Writing is Real
The working title of the novel is The Machine. This week, wrote three pages. Definitely not the first three pages, but they’ll make it into the first third if anywhere. The pages just started as a description of my dads office in my family’s home in Miami. It could easily be an episode of hoarders, but I always looked at it as a vault of computer parts. Whatever I needed was in there and it was mine if I could find it. In retrospect, maybe my dad kept a lot of those parts in case I needed them. He always tried to get his kids into technology and I think I took to it the most. He was a programmer, network admin, IT coordinator, you name it. He was the guy that knew computers back when an international bank only needed one. The main character in The Machine also benefited from his fathers tremendous collection of spare computer parts to start building his own machines and spark the curiosity that gets him in trouble much later.
I’m now 5% done with this goal. The first percent is the hardest so I’m pretty happy about this.
Bestliv.es is Real
Last week, my team at work had a retreat/seminar where we did a number of branding exercises. I love this stuff not only because I need to know what the main ideas are to get invested in anything, but because they are directly applicable to bestliv.es. We did an eye-opening exercise where we had a list of 200 adjectives and our goal was to reduce this list to five words that best described our team. It took us about 20 minutes and a lot of discussion. I looked into the origins of this exercise and found a group that used this exercise amongst others to help start ups create a brand. Once I found this, I realized most of the rules and process that made this take three hours for a marketing team could be done in 20 minutes with a single person. Getting large groups to communicate large floaty ideas like this requires a very structured communication process. None of that needs to be there when its just you. I adapted the Three Hour Brand Sprint to become a 20 minute personal brand sprint that I’m calling “______ in a nutshell.” Its a document that contains your goals, actions, and mission statement as well as your grounding concepts.
This is an example of the exercises bestliv.es will make available and guide people through so that they can better define themselves and get others to see them as they see themselves.
Dying is Real
Amongst my many abilities, I recently came to terms with my ability to die. I am die-able. I can be killed by all sorts of means. Natural causes might get me, it could be an accident. I even qualify to be murdered. While those last few are not likely to activate my death, the small choices I make on a daily basis are. Those include my aversion to health specialists unless I am currently in pain or experiencing some sort of side effect from an unknown ailment. Attacking problems as they arise may help with short-term problems, but its not a valid long-term strategy at all. A string of short-term actions actually might convince me that I do not need to take any long-term actions, which could be fatal. In order to disrupt this thinking, I have to take a first-principles approach to my health. Clearly, the benefit of additional life span does not serve as a good enough incentive for a twenty-something with no recurring health issues to begin taking preventative care. It still feels like I’m getting all the life I need at this time. Instead, I have to hack my habits to be more receptive to a healthy lifestyle with alternative incentives. As you can imagine, I’m in a more short-sighted phase of my life than I’d like to admit in person. My biggest motivator for my health is that healthy people look better than unhealthy people. After avoid water for most of my life, I started drinking it when I noticed the positive effects on my skin. It made me look better. Likewise, being a diseased mess is gross and I don’t want to be gross much more than I don’t want to be dead. Even when looking at mental health, I think I’m missing an opportunity to be a role model as someone who is honest with how they deal with depression and take advantage of a variety of resources including therapy.