, it seems to be working as subscriptions to IBC are increasing faster than the price of gas):