Run it back

Run it back

This phrase is typically used to say you want a rematch with the same team. Recently I’ve been hearing athletes use this phrase while practicing. There was an Instagram post of Tom Brady using this exact phrase as the caption of a picture of him working out with his receivers.

It got me thinking about using this type of mentality in other aspects of your life. We should be running it back when we’re working on our next speech, leading our team, or developing a new business or product. It’s time to break the stereotype that everything needs to be perfect the first time. Athletes know this to be true. Tom Brady and Lebron James weren’t great at their first practice. We shouldn’t be expect to be great for the first attempt at a speech or writing. It’s not about the first attempt. It’s about improving.

That’s the goal of this blog. It’s not about perfection. It’s about improving every day.

Getting back at it

I’ve been gone for a while. The last post on this blog was December 18th, 2018. 2018 was a slow year. I don’t know if I published ten posts that year. It’s hard to believe it wasn’t that long ago, maybe two years, when I published almost every day.

It’s not that I haven’t been writing. I’ve been writing almost every day but it’s been in a notebook with the goal of completing three pages a day. I didn’t always succeed in writing three pages a day but I usually accomplished something most days. Recently, I’ve felt like I needed to get back to writing on this blog with a focus on completing work that will help me achieve my personal and career goals. It’s time to move forward and continue to ship my work.

I’m still thinking about what direction I want to go with this blog. In the past, I did daily posts with the goal of following Seth Godin’s style of being short and to the point. Though I don’t think I ever really accomplished that goal. I also enjoy the habit-forming effect that occurs when you’re trying to publish something every day. The other direction I’ve debated going is the one long post on a weekly time frame that I’ve seen a number of people use. I like both timelines but I think I’m going to try treating this habit like the work week with the goal of publishing Monday through Friday. My hope is this format will allow me to write some longer posts over the weekend that I could publish Monday morning. That’s the goal I’m going to try sticking to for the rest of the summer.

Writing daily posts is one part of the four Mental goals I want to complete each day. Along with writing daily posts, I want to read for an hour a day and atleast one thing I find interesting. The third goal, is my Summer of Data Science (#SoDS2019) goal which is to finally complete Coursera’s Stanford Machine Learning course. I’ve watched almost all of the course videos but now I want to complete all of the projects and post about the experience. Lastly, for the rest of the summer, I want to focus on completing projects. I think my first project will be recreating @friscojosh’s Getting Started with R for NFL Data Analysis tutorial into python. Another project I’m thinking about is converting some of DataCamp’s Quantitative Analyst courses in R to python.

That’s the plan for at least the rest of summer. Then I’ll reevaluate based on the success and the fun I’m having each day. It feels good to be back. I’m looking forward to keeping up with my goals and moving forward.

Reading: Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven

One of the best books I’ve read this year. If I had a lot of disposable income the. This would be the book I give out to people for the holidays. A great book about ten lessons Admiral William H. McRaven learned during his Navy Seal training. It reminded me so much of my late grandfather.

  1. Start off your day by making your bed
  2. Find someone to help you paddle
  3. Measure a person by the size of your heart
  4. Life’s not fair-Drive On!
  5. Failure Can Make You Stronger. Don’t be afraid of the circus
  6. You Must Dare Greatly. If you want to change the world… slide down the obstacle head first
  7. Stand Up To Bullies. Don’t back down from the sharks.
  8. Rise to the Occasion. Be your very best in the darkest moments.
  9. Give People Hope. Start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
  10. Never, Ever Quit! Don’t ever, ever ring the bell.

Reading: Very Good Lives

Last week, I read this great little inspiring book based on J.K. Rowlings’ Harvard commencement speech.

Here are the five things I loved about this book:

  1. Her parents, good parents, wanted her to go to college for something practical. Instead she spent the next four years with classical literature, which ended up being much better decision. I know another girl who studied the classics and it made all the difference.
  2. Be grateful for good friends & family
  3. Take risks
  4. Share your work
  5. Help others

Book: Make Trouble by John Waters

John Waters commencement speech at the Rhode Island School of Design was turned into the book, Making Trouble. One famous graduate of the school was Seth MacFarlene, the creator of Family Guy.

Here are the ten quotes I enjoyed from the book:

  1. He’s been able to do what he loves best for fifty years without ever having to get a real job.
  2. Gets up every day at 6 a.m. Monday to Friday and thinks up insane stuff.
  3. Ask for the world and pay no mind if you are initially turned down.
  4. All you need is one person to say “get in,” and off you go. And the confidence begins.
  5. Play is equally import to your education as work
  6. REMEMBER: You must participate in the creative world you want to become part of.
  7. Read, read, read!
  8. Today may be the end of your juvenile delinquency, but it should also be the first day of you new adult disobedience.
  9. Go out in the world and fuck it up beautifully.
  10. It’s your turn to make trouble.

Thinking in Systems

Thinking in Systems

This book is as boring as it sounds and I’m someone who creates systems for a living. The book is about Systems Thinking with the goal of teaching you to become aware of Systems Thinkers. According to the book, there are two main schools of thought when comes to thinking about complex systems when it comes to thinking about large systems. There is Systems Thinking, which is a holistic approach that analyzes the entire system, and Reductionism, which focuses on breaking a system down for further analysis.

I’m fine

I’m fine

This past weekend, I watched the new documentary on Robin Williams. It was brilliant in portraying the Robin Williams we knew and loved. It also showed many of the issues that eventually lead him to take his life.

I’m always surprised when people like Robin take their lives. People who I feel have everything in life. Their doing something they love, they seem to have people who love them, their wealthy, and seem to have every opportunity to do what ever they want.

It’s not just Robin Williams. It’s really celebrity that takes their own life. It’s incredible sad to see someone take their own life when many people would view themselves as ultimate successes if they would have achieved this kind of accomplishments.

I think many of these issues seem to strike men the hardest. It seems to happen due to our, “I’m fine,” mentality. That’s the response most men respond when ever someone asks them how their feeling. It’s how many responded to my inquires about his heart issues. He was gone a few weeks later.

It makes me rethink my attitude towards mental and physical health. There is a terrible stigmatism about mental health. It’s considered a weakness. Really, most men view any kind of sickness as a weakness.

What if we quit saying, “I’m fine?” What if we started recognizing our issues or concerns?

We might face some temporary embarrassment but it least they’d be with us.

Photo: Pellinni