I found myself lusting after some new tech.
New stuff. New and sparkly. The advertising sometimes works really well and convinces you that this widget will fix all the ills in your life.
Truth is, You don’t need more stuff. You need more focus, more consistency and to make use of what you have. How many drum kits or Stratocasters are gathering dust in peoples’ closets? It is a Tragedy of our times.
Instead of buying a new phone, start a band.
There is a valuable lesson here for work too. Don’t be fooled by new titles, new systems, and new tech which are promising revolutions. It’s far more likely you can organize and work with what’s already on the table and shape a change. You just have to care enough.
I have spent my working life so far as a generalist. I know a little about a lot of things, master of none. This is not conducive to a driven and purposeful career.
How do you create something essential when you are not a subject matter expert? How do you become essential to a project if you are not the central producer? I see a couple of options.
You can learn. Become a specialist with dedication. Never in the history of the world have we had so many learning resources at our fingertips. You do need the time to dedicate to learning. This gets harder with things like family and children tugging at your attention. Practice makes perfect though, So plugging away at something will make you better, and therefore more marketable.
You can become a coordinator of experts. Imagine a goal and assign roles for those with the expertise to cooperate and create something bigger than the sum of its parts. This is what I have seen in business. The energy to talk and link people with each other is priceless. Having a role in mind for all the experts and relentlessly networking, calling, meeting, discussing with them the best way to achieve that goal. This leads to success.
I used to hate working late. However, now a days my life is so manic it’s a bit of a treat once everyone is in bed to just turn on some music and focus for a while.
Streaming tunes fill my head. Streams of words and numbers fill my screen.
All in the peaceful night.
Pot plants need some sun, soil and water.
Wildebeest need wide open plains to migrate.
Dogs need a daily walk. Food. Water. Tummies rubbed.
Children need…..a lot!
What do you need?
Some lines from songs stick with us. They are memorable and well structured. But, most lines are not. Most lines from most songs fall by the wayside of our memories and attentions.
This is true of all work and creations of course. 99% of our efforts are ‘works in progress’ or sub-standard. There are only a few instances (if we are consistent and hard working) when we strike lightening, gold and rainbows with our work.
It makes sense then to live for those moments, and to hope for them. But also to come to terms with the hard work it takes to get there.
Life catches up with you. Like a night out stumbling from one bar to another, social media can have no purpose and damage your life if you don’t pay attention. Facebook updates for giggles and laughs is not a long term strategy unless you are a comedian. Chasing likes and shares, while measurable, will not get you anywhere meaningful. It will distract you from making something useful and interesting.
I have gone through peaks and troughs with social media – After becoming disgusted with my online self, I purged all my accounts …and now slowly I am trying again with more purpose. Now I have reached some sort of balance with the following social/web presence to manage:
- a personal Facebook profile
- a personal Instagram profile
- a Chimpwithcans Instagram profile (public – see link)
- a Chimpwithcans Facebook page (public feed of this blog and Instagram – see link)
- a Chimpwithcans Twitter profile (public feed of this blog – see link)
- this blog (public)
Less distraction, more creativity, more intentionality (big word no?).
Maybe it’s to do with my personality type, but I act out scenarios in my head a lot. My imagination then impacts on real life. I convince myself that everyone else has played out the same scenario in THEIR heads. I convince myself that I don’t need to explain anything because they already know!
Of course the probability of two minds being in sync is tiny and this can lead to misunderstandings.
The cure to all this is scary in its simplicity. Talk out loud to people, and ask hard questions even if you think you already know the answer.