Facebook me.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

If Ebola were such a worldwide and dire pandemic, you’d think government organizations would shift more of their spending towards this, over having Facebook solicit me for my monetary contribution. I thought governments and worldwide organizations were established to protect our interests; especially with regards to global catastrophes. Little did we know we still have to do everything for ourselves.

‘PLEASE DONATE.’

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Why Formal Education Should Take A Lesson In Jeet Kune Do.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Adapt or die. Not in the literal sense – or perhaps in the literal sense – formalized education has become a stale, standardization of skills; effectively diminishing one’s own ability to grow creatively.

The body, like the mind, is an engine unique unto each individual. So then, should that mean that using preset solutions for solving problems be the only correct way of doing things?

If your kick is faster, more powerful; yet, does not meet the criteria for how a kick should be executed, would your kick then, be wrong? Not if it gets the job done. History is littered with great institutionalized failures that have eventually become great successes. Where they were once seen as wrong, we now see them as innovators in their field.

Granted, there are preset universal laws of nature that we each must abide by; but to cast out new ways of thinking that may provide a better alternative to the archetype would be a misstep in the learning and development of our society. We are at the dawn of a new age in creativity, all thanks to the power of the internet, and to dismiss open source creativity for inflexible dogma would be a disservice to all those proverbially peering outside the box.

Through adaptation, progression, and evolution, Jeet Kune Do has provided an appropriate framework for what continuous and effective improvement looks like. By keeping only the rules of nature in mind, and doing away with forcibly rigid schools of thought, we can each find our own unique creativity and way of doing things — if only we be like water.

Sir Ken Robinson – School Kills Creativity

I’m Down To Learn, But Make Sure Education Is Your Top Priority.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Following the advent of various free-form methods of education, can we still say that school is necessary when seeking to educate ourselves? At our finger tips, there are a myriad of resources readily available to teach us lessons on things that we are most interested in. Yet, the grand majority still think that the only way to truly learn is through formalized education. Now, it shouldn’t be concluded that school is unimportant, but if we start to assume that the only way to build our education and resource of knowledge is through these institutions, we would sorely be mistaken.

Libraries, podcasts, YouTube videos, online lectures, documentaries; there are a myriad of alternate ways in which to learn that don’t require having to write an exam at the end. As a society, we are continuously rebuked for our fleeting attempts at passing predetermined test that are geared more towards standardizing our declarative capacity, than actually assessing our applied skill-set and ability to think outside the box. Sure, tests, grades and papers are important, but let’s not lose sight of what we’re actually going to school for: to learn. To take away something both useful and applicable.

After four years of so-called higher education, the most important take away shouldn’t be an expensive piece of paper that you paid for through inordinate mounds of debt, but a knowledge base that you can then apply to real-life situations – not just simulations. If you’ve sought out an expensive piece of parchment, that’s fine, but don’t let a document define your level of success. Learning comes with failure; learning comes with hard work; and, ultimately, learning requires discipline.

Why is it that when we truly desire to learn, we seek out free-form methods to educate ourselves that seem the most engaging and fun? Because there is no consequence. We are free to learn what we want to learn, simply for the sake of learning. Education should not only be free, but it should be enjoyed. It should be an endeavor we seek out to address our curiosities and to better our understanding of the world around us – not to force us to want to “pass”.

Truly, school had fallen by the wayside the day we took the focus off of education and placed the onus on indoctrination.

Suli Breaks – Why I Hate School But Love Education

Expanding Perspectives.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

The brain, like any other muscle, needs to be exercised! Expand your perspectives with themes ranging from philosophy, to lifestyle, to science, to the Martial Arts. TnB theories provides a consortium of knowledge for avid enthusiasts interested in expanding their minds with cool new perspectives. Pull up a chair — and check it out!

New layout, new design, same perspectives. Muse alongside.

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Reading Through the Fine Print.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

With so many things being shared via social networks on a daily basis, how private is truly private nowadays? Discover the mysteries behind ticking that little grey box marked “I Accept the Terms And Conditions That May Apply”.

Perhaps it’s time we all started investing in our own personal PR.

Alchemy of the Heart.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Unlock your own life’s great tale by listening to the callings of your own heart and never giving into fear. The Alchemist, by Paulo Coelho, sends the reader on a journey alongside Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy, as he goes out in search of a treasure only visible in his mind’s eye. Peppered with life lessons and memorable quotes, take these lessons and use them to help discover your own life’s true path. A great book for anyone in search of something deeper.

“When we strive to become better than we are, everything around us becomes better, too.” – The Alchemist
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The Mountain After Black.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Like grasping at smoke in the mind, what comes after black belt is both illusory and imaginary. The true question isn’t just “what comes after black belt”, but “what did I want my black belt for in the first place?” As creatures of incentive, we are all motivated to achieve the goals we set out for ourselves. We all aspire to do, create, and believe, that we, in some way, can do better for ourselves. We find comfort in knowing that we are capable, and that we can succeed.

Enlightened by hindsight, we each come to realize that our initial desire changes over time. What we once thought we wanted, becomes something we didn’t really want at all, or something, even, that we didn’t realize was not far enough for us to pursue; so we push further. The goal after black belt isn’t just to become a better fighter, a better spiritualist, or even a better martial artist, it’s to become a better person. Up to this point, the journey to black belt has, hopefully, provided each of its practitioners with the tools necessary in realizing that we can achieve anything we put our minds to.

In the end, the answer to “what comes after black belt” is entirely up to you. You have been provided with the tools to achieve, now it’s a matter of whether you will realize and utilize them or not. Some may find that they gain great satisfaction from sharing their knowledge. For them, the journey after black belt is to get more involved, to give back to what has given them so much. For others, the achievement of black belt is simply a stepping stone in their laundry list of lofty life-goals that they must complete before they die. For others still, the journey may have awakened something deeper, something in the art or in themselves. Whatever it is, each of us ultimately chooses what it is that we wish to pursue next, and each of us places our own meaning on that two-inch-thick strand, saddled across our waist. In its most basic form, the journey after black belt isn’t just about a journey of what comes after, but a question of what do I want to do after. All dreams are achievable, and the choice is completely up to you.

Even the most seasoned martial artist is frequently asked “why continue, what more is there to gain?” the truth is, there is so much more; but the route to the top of the mountain has many paths — and the right path is entirely up to you.

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(Photo by: Urvil James Villaruel)

STATUS: Strategic.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Who would have thought a leisurely mystery party would end up teaching marketers how to leverage social media so strategically.

Whether you like the game or not, the true brilliance behind the Great Escape’s market penetration strategy can be found in its online brand-building efforts.

Offering reduced admission for anyone willing to show that they liked the event on Facebook, the Great Escape throws its lead jab in this social media one-two punch-combo. Once completed, attendees are then asked if they’d like to have their photo taken for display on the event’s Facebook page at a later date. Who wouldn’t jump at the chance to have their picture taken with humorous props and a catchy word-border? Photo snapped, players are then invited to visit the page within a day or two to retrieve their picture. Jab-jab. Combining Facebook’s ad boosting tool with a player’s desire to tag themselves for their efforts, friends of escapists are suddenly bombarded with “your friend has liked” and “your friend has been tagged in” notifications, inundating home feeds until the user either likes or hastily clicks the “I don’t want to see this” button. This final right hook brilliantly combines all efforts to build effective online brand awareness, as the combination offers up sizable notoriety, recommendations to other users, and disseminates an unrelenting word of mouth campaign.

Truly a brilliant social media strategy, the Great Escape’s digital campaign is certainly one worth learning from for anyone wishing to take on the world of social.

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Evolve Your Brain; Take It to the Next Level.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

Your brain is the most effective chemical factory on the planet. Gain insight into the science behind shaping your mind — Joe Dispenza, D.C. provides an inspired account overviewing the power of shaping will, decision, emotion, and outlook. A great read for anyone wishing to take control of the reins to their own psyche. You truly can do anything you put your mind to.

EvolveYourBrain

G.O.O.D. tips.

Taking advantage of cross collaboration and harnessing the the power of creative outsourcing, Kanye West teaches business professionals the importance of playing to your strengths and putting together a great team in order to create something masterful. Though completely different sectors (one art, one business) entrepreneurs would do well to learn from the lessons of G.O.O.D. Friday. Develop a formidable skill-set, find others with complementing skill-sets, build powerful teams, succeed.

Commerce, life, and music all seem to share the same valued principle: it’s all about who you know, and who you decide to collaborate with.

Kanye West – G.O.O.D. Friday

Don’t poison the gaming well.

BY URVIL JAMES VILLARUEL

With the recent launch of new systems and ever-expanding video game market, how long before companies begin leveraging their brands in-game on a wider scale? If you’ve ever played any racing title, you’re accustomed to the automotive product-placing of brands amidst your leisure. Does product placement in video gaming work? Are there strategic incentives for marketers to align themselves within the gaming industry, given the growing market? If done correctly, perhaps there is a way to penetrate this seemingly untapped market, without putting off gamers due to flashy, obtrusive, advertising in the process.