Change, desire and work aka What Should I Do With My Life? Part 2

After writing the previous entry, I came across this article in the NY Times about “talent” and how it’s pretty much all about practice.

Not only is it about practice, but it also describes some attributes of the people who are likely to practice. Namely that, people doing what they like are more likely to practice. Obvious.

Also obvious then is the corollary which is, you’ll probably only be good at what you do if you like what you’re doing.

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Change, desire and work aka What Should I Do With My Life?

Po Bronson has a brilliant article (and book apparently) that describes “work-life balance”, “job satisfaction”, and a million other descriptors for productive satisfying use of your time.

It’s not about finding the perfect job, or the perfect company. There’s no such thing.

Even if  you could find the perfect job or the perfect company, PSUT (Productive Satisfying Use of your Time)  is not about doing the perfect job every day.

It’s about doing something because the end product is worth it. The thing that you do might be small, or it might be large, it could be totally thrilling or it could be crappy. But you’re doing it because you want that end product, that end goal. And you want it bad.

So, figure what you want your life to be like and do what you need to do to get there.

I’m not convinced that Bronson’s  suggestion that you have to imagine what you want then do the shit work to get somewhere is The Way. He doesn’t say it’s the only way, but it’s a kinda pull-yourself-up-the-bootstrap kind a thing. A small dollop of  libertarian smugness from somewhere who is at a Happy Place.

Bronson has found what he likes doing and this is his way of sharing his recipe with the world.

If you have a similar belief structure to Po, this message and method probably works for you too.

In other words, if you have an education, live in a western democracy and you believe that you’re better than your fellow human in some way, and you can work it to your advantage, then you can get somewhere – if you can figure out where it is.

If you share the same background, but you can’t learn faster (or be better in some way) than the person next to you, hey, I mean, it’s perfectly okay to be middle-of-the-road-normal, then you’re not about to be “transformed” by this method. In fact, you might stay the same ol’ dissatisfied self.

Never mind the 95% of the world that doesn’t fit the mould.

I’m not bitter. I just stand in a different place.

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‘Lifestyle’ diseases saddle poor countries

People aspires to gold paved roads and candy cane. Unfortunately the road is paved with potholes and tooth decay.

The article goes on to describe how in many poor countries, people are starting to suffer and die from diseases traditionally associated with a western lifestyle.

Chronic non-infectious diseases like heart disease, cancer, diabetes are increasing in places like Kenya, Nauru and Uganda.

The aspirational lifestyle is not tempered by health policy or health action. There’s nothing in the widely seen McDonalds view of the world that says you should eat less trans fat.

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How to catch ephemereal thoughts

I get inspired to write in all sorts of places. Generally in places where I’m not able to take notes, but occassionally I will have a notepad with me.

Do I need a netbook to make it easier? Would I carry it everywhere? Would I be able to whip it out and get that thought transcribed before it evaporated?

Facebook – ogre or not?

I’m not sure that this (http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2008/jan/14/facebook) bothers me.

So, facebook has shareholders that I don’t share politics with.

This is an industry writeup of the company and how it’s grown http://www.crunchbase.com/company/facebook

On the left side, you can see where/when/who they have gained their money.

I suspect that if we analyse the ownership/share structure of any significant company we would find things that we don’t agree with. Are you going to stop using your fridge because Westinghouse make nuclear reactors (http://www.westinghousenuclear.com)? Did you know Samsung make self-propelled artillery (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Samsung_Techwin)? I don’t see how the VC’s that fund Facebook are trying to spread their ideology, they’re trying to be purist about advertising, and hey, I think people who live in glass houses shouldn’t throw rocks. He’s living off the Guardian teat just as much as everyone is trying to make a buck.

I may not agree with all the beliefs of all the shareholders, but I believe in the utility of the tool. The guy who writes the article in the Guardian probably doesn’t use a mobile phone either, I mean, why would you call someone on a phone when you could walk/cycle over and visit them?

I am fine with the discussion of the people and the personalities that are part of the venture capital universe. I think the authors real beef is with advertising. He should go and live in a test somewhere where he won’t be assailed by the travesty of nature that is city-living.

Recycling

It’s almost impossible to recycle your used batteries in Australia.

There isn’t an easy home for:

  • Your old AA batteries from your Wii.
  • Your old batteries from your myriad other remote controls.

I’ve only seen one recycle bin that takes all this stuff. Ikea.

They accept batteries, incandescent bulbs, fluorescent bulbs, and probably other stuff (http://www.ikea.com/au/en/store/homebush/services). But the domestic recycling schemes don’t take these.

Maybe it’s  something to do with not having a local industry willing to contribute to their collection.

It seems hard to believe that we don’t use enough to make them worth recycling.