I’ve always been the type of person who wants to learn everything. I have spent a good portion of my life trying to stay ahead of whatever curve was in front of me for fear that I would be left behind. So in a mad dash to make sure I’m immersed in whatever will help me stay ahead (programming, mobile, fitness), I take on about 100% more than I can actually do. I know from past experience I will fail at some things, find I don’t have time for others, or decide to change course. But all of this mean many things fail, and that really sucks.
I know failing is the new word for try. As Yoda says “do or do not, there is no try.“ I don’t know anyone who likes failing. A couple of days ago I was having a discussion with someone who was trying to decide what type of decision maker I was. Would I be someone who would try a hundred things until I found the right answer, or would I take my time, think through a problem, look at multiple options, then make a decision. I know in their mind they liked the try and fail a hundred times option because it “looked” like effort was being made. But I’m the later. I can make quick decisions if I’m given enough information. And for the times when I have very little information, I might take longer to make a decision. There are few cases in this world where choosing to fail a hundred times at something to come up with a solution trumps thinking through a decision, either in your head or with a team.
So why am I bringing this up? Well, all of this start, stop, fail, succeed, has given me an opportunity to think of what’s next. Martin Sheen’s character President Bartlet in the TV series The West Wing used the phrase “what’s next?” when he got the point and wanted to move on. I love that phrase. I’ve done the same things for over 30 years, now I want to move on… what’s next?
Here are a few things on my What’s Next list:
- I’m finally over managing web servers. I can’t stand it any more, and I simply don’t have the stomach to worry about all the possible issues that could go wrong. It’s not part of my core focus. So I’ll be transitioning all of my websites onto something that some company manages for me. I just want to write.
- Speaking of writing, that’s the next big part of my next… writing more. Expanding and broadening my knowledge of some technologies, exploring their long term values, and of course finally putting pen to paper (so to speak) on Old Coder Comics. I’ve had this idea for a while, and I really want to put some effort into that. I also want to finally finish the ten sci-fi and thriller stories I’ve started and stopped.
- Fitness. It’s never been part of my everyday fabric. But it needs to be.
- Photography. This is simply a pleasurable thing. But my problem has been putting in the time to really learn the craft. I don’t want to be a pro. I don’t want to call myself a photographer (so I don’t incense my real photographer friends), but I do take pictures.
While I’ve spent a good majority of my life learning the intricacies of programming languages, staying up all night to write code, fix a broken site, and generally try to come up with ideas for the next big thing, it’s simply not what I truly want to focus on. I’ll try and fail for sure at some of this. Failing really sucks, but, it’s also a great way to learn. I’ve sure typed a bunch of I’s in this post. But that’s what you get today.
Photo credit andrewhurley