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What to do when you just don’t know what you should be doing…

You have brains in your head. You have feet in your shoes. You can steer yourself in any direction you choose. You’re on your own, and you know what you know. And you are the guy who’ll decide where to go. – Dr. Suess

I really enjoy Dr.Suess stories! Wocket in my pocket is a favorite I’ve read to my son countless times.

Us grownups have to make a lot of choices. Every day you are faced with a multitude of decisions that have to be made. Forced to choose between this and that…

I feel that the majority of my day is spent making decisions for other people and rarely for myself.

Being a “manager” of sorts at work means I am a captain of a ship. Setting a course by typing notes with a keyboard rather than the use of a helm. One email to adjust course this way, and an instant message to dispatch another ship off in another direction. Maybe an admiral rather than a captain. Maybe a promotion is in order!

The problem is that I spend my waking hours sending commands to various ships at sea and I then struggle to plot a course of my own.

I once read that some of the so-called important people in society wear the exact same clothes each day in order to preserve their decision making energy for business at hand. Is that really what we have come too? That our lives have become so burdened with choices that we need to restrict where we focus our energy.

The world has certainly become a noisy place, and by the end of the day the most difficult question to answer is “whats for dinner”?

I sometimes wonder if others struggle as much as I do in order to decide how to tackle their personal projects. Once I’ve found some free time, and not completely exhausted from ship steering, how should I spend it?

Do I work on some writing, or catch up on some reading, or should I just go do some dishes?

So what do you do, when you just don’t know what you should be doing?

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New year and so much to do…

It’s a new year, so time to get to work…

I’ve never been good at sticking to new year resolutions, but I’m going to make a good go of it in 2018. There is so much I want to accomplish that I haven’t decided where I want to start.

Most people would tell you to set small attainable goals in order to not be overwhelmed and actually reach some tangible results. I don’t want to aim too small though, so rather I plan to break down large projects into parts spread out through the year. I’m also trying a new productivity system this year as well, so this will be one big experiment.

Let’s start with a general list, and make a plan from there. Here we go…

Writing what I want…

I’ve been struggling to find topics to write about. This has come about with too much research about how to get people to follow your work. I’m sure many people are in the same boat. You need to this, that, and all this other stuff.

I plan to get past this by not really having a writing strategy this year. Write more to see what I like to write about. Commit to the act of writing more regularly and build a habit. No niche, no standard format or branding. Just words.

My writing in 2018 is going to consist of blog posts and short stories as they come to mind. Putting pen to paper, or fingers to keys on a regular basis.

Learn some real tech stuff…

I’ve been dipping my toes into the world of coding, and am really attracted to web design. So, I’m making a commitment to learning the fundamentals of HTML, CSS, and Javascript this year. I have this website I can play with, so stick around to see where this goes.

I also plan to tackle SQL, and hope to work this into my day job as well.

Product management and UX design…

Another area I have really become interested in is all facets of product management and UX design. A pretty wide scope of topics here so got to narrow this one down.

Content marketing…

Marketing is towards the bottom of my list, however, will be beneficial to the overall writing experience. I would like people to actually read some of my stuff…

Now what?

Now that I know what I want to do, the next step is to formulate a plan to work on all of this stuff. That should be easy with a full-time job and family responsibilities. Many have said that if you really want to accomplish something, you will make the time for it. More to come!

Taking comfort in being ordinary

I’m okay with living what some would consider an ordinary life. The effect of social media has raised most people’s expectations of what life should really be like. 

You see nothing but the good stuff. The traveling and grand accomplishments, but not the work or the unpretty tasks that got them there. 

Or worse, it could be the opposite. Those that show constant misery, and do nothing to improve their situation. Maybe it’s the attention received from all the sympathy comments. 

It’s okay to find a spot somewhere in the middle where real life exists. The place where you find a good mix of fun derived from sweat equity. Drinking that beer in your backyard with close friends rather than some fancy downtown rooftop bar. Enjoying a nice staycation rather than maxing the credit card for that trip to Paris. 

Should I envy those putting forth the money and effort put on a fancy show when I can do the same thing at home? And for far less money? 

Don’t get me wrong here. I’ve got my own bucket list, and love a good trip every now and then, but the ads and “influencer’s” push it too far. 

I don’t need some dude standing next to a row of super expensive cars, or the seat of a private jet telling me how easy it is to 10X my life. These people don’t represent real life.   

Not every day is going to be the Superbowl. Not every month is going to see record sales, and that’s okay. Somethings need to be hard, and you need to have a bad day every now and then. The sweet wouldn’t be sweet without the sour. 

We need to know suffering in order to feel joy. You would never know the relief of shedding the weight of a major problem without first carrying the burden. 

By showing each other nothing but the best part of our lives, and allowing internet personalities to tell us what is important, we’re losing touch with reality. Setting expectations of each other that can never be reached. The truth is that life is hard and that there is no way around it. You are, however, in the driver’s seat and can decide how much it will suck. 

We just aren’t meant to be happy all the time. Don’t take someone’s Facebook feed as a true representation of their everyday life. Don’t compare yourself to others based on only what they want you to see. 

If you need someone to compare yourself too, look in the mirror. Does that look like the person your loved ones look up to? You know, those people that really matter in your life that need you to show up every day? The ones that need you to suck it up and go to another day at your shitty job so the bills are paid. 

We all would love to lead a more glamorous lifestyle. When we get the chance to do something a little more fancy than normal we rub it in everyone’s faces. Be honest, we all do it. It’s fun, and we want everyone to know we are having fun. 

The challenge is to find just as much pride in the day to day events that truly represent your life.