A good friend once told me: “The person that you will be in ten years is a mixture of the books that you read and the people that you spend time with.”
He is so right. I am not sure what else comes into the mix but I can state that my experience says that he is correct.
I have a deal with my kids that if they read the following books (and write a one page ‘highlights’ paper on each) then I will buy them their first car. I intend to give to each of my children at the age of 14. I was a little late to the game with my first son and he got it when he turned 15.
This list will probably change as I learn and grow. This list is my attempt at preparing my kids to learn and grow.
Hard things help you grow. That is why we lift weights to grow muscle. We require pressure to develop. It is a simple fact of how we were created. Oak trees must burst forth from an acorn. Birds must bust through their shells. We all must push beyond our comfort-zone to gain things that are worthwhile. It is those who never learn to love that (good) stress and pressure that end up never developing themselves into mature adults.
Don’t wait for the perfect thing before you start trying. Just do something. I find that I want to get the perfect idea before pouring resources into it. Perfect isn’t how things start; it is how they end.
I am not recommending that you waste time rather look for your best option at doing something beyond your current ability. Just try. If you grow just a bit then you are better off than you were when you started.
Few things will be a greater waste of time than watching TV or fooling around on the Internet.
- Write a book (or a blog) — increase your written communication skills
- Learn a foreign language — increase your world
- Learn Linux — increase your business opportunities
- Reconnect with old friends (or intentionally connect with new ones) — increase your connection with your world
- Drink some tea with your spouse — increase your connection to your special someone
It is just too easy to do the same thing over and over. Ruts are comfortable. They have been smoothed down by countless hours of repetition.
It took a bit of learning and growing to get to this first post:
- Bought this domain
- Dug out an old Foxconn NT-525 Nettop Atom mini-computer
- Installed Linux (Ubuntu 14.04 LTS)
- Installed WordPress
- Figured out how to forward TCP 80 and 443 packets to that old Foxconn
It would be far easier for me to watch some Walking Dead but I am writing this instead. Maybe it kicks someone else in the butt. Maybe it just grows me. I am OK with it just growing me.
Failure only matters when it costs you more than you gain.
CITIZENSHIP IN A REPUBLIC
Speech delivered at the Sorbonne
April 23, 1910
The Famous Quote (“The Man In The Arena”):
It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.