Maria writes a blog called Brain Pickings.
The name, in my opinion, does not do enough justice to the intellectual, historical, cultural, social, philosophical and spiritual contributions Maria makes to the world in which we live today - a world filled with sound bites, fact-devoid opinions, verbal violence and disrespect, and a problematic monolithic view of our society and its complexities. Steps in Maria!
In her own words, her blog is "an inquiry into how to live and what it means to lead a good life." A "labor of love," as she calls it, she started her blog in 2006 "as a weekly email that went out to seven friends and eventually brought online, the site was included in the Library of Congress permanent web archive in 2012." What a trajectory, eh?
This is not a money-making machine. You are not bombarded with min-numbing ads and videos that fire on their own leaving you wondering about the enemy invading your attention span. Fully supported by readers, every blog post is a work of a dedicated literary genius who follows her heart, who has something to contribute to the world, an unflinching dedication to her art, to her passion, to her calling.
In a day and age where likes and followers determine our moods, our self-worth, and our future plans, Maria weaves philosophy, literature, spirituality, and creativity into her writing and shares with the world what it takes to be a magnificent human being.
She doesn't present you with a list of five things to do or six things to say. Instead, she demands that you think about your world as a galaxy and you a speck in it - a tiny speck that has the responsibility to make immense contributions to the galaxy! You are small, but you are not irrelevant or weak.
Often, I read a paragraph of her blog and take a coffee break and come back and read another paragraph and take two coffee breaks. The power of her words and its pathways demands you give her your undivided attention and face your longings and heartaches. You realize you are a speck, a big and relevant speck with work to do.
I suppose this is what the product of passion and dedication looks like. For those of us who want quick and easy wins, Maria shows the magic, beauty, and power of embracing the long road ahead.
For the self-doubters among us, the lesson is that almost all successful people have faced the monster of self-doubt. They slain it and keep moving forward, only to find the monster around the corner. They slain it again and again and again, while continuing their work. The monster gets bigger while they get stronger. It is an uneven match. The monster is never tamed, but it never succeeds either!
For those of us who procrastinate, the lesson is don't. Time and talents fade when your strengths are not put to use.
For those of us who want rewards and pats as evidence that our work is worthy, rethink the notion of rewards. The world is not as smart as we give it credit for. Some of the greatest minds that walked this earth were never encouraged or acknowledged until after these men and women were buried six-feet under.
Write. Draw. Sketch. Dance. Swim. Sing. Innovate. Start.
I am sure there are many amazing blogs out there! What is your favorite blog and why?
Uma Gupta is a speaker and author who is ever-curious about about happiness, leadership, and finding one's center of gravity in a shaky world.