Play Games

Playing games is important to me. In my life, Games come up all over the place.

If I find something difficult then it helps me to think of it as a game. This approach makes things less stressful and lowers my anxiety. Elon Musk says we might all just be living in a simulation. Sometimes it helps to think of life in that way. A few examples of play as it manifests in my life:

  • Playing with the kids at whatever game they have going
  • Treating menial parenting tasks as a game
  • Comedy and conversation with friends
  • Computer games
  • Sport and exercise including data on health
  • Social media accounts
  • Music – listening and playing music is a beautiful game
  • Work
  • Podcasts
  • Blogging 😉
  • More and more I see life as one big bunch of games to play.
  • Some people are not good at playing. Doodling, Riffing, Games, Jokes, Humor are seen as a waste of time. I can’t understand this approach to life.
  • Happy Wednesday, chimps.
  • Podcast ambitions

    Today I am starting to work on a new series of podcasts for the blog.

    This is a misleading statement because as yet I don’t know what it’ll be about, who will be on it or how many I will do.

    Perhaps more accurate would be to say I am starting to think about starting to work on the podcast!

    One idea is to use the blog itself as a resource, looking back over the most popular posts I have written and use them as a guide for podcast topics.

    But like I say – still early days. So watch this space, and prime your ears in the meantime 🙂

    Happy work environment

    A big, broad work desk. In a quiet and comfortable office. My ideal workspace is clear of clutter and has access to the net and electricity for the laptop. There’s light enough to see. It smells nice. I have art on the wall.

    Setting up my office and desk multiplies out over months and years. Over time, being comfortable at work adds up to a career and my own personal health. In many corporates we are not given the option to customize our workspace, which is a shame. I’m very lucky to have an office at home which I can adjust.

    Like anything, a work space is subject to atrophy and creeping chaos over time. Clutter builds up in the most annoying way. If the size of the desk is wrong, or the seating is bad, or the connectivity options are not there it can have a huge impact on what I can achieve on any given day. The balance needs to be maintained or else it will fall apart. Next time you sit down to work, have a run through your senses. What does it feel like, smell like, what can you hear? What can you see around you? (lets assume you eat somewhere else and leave taste for now!).

    At one point, I had a bad work chair hurting my back, there was not enough light to see properly, and dead rats in my office roof were stinking the place out. I was one step away from a human rights violation in my own home!

    A new roof, some lighting and an ergonomic chair means my big, broad work desk is far more inviting. I have art on the wall. I have music. I have electricity. I have the internet. Most satisfying.

    Roofing

    The roof has been torn off my home office. It’s pretty fascinating to see what goes on between the ceiling boards and the roof itself. Fascinating and disgusting.

    Among the ancient insulation layers I found all sorts of wires, dead rats, and lots of excrement. A colony was living up there, listening to us perform our day jobs. After rats are poisoned and start to decompose, they turn yellow….who knew?

    It’s a good feeling to completely replace a roof. It feels like a fresh start.

    Here’s to fewer rats and more insulation.

    Working late

    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.

    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.

    Newness and perseverance

    The decision to give up on something is easy to make and it is also absolute. At one point you are engaged in something, with all the possibilities and trials and tribulations implied, and then you are back at zero. You just stopped.

    Often a decision to stop is because the thing you are doing gets difficult. We convince ourselves that a Rubik’s cube is too hard, or that the alarm clock went off too early and we haven’t had enough sleep. We stop engaging and move on to something else (or to more sleep).

    To frame it another way, rather than stopping because something gets hard, we stop because it is no longer new and exciting. Sooner or later, any activity or relationship loses its feeling of newness, its novelty. There is a comfort in starting something fresh, an excitement, and also a lack of pressure – how can we be good at something if we haven’t been doing it for very long? The novelty fades and what we are left with is a reflection of how well we are doing. It’s easy to drop the ball and stop playing if we are not happy with what we see.

    To quote Seth Godin: “Two things you might take away from this: First, there’s solace in finding someone who has done it before, whatever “it” is you’re trying to do. Knowing that it’s possible and studying how it was done can’t help but increase the chances you’ll stick it out.

    Second: huge value accrues to the few able to actually do a thing for the very first time.”

    Imagine you kept at it and got it right? No need to imagine, just keep at it.