It’s all about how you define success.
Time flies when you’re having fun.
I am having so much fun I can barely stand myself. OK, no smart remarks around your ability to stand me, either, for those loyal readers who know me. You love me and you know it, just admit it and we’ll all be that much happier.
Seriously, though, if the axiom “time flies when you’re having fun” applies, then by that right I’m having a downright ball. Because I had no idea that three+ months had passed since I last posted (about the damn Yankees, I believe). And a lot of stuff has happened since June 21st. Allow me to recap:
[ UPDATE ]
I hate the Yankees.
To be fair, I realize 86% of America hates the Yankees, so I’m not alone (and since 8% could care less, it’s the really obnoxious – and vocal – 6% of United States citizens that like them). But unfortunately since it’s June and it’s the middle of the Major League Baseball season that means that – Yankees or not – there’s a ton of baseball on. In fact, as I write this I’m enjoying my second game of the day (listened to the Cardinals beating my Royals earlier in the afternoon while I was fishing) and just saw what appears to be a 2-run home run by the Dodgers in the top of the 8th inning to take a 4-run lead on the Angels.
But I’m not here to blog about the Yankees, or even MLB. I’m here to give you an update on life in general, specifically as it applies to the habits I’m working on. But because it’s baseball season and that’s the best sport in the whole wide world to watch, I find myself stalling when it comes time to do something.
(And, I might add, at the moment I’m stalling. Big time.)
So I’m going to blame it not on my ADHD but on the Yankees.
OK, it’s really counterproductive to stall in a blog, I’m learning. Note to self: don’t stall in a blog. It doesn’t add anything, and unless you tell folks you’re stalling they have no idea so you have to explain it…which really ruins the effect.
Alright – I’m done. Here you go, my update:
1. Reflection. Frankly, it’s just not happening. But, rather than beat myself up over it (because a wise friend of mine told me that was stupid), I tried to figure out why. And I figured something out – I am horrible at scheduling. Which, oddly enough, makes me pretty good at most aspects of my job which requires more flexibility than a drain snake. (don’t ask why I used “rubber pipe” – I’m having plumbing issues, so we’ll leave it at that) So, before I try to get to some sort of scheduling/organization I’m probably not going to solve world hunger. The good news is I recognize that – and I’m trying to do something about it. I’m using Remember The Milk every day to help me sort out my activities. I’ve even got it on my phone, so I can check stuff when I’m not near my computer. I’m also going to try using either a scheduling app (like Google Calendar) or a timer application (like, say, Timer) to remind me to do stuff.
2. E-mail. Still dominating the e-mail scene. I’ve managed to keep my GMail well under control, and I’m down below 50 actionable e-mail items at work (note: not too long ago I was over 160). I probably need to combine my solution on #1 with my actionable e-mail items to get things even smoother. But I’m very impressed with where I stand here.
3. Belly-off. I’m rethinking this one for a couple of reasons. First and foremost, considering the status of #1 I probably need to slow down and focus on what I’ve got open. Pretty soon I’m going to take #2 off the list and just periodically manage it, so maybe that’s the time to bring it back. But the other issue is the fact that I’m working seriously long hours and not spending a lot of time at home…and also have a very tight grocery budget (with six kids you have to, or you’ll end up with a third, fourth, and fifth mortgage…) and some of those recipes were going to push the limits. But I’m not going to “cancel” this – I’m just going to put it on hold. I’m watching what I’m eating (for the most part) and am drinking more healthy stuff (water, tea, etc.) instead of Coke. So I’m in the mindset – but I don’t want to get in the middle of this and fall victim to what’s killing me on #1.
OK – there you have it. Updates. Not great news for me, and frankly I’m just not happy with my progress. So instead of pouting about it and the fact that the Angels left the bases loaded in the 8th with the tying runs on base I’m just going to persevere.
And continue to avoid the Bronx.
[ UPDATE COMPLETE ]
[ UPDATE ]
Reflection isn’t going as well as I would like from a consistency standpoint (rough week at work and I’ve just crashed when I got home) and I’m only hitting 50% (3 out of 6 days). I was actually 3 out of 4 before I crashed at 6pm Friday night (and slept until 8am Saturday morning) and a late-night volleyball tournament Saturday (ended around 11:30) killed me.
But that’s OK – the three days I did get in were very helpful. There are four questions I ask myself each day:
1. What’s working? This is a free for all and might include “wearing blue socks with a brown belt” if that just feels like it works. But most of it is focused on things that are helping me get in the groove and get closer to Really Happiness.
2. What’s not working? The inverse of #1.
3. What one thing would I do differently? This is hard. It makes me look back and say “if I could only change ONE thing and everything else had to stay the same, what would it be?” This helps me focus on starting small (no need to try and solve world hunger day one) as well as finding the biggest source of disappointment/pain during the day to focus efforts on the big hitters.
4. What one thing am I most proud of today? #3 but helps me focus on what I’ve done right that I’d like to copy for future days. Mostly it’s just in concept (example: Tuesday it was raining and I still went out and played 6 games of volleyball; that was my “proud” moment because despite a pretty plausible excuse if I wanted it I still worked out), but could be something specific (like making it 2 days in a row on reflecting).
That’s it – more updates later. Working on being ruthless at the moment…
[ UPDATE OUT ]
Get your mind out of the gutter – I’m not trying to imitate a strip club. Having a mid-30s guy with a little bit of a spare tire going probably isn’t going to do much for you, anyway, even if I were going into the adult business.
I’m taking it all off philosophically speaking. In that I’m opening up my “next steps” to the world…so the world can keep me accountable. No, I’m not doing the whole reality series thing that’s been done, overdone and over-overdone. No cameras, no microphones, none of that stuff. You probably don’t care what goes on in my day to day life for the most part, as long as I’m not killing kittens or scaring children.
But I need you to care.
Apparently, contrary to the mask I’ve been wearing, I’m a needy person deep down inside. I attempt to be as independent as the next guy (actually probably more so), but when I really peel back the onion (because men, just like ogres, have layers – I love Shrek…) I need.
I realize that left alone I’m not going to get done what needs to get done. I need some other driving impetus, and life – at the moment, anyway – is OK. Contentment is the worst place to be because at least with a bad situation it forces you to move off zero. When you’re content you don’t have to move – it’s easy to rationalize zero as an acceptable place to be.
I’m no longer content at zero. I need to move, even if moving temporarily moves me back to negative one. I’m still too young (we’re all too young, by the way) to be happy living a life at zero.
So here’s what I’m going to do for the next week – which happens to be the first week of June. I’m going to spend at least 15 minutes every day reflecting on my life in an effort to get myself off Zero. (I’m going to turn that into a proper noun – “Zero“, not “zero” – to keep the enemy in plain sight, because it’s easy for me to miss the problem if it looks like everything else) Here’s what I’m going to spend time contemplating:
– See what’s working well and what isn’t
– Figure out what really makes me happy
– Find what my real passion is
– Etc., etc., etc.
And I need you, loyal readers, to keep me accountable. Don’t let me off the hook. When I’ve had a really long day that’s not good enough for me to skip and just make up tomorrow. Even if I solved world hunger that’s not good enough – I need to make the time in my day to reflect.
And please – let me help you with the same. This is a team effort, and can’t just be one way. I want to know what you want to be kept accountable for. I can help. The other readers of this blog can help. We can make it work.
And we can do it all with our clothes on.
(post image courtesy of Salvatore Vuono / FreeDigitalPhotos.net)
Fair warning: I’m drinking tea (sweet tea to be precise) and it’s 11:38pm.
And as such, I’m not entirely sure that you’re going to
read a coherent, structured blog post below. I don’t even know how tonight is going to go, blog or otherwise. But that’s OK – because
sometimes that’s how I am, and if you really want the Paul Gillespie
Experience that’s how it works. So read on.
I have an inferiority complex.
It’s not your traditional Napoleon complex (I’m 6’3″ for heaven’s sake, so unless I’m in Norway I’m considered “tall”). It’s not some deep-seated puer inferiority complex. And no – it’s not a sexual inferiority complex so let’s not go there (yes, I probably just alienated half my potential blogging base by using the word “sex” in a blog post. One heck of a way to start, eh?). No, it’s just your average, everyday, run-of-the-mill inferiority complex.
But give me some credit – I’m big enough of a blogger person to admit it. Yes, I have a problem.
Or, more appropriately, I had a problem.
I love speaking in the past tense because I took above-referenced inferiority complex and attacked it head-on. And what’s even better is that I came out ahead. In this case I was the windshield, not the bug. And it feels spectacular. Awesome. Groovy.
Let me tell you what happened.
I joined this GREAT group of folks in Project Mojave. I actually joined about six weeks ago, and it has been nothing short of spectacular. It’s Clay Collins gig (ever heard of “Finance Your Freedom“? Same Clay), but 10 to 1 if you ask him he’ll tell you it’s really our gig that he’s just moderating, and it’s a booming community at the moment. Check it out if you get the chance; it’s well worth it.
I digress… So Project Mojave‘s got this spectacular set of faculty members lined up: Johnny B Truant, Laura Roeder, Dave Navarro, Michael Martine, Jonathan Mead and, of course, Clay. Folks who don’t just talk, but actually do something. Top of their fields. The real deals. They’re the ones teaching us.
But that’s not why I have an inferiority complex. Sure – they’ve done more in a 30-minute podcast than I’ve probably done in the last year…but hey – that’s what they’re good at. I’m good at other things. Like…watching Royals baseball. And drinking beer. At the same time.
No, my inferiority complex is actually related to my peers in the group (and yes, I’m using the word “peer” very loosely…because I clearly don’t belong in that group of brains; I feel more like the court jester. But I love it!). I was perusing the forums, checking out some of the newer members and it struck me that it seemed like every single person on the list had a website listed. Some have thriving on-line businesses. Some had robust Google pages about themselves. Some had a vanity domain for their name. And me? I had…nothing. Nada. Zip. Zilch. Zero.
Except: an inferiority complex.
I mean – I’m a technological kinda guy. Sure, my profession is really in Finance (Pricing, to be exact). But I can make Excel bend to my will. I’ve built servers from scratch. I get along well with anything that has a screen and current running through it. But despite 25 years of working with computers and 17 years working on that thing called “The Internet” I didn’t even have the inklings of an online presence.
So I changed that. Project Mojave is all about action. About getting from zero to a Freedom Business in three months. And so, on top of all the other stuff going on there (check it out and see: click here) I realized that part of PM (as we affectionately call it) is life lessons. So, rather than just stay content with my “problem” of an inferiority complex I did something about it.
I went from zero to a blog in about 20 minutes.
PaulGillespie.me is mine. My domain. My corner of real estate in the vast morass of 1s and 0s we all call home these days. This is my blog. This is my life.
Sans, of course, my inferiority complex.