Working on time

Some extracurricular projects have kept me busy, and I let writing slip by the wayside for about a week. Now back to a normal schedule, or at least some semblance of it. My plans going forward will have me writing ninety minutes a day, every day.

Additionally, I’ve been playing around in some coding languages and, as it’s been a long time since I had done any coding at all, the learning curve has been a bit steep. Those two projects, plus the usual miscellany I find myself involved in, will make up the bulk of my “workload.”

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More of the links that I don’t get time to share enough of. One of these weeks I’ll codify (at least somewhat) my method of sharing the things I find online, in the world, and elsewhere. For now…

Refilling the well

Inspiration isn’t something that can be emptied. Sure, we can feel blocked at times. But in reality, it’s just our own self getting in our way.

There’s no real trick to finding inspiration. One study suggests that focusing on a non-mentally demanding task can free up the subconscious to do its work. It’s why showers often bring good ideas, and thinking of a question before going to sleep can net you an answer upon waking.

Another good practice is to experience the ideas of others. I’m torn by what Seneca says about reading – “Be careful, however, that there is no element of discursiveness and desultoriness about this reading you refer to, this reading of many different authors and books of every description. You should be extending your stay among writers whose genius is unquestionable, deriving constant nourishment from them if you wish to gain anything from your reading that will find a lasting place in your mind. To be everywhere is to be nowhere. People who spend their whole life traveling abroad end up having plenty of places where they can find hospitality but no real friendships. The same must needs be the case with people who never set about acquiring an intimate acquaintanceship with any one great writer, but skip from one to another, paying flying vists to them all.” (italics for my emphasis)

I do see the value of spending time reading one author’s work and digesting it, not just glancing over it. This rumination could be akin to what Cal Newport calls deep work.

However, it’s also good to gain perspectives from many sources, especially when looking to pull from your own source of creativity. Gaining a multitude of ideas is how the well is filled.

That brand of yours

Building a brand is easy, assuming you have one unified interest. But, what if you’re someone who likes to dabble in many fields, to try new things?

The tech mogul who wants to improve healthcare. The reknowned actress campaigning for social justice. Or the one holding down a job while doing anything creative on the side.

The most important thing is just to stick with it.

“I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work.” – Thomas Edison

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  • Meditation at home, for relaxation, resetting, and releasing.
  • Computer-driven policing can lead to false positives
  • Neural mapping by researchers at MIT leading to innovations in computer chip technology.
  • Moment’s streaming Film Festival on Sunday, June 28.
  • New podcast to listen to: Land of the Giants, from Recode by Vox. Some inconsistent delivery over the past year, but I can completely understand that. Good for learning about the five tech giants.

Gauging success

The metrics for success can sometimes leave us bogged down, rather than letting us focus on the important points.

I know one thing I often consider is that success is gained in the completion of a project. The important thing for me, then, is to make sure that I’m following through on actionable items and seeing the end result.

Others measure success differently, so it’s important to be honest with yourself when determining how you want to view the success or failure of something you’re working on.

Constantly seeking

There’s harm in perfectionism. Fear from feeling it’s not good enough. Procrastination because it has to start the right way to be what you envision.

Discouragement from falling short of your goals.

Perfectionism is the enemy. Seeking the perfect end, however, if approached by trial-and-error, is a good way to find success. Even if perfection is never achieved.

Coding

There’s something that I keep hearing: coding is not only a good skill to have, but it could be one of the preeminent skills that will be needed over the coming decades. This has been repeated by the likes of Cal Newport, Seth Godin, and Tim Ferriss. 

But what are we looking at in the future of coding? What can we come up with? Another app for the smartphone?

My recent interests have been looking at machine learning and quantum computing. Quantum computers “promise  to power exciting advances in various fields, from materials science to pharmaceuticals research.” 

While the computer remains vital in everyday activity, the quantum computer promises a leap forward into something we may not even be able to imagine yet.

The man in the arena

“It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.”
Theodore Roosevelt