Don’t give what you “need”. Give what’s needed.

Hello, new-ish/old-ish medium look

Would you look at that. Medium has rolled out it’s new-ish/old-ish layout. Very reminiscent of classic blog layout. Perfect for the simple, the irreverent, and the unimportant posts like this one.

But sometimes that’s exactly what’s needed. Perhaps we didn’t “need” more. We didn’t “need” fancier. We didn’t “need” crazy layouts. Just scroll and read.

Consider that when thinking about what you want to say. There’s what you think you “need” to say. What people think they “need” to read. And somewhere in the middle, is the magical, what’s needed.


A blind spot in discovering your mission.

Careers are funny things. Every child is asked “what do you want to be when you grow up.” And by now, I think it’s safe to say that we know this isn’t a stationary target anymore. It’s a long winding road.

Working in IT one moment and a baker the next. Sometimes both, baker by day and on-call server administrator at night.

I have struggled with this my entire life.

But, this isn’t new.

Day job, transferable skills, umbrellas — these aren’t new terms.

Wether you’re making career decisions driven by an industry, a philosophy, or survival, there’s still that nugget of choice. The questions you ask yourself around what to do next. Should I refuse to choose? Am I a renaissance soul? Is there a larger picture to find my genius?

Read. Fill out surveys and questionnaires. Fill binders and boxes. Scatter and search.

These are all good ways to uncover, but while you do, keep this in mind:


[met-uh]: pertaining to or noting an abstract, high-level analysis or commentary, especially one that consciously references something of its own type.

With our innate educational training to focus in, a meta-career may go un-noticed, misinterpreted, or un-recognized. I think it’s because these meta-careers are more like fundamental pillars. We know we need them, every career uses them, but in the end we put as much effort and thought into them as we do blinking, or breathing.

Look over these possibilities that could be considered Meta.

Structures of Structures: Perhaps this was Leonardo da Vinci’s Meta. His meticulous notes and details not caring about “what” a structure ended up being, animate or inanimate, only there was structure within the structure, i.e. the ratio of a face or the rule of 3rds.

Research on Researching: I met a Management Consultant that has worked for a number of fields which at first seem disconnected. What does the migration patterns of birds have to do with cereal? How does it all have to do with a theoretical physics background? He loves research. So much so, that he is called in to help companies & organizations figure out how to research. His job is researching research techniques to allow folks to improve their methods and in turn make better decisions.

Communicating about Communication: I’m trying this skin on for a moment. What are the things that impede you from communicating. How do you decide what to communicate. How does one refine and tweak. What is the real root of your thought. How does that root become a single blog post, or even bigger, a strategy. Is it even worth talking about?

Look up, out, upside down and inside out

Classically, when searching we look in, we hone, we focus — for some that’s perfect. It may be for you.

If you’re constantly, like me, feeling like it’s close but not close enough — try looking outward and include the Meta.

A case of the Fuck Off’s

I’ve got a case of the fuck off’s – and there’s nothing wrong with that.

What’s probably not ideal is how I manage the people around me when I get them. My technique, as it stands right now, is do nothing. Don’t manage at all, don’t communicate; don’t acknowledge; don’t do. Everything around me goes into a shit storm and then I’m left with shattered relationships to clean up afterwards.

I need a polite and mass way to tell people.

What about the ambivert?

Yay! Even more talk about the introverts. Amazeballs! It’s needed in todays world, to talk about people that are thought to be 1/3 the population.

But what about this… Ambivert??

See that? Right in the middle?

No set of rules

There are no full set of rules, regardless of what articles say. But, if these are really the menus…

Then an ambivert could be Introvert 1,3,4 & 6, with Extrovert 2,7,8 & 10.
[ I think that’s more like me. FYI. In case you want to care. Thank you. ]

I Think I Can. I Think I Can.

Who knew the stories we read as kids, might actually be true? Whaa!?

It’s now a scientific fact that if you think you can do it, you’re more likely to be able to do it.

“Psychologists Ulrich Weger and Stephen Loughnan recently asked two groups of people to answer questions. People in one group were told that before each question, the answer would be briefly flashed on their screens — too quickly to consciously perceive, but slow enough for their unconscious to take it in. The other group was told that the flashes simply signaled the next question. In fact, for both groups, a random string of letters, not the answers, was flashed. But, remarkably, the people who thought the answers were flashed did better on the test. Expecting to know the answers made people more likely to get the answers right.”

Unconscious Censorship

Creative commons image courtesy of Isaac Mao

I don’t get tongue tied. I get tongue tired. A case of the Silence. Today is one of those “nothing to say” days. Sometimes they are great for reflection, or great just to take a break. But sometimes it’s more unconscious censorship. This way, me and myself don’t have to fight over why I’m being quiet. Considering this project is supposed to help me uncover, rather than shutting up – I’m gonna take some time and power through. Come up with something – and chances are, it will be pretty close to the mark.

Here are just a few reasons I think I might sensor myself and not know why:


I get these bouts. And saying them out loud is helpful – I’ve heard. Although I still have a lot of trouble with the concept. Who wants to hear about sadness online? It’s like this social media leprosy. So when sad, my writing goes personal – offline; hidden.

Possible solution: Focus on why. Perhaps there’s a topic I can talk about? i.e. “Yesterday I read an article about the 4 things that keep employees loyal, and I have none of them. That fucking sucks”


Anger has always been a challenge of mine. You see, I have a conflict aversion. To get up in anyones grill and call them a fucking ass, either directly to their faces, or indirectly, where they could tie the words “fucking” and “ass” back to me, scares the crap out of me.

Possible solution: Find someone else who has the guts. Google is a great tool, for example, you could search for “The common courtesy of saying hello and goodbye in a video conference” and see what articles come up. Here’s another search, “what do I do if I hate my boss’s decision?”. ( hmmm – perhaps another is clouding it with backhanded sarcasm like I just did. The classic “Is you mother a whore?” )


What if what I say goes against the grain: The grain of my day job. The grain of my relationship, the gain of smarter people, the grain of life in general? Saying things in a room with some friends is one thing, saying them out loud in public could be a cause for a shit storm either professionally or personally.

Possible solutions: Baby steps. This, right here, what I’ve written is a baby step. Attaching my face, my voice is another. Little by little.


Photo Of The Day project

What do you do everyday?

I came across this Photo Of The Day project, via fstoppers, which spanned 18 years of one mans life. I was moved by the story, amazed that one photo showed the dynamic range of life, and ultimately saddened from the last photo’s documenting his death.

I struggle with repetition and patterns. Always have.

I’m sure there’s some sort of child-like fight internally happening. Probably a neurological neighbour that still makes my face cringe as an adult while trying to eat my veggies.

I’ve tried various things to create routine. I see the importance and the power of it. And yet when I try, it slips through my fingers ( And, no. 20 days does not make a habit. I’ve had things I’ve done longer vanish ). It’s like this unconscious struggle telling me “No, no. You did that yesterday, so how’s about you don’t do that today.”

No solutions here

I have no solutions today. Just a comment and a question. How do you get yourself to do something every day?

Change your perspective

Part of Art is Trash, from Francisco de Pájaro

It takes work but you can take a pile of shit and turn it into anything else. It’s a matter of perspective. I think there are a few key ways of looking at it to change your outlook.

The arrow of time.

Past: I can’t believe this shit happened to me
Future: Shit Happens. Wipe it off.

Looking ahead. I’ve always thought it’s not about the mess, the trouble or the mistake. It’s how you get out of it.

The arrow of centricity

Inward: Ahhhhh, Fuck me!
Outward: You can go fuck yourself!

Probably not the best example, but the concept being “the world is happening to me” vs. “I’m making my world.”

The arrow of size

Smaller: All I found was a dollar
Bigger: Think of all the penny candies I can buy with this dollar!

Size is what you make of it. This can be done with time, or money, or anything. When it’s important, you make it bigger. [ yes, there’s a sex joke in there, but I’ll let you say the words ]

The arrow of open..ness..ness??

Closed: Can I have a car?
Open: What kind of car can I have?

Ok… the metaphor might be stretching a bit thin, but I think I’m making my point. It’s all in the words we choose. Take a look at your tweets and facebook posts. Take a read though the posts of people you intently read and through the ones you actively avoid.

Pay attention to these arrows.

Perhaps it might change your perspective.