Quotes

“Make glorious, amazing mistakes.”

Neil Gaiman, being a great writer, says a lot in just four words.

Make glorious, amazing mistakes.

Neil Gaiman

Note that he’s not saying to make dumb, easy, obvious mistakes. 🙃

If that’s enough to get you interested, he has more to say.

Because if you are making mistakes, then you are making new things, trying new things, learning, living, pushing yourself, changing yourself, changing your world.

It reminds me of Steve Jobs.

You

Stay calm 🙏 and kick butt ⚔️

Here are a few tips that helped me get through times when I felt lost or hopeless. This is my practical, step-by-step guide, hard-earned and tested in real life.

Setting goals

Decide what you want. Pick a small goal for now — anything useful. Take the pressure off. Just pick something to work on that you can do.

Think short-term and what’s in your control. What can do you today, tomorrow, this week, this month? You can act most effectively in this timeframe.

Narrow your focus: Do one (main) thing at a time. You can’t do everything all at once. Once you finish a major goal, you can move on to the next with even more focus, having the first thing done.

Working towards goals

👉 It takes practice.

Visualize the outcome you want. Close your eyes, breath, and picture in vivid detail what you want to happen. This may sound silly, but it can help motivate you and sharpen your focus.

Work towards the outcome you want in small steps every day. Keep your current daily goals modest; keeping a backlog of stuff to do later is helpful.

👉 Doing Great Things is Boring 🤷🏻‍♂️.

Place your happiness in the progress towards the results, not in the result itself. Steady work in itself will make you feel better.

👉 “The foolish man seeks happiness in the distance; the wise grows it under his feet.”

Yes, work towards an outcome, but don’t get attached to it; you can’t control everything. Focus on what you can do right now and take pride in your effort, however it may turn out.

Keep your ego in check. Do things because they go with your values and goals and not to look good or to avoid judgement.

Your happiness depends only on you, not on external people, places, or things.

👉 The Secrets to Happiness (Distilled)

Taking care of yourself

Enjoy nourishing foods any time you want: water, tea, bone broth, fruit, avocado, nuts, yogurt…

Try some calming sounds. Listen to some ambient music, nature sounds, movie soundtracks, whatever works. You can find these in your music app or even YouTube.

👉 The Best Music for Working

Freshen up your environment. Get outside for some sunlight and fresh air. Open a window. Light a scented candle or incense. Clean and tidy your home.

Move. Walk, stretch, exercise every day. Find an exercise (or two) that works for you. 🧘🏻

Taming your mind

It takes practice.☝️

👉 Super Summary: Think Like a Monk

Ask yourself – is this useful? If you find yourself having unhelpful, repetitive thoughts, then nip them in the bud. These are usually about a past or future that you can’t control and can’t solve by thinking.

Take a few deep breaths, then work on calming yourself.

Focus your mind on a gameWordle, a crossword puzzle, or a chill app like isowords, Townscaper, paper.io, or MiniMetro.

Work through your thoughts and feelings with journaling. Don’t hold back. Get it all out – the good, the bad, and the ugly. Or just write a haiku about your day to make it more fun. 🤷🏻‍♂️

Meditate: Clear and observe your mind non-judgmentally. Scan your body, focus on breathing, visualize success, give gratitude, find empathy for others.

Feed your heart, not your fears

Fear makes you do stupid things and must be conquered.

👉 “Fear is the mind-killer.”“Move, but don’t move the way fear makes you move.”.

Above all, keep faith in yourself. ✌️

👉 “May your choices reflect your hopes, not your fears”

Quotes

“All the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love.”

Fear makes people do stupid and crazy things.

Years ago, I vowed not to make any decisions driven by fear.

It’s not easy to do. But I’ve applied that idea most of the time (hey, I’m not perfect 🤷🏻‍♂️). And when I didn’t, I regretted it.

When you do kind and loving things, good things happen — not immediately and not 100% of the time, but overall they send you (and those around you) to good places.

Okay, Eleanor Farjeon said it better. 👇😛

All the ill that is in us comes from fear, and all the good from love.

Eleanor Farjeon

See also: “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

creativity

J.K. Rowling’s storyboard – writing as engineering

Below is a snapshot — literally — of one of J.K. Rowling’s storyboards.

Firs of all, it looks cool!

But more importantly, it illustrates an interesting point. No matter how natural and effortless a Harry Potter book is to read, clearly writing it is a pretty analytical process. Starting with a big vision, drilling down into the details, and finally “shipping” the end result seems similar to making software.

I’m organizing and planning my own book using software engineering tools and processes, all the way down to version control and text formatting. What can I say, as a software engineer, this is my comfort zone. Having a good process gives me the freedom and security to be creative, try ideas without risk, and literally commit when I’m done. 🤷🏻‍♂️

And like a great app, I hope the end result will impact you but appear effortless. Stay tuned to see how that goes. 🤓 #goals

Quotes

“Within me there lay an invincible summer.”

In my experience, this is dead on.

Albert Camus, gagnant de prix Nobel, portrait en buste, posé au bureau, faisant face à gauche, cigarette de tabagisme.jpg
“Al” Camus in 1957, three years before his death

In the depths of Winter, I finally learned that within me there lay an invincible summer.

Albert Camus

If you get through a hard time, and really conquer it, then you are 10x stronger on the other side.

The key is to actually go through your winter (not around it), own it, and then flip it.

This Al Camus guy seems interesting. Apparently he was a philosopher, author, and journalist (yes!) from French Algeria.

I should probably read some of his books. 🤔

Quotes

“Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.”

You gotta love this guy. He’s a real Einstein.

Logic will get you from A to B. Imagination will take you everywhere.

Albert Einstein

All the greatest scientists had wild imaginations. Otherwise you’re just a nerd in a lab coat.

Interesting things like time travel, black holes, and atomic energy can’t be solved by simply using what we know. You have to expand your mind.

And if you want to be extra smart about it, develop some theories and test them against reality (aka science). That’s such a powerful combination. 🤩

Quotes · You

“What a man can be, he must be.”

Good ol’ Abraham Maslow, the American psychologist who gave us a pyramid and a hammer, is at it again with some pretty sensible insights.

This time he’s riffing on Aristotle’s function argument about what the heck we’re even doing here. Basically, we’re here to be useful.

A musician must make music, an artist must paint, a poet must write, if he is to be ultimately at peace with himself. What a man can be, he must be. This need we may call self-actualization.

(Apparently he was an old-school fan of the “he/him/man” pronoun. 🤷🏻‍♂️)

It’s one thing to find your purpose — and those who do so should consider themselves fortunate. But the real trick is to actually do something about it.

It refers to man’s desire for self-fulfillment, namely, to the tendency for him to become actually in what he is potentially: to become everything that one is capable of becoming.

Thank you for the reminder, Mazzy. Can I call you that? Because here’s another Mazzy who found her purpose.

Software Dev

“Perhaps you could tell us what you personally have been doing for the last seven years.”

As MacBreak Weekly celebrated the 14th anniversary of the iPhone’s launch, I was reminded of Steve Jobs’ “redemptive arc.”

Here is Jobs addressing a somewhat hostile question at the 1997 WWDC. At the time, Apple was nearly out of money, and Jobs had just returned after previously being kicked out of the company.

George Bernard Shaw said that “your patience when you have nothing” is one of the two things that define you. It’s interesting to look at Steve Jobs when he is down and see the vision and patience that was brewing at the time.

As we have tried to come up with a strategy and a vision for Apple, it started with what incredible benefits can we give to the customer, where can we take the customer. Not starting with ‘let’s sit down with the engineers and figure out what awesome technology we have and then how are we going to market that’.

And I think that’s the right path to take.

It would be four more years until the iPod launched and ten years until the iPhone launched.

The end of Jobs’ answer also reminded me of Teddy Roosevelt.

Some mistakes will be made a long the way. That’s good, because at least some decisions will be made along the way.

Steve Jobs

Ah yes, patience and decisiveness. Like a good game, they are easy to learn and hard to master.

Me · Music

“I Want It All” 🎶

Here is Japanese Breakfast’s perfect companion to The Walkmen singing “Baby, I want everything”.

I want it all.

Japanese Breakfast – Diving Woman

I’m feeling this vibe. I do want it all.

I don’t want six cars, a mansion, a helicopter, or even a fancy watch. Please, no. Just no.

I do want to travel, but not all the time. I could probably spend 1000 years happily just goofing around Central Texas.

But I do want to write a novel, make some music, raise some amazing kids, have a long and challenging career, learn to tell good stories and jokes, improve the world a bit, take care of myself, and be a good friend.

Am I asking too much? We shall see. 😆

We’re only given this one life, so you might as well at least try to make the most of it.

You’ll have it all
I’ll have it all
We’ll have it all