Around this time of the year all the creators start sharing what all they accomplished during the year and I love reading them. Showing up everyday and making stuff is hard and they should be cheered on.
If you are feeling like you didn’t accomplish much this year compared to what others are sharing just remember their list is a reflection of years of doing a little bit at a time, honing their skills, and then buckling down and releasing stuff. Creating things is always a great example of compound interest. You show up everyday put your head and do the work and eventually it turns into a portfolio one can be proud of.
No matter if you are at the start of a journey creating stuff, or been doing it for years, don’t get discouraged. Look at what others have done as inspiration, not comparison. Do a little when you have time and be proud of what you accomplish no matter how small.
Today is Election Day in the United States and it’s always a stressful day watching the news, seeing the social media posts, and just sitting around watching it with zero control with outcome except my single vote. Yesterday, I made a joke on Twitter that I was preparing for today by adding a bunch of sites to my /etc/hosts file.
Out of this came a lot of great replies but Tom Schlick recommended an app called SelfControl that takes this to the next level.
SelfControl is a free and open-source application for macOS that lets you block your own access to distracting websites, your mail servers, or anything else on the Internet. Just set a period of time to block for, add sites to your blacklist, and click “Start.” Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.
What I love is how hard core this app is. “Until that timer expires, you will be unable to access those sites—even if you restart your computer or delete the application.” Now that is some serious blocking. haha
If you ever struggle with wasting time on certain sites I’d recommend giving SelfControl a try and also consider the following books for getting hyper focused:
A few months ago I was a guest on the Laravel Podcast and at some point I made the off- hand comment that VIM is terrible. Matt Stauffer, the host, told my buddy Michael Dyrynda who loves VIM what I did and he informed me how wrong I was. At least this is how I remember it.
From the recording date to the publish date was a few weeks so as a way of trolling Michael I had a Cameo made from Chris Diamantopoulos from Silicon Valley talking about how bad VIM is. (language warning)
Not to be outdone, Michael then had Suzanne Cryer from Silicon Valley do a follow up…
I’m not sure where I picked up this habit but I’ve been instantly buying (preferably used and cheap) any books that seem semi interesting when I see them shared by someone I follow. For example, this book Just Listen by Mark Goulston was recommended by Michele Hansen on Twitter just the other day.
Because I love books on all aspects of business and with a recommendation like that, I think I would be doing myself a disservice not to get it. The same goes for programming books or even fiction when I see friends talking about it. Besides buying them I’ve also started writing on the back cover who recommended it:
Now when I revisit this book years from now I know exactly who recommended it, and can tell them thank you. It’s just a small way of showing appreciation.
I was recently playing golf at a course I’ve never played before and my playing partner would tell me at each hole what to look out for. “Don’t go left”, “Water to the right”, “Be careful of the sand trap”. I played one of my worst rounds ever. I didn’t realize until driving home what was going on. Instead of saying things like “hit it left center of the fairway”, he was telling me the negatives and subconsciously that became my target.
It’s a minor thing but focus on where you want to go, not where the problem areas are.
Why don’t you blog more? I’ve came to the realization that the reason I’ve been slacking is because of the path of least resistance is social media. Just look at how easy making a tweet is:
Write a quick thought, hit tweet and wait for the hate to come in. Where as if you want to write a blog post I get this:
It just feels like I not only need to write, but figure out a title, probably research my argument, and then post it into the void where I get zero feedback.
I’m not saying one is better than the other and I’d imagine blogging with the extra time and effort makes for a better internet but it’s just interesting to me how just a few extra steps makes me gravitate toward the easiest option.
Lately, I’ve gotten a few spam emails from a person claiming they want to sell a domain that is related to one I own. Here is a sample email:
We intend to unload one of our cherished assets,
Would you be keen to discuss this? This is priced in 3 figures ($199 to $999). If interested in owning this domain, feel free to contact me.
Of course it looks and feels like spam, but I decided I’d just run a quick whois on the domain mentioned and it wasn’t even registered. I’m going to assume if I said I’d buy it then they would register it for the $12 or w/e and then sell it to me for the amount offered, or more likely they’d just keep my money.
The main reason I’m sharing this is because I thought it was a pretty interesting angle. They have zero invested and just wait for the suckers to come along.
I think we can all use some good news in our lives right now, which is why this is number one trending thing on YouTube. Also because Steve Carell is a guest and The Office is the greatest sitcom ever.
It’s the first weekend of a mandatory “stay home” order in my state due to covid-19 and the kids are ready to go stir crazy. Luckily I got a new pack of Field Notes that allow you to customize them with your own circle image. So we had art day…
The end results turned out pretty well…
I’m a big fan of doing things away from screens and this was a perfect activity.
Every so often we do family art night. It’s fun, the kids enjoy it, and we get free drawings to decorate our house with. Winning all around!
I will say painting is hard without practice. Just like this one I created tonight that was supposed to be black panther eyes. I knew how I wanted it to end up, but couldn’t get the paint to do what I wanted. Just makes one realize how good the professionals are.
I think reading is essential, and I want to pass on the love of it to my kids. Last year I had the idea of a new program in our household, every first day of the month I would buy them a new book, and it could be 100% their choice. I didn’t care if it’s the Very Hungry Caterpillar or an autobiography of Gandhi. Any book they want, I’ll buy it for them.
It gives us something to look forward to every month, and I think it’s pretty exciting seeing their choices. Right now, one is loving illustrated books, and the other is into fiction.
This month my oldest wanted the Hunger Games, so I got her the box set. I’m pretty sure that she is attempting to beat the system, but I’m not going to complain that it’s three instead of one.