Nathan Barinstein – An Incredible Channel of Inspiration

Hi everyone,

I have found the most incredible, inspiring channel on youtube, called Nathan Barinstein (you can click on the name in blue to check it out, or just look up “Nathan Barinstein on youtube). This is a super interesting and entertaining channel and all of the videos that have been uploaded to it are FASCINATING. To anyone who reads this blog, please go check it out, you won’t regret it.

This is a youtube channel for anyone interested in travel, in self-discovery, and beautiful cinematography.

Here are the links to some of the videos (click on the titles below):

What is Happiness?

Meeting a President

Flying In An Old American Plane 

I really do think they’re worth checking out, and you can subscribe to the channel to get notifications whenever a new video goes up.

You can thank me later!



The Magic of Exploration

Hi there,

It’s a light-hearted piece for today, one born out of my joy of having this blog.

Let me first say that the last three-and-a-half months have been quite eye-opening. By that, I mean that life and has begun to feel more and more rich. Things are starting to look clearer, and I feel like I’m getting things a bit more. Life is appearing more fruitful to me.

I don’t mean that now everything is all happy and lighthearted, because that’s not the case. No, there are still the occasional times when everything seems awful. I’m only human, after all. But something has definitely changed. Maybe it’s a bit early to identify reasons as to why that is, but I honestly think that it’s has a lot to do with this blog.

A green and red Perseid meteor striking the sk...

Don’t you feel so tiny sometimes? (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

There is so much out there. Ignorance won’t get you anywhere. If you really want to find what exactly it is that’s ‘out there’, you have to sit down and really articulate your jumbled thoughts. True exploration is the discovery of yourself. You may think there are things out there that you have not seen, that aren’t a part of you, but they are. When you try to make sense of the world around you, the things you see and hear and feel, you’re really just trying to make sense of yourself. Why? Because it all starts within you.

It’s not so much about survival for many of us anymore. Instead, I think we are searching for purpose, for definition, and we don’t know where to look. Many of us don’t want to look, because we fear what we can’t see.

Moving beyond the fear is everything. You cannot truly see when you are afraid to look.

If you are serious about examining life, about writing or articulating what you have to say, you must begin digging, no matter the fear. If you are truly curious, if you have the thirst to learn, the passion to discover, the will to move beyond what you know, you will continue to dig. And you won’t stop until you find something.

The magic in that is that what you will find will change your life.

Black & White Droplets

Can you see the color? (Photo credit: wenzday01)

I try to see beyond the surface of things, and despite my young age, I feel as though I’m already unearthing incredible things. Like I said before, I feel my experience in life has become richer, my understanding stronger. I believe what I believe a bit more passionately. I feel a little bit happier, a little more awake. And those seemingly small changes really change everything.

The magic of exploration is that life becomes a more dynamic place, a more beautiful place. And that’s because you become a more dynamic, beautiful person.


Conflict is Better Than Stagnation.

There’s a subject I’d like to address today that has always been on my mind, and something that I firmly believe, but also something that I’ve never been able to articulate as well as I would like. At least, until I saw this quote:

“Conflict is better than stagnation.”

Frederick Douglass

This is a quote that really speaks to me in the way that it’s something I’ve very slowly come to have understood in my life. It’s one of those things you have to experience to truly discover. And although at first it may not seem to make any sense, if you go just a little deeper, you’ll understand what I’m talking about.


Stagnation won’t lead you into the wonders of the ocean. Instead, it’ll leave you waiting, always waiting… wondering what lies beneath the waves. (Photo credit: sunnyUK)

I’ve learned that there is nothing worse than stagnation in life. To cease one’s drive/effort for development is to (in my opinion) cease interest in life. You stop discovery, you lose your drive, your passion. Commonly misunderstood, stagnation is not at all stability. It’s the halting of growth and innovation. Maybe it’s because I’m a romantic (a.k.a. personality type 4), but a string of pointless, eventless days affected my mood dramatically.

That aside, conflict is the reaction to digging deeper in life, of exploration. You cannot simply “grow” without any challenges. We learn from our mistakes, but we don’t make mistakes if we don’t try new things (unless the mistake is not trying new things).

Conflict, eventually, has to lead to resolution. All conflict ends. Wars end. Fights cannot last forever. Struggles are transient. All pain is temporary. And what lies beyond may be discovery, depending on the form of resolution. A constant, though, is the growth.

In the end, one thing remains the same: if there is no struggle, no conflict, no battle that is fought, there can be no progress. Emotional, and physical (physical obstacles, facing limits, etc.) I’m talking about everything in our lives.

I always talk about growth and discovery. It’s why I believe we’re here. But it’s not easy an easy thing to go through. In fact I believe it’s the hardest thing you can do in life. Because anything that teaches you anything will be painful, as pain is our greatest teacher.

Not-coincidentally, the same amazing man that said the quote above, said this:

Frederick Douglass portrait

Frederick Douglass portrait (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

“If there is no struggle, there is no progress. Those who profess to favor freedom, and yet depreciate agitation, are men who want crops without plowing up the ground. They want rain without thunder and lightning. They want the ocean without the awful roar of its many waters. This struggle may be a moral one; or it may be a physical one; or it may be both moral and physical; but it must be a struggle. Power concedes nothing without demand. It never did and it never will.”

–Frederick Douglass

I think he pretty much sums it up – if you want progress, you have to face obstacles first. You have to be strong. It’s a decision that only you make, if you’re ready to take it on.


It’s About the Journey, not the Destination

Hello again,

I’ve really begun to notice a particular pattern in my writing on this blog. In my thinking itself. I always seem to write about destinations. Ending points in learning or acceptance or the like. A finale of some sort. I see myself envisioning that sometimes, and thus it has been translated in my writing.

Awards Mark an End, Beginning

Ooooh is that for me? (Photo credit: DVIDSHUB)

I find myself almost romanticizing the “end” of the journey/journeys that we go on. There are many, and some are difficult. On those paths, I hope to have some sort of great prize awaiting my arrival. The truth, though, is that life is not really so much about the destination, the ending place one arrives at, as it is about the pathway and experiences one takes away from the whole thing.

Look at your life. Doesn’t the vast majority of it seem to be ‘on the way to somewhere’? It’s always another climb, another great distance to cross. We look only at the horizon where we hope to eventually be, and never at the ground beneath our feet, a place that deserves more of your attentionthan anything. Because it doesn’t just end. The path you just took leads to a hundred more, as the process of discovery is not a short one.

Road to Denali - Mountains - Alaska

That mountain up ahead? One might see it as the final destination of their journey, but in reality, it’s just another part of the journey itself. (Photo credit: blmiers2)

Those that look back on their lives and regret not doing more are the people that had their eyes glued on the horizon and nothing else.

Doesn’t it always seem as though the road you’re currently on is just a never-ending lane of endlessness? Sometimes that’s just exactly what it is. I’m not saying nothing ever changes nor am I saying that that single road will stretch on forever onto the very edges of our universe. I’m saying that you’re always on some sort of road, and that cycle of roads never ends. It explains the sometimes painful monotony we all come up against. I don’t see how growth can ever have a final point. I don’t believe true “perfection” can ever be achieved as long as we’re human. It’s something that frankly doesn’t exist for us. Thus, I do not think that those thoughts deserve their space in our collective minds.

Destination Unknown

I don’t know where exactly I’m going right now. Maybe I never will. But I’m not going to let my expectations limit the possibilities of what can be. (Photo credit: VinothChandar)

We like to have a point, an exact location where we can set our minds up for expectation. Results of some kind, whatever kind we imagine up and settle on. It’s a closed minded way of living. It’s that kind of mentality that can ruin the experience of the whole adventure.

To learn about what life is all about, it’s meaning to you, a shift in mindset has to be made. No longer can we march through life with all our focus on the reward perched at the ‘end’ of the road. We rush through far too often, attention on the things that don’t feed our souls. Living like that leads only to the unhappiness that is so apparent in our world today.

Instead, I believe our attention and energy should be concentrated on the journey of exploration and discovery, of mistakes and learning. That is where the true rewards, the truly important pieces of life lie.

It’s not about getting there, it’s not about how quickly one can arrive. It’s about what you take away from your experiences on the way there. Growth and learning has no limit. It’s about the journey, not the destination.


Don’t Fall Into the Same Trap


I want to follow up on what I said yesterday about living a life that you won’t later regret. It’s such a huge topic, and there is so much that can be said about something like that, but a thought struck me just as soon as I had published the piece.

Life is a very precious thing. Some of you believe you only get one life, others many. Either way, life itself is always a very sacred thing, and we can agree on that. Completely unique experiences and opportunities. Most of all, there is beauty everywhere.

In a way, though, this can be forgotten in the muscling and tussling of life. Yeah, yeah, ‘life’ is great and all, but there are bigger concerns right now. Push things off, leave them for later. I’ll get back to it… eventually.

Consciously or not, we all do that rather often. It’s a useful tool, to be able to push things off for later. It can make things seem less overwhelming, I get that. It’s easy to use a mentality like that too of and always leave experiences for later. Experiences that can change you. I don’t mean waste all your money in one night and get completely drunk or whatnot. But rather doing something that scares you a little bit, and possibly has an amazing lesson hidden in store. Participate in a protest? Try out for a game show/competition? Some of these things can be done as soon as you choose to do them.


Life is right now. (Photo credit: mag3737)

It’s the trap we all can so easily fall into – wait, save for later, hold off for now, be patient, I can do it when I feel like. Sometimes it’s best to just throw yourself into a new situation and learn from mistakes. There is no living in never doing anything new. I understand saving up for something, or being patient; those are valuable skills. But we have to remember that life is now and there is no more important time than the moment you’re currently living, right this instant. Remember that next time you hold off from getting the full experience of something.

Don’t fall into the trap that so many have. Make your time living as powerful as you can.




Ah well, here we are again, in the blogosphere. I must say, you readers are a quiet bunch….

You know, I’ve been thinking where this blog is going to go. I feel as though this blog will reflect where I go in my life, so I would naturally assume that this blog will (hopefully) reach higher levels of thinkings and understandings of the world/life. The difficult thing about that is that it’s hard to measure such an abstract thing (actually, I would say it’s impossible to do so non-subjectively).

I believe in goals set to measure progress, to give a sort of path to lead. Of course goals can be too heavily relied upon, but all the same, it’s a useful tool humans have learned to use.

This is why I have decided to set the goal for myself to get 1,000,000 views on this blog. Which is borderline impossible, because at the rate I’m going, it’s going to take me over 83 years. 🙂

There are two things for me to consider with that gargantuan number in mind: 1. Looking at an imposing number like that can absolutely destroy my self-belief in achieving such a thing. 2. Just like anything else, it’s not about the numbers. I can be the most consistent person in the world if I learn to truly channel as I write. Quality beats quantity in art every time.

But here’s the thing – there’s something beautiful about taking on such a challenge. Just seeing how far you can take yourself… possibly all the way to the end. It’s these challenges that shape who we are in the long run. A lack of pushing one’s self will leave one wondering what they’re even capable of. Because as soon as you step out of your comfort zone, you open yourself up to experience.

Mount Everest

Simply a challenge to be thrown into (Photo credit: freekstreet)

Think of the people that have taken on the challenge of, some of which succeeding in, climbing Mount Everest. Yes it may be the most generic example, but it shows what taking on challenges can and often does culminate to in terms of triumph.

This is something some celebrities use. I’m talking about activists and the like. Achieve something grand, and suddenly you can use that as a platform for whatever is beyond. You get to a point where you’re building momentum upwards.

It doesn’t matter if I don’t make it. Or if I don’t make half-way. Or a tenth of the way. What matters is that I tried, and I gave it that it my all. I threw myself into growing as person, into learning about myself and others. I didn’t allow the size of anything faze me. Adopting that attitude, and practicing it, leads to a life of fearlessness, a life of “getting out there” and “going for it”. That’s a life worth living.

And a life I’m going to live.


Our Impact

Hello once again,

What a hectic day, I must say. So many things happening all at the same time can mess with the brain quite a bit. And I don’t think my name has been called as many times in one day in my life.

For whatever reason, I spent a lot of time reflecting on the last year of my life, and particularly the changes in how I act and react and think. Something that I’ve imagined since I was very little, and sometimes still do ponder about, is having the ability to have a conversation with myself a year in the future, and a year in the past. I think that would make a fantastic book idea, because it could bring so much insight on what one has learned and where one will go in their life, either because of what they’ve learned or because of a lack of what they’ve learned.

I think the reason why I spent so much time reminiscing what has happened is that a year ago on this day, I did the same thing as today – it was a crazy day full of time and energy consuming work to complete a project for a large presentation that close to 500 people will see. The thing about the project is that it cannot really be done before the day of, and because of that, there is plenty of cause for stress. Currently I am waiting for the presentation to commence, and took this time to blog.

The thing that struck me as absolutely incredible is how differently I handled this project today, than I did last year. What occurred to me was that I’ve become far more involved in my community, and thus have been able to communicate to the people that would be able to assist me in my goal. And they did.

Which brings me to what I’ve learned from looking back: because of the effort and resources that I’ve poured into my life, I have been rewarded with more support, more experience, and a greater view on life. I led an event that did volunteer work, and maybe it’s just karma, but I feel like life is giving back.

Currently, yes, I’m feeling really good, but this is not always the case. When I’m down, it doesn’t feel like life is giving back. But In general, I feel more like I’m doing something worth my time, something that is worth more than money, that only living our lives fully can give us. I’m not saying I’m living life fully yet, I’m saying I’m going in that direction.

It’s because each and every person makes an impact in the world around them. They can impact in ‘negatively’ or ‘positively’, but all the same, a change in the fabric of reality is made. Changes are being made all the time, whether one likes it or not.

That’s what I realized today. Change is going to happen, and I have a voice, no matter how insignificant it may seem compared to 7,000,000,000 others. But by investing myself, I have made my voice stronger, more easily listened to. I know that it makes a change in the world, and even if the impact is microscopic, I have begun doing things that have what I believe to be a positive effect on the things around me.

And so can you. Anyone has the capability to do so. It doesn’t only have to be the biggest extrovert, or the loudest yeller. That’s why written words can be so powerful, and why I love them so much. Everyone is even in the land of writing.

Hope you liked what I had to say, and I’m off to Canada now, see you again with another full-on post on Monday or Tuesday!