This week’s check-in isn’t sliced and diced into good and bad, since there’s a bit of a story to it and everything seems to be a bit of a mix. Enjoy the non-duality.
Crazy moments of insight
Ever has one of those wonderful moments of clarity where the Next Step reveals itself? I’ve had two. The first was back in October 2006 during the time I was doing polyphasic sleep. Backstory: For most of my life, I’ve been an acutely fussy eater. Big trouble going out to restaurants, lots of uncomfortableness, anxiety and all-round unhappiness. At this time I was on uni holidays and trying out polyphasic sleep, which means sleeping (well, napping) for 20 minutes every 4 hours. I had heaps of time, but I was barely functional during the nights. Being uni holidays, functionality wasn’t strictly required.
I went for a long walk. I do mean long. I got blisters! When you’re only sleeping 2 hrs total a day, you need something to fill your nights! Ahem. So I went for this walk, at night, and I’d been thinking about personal development (I’d just started to get interested in it), and I realised that if I wanted something to change, this was it. Expanding my diet. It was a moment of clarity where it was really certain for me what I needed to do next, even though I was hella scared of doing it. Three months later it had happened. That was the first moment of insight.
I had another one on Monday. Oddly enough, also walking at night, in roughly the same area. So now I know what to do next, in a pretty broad sense. In some ways I’d love to talk about it more, but it involves sharing a part of my life that I’ve kept pretty private. Needless to say that it’s pretty scary. But after spending so much time not knowing what direction to head in, I’m grateful for any sense of direction, even if it’s a scary one.
Getting a clue about what my Thing is
The Thing. The creative mission, having a purpose, some grand, awesome goal. I’ve been struggling with how to figure it out, and a couple of things have come along recently that have really bumped me in the right direction.
First off, Steve posted about The Joy of Solving Problems. Head over and have a read, I’ll wait. Avoiding problems by withdrawing into simplicity/minimalism? Totally me. This was one of those posts where it seemed like he’d written it just for my situation.
After reading it, the mindset of problem solving as a strength-building exercise (like weight lifting) really clicked for me. It also gelled with the whole journey-not-the-destination mindset. So I wrote out a list of some problems in my life, and over the next few days solved a bunch of them.
Then I got up to a few related problems, all to do with my work, income and long-term direction. So I sat down, listed out what I wanted an ideal solution to look like, then pulled out a bunch of tools for doing it.
It was a little before this time that I read Naomi’s post What Do I Do With My Life? The central questions “What would your perfect world look like? What would be better? What would never happen?” really got me thinking big. Change the world stuff. I’d forgotten that these things were the main reason I got into online business in the first place – having an awesome vision to work towards. I’d gotten caught up in the details (I want to run a business. What’s it going to do? How will it make money?) when I needed to start with the vision. And that vision needed to be bigger than the business that would eventually be a part of it.
A rather insightful comment by Jason on that same post also triggered something for me. He suggested three steps to finding an answer to The Question, but I only needed to read the first one: “Where do you want to contribute to the world (the answer to this probably is already known and scares the shit out of you.)”. I really like the idea that we already know what we want to do, but we’re saying no to it and making excuses because we’re afraid of what saying yes will mean.
I wrote down some ideas, considered them, selected one. So I finally have a thing! By no means will it be simple to get started, let alone make a living off it, so I think I’ll need to ease into it gradually. I’ll do my best to give myself time and space for it to start happening in its own time, and to not rush it.
As a side note, it’s really comforting to know that I’m not the only one working on this stuff. James and Chas have recent posts that both seem to echo the same themes. Finding your thing and actually doing it: a very common problem?
Jobs and joblessness, patience
Easing into this project gradually means I won’t be making money off it any time soon. Which is sad in a way, because it most likely means I’ll have to get a job. Sure, there’s a chance that I’ll get some affiliate marketing going and start earning enough money to support myself, but I think that it’s unlikely.
The interesting thing is, this is not the disaster I would have thought it was not so long ago. I have an idea that I can see myself working on for at least a few years, and I didn’t feel that way about my previous ideas. I can see myself working up to this slowly.
Not always posting weekly, and the whole writing thing
I haven’t always managed to write one of these “weekly” check-in posts every week. Sometimes because I don’t really have much to share, sometimes because I’m not comfortable sharing it, sometimes a bit of both. Often I try to write it and I can’t seem to write anything I’m happy with.
To those of you who write, does it get easier? How do you get in the mood for it? Sometimes I seem to be able to write fluidly, other times there’s just nothing coming. But when I do write something that I’m happy with and post it, I find it really satisfying. Even if it’s just a bunch of stuff that happened in my week, it feels good to have it sorted it out in my head and shared with the world.
A few times a week for the last few weeks I’ve been hanging out with Luke and Jack in the mornings before they head off to work or uni. Apart from nearly dying of sleep deprivation from getting up at 5:30am a few mornings in a row, this has been awesome. Luke’s working on a 2D platform RTS. If he had a blog I’d totally link to it, but for the moment we’ll have to make do with twitter. He’s just started tweeting again, so drop past and say hi.
Since BarCamp, I’ve been hanging out at lots of CTUB and SMC Canberra events. Meeting people in person: awesome. Makes reading tweets so much more meaningful. The fact that a community could spring up around the tools that make the community possible seems kind of obvious, but also amazing. Twitter is like that.
Did I mention that I’m getting a @RohanM twittername shirt? Nerdy? Yes. But awesome? Absolutely.
Havi linked to me!
Yay! Havi is on my rather short list of heroines and heroes who have a major influence in my life these days, alongside Naomi and Steve. If you’ve come from her site, welcome! Make yourself comfortable and feel free to say Hi in the comments if you’d like to.
That’s it from me
How has your week been? Feel free to join my check-in in the comments.