September 27, 2011

Never fit the Mould


I do not fit the mould. I get that. Most likely, if you read this blog, you will find that you also don’t fit the mould.

You want more, right? You strive for better, you push what’s possible and you want to know that impossible just requires more effort to become the “been that, got that t-shirt” in your past.
I have been reading The Pirates Dilemma. Loving it. Here is a quick overview:

It has me thinking about the way we limit where we spend our energy. I am not saying you need to spend your days starting new, below the radar, semi-legal ventures. I am talking about doing what we do more efficiently, using the open-source environment to improve the way we do things. In our office, we have various ways to, essentially, create more time. We have a daily “stand up” meeting where we all compare tasks and can ask for help with current issues. We use Support Software to track queries, questions, tasks and problems quickly and efficiently. We are moving to doing training on our products via teleconference, rather than flying around the country.

The smartest minds are sharing tools and tips and tricks that used to be reserved for the inner circle. Now, even at a small cost, you can benefit from thousands of hours of work instantly. It’s an exciting time to be around.

Essentially this creates time to do real work. Work that matters and improves your life. Work that brings you promotion or brings your company success.

When it comes to sport, it’s the same. The libraries and forums out there have all the information you will ever need to be faster. The IP of the smartest minds in the world is out there, for you. If you are willing to trawl, apply, review and reapply, then you`ll be on your way to success.

Alternatively, spend a couple hundred rand a month and buy that knowledge and save yourself the time.

Just never trust it as The Law. You should always be learning from things. Nobody has the perfect answer for you and you`ll only learn to apply things perfectly by doing them wrong a few times and doing them semi-right a few times.

I find that it’s only when I start doing things incorrectly that I know I am around the limits. With work, if I am getting a twitchy eye and I am having sleep problems it’s time to manage expectations but until those things are happening, surely I am not near my work potential?

With my training, it’s the same – unless I am exhausted to the point of breakdown and where I am hating the shortest of sessions, there is more to give. I am not saying go run 3 hours a day until the body gives in.

Instead, I am saying build into building up mileage and hours (work and training) to the point where breakdown starts occurring. Anyone can really **** themselves up by putting in silly hours every day.

That’s easy.

What’s tough is building up over time to the point where breakdown is merely a part of what is going on. Where it’s subtle, not “having Redbull for breakfast” obvious.

Choose where you push the limits wisely. Make sure your back-up systems are there and that those around you understand what you are doing. Be prepared to step out for 36 hours or so to disappear from the world, sleep for most of those 36 hours and eat for the rest when it all comes apart.

Once you have gotten there, re-assess your moments, along the way and how to recognise them in future.

Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results, well, we all know what that is otherwise referred to as…

But, be the pirate along the way. Questions the methods, scream at conforming to what others are sheepishly following and ask as many questions as possible. Measure the progress. I recently discovered the Quantified Self arena as something I have unknowingly been prescribing to for years.

Learn how your body works, feels…

Reassess regularly.

Copy the greats and learn from their lessons and apply your own on top.

You don’t fit their mould, or mine, or anyone’s. You are purely yourself and will never behave 100% like anyone else. You will have inconsistencies and moments of total suck in the middle of the awesome vibes, but you will learn and adapt faster if you apply these simple rules.

I am not The Law on this, no. I am a work in progress, an eternal one at that, in this arena. Always searching, always wanting more, always wanting better. I have regrets, remorse and memories of absolutely incredible things.

These things make me just like you, but completely unique.

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