Play Hurt

The amateur believes that she must have all her ducks in a row before she can launch her start-up or compose her symphony or design her iPhone app.

The professional knows better. … Athletes play hurt. Warriors fight scared. The professional takes two aspirin and keeps on truckin’.

This kicks off a great post by John Saddington on getting started, and keeping trucking. In the past I think I’ve been pretty good at the former…now I need to get better at the latter. To push through the pain barrier and just keep swimming.

Check out the whole post, it’s worth it.

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On daily podcasting

Last weekend I set myself a challenge. It was one that I had come up with the previous week and saw an opportunity to take with the school holiday the previous week and coming week. That challenge was to start a daily podcast (Monday to Friday) Called Droid Today

There were a few reasons for this, I’ve been dying to start a new podcast and had a few false starts in the past year. I’ve recorded demo episodes, had ideas, tried to get guest on board etc. But in the end I finally decided to dive in and go all out with a daily android podcast called “Droid Today” I blame the churchm.ag podcast on podcasting for this

The idea was to do a daily podcast (Monday to Friday), for a month, on Android news and associated topics on slow news days. The show would be limited to only 22 or so minutes to keep it short.

Here are a few quick thoughts on what I’ve learnt so far.

  1. I regretted the idea on day two (I woke up with another 19+ episodes to make before it could end)
  2. I expected fireworks or nothing. It’s been neither.
  3. Episode one took me two days to get ready.
  4. Since episode 2 it’s taken me about an hour for each one.
  5. Getting to the end of week one felt Incredible! Knowing I had met my challenge was a big reward.
  6. I doubt I’m going to meet my targets
  7. I’m going to push to the end anyway
  8. I suspect I’ll keep podcasting afterwards but I’m not sure that it will be daily or about Android.
  9. It’s fun to be doing something other than writing, it doesn’t feel as draining
  10. getting a cough while you are recording is INCREDIBLY annoying.

I’m sure there are more points I could make but in general I think I’d round it up as.

It’s not the best idea. It feels AWESOME to be doing something even if it isn’t going to be successful. I’m sure I’ll carry on with something afterwards.

I suspect this is partially because I’ve set such clear checkpoints and targets as well as limits so I can either walk away or carry on and not feel bad about either. Perhaps this could benefit you?

Are you doing any new challenges? Maybe there is an idea you’ve wanted to do but not quiet worked out. Perhaps you should just go for it and see what happens.

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Jekyll blog platform

I came across this blogging platform recently and I’m very interested in the idea. It runs on a “static” page rather than a dynamic system like WordPress and you can blog by simply writing on your Mac or PC and saving a text document into a certain file. This is then turned into your latest blog post.

I love the simplicity of jekyll blogs, no fiddling with plugins, or settings, just write in a simple text editor (in markdown of course) save and go. I’m thinking of switching this site over but there are some issues…namely the installation process requiress some knowledge of basic computer instructions.

Anyway I’m sure I’ll try it out even if I don’t switch.

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Why I haven’t achieved my goals

Today I read an article on Cracked that made me discouraged…and then encouraged. You see this article was on why you haven’t achieved anything. Yes you and I. It’s pretty depressing stuff and uses some foul language so you’ve been warned. HOWEVER, it’s also encouraging. It shows that you are like everyone else and there are ways you can change. It part of that crazy section of psychology of “you suck, it’s pretty dam near impossible for you to stop sucking, but actually it’s really simple for you to stop sucking. But you may still suck.”

Anyway you may want to read it. But this got me to think very critically about why I haven’t achieved many of the goals I’ve set out to. Here are some quick reasons why.

  1. I had too many goals

  2. My goals were unrealistic

  3. My goals were too abstract with no actionable points

  4. I was afraid (this is a big one)

  5. I got distracted by another goal

  6. I gave up when the going got tough (see I was afraid)

  7. I wanted the rewards and didn’t really want the work (see previous points)

  8. I didn’t have the skills I needed

Honestly, I think points 4, 5 and 6 are the key ones. The others all form around that. If I had kept putting in the work, then I would have got the skills and the rewards, If I wasn’t so afraid of succeeding and failing at the same time, I would have tried harder. If I had not been distracted by a million ideas, then I would have stuck to my one goal.

The first three are just why my goals were harder or took more time. I firmly believe that smart goals are useful, especially when you consider that the only way to become something or someone is to do something (What does a writer do? Writer, so how do you become a writer…not write? NO DUMMY! [admittedly “Just Write” is terrible advice too])

With all that in mind, it great to think about for the goals I want to achieve (and yes I want to achieve the goal not do the goal which is probably a sign of the problem).

[Bonus] Resolutions

I wrote this post earlier in the week but in the meantime I heard the productivityist podcast with guest Patrick Rohne. In the episode they spent sometime talking about Resolutions and why Patrick doesn’t have resolutions but instead has intentions for the year. His reason for this is because he thinks resolutions have become lazy, uncommitted and weak. Where as an intention is stronger.

I have to agree with him. Everyone expects you to fail a resolution and yet the word comes from Resolve (decide firmly on a course of action.) and Resolute (admirably purposeful, determined, and unwavering). Hardly something people should fail or give up on. That just goes to show how easy it is to fail, give up and not make that change.

I feel it reinforces the point from the cracked article, The odds are against you changing. If you want to change, you have to work for it. As John Maxwell says.

What is holding you back?

Do you have a list of things which stop you achieving your goals? Leave a comment below and share your struggles.

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Link blogging FTW

So you may have noticed that I’ve been “link blogging” a heck of a lot more recently (that is the practice of writing a blog post where the title is a link to something you have seen online and found interesting and want to recommend).

This was partially intentional (I wanted to post more and share cool things I had found and created elsewhere. I also have recently picked themes which facilitate link blogging), but mostly accidental. I have done it in the past (though usually with a simple link to something else I wrote) but I have usually fallen out of love of Link blogging for one core reasons.

I’ve written about it from time to time and stand by those ideas. However, when you look at the body of work that I’m doing. My photography, my articles for Churchmag and my original articles on here, I don’t see a problem with the occasional link blog, especially if it put you in touch with something or someone you wouldn’t have any other way. It’s also a lot more honest than pretending that I had this incredible original idea.

I’m not intending this to be the only type of post I write, I still want to write original articles here and I have an idea for a possible podcast that I’d definitely host here [I just need to work out if I have the energy and time for it]. But for now, I hope you like the link blogging, I hope it puts you in touch with something valuable and heck, maybe you’d like to give some link blogging a go? It’s a great way to start blogging without the pressure of writing something original, soon you can start dropping in your own comments.

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Making my core curriculum

After getting excited about the idea of making a core curriculum a couple of days ago, the realisation started to kick in. How on earth am I going to make this thing? And what am I going to include?

Well, I’ve got a few ideas that should help me to assemble this is the simplest way I can. That’s important after all, if it is too difficult, then I (and you) are more likely to give up while we’re making it.

Going digital (at first)

This is interesting considering Shawn Blanc has revealed he is going for a physical one, but at first I’m going for a digital version. It will be much easier for me to assemble and take around with me than trying to get a paper version together. Plus It makes a lot of sense in the initial drafting stage.

I’d love to print off a personal copy at some stage though as there is something about holding a physical copy of a book.

Choosing source material

The first key stage is to pick the few books to use as the essence of my core curriculum. My current thoughts are
– Celebration of discipline
– Getting things done

And probably a couple more. I’m sure some people will notice that the Bible isn’t on my list, well that’s because I read the Bible regularly anyway and have a sort of system like this for the Bible. In fact I’m going to take many of my ideas and techniques from bible study and apply them to my core curriculum.

Assembling

I’m fairly sure the simplest system I could make is to use the kindle to read the books and then copy and paste the useful parts into my Evernote notebook. My plan is to copy each section or quote into a unique note with the title of the book, the theme and topic included as tags. This will help me to organise the data afterwards either by book or topic. I suspect I’ll prefer the later but the former will be how I read the material. Using tags will help me to easily sort the information later.

Your ideas?

If you are interested in making your own core curriculum, I’d love to know how you are going to assemble and prepare yours as well as what material will make it in. Leave a comment below.

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make your core curriculum

Do you ever read something and know instantly that this is a big deal. Maybe it has some practical ideas that can dramatically reshape what your doing, or perhaps it’s more of a mindset and perception idea that doesn’t necessarily have step by step actions. If you’re anything like me then you come across a few things like this every year from a book or two that just completely shakes you up and spits you out. yet within a couple of months having read this amazing book with hundreds of great takeaways, I’m only doing one or two of those things.

Well you’re not alone, I’m with you and so is Shawn Blanc (see link in title) and shawn has come up with an idea (or maybe He’s borrowed it and can’t remember where from) that will help you tackle that problem.

creating a core curriculum.

The idea is that you save the essential bits from the most influential writings, reading or listenings you’ve had. This could be a book, a sermon, a how to guide or something else all together. Then you go over it.

This makes it a lot shorter to read and encourages you to go over the core things again and again.

I love this idea and I’m going to start working on my own one in earnest. I encourage you to do it too. I’ll share some ideas about how I’m going to do this soon but if you want to read Shawn’s original article. Click the title.

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It’s not the gear stupid

This is a great post by my twitter friend Moe. Moe has been helping me get to grips a bit with my new Olympus camera and one of the key things we discusses was not getting caught up in the gear you’re using.

This is true of not just Photography though, but all things. A Macbook might help you type a little bit quicker, but it won’t improve your prose. A fancy drill might put that screw in quicker, but it won’t help your eye to design a good cabinet. A new phone may let you install all sort of clever and wonderful apps but it won’t automatically make you more productive.

Too often we blame the tool for our lack of talent or mistake, but we always take the praise when it goes right.

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