Spotlight

6 Sources of Inspiration

Right now I’m working on a killer post that will appear Saturday talking more about the heroic path. But today I want to share a few of the places I take my inspiration, in the hopes that you’ll get as much value out of them as I do. Who’re the contenders? Read on!

Based on a photo by Stephen Cherrier


Colin Wright – Exile Lifestyle

“I prefer to get an apartment, shop where the locals shop and do what the locals do.”

Colin has been an inspiration in a lot of ways. The thing about him that usually catches attention is his lifestyle: he moves to a new country every four months, and he lets his readers choose the country. That’s awesome, but that’s not why I’m highlighting him.

What strikes me about Colin is that he takes a very sincere interest in seeing people live a rewarding life. To that end he has written two books on what are traditionally very dry subjects, and made them amazing. One is about personal branding (of the marketing variety, not the smoldering flesh variety) and the other is about how to network awesomely. Generally when people think of networking they think of awkward business lunches, and the idea of branding oneself can seem downright phony. But connecting people is Colin’s specialty and he emphasizes how to build your story and your image around who you truly are. The basic idea is that by having fun with people, meeting lots of them, and paying it forward the marketing takes care of itself. And that’s a damn good philosophy.

Saumya Arya Haas – Huffington Post Religion

“We create the community that we want to be accepted into.”

How many born-and-raised Hindus become Vodou priests? I don’t know, but my guess is I could count them on my toes, if they’d just hold still long enough.

I met Saumya when her interfaith work had her hopping back and forth between New Orleans and Minneapolis to support victims of the Gulf oil spill. Since then she’s gone on to become a staff blogger at Huff Post, among many other things. Her posts there manage to say truly thought-provoking things about religion while treating everyone with respect. Everyone. That alone makes her worth reading.

Oh, and I know Harvard is all prestigious and everything, but guess what? They’re lucky to have Saumya, not the other way around.

Chris Guillebeau – The Art of Non-Comformity

“If you don’t decide for yourself what you want to get out of life, someone else will probably end up deciding for you.”

Chris is a writer above all, and he’s on my list because of his tone. This guy doesn’t mess around. He bills his books as manifestos, urges people to take over the world, and refers to his subscribers as the “small army.” So his style is unabashedly ambitious. On the heroic path, we like that kind of thing.

Once you crack open a post or book of his, though, it’s remarkable just how sensitive he is. He made a lifestyle change to do what he loves even though it meant less income, so when he gives advice on changing your life it really comes from a place of understanding. The book I found most exciting (which is free) is 279 Days to Overnight Success. Essentially it’s an action plan for how to make a living writing. If some of the changes I’m making around here look like they’re based on the advice in his book…. well, stop looking behind the curtain.

Brandon – Lilies & Cedars & Corn

“There are no epics or tragedies extolling the virtues of inactive or passive characters.”

What does the name mean? I don’t know. I bet there is a cool story behind it however, because Brandon has cool stories.

But that’s not why I’m pointing at him. The truth is, Brandon is the only person I’ve seen risk social disapproval to do the right thing. Think about how scary that is. I don’t mean making a stand with a small cadre of like-minded people you can lean on. I mean standing up for what’s right when even your friends may not back you.

That’s someone I want to read.

Now I realize that Livejournal is no longer all the rage, but that’s one of the great things about L&C&C (can I do that?). He doesn’t market it or spin it. It’s just his journal, and it has that personal feel. And if you’ve seen his comments here you know he also wants to live the heroic path. So, the personal reflections of someone who intends to live like a hero? Worth reading.

Everett Bogue – Far Beyond the Stars

“Alternatively, you can pop the red pill and choose to wake up.”

Okay, I know. Everett is a big name already. You’ve probably heard of him before. But in case you haven’t, he’s one of the founders of the minimalist movement—not the artist kind, the lifestyle kind. The basic premise is that if you intentionally pare down your belongings until you own very few things, you’ll find that you need less money to survive. (Living with 100 or less possessions is what I mean by “very few things.”) Once you need less money, you’ll tend to have more of it, because you’re not spending every dime on a monthly basis. And then you have the freedom to do more things.

In other words, it’s prioritizing experiences (travel, social life, learning, creating) over possessions.

The blog contains many “how to” posts to assist readers in navigating that life change themselves. The post I linked above, however, goes more into the philosophy (and spirit) behind minimalism. There are many voices in the minimalist movement, but Everett continues to stand out because of his spirit. Just read it—you’ll get what I mean!

Kira Hagen – Across the Borders

“The last border I crossed was the one I didn’t want to.”

Kira is an old school traveler. She rolls up her sleeves, works her way across continents, lives side by side with the locals—and takes some of the most beautiful pictures in the world.

Kira was one of the first people I met when I moved to the Twin Cities, though I’ve seen precious little of her since then. She’s more likely to be hiking Turkey with her sword-wielding husband than sitting at home. She takes a special joy in trekking across borders and the details she shares speak very honestly to both the delight, and the hardship, of travel.

She’s also a dedicated pagan, and recently she founded pagantravelers.com. When a traveler holds the land itself to be sacred, their stories of adventures on new ground take on a special depth. Her blog is very new but I expect we’ll see more great posts soon.

______

Okay rogue fans, I tried to intersperse major established bloggers and newer upstarts who are still finding their audience. That’s 6 great people who inspire me to action, and 6 places you can go to improve your day. Do you have a favorite blog or a website that inspires you? Post it!

More good stuff Saturday!

L Days cover_front only_half size

My book Lúnasa Days is available on Kindle and in paperback. Get your copy here.

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3 thoughts on “6 Sources of Inspiration

  1. Pingback: Trying to Interview Everett Bogue « Rogue Priest

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