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Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #3: Create Your Own Visual Style

Finding Your Personal Style, Lesson #3: Create Your Own Visual Style

There is something fundamentally important in being different, in setting yourself apart from the masses to be unique. It is the ability to be different without fading yourself out from society and things going on around you. Being different means drawing from people and happenings around you and trying to turn every movement, moment, and every impression into something you can use as a) a source of inspiration or b) something that gives you a new perspective on the way you see yourself and/or others see you.

Fashion designer Donna Karan once put it perfectly by saying that “an interest in fashion (or yourself) doesn’t necessarily imply a disconnect from the world.” In most cases, it means that those who are aware of who they are or try to become more acquainted with themselves actually have a higher interest in other people or are more attentive to what is going on around them.
An interest in fashion as well as in developing your own style implies that you are not just connected to the fashion world of runway shows and VOGUE — it means taking on your environment, getting inspired by the space you live in and translate it into something you can draw from, something that makes you grow personality-wise and therefore, also style-wise.

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Lesson #3: “Create Your Own Visual Style… let it be unique for yourself and yet identifiable for others.” —Orson Welles

The ability to think visually is something you can train if you try hard. It is about training your imagination as well as your brain. To think visually means being educated and knowing a lot about your environment, its history, people, emotions, literature, etc. Thinking visually implies having the ability to transform every mood into something you can draw from — may it be a certain word or text, people or their behavior, a city or a its buildings.

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There are so many things to be inspired by; so many words to write and read, so many dresses to wear, so many style directions one could develop into. It is all about development. Focus on analyzing your environment, look at small things, find the flaw in things and the beauty as well, look carefully at where you are and who you are with. Then, take a second look and maybe even a third. Keep in mind that impressions change the more often you get them. Some impressions can never be made a second time, like the first. Keep that in mind and react upon what is out there right in front of your eyes. Turn the invisible visible. Make it approachable to you. Fit it to your mood and needs and personality.

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Create your own visual style. Look at other people, look at pictures, look at celebrities, look characters from books, look at whoever or whatever you want to look at. Then, try to transform what you saw into something you can work it. Analyze it; don’t just see the things you like and would love to be. See what hides behind the obvious surface, take a close look at things and also keep in mind that things never are always lipgloss and roses — every surface sometimes cracks. Mostly, it is those cracks that make it special and different, identifiable but at the same time unique.

Being different doesn’t necessarily imply that you have to put on a wig and a show and just do your thing no matter what. Being different means working out your best features, underlining them and developing yourself throughout the process of finding out who you are and how YOU actually look like versus how you want to look like. There is no space for playing pretend or playing games — developing style can only come from the true within, from who you are underneath the makeup and clothes and skin and bones. Remember that the inside reflects the outside and vice versa — dress according to that.

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Last Updated on March 13, 2019

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

How to Get out of a Rut: 12 Useful Ways to Get Unstuck

Have you gotten into a rut before? Or are you in a rut right now?

You know you’re in a rut when you run out of ideas and inspiration. I personally see a rut as a productivity vacuum. It might very well be a reason why you aren’t getting results. Even as you spend more time on your work, you can’t seem to get anything constructive done. While I’m normally productive, I get into occasional ruts (especially when I’ve been working back-to-back without rest). During those times, I can spend an entire day in front of the computer and get nothing done. It can be quite frustrating.

Over time, I have tried and found several methods that are helpful to pull me out of a rut. If you experience ruts too, whether as a working professional, a writer, a blogger, a student or other work, you will find these useful. Here are 12 of my personal tips to get out of ruts:

1. Work on the small tasks.

When you are in a rut, tackle it by starting small. Clear away your smaller tasks which have been piling up. Reply to your emails, organize your documents, declutter your work space, and reply to private messages.

Whenever I finish doing that, I generate a positive momentum which I bring forward to my work.

2. Take a break from your work desk.

Get yourself away from your desk and go take a walk. Go to the washroom, walk around the office, go out and get a snack.

Your mind is too bogged down and needs some airing. Sometimes I get new ideas right after I walk away from my computer.

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3. Upgrade yourself

Take the down time to upgrade yourself. Go to a seminar. Read up on new materials (#7). Pick up a new language. Or any of the 42 ways here to improve yourself.

The modern computer uses different typefaces because Steve Jobs dropped in on a calligraphy class back in college. How’s that for inspiration?

4. Talk to a friend.

Talk to someone and get your mind off work for a while.

Talk about anything, from casual chatting to a deep conversation about something you really care about. You will be surprised at how the short encounter can be rejuvenating in its own way.

5. Forget about trying to be perfect.

If you are in a rut, the last thing you want to do is step on your own toes with perfectionist tendencies.

Just start small. Do what you can, at your own pace. Let yourself make mistakes.

Soon, a little trickle of inspiration will come. And then it’ll build up with more trickles. Before you know it, you have a whole stream of ideas.

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6. Paint a vision to work towards.

If you are continuously getting in a rut with your work, maybe there’s no vision inspiring you to move forward.

Think about why you are doing this, and what you are doing it for. What is the end vision in mind?

Make it as vivid as possible. Make sure it’s a vision that inspires you and use that to trigger you to action.

7. Read a book (or blog).

The things we read are like food to our brain. If you are out of ideas, it’s time to feed your brain with great materials.

Here’s a list of 40 books you can start off with. Stock your browser with only the feeds of high quality blogs, such as Lifehack.org, DumbLittleMan, Seth Godin’s Blog, Tim Ferris’ Blog, Zen Habits or The Personal Excellence Blog.

Check out the best selling books; those are generally packed with great wisdom.

8. Have a quick nap.

If you are at home, take a quick nap for about 20-30 minutes. This clears up your mind and gives you a quick boost. Nothing quite like starting off on a fresh start after catching up on sleep.

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9. Remember why you are doing this.

Sometimes we lose sight of why we do what we do, and after a while we become jaded. A quick refresher on why you even started on this project will help.

What were you thinking when you thought of doing this? Retrace your thoughts back to that moment. Recall why you are doing this. Then reconnect with your muse.

10. Find some competition.

Nothing quite like healthy competition to spur us forward. If you are out of ideas, then check up on what people are doing in your space.

Colleagues at work, competitors in the industry, competitors’ products and websites, networking conventions.. you get the drill.

11. Go exercise.

Since you are not making headway at work, might as well spend the time shaping yourself up.

Sometimes we work so much that we neglect our health and fitness. Go jog, swim, cycle, whichever exercise you prefer.

As you improve your physical health, your mental health will improve, too. The different facets of ourselves are all interlinked.

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Here’re 15 Tips to Restart the Exercise Habit (and How to Keep It).

12. Take a good break.

Ruts are usually signs that you have been working too long and too hard. It’s time to get a break.

Beyond the quick tips above, arrange for a 1-day or 2-days of break from your work. Don’t check your (work) emails or do anything work-related. Relax and do your favorite activities. You will return to your work recharged and ready to start.

Contrary to popular belief, the world will not end from taking a break from your work. In fact, you will be much more ready to make an impact after proper rest. My best ideas and inspiration always hit me whenever I’m away from my work.

Take a look at this to learn the importance of rest: The Importance of Scheduling Downtime

More Resources About Getting out of a Rut

Featured photo credit: Joshua Earle via unsplash.com

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