I’m kind of erratic. I have been blessed (or cursed) with a mind that does not stop moving. From one train of thought to another I’m constantly over analyzing even the simplest of conversations for a take away or some random business idea that I never get around to working on. Combine this with copious amounts of caffeine and you have yourself a day filled with an abnormal amount of ups and downs. Lately this routine, while always filled with good music, good friends and lots laughter, just isn’t doing it for me.
Being the new year the dreaded conversation of a new years resolution always seems to come up. While I have utter disdain for setting a resolution based on an arbitrary position of the Earth around the Sun, I do see a purpose for setting goals. During two recent conversations I’ve had with two people I respect immensely, the topic of focus has come up. Specifically my focus or lack thereof. Both conversations came to the same conclusion - for 2014 I need to actively try to focus better. But focus on what? With huge number of interactions I have throughout the day, both large and small, how can I possibly weed through the noise and focus on a few select things? Do I focus on coding better? I do love coding but Reddit and Hacker News do distract me at times. Maybe it’s time for that Chrome plugin that blocks these sites during working hours. How about reading? I do want to read more. Maybe I need to schedule a Google Calendar reminder to tell me to read.
No… No that’s not it.
That’s when it hit me. How many times have I said “hey, it would be great to do/build ‘X’” or “wow, this is going to be huge.” These ideas would keep me up at night. Sketching, diagraming and telling people how awesome this new product was going to be. Entire businesses with business plans. Thousands of customers. A team of rock-star developers. It’s going to be great, only when it isn’t. These thoughts fade to the background only to be replaced by new ideas that fail to materialize just as quick. I then had an epiphany. I realized that general focus, while an important asset, wasn’t necessarily what I needed. My problem was that I lacked the direction of that focus - I need to focus on what I want to achieve. If I wanted to be number one in being a decent programming, eating, drinking beer and watching football, I could write my acceptance speech now because there would be no contest. But I don’t. I want to build things. Big things. Things that impact people on a daily basis. I need to focus on these goals and get things done. Commitment is what I need. Commitment is what I will strive for in 2014.
I have to be honest, part of the reason for this post is to be held accountable. I’m hoping in a six months to a year someone can either congratulate me for accomplishing what I set out to do or scold me for being a lazy and wasting another year.
Here’s my first commitment, please hold me accountable. Over the next few weeks I plan on reaching out to friends, family, former classmates, teachers and colleagues to lay the groundwork for the establishment of a Philadelphia suburbs meetup. I want to build a community of like minded individuals that can have both technical discussions as well as enjoy a good beer (or wine if you preferr). This is only the first step of many which will help me build something I can be proud of. I hope through documenting this experience I will be able to, for the first time in a long time, commit, execute and finish what I set out to do.