On Friday a friend pointed out the graduation speech that Tim Minchin delivered in 2013 at the University of Western Australia (9 Life Lessons – Tim Minchin UWA Address). I’d not heard of Tim Minchin before this.
Thanks to Youtube’s cunning algorithms I found and watched several other Tim Minchin video’s. Ok, I might have watched more than “several”.
Over the course of the weekend I have tried to figure out what it is about the video’s that appeals to me. It would be easy to say that it is just a simple crush, because I like people who are smart and witty and people who like musical theater and can sing, but it’s not that vulgar.
What appeals to me most is the fact that Tim is a critical thinker, who takes empathy to the next level. He is eloquent, funny and critical about ideas, but he doesn’t “target” specific people.
It’s nice to see someone with an audience who is smart and can express his ideas and who doesn’t appear to take himself too seriously. It’s a nice break from the negativity that you see on TV, in the news and on social media these days.
It also feels very good to be intellectually challenged, on a subject that is not work related, to take my current thinking one step or on some topics several steps further. I like a challenge, and this is an interesting one I feel is worth exploring. I like the idea of strengthening my critical thinking skills.
Based on some of the conversations I’ve tried to have about this topic I think this is probably a good moment to share a definition of critical thinking. There are several definitions on Wikipedia, but this one appeals to me the most:
“Critical thinking is disciplined thinking that is clear, rational, open-minded, and informed by evidence”.
It’s lovely to hear someone argue a point based on logic and reason, rather than operate based on the principle of “he who shouts the loudest is the most right”, which is what I see a lot, both in the media and in work environments.
I have scratched the surface of critical thinking, but I’m excited to practice it more and see where it will take me.
There is one thing that I’m a bit worried about.
For the last few days I have been looking for someone to discuss the idea of critical thinking with and it has been quite hard to find someone who was aware of the concept and interested in it. I was actively looking for a conversation about the topic itself. If I really get into this, I would as a result be more inclined to challenge ideas, whether out loud or to myself. Here’s my concern:
If you are a critical thinker, will you be able to ever have a friendly and fulfilling conversation at a birthday party, or an office get together?
I’m afraid that Tim’s nine-minute beat poem “Storm” contains the answer, but I guess time will tell…
I’m very happy with my life at the moment. I have a fantastic job, a beautiful house that fills me with pride, a good relationship with my parents and a small group of close friends who I love dearly and who I know will have my back should that ever be necessary.
Yet many people pity me and feel that I should be looking to change my life. Did you guess why yet?
I’m single and I don’t have kids.
I realize that my life is different from that of most people my age. I also understand that this means that I’m missing out on certain experiences. But I’m ok with that. My life allows me to spend time on the things I love to do, to change plans last minute, to design my house the way I want to and make changes to it whenever I feel like it.
I’m happy and not looking for a man in my life. I also don’t hear or feel my biological clock ticking.
My life is rich and full spending time with friends, playing sports, regularly visiting my parents and feeling blessed spending time at home, on my own.
Whenever I want to share my thoughts and experiences, or when I feel the need to vent, I can go to my friends and family, or I can write about it and share it with you lovely readers.
Yet several people around me feel the need to regularly ask me if I’m dating yet. And every time I explain that I’m not and that I’m also not looking for someone to date. I’m not saying it will never happen, but I’m not taking any action to make it happen.
Sometimes I feel like asking people that keep getting back to this if they are divorced yet. But that’s not nice and I’m pretty sure it would not be considered socially acceptable. I hope that someday people will realize that asking me or any other happy single if we are dating yet is just as disrespectful towards us and our lifestyle.
I’m living my life the way I choose to live it!
For a while now I have been contemplating about a couple of things related to writing and my blog. One of the things I’m on the fence about is whether I should try writing in Dutch (which is my native language).
There are two main triggers:
- I would like to reach a larger audience
- I often feel that my posts come out “heavier” than I intent them to be and than they feel when I’m thinking about them in my head
I would like to get more readers. I have learned from someone who’s experience and opinion I value greatly that the best place to find a loyal audience is in the smallest niche you can find to write about. My original idea was that I would write in English, from a “successful woman in business”-point of view. I felt that would be a decent niche, and it’s who/what I am, so it seemed simple enough. However, when I try to put a “female” angle in my posts I tend to lose all inspiration.
Now the people that read my posts are mostly personal Facebook friends and some Twitter followers.
Another way to find a niche could be to write in Dutch.
The second reason to consider writing in Dutch is that I feel my posts always come out quite “heavy”. I write about serious topics, but the highlights that are in my head before I start writing the post usually feel lighter to me than the written result. This might just be my feeling, and not how others read it of course, but it means that I’m not always as excited about how a post comes out as I could be.
While brainstorming about this on Facebook one of my very smart friends also suggested that the posts do not get heavier because of the language, but they might get heavier because of the format. I had to think about this for a day, but he might be onto something.
When I think about a post before I write it, I always think about it in English. While it’s in my head, I usually address it directly to you (the reader). However, when I start writing, I don’t want to come across as a smartass and I’m afraid that I might offend people. To avoid this, I turn the post around a bit by writing from my own perspective, focusing on my own experience.
I’m interested in your opinions as I’m still not entirely sure on the best way forward. For that same reason you might find some experiments on here in the weeks to come!