A friend e-mailed:
I would like to help you with your project ideas and goals. We could
be a good source of mutual inspiration.
So I took the opportunity to review what my actual project ideas and goals are, and what kind of help I would find really useful.
Everything I do fits surprisingly well into an overall plan. I can tell you how the work that I do at IBM and the things I do for fun support my long-term goals. (To wit: One of the things I want to do is build a more collaborative workplace, and consulting lets me help organizations with that. I also want to improve a set of particularly useful skills, hence all the development. As for fun, writing and drawing help me rock, while sewing and woodworking may help me prototype things in the future.)
For most of the big projects on my list, it’s a matter of time and personal effort. Throwing resources or people at it won’t gain me very much. Mentors are great, but it takes time and experience to become an even awesomer developer, and to learn how to do design well. It takes time and experience to learn more about writing or drawing, and to live a life worth sharing.
It’s an interesting thing, to be patient with life as it unfolds. I’m growing at a good (and sustainable) pace. There’s inspiration all around me. It’s simply a matter of reaching out and doing things, putting in that deliberate practice, experimenting with life, and maybe picking up tips along the way.
So, what do I want to learn from other people? If you think I’m doing interesting things, how can you help?
Here’s one of the projects I’ve set for myself: sharing what I know. A great way to help me is to nudge me by asking questions, because then I share (or learn!) in the process of answering. You can also teach me by example, by sharing what you know about sharing what you now. =) Another really good way to help me is to refer me to people who are also passionate about this and who’ve been working on their systems for capturing, organizing, and sharing knowledge. What’s cool about this? You’ll help lots of people along the way.
I’ve also started working on a new project: building relationships over time and space. I’m inspired by how my parents have built these long-lasting friendships, and I’m working on learning how to do something similar. In particular, I’m figuring out:
Great ways to help would be to show me by example, share your experiences and experiments, or refer me to people who do really well at this (particularly if they’re also dealing with virtual connections, and if they’re introverted too). Bonus: this will directly help me with my goal, too! What’s cool about this? I think the world is going in this direction, and people could really use the tips.
So that’s where I am. Life is awesome. I’m making steady progress. I’m pretty sure that whether or not I get where I currently want to go, I’ll do something wonderful with both the journey and the final destination. In terms of help, I’m okay – other people need more help than I do. If you think what I’m doing is terrific and you’d like to see it happen sooner, maybe you can make that one of your projects too. Then it’s not about helping me, it’s about making your life and the world awesomer. Not me, but the bigger dreams I work towards. =)
C’est la vie, in the bestest way possible.