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AI Internet Takeover: What does it really mean?

 In the past year, AI generation has come to the forefront of the public's attention. It first came to my attention when listening to an art podcast where they brought up Midjourney and frequently discussed its implications and followed its progression and other sprouting AI offerings. Artists were enraged by duplicitous online artwork made in their styles and appalled to realize their art was no longer only being knocked off for a quick profit by cheap online POD merch stores, but now also by apparently anyone who wanted to. Now artists are not only losing rightful income due to copyright infringement, they are at high risk of artistic identity theft. The current climate of visual artists for hire depends on projecting a style, a self-image, online via social media. The danger of that style, that self-identity , being hijacked by anyone who could then possibly compete with the actual artist online or in the market is more than a little unsettling. It i

Obtaining and Enjoying Your Dreams

 Hello my friends,

It often seems like the dreams nearest to our hearts are unreachable. These dreams come in all shapes and sizes, as specific and unique as the heart who dreams them. Whether it is a trip or experience, a new way of life or state of being, an area of personal growth, or another seemingly unreachable dream, we can pine over them for years without getting any closer to enjoying them. What blocks our path is the mentality that we could never achieve our dream even if we tried because it is simply impossible.

But that mentality is a LIE! It keeps us from even hoping to reach our dreams when in reality, we are each capable of transforming our perspective of the world we live in and bringing our dreams to life. It will be difficult, but not impossible--and I promise you that it is worth the effort. I am going to share with you a process that will help you break through that mentality and guide your dreams across the threshold into reality. 

Step 1: You need to have a dream!

We aren't talking about a vague dream either. Think about your dream and imagine what life would be like if the dream became a reality, imagine how it would feel, and think about why it would feel that way. Imagine it as completely as you can, and hold onto it tight! Write down (or record yourself describing) as much as you can about the dream and its specifics. Record what makes you want it so bad, and how it would be to achieve it. It is important to do some real soul-searching during this phase and to record what you find out because this will be your landmark during the rest of the process. Make sure you think about each element of the dream: the what, the feeling, and the why of the dream. While doing this exercise you may find that what you actually want is not really related to what you had been picturing in your mind.

Step 2: Take stock of the roadblocks and begin breaking them down

Each situation and each dream is unique, so the roadblocks will also be unique--however, they do tend to boil down into a few categories. You can feel barred from your dream because of finances, physical or mental challenges, time commitments/responsibilities to others, or you feel that God (or the universe) is specifically telling you no, or not now. Write down the roadblocks to your specific situation and look at them all in one place. Consider where they come from and list hypothetical ways they could be overcome. Consider which roadblocks you should work on first and do some research into pertinent information and ideas. When planning how to tackle roadblocks it is important to break the obstacle down into its smallest pieces and identify what small pieces you can start working on now, and which pieces need more preparation, more help, or more time. 

Step 3: Start breaking down roadblocks

Now that you are armed with a clear description of your dream and a clear understanding of the obstacles in your path, it is time to start the birth of your dream into the real world. This starts by mentioning it to important people in your life and talking with them about the whys and whats of your dream. When other people know about your hopes and dreams they can join you in the quest to bring the dream to life by breaking down roadblocks, creating opportunities, or alerting you to roadblocks you have not yet considered. Don't be upset if you are met with opposition upon expressing and working towards your dream. It takes a long time and a real struggle for a dream to fully cross over into reality, and whether those around you are initially opposed or not, you will most likely have to wait for a while before you find the opportunity that is right for you to launch your dream.

Step 4: The leap

There is a point where you need to commit. When you find an opportunity that fits what you need (whatever that entails) you have to decide that you are all in, or decide you are all out and watch that chance go by. If you waffle, it will be a flop. The risk is that it won't work out even when you commit 100%, and you will lose the time, money, or effort you put into it. There are a wide variety of reasons this could happen, so before you take the leap of faith to launch your dream, imagine something going wrong that causes you to lose all the invested time and resources, and ask yourself if you could recover from that. If the answer is no, see if there is anything you can do to mitigate that risk or downscale the dream and think really hard if now is the right time for it to be born.

Getting experience in helping a smaller, lower-stake version of your dreams cross over into reality will give you more experience for when you have a better shot at bringing your big dream into reality.

Step 5: Enjoying the process

If you have taken the leap, then you are free falling, hoping you did enough preparation. At this point, there will inevitably be problems you did not foresee that you will have to grapple with and try to resolve as best you can. If it all works out, then you have successfully launched your dream into the real world. No doubt it looks a bit different from how you originally imagined it, but stop and feel the dream around you, and say thank you for the dream with all its beautiful imperfections. Say thank you for the bumpy road that brought you here, and all the bumpy roads ahead of you as you work to keep the dream alive. Even while your dream is all around you there will be things that inevitably go wrong, but a positive attitude goes a long way and will be at the root of what you really treasure from the experience.

I hope this road map gives you the confidence to reach out and grab a few dreams of your own. Next time I'm going to share with you how this process helped me plan and launch a month-long trip to France with my family. See you soon.


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