Vanlife, Mindfulness, Minimalism, Serendipity and Finding Purpose


You make some interesting points, though I do find myself finding a great deal of beautiful serendipity in media-making too…

Thanks also to Adam Brown for sharing these ideas on Serendipity:


Sure. A great insight you have presented to explore.

Let’s think of serendipity as those happy accidents that seem to happen by chance.  And if there is a way we can enhance serendipity which will help us connect the dots across disciplines and between disparate groups and build understanding and connection then that’s a good thing.

I’ve noticed you seem to love your work and it comes across. The flow state as described by Csikszentmihalyi works best when you are involved deeply in something you enjoy. This is a little different to multitasking which seems to create the most stress and is actually task switching. Howard Rheingold gives some pretty good descriptions of the differences and what neuroscience has found in Net Smart. The brain really lights up when you are in a flow state and while you are enjoying what you do it’s much easier to access creativity and insight from a wider perspective. Kind of like when you remember that thing when you are not trying too.

Eastern Traditions push the boundaries of these connections a little further, perhaps to the realms of connected existence ( for want of a better way of saying it). When you look at a brain map of say some Indian Yogis the brain is alight with connections and consciousness. Much like if you take a walk through a rainforest your brain is incredibly active in comparison to working online – also as shown through neuroscience. Comparatively, the opposite of the use of psychedelics and although it may seem like you have found all the answers to existence, the neuroscience will show the mind has largely shut down.

There is not a set formula that works for everybody too. Take the minimalist philosophy and the relation to consumer culture. Saying you should live a meagre existence without technology os counterproductive. Who wants to live like a hermit. The idea is to look at what you have in your life and intentionally ask whether it adds or subtracts from you living within your values in a purposeful life. And in doing not add to the business of life, and the strain on natural resources. A little intentionality early while the choice exists.

Notes: In education, this is often described in terms of creating a learning environment which is not too boring and not too challenging. The concept of right brain learning is also connected.

One of the original videos that inspired this podcast:

If you struggled with this then check out my introduction to gamification. Most Fortune 500 companies now use gamification in
VW Bug
  There are two ads that both play intertextually on the hipster aesthetic to effectively create meaning. They are the
Clouds Gamify life
My recent experiences with gamification. 1) Connecting with the Community I started collaborating and gamifying the experience early on
The Wanderlust of #Vanlife (2015) examines the travelling and blogging movement established by Foster Huntington, who quit a Manhattan corporate
#Vanlife Movement Episode 2 of the Vanlife Culture Series The Wanderlust of #Vanlife (2015) examines the travelling and blogging
Making a podcast
This is Episode 1. in the Van life Culture series. Where we put the lens on the van life travelling

Finally here is a video of an authentic minimalist family road trip we (our family) made.

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  1. Thanks for taking the time – and effort (I thought initially you must have already blogged! 🙂 I think we’re probably thinking of serendipity in a slightly different way (not necessarily a contradictory one). And I think your conceptualisation fits well with an example I used to use – but only just noticed recently that it’s unfortunately no longer included in my unit materials you would have seen. It’s the first few mins here if you’re interested – definitely highlights what springs from doing what you’re passionate about… Keep up the great work! A

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