My ingredients: garlic, ginger, onion, mushrooms, kale, bok choy, carrot, jalapeno, green onions, and shrimp. We’re going to create a basic stock.
Peel a hunk of ginger, smash some garlic to peel…
by Marcus Geduld
Just as with any skill, practice, practice, practice. Unfortunately, that means telling stories now, while you’re still bad at it. Getting good at anything means trying, failing, learning from failure, and trying again. Go ahead and fail, but keep a journal of your failures, analyzing as best you can why you failed and what you can do better next time. Earn your successes. Realize that you’ll never be good at storytelling. Not you in particular. Anybody! Updike, Fitzgerald, Shakespeare … — our greatest storytellers — all knew that the only worthwhile method was to keep trying and failing, trying and failing. Tips will help (see below), but please keep this paragraph always in the forefront of your mind.
What happens next?
The number-one ingredient for a story is the tension of an unsolved mystery. Stories set up a questions and delay answering them. The simplest example is a question in the first sentence with the answer delayed until the second sentence:
"You know who Bob’s favorite singer is? Meatloaf!"
That’s not a very interesting story, I know, but compare it to this:
"Bob’s favorite singer is Meatloaf."
The first version evokes (just a little) tension. The second doesn’t.
Now imagine telling the first version but walking out of the room after the first sentence:
"You know who Bob’s favorite singer is? —– "
That agony is what you should strive for. Because the most basic human urge that makes us want to listen to stories is the need to know what happens next.
Curiosity is the juggernaut that drives storytelling.
If you immediately tell us what happens next — or if there is no next ("Bob’s favorite singer is Meatloaf") — then there’s no hook.
Practice this simple question-delay-answer structure over and over, in all your communications. I mean in emails, text-messages, Quora posts, and so on. You’re not going to become a good storyteller by learning how to go into storytellingmode. Instead, turn yourself into someone who tells stories all the time. May stories a natural part of the way you communicate.
Ok, I have a confession to make.
I have spent almost my whole life– 31 years– caring far too much about offending people, worrying if I’m cool enough for them, or asking myself if they are judging me.
I can’t take it anymore. It’s stupid, and it’s not good for my well being. It has made me a punching bag– a flighty, nervous wuss. But worse than that, it has made me someone who doesn’t take a stand for anything. It has made me someone who stood in the middle, far too often, and not where I cared to stand, for fear of alienating others. No more. Not today.
Today, ladies and gentlemen, is different.
We’re going to talk about the cure. We’re going to talk about what’s necessary. We’re going to talk about the truth.
Do you wonder if someone is talking shit about you? Whether your friends will approve? Have you become conflict-avoidant? Spineless?
Well, it’s time you started not giving a fuck.
FACT NUMBER 1. People are judging you right now.
Yes, it’s really happening right at this moment. Some people don’t like you, and guess what? There’s nothing you can do about it. No amount of coercion, toadying, or pandering to their interests will help. In fact, the opposite is often true; the more you stand for something, the more they respect you, whether it’s grudgingly or not.
What people truly respect is when you draw the line and say “you will go no further.” They may not like this behaviour, but so what? These are people don’t like you anyway, why should you attempt to please people who don’t care for you in the first place?
Right. Then, there’s Internet trolls. That’s a whole other thing.
Regular people are fine– you don’t actually hear it when they’re talking behind your back. But on the web, you do see it, which changes the dynamic drastically. They have an impact because they know you have your vanity searches, etc. But the real problem with Internet haters is that they confirm your paranoid delusion that everyone out there secretly hates you.
Thankfully, that’s not actually true. So the first noble truth is that most people don’t even care that you’re alive. Embrace this, my friends, for it is true freedom. The world is vast and you are small, and therefore you may do as you wish and cast your thoughts of those who dislike it to the side.
Humans like to think we’re a clever lot. Yet those magnificent, mighty brains that allow us to split the atom and touch the moon are the same stupid brains that can’t start an assignment until the day before it’s due.
We evolved from primitive creatures, but we never quite shed ourselves of their legacy. You know the clever, rational part of your brain you think of as your human consciousness? Let’s call him Albert. He lives in your brain alongside an impulsive baby reptile called Rex:
(Rex is your basal ganglia, but that’s not very catchy so I’m sticking with Rex).
Rex evolved millions of years ago – unsurprisingly enough, in the brains of reptiles – and his instincts guide and motivate you to this day. Hunger. Fear. Love. Lust. Rex’s thoughts are primitive and without language.
Here’s the bit you’re not going to like. Rex makes the final call on all your decisions. Every. Single. One.
Melt chocolate and butterscotch chips along with a spoonful of peanut butter.
When temperatures rise, there’s nothing like a bit of ice cream to help cool things back down! If you’re looking to beat the heat during the dog days of summer, try these Peanut Butter Ice Cream Pops.
These quick desserts are an easy way to put a homemade spin on plain vanilla ice cream. Store-bought ice cream is layered with chocolate fudge sauce, salty peanuts, peanut butter, and chunks of peanut butter cups candy, in individual popsicle form. They’re cold and creamy, sweet and salty, and the perfect antidote to hot summer days!
Many natural procrastinators I know are people who are praised for their intelligence, and misinterpret that as a sign that they don’t need to have structure for their brain’s daily activities, and don’t need to give it the proper respect and exercise that it requires and deserves. So they neglect it – let it run wild on the internet, gorge itself on Reddit and Facebook and porn and games (the mental equivalent of junk food and jerking off), and allow it to lapse into a vicious cycle of unaccountable information binging and inevitable self loathing.
Your brain adapts to, and then perpetuates, the habits to which it is constantly exposed. That fact doesn’t work in your favor right now, but you can change that. My suggestions:
1) Structure your time. By scheduling your daily activities, you provide a motivation to be present and diligent for your responsibilities. Plus, this will discourage the huge, unhealthy blocks of surf time that arise when you don’t plan your time out ahead. As far as skill acquisition like studying goes, I recommend time management methods like the Pomodoro Technique to give your brain a healthy routine length. You may also want to invest in a timer, or a program that acts like one, so you can monitor how much time you’re actually spending plugged in, and hold yourself accountable for it in the future.
This tip also extends to structuring your sleep schedule. I assume you’re in college, and there’s always fun stuff like parties and dorm CoD seshes and recreational drug use happening at any given time in college. Even if not, there’s always the internet. Learn to pull the plug, even when you don’t feel like you want to stop, and get your 6-8 hours a night. It does wonders for your self-control, self-image, and your presence in real life as opposed to inside your head.
2) Figure out why you procrastinate. Procrastination is a type of experiential avoidance that causes itself through an unwillingness to feel uncomfortable emotions, or be in unpleasant situations, even at personal detriment. I personally was an internet/League of Legends addict because I wanted to avoid confronting my anxiety, low self-esteem, and feelings of helplessness, and losing myself in my laptop provided an avenue where I could feel ‘in control’. It’s different for everyone, but this attitude is rather common nowadays. You owe it to yourself to be honest about what it is you’re procrastinating from, and why you fell into the habit. It may take some reflection.
Used a shoe box as the mold
First a layer of Pineapple lumps (for all non New Zealanders, they are the most amazing candy ever)