For some time now I’ve wanted to better channel some of my more coherent thoughts that I deem worthy of sharing. Through keeping a journal, I started noticing the benefit it had in understanding and managing emotions. My logic is to apply the same technique to more professional topics that spark an interest, make me pause or stay with me for a while. By jotting ideas down, I want to give them direction and momentum, to see them sink or swim.
Being a risk-averse person, I often get excited about documenting an idea or thought pattern and then stop short of putting pen to paper. I would say to myself:
- The medium isn’t right
- I’m trying to bite of too much at once
- Not specific enough, mate
- What if nobody is interested?
A cliché, but these are just excuses why not to get started — procrastination. They’re not fundamental problems with the ideas themselves, only very human reactions to feelings of doubt or fear of failure. These unhelpful feelings, even if we can rationalise them well, can stop us from achieving things. What, you may ask is the problem with someone not writing another Z-list novel? Or not starting a Star Wars themed make-up tutorial Youtube channel? Does the world really need another viral TikTok acrobat-hipster-barista?
The answer lies not in the output (even though that will ultimately be the externally perceived face of the venture) but the input. Who are the people behind content? Why are they compelled to keep doing what they do? Why do they get started in the first place? Why should they get started? How did they get started?
These thoughts have been with me for a while — the psychology of getting started — you could say. With an over-active mind, jumping from one wild idea to the next, I’d then get obsessed with the minutiae. But I tend to forget that at this point these grand schemes are just a series of signals confined to my brain. To share them, to start putting theory into action, I have to overcome a significant hurdle — doubts.
Confidence could be the antidote or antithesis to doubt. It’s a huge topic in itself and I don’t claim to be any sort of expert to distribute advice on confidence. Ultimately it’s personal, unique and varies so very much from person to person. To shift focus inwardly, to work on self-confidence, helps let go of the importance of external validation we place on ourselves. From my limited experience when I’m able to let go of what others think about me or my work, I feel more liberated, creative. And yes you guessed it, I become responsible for my own confidence.
Broadly, this thought pattern led to where I am now, sitting in lockdown, writing a post for a blog that doesn’t exist yet. It may never exist or it could instantly be destined to the cobwebby corners of the internet along with teenage MySpace mixtapes and petabytes of cat memes. In a way that doesn’t matter. What matters is not caring enough to do something about the thing we care about.
In this series, I plan to write about things that excite me, confuse me or even worry me. Questions that keep me up just a little longer at night. Topics I like discussing with other people so I can get different perspectives, new angles.
You can expect ramblings on:
- The inherent contradictions between technology and sustainability
- Open source solutions to solve modern, pressing problems as a community
- Circular models for enterprise and collaboration
- Degrowth and living within the physical means of our planet
- Regenerative agriculture and the role of the engineer in building ecosystems that can sustain us
- Inclusive, tolerant, distributed, agile teams
- More pop-psychology?
Keep rolling in ☮