Yesterday I found some great stuff on the Internet. It was stuff I needed to find, especially with where my mind has been as of late.
The first was a manifesto by Jesse Thorn on how one can “make their thing”. The second was a podcast episode of CMND+ Space where Myke Hurley had a conversation with Merlin Mann. The third was a piece by Paul Miller over at The Verge discussing his findings after being off the Internet for an entire year.
All of these things got me thinking. Thinking hard, in fact.
Jesse’s manifesto resonated with me in that there are times when I’m not making the best stuff I can be, mainly because I feel I could be putting more effort into things than I have been. Sure, I do a lot. But sometimes that stuff hasn’t been as good as I wanted it to be. I know that people have a tendency to be more critical of themselves because they are looking at their work through their own lens — myself included. But if I hope to go forward with my work then I need to make my things better — because I want them to have a lasting impact. I want them to be memorable for the right reasons. I want them to stand because of how great they are. I want them to be better because I know they can be better.
That will mean doing less things so that I can do my things better. That will mean less posts here, but they will be better. That will mean less social network interactions, but they will be better. Whatever I make, I will make better because they will be — no matter who seem to be for on the surface — my things, and I’ll settle for nothing less than better going forward.
The episode of CMND+ Space had me thinking about why I got into productivity in the first place. It had me looking back to my creative roots, back to my comedy. That s why I was trying to be more productive. During my days at Costco, I was trying to find time for that stuff and still keep my head above water at the day job. Once I started to write about productivity, I pushed the comedy stuff aside. I’m not saying I don’t enjoy being a productivityist, but there has to be more than that for my work to really have deeper roots. So I’m going to get back into that stuff again — albeit slowly — and keep the day job going strong because unlike my old day job I really love this one. I’ll take what I’ve learned through my exploration of productivity and apply it as initially intended – to my comedic work — and I’ll also get back on stage from time to time and start writing fiction again in some form or another. Regardless, I need to get back to that stuff in some shape or form…because that’s been the missing piece.
Finally, the Paul Miller piece tied both of those ideas together. For all of what was in the post (which is a must-read), it ultimately was all about connection. I think I’ve finally connected the dots with my work. I got lost for a while during my explorations, and the scenery was beautiful so I didn’t really mind all that much. But I’ve found it more difficult to describe the scenery in a way that makes it sound as beautiful as it is. Maybe that’s because it isn’t as appealing as it once was, but I think it’s more because I forgot why I was exploring in the first place. I wanted to better connect with who I am and what I really wanted out of life. Exploring the realm of personal productivity gave me a place to discover how to make that happen, and it finally brought me back to the why I wanted it to happen. Make no mistake, I’m passionate about productivity. I love to look at better ways to do and — more importantly — be better. I am a productivityst, but I’m not just a productivityist. I’m a father. I’m a husband. I’m a performer. I’m a comedian. I’m a creative. Exploring the world of productivity has helped me tap into so much more than just how to do stuff. It has helped me tap into what I need to do to make the things I want to happen a reality. It’s helped me deal with adversity. It’s helped me shift easier than I was able to in the past. It’s helped me in terms of awareness, mindfulness, and preparedness. It’s helped me connect with so much and so many, and it will continue to do so.
Going forward, I’m going to better aligned with all of who I am. It has been (and will always be) family first and work second — but now that work will consist of what I’ve been doing as a productivityist and a fostering of my other creative endeavours. All of those aspects will be better because of a pledge to accept nothing less than that, a return to my roots with better equipment in tow, and a deeper connection to every facet of who I am and what is important to me.
Photo credit: Road by Sardinelly via stock.xchng