Going for thirty

In my long quest for productivity, I have downloaded an app called coach.me.

It lets you set goals and then track progress day by day. I set myself the goal of thirty days consecutive writing on this blog.

So far I am on day 9. I have started writing streaks before, and around about day 10 it feels like that Marilyn Monroe movie “The 7 year itch”. The excitement is gone and the grind is real. This app certainly helps, though.

This is ten, tomorrow is eleven. And on we go.

Misalignment

Here’s an interesting quote:

We banish the misaligned when we align with what we are called to, we become visible and real when we give our gift and stop waiting for the gift to be given to us.

I am ruminating on this like a cow with cud.

Contraction versus expansion

There is some clarity that comes with the dread of an impending pandemic. When times get tough it’s a lot easier to prioritise your life.

Some silly examples; I now know for sure that I can’t buy anything fancy. I can’t go on any big trips. The house will not get expanded this year. I won’t visit my family overseas. This is before I even think about plans we may have had at work for our company. So many cancelled plans. All because of uncertainty around Corona virus.

In more normal, predictable times I would toy with all the exciting ideas I could think of. Weigh them up. Choose one over the other. Now I can put all these haunting wishes to sleep.

When this thing passes I will stretch myself again. Until then it’s a period of contraction, consolidation, concentration on the task at hand. Just a period. Nothing more and nothing less.

Not exciting, but necessary for long term planning and resilience.

Ants

If you poke an ant’s nest and pierce the shell, all of the soldier ants come pouring out to see what is happening and protect the nest, while the worker ants stream to the problem area to fix the breach.

Are you the one poking the nest? Or the soldier? Or the worker?

Handwriting

When I was 11 years old, I changed my handwriting in an effort to be cool. I wanted to be more like my friend. He wrote with far more flair than I did. His pages had words that stood out at you. They were all in in neat rows, but they looked artistic and full of purpose. His paragraphs were all in joined up writing and each word was at an angle. His pages looked like they came from someone interesting. Mine just looked like they came from a bog standard 11 year old kid.

I remember clearly deciding to write an assignment in this new style – with my new found flair. The words were all at a painful angle across the page. It took me ages to finish because I was more interested in how it looked than what was written. I put my name on it and handed it in. I felt satisfied and liberated. My new, cooler, more angular identity was emerging.

When the teacher handed our marked papers back, he stopped when he reached me. I got a poor mark. He was disappointed with me, he said. And what on earth was wrong my handwriting? He could barely read it.

I couldn’t hide my blushes as I mumbled some sort of response. I reverted back to myself the very next class.

Happy Sunday chimps. To thine own self be true!

Social media and follower interaction

Is there any point in keeping your social media accounts open?

The cost of interacting is high in terms of attention and time spent. Intense interaction can add to your brand and your followers’ loyalty, but it can also be pure distraction from doing any work that is meaningful.

So we need to be strategic about where we decide to spend our time.

I dislike the combative nature of Twitter. I broadcast for the chimpwithcans account, but don’t take part.

I have a love hate relationship with Instagram. It is the best designed product, but it can be a massive distraction.

I’m too old to know anything about Tiktok, or Snapchat.

I prefer to write than to take pictures or make videos. An English major at university, I enjoy longer forms of expression. Hence the blog. And hence the use of the word “hence”. Ha.

Where do you spend your time and why?

Research and writing

If you want to write a good book, you need to know something about the subject matter. This sounds silly and obvious, but it’s not. The question to ask is when do I know ENOUGH about the subject?

Enough to teach a 4 year old? Enough to give a speech? Enough to pass the exam?

The search for enough is the most fruitless search and it never ends. Research never ends. We need to be able to handle that truth if we want to be an expert at anything.

Rather focus on the process itself. The contribution to the culture. You need to enjoy the research and creation process, rather than obsess over the result being enough of anything.

Easy to say, hard to do.

Happy Wednesday chimps.