Like a bike…

“Life is like riding a bicycle. To keep your balance, you must keep moving.”

– Albert Einstein

It’s easy to lose focus. Knowing this we must put in place safeguards to protect us from the lesser versions of ourselves. Does this ever happen to you? You want to go running in the morning because you realize your cardio isn’t what it used to be…the best version of you puts your shoes and shorts out to be ready in the morning, sets the alarm, and dreams about how great it will fee to be done with that first run in a long time…only to have the lesser version of you hit the snooze and miss the opportunity all together? 

I get motivated in spurts sometimes and set off to learn a new language, HTML5/CSS3/JavaScript maybe…I’ll grab the right books, get access to some online content, and work hard for a couple weeks and hen something will distract me…it might be another mighty goal, but still the previous goal is left unfinished. Speaking of this, check out this new website from General Assembly called DASH…it’s an interactive learning environment a lot like Codecademy. I’ve used both, learned a lot, but since the day to day doesn’t require using the skills, they disappear in memory as things I used to know how to do. 

I ran across a fun site: 16 personalities that was recommended by a #bulletjournal mentor and YouTube personality @bohoberry. 16 personalities proctors a personality test that mirrors the Myers-Briggs protocol but doesn’t charge an arm and a leg to test you, in fact, it’s free and you can explore all of the personalities. They even have personality archetypes like “Architect” or “Commander” or “Virtuoso” to give you an idea of the types with the same traits. I have my guesses, but I’m pretty sure I know where I live on the spectrum and I plan on taking the test tonight to test my theory. The 4 major categories that shape your personality 4-letter code are :

Introvert vs Extrovert (I or E)

Sensing vs Intuition (S or N)

Thinking vs Feeling (T or F)

Judging vs Perceiving (J or P)

An example would be ENTP or ISFJ

The cool part about this is by comparing codes you can see what you have in common or different than those around you. You can see how your world views differ and find common ground. 

What does any of this have to do with the Einstein quote above? As I scanned the personality type I suspect I am, it said one of the traits is inability to stick with a course of action for too long, not finishing much preferrinf dipping toes into 1000 rivers. A self-aware man knows his strengths and weaknesses and can buttress against his lesser tendencies. 

Since I know I have a meandering nature, I actively set up systems that look like hyper-planning to some people. These people wrongly assume me to be ultra-organized but what they see is my safeguard. Perception being reality, who is ultimately right then? Fall Out Boy, in all their angst-filled glory, sang “the road to hell is paved with good intentions, hire a construction crew, cuz it’s hell on the engine” #Actions speak louder than words and Perhaps we could all benefit from a plan of action. More coming soon.

#FFW

So what.

So you want to be an author or writer or blogger. So what. There are so many voices out there and social media has turned a mirror to society. Everyone can literally live in their own world all day every day and spend countless hours and millions of finger-miles scrolling through feeds and stories and timelines. Does any of it accomplish anything?

Whew. Fear not, this is not a negative rant about the futility of the modern age. Quite the contrary, this is a philosophical crossroads.

“How vain it is to sit down to write when you have not stood up to live.”

Henry David Thoreau

As I’m preparing (actually preparing and mapping out posts) for this blog and some future writings, an all important question came up, “Who am I?” Where have I been, what have my experiences taught me about life, is any of it relevant to others? These questions led to more questions…Can my life serve as a lesson? Since you can’t change any of the events that have happened in the past, how can you use that knowledge to make from this moment on a better, more meaningful existence? The trail of questions continues and I continue to jot them down as they come because if I put aside vanity and ego and take an objective look at myself, am I sitting down to write without having stood up to live? Thoreau doesn’t live in the modern age where millennials have their quarter life crises live on Facebook before finishing college.

“Life moves pretty fast. If you don’t stop and look around for a while, you could miss it.” – Ferris Bueller’s Day Off

It can’t just be me that feels the incredible pressure of modern society, can it? [rhetorical]

What does any of this have to do with anything? Internal and external barriers will tell you to pump the brakes. Out for a run on the track or trail you might catch yourself saying, “Whar am I holding back for?” You may not be that self-aware yet, but the next steps are to trod on anyway…. You don’t feel qualified to teach on a subject, teach anyway and find the gaps in your knowledge real time. Trust me, they are there, and they will change with every student.

Don’t feel like you have anything important to say? So what. Work on your craft, hone your skills, take stock of who you really are and tell stories. People live for stories, and your authentic self shines when you relate to your audience personally. Ask yourself, who am I really? Secret: You are more than what you do.

Put in the work, realize that it will take time to build a solid foundation. Fill in personal development gaps. Go out and win, consistently. And in inevitable defeat find the wins there too. You are on your way.

#FFW