Saturday, November 15, 2008

Twitter Account

I decided to set myself up on Twitter today. My account is bradtalk. My name is not available, but it does not appear to be used, so perhaps I can change it to just bradandrews in the future.

For now, it remains

Let the banality begin!

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Keeping Your Focus

One thing I really struggle with in life is to stay focused on just one thing. One the one hand, this ability to jump between things enables me to keep many things going at the same time. On the other hand, it can be really hard when a dedicated focus is required.

My life sometimes reminds me of the people who would spin plates on top of poles on a TV variety show. Things worked well when everything started up, but it would continually fall into peril as plate after plate started slowing down and wobbling, threatening to fall on the ground and make a serious mess. In spite of this threat, the spinner would somehow manage to always get back to the plate just before it fell, saving the day.

This often feels like my life, applying spin to another plate to keep from making a huge mess. While energizing at times (and boy can it be energizing), it can also seem quite discouraging at times, when the end of spinning plates never comes. While that is not accurate, it often seems that way things can run in life, at least for those of us with the ability to focus on many things. This ability to focus on many things often leads us to focus on "just one more thing" before being satisfied.

I am not sure what the complete solution is here. Just saying to "focus on fewer things" is nice in theory, but is highly unlikely to happen. Perhaps I will figure it out someday, though I expect I will be spinning plates until I am no longer able to do so. Not doing so would be far more frustrating anyway!


Saturday, November 01, 2008

Instilling a Love of Learning in Others

One of my biggest "failures" with my own children is that none of them seems to have the passion for learning I have. While I can be a big slacker at times, I am constantly trying to learn something new. Right now I am putting a lot of effort into learning topics related to my career in information security, but I am also trying to learn more about project management, low carb and low glycemic cooking, business in the area, etc.

Unfortunately, I only have so many hours in the day. And I am the only one pushing it, so I can't even feed off others in my family. Sure, they think they know it all, but they need to do some research to validate things and complement their existing knowledge.

This is a mixed post and is not coming out as easy as I thought. I wanted to pose the general question of how to motivate others, but I also wanted to share the frustration of wanting to know more than is possible.

We really need a way to hook people like this up. I would have loved to have someone who would have stirred me on when I was a teen myself (at least I think so). While I did some things well (Eagle Scout, etc.), I didn't have anyone pushing me on in academics. I often wonder if I could have excelled more if someone had taken that level of interest.

This makes me wonder if we could hook such people up. Perhaps such a system exists already, but if I never found out about it, how many others are missing it?


Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Have You Improved Yourself Today?

Many people get stuck where they are in life. While this can often be wrapped in terms like "being content", it is often just an excuse to be unmotivated. While you should certainly be content throughout life, you should never grow complacent.

Always ask yourself if you are doing all you can to advance the skills you have. Aim to learn at least one new thing each day. While most of these should be something significant, even small minor steps will ultimately take you to a better place than where you are today. It will also help you be a better steward of the skills and talents you have been given in this life. Note that significant things can often be small!

Avoid the pit that says only large achievements really mean anything. While this sounds great, it will almost certainly result in you not doing anything. Each small step is one step closer to a significantly better place.

You will have to determine what is significant for you. That may take some time, but it is worth figuring out. You also don't have to limit your steps to a single area. Some focus can be helpful to keep on track, but occasionally taking on a different learning goal may ultimately help you reach all your goals quicker. It will provide some needed variety in your life and your success in one area is almost certain to spill over into other areas. Good feelings tend to follow good feelings!

Don't let the size of the goal deter you either. Take a single step toward your goal and you will be one step closer!


Saturday, June 21, 2008

Fitting Desires Into Life

Fitting all my desires into my life has long been one of my strongest challenges. I am interested in so many areas that I often get overwhelmed when I try to focus on just one. I want to know it all, but that is clearly just not possible. Still, I need to keep going. You only get to the end of the journey by taking each individual step. Making sure the steps are all headed the right way can be a big challenge, but what would life be without challenges.

Hopefully I can stir up some interesting thoughts in this blog over the coming months....