Jay Shirley

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The Daily Practice

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Rescheduling my future.

Published: 27 Oct 2012

I’ve been having a really hard time writing and posting something. It’s not just lately, it’s been fairly consistent failing. My goal was to write every day, and publish something publicly every 3 days. It seems like a reasonable goal.

I fail at this frequently. Often times I fail because I struggle for material that I want to post. I have ideas and certainly go through situations that would be good to write about. It is very hard to develop these ideas. What are the best ideas? What can be grown into a coherent and ideally helpful post? This type of refinement is challenging.

How can I proceed with this? I’d like to have more success, and I’ve been trying for long enough. I must revisit my definition of success. This is the great part about being sentient and self-aware. At any point I can adjust my expectations and my definitions of success.

In thinking about this I realized I have a good post here. I shouldn’t feel so bad, I have 90 published entries here. That isn’t insignificant, but it is short of my previously defined level of success. In considering this, I figure three likely options.

Option one: Write more, badly.

This is a blog, not a collection of essays submitted to a stodgy University professor. I could post (more) half-baked, poorly thought out and terribly written posts. I don’t think I should do this. I appreciate the time I take proof reading and editing. I enjoy it and I think I learn more from re-reading, and subsequently correcting my own writing.

This option would be defeating my entire motivation for writing. It certainly would defeat my goal to always progress and improve myself.

Option two: Publish less frequently.

This is a very reasonable option. This is what I’m leaning towards. If I wrote once a week, would I feel more inclined to take me time? Would I perhaps enhance my posts with some doodles? I think I would, but I worry I would abuse this and not be any more successful than I have been.

The great part of TDP is I can see exactly how unsuccessful I’ve been. I typically have gaps in between my entries. If I break my streak I don’t immediately jump back on the bandwagon. I stop. I take my time and I write something I really want to post. Just like this post here.

This is different than procrastination, though. I still write every day I just get more selective. I’ve really never been a procrastinator. Instead, I simply don’t do things I don’t want to do. That’s an over-simplification, but captures the essence. I still think if I reschedule this to be a weekly goal, I would find new and different failures. Maybe I will, but that’s not a reason to not do anything. By discovering the ways in which fail we also learn how to succeed.

Option three: Expand on the topics.

My primary subject is improvement and the psychology of people heavily involved in technology. We’re a strange breed. Writing about this has started organically, as I’ve found myself having to explain these things to various people; sometimes it’s managers and leaders and others it’s to my wife or other family members. Some are receptive and some are not but it’s been a common discussion and has been extremely rewarding for me.

People involved in technology and creating products tend to be highly logical. This culminates in what I would describe as a distinct culture (or better put, a culture with many sub-cultures). For example, I typically feel equally comfortable talking to a developer who grew up in crime ridden parts of LA or Chicago or a graduate from Stuyvesant. In between the vast differences in upbringing there is more in common in our minds. This fascinates me and I feel connected.

I don’t know if this is unique to geeks. It seems it is but I don’t know. This is the only life I’ve been a part of, and am well entrenched in it. As such, I enjoy thinking and subsequently writing about this. The psychology and understanding I can gain here helps me in life. It’s just one way of improving.

Improvement in general is my main, broad passion. Every day I try to make my world a better place. I think it trickles down and helps other people’s world be better. Some days it really is only my world, but I try to share. Over the last year I’ve been reading at least 2 books at a time about psychology and improvement, and before that I studied the simple idea of how to maintain happiness.

I’m certainly not an expert on any of this. However, I’m truly and genuinely happy in life. Even in times of extreme tragedy, I can rely on my inner happiness to see me through. This is tremendously valuable and ultimately is my inspiration to continue writing. I hope I can share this feeling with others and writing is my best chance at succeeding right now.

In conclusion

I don’t have a conclusion. I don’t want to write about other subjects right now. Sometimes I feel like making technical commentary but that’s all well covered. The world doesn’t need more John Grubers. Writing about improvement is very personal. I am a unique snowflake, just like everyone else. I sincerely hope that what I write helps others who want to improve.

The best change I can think of now is to allow myself to go on a weekly schedule, but then also saying I must improve quality. I haven’t committed to any change yet. It still needs more consideration.