Being an Explorer in this modern age

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I am, and I’ve been, very attracted to the idea of being an explorer for a long time. Since I read about all the adventures of heroes in foreign lands when I was little, I’ve been picturing myself as one of them. But don’t get me wrong. I know I won’t become a real explorer. Though, if you want to know about a real one, you could start with this article.

Finding new places and cultures is not a goal of mine, but meeting new places and people it is. Yet, what I really want is to be an explorer of life. I crave experiences. But even then, I am picky. I’m not willing to try unhealthy or life threatening experiences. I just want to do new things, learn more, read more, see new places, discover different ways of doing things…

One can be an explorer of the outer world, of the under sea world, of the outer space and also an explorer of the inner world. My perspective of being an explorer may be closer to of that of being the first penguin. However, I would still try something if it’s done before, if just I haven’t done it myself. ‘Cause, we all know most things are already invented. That doesn’t mean we cannot do it, try it, experiment with it…

I’m also a big fun of miniadventures. You don’t need to go to the other side of the world to live an adventure. Stepping out of your usual routine, your known streets and out of your comfort zone can be quite exciting and memorable too. It’s just trying something new. Looking at the smallest details of the plants in your garden. Taking your dog to a different park. There are gazillions of opportunities and chances and possibilities.

And the best way to start exploring?

With no expectations.

Not hoping to discover the new biggest hit.

Not longing for a shiny picture to show to the world.

Just wanting to be there, live it, feel it, experience it. And learn something.

That is my reason. That’s why I’ll never have enough of life. There’s no way I can stop wanting to learn, to discover, to see things under a different light.

I could stare at the world for thousands of billion of years… and that would not be enough to be aware of every detail of every little piece of it. Not enough to understand all that goes on inside me, on my mind or how I feel. Not enough to see every creature, to read every book or paint all the paintings I imagine. Time is the only concern, but it’s also the compass that will guide me in order to choose what I want most and what’s important to me.

The greatest beauty I find on all of that?

That we can create more of it. More beauty. More incredible objects, machines, architecture… It’s an endless universe of wonder that we are missing most of the time.

And so my craving for painting remains. Because I want to be able to enjoy and observe the flow of water and colours, depicting what I see, discovering forms and textures. It’s an endless pleasure and an endless challenge.

But, why should you be an explorer today?

Because no matter who you are or what you do. You can do something new, something unconventional, something that is a lot you. To be authentic. Not plain weird or different, but true to how you are, who you are. You have the chance to put a grain of you in what you do. And that’s a kind of magic. Which usually pays back. Following all the rules and trends had been proved it’s not a guarantee of anything. Breaking all of them is neither. Choosing the ones that better align with you… well, at least they’d be easier to follow and more appealing.

Knowing yourself is far more important than other rules. There is no knowledge out there able to tell what is best for you but yourself. Though that’s hard. Means listening to yourself more than the outside. It means trying to understand yourself instead of taking others statements as true. Means experimenting. Doing and undoing. It’s a lot of work, the right work. The inner world is not your enemy and the outside is neither. Listen both, follow your heart, discover what is true to yourself, align both worlds. When I feel true peace, I know I’m on the right path.

Finally, there’s no highest step in an explorer’s journey than to be thankful. At the end, we are talking about appreciation. The bigger it is, the better life becomes.


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Let’s do this! : in 7 minutes you’ll be ready for your dream

Life in the Atelier

Dream bigger, achieve more

Whether you are young, middle-aged or old, you sure have a dream. Even a small one.  I believe in dreams and I believe in pursuing them. No matter if they come easily or after some hardship. To accomplish dreams is the most empowering thing and also the greatest motivation to wake up each morning. They don’t have to be selfish, they don’t have to deny time and love to the important people in our lives.

But what it takes to follow a dream? Will it be worth it? What is the best way to go out into this adventure?

Because, you know, real life usually gets in the way.  Yes, it does. And it can make our dreams take longer to achieve. But that also gives us time to be sure about what is it that we truly want.

What I want to share with you today is the motivation to go after whatever is your dream. Your biggest dreams. Small ones are ok ones, but the biggest ones are the real game-changers.

Below you’ll find a list of articles featuring the stories of people who did it. First of all, let me present you a list of the qualities I find in most of them:

  1. Usually, it looks like they had little chance to do achieve them. But they did. And, quite often, it helps that they persevered and kept following the direction of their dreams.
  2. Their dream usually wasn’t “to make a lot of money”. You may want to make money, but that’s not the end goal. Probably, if you’re focusing on your career dream, you may expect to receive good money at the end. But that will be a collateral effect of your good work. I, for example, hope one day to be doing enough to pay the bills and live nicely. But that nicely can range from living simply to being able to own multiple properties. Whatever it has to be, will be.
  3. Don’t compete with others. I was going to say don’t compare to others, which is right too. Although, you can see where others are, you can say “it would be nice to be on their position” or have that job or career or accomplishments. But we always go wrong (and I do it quite often) when we try to get there by comparing ourselves. The way to improve is not so much about how close you are to achieving the same that that person but, on the contrary, about how far are you from where you started. Or better said, how much you have improved since last week. How far have you gone from yesterday. What are the little things you’ve learned in the process. Acknowledge your merits, but don’t sit there. You can do better. Always go the extra mile.
  4. They struggled with a few setbacks along the way. If there is something everyone knows about dreams is that they don’t come really easyly. There’s always a transition process, longer or shorter, that will make you hopeful and hopeless a number of times on the way to the summit of your goal. Nonetheless, you can be lucky and get near there pretty soon. If not, well, you’re back to number 2. Harder is not a reason to quit.
  5. In the line of the above… Failure. What if you fail to achieve your dream? Well, let me say, most failures aren’t so dramatic. Something didn’t work. Ok. But maybe some things did. Maybe you can take another route to the same destiny. Maybe you’ve discovered that’s not really your dream now. It’s ok to be strong but no need to be too hard on yourself. Keep improving on the things that are in your power, let go of the things you can’t control.
  6. Finally, follow your bliss. Always try to put more of what you like in your life (that doesn’t mean to buy all cute things and spend every dime to feel better). But do more of that hobby, get out more with that people, listen more to that music. Mention no more or less often that which isn’t bringing joy to your life.

Here ends my talk. Now go for some refreshing stuff.

First, a bit of Disney. Who knows better how to make you believe in you and your dreams? So here two clips of my favourite movies that will encourage you.

Still thirsty? Now, let’s go over some inspiring stories from people who did it.

– Big names that faced failures and setbacks: 6 Stories of Super Successes Who Overcame Failure

– Tragedy to Triumph: 7 Entrepreneurs Who Beat the Odds  Their stories and learnings

– People who started from zero training on their field :  20 Successful Entrepreneurs with No Experience

– Entrepreneur stories are good but athletes stories reaching success are unbeatable :  The Stories Of These 5 Athletes Will Motivate Everyone Of You

Bethany Hamilton is my all time biggest example. There’s even been made a movie about her story, I’m sure you’ve seen it (or heard of). And there will be a documentary soon!

Also, most girls on sports are a big inspiration for me. I feel a deep admiration for girls pursuing sports because it’s still harder than for men and they showcase a great motivation and strength (in and out).

Failing Forward: 7 Stories Of Success Through Failure More of that? Yes, a bit more, please. There’s never enough.

– How a Young Artist Sold 400 Paintings in One Year An artist who did it.

– Inspiring Stories by Entrepreneurial Creatives

How I Became an Artist

– There are stories like these everywhere: Dreams Do Come True

And, as you’d expect from me… A short selection of books!

– My fight / Your fight – talking about strong women…

Saltwater Buddha (maybe not exactly how he achieved the dream, but goes beyond that)

Girlboss

A couple you may’ve heard around here already:

Leave your mark

The art of asking

Hero (from the saga of the Secret) it’s quite motivating and inspirational (with quotes and stories of great people too – two of them are surfers!)

climb your walls - Dream it, then do it!

What are the most inspiring and motivating stories for you? Share the spark in the comments below!


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Books for the girl boss – UPDATE

Life in the Atelier

girl boss books

Do you remember my last post about books? Well, it’s this one .

So maybe it’s time to update you on my reading list.

I’ll start with the books I haven’t finished reading yet.

My so-called freelance life

 It’s a wonderful guide for the wannabe freelancer that has never been in that situation before, is starting now or in need of a bit of help. There’s plenty of good and practical advice. I haven’t been through it all though because I feel like I already know the theory and I don’t need to go over it (again). In my case, I should be working the path instead of informing myself. But if you’re considering going freelance, this book could be the prefect reading for you.

Design is my job

I only started it. It is nice but it’s not a great guide like the one above. It gives you the author’s advice on everything he considers necessary. And even though I appreciate the tone of it, very close to the reader, it won’t help me feel good about my job…so I said Next!

The Power

I’m 30 pages away from the end. It’s a good read to start feeling better about your life and spreading the love. A read I’d recommend. But I must add, I’ve been working on The Magic book for the last month too. And it is incredibly good. If you liked The Secret I would totally recommend it. It’s a great way to really put some gratitude into your daily life, with daily exercises. And it’s awesome how it really works. 

Also, if that’s not enough and you liked everything about The Secret, I would also recommend you the book “The Science of Getting Rich”, which is the one that Rhonda received and inspired all The Secret series. It’s a very short read, you can find it free online (because it’s 100 years old!) and gets you to the point in a straightforward way. I’ll be rereading it, for sure!

Books that I did finish reading

Girl code

I had a bit of trouble getting hooked by this book at first, because I couldn’t align with the author’s voice or tone at first. But as I got further I started liking it more and more. It may not become my favourite book but it is inspirational and motivational for all women in business and will empower your dreams (which I’ll always be grateful for). Let me show you some of my favourite quotes – the ones that speak the most to me.

“You must find the place inside of you where everything is possible.”

“You must envision your world through the eyes of positivity and possibility. The moment you do that, you open up a world of endless abundance.”

“Her success is not your failure.”

Leave your mark

As I told you in the previous post, I skipped the first part, because it was mostly about how to get a job. Now, the social media chapters and branding are good stuff. It’s a nice read because it feels like a different way to learn about what to do and what not to do on social media, along with some stories and advice. Who knew it that it could be so entertaining and helpful!

Want more books for the girl boss in you?

Find more on my pinterest board here.

Also, you can subscribe to receive new posts like this. Thank you!

5 Books I want to read before Christmas, for girlbosses

Life in the Atelier, Sweet Home
books for christmas

Have you ever read an article of books recommendations of books that the critic haven’t yet read?

Well, lucky me, I’m just a designer and not a critic!

A post on books again… just because they’re one of my loves!

Well, it is for a few reasons in fact:  I enjoyed reading and learning this way since my early school years and because I need to do something to relax and avoid loosing my mind on the internet in these cosy too-cold-for-my-taste winters. Also, my boyfriend likes to watch an episode before sleeping and not of one my favourite series… so it’s perfect to have an engaging book to read at the same time.

So, one afternoon I went to dive into the deepness of the Internet to make a selection of some books. I had just finished reading #Girlboss by Sophia Amouroso so I started from there to find similar products. To do so, I usually go to goodreads or just amazon. There I look up for similar titles and themes or make a new search. If I find something that sound interesting I’ll add the book to my wishlist or want-to read list. That way, when I feel like buying a book I just have to go to those lists and shop, knowing exactly what I want.

For today’s selection, I chose mainly books written by women who happen to be entrepreneurs too.

 

My So-Called Freelance Life

A few pages in and I’m completely hooked up on this. The author has a clear and engaging voice with a nice sense of humour. I’m devouring it. This book is written to help any freelancer or wannabe in any industry. Even though, Michelle Goodman is a freelance writer (a fact usually present on books about x, you know, because they have to be written by someone… who usually happens to write). But it looks good, very good.

 

Girl Code

As the title says, a book for women entrepreneurs. The author started out writing a blog and from there published several books and became a coach. This book is still in the business side but with a focus on the mindset that will be useful for women in business.

“ it will teach you how to build confidence in yourself, reconnect with your “why,” eradicate jealousy, and ultimately learn the power of connection”

What else can I say? I’ve only read the introduction 😅

 

Leave your mark

I don’t know if you’ve heard about #Girlboss or read it, but if you do, this one is kind of similar… To where I’ve read. In the fashion industry, very focused on techniques and advice to get a job. In Girlboss it seemed that Amouroso would teach about how to make your own empire, but she more accurately advise on how to be and apply to become part of Nasty Gal, her business. In Leave your mark, the goal is not to get into a business in particular but more about landing your job.

Though, there is more to it. The author got some amazing results from using social media and she will share her secrets with you. So I’m skipping some chapters of how to land the job of your life (because I prefer freelancing and I’ve read enough about the standard way to get a job) and jumping into social media. More I can’t tell you, I’m on it, but I promise to make a follow up post or just update this one.( So keep your eyes peeled for it! ).

 

Design is a job

I must confess, looking at the outside, this one seems kind of boring. The foreword is by Erik Spiekerman so it kind of gives me some reference and hope. From this early part of the book I would like to share the following sentences :

“Clients need to understand that they’ve hired us to do something they are not good at. And that they need to pay us for our knowledge, skills, experience and, yes: attitude. ”  Erik Spiekerman

Getting to the index, I notice that it may not be a boring book about the fundamentals of design at all. In fact, is the “formal” guide to being a graphic designer in freelance mode. Will it share some new perspective on my job? I do expect it to do so, and specially, what the author tells in the introduction:

“You will have more confidence in yourself and a deeper understanding of your craft.” Mike Monteiro

 

The power

I know I know… This recommendation doesn’t go much on line with the other books… But it’s always good to get some help that motivates you and not just gives you advice. So a bit of self-help to make the path to solopreneur sweeter.

I’m sure you’ve heard about The Secret. I saw the movie when it came out and have rewatched it several times. I have read the last book, Hero, which I love. But have pending the Power, which I’ll be reading right away, and The Magic, which I’ll try to get for Christmas! 😉🎄 This book comes to be an extension and progression of The Secret, adding stories and knowledge.

What are some books in your want-to-read list? Let me know in the comments!

Also, check out this post (and this one) for more book recommendations


And if you liked the post, let me send you a recap of all links at the end of every month.