The Experience Curator

The Experience Curator is a periodic series giving you the most fascinating, exceptional, or fun moments from 5,000 BCE through today. From online content to offline stories to tantalizing tidbits, there's plenty here to resonate with anyone (including you).

This first edition features the crucial difference between common and normal, an inspiring origin story from rural Jamaica, Tony Robbins high-fiving Al Gore, and a whole lot more.

(Oh, and a hilarious story about something you probably thought went extinct: the butt-dial).

Grab a beverage, remove your distractions, and let's explore a combination of topics and mediums that I've found valuable … and I believe you'll dig, too.

Your Wonderful World of Experience Curating

Before You Dig in

Let's celebrate the first edition of The Experience Curator with a hat tip (HT) to Ancient Rome, the originators of this thing we call curating. Thanks, Romans!

(Toasting and cheers are optional.)

Now then. My goal is to have you do some thinkin' and clickin' with each of these editions. Some experiences will challenge your assumptions about what kind of world we live in. Others will make you say “What the … ?” or “Must. Share. Experience. With. Everyone. Right. Now.”

The digging is done, so let's hit it.

Word Up (Text)

Mark Sisson of Mark's Daily Apple dares to ask questions that most of us don't want to consider. And this time he's asking: are you normal … or just common?

Just because something is common doesn't make it normal. For humans in the United States and other developed nations, being overweight and on pills is common. For the human animal given access to sunlight, good food, regular movement, and a healthy happy community life, leanness and effortless metabolic health are normal. That's the normal we should be aiming for, not the common state of health we see on a daily basis.

Did You Hear That? (Podcasts)

I was stirred to my bones by a Truly Amazing Life interview between Aaron Kennard and Daphne Clarke-Hudson. Daphne's origin story in rural Jamaica explains why she's so humble, confident, and simplicity-focused, but you should get inspired for yourself.

Seeing Is Believing (Videos)

Do you know why you do what you do? Tony Robbins does, and his TED Talk is one of the best out there (plus his high-five with Al Gore is priceless).

There's edge-of-your-seat info, beautifully delivered stories, emotionally charged calls to action, and, at time stamp 06:11, a statement that puts it all into perspective:

The defining factor [for success] is never resources. It's resourcefulness.

What kind of resourcefulness are you building? Creativity, determination, or compassion? Curiosity or passion? Emotional strength and mental fitness is the name of just about any game.

The World of Simple

Minimalism is stark and barren. Minimalists don't own nice things. Minimalists are extreme environmentalists. Minimalists are young and single. Minimalists aren't sentimental.

These are just some of the myths that Joshua Becker busts in a potentially paradigm-shifting Becoming Minimalist post.

Here's just one of the many takeaways:

Less is different than none. And while having a [partner] and/or children can make the practice of minimalism a little bit tougher, they make it that much more important, too.

What's New (and Old) in Curating

Past, present, and future – curating's a big deal at Value of Simple and to most of the world. So wouldn't it be nice to have a short, easily-absorbed history of the word “curator” that doesn't involve a dense Wikipedia page?

I think so.

Rockin' Relationships

I'm all-in on the social science of building and managing communities. And I'm unaware of any who does it better than Rich Millington at FeverBee.

Personally, I like to stay positive, show people what I stand for, and avoid the comparison trap. But sometimes you have to contrast Group A with Group B to persuade people to join your community (or anything else for that matter).

As Rich explains, if you're not Group B, then often you lump yourself into Group A (a.k.a. self-categorization in social identity theory). This is a gem of a quick read and Rich cranks out actionable resources like I crank out new spreadsheets.

You don't even have to make group B sound terrible, just make sure Group A is slightly better. We spend too much time explaining who the community is for (usually everyone, sadly) and too little time explaining who it's not for.

Just for Kicks

I inherited a love for the New York Mets from my dad and grandpa, but baseball's on my far back burner these days. Your affinity for the Mets or baseball won't matter when you read this hi-lar-ious article about the team's Director of Media Relations butt-dialing hundreds of people … all day and night.

“I swear to God, I don't know how I do it,” Horwitz said. “I'm not real mechanical.”

Quote Notes

Colin Wright is one of my favorite people ever. And it's related to writing email newsletters that contain uncommon wisdom and perspective like this:

To claim moral or philosophical superiority, then, is to be incredibly limited in one's scope of the world. It assumes that we all have the same goals, have had the same experiences, and hold the same data in the same regard … By shutting oneself off from any possibility and any group of people and set of beliefs, we're not being rational. We're being prejudiced. And we're using the language of rationality and reason to justify that prejudice.

The Simple Time Capsule

Here's a snapshot of the good, bad, and groovy from me over the years:


You already know that this edition of The Experience Curator is the first of many. But remember: I'm happy and eager to tweak the categories (which will rotate), length, or presentation of info in the future.

All you gotta do is let me know what would make The Experience Curator more fun, valuable, or sharable and I'm on it like a bonnet.

So what about you? What intriguing experiences – ancient to brand spankin' new – have you curated that I or others should see? Please share in the comments!


Are you ready to become an Experience Curator or join thousands who have gone deep into the world of Experience Curating? Click here to discover the popular book that started it all.

Photo credit: Alan English