Brules and Supposed To

How should you live your life? 

There are fundamental rules that govern how we live, and there are some we follow blindly without realising. Not all rules are required, and a significant amount of what we hold as 'normal' is outdated and counter-productive to becoming a successful person. If everyone did the exact same thing, there would be no creativity, no invention, no innovation, no art, nothing new. 

Let go of the bullshit rules that hold you back, and let go of what is supposed to happen. Let go of the norm and what should be, start looking at what could be.

Brules is a word that was popularised (if not created) by Vishen Lakhiani in his book - The Code of the Extraordinary Mind. It is a mix of two words which explain it's meaning... Bullshit Rules. This is the term used to describe rules that we take as common normal everyday processes, that are actually holding us back from achieving the most from ourselves. Brules can be small or large, they can be everywhere in society. Brene Brown describes these as the 'Supposed To...', in her books and her Audible audiobook 'The Power of Vulnurability'. Brown encourages us to let go of supposed to, so that we can stop holding ourselves back from becoming all that we can be.

Though letting go of brules is a good thing, and can drastically increase the happiness of your life and help you achieve your potential, it can also manifest itself into it's own brule when people enforce the letting go of brules in a particular area as a rule.

For example, I have heard several times that there is no need for an education for entrepreneurs - that you should not get a qualification because it is meaningless, and so many successful people did what they did without qualification... While it can be true for some people, it does not mean that not getting a qualification will help all people become successful. Do not blindly follow rules created by rule breakers, since it will not always be to your benefit. Do what feels right to you - if you feel that getting a degree will allow you to become closer to the life goals you want to achieve, then by all means get that degree! If you feel like creating a start-up instead of going to university works better for you, then by all means do it... Do not feel compelled to do something or not do something just because others say that is the only path to success, trust in yourself and let your heart guide you to the path that will make you happiest.

Not all shoes fit all people - you need to select a shoe based on your foot size!

There is no use in doing something that is making you unhappy - this will demoralise you, and you may actually end up giving up. Do what feels right to you, go down the path that feels the most efficient for your needs. You are awesome, make your life awesome.

Innovau - Invent your world.


What are you aiming for? 
What do you want to achieve? 
Understand your goals and aims, and you will have a much easier time in your progress towards reaching them!

Understanding where you are going gives you something to aim for, which will allow you to define goals and know where you are headed. What set-points and goals are you trying to reach with your design? You may not know exactly what this is right now... But it is always a good idea to try to write down SOMETHING. Once you write down you initial goal ideas, this will allow you to bounce off these ideas, and amend them until you get to the exact goals you will achieve. Get a white board or diary or something - make it visible!

Goals should not be set in stone, but should be something you aim for - reaching them is not what matters, since goals can change and adapt. Instead, what you should focus more on is the process of reaching this goal, and the progress you are making. This is also a great way to keep yourself feeling more motivated - when you realise how far you have come, you can appreciate your own accomplishments better, rather than focusing on how much further you have to go. This concept is lifted from The Code of the Extraordinary Mind by Vishen Lakhiani (check this book out - amazing).

Goals are notoriously hard to reach, and goals change. When you have created your goals, the best way to reach them is through persistence and continued effort - the people who achieved the greatest things in life have been those who did not give up. The reason that people don't reach their goals is not because of obstacles that get in the way, but because people let those obstacles discourage them to the point of giving up. Any obstacle can be overcome, and any goal is achievable.

Nothing is impossible (just improbable) - but you control those odds!

So understand the goals you want to achieve, and go for them. Understand that they might change, and change with them. Understand that there may be obstacles, and jump high over those obstacles. be persistent, be patient, you will get there, you will reach your goals, and you will succeed. You are the most amazing person on the planet, and everything that you could ever want in life is out there waiting for you to claim it! 

So get out there and invent your world.

Reverse your Gap

I have recently finished listening to (from Audible) The Code of the Extraordinary Mind, by Vishen Lakhiani (for the second time)!

One extremely insightful section that I thought stood out to me was his theory on reversing your gap - which is a way to increase your happiness in the now, and allows you to feel better about your work. By doing this, you can feel more confident in what you have done and where you are going, and it may even spur you on to work better and faster and more efficiently!

Reverse your Gap.
Most people, when they have a task or goal, will put blinkers on and will only focus on what is left to achieve. By doing this, you are resigning yourself to always feel like you are not enough, and that you haven't achieved anything yet. You will also be more likely to feel like you are unhappy with how you have been working on the task, which may even lead to you giving up on the task.

A quick 'mind-hack' to help change this around is to change your own perspective. Instead of looking at how much you have left to achieve, start looking at what you have already achieved, and how much progress you have made. In this way, you will be more likely to be proud of what you have achieved, and you will be able to put into perspective much better how far your goal actually is from being completed! You will be much less likely to give up if you look at what you have already achieved.

Looking back also allows you to be able to realise your learning much easier - it is easy to forget how much you have learned from your past when all you can see is how much there is left to learn... But look at how much you have already learned, and you will be able to appreciate it much better!

Stop looking at what you have left to achieve, and start looking at how far you have come.

Check out the video below for Vishen himself to explain it to you!

Lead an awesome life, and change your perspective to see things in a brighter light!

Grab a copy of the Code of the Extraordinary Mind from Audible or Amazon, and become your potential! Invent your world.

Do this to Invent Efficiently... The Design Process

Inventing is simple... Well, it SHOULD be! 
It may not be as simple as the quote from Robots 'See a need, fill a need', but it can be very easy to invent efficiently!

One big problem with potential inventors that I have found (including in myself), is that they will get an idea to 'fill a need', and will start developing it. After some development, they will start to get frustrated with their progress and frustrated at not knowing what to do next, that they will will leave their design until later. 

This doesn't have to happen.

If you follow The Design Process, you can make sure that you know exactly what to do next, and you will be much more likely to take your design all the way through to completion.

What is The Design Process? 5 Simple Steps.

1. Understand
Understand is the stage where you take time to understand the problem itself. Why is it a problem? What is the problem? Ask as many questions as you can to try to understand the problem itself, so that you know exactly what you will be aiming for in the end. Also, try to be as inquisitive during this stage as possible - be curious, ask questions, be enthusiastic... This will make it much more likely to get better quality information from whoever it is that you are filling a need for!
Understanding the problem is massive. For instance, if you just narrowed the problem down to creating a mode of transport... You could design a bicycle. But if you ask more questions and discover you need a mode of transport to get you to the moon... You would design a rocket. Very different!

2. Translate
To translate what you have understood is to ask why the why? What is actually required to be achieved from this project, and what are the expected outcomes (be general!). Here you can cut out anything that is not really required, to make sure that your design is exactly as required - no more, no less.

3. Synthesize
Here is where you generate ideas! Use whatever ideation method you like, to generate as many ideas as possible that may fill this translated need - brainstorm and think! You will ideally think of a whole bunch of ideas, then start to cut them down and eliminate the impossible, improbable, and infeasible. Try to narrow your ideas down to just a few, so that you can present these ideas to whoever you are creating the design for - less (but better quality) means an easier choice.
If you can get this down to a single idea, that is the optimum solution, since then you only need to continue with one task - rather than completing three ideas in parallel!

4. Prototype
Creating a prototype is a hand made embodiment of the synthesized idea. Here is something that represents and idea, and tests a question to get an answer. It is best practice to design your prototype to answer a yes / no question, and you can follow this up with a 'why?'. For instance, you may create a prototype of a new model of a phone to test whether the button placement is comfortable (yes or no), then you can ask why! The purpose of answering questions is to make sure that the final design you create and test has as few bugs as possible, and works in the most optimum way.
For more info on prototyping, see my article on it, or check out the video below!

5. Test
Your prototypes have successfully given you plenty of data and you have taken this data on to the point where you can now create your final design - now you need to TEST it. Your test should be on a model of the design that is as close to the final product as possible. It is ideal if you can test on an ACTUAL final product that uses the correct manufacturing methods, since your tests will then be able to emulate real world usage! You can test anything here, but common tests include usability, safety, and durability.
For example, at the Dyson test facility in the U.K., they test all their vacuum cleaners extensively for durability (I went for a job there as a Robotics Test Engineer!). They batter the vacuums with whatever they can find, including hitting them with things, and running them into walls over and over again, to find out exactly how much it takes to break one. Be that thorough if you can!

Once your design has passed all the tests, and it comes out strongly - you can take your design to completion! This can be selling the design, or giving it out, or simply looking at it... Whatever you want. Here is where you would need Intellectual Property protection - check out my article on Intellectual Property for more information on this.

Well done, get out there and invent, innovate, and design. Invent your world!

Thank You

I have been creating my VLOG at for almost a month now - and over that time I have learned so much! 

As of today, I have created 10 YouTube videos, which is a massive milestone for me!

I decided upon the topic of my 10th video to be a thank you to those channels that I have seen to be most influential towards me creating my channel. Check out the below list to see those that gave me the kick to get this channel out of my mind and into the world!

Veritasium - Derek Muller

In particular, the video that Derek posted on 2Veritasium, called ‘How to Start a YouTube Channel’.

Veritasium gave me my initial inspiration to want to go ahead and make a YouTube channel, and although my first few attempts at making something regular were terrible, I think I have finally found something that I am happy to keep making! He also has plenty of amazing advice for creating YouTube videos in here such as:
  • Just start making YouTube channels! You’ve got to start somewhere, so begin now, regardless of whether it is good or bad.
  • Starting the video too early – don’t have too much preamble at the beginning! Get to the point. LEAD WITH AWESOME. 
  • The camera subtracts 20% of your enthusiasm. Speak animatedly like you would to a PERSON.
MKBHD - Marques Brownlee
You have amazing tech videos – and almost brought me to start my own tech vlog (which I tried a little bit, but I just didn’t resonate with being a product reviewer!). You make amazing videos that are very clean and very good looking, while keeping the formula very simple! You have been a channel that I have been watching for years, and I have so much trust in the tech reviews that you create!  You have been my YouTube staple for years – I haven’t missed a video since 2010!

Casey Neistat - Casey Neistat!
You gave me that final push. Seeing you with a DSLR making great vlogs every single day made me realise that I could use my DSLR (which had been sitting dormant for months), and could create and contribute. If you can do it every day, I can do it at least once a week.

I first watched your channel years ago watching Bike Lanes, not knowing who you were… Then recently I re-discovered you somehow, and was hooked on your vlogs – it came as quite a surprise to find out you made bike lanes!

You broke so many perceptions I had about creating good videos on YouTube - Your videos look beautiful, sound beautiful and have amazing content – and you make one every single day! This has made me realise that it does not take a mammoth effort to create a video, but that a video can be about nearly anything and still have meaningful messages, and can inspire and encourage people with the smallest of things. You don’t need a big budget, you don’t need a great camera, you don’t need a great microphone, or great lighting. As long as there is story, and that the presenter is passionate and enthusiaic about that story! To paraphrase… Story is king – everything else serves the king.

I want to say thank you. You gave me that last kick to stop putting it off, and to not be scared of making a VLOG and website!

Smarter Every Day - Destin Sandlin
You have amazing videos with such a positive vibe! I love learning from you, and seeing the sheer enthusiasm you put into everything!

Good Mythical Morning - Rhett and Link
You guys make making videos with awesome content look so easy! And you look like you have so much fun with it. I have been watching you guys regularly for about a year now, and had seen several videos here and there over the last few years – your videos are always engaging, and always have such a positive vibe about your videos. You make everything look fun, and were the channel that really got me looking at YouTube in a perspective of an entertainment and learning medium!

Makers Muse - Angus
You have the best 3D printing videos on YouTube by far – and you make 3D printing seem so awesome (as it should seem). Seeing a fellow Aussie creating such a great channel about 3d printing made me inspired to create something of my own, and I thank you for that.

DigitalRev TV - Kai and Lok
Helped me figure out my camera, understand lenses, and understand photography and filmography better!

Also I would like to send thanks to my University Mechatronic Lecturer - Dr. Nathan Kirchner.
Was an excellent lecturer at UTS that taught me all about the invention and innovation process, and helped me realise how much people waffle!

There are thousands of other channels I would like to give thanks to, but if I had to pick the main few channels (and people) that had influenced me to CREATE my YouTube channel, these would be them! Thank you to every YouTuber though, you are all amazing!

Happy Birthday Nikola Tesla

Happy 160th anniversary of the birth of Nikola Tesla

Click over to the Tesla Science Center to see a Live Stream of activities to celebrate Tesla's 160th birthday, and just generally check out this site as it is amazing! (Also, I am on a brick somewhere at the Science Center via an Indiegogo campaign a while back).

Also check out one of my favourite comics created about Nikola Tesla by Matthew Inman at 'The Oatmeal' -