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New Year’s is coming!

It is never too early to better your life!

So in light of this year ending, let’s look back and refocus.

My memory doesn’t really like the “looking back” though. It all gets kind of blurry when I think of all I did this year, especially the first few months. Nonetheless, I took some time to reflect on another year gone by.

I don’t like dwelling in the past though, so let’s have a look at the future!

Here are the things I want to focus on for the coming year.

  • Climbing
  • Meaningful relationships
  • Helping others
  • Creating creatures (sewing plushies)

Have you reflected and looked back yet? What about plans for the coming year?

Short post this time around, but I don’t have anything more to say at this moment.

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Posted by on December 16, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Rethinking the passion quest

1) I haven’t actually kep to my deal of writing here. I have the best excuse: I forgot.
2) I finally actually do have new material to write. It’s going to go against what I up until this point believed. It’s going to explain a lot of why this whole thing of “finding my passion” hasn’t been working.

I get a lot of my material from reading articles. My reading articles activities were down lately. That is, until yesterday. So I’ve read many articles on certain blogs. I want to highlight one blog in particular. And because it’s a new blog I found, I’ve read many articles on it.

The blog I’m talking about is Study Hacks.

I went there, because I read in another article the phrase ” “follow your passion” is bad advice “. Which Cal Newport, the author of Study Hacks, claimed. It made me curious about what he meant and whatever his advice would be instead.

Newport suggests a new definition of passion: “The feeling that arises from have mastered a skill that earns you recognition and rewards.”
He suggests that passion doesn’t simply exist. It is created, cultivated, by doing something an awful lot.

A post I really enjoyed is “Zen and the Art of Investment Banking: When Working Right is More Important than Finding the Right Work“, it tells the tale of Thomas and the lessons he learned. I really recommend reading it. After all I’m not here to retell it.

Let’s think about what this means for a moment. It means that my search has been in vain. It means that it makes sense that my search hasn’t turned anything up yet. What have I deliberately focused on to the point of mastering it? Nothing. (my mom would probably argue being lazy, but I already changed that around)

So following Newport’s theory, if I haven’t mastered anything, how can I be passionate about anything?

I do think there’s a nuance here, I don’t think just mastering any random skill will make you passionate about it. Maybe I can’t shake conventional wisdom, but I still feel you need an interest before you can cultivate passion.

I’m not quite interested in my field of work. If I was, I’d probably take more interest in knowing about the latest developments. To pursue something you need an interest in it. When that interest grows because of that, it can lead to becoming a passion. I can see logic in that reasoning.

Let’s talk about my interest in sewing. I like it, I like the idea, I just haven’t made the effort to do much with it. If I could put my focus on sewing and do that till I’m great at it. Or what Newport said in one of his articles “so good that they can’t ignore you”. Wouldn’t it make sense that I would become passionate about sewing? I enjoy it, I’m great at it. Sounds like a great deal. Of course it will need a lot of hard work and I won’t be happy every second of the way. And that’s okay, because I’d be building passion instead of trying to find it.

This idea also clicks with the book I’m reading: Outliers, by Malcolm Gladwell. He explores what it is that make people outliers, or geniuses, successes. Examples like Bill Gates and the Beatles are used.
What Gladwell discovers is opportunities to practice a lot, an insane amount, and then having mastered a skill at just the right time. This leads to success.

Now consider for a moment the people who love their job, isn’t it often that they’re very good at it as well, and isn’t it often that they worked hard to get where they are?

Then it makes perfect sense to argue that passion is something that is build up. And I’d like to add to that, that it comes from an interest pursued obsessively.

Therefor I want to commit myself to start sewing. To practice till I’m great at it.

 
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Posted by on December 2, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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Apology not accepted.

I’m publishing on a weird day, I know.

Truth is, I skipped another week. For some reason I’m completely out of it. And with that I mean out of my regular routine, out of working on what matters to me, out of motivation, out of inspiration.

A kitten is a lot of work, sure, but that’s not the main problem anymore.

My journey isn’t on the top of my priority list, then again many important items aren’t.

My two main hobbies are writing and drawing. Sometimes I feel writing comes first, sometimes drawing.
Yesterday I read some advice on drawing. “If you want to get better, you need to practice, every day.”
I also read some advice on writing. “If you want to get better, you need to practice, every day.”

And to make something a habit, do it every day. Exercise, laundry, cleaning, this journey, writing, drawing, working…

I don’t have the time to do everything I should do every day. I just don’t have the time. It’s impossible.

STOP. BREATH. RELAX.

For me the problem isn’t that it’s impossible. All of this is a luxury problem. Then again most problems could be viewed as luxury problems.

It’s what I realized while reading this post on Courage 2 Create titled ‘When You Have Nothing Left To Lose, You Only Have Everything Left To¬†Gain‘ yesterday.
It started me thinking, what do I really have to lose? Well a lot of things really.

But a lot of things are just luxury. Most of which I could do without, probably. I don’t want to do without, but I could.

Letting go of unnecessary things would give me more time. Time to work on this journey. So I can whine all I want about how I don’t have time to do all these “should”s every day, but apology not accepted.

I have more time than I’d like to admit, I just need to make time!

So in conclusion, I’m going to recommit to this blog. I’m going to focus on finishing a post by Sunday. This blog, and especially the journey it’s about, should be my number 2 focus (kitten comes first).
I also want to focus on doing more exercises to find my passion and logging my progress on that. So expect mini-posts here and there.

So over to you. Do you struggle with keeping what matters most on top of your priority list? How do you refocus on your most important task?

 
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Posted by on June 27, 2012 in Uncategorized

 

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