counter-clockwiseBased on the excellent blog post and recommendation of Robin Birch (author of Let’s Live Forever) I downloaded and read the free PDF of the first chapter (see Robin’s blog for the link) of Counterclockwise: Mindful Health and the Power of Possibility by Dr. Ellen J. Langer.

The premise of the book is how our minds are more powerful than we previously had expected. How what we read, hear and/or believe can influence how we act, and in the case of an experiment Dr. Langer performed, how our mindset regarding our age can affect our health and in some cases, reverse the affects of aging.

In the first chapter, Dr. Langer shares,

One answer is that the mindsets we form from everyday experience close us off to possibility. It doesn’t occur to us to rethink much of what we learn about the world because we tend to learn mindlessly; it’s not that we aren’t paying attention to whatever it is we are learning, it’s that we aren’t paying attention to the context in which we learn it. We don’t consider that what’s true here need not be true over there. If we don’t think to think about our ideas, we can’t update or improve them. It won’t occur to us to question how we know what we know, what facts we base it on, and whether the science that produced those facts is suspect. The hefty price for accepting information uncritically is that we go through life unaware that what we’ve accepted as impossible may in fact be quite possible.

She continues on to say,

Most people, including scientists, engage in hypothesis confirming behavior. Once we think we know something, we search for information consistent with that belief. Seek and ye shall find. If we searched for the opposite of what we believe to be true, we would likely also find confirmation and in many cases we could be better served. Social psychologists typically do this by looking for interactions among variables, expecting the effect in question to be true in some situations and not in others. If we all did this more generally, we might discover something we didn’t know or we might develop more nuanced beliefs. When we simply search for confirmation of our beliefs, however, we usually collect more evidence for the same hypothesis and potentially erroneous beliefs become harder to dispel.

That’s well worth contemplating, isn’t it?

Today’s Lesson

Although many books are written with regard to our mindset, Dr. Lander’s words got me thinking of how our mindset applies to blogging. How what we read about blogging may need to be questioned. Be tested.

For example, when I started blogging, I read in order to succeed, new bloggers need to emulate those bloggers who have succeeded – follow in their footsteps, so to speak.

I also read how we need know HTML, CSS, have “search engine friendly” blog names, join Digg and StumbleUpon, utilize SEO and tags on our posts, not display ads on new blogs, nor waste our “above the fold” blog real estate with big headers.

And the list went on.

With blogging not having a “set of rules”, many are implied, but too often we don’t question if what we read is true, but instead we follow the crowd.

To reiterate what Dr. Langer said, “Once we think we know something, we search for information consistent with that belief. Seek and ye shall find. If we searched for the opposite of what we believe to be true, we would likely also find confirmation and in many cases we could be better served.”

I’m thinking it’s time we begin to ask, “Is what I’m reading about blogging REALLY true”, and “Can I have success with my blog if I don’t do that which everyone else is doing?”

I’m guessing the answers may surprise us.

Today’s Assignment

With blogging, do you follow what others are doing, or do you forge your own path?

Have you ever experimented with a blogging technique of your own? If so, care to share?

How is your mindset helping and/or hampering your blogging success?

signature for blog post.

P.S. I highly recommend reading Robin’s blog review of this book, as well as reading the first chapter. I found it to be a real eye-opener.

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  1. RobinNo Gravatar says:

    Oh Barbara – THANK YOU! I love the way you are applying Langer’s thinking to blogging – good one! I also enjoy the pieces of text you have picked out – I think they are very useful to contemplate.

    As far as blogging goes, I think I am breaking a few “rules” by not posting very often at the moment. I’m expecting to get back into it – I don’t know how this affects long-term readership, though. I notice you are going your own way by having your huge header image! – which I think works very nicely, I must say.

    Cheers – Robin
    .-= Check out Robin´s awesome post: Counterclockwise, by Ellen Langer =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      You’re welcome Robin,

      I’m so happy you reviewed Dr. Langer’s work/book. I found it so fascinating.

      That’s true. Many say we need to post often and/or have fresh content for our visitors, however, some have taken blogging breaks (or posted less often) only to find their visitor counts and subscribers increased.

      Yes. I did decide to use a larger header when I had my site redesigned. Maybe if I had a bunch of ads I would have thought differently, but I like this theme and decided to give it a shot. Ironically, the ads I do have on this blog are in the footer – definitely a “no-no” to some, but I like to do it “my way”. (for now, at least) 🙂

  2. Oh my gosh, this is perfect! I had the same thing happen when I started my blog a couple years ago: the person urging me to begin one sent all kinds of “expert articles” on how to be successful. The thing is, doing it their way didn’t feel right to me. I didn’t enjoy it. So I went back to doing it my own way, and today I feel really good about blogging. It’s not only fun, but it’s better than I ever dreamed in terms of connections made, content shared, and lessons learned along the way.
    My mindset changed a couple months ago, and since then, success has seemed easier to come by.

    I love (and now fully believe) that “Once we think we know something, we search for information consistent with that belief.” My experience backs this up!
    .-= Check out Megan “JoyGirl!” Bord´s awesome post: Must Reads: Bloggers I Love =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Megan,

      Isn’t that the truth? If we try to be copy cats, we end up losing our authenticity. Unfortunately when we do that, it shows in our writing, as well. Congratulations for being true to yourself. To me, that’s the key to successful blogging.

  3. NaturalNo Gravatar says:

    personally, i have fallen off the blogging bandwagon and i’m marching to the beat of my own drum. i guess i’m in a different place now.

    you’re right, there are not set of rules, we read something from an a-list blogger or maybe we’ve read that we should do this or that for a successful blog….we don’t ask questions, we just do it. sheeple i guess.

    i agree with robin, though…i am “breaking the rules” with my posting schedule (once a week would be ideal) and i do see the benefits of being a regular poster, but if i can’t keep up, there’s no reason to kill myself trying. i love having a blog, but i don’t love when a blog has me.
    .-= Check out Natural´s awesome post: Why I Miss The Rotary Phone =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Natural,

      I think you have spoken for many. We want to blog, but don’t want to be so tied to our blogs that we stop living our real lives. Marching to the beat of our own drum often opens us up to more creativity and enjoyment of the blogging hobby.

  4. Chase MarchNo Gravatar says:

    There are a lot of “shoulds” that I could be doing with my blog right now. But for a variety of reasons, I am not.

    I think blogging is like journalling or writing. There is really no way to do it wrong as long as you are true to yourself and continue write new posts on a regular basis.
    .-= Check out Chase March´s awesome post: Running Past the Farms =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Chase,

      Yes. There are a lot of “shoulds” to blogging. What works for some may not work for everyone. Continuing to post/publish on a regular (whatever we deem that to be) schedule is a great way to keep our content fresh and let others know we’re still in the game.

  5. Hey Miss Barbara.

    I think it’s really only in the past couple of months I’ve been giving attention to seriously driving more traffic to my blog to tap into a wider audience, following Natural’s “Sheeple” assessment but hopefully customizing it for me,

    I’ve starting reading Problogger and mining the nuggets in his archives. Then Stumbling Upon in the blogging category, a wealth of tips there.

    I already knew a lot instinctively about above-the-fold and such but I sure am picking up some excellent traffic-building tips, like the how and why of linking more to my older posts, paring down what’s in my sidebar, thinking about blog titles, working on the idea of a list of “Best of Jannie Posts,” thinking of how to get more inbound links, going back and editing and SEO-ing older posts. Even looking into different forms of ad revenue and the possibility of free-lance blog writing and pid reviews. Getting serious. I even bought and am actually reading “Twitter For Dummies” — yes I am, Barbara! I’m up to page 109.

    One can certainly have raging success by not doing what everyone else is doing — look at sites like Post Secret and I Can Haz Cheesburger, amazingly successful sites, based on simple ideas. Sometimes the more strange the idea, the better. Interesting how those 2 sites actually solicit their fodder from readers, cool. One could tap into a reader-driven kind of content if one were inventive. Hmmmnnn….

    But bottom line, the blogging mindset has to be fun, for me anyway. If the fun goes it’s time to regroup.
    .-= Check out Jannie Funster´s awesome post: Why I Usually Grocery Shop Alone =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Wow Jannie, you’ve been a busy gal.

      You’re right. There is tons of great information out there on the hows and whys of blogging. Like you said, it’s finding what works for each of us.

      Thank you also for pointing out the two unconventional blogging sites. I’m guessing they decided to do their own thing and not worry about what others suggested. Sometimes it’s scary and challenging to blog different that the crowd, but often that’s what gets us noticed, too.

  6. Bunnygot blogNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,

    First of all – I have a big header and I have read it isn’t customary to have one but I don’t follow the crowd. I have also heard many blogs get a periodic face lift. I might add new feature functions or a eye candy but my blog is going to continue to have the same header. It is me and I don’t feel it is necessary to change it but only add improvements.

    I was going to only write about business and relationships at the beginning. That got boring fast.

    Have I ever wondered off the path – oh yes.

    My content varies although it has been suggested I have two blogs, I don’t feel it is necessary. I don’t have the time to maintain two blogs.

    The most recent plunge was making graphics adding quotes to them. I talked to my husband about it and he wasn’t sure how it was going to fly. He mention the graphics would make it impossible for me to get a good page ranking BUT I said there comes a times when I need an article and this is a way I can utilize one hobby and make the article standout and more personal. So I did use my handwork as a preview of an up and coming post I have been working on. I published it last week and I am happy with the results it had. The reader have a new article was more important then the page ranking to me.

    As far as big blogs go – I read blogs that are enlighten to me. I also feel it is more important to pave your own way. It takes times and patience but is worth it. Featuring other blogs is one of my most favorite things to do. This I do somewhat differently by adding my own personal review of the blog and some of my favorite articles they have written.

    I primarily created my own style but my husband is my sounding board. He use to write on two blogs but has retired from blogging for now.

    My blog is add free but that may change in time. I am not sure rather I want to go that route at the moment.

    I am happy with my mindset for now. I have not put limitations on my writing and who knows what I will come up with next. 😀

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Bunny,

      You’ve raised some great points. To enjoy the blogging journey, and to stay in it for the long haul, loving what we’re doing is important, as is what we blog about.

      And you’re right about blogs changing. As we grow and experience more in blogging, often we feel we need to change how we project ourselves. Thankfully a blog is fairly easy to change.

      Yes. Who knows what will come up next.

  7. Lori HoeckNo Gravatar says:

    I recently read — and keep re-reading — Dr. Wayne Dyer’s latest book Excuses Begone! in which he uses similar and mind-boggling research to back up his assertions. I highly recommend the book and his movie The Shift. Both of them helped my husband and me go way beyond some self-limiting thoughts.

    As for blogging and the cookie-cutter mindset, I agree with Jannie about sites like I Can Haz Cheeseburger. Blog success can be formulaic, but it certainly doesn’t have to be. I once read my husband’s personality type considers a restaurant menu “a list of suggestions,” and before I met him I always thought I had to choose only what was listed. I like viewing blogging advice now as simply a “list of suggestions” as well.
    .-= Check out Lori Hoeck´s awesome post: 21 self defense questions you (and your teenagers) may want to think about =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lori,

      I’m also a fan of Dr. Wayne Dyer’s book, “Excuses Begone”. I haven’t seen the movie yet, but based on your recommendation, I’m guessing it’s fabulous.

      I like how you put that. “Blogging advice is a “list of suggestions””. If we can remember that and let our individuality shine, we’ll have it made .

  8. J.D. MeierNo Gravatar says:

    The beauty of blogging is it’s easy to measure your results. The hard part though, without experience, is knowing what to expect or what good looks like (that’s why it depends on what you want to accomplish.)

    I’m a fan of identifying assumptions, knowing what to measure, and testing results. Similar to Dr. Langer, I like to test the opposite too.

    During my day job, I study success in the form of patterns and practices. I have to find what shows up again and again — the good and the bad. The interesting thing that I’ve found about advice is how much the context matters. A lot of advice gets *generalized* to the point that it’s no longer relevant — it’s both generically true and generically untrue. The most helpful advice I find is actually more fine-grained and context-specific
    .-= Check out J.D. Meier´s awesome post: Dialogue, Debate and Discussion =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi J.D.

      You’re right. Testing the opposite is a great way to find out IF something won’t work out. Oftentimes we’ll hear that “xyz” won’t work, but that’s only because it didn’t work for some, whereas, it could work for others.

      And that’s correct, with blogging it is easy to measure our results.

  9. I’ve become very vigilant about optimizing my blog posts, because I want traffic that clicks on my ads, and search engine traffic is the only traffic that does – social traffic has no interest in ads.

    Other than that, I couldn’t care less about the implied “rules” of blogging. 🙂
    .-= Check out Vered – Blogger for Hire´s awesome post: Value of Social Networking =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Vered,

      Knowing what you want out of your blog is half the battle. I wish you well with the optimization of your posts. From being on your blog, I see the ads are consistent with your content so what you’re doing is working. 🙂

  10. LanceNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara,
    I do review how others blog – and may use parts of that as a baseline. I especially did this at first. More recently, though, it’s about what works for me. And that’s what really matters. I suppose depending upon the reason we blog, there can be compelling reasons to follow given “success” strategies. Right now, I’m defining success as having a thoughtful group of visitors who care deeply about what’s being said. And with that, I have a very “loose” plan around how to blog.
    .-= Check out Lance´s awesome post: Sunday Thought For The Day =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Lance,

      Using other blogs as a baseline is a great way to get started. As you know, the more we blog, the more we find what works for us. Success can be seen in the comments of your blog as those who frequent it are showing the love. Needless to say, I’m not surprised as you show others how much you care, as well.

  11. Avani MehtaNo Gravatar says:

    I used to read and devour a lot of content regarding blogging. I don’t really take any of that seriously anymore. I experiment and try to find out what works for me and what doesn’t take the fun part away.
    .-= Check out Avani Mehta´s awesome post: Get Unstuck … Let Go … =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Avani,

      Welcome back to blogosphere. 🙂

      Yes. when what we do is taking the fun out of blogging, it’s time to make a change.

  12. Hi Barbara – I find formulas, well…formulaic. And, without naming names, I find a lot of what passes for quality with some of the so-called big guns of blogging these days to be rather asinine. They’re resting on their laurels, perhaps? Like Jannie, I find Darren’s blog helpful, and I’m glad that Michael Martine is surfacing again from time to time. Their advice is the most sound. Our premise has always been to blog about what interests us. So, like Vered recently reminds us, it has never been about the numbers. I’m still getting traffic from the most obscure subjects – so I’ll just keep with that. Thanks.
    .-= Check out Betsy Wuebker´s awesome post: PASSING THRU: A YEAR =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Betsy,

      Following bloggers like Darren and Michael Martine are great choices. They consistently put out great content and buried in their archives is much more.

      Worrying about the numbers can be the demise of bloggers. Blogging about what interest us is key. Can you imagine how awful it would be to sit at the keyboard day after day forcing the words out. What you’re doing is working very well and having just celebrated your one year anniversary of blogging proves you’ve found your niche.

  13. LindaNo Gravatar says:

    If you follow the sheep off the end of the cliff…..

    I forged my own way of blogging and continue to do so. I see the blogs that are plain with very little advertising and think, this looks like a book. On the other end of the spectrum of blogs, there are some that are so full of stuff, you cannot help but wonder is this a blog with a message or a blog for advertising only. So, all different kinds of flavors are out there and thus a different way of thinking.

    I love the variety and hopefully my thinking has changed along with what I have envisioned.
    .-= Check out Linda´s awesome post: A Green Dream Vacation =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Linda,

      Yes. As we travel through blogosphere we see all kinds of blogs, each reflecting the author, as well as their likes, dislikes and/or desires. One thing about blogging is we are able to express our individuality with our themes and remain true to ourselves. Oh how boring it would be if we only had one to choose from.

  14. elmotNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara! I actually have read one book too, the title of which is “The Secret” which also talks about the great power of our mind and how we attract everything that we think and focus on.

    Joining today’s lesson, I also blog under the mindset of following the mentoring of those who are ahead of me on this venture. They who have braved all the odds on blogging and now are doing great as uber and probloggers certainly did something right for them to land on the spot worthy of praise and admiration from newbies like. However, one great thing I did is, I made them friends and buddies which spells out a lot of difference than following only their blogs and reading all their posts to learn about what it takes to blog big time.

    In the end it is still relationships in blogging; and what I discovered from all those blogging mentors and buddies is that they are actually the most humble and helpful persons in the world. Therefore we should not get intimidated on approaching uber bloggers to help us on our blogging.
    .-= Check out elmot´s awesome post: Winning Against Blogging’s “Dark Side”; Morsels of Wisdom From the Jedi Bloggers =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Elmot,

      You’re right. The uber/probloggers are people just like us. They started the same way, and as luck (and hard work) would have it, they succeeded. Like you, I admire their tenacity, dedication and helpfulness.

      Yes. “The Secret” also addresses the power of the mind, and although I’ve read it, for some reason the book, “Counter-Clockwise” hits home with me – maybe because I’m aging. 🙂

  15. DavinaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara. I think it’s important to not always follow rules in blogging. When we do our own thing we discover other, perhaps better ways that may have never come to light. We boldly go where no man has gone before… sorry 🙂 But it really is an opportunity to find new ways to do things that could help not only our blogs, but other’s as well.
    .-= Check out Davina´s awesome post: Come Alive with Favourite Music =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Davina,

      “We boldly go where no man has gone before…” 🙂 Yes, that’s right. By using our own imaginations and experimentation, we often find new ways of blogging. Isn’t that exciting when that happens and we’re able to share our findings with others? Together we grow.

  16. ElizaNo Gravatar says:

    I am where Vered is at (and oddly enough we started blogging around the same time). I want traffic, which means I am being more dilligent about SEO. However, not fantatical about it either. Mr Very Right has suggested several times that I find out what the top search terms of the day are and write to those. Everytime he suggests it, I get really cranky, which means it is not the right style for me. The thought of it makes me feel constricted.

    As for posting schedule, the ‘rules’ are post small/post often. That’s not me either, mainly because I want a life. I have settled into 2 well researched articles per week. It will take longer to build traffic that way, but I am taking the slow and steady approach.
    .-= Check out Eliza´s awesome post: Why are we so cranky all of a sudden? =-.

    • TracyNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza, I had to giggle because you stumbled on the top secret concept behind my new top secret blog!
      .-= Check out Tracy´s awesome post: 7 Things I really need to get the heck over =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Eliza,

      I hear you. Even though using SEO is a great way to have search engines find us. researching the top search terms daily could get pretty monotonous. If you’re not “feeling it”, I believe that’s your inner voice telling you you’re not being authentic. Following your heart will bring you success, and even though it may be a slower way of building a blog, you’ll be happy with yourself every step of the way.

      P.S. I’ve no doubt your new blog will become a HUGE success.

  17. Hi barbara,
    I am so new to blogging..but already i have a idea of what suits me. I think its important to know why you started your blog in the first place. Is it money, is it readers, is it fame, is it a creative outlet, etc etc…??? The questions can be endless..but the answer will give the right direction and let us know what suits us best.
    For me i started blogging..cause i just needed an outlet for my thoughts which i thought would be beneficial to others and myself. That can culminate into something else..maybe down the line…but the initial thought as to why you started a blog in the first place needs to be remembered….in emulating others and trying to acquire fame and money if we forget that..then our content will suffer as well. ‘But that’s only my thinking…other probloggers might think of me as stupid….but hey…i blog from the heart first…so pardon me for not thinking so much….
    I did read a lot before starting my blog….but in just sometime..i realized it was all just superficial…nothing is written in stone….we can write our own blogging destiny’s …what say??
    .-= Check out Zeenat{Positive Provocations}´s awesome post: I Only Ask Of God… =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Zeenat,

      Keeping our original blogging goals in mind is a great idea, and I’ll say, those goals can change. For instance, when I started blogging, I wanted to share knowledge AND make money. The more I blogged and connected with others, the more the money issue become less important.

      No. Nothing is written in stone with regard to blogging (writing). If you keep writing from your heart, those which are your goals will undoubtedly be fulfilled.

  18. RossNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara… My own blogging experiences are a combination of following others + making my own way. I think it’s always a game of trial and error, but contrary to most advice, I think the best way to make a name for yourself is to be a little different… At least I’ve found that in the blogs that are my favourite…!
    .-= Check out Ross´s awesome post: August $50 giveaway =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Ross,

      I agree. Being a little different will get us more attention.

      Trial and error is often how we learn, and remember, the best. I think we all make our share of mistakes (with blogging), but it’s from those mistakes we learn to improve.

  19. janiceNo Gravatar says:

    I think Zeenat’s response is refreshing. The core of it all is to know why we blog. I mean, really know why and be honest with ourselves and our readers and fellow bloggers, even though our reasons evolve and change. I’m a new blogger too, although some days, the tiredness makes me doubt it and I’m miles away from doing what I set out to do. According to feedback from veteran bloggers I admire and who’ve helped me, I’ve apparently cycled through a few of the tough phases already! One of the reasons I come here is that there are strong minded people here, brave people with integrity who simply do what feels right for them. It’s inspiring.

    Good post, Barbara! I’m feeling back on track this evening.
    .-= Check out janice´s awesome post: Alfonsina and the Sea =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Janice,

      When we’re new at blogging, I found we do go through periods of uncertainty and doubt. Other days we’re filled with anticipation and hope. It’s really not much different than life. One thing I learned is to take a day at a time. If we start looking and or comparing ourselves to others who have been blogging for a long time, it can be disheartening and can cause a lack of creativity. Just know you’re not alone. And as you’ve found, the bloggers who frequent this site will genuinely support others, cheer them on and be there when you just need to vent.

      Happy Blogging! 🙂

  20. Wilma HamNo Gravatar says:

    Blogging has been a great way to reflect on how I do things and to learn how not to do them.
    For me the beauty was that I did NOT start with learning how to do it ‘properly’. I just learned like children do, by trial and error and doing because I wanted to, in awe of what there was to find out.
    The rot set in when I felt I needed to learn to do it properly!
    The confusion, the cranckiness that I too felt when I had to do it right and doing it right wasn’t my style, feeling a cheat when I wrote for other reasons than the reasons of my heart .
    Blogging from then on became a dominating job, tasting and feeling like hard dutifull work.
    Luckily I have a partner and friends who could put me right.
    Now I am back to blogging for reasons that sit well with me and make me want to do it again, I love what I write about and I feel that what I am writing adds value.
    .-= Check out Wilma Ham´s awesome post: How I dare to ignore the recession. =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Wilma,

      Thank you so much for sharing your blogging journey. It almost sounds like you were on a roller coaster ride (which blogging can put us on). I’m happy to hear you’ve found your purpose and are now writing from your heart. If you feel what you’re sharing adds value, then it does. Never doubt that.

      P.S. You’re blog is phenomenal. Your heart shines through, as does your soul.

  21. EvitaNo Gravatar says:

    Hi Barbara!

    I am back from vacation and enjoying catching up on your site!

    I love the sound of this book – our minds being powerful and us as personal creators of our own lives, accountable to and for ourselves is a huge paradigm in my life. So I totally agree. Some people are so bent on their truth, and they will give you all the proof. But look another way and you may find the opposite true as well.

    For me, I read very little if any “how to blog sites”. In fact I like yours because it is different and more “wise” than “this is how to do it” type of thing. So I like to venture on my own.

    And in terms of my personal life. I seek my own truths, find what works and then simply enjoy sharing them with others – if it makes sense to them and works, then great, if not, no problem.

    The biggest thing is to keep an open mind and question everything, so that we take it from our own angles and not adopt the thoughts and beliefs of others.
    .-= Check out Evita´s awesome post: As We Grow =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Evita,

      I hope you had a great vacation. Welcome back!

      I hear what you’re saying, and with this blog, I didn’t want it to be a “how to”. I prefer to teach/guide/nudge my readers to be “informed consumers”. Like you said, seeking our own truth is often what puts us on our own path to our destiny. So whether it’s life or blogging, by finding and doing what works best for us, we also uncover our authenticity.

  22. KeithNo Gravatar says:

    I am very interested in the book you mentioned. It sounds like it fits nicely into what my blog is all about.

    We DO create our lives with the power of our minds, specifically by our thoughts, and we can apply this to blogging just as we would to anything else. Most of us who begin a blog have something we’re passionate about and a vision of how to present it to the world. It’s important, I think, to stay true to that vision and not be constrained by rules created by someone else. We should learn from others and take what works for US and apply that and simply ditch what does not.

    Great article, nicely done. 🙂
    .-= Check out Keith´s awesome post: Be The Difference! =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you Keith,

      The book does sound fascinating, doesn’t it? Did you get to read the first chapter yet? For me it was a real eye opener – especially the experiment with the elderly people.

      What you said is very true. When we’re passionate about something, even if we’re sharing it in a blog format, we need to find our own platform on which to present it. Although we can learn some from others, if what they say doesn’t feel right for us, it’s best we find our own solution.

      P.S. I can see how the book would “fit” your blog – your topics are so positive.

  23. Cath LawsonNo Gravatar says:

    LOL Barbara -This is so true. It is so easy to look for things that will just confirm the hypothesis once we believe something to be true – especially when we really really want that thing to be true.

    And I love how you relate all this to blogging. We definitely need to question a lot of what we’ve learned and not just follow the so called “probloggers” blindly.

    That is what I love about your blog – you encourage folk to explore different possiblities rather than just telling us that everything is set in stone.

    Hope you had a good break BTW – email coming your way soon xxx

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Thank you for your kind words, Catherine,

      Doesn’t it seem like we questioned what we read from the very beginning? I remember some of our emails and both of us decided in some cases it was better do it our way, instead of how the pros said it HAD to be done. Granted we may have made some mistakes along the way, but we certainly learned.

      P.S. I did have a good break. Will be watching for your email. xx

  24. Mike FosterNo Gravatar says:

    Even though what my sites are about are common interests and topics that are prevalent online, I try to bring my own voice and humor, along with my unique videos to the subject matter, hopefully offering a different take on the topic.

    .-= Check out Mike Foster´s awesome post: Is Life Worth Living? =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Mike,

      That’s what makes a blog unique – when we inject our own personality into it. Even if we discuss the same topic as dozens of others, what we say will resonate with many.

      Keeping true to ourselves is key.

  25. […] Read Outliers Reviews On Amazon 10,000 Hours For Success – In Depth by Marelisa. Intelligence v Effort – Stop Reading, Start Trying Who Are They To Say? […]

  26. Hi Barabara,
    Great post. The book you read sounds fascinating. I think what Dr. Langer says about how “Once we think we know something, we search for information consistent with that belief” is so true! It’s baffling but I love the lesson in that which is we have to study the facts ourselves and make our own decisions about everything in life!

    When I began blogging I was encouraged to write every single day. At first I did this and I felt strangled by it. I wondered what I had committed myself to! Also, it was difficult to have really thoughtful posts all five days of the week. I slowed down a bit (more of a mental hurdle than anything) and I actually started getting more comments and having a more interactive blog, which was really pleasing to me. The other advice I received in the beginning was to weave in a strong marketing component. The advice was helpful but following it didn’t feel authentic for my message. I’m still glad to have the knowledge, though. Perhaps in the future it will be helpful.
    .-= Check out Jodi at Joy Discovered´s awesome post: Announcements =-.

    • Barbara SwaffordNo Gravatar says:

      Hi Jodi,

      I know what you’re saying, When we first start blogging, depending on whom we get our advice from, it can be confusing. Publishing five or more days a week is what a lot of us have done, but it’s tough – finding topics to write about and keeping that enthusiasm.

      It sounds like you’ve now found a blogging rhythm that works for you and allows your to remain authentic. I think that’s the key to keeping the fun in this oh, so addictive hobby.