Dec 31, 2009

2010 - A Year of Living...

Intensely... Intently... Intentionally?

The confluence of 4 things brings me to this post, and my plan for 2010.

1) A while back I read Bill McKibben's book: Long Distance. In it, McKibben documents how he spent a year of his life dedicated to a training regimen similar to that of a world-class competitive cross country skier. It gave me insight into the general differences between amateurs and professionals in sports.

2) Later, I read: Angry White Pyjamas by Robert Twigger. The author was working in Tokyo when he decided to enroll in a "special" martial arts class. I say "special" with tongue in cheek since what this class amounted to was a year of more than full time training in Aikido. I'm talking about all-day Monday through Friday and a half day on Saturday. That is more training than some regular person taking two typical one-hour classes per week for 10 years! This was a fascinating read on many levels.

3) More recently, I read what I thought was just a book about competitive scrabble playing. I read it mainly for the amusement value since I have only ever played scrabble as a way to pass time and I have never cared about winning. The book is Word Freak by Stefan Fatsis and, as it turns out, the author took a leave of absence from work to not only write about this world I knew nothing about, but also had a goal of raising his own skill level enough to compete in the "Expert" division of tournament play. At first I thought this would be a hard book to finish but I found that it was actually hard to put down.

4) About a week later, we happened to see the movie Julie and Julia. I had an idea about the movie beforehand but I didn't know that an underlying facet was that a person, Julie Powell, decided to cook every recipe in Julie Child's first book (all 524 of them) in one year. For some perspective, it took Julie and two other authors 7 years to write the book which is somewhat of an encyclopedia of French cooking.

This brings me to myself and 2010. I have decided to live the year dedicated to something. What exactly I will be dedicated to I don't really know. What I do know is that I have more than 52 ideas for projects related to software development. I certainly have more than 52 books on my "must read" list. I have been talking about getting in the best shape of my life -- for most of my life. And so on with many other possible endeavors.

But it in the end it has boiled down to this. I will create a DEEP queue of tasks/activities in each category of my life where I have goals and work on those more intently, intentionally and intensely than I have in the past. That's it. If I start out doing this I could, at any time, change my mind and work on any one category or any one project. But the goal is the same, to be more intent, intentional and intense than ever before. Don't look for the book or movie though -- I can't imagine anything more boring to anyone else. What I will do is write about the results of some of the projects and the process.

Whether I post any of it here is a different story.

Dec 3, 2009

Interesting Quote

I just saw this in a book review on Amazon:

"It's a sign of maturity when you begin to fall out of love with your own drama."