011 – Stepping up my film making

This contains 2 big announcements I am very excited for. So, read on!

For those of you who know anything about filmmaking, you will not be very surprised by the fact that I want a gimbal. For those of who don’t know, a gimbal is a piece of electronic equipment that you put your camera on, and it keeps it very steady as you walk or run, or just any movement, it smooths it out. They generally have 3 axis, each with a little motor, for tilt, one for pan, one for yaw. As you move, your camera can follow your movements, smoothing them out. This is how a lot of very long smooth shots are achieved.

Hollywood has many different gimbals and other tools for their major productions, but nowadays, there are many consumer style gimbals on the market that are more affordable, however, there are plenty ranging well into the $10k range.

I have been wanting to get one for a while now. Besides the main reason of trying to decrease the amount of handheld footage in my videos and my vlogs, there is another reason as well. I believe is the reason is a sign of any good tool, in any field, that you feel needs to be added to your arsenal.

It’s inspiring.

The best pieces of gear, are pieces that inspire you and actually makes you come up with something new, or finally, you are able to pull off something that previously was not possible that you really wanted to achieve.

Just a few weeks ago, I used my friend’s gimbal, and I was so inspired. Coming up with so many different shot ideas, different angles, and possibilities to help tell the video’s story better. That solidified my mind around the need for a gimbal.

Over the next little while, I did a ton of research (I had already done a lot before this, but I stepped it up a notch) and fast forward to yesterday, I walked out of the camrea store with my very first gimbal!

A Zhiyun WeeBill Lab. It’s very small and light as well, which fits my camera, and allows me to easily travel with it and go hiking with it. So yes, making it easier to carry along and vlog with!

I could not be more excited. I feel like this is opening up so many possibilities for me creatively (even within my own head, which is half the battle), as well as opening up so many more doors professionally. There is now so much more I can offer clients for video projects, more creative ideas that I can achieve, and more efficient at capturing those ideas. This leads me to my next announcement.

Today I am starting an amazing new project, that I feel is going to help push and transform my filmmaking to the next level. My friend Janik and I are setting out to make a film about Vancouver that we are filming over the next month.

When we sat down initially to plan this project, the first of many in our film-making partnership, we wanted to create something that showed off our beautiful city, pushed us creatively, and developed in our skills technically. We want to make something we could both be extremely proud of, but also something we could benefit from in the directions we both wanted to go. We want to create something that would appeal to the brands we would love to work with, while still crafting our own unique style that we can bring to the table.

I can’t wait to show you all as it goes, and hopefully, create some behind the scenes vlog material out of it as well! So stay tuned for that, and in the meantime, be sure to check out Janik! (https://www.janikrai.com)

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

010 – 5am Wake Up Tips

A friend of mine, who I recently inspired to wake up early, now inspired me to write this by the fact that she has managed to wake up early for over a week now, and loves it! She never thought she would be able to do it, and actually used to call me crazy for starting this 5 am wake-up routine myself! However, she then tried it and now wakes up at 5 am every day of the week (sleeps in slightly on weekends, but that’s okay) and gets to work on her new personal project for a few hours each morning before work now.

I had another friend who asked me about how I did it as well, and from her asking, I realized a few different things that really help me to start, and maintain, my morning routine. When these same things are not present, they are also the reasons I hit snooze that extra time.

So I decided to share the 3 biggest tips to help you with your morning routine, and help skyrocket your morning productivity.

1 – Have a routine

Each morning I have set of things that I do right away, that require next to no thinking. Not only does this help you start your day in a way that doesn’t require much effort (good for a tired brain) but it gets you doing things right away, gives you a reason and a way to wake up, and also helps build in a little bit of a buffer for your wakeup.

My morning starts like this: I wake up at 5 am, I have a shower, I get dressed in my morning clothes (sweats) I put the coffee maker on, I brush my teeth, I make my coffee (I now do bulletproof coffee), and then I sit down with my iPad at the table to drink my coffee and allow myself 20 mins of watching a new vlog or tutorial on YouTube. Generally, I try to make this something that will help inspire me or get me in the mood for my day’s tasks ahead.

My next thing is my todo list, and I don’t actually “book” myself anything until 6, just to make sure I have that little buffer if I hit snooze. I have found that if I book myself to quick, then if something happens, even 10 mins off, it throws everything off and makes me start my day feeling behind, and it’s just not a good mood to start on. However, if I start my to-do list earlier then 6 am, then I already feel ahead and even more accomplished.

2 – Have your ToDo list READY

Have the first part of your day ready to go. The most important part is having a reason to wake up and get out of bed. Each night before I go to bed I sit down for 5 to 10 minutes and go over my to-do list for the next day. If you have ever heard of time block scheduling, I find this really helps. This list could be an accumulation of tasks I thought of during the previous day, but sometimes I need to sit down and think about what I should do to start the next morning. Tasks that don’t require other people, and that preferably are less distracting (like not social media browsing) are easy to check off and start off that accomplished feeling.

For me, this starts at 6 am, I block my time with things such as “reply to emails for 30 mins” or “research details about new software for 15 mins” or “edit 10 photos”. Notice, each one has a very exact time or amount, making them easy to accomplish and check off. There can also be small tasks like “ask Liam about Airbnb” in which case I just need to send an email, or “update calendar”, “read over latest blog post” or “QC latest podcast” which I know is a 20 min podcast so I think to my self that it will take 30 mins of making notes.

Whatever these tasks are for the morning, I try to plan out the first chunk of my day, from 6 am to noon works for me, but whatever works of for you till you need a little break. The tasks in the morning may inspire bigger tasks in the afternoon. You could also use the morning to work on your passion project or side hustle for a couple of hours before you go to work, so then factor that into your plans for the first few hours. Have a few blocked tasks, and include a few small tasks you can check off if you finish one of the block tasks earlier.

I use some different software to help with this, mainly ToDoist and Google Calendar, which I won’t go into detail about here, but in a future post I will discuss my research of different software that might help you for your needs. Let me know if you would find that helpful or if you have some specific software you would love to hear how I use it (I love to use productivity and organization software since I have a lot of projects on the go!)

3 – Have an overall goal

The most important, have a set goal, something you wish to achieve with this new found time. If you are just waking up for the sake of waking up, you will find it much more difficult to maintain.

Maybe that goal is to start the day off with getting your visit to the gym out of the way in the morning and develop your gym routine, or maybe you want to finish a book a week, and so each morning you want to read 2 chapters of your book to get the day started, or maybe you want to work on your blog so you can launch it in a month and work on making that your next full-time job. Whatever it is, know that and even write down your overall goals so you can refer to it from time to time. This goal can shift, as you move through different projects, but make sure you keep some overarching goal.

The beauty of the morning is there are no distractions, everyone is asleep, so if you answer emails you won’t be instantly bombarded by responses or phone calls. It’s also the start of the day, so that feeling of “its been a long day, I just want to watch my Netflix show” is a lot harder to justify. It’s so much easier to put yourself in the mentality of “I woke up this early, I better make this worth it!” which is much more productive.

Those are the three main tips that I hope can inspire you. Comment if you are going to try this, let us all help you stay accountable! Because telling other people also help you keep yourself accountable.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

009 – My first nude beach experience

So I am (almost) always willing to try new things, whether it be a new food, new places, or new experiences because I believe that is the way to grow, and you may find something you unexpectedly like! I’m sure we’ve all gone to a restaurant that we’ve been to a million times, but finally try something different on the menu, only to realize it’s the best thing ever and now that is all you want!

I am not saying that what I am about to talk about is that type of experience, all I am saying is that it’s good to get out of your comfort zone. One of my favourite YouTube channels has a slogan that says it perfectly, and I think this is how people should live, and that is to “Seek Discomfort”. For those of you who don’t know, the channel “Yes Theory”, highly recommend.

Okay, moving on.

I went to a nude beach. That’s right, a clothing optional beach here in Vancouver called Wreck Beach. This was my first experience going to a nude beach in my life. I had heard about them, but to me, they did not seem as common here in Canada, but more of a common practice in Europe.

When I lived in Toronto, I had heard about the nude beach there, but I heard not very nice things about it. Someone told me there were a lot of creepers there, and it was just a very uncomfortable vibe all around. None of my friends there were interested in going, and it never seemed like an activity of interest to do, not that it was actively avoided, just never came up as an idea for an afternoon activity.

Now, the culture here in Vancouver is much more liberal and open. There have been pot shops everywhere here far before Canada legalized, and there is quite a healthy LGBTQ community, and you see some very funky outfits all over the place. I grew up in a very liberal household, so this is nothing new to me, although a lot of these scenes were not for me, I was never hiding from it. However, this type of mentality applied to the beach here as well.

Upon arriving, at the top of a massive set of stairs that went down to the beach through the woods, we met some people who we then helped carry some supplies down the stairs to a hotdog stand they were setting up, and in return, we got a free snack and drink! That was my first introduction to this area, just a big happy group.

The beach was the most relaxing, open, non-judgemental place I have ever been to. There were all types of people, all different races, young, old, small, large, tattoos, hairy, bald. There were families there with small kids, or older adults, couples, groups of friends, and people on their own. Some people fully naked, some topless, and some in bathing suits or fully clothed.

There were all sorts of activities, many people laying there tanning, reading, chatting with others, standing around drinking, playing frisbee or bocce ball. There were tents set up where you could go buy any number of things, like coffee, towels, food or snacks. If you didn’t feel like getting up, there were also people walking around from whom you could purchase beer, frozen drinks, or even any number of drugs. That is not my scene, but it was very open, to each there own and no judgement either way.

You never felt like everyone was staring at your body, conversations were just like any you would have with anyone else at a coffee shop. Honestly, it was probably even more relaxed, and people were more friendly and there just to hang out and chat. It was just such a community vibe, but yet you could also stay to yourself and just read your book or enjoy the amazing view of the mountains and sea in front of you. It felt like everyone there was just there enjoying themselves, the freedom and being able to celebrate the naturally beautiful human body.

If you go there, you are not pressured to be naked either. One vendor I met, who I got coffee from, was wearing just a surrong, and said that this was the closest he had been so far to being fully naked here, yet he had been coming for quite a while.

I highly recommend people go check it out, leave your judgements at the top of the stairs, and just enjoy yourself, it’s such a friendly place.

That was my exciting experience of my long weekend. Have you ever been to a nude beach, and what did you think?

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

008 – My daily writing challenge

A week ago, I started writing on this blog. It’s been one week. If you wondered why I put the numbers in the headers of the posts, it’s because I want to write a post each day for as long as I can (maybe a whole year?). The number helps me stay more accountable to myself, as well as those following my journey.

I think every so often I want to write a little update post about what I’ve learned so far in my challenge to myself, and how I want to improve moving forward.

Now, this doesn’t mean I will have one posted every day, but I am going to try my hardest to, but behind the scenes, it is more about making sure I take the time to write every day.

All around so far, I have been loving this challenge! I never started this by calling it a “challenge” but that’s what it has partly become in my mind and in my daily routine. What have I learned so far:

Consistency – Making myself take this time out of my day to write, even if it’s a half hour or 20 mins, it’s something I’m holding myself accountable for.

For those of you wondering, yes, I generally write my post each day, it isn’t like I have a pile of backlogged posts that are auto-publishing. Yes, there have been days when I almost just decided not to, because it had been a long day and I was ready for bed, but I still took a moment before bed and sat down to write, and more often then not, I would get way more ideas and just want to write so many articles at once because of that, and that feels great!

Honestly, it’s almost been a method of meditation for me. I put my phone on silent, headphones with a good playlist, then just sit and write.

Creativity – I am convinced from doing this, that I have gotten much more creative. It has helped re-ignite some different creative sparks inside. I’m making myself stick to it every day, even when I don’t feel like it, yet when I sit down and start I always really love it and I don’t want to stop. I look forward to it each day, as an exciting part of my day.

I have a whole list of ideas that I can’t wait to write articles on, some are just thoughts, and some are lists of tips and tricks that I’ve gathered for life and things I think I could help share with people. Every day that I sit down to write where I feel like I have no ideas, I look at my list, and I get a creative spark. Then I come up with another 5 ideas to add to the list. The action of sitting down to do it, no matter what I feel like, makes my creative energy flow and it feels so nice.

Accountability – There are also things I want to continue working on, and putting them into writing here will help with that. That is pretty self-explanatory I think. When you put something out into the world and feel like people are holding you accountable, you feel more energized to keep working at it to make it happen.

Now, there are also somethings I want to work on moving forward as well. This is only one week into this world of blogging, so there’s much to learn still!

Consistency – Yes, I have improved my consistency of writing each day, but the next step I want to do is hone in a bit on when in the day I get to sit down and do this, have the act of writing this help inspire other parts of my day.

Artwork & Brand – This is so much fun, and already I have started adding consistent artwork to the posts, but I want to really start thinking about the branding around this blog and have a little bit more consistent cover art for different types of posts. This idea is early in development, but once again, put it out there to attempt to make it happen.

Writing – This is the biggest one, I am loving writing, and I can already feel myself improving, but I want to focus more on how I organize my ideas and layout each post. I want to pay attention to how I write to be able to make more engaging and helpful content for everyone. Keeping my personality in the articles, but making the core of each post have a meaning or a lesson.

I cannot wait to see where this blog goes, I hope you are enjoying reading it as much as I am enjoying writing it. To me, it feels a bit like an online journal, and a bit easier to maintain than a vlog (filming and then editing video, making it very unique each time can get a bit interesting). I am very excited about how this blog is already taking on a life of its own and is another creative outlet I have that I am very much enjoying, more than I ever thought I would.

Speaking of my vlog though, I do have some exciting news about that coming tomorrow (or maybe the next day, we’ll see, but soon regardless!) so stay tuned!

Thank you for coming along with me! Let me know if this inspires you to try a writing challenge like this? Even if you want to do weekly or bi-weekly posts, but something to work on keeping yourself accountable. I would love to see if any of you are starting this, or already have something like this going!

See you in the next one. Always be creating.

Alex

007 – What is the Personal Purpose of the long weekend

This weekend is the Victoria Day long weekend, generally referred to as May 2-4 weekend here in Canada, even though it’s not May 24th at all, and really, next weekend would technically be closer to May 24th…

Regardless, this is the holiday weekend and it made me think about what the point of the long weekend was. I don’t mean officially, I mean for someone personally, what are the best uses of the long weekend, for those of you who work jobs where this is in effect.

For me, I have never actually worked a job where holidays or long weekends made an impact. With music, you work whenever someone is feeling inspired. Most of the time, the look weekends are holidays were exactly when smaller bands who worked regular 9-5 jobs would be free to come into the studio, so that was almost busier.

In my opinion, the long weekend needs to be embraced by everyone different. I think its the time we need to take for something you want to do. For some people who work really hard, that should be spending time with family & friends, but for others, the long weekend should be seen as an opportunity to work on your passion project, or even take the first steps to start it.

In a book I recently read, they talked about how to start something new (like a habit, in the case of my book) people liked to start it on a day that signified a fresh start. For habits and certain things like a new diet or a workout plan, people tend to start on a Monday, the 1st of a month, the beginning of the new year, or following a birthday.

This type of principle I think should be applied to that new project you want to do, and tied to a long weekend, like this one. What better time to start something new, that thing you’ve always wanted to do, then during a 3 day period where you are completely unexpected to do anything.

Get that headstart, where you can still take your time, relax, but still have time to do what you want and if you get into a groove, then you have time to ride it out to get your foothold! Sometimes all you need is that extra little push, so that’s what I’m saying you should do, in whatever way works for you.

This is coming from a workaholic, who enjoys working non-stop, but even still, I do have projects and new things I want to start, and I also sometimes need that extra push to start it.

I can work 18hrs a day or more without blinking an eye, honestly, I’d forget to eat half the time (I used to a lot, my girlfriend really helps me with that now), and so for my long weekend, I’m doing a bit of the opposite (for probably the first long weekend in a while, and I’m going to be spending tomorrow morning going to the beach relaxing with some friends! Yes, I spent almost all day today working on my projects, but tomorrow morning is my “day-off”.

What are all of you doing for this long weekend? Do you agree with me, or do you think the long weekend should totally be thought of as lounge time with no other purpose?

Today was more of a thoughtful post, hope it made you think about what you want to do and making that first step in the direction of getting it started.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

006 – My Sleeping Habits

From reading the title, I’m sure you are expecting me to talk about my bad habits of how I either sleep way too much or how I am an insomniac who lays awake every night watching Netflix.

However, neither is the case.

I have never really gone to bed before I’m tired because that never works. All it does is makes sleeping even harder because you just lay there trying to will yourself to sleep, which often has the complete opposite effect.

In a book I’m currently reading about habit formation (Atomic Habits by James Clear), something he talks about that is proven to help insomniacs, is that if they are not tired, they should get out of bed and go to another room until they feel tired, then they can go to their bed. If they don’t fall asleep withing a certain amount of time, then they are to get back out of bed and go to another room again until they get tired. This helps the brain associate the bed with sleep time, so your body automatically knows that when it’s in bed then it’s time to sleep. I believe in this and have always had this mentality.

Now yes, there have been many nights that I just screw my morning-self over, as I just never seemed to get tired, but yet still had to wake up the next day, however, I think it was worth it for not setting a precedent of sleeplessness in bed.

I used to be a night hawk. It was extremely uncommon for me to be getting into bed before 4 am and I would wake up around 9 or 10 am most mornings. Yes, that is only 6 hours of sleep. This was my life, and I was VERY good at running on minimal sleep. It wasn’t like I did this a few days in a row and crashed for a week, I would do this for weeks back to back.

Looking back, I realize it probably is not the most healthy thing to do, but I also believe that I could do this because I was genuinely excited to wake up each day, and at night I would get a lot of things done and feel very creative and productive. I loved my job, I loved my side projects, and that motivation and excitement each day made it so I didn’t notice being tired. My body would tell itself that we didn’t have time for that I guess.

At the time, I believed that this was how I was going to live for the rest of my life, I would go to bed late, sleep in a bit more than most people, but that was how it was. My father is an early riser (he is up at 6 or 7 am most mornings) and I always looked at that and couldn’t understand why anyone would want to do that.

Fast forward to recently, if you remember my vlog from January 18th, titled “Waking up can CHANGE YOUR LIFE.” Now, doesn’t that seem strange and contradict what I just said?

Well… things change… what can I say?

So how did this “waking up early” movement start? When I moved to Vancouver, I moved in with my girlfriend and our “roommate” (a 25-year-old autistic woman who we take care of) which meant there were many more people around to influence my habits and my schedule. Every morning I took it upon myself to walk this woman to her autism day program, every morning at 8 am. Maybe I wanted to do it for health reasons, or maybe to have a more solid schedule now that I worked for myself and didn’t want to become a lazy slob, but it worked out that I really enjoyed the half hour walk there, and half hour walk home, each morning.

Next step was that I wanted to accomplish more work in the morning before walking her because I didn’t really like that being the first part of my day, so I started working on waking up earlier. Remember, I had already moved from waking up around 10 am to now waking up at 8 am, and now I was working on making that even further back to 7 am, 6:30, 6, and before I knew it, my alarm was going off at 5 am.

That’s right. The guy who hardly knew what morning was, was now waking up before the sun. Not only that, but I was LOVING it!

I do this every morning now, and it really is the best. I get a few hours of work in before anyone else in the house wakes up, or anyone else in the world wakes up. This means, no texts, no messages, no emails, no phone calls, no distractions. I hardly even touch my phone for the first 3 hours of my day, and I get so much done because of it.

I highly recommend people try this, even if you don’t think you’ll be able to.

In a future post, I will discuss how to make this change easier, because there are many things I have learned through this journey, and keep learning as well. By no means is it easy! But it really does make you feel amazing and bring such a great start to your day.

Until next time, always be creating.

Alex

005 – The Era of Quality YouTube, how new media content is shifting

My first thought while writing this, is that I am talking about how YouTube is changing, yet YouTube is only 14 years old. YouTube was first released in 2005, and purchased by Google in 2006 (for an astounding $1.6 billion, making it Google’s second-largest acquisition, only outdone by their purchase of DoubleClick, which was $3.1 billion, that later became AdSense).

It’s amazing that even in this relatively short period of time, the content and the culture around YouTube has changed so much. When the site first started, people didn’t know what to do with it. The internet wasn’t very fast (even in the best of places), and YouTube came to be because they managed to change the way we stream videos.

YouTube figured out how to stream videos while buffering them in small bits. So what does that mean? Well, before this, basically what would happen is if you clicked on a video, the browser would have to download the whole video before it would start playing. If it was a long video (god forbid a whole movie) this could take a couple of hours with the internet speed in those days.

YouTube’s technology essentially figured out how to break the video up into small chunks (for example a 10 min movie, into 10 chunks of 1 min each). It would then allow you to start playing the video once the first chunk had loaded, as it would continue to download the next chunk. This allowed you to start watching a video while it was still loading. If an error occurred, you wouldn’t have to wait for the WHOLE thing to load again, you could start anywhere in the video and it would just load from that point forward.

In the early days, YouTube consisted of a lot of low-quality rips of TV Shows/movies. The barrier of entry was quite low, so if you managed to record a video on an old video camera, and get it off your camera and uploaded, that was good enough, with no editing required!

Moving forward, the iPhone came out with a camera (2007), and as that gained popularity, people started to learn how to film and upload their own very simple videos. The iPhone 4 was the first iPhone with a front facing camera, (launched in 2010) which brought selfies and self videos. The next year (2011) was the beginning of Snapchat, which was basically all based on this concept.

People started filming themselves, but mostly using these platforms to share their raw clips with their friends still, so there was very little quality content. Gary Vaynerchuk was very early in this space of making actual quality content and using it for business, and he made the first video blog series on Wine (if you don’t know him, check him out).

Mobile phones continued to get better slowly and added editing software to make editing longer videos together easier. Following this, video cameras became more accessible to the masses, as DSLR cameras started to have a video mode, so people could then take videos with decent quality, and edit it together on their computer with iMovie (launched in 2010) or Windows Movie Maker.

Technology grew and developed rapidly (I mean today we have 4k video recorders in our pockets at all time now) which resulted in more and more people were starting various channels, but the quality of story, visual video quality, concept development was still all over the place and there was little to no expectations. Education videos started taking over, where people would use it to learn instead of pure entertainment of funny dog videos.

Along the way, one of the big shift points in my mind, was when Casey Neistat started his Daily vlog in 2016. Was he the first one? Not really. But he was out to try and capture his life, every day, in a way that was filmed like a movie, using different angles and more classic storytelling. He is known for using a 3 act narrative in each video, and every day.

He was not the first, but he did it differently, with impressive quality despite it being a daily edit. What he did gained AMAZING response and people really noticed it and respected what he was doing, and appreciated the change from the classic shakey handheld videos on the platform.

Since then, more and more creators are stepping up the production value, and it’s much more appreciated and noticed. The channels that make quality content are the ones getting the brand deals, getting the views, and the recognition for their work, and able to make it their living. This is just so much more encouraging for everyone, and the bar of entry has now been raised. You see this appreciation by the INSANE rise of Casey Neistate (11 million subscribers in 4 years) Peter McKinnon (3 million in 2 years) or MKBHD in the tech space (with 8.4 million, and his channel gains around 6k subscribers a day since Sept 2018).

I believe it’s catching on more than ever now, especially when you see even Snapchat having full camera crew quality videos. That’s saying a lot on a platform that was created for the selfie camera. Snapchat news is extremely popular with even major news networks putting time and resources into this now.

Even Instagram is seeing a major shift now, with people like Jessie Driftwood, who make quality videos (like, with cinema cameras) for Instagram stories, which are vertical and disappear after 24 hours, yet they still deliver amazing quality, great storytelling, and high entertainment value.

This makes me excited for people who put effort into their craft on YouTube, Instagram, Snapchat, and any other platform. They are getting recognized, celebrated and supported in many ways. These are also the people who have very original ideas, due to the fact that the content is coming from one or 2 people, not a major movie studio. This makes me very excited to see where this goes, since the platform, and quality of videos on it, is just getting started.

Where do you think this will go next? Are creators with high quality content on the next phase of their rise up, or what will we see as the next shift in content creation.

Let me know your thoughts!

Until next time, always be creating!

Alex

004 – The new age of Internet Friends

I remember when I was younger, when chatrooms and social networking was new. I’m not that old now, that age wasn’t long ago!

When you think about it, for those of you who remember MySpace, it has already had its rise and fall, and it only started in 2003. Spotify was born in 2006, and now has 191 million acitve monthly members. Heck, Facebook, the king of social media services was only born in 2004 (then called theFacebook, wouldn’t that have been wierd…)

Today we think about people in a totally different way because of social media, and I don’t mean about them as people because of what they post. I mean interms of our relationships to them because of technology. We now have a few different types of friends:

  1. Close friends – the people you call up on the phone, or meet up with regularily. These can also be the people you hardly talk to, but when you do, its like no time has passed and you pick up right where you left off.
  2. Facebook friends – These are the people you do know who they are, have met them once or twice, or even went to highschool with, but don’t really know, or aren’t very close with, but you are friends on facebook and like each others posts from time to time.
  3. Internet friends – This is the newest category that we’ll talk about.

With the rise of services like instagram, which are purley based on short interactions or simply just likes, the relationship that is possible can be very small. You can interact with someone everyday, follow along their daily activities, see their world, yet know almost nothing about them. It’s much less personal then Facebook, because at least on Facebook it’s “Friend Requests” not “Following”, and you think twice before accepting someone because you have seemlingly personal infomation on your profile that you don’t want just anyone to see (this is a whole other topic on its own for another day thought).

Now something that has been happening more and more, is people are meeing on those sites, and becoming great internet friends, and then actually meeting in person is a much more common practice. Even when you think of things like Tinder or Bumble, people use services to meet friends, and then end up becoming great friends!

I remember when chatrooms and early versions of these sites were coming online, my parents (and the parents of all of my friends) would never want me to meet anyone onlines, that was wierd and they could all be such creepers, yet today, some of my best friends that I hang out with, go shoot photos with, or go for coffee on a regular basis with, I met on instagram. Many people that I have met also admit that they have met a significant portion of their friend group through instagram as well, so I know it’s not just me.

It’s so nice to see this happening more often, and I really think that esspeically in a creative field where you get to see someones work on display and get to know them through their work first (in a way) you will create great creative bonds with people.

I know many people are still scared of social media platforms, but I very much think they are such an amazing tool for us to use in today’s day and age, if you use it right, and in a smart maner.

That is it for this social media rant. I thought of it since I literally met with a friend today who I met through instagram and now we are great friends and I hang with him almost every week.

Until nexttime, always be creating!

Alex

003 – Yoga Class

I just got home from Yoga class.

That’s right… I, Alex Krotz, am taking a yoga class.

Today week was my second week of an 8 week program that I go to each Tuesday. It is a small class, no more then 4 of us each week it seems, but this proves to be very useful because our teacher (who is fantastic) knows us each by name, and can help us work on our poses individually, while not slowing down the whole class.

This class is specifically designed for people like me, the name says it all. It’s called.. “Yoga4StiffGuys”.

Can you see why I enrolled? I saw and decided that I should finally give it a try. I have never done yoga before in my life, but all I hear are extremly positive things and everyone that I know that has done it, keeps doing it and loves it. As soon as I mentioned it to a friend of mine, he reviled that he’s been doing it for over 10 years now, almost every day!

So far, after just 2 classes, and doing yoga a total of 3 times (I had 1 warm-up attempt in the park before my first class, which was mostly me getting twisted and turned and falling over) I am so far very much liking it.

Over the next 2 months of my class, I want to:

  1. Work the practive of yoga into my daily life (a couple times a week maybe?) to help with meditating and relaxing
  2. Have yoga aid with my overal body stiffness (since I am less flexible then a 2×4)
  3. Mediate more in general and take more time, (even half an hour) to myself to help organize my thoughts. It always helps, I just need to make more effort to make it happen.
  4. Have this aid my posture and my writs, since I sit on a computer almost all day, I really need help with this before it bites me down the road.
  5. Use this a kickstarter for some other healthy things in my life, including eating habits and schedualing of healthy activites.
  6. Make sure I take time to myself, not with my computer, not with work, but for myself, for my brain, and maybe for a good fiction book.

There are some goals in there, as well as hopes for what yoga will do for me.

I love hearing what yoga has done for other people in their lives, and if you feel better because of it. I cant wait to share my disoveries as I continue this class.

Also, now I’m being held accountable for sticking to this class now that it’s in writing.

 

Till next time, always be creating.

Alex

002 – Motivation Monday

As I sat down this morning to write, I started by going through some drafts (maybe I should call them entries?) and most of them were about what ANAK Creates is and Why I started this blog, things like that. I decided that wasn’t what I wanted to share this morning, since there was information in there that I haven’t even announced yet to my channels. So I wanted to shift gears a little bit.

It’s Monday, and normally people seem to dread Mondays. It’s the first day of the week, there’s a whole work week ahead till the next weekend, there’s so much to do, blah blah blah. However, to me, those are also the exact reasons I love Monday so much! It’s a fresh start to the week, there’s so much opportunity, so many things you can do.

I am currently listening to the audio book for “Atomic Habits” which is SUCH an amazing book about how habits are formed, why we have habits, and how to create new good habits and break old bad habits. I think its worth anyone listening to or reading because it really is incredible.

In this book, he talks about associating starting something new, like a habit, to the start of a week or month or year (like, umm.. a Monday!) because its a fresh sense of hope, its the beginning to something new, and gives people that sense of ability to accomplish something. This is essentially the exact mindset you need to have! This is a fresh week, full of opportunity, full of time to do what you’d like, to further your goals, and check things off your list of getting closer to your dreams.

If you are someone who doesn’t really like their job, and has something that they would much rather be doing, then this is a great week to start figuring out how to make those dreams a reality, how to go from the job you don’t love, to something you can’t wait to wake up every morning to do.

We are lucky to be living in a time when almost anything you want to do, whatever you love doing, can somehow be turned into a job. Heck, even sleeping can be a job if you manage to find being a mattress tester!! You could also find another twist to it, and start a YouTube channel where you test mattresses, and help people who are looking for a new mattress make more educated choices!

What I’m saying is, if you don’t love what you do, there’s probably something out there thats right for you. Sure, it’ll take work, and it won’t be an overnight switch, but its out there.

A friend of mine is going through this right now, and trying to work on her new business. She took after my habits a bit (or so I like to think) and started waking up early, and working on her blog for 2 hours every morning before work. She feels so much more motivated to do this, instead of working on it after work when she’s pretty exhausted from the day of doing a job she doesn’t looovveeee, she motivates herself every morning to work on it, working toward her goal of building it up to eventually transition that to her full time job.

Here are a few tips, from my experience, to help you get started:

1. Figure out what you love, your interests, hobbies, things that would make you excited to wake up every morning.

2. Write these down!

3. Look around at things related to that and how people make money from this. Ex. What do you spend money on for this interest? Products, courses, etc., Who are people you follow for this, and how are they making money from this? Where do you learn about it? Are there things that you already do that give you an edge that you could share with others?

4. Write these ideas down, and see what excites you, think big and think outside the box, don’t just think about the one job that seems appealing, thing all around the space you are interested in.

Now once you start writing these ideas down, you can have a possibility of seeing what you’d like to do, and what excites you every morning. Spend even 10 mins thinking about this every morning during your coffee, or before bed while brushing your teeth, just get started, and set that time aside.

I highly recommend checking out “Atomic Habits” to help you shift your routines to help accommodate building up that new interest and possible job. Once you get started, so many thing will become more clear, you just need to GET STARTED.

So this seems like the perfect day to start that list. Get that notepad out, make a home for it where you will see it, and write down one thing you love doing. Thats all it takes every morning to start finding your passions.

Hope you have a great week getting inspired to be happy!

Oh, for those of you who already are doing what you love, fantastic and glad to have you in the club!!

Until new time,
Alex