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2×4: An Interview with Ev Bogue

2×4: An Interview with Ev Bogue

    2×4: One series that examines two topics, creativity and productivity, by asking those who make things on the web the same four questions on both subjects.

    Right after submitting his answers, former 2×4 participant, CJ Chilvers joked that he wished he had gone the Steve Jobs route and given one word answers. Ironically, this was followed by my receiving exactly that (well at least for the first question) from today’s participant, Ev Bogue. Answers to subsequent questions were also nearly as short, sweet and to the point.

    I won’t lie to you…for an instant there, I was surprised. But then I realized that the exact nature of the answers is exactly why I asked Ev to participate.

    Ev is direct, clear and to the point. You can see that in his regularly email newsletter, you can see that in his posts on Google+. He’s also not a fan of the superfluous. He sheds the unnecessary even when it comes to things like a thriving blog and an active Tweet stream. Ev clearly puts as much, if not more time into choosing what he does as he does actually doing them. His words, as you will see below, are also as carefully chosen as his actions.

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    I could go on, but I doubt that would be in the spirit of today’s guest, so without further ado, here’s an inside look at Ev Bogue.

    Creativity

    Have you always considered yourself a creative person?

    Yes.

    What mediums and inspirations do you gravitate toward to realize your creative goals?

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    Right now I’ve been experimenting with writing for inboxes, and publishing to Google+.

    If you had to point to one thing, what specific posts or creations are you most proud of and why?

    I’m the most proud of working towards telling from experience this year. As a writer, this has strengthened how my work lands with my readers.

    Any suggestions for those who feel they may not be creative enough to unlock their inner artist?

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    Show up every day. Be honest. Ask permission to contact people who are interested in your work.

    Productivity

    Can you describe your current personal and professional responsibilities?

    I write every single day to a group of readers who are interested in what I write.

    How do you go about balancing the personal, professional and digital?

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    I don’t balance anything. I’m 100% invested in my work as a writer online. I’ve tried to take time off, but I don’t know what to do with myself.

    What tools and techniques do you find yourself counting on to get through your workload?

    I write with an 11” Macbook Air. I write in Scrivener. I deliver my work via Mailchimp. I connect with my readers through Gmail and using Google+.

    What is the best starting point for the unproductive amongst us, who are looking to get more organized?

    Hit publish on the work you’re compelled to do every single day.

    More by this author

    2×4: An Interview with David Sparks 2×4: An Interview with Myke Hurley 2×4: An Interview With CJ Chilvers 2X4 Interviews 2×4: An Interview With Gabe Weatherhead 2×4: An Interview With Brett Kelly

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    Last Updated on October 16, 2019

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Invaluable Lessons You Can Learn From Your Mistakes

    Do you like making mistakes?

    I certainly don’t.

    Making mistakes is inevitable. Wouldn’t it be wonderful if we could be at ease with them?

    Perhaps there is a way to think of them differently and see their benefits.

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    Why Mistakes Feel Dangerous

    Mistakes often feel dangerous. Throughout human history, our errors have often been treated as dangerous for a variety of reasons:

    • Our vulnerability. We have limited and fragile support systems. When those systems fail, people often lose their lives.
    • Real dangers. Nature can be dangerous, and making mistakes can put us at the mercy of nature and its animal residents seeking a meal.
    • Ignorance. Many cultures scapegoats someone whenever there is a failure of some kind. Scapegoating can be serious and deadly.
    • Order. Many societies punish those who do not conform to the prevailing orthodoxy and treat difference and non-conformity as a mistake. Even our brains flash an error message whenever we go against prevailing social norms.

    We have a history of handling mistakes and failure in an unpleasant way. Since each of us carries our human history with us, it can be a challenge to overcome the fear of making mistakes.

    If we can embrace the reality of mistakes, we can free ourselves to be more creative in our lives and dig up some interesting insights.

    Why We Can’t Avoid Making Mistakes

    Many people operate under the notion that making mistakes is an aberration, a mistake if you will. You can call it perfectionism but it is a more substantial problem. It is really a demand for order and continuity.

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    When we think we can eliminate mistakes, we are often working from a perspective that sees the world as a fixed place. The world, however, is not so obliging. Like it or not, the world, and everything in it, is constantly changing.

    Change is more constant and pervasive than we can see with our own eyes which is why we often miss it. Our bodies are constantly changing. The natural conditions of the earth change constantly as well. Everything, including economic and cultural systems have life cycles. Everything is in a constant state of flux.

    We cannot see all of the changes going on around us since rates of change vary. Unfortunately, when we try to create a feeling of certainty and solidity in our lives or operate from the illusion of stability and order, we are fighting reality and our natural evolution which is built on adapting to change.

    It is better to continually bend into this reality rather than fight every change we experience. Fighting it can cause us to make more mistakes. Finding the benefits in change can be useful and help us minimize unnecessary mistakes.

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    Lessons Learned from Making Mistakes

    Life has so many uncertainties and variables that mistakes are inevitable. Fortunately, there are many things you can learn from making mistakes.

    Here is a list of ways to harness the mistakes you make for your benefit.

    1. Point us to something we did not know.
    2. Reveal a nuance we missed.
    3. Deepen our knowledge.
    4. Tell us something about our skill levels.
    5. Help us see what matters and what does not.
    6. Inform us more about our values.
    7. Teach us more about others.
    8. Let us recognize changing circumstances.
    9. Show us when someone else has changed.
    10. Keep us connected to what works and what doesn’t work.
    11. Remind us of our humanity.
    12. Spur us to want to better work which helps us all.
    13. Promote compassion for ourselves and others.
    14. Teach us to value forgiveness.
    15. Help us to pace ourselves better.
    16. Invite us to better choices.
    17. Can teach us how to experiment.
    18. Can reveal a new insight.
    19. Can suggest new options we had not considered.
    20. Can serve as a warning.
    21. Show us hidden fault lines in our lives which can lead us to more productive arrangements.
    22. Point out structural problems in our lives.
    23. Prompt us to learn more about ourselves.
    24. Remind us how we are like others.
    25. Make us more humble.
    26. Help us rectify injustices in our lives.
    27. Show us where to create more balance in our lives.
    28. Tell us when the time to move on has occurred.
    29. Reveal where our passion is and where it is not.
    30. Expose our true feelings.
    31. Bring out problems in a relationship.
    32. Can be a red flag for our misjudgments.
    33. Point us in a more creative direction.
    34. Show us when we are not listening.
    35. Wake us up to our authentic selves.
    36. Can create distance with someone else.
    37. Slow us down when we need to.
    38. Can hasten change.
    39. Reveal our blind spots.
    40. Are the invisible made visible.

    Reframe Reality to Handle Mistakes More Easily

    The secret to handling mistakes is to:

    • Expect them as part of the process of growth and development.
    • Have an experimental mindset.
    • Think in evolutional rather than fixed terms.

    When we accept change as the natural structure of the world, our vulnerability and humanness lets us work with the ebb and flow of life.

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    When we recognize the inevitability of mistakes as part of the ongoing experiment which life is, then we can relax more. In doing so we may make fewer of them.

    It also helps to keep in mind that trial and error is an organic natural way of living. It is how we have evolved over time. It is better to be with our natural evolution than to fight it and make life harder.

    When we adopt an evolutional mindset and see ourselves as part of the ongoing human experiment, we can appreciate that all that has been built up over time which includes the many mistakes our ancestors have made over thousands of years. Each one of us today is a part of that human tradition of learning and experimenting,

    Mistakes are part of the trial and error, experimental nature of life. The more you adopt the experimental, evolutional frame, the easier it becomes to handle mistakes.

    Handling mistakes well can help you relax and enjoy all aspects of life more.

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    Featured photo credit: Sarah Kilian via unsplash.com

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