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GIGO

Dear Reader,

Life is not toxic unless I let it be.

There is a lot of good in the world, but there’s no business model that derives profits from bring it to me.

The next time I am binging on social media, I need to remember that these platforms exist to manipulate me. Their business model is to get me fired up so I get a hit of dopamine and want more. That’s the “Garbage In”.

I want more from life than anger – the “Garbage Out”. There’s only one way to get that though, and that’s to make sure I am not constantly pouring garbage in.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

Training isn’t about finding, it’s about understanding

Dear Reader,scrabble tiles spelling out listen, understand, act

I get a lot of offers for training, mostly in the areas of  marketing and programming, two things that are passions of mine.  I pass over most of them with the attitude of “I’m not paying $99 for something I can find in a couple of online videos or blogs.

Contrast that with scuba diving – regular readers are tired of doing this – where I spend on average two weekends a month helping train people to “swim with the fishes and live to tell the tale”. Each of these people I’ve helped train have paid at a minimum $500 to be there and some paid much more.

As a programmer, I have taught myself much of what I know. A lot of it through trial and error. Yes, it’s easy to find things on the internet that will show me how to do something, but that’s not what training is for. Training helps me understand what I am doing. It’s only when I understand what I’m doing that I can apply that knowledge to other problems.

Trail and error is not only an inefficient way to learn scuba diving principals, it’s a deadly way to do it. I literally need to understand not only how but why.

I need to spend more time in professional training courses for software development. It’s a much faster way to learn how to do something and it has the added benefit of  helping me understand why I need to do it.

Until next time,
I <3 |<

 

 

Photo Credit Steven Shorrock
Listen, Understand, Act

Life doesn’t have to be great to be good

Dear Reader,

I’ll be the first to admin that I am not living the life I thought I would. Growing up I had dreams of being a millionaire and living the good life. Working when I wanted to and on what I wanted to. I’m probably not alone in this.

My life didn’t turn out that way. I’ve always been able to provide for my family, sometimes better than other times, but we never went hungry, but it’s not exactly la vida loca. :)

Instead of constantly longing for what I don’t have though, I’ve learned as I got older that I cab be happy with what I’ve got.

  • I am married to the most beautiful woman in the world.
  • I have two wonderful children that, thanks to their mother’s genes, are very smart and talented
  • I have a dog

Life is good.

Could it be better? I’m sure it could. At some point though, I began to realize that instead of spending my time constantly working and scheming to get more stuff, I could spend the time I have left on this planet just enjoying what I have.

Life is good. Yes, if I worked at it, I could make life great. But then I would have less time to enjoy it. So I’ll stick with good.

Until next time,
I<3 |<
=C=

Creativity is hard

Dear Reader,

I have a friend named Jeremy Kendall who is an outstanding photographer. One day I was taking a picture of an old clay pot I thought of Jeremy and something kinda fell into place for me.

I can look through the view finder and see the subject. I can compose a picture properly to showcase the subject. I can adjust the settings for the available light. I can frame it and I can take a picture.

Jeremy however, can look through the viewfinder and see beyond the clay pot, he can see the beauty of the shot that is waiting to be captured. Jeremy doesn’t take pictures, Jeremy makes art.

We both use a camera, we both push the shutter button, but only one of us makes art.

The next time I am tempted to dismiss someone’s creation as “simple” because it’s something I can do, I’ll think of Jeremy.

This includes the next time I look at a SaaS product and think “I’m not paying $75 a month for 250 lines of code and a cron job.” (Actually happened. Cost me 3 years of my weekends.)

“Code is Poetry” as Matt Mullenweg is fond of saying. Code is truly is art.

It doesn’t matter if it’s written in a language I approve of. It doesn’t matter if I like the platform it runs on. Art is art, even if I don’t recognize it.

I need to remember that code is art and that someone poured a lot of love into that code, even if I don’t immediately appreciate it.

Until next time
I <3 |<
=C=

Treat Yo Self!

Dear Reader,

Yes, it’s a “Parks and Rec” reference.

I recently re-watched that series and this concept that was touted in a couple of episodes, always hits home with me.  I think it’s very important that we take time to take care of ourselves. Not an “In these trying times…” kind of thing, but every day, good or bad, make time for a moment that is just about you. I

  • Buy yourself something, A candy bar or small trinket
  • Get alone for ten minutes and just think of your happy place
  • Watch your favorite episode of your favorite TV show again
  • Listen to your favorite album with your headphones on

In Parks and rec, it was all about extravagance and opulence. It ended up financially devastating the participants. In real life it doesn’t have to be extravagant or out of your means.  The idea is not to buy happiness but to simply sit and smell the roses for a few minutes each day. The idea is to invest a small amount of time in your overall happiness and well being.

Invest in yourself today. Make time today to treat yo self.

Until next time
I <3 |<
=C=