• Scott Herring

Turning Japanese: Satori for Bloggers

Part 4 of a 4 Part Series

Satori - in the awakening from a dream. Awakening and self-realization and seeing into one's own being - these are synonymous.
-- Bruce Lee

In Zen Buddhism, satori - enlightenment - is the ultimate goal. This enlightment can be attained after a period of concentrated preparation and effort. It can happen suddenly. Satori for bloggers requires dedication to the craft of writing, with open eyes and consistent effort. I consider myself a perpetual student -- my family is tired of my "7 years of college down the drain" dad joke -- which is all about hunger to learn. I learn by reading, and more importantly teaching. Satori is a noteworthy goal.


Satori starts with seeking knowledge. As a blogger, I read far more than I write. That means reading things relevant to my industry, but also looking outside the garden walls for new ideas. I do a great deal of technology work, but I read about politics, the brain, art & design, and productivity. I find myself jotting blog ideas down when looking in those other areas far more often than when staring at the latest news update for tech. Seeking ideas entails a concerted effort to learning. Seek knowledge in new territories.


If you soak up knowledge, share it with a friend or colleague. As Eleanor Roosevelt is noted for saying, "Great minds discuss ideas; average minds discuss events; small minds discuss people". That's a good way to assess your dialog. If you read a good article about productivity, for example, and you share it with a colleague, she may say she tried that method but found another one even better. Your sharing can lead to a new path. Or if you share it with that colleague and she asks you questions, you may end up digging deeper later to find answers. Either way, your knowledge and understanding expand. Then perhaps you write a post for your blog, share it with thousands of readers, and the group responds with feedback. Now your idea has a new life in your community. They can debate your original premise to find a better version of it, and everyone benefits.


Seeking and learning are similar, but with a twist. Seek new areas to fuel your knowledge, share what you collect, then learn from the entire process. It's like "meta-seeking" when you look from a higher level at the knowledge you gain. What worked in the process? Where are the gaps? What can you change or improve to make the results even better. Life is a big experiment, and if you're polishing the stone at regular intervals, you'll end up with tremendous value. And then you'll be able to deliver even more value through your writing.

The Impact of Satori for Bloggers

Satori is a goal based on a process. If you're following along today, you'll find your own ways of collecting information, processing it, using it, sharing it, and iterating. Seek the elusive light at the end of the tunnel. The more you do, the more you share, the more likely you are to be enlightened.


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