The internet, unfortunately, is no longer a safe space to do any kind of experimental thinking, particularly for somebody with any kind of “brand.” … No, if you’re going to change your mind, you might have to go off-brand, and offline is the best place to be off-brand. Your bliss station, your studio, a paper journal, a private chat room, a living room full of trusted loved ones. These are the places to really think.
- Keep Going: 10 Ways to Stay Creative in Good Times and Bad - Austin Kleon

If you ever think you’ve come up with a clever turn of phrase, say it out loud (preferably to another person). Sometimes that “clever” turn of phrase is just awkward.

People say having a kid changes everything. That’s simple not true.

It changes about 90% of things.

I’ve been too negative recently. Partially I think it’s the mentality I’ve adopted at work, notice the problems. Regardless, the net effect isn’t great. I’d rather be more encouraging so I’m going to be.

The trouble with public accountability

Public accountability so often turns into personal shame. The person who sets the unrealistic goal, tells the world and then in a week has stopped and now avoids discussing the topic at all.

In my experience, It’s better to start with a partner who is striving for the same thing to check on you or to start in private and then share the goal. If you last a month, get that public accountability going. If you don’t have the motivation or the goal was unrealistic, you adjust and then ask for accountability.

Derek Sivers described it well when he said that your mind feels like it’s achieved something when you say you are going to do something. You feel like you’ve done something when you haven’t.

It’s tough though.

Change isn’t easy, starting new habits don’t just happen by accident. I’ve failed a large number of goals and habits I’ve set. Sometimes I’ve realised I didn’t really want that change or had other, more important values. In other cases I still keep trying with successes here and there.

I remember CGP Grey talk about fitness and day that the real meta skill is getting back on the horse again. If only that skill was so easy.

If you are struggling with one of these things, know that you aren’t alone. And if I have sent you a negative comment in the past, I’m sorry. It’s hard to separate our own struggles and what helps us from what helps others.

Keep going

Phone Wallpaper: Good and done

I made a new phone wallpaper to remind me to focus on finishing and not over worrying about making something perfect. There will probably come a time where I need to hear the reserve message, to sweat the details and polish, but that’s not now. And I can make a new wallpaper then. Feel free to download and I’d love to know if you do.

BDF6C90E-D2A5-48F4-AC8F-5FF609044D9B.jpg

Unscalable

There is a real beauty in things that can’t scale. A project or task that is for one person and not many. A while back, I tried reaching out to people more via iMessage than something like twitter. It’s still digital communication but it’s one to one and not a mass broadcast. I certainly don’t write the same way in those contexts.

My work talks a lot about scaling (SaaS amirite). It’s important for us to consider how this will look if 10, 100, 1000 times as many people start using it.

But I am not a SaaS. I don’t have to “scale” and serve so many people.

I remember Michael Hyatt saying that he tries to do for a few what he wishes he could do for everyone (that was his take on leaving comments on blogs and responding personally to social media messages). I’d much rather take that approach if I every found my job scaled up unexpectedly. But maybe it’s better to stay small, stay nimble, and stay free.

In the book Drive, Dan Pink highlighted three factors that lead to motivation - Autonomy - Mastery - Purpose I can certainly see how pursuing the path of growth can lead to these factors, but equally eschewing it can too. That was what Derek Sivers learnt from CD baby. After a certain size, it stopped being fun anymore.

I didn’t intend to write something about microblog (I really hate things which are always about the thing), this was merely a reflection on reading “Keep Going” but it seems to have happened anyway. Microblog is a great place to stay small. To not worry about having over 10,000 podcast subscribers, but having 10, all of whom you can name and respond to every episode.

It’s an online village instead of a bustling city. I look forward to seeing what you’ve been up to at the next village fete or shoot the breeze down the pub.