Wrestling with the Internet

I am always uneasy about what I should and should not say on the internet. There is so much I want to let out. So much I want to yell. There are also so many nice things that I think would only be ruined by letting the internet touch them.

This evening I saw a quote regarding that subject, but from long before the internet.

Travel and tell no one, live a true love story and tell no one, live happily and tell no one, people ruin beautiful things. Kahlil Gibran

Maybe that should be the default.

What I will share is this: you can’t opt-out forever. If you try to stay silent the world will find some way to make you open up. And if you’re not practiced in the discourse required of you, you are a lot less likely to feel great about the process. Self-moderation is much better than self-censorship.

Choose something to share, make your case, and stand by it. It doesn’t have to be published to the world: it can be with your colleagues, your school, your family. But don’t let all your thoughts be your own; just the private ones.

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Father’s Day

When my wife asked what I wanted for Father’s Day, I asked for a date night. She made it happen and it was lovely. We went to Great Flood for beer and board games. Amber won almost all the games as we’ve all come to expect.

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I always love a chance to use my Flood Liars Club mug.

Segments

Ber last ran the Kentucky Derby Festival miniMarathon in 2015, right after we found out she was pregnant with Grace. Ever since she finished, she’s been excited to run it again. Today she finished the 2017 miniMarathon, after fourteen weeks of training.

I’m incredibly proud of her, and watching her complete such a big event really makes the last few months’ work and focus worthwhile.

Recently I’ve been thinking about life more and more in terms of segments.  The first segment of this year was Ber’s half-marathon. Our family’s #1 priority since the new year was Ber’s training for this event, and we were all on board with that. It’s not the only thing we did, but it was the most important thing.

At work I tend to think in segments book-ended by meetups. My team just went to Washington DC and I’m now looking at the work I’ll be doing between now and the Grand Meetup in September.

What seems appealing about this outlook is that it’s okay for big goals, because a segment is necessarily a large chunk of time. 14 weeks is a lot of time to get better at running. 5 months is a lot of time to get good work done. So even if every step forward is a small one, over the course of a segment you are certainly closer to your goal.

It’s a (mini) marathon, not a sprint.

Terrible Questions

If someone asks you a question, think to yourself about the quality of the question.

If it’s of poor quality, it’s best to respond with a question of your own.

Terrible questions will make your answer terrible. Don’t play that game: work your way to a good question instead.

I find this helpful in customer support, conversation, debate, and even wrangling with my stupid internal thoughts.


Photo by cogdog on flickr

Waking Up Early / Staying Up Late

I’m  better about getting done during the day most of the things I must do.

At least, I’m better now than I was a year ago.

I’m still really bad about improving myself, working on side projects, or in general making use of my personal time in a way that makes me proud. There’s a lot more sitting on the couch being tired than I’d like.

It seems like most folks (at least folks with kids) combat this one of two ways: waking up early or staying up late.

If you’ve intentionally ever started waking up earlier or staying up later to work on something – I’d love to hear your story. Or hell, hear someone else’s story you know about. Please leave stories, advice, or links in the comments?

When Purchases Can Make You Happy

My favorite blogger, Mr. Money Mustache, has been a major force in my life since 2011. He doesn’t post as often as he did in that first year, but MMM still appears from time to time and I always find it valuable. Most recently, he made a splash on the Tim Ferriss podcast.

In that episode he provided one of the most brilliant rules of thumb I’ve ever heard. In regards to what he thinks about when making a purchase:

And finally, I ask myself “Is this removing a negative in my life?” Because it’s pretty well studied that happiness is not very much affected by adding positives to your life. It’s mostly – especially in a rich world environment like we live – it’s mostly accomplished by removing things that are a strong negative to everyday.

You can hear this part of the discussion around [46:33] in the episode.

What a great bit of guidance! If you’re solving a problem, and buying a thing is the best way to solve that problem, that purchase has a much better chance of contributing to your happiness. If you’re purchasing something because you’re counting on the purchase to make you happier you’ll always be wanting.

MMM explains this principle more deeply here: A Lifetime of Riches – Is it as Simple as a Few Habits?

But that rule alone someone could add to every single purchase: am I removing a negative or adding a positive? How much spending could you avoid if you followed that as much as possible? You don’t even need to aspire to greater net worth to find value in that, only greater happiness.


Photo credit: cadencrawford on flickr