Dreaming to doing

I couldn’t sleep last night because of an idea. A business idea. The idea created adrenaline in my body which fueled my heart and my brain which developed the idea further which created more adrenaline! No sleep, but an idea nonetheless.

I have let a lot of ideas go by the wayside. This one I will try and develop though. That’s the hard part. An idea is easy to come up with. Making it work is a lot harder.

They don’t teach you calendars at school

Or maybe it was just that I wasn’t listening – either way, I think this should change.

Who doesn’t know how to keep a calendar? This sounds ridiculous, but it has taken me about 10 years to understand how to use and trust my computer’s calendar. At school, timetables were dished out at the beginning of term, pinned up on walls and referred to by everyone else around me. I could always ask my parents, teachers, friends what was coming up and what was due. I could remember a lot (well, enough) of what was important without needing a reference. The net result is that I never developed the skills to keep my own time. I have never trusted my computer calendars until very recently.

When you start using a calendar though, they build upon themselves. The more you use them, the more dependent you are on them, and then the more you will trust and use them again. You are invested, and that makes the whole system work. In this way calendars are a great example for projects in general. If you want to get a project started, then just start. The mental buy-in is what matters. The same thing seems to apply to relationships, exercise, blogging, working a job, keeping healthy.

That is what no school ever taught me – the importance of mentally buying into a concept, and that you can train yourself to do it in order to get something done.

Seems to me, this mental trick in and of itself is one of the most useful things in the world.

Behavior vs. logic

Behavior trumps logic. If you want to pay off debt quickly, the maths says that it is best to attack the highest interest amount first, then work your way down to the next highest.

However, it turns out that debt payments are not a maths problem, they are a behavior problem. Therefore the opposite (attacking the smallest interest amount first, and then using the payments from that amount to pay off the next smallest etc) is the best way to change behavior and cancel debt.

Small manageable victories are always more sustainable than large sacrifices, even if they are not scientifically going to get you to your goal most efficiently.

Complicated or Complex?

The two words are often used interchangeably, which is wrong.

If a system is complex, it means it has many components in the system. The complexity makes it hard to apply any hard and fast rules for problem solving. Think of a large company or organisation.

If a system is complicated it can be hard to solve, but they are addressable with rules and recipes. Think of a machine.

My next guest on the podcast, Dan Rogatschnig, did a masters degree specialising in this stuff and he laid it out for us during our chat.

Come and have a listen on Friday.

Systems thinking

The next guest on my podcast has not one but two masters degrees.

I worked with Dan for a couple of years in a corporate, and since then I have always been curious about his LinkedIn bio which reads as follows: “Thinking in curved lines of interdependence rather than straight lines of causality”

I pinned Dan down recently to explain himself. We had a nice long chat which I will release on Friday as the fourth episode in my podcast series.

Being intentional

What separates your actions from those of a stone or a piece of wood? Sometimes not that much. Sometimes a lot.

Intentionality is defined by the Stanford encyclopedia of Philosophy as “the power of minds to be about, to represent, or to stand for, things, properties and states of affairs”. Standing for something. Having a goal at the fore front of your mind.

It’s a lofty concept if you dig into it. Just check out the sprawling Wikipedia page: link. But it is at the centre of my next guest’s life. It gives him some of his greatest experiences and successes. Being intentional affects his family, his goals and his actions.

Tune in to the chimpwithcans podcast this Friday (audio posted to chimpwithcans.com) to hear some more.

Strategy

How to achieve the mission?

The strategy lays out your approach to achieving a mission.

For example, if your mission is to pass an exam, your strategy should include some studying.

Laying out the right strategy will allow you to incorporate the mission into your life along with all your other commitments.