Originally Posted by Steve Pavlina
Originally Posted by Rose of Cairo
it's just that I don't see much sense in going for something knowing perfectly well that in two weeks I'll have lost interest...
I often dive deeply into stuff I know won't last. It's okay to do something just for the experience. When I did comedy improv in 2006, I only wanted to do it for a little while. I did it once a week for three months and performed in two live shows. Then I dropped it and let it go. I just wanted to try it, not make a career out of it. I'm glad for having the experience. It was definitely worth doing.
When Erin sees me getting into something new, she'll often say, "Oh no... he's on the jazz again." She knows I love getting into stuff by diving headfirst into it, and a few months later, I'll drop it completely.
You can learn to juggle 3 balls in a few hours of practice if you want to. Then you'll know how to juggle for the rest of your life. Think of all the cool skills and experiences you could pick up if you did that sort of thing deliberately.
It isn't a waste. It's called "having a life."
Rose, about a month ago I took about 3 months or so to immerse myself in the realm of strengths-theory
(it's not really theory, but I like to call it that). A few months later, I've completely dropped the paradigm, and am currently reading Getting Things Done
, Steve's new blog posts, and random sections from Way of the Peaceful Warrior
Over this year I've played the Warhammer RTS game, Starcraft, Diablo 2, Shadow of the Colossus, Okami, Street Fighter Alpha 2, Street Fighter 2 Super Turbo, Kongai
(both beta and launch), and so many flash games that I've lost count. I also have the famed (and discontinued) Ico (a video game for PS2) in a figurative pile of "things I might want to check out and study at some point."
Additionally, I've also started regularly playing poker, played a few games of rock-paper-scissors, focus tested a card game called Yomi giving feedback on the general layout design (designed by David Sirlin
), offered the guy who runs the poker games I go to feedback for how the games can be more fun with less slippery slope
and virtually no other disadvantages (so it's a win/win, "all advantage" solution), and I've even dabbled in the idea of getting together a team to make a flash game myself (there are still a few things that need to align before I feel comfortable with moving forward with that project, but that's fine. No rush).
On top of that(!), I joined Toastmasters International in February this year, joining one club at first and then being sponsored to join another club (which was the result of an interesting synchronicity that's only making sense now; you could call it a past alpha-reflection, to use one of Steve's concepts), and 5 months later, I'm Secretary of one club and President of the other. (And also have plans to innovate Toastmasters--at least, at the moment, for me--as we know it.)
Interestingly, you'd think I was playing most of the games I mentioned just "for fun". Actually, I was looking for a game that I could devote to mastering, and I've since picked Kongai and Street Fighter 2 Super Turbo as games I'll be playing often (also include in that list the upcoming Street Fighter 2 ST HD Remix with re-balanced gameplay by Street Fighter tournament champion David Sirlin and re-drawn art, all in HD, by Udon who do the Street Fighter comics).
What is the primary benefit I've gotten from devoting so much time to mastering a game? (What some would call wasted hours.) Well, my knowledge of system design is even more refined, but more importantly, because of my hours of gameplay and the connections I've made within gaming circles, I learned a new way to make decisions primarily using my intuition. I've been able to use this ability in every other aspect of my life (including buying groceries!), and I even partly drew on it to win a Toastmasters table topics speech contest this week (a contest which is also organised, as club President, with no prior experience and online resources that were... not ideal, to say the least). It's extremely effective, with high potential for even more effectiveness, and I expect to be drawing on it and improving my ability to draw on it for the rest of my life (unless I find something better
I hope by now I've drowned you in so much randomness that your head is spinning. Good. Because that's my point. My head *isn't* spinning. Despite the huge variety of things I've done (and this is only a sampling--I could go into even more detail about brain science, biology, strengths-theory, stress free productivity, and a few other things I've dabbled in), I couldn't feel more... I wouldn't call it grounded, but I feel more positive and happy than stressed and overwhelmed.
If you were to ask me "has all you've been doing--including the things you've just dabbled in--helped you in some way?" I'd answer, "you bet!"
The results may not be self-evident, and some of them mostly exist on the subconscious level (but if you understand anything about your subconscious--and I've learned most from conscious application, not just theory and research--you'd see that something highly desirable), but I can wholeheartedly recommend diving into something and just trying it, even if you only do it for a limited amount of time. I don't recommend you do anything seriously dangerous, but this is personal development for smart
So dive in, and in a few months, you can have fun writing a post as lengthy, seemingly random, and detailed as this.
It's called "having a life." Postscript
On a side note, I've been doing most of this for free, virtually paying no direct attention to "making money" whatsoever, ha. However, now that my focus is starting to shift, you wouldn't believe how much all that I've done will help me in actually getting a career going, whatever that may involve (technically I've been working on a career for the last 2 years, but most of the work is indirect, and you sure couldn't pick it... at least, my detractors don't
I'd say the main thing I gained from all of what I mentioned is "perspective." You'd think that doing so many things limits your perspective, or something, but it actually sharpens it. Or more accurately, you begin to cut through the clutter and see what are the few things in life that are most important. From there it's just a matter of effective tools (such as Getting Things Done, strengths-theory), self-alignment (the truth, love, power type Steve talks about in his book), listening to (and learning to accurately read) your intuition, and doing it.
I think you'll find any notions of "getting out there" and doing it are not helpful. Life is not something you fragment--it is an ongoing process that you experience, and the quality of that experience is determined by your focus. What you actually have to do to be successful, whatever you define "success" to be, might not be terribly different than what you're currently doing once you shift your focus a bit. It's all about vibration and alignment.
The more aligned I become with what I feel is right for me, the easier life becomes. But not "easy" in the "no challenge" sense; it becomes more fun, positive, and enjoyable. Challenge remains, it's just that you have more capacity to deal with it. I still experience setbacks and things that are unpleasant, but that's part of a greater experience. Besides, from my experience so far, it's really difficult to even be able to say what is "bad" or "good." I'd rather throw out those labels and assign another label: "useful."
While doing this yourself, if someone tells you to "get a life," ask them to define "life" in their sentence. Once they stop throwing insults at you, you might find their definition of a life somewhat disturbing (if they can even define what they mean... they'll probably get confused and annoyed and walk away or try to put the focus back on you). In other words, ignore your detractors! Literally. Go hang around people you enjoy being with, either directly (in person) or indirectly (online, via reading stuff, etc).