What I’m focusing on

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:

  • how to keep in touch with people who don’t write about their lives as frequently as I do,
  • how to share experiences with people who aren’t in the same geographical location (or timezone!),
  • how to make people’s lives better, and how to let them make a difference in mine
  • and of course, how to build wonderful loving relationships (Hi, W-!)

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.

  • Ummm. What?

    I’m sorry… I just forgot who I am and how I got here. Are you just the coolest person on the planet? I don’t know, I find myself distracted every time I see your smile.

    My wife… the lovely mrs me… and I are the classic examples of introvert. She isn’t keyboard. I know you know what I mean by that. I hold the the keyboard rank in our family. But ‘appreciation’ would be an appropriate characterization of how she responded to your posting as I read it to her.

    Let me just subscribe to sachachua.com/blog, read, and be educated by an uplifting personality like yours’.

  • Anna Biunno

    Hi Sacha,

    Aside from the hypnotic ebb and flow of your words, your writing voice echos a tranquility and inner peace that resonates with many, and especially me.

    This is the very thing that draws me to your blog. Your philosophical perspective on life is inspiring, and I often wonder how I can ever pull myself up by my bootstraps and begin to make things happen.

    My nagging question is: how do carve out the time to devote to all these areas of your life, which all appear to be important, critical pieces?

    Rock it as hard and as long as you can…

    Cheers,

  • http://sachachua.com Sacha Chua

    Ummm. What?: Aww, thanks for sharing these thoughts and ideas with your wife! I’m glad that you find what I’m learning useful, and I look forward to learning from you too. (The wonderful thing about the Internet – you can reach out on your own time, at your own pace…)

    Anna: How do I carve out the time? I carefully, deliberately limit the things that suck time the most. I make sure I don’t let work spill over into too much of my life, and I make time to enjoy both my individual interests and social interactions.

    Approaching life from a “What’s the best thing I can do this moment?” perspective means I don’t stress out about not being able to spend time on everything I want to do. This is particularly helpful as I’m one of those people with more interests than you can fit into a day.

    Doing things I love, choosing things that complement and build on each other, and investing a little extra time to scale up all help me get more bang for the hour, too.

    There’s a blog post in here somewhere…