Ever try to schedule something? You know, like set a date for something where more than one person has to show up at the same time? Why is this such a nightmare? Recently, I’ve been trying to de-conflict a few appointments against a few parties and work, and nothing seems to work. I move one appointment or trade a work day and in invariably interferes with at least one other interested party. If I get somebody to cover a work shift, the appointment that was scheduled for that day suddenly no longer works for the doctor or other agency. It seems to me there MUST be a better way to program my life? My gut says this is not unique to me, and that there MUST be a solution to this that could revolutionize people’s lives. There is something deeper here than the need for a planner, or a Google calendar, or app… or maybe the solution is one of those things? I’m at a loss, what do you think? Have you found a reliable way to coordinate with people and de-conflict the myriad events and tasks that (plague?) fill our calendars? I’m sold on bulletjournal as a means to keep organized in the face of endless tasks, but how can we make that system work on a more global scale?
In honor of GroundHog Day, let’s ask the obvious questions… “Really? 6 more weeks of winter? Isn’t that already a given? Who are we trying to fool Punxsutawney Phil?” Why does a rodent’s fear have any influence on the weather? How superstitious are we? Speaking of #BFM, how awesome was that 80’s exploration of the fantasy of second, third, millionth chances? Jump into that reality for a second and consider what it would be like to revisit a powerful moment in your life and try to change the outcome. Fate? Who needs it? Ran across a very interesting web video on this topic by Anna Akana on youtube. Her short is called Riley Rewind. In that little video Akana explores the opportunity to be a hero via time travel, to go back and save a suicidal girl in need of friendship. Not unlike the plot of GroundHog Day, this theme of attempting to correct regret is interesting, but brings up the more important question. How can we maximize our potential for making the CORRECT decisions given imperfect information? Funny how things connect, I’ve been listening to a great book on audible that addresses this and a number of other amazing topics. Algorithms to live by sounds very nerdy when you read the synopsis, but topics like “Stopping Theory” have so many applications to your daily life inside and outside of the Las Vegas casinos. Ok, if you’re following along, we’ve nerded out a bit, considered some heavy philosophical topics, and get to do it all over again tomorrow… that said, let’s take a deep breath and remember “Don’t Worry, Bill Murray.”
This “dawned” on me in the still dark hours of one of the first few days shifts in a long time. As I’m pushing into a new month with new goals for fitness and early wakeups, I realized an important truth. It’s easy to build up courage to take the first step. Maybe “easy” is an overstatement. It’s tough, sure, but the real toughness has to do with gritting it out day-in and day-out even after the excitement of the “new” process wears off. This has to do with the New Year’s Resolution phenomenon whereby people start strong and fade as soon as ANYTHING gets in the way. This weakness can be trained out of you says the Navy SEALS, says the STOICS, says me. Jocko Willink, in Extreme Ownership, makes the case that “winning the day” involves not letting the little excuses like wanting to hit the snooze button, ruin your momentum. This means “keep moving” with your plan, with your direction, with your motivation. Don’t let the Devil see that you are up. Saw a related meme the other day, “Be the kind of man that when your feet hit the ground in the morning, the devil says, ‘Oh crap, he’s up.’” I love the notion that you can out-hustle the adversaries out there that mean you harm. This requires motion. A rudder only steers a moving ship.
Saw this meme last night:
“When people ask me ‘what do I do?’ I say ‘Whatever it takes.'”
This day and age, data is ubiquitous, it’s everywhere and sloppy and disorganized and overwhelming. We make so much data without even knowing it. Our phones, cameras, cars, etc all collect and store GPS data, we create piles and piles of search queries daily. We are living in a digital Information Age and the promises of “Big data” abound. Very smart computer programmers are building algorithms to sort and sift through the data to possibly bring some meaning out of the mess. Whereas we might look at all the various data we produce and see nothing but a string of numbers, a machine learning or AI algorithm may see a connection that every weekend you purchase a case of beer, every Sunday your Fitbit step counter shows next to nothing in terms of steps, and every Monday your scale shows weight gain. This may seem like intuitive connections, binging on the weekends…what’s the big deal? Well, given the ease and proliferation of data our assumptions can be measured and tested. Maybe some unnoticed trends emerge like after your binges your workouts actually show increased strength or your hormone levels show a drop in cortisol.
Recent hacks have shown that even our mobile devices can be used in denial of service attacks. We cannot bury our heads in the sand about our data. It’s time to become literate and cognizant of our data footprint. To be fair data is anything but a 4 letter word. Opportunities abound in the arena, but we must learn to learn.