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I recently read 10 Evergreen Strategies To Boost Your Freelance Writing Career by Michael Chibuzor and it resonated with me on several levels. The most obvious application relates to writing and publishing blog articles. Ideally, my blog articles should be “evergreen” in the sense that each idea, observation, and occasional insight retains value well beyond the point in time it was written. As Michael pointed out in his article, just as evergreen trees retain their foliage throughout the year, evergreen writers strive to develop content that remains “fresh” long-term.
As a writer, I try to avoid low-value content that’s short-lived. Sometimes I create posts others might consider low-value content (e.g., 55 Warning Signs You Might Be a Nerd). Admittedly, I found amusement in writing that (and I still do). Even so, I aspire to write meaningful articles. I’ve considered renaming my blog ‘Evergreen Musings’ as a reflection of my commitment to this ideology.
Midway through this line of thought, the concept struck me in a way I didn’t expect: the ’evergreen’ concept is applicable to so much more than writing! I wondered if others would describe my day-to-day life as “evergreen living.” Do I live in a way that emphasizes long-term value? Do I surrender to the temptation of living for short-term gains?
I can readily identify specific areas in my life that would benefit from this concept:
- Have I invested in evergreen relationships with people that matter to me?
- Am I doing evergreen work or just going through the motions?
- Do I manage my finances with evergreen principles?
- Am I eating food that promotes evergreen health?
I believe evergreen living is a practical concept. It’s not a goal so much as a direction or way of living. You don’t “achieve” evergreen living and suddenly reap the benefits. It’s a purposeful (and sometimes, costly) day-to-day decision that’s ever mindful of long-term consequences.
In some ways an evergreen perspective is analogous to certain traditions, religions, or beliefs that may influence a person’s choices or lifestyle. On that note, I believe it’s a good thing to have a larger perspective—an appreciation for how small the moment we’re currently experiencing is relative to our lifespan as a whole. Don’t stop there.
I’m reminded of notable historical figures that impacted society well beyond their lifetimes by making evergreen changes. If you discovered an evergreen idea and then used it to help others improve their lives long-term, what kind of difference would it make?
I find myself challenged by the concept of evergreen living and writing. Not only in the sense of doing the things that matter most, but sharing the things that matter with everyone I meet. I didn’t realize it at the time, but it’s one of the reasons I created this blog in the first place.
One of my earliest entries, Doing Less Wrong referenced a similar notion posed by Merlin Mann’s blog post, Better. At the end of the day, my goal isn’t writing another “junk” blog about things that don’t matter. I believe your time is more valuable than that!
This blog wasn’t created for me. In fact, this blog is all about you. It’s about sharing my perspectives and experiences for your benefit. To be clear, I’m not an expert. I’m not better than anyone else at living life. I’ve struggled with some of the same things you have and I’ve failed just as often (if not more).
Ultimately, it’s not whether I succeed or fail that matters. The evergreen value is this: don’t lose the experience. Choose the things that matter to you long-term and add my experiences to yours. Maybe together, we’ll become a little more evergreen day by day.
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