I've been busy since I was last active on my blog. There's a saying that is apt:
"The cobblers children have no shoes."
I spent a lot of time scheming my exit when I was still working as a mechanical engineer and this used to be the venue for me to think out loud. I pondered grad school & ultimately went on to finish a MBA. I started consulting (while still in grad school) and my life became a bit of a wreck. I finished school just as things were starting to slow down in the consulting world, at least for me, so I reached out to an old classmate for an informational interview.
That led to my next gig, and where I continue to work today.
It's been an amazing experience so far, but also very demanding. It's completely consuming of all of my best cognitive ability. I will most likely expand on this more in the future, but today is about refocusing on getting some content posted.
My goal is to wrestle back some of that cognition and start making a stronger effort to write. To share some of my experiences and some of the lesons learned in the trenches of the digital battle field.
I want to update the content as much as the focus and the visual design. So, in the coming weeks, I'll be do some rearranging or even self hosting. I haven't decided yet.
I also want to try posting shorter entries so that this can be easier to keep up with.
My brother, miltownkid, is infamously known from a video he posted to youtube of his xbox dying back when he still lived in Taiwan. It has since blown up (+2 million views!) and has become a pivotal point in his life even. He went from being a general jokester, to uploading one video, to becoming a mini-youtube celebrity seemingly overnight (even though its actually been a multi-year process, more on that later). It's been a blessing and a curse because, although gaming is big on his list of things to do, my brother is much more multifaceted than a one-line descriptor of gamer.
Casey, my brother, originally moved to Taiwan to master Mandarin and Taichi as well as general wisdom and sagedom (not a word, I know). However, ever since kind of blowing up on youtube he has had to adopt the title of gamer as an evermore sentient part of his identity. These "clashing" identity attributes have culminated into a new project, pwninglife.com, a personal development blog/vlog for the gamer generation.
Pwning Life is “personal development for the gamer generation.” A skill we gamers learn at a very young age is how to put forth enough effort in a video game to get better at it. Put in enough effort and we eventually PWN. This exact same formula is as true in life as it is in video games. Put forth enough effort and you will PWN any aspect of life (health, finances, spirituality, relationships or work/career).
The only problem is making the leap from using this skill in video games to using it in life. In video games the objectives are clear (save the princess) and the methods are well documented (don’t get hit by the fireballs). Objectives in life are not so clear and the methods are often times overly complex, vague or confusing. This website will help bridge that gap by both documenting my objectives and sharing my methods, sharing methods which have been successful to others and helping YOU do the same with yours.
Start Pwning Life Today
One of the first steps miltownkid suggests is to come up with your vision by using a number of thought exercises:
- You Just Won The Lottery
- Your Perfect Day
- A Conversation With God
- Make An “I Want” List
I think the method that works best for me is the "Your Perfect Day" exercise. I actually have a blog post saved in the que on the topic of process vs. outcome. I'll get into more detail about that once I post on that topic, but the synapsis is that I'm currently waging an internal philosophical battle with myself about whether the process you take is more important than the end result you're looking for. I don't have this figured out yet (which is why I haven't posted it yet), but my intuition tells me the process is much more important; maybe the outcome is a good tool to focus the direction of your process?
What's my perfect day?
If you haven't already guessed it, this is a really difficult exercise. I'll just start listing some things and I guess I'll just have to circle back and update as I get a better understanding.
A perfect day involves:
- This first one is easy as it's been something I've been saying since I was a kid: a perfect day starts by waking up without an alarm; whether it's due to having a flexible work life or my circadian rhythm in check
- Some form of physical activity, preferably play but I'll take a nice long walk as well
- Eat really good, high quality food
- At least one form of creative expression
- Experience a genuine loving connection
- At least one challenging problem that needs to be solved and a resulting solution (see creative expression above)
- Have at least one experience a day that elicits a novelty response
- Have scheduled time to read
That's all I can think of right now. I know they're really general and I'm sure it would be helpful, if not more beneficial, to detail more specifics, but I'll take a general list that's published over a specific list that sits in the purgatory of the blog que right now.
It's been a long road, but I've finally made it!
I go to a graduate dinner on Saturday & I walk on Monday. I've read a lot of choice words about what different peoples' take on the MBA is over the three and a half years it took me to finish and I have to say, I have no regrets. I've met really great classmates, landed a job that I love, and learned some profound things that have given me new perspectives on life.
Now that I'm finished, I hope to contribute a little more to this website and maybe even do a redesign. For now, I'm just going to enjoy my newfound free time and play with this lovely iPad I'm typing this post on.
Posting this from tweetie 2.1 on my iPhone - as always, remember to experiment for yourself
What if you were just plain not good at some passion or hobby that you love?
It's a question that came to mind recently. Especially with my last blog post. My intention with that last post was to build momentum behind some ideas I (and some friends of mine) had; a sort of rally cry.
But here I am months later, school semester fully underway, and work rapidly picking up steam. I can't help but to look back at that and ask myself, am I too ambitious? Or is the reality that I just lack good ideas worth executing?
I feel like pursuing entrepreneurship would be tantamount to "finding my calling."
But what if I'm no good at it? What if I can't think of any good ideas?
Given the knowledge that you're a "sucky entrepreneur," do you push on anyway?
If it brings fulfillment, maybe you should...
This thought is a bit of a follow up from the previous post.
I'm a not a very traditional engineer in a lot of ways. I suck at simple arithmetic, I'm very extroverted, I get bored by tedious & repetitive tasks, and I'm very into artistic expression. But one trait that fits the bill is that I'm a very analytical person. I follow a very stoic and logical philosophy when it comes to my approach to life. But I'm also a hypocrite in that I'm a very emotional being... more on that later.
I've been spending a lot of mental capital on figuring out what my next step should be and a lot of that debate is centered around the contrast between instinct & advice or common wisdom. I have a strong interest in starting a venture; of course, the right way to go about doing this is to study up on how business are funded, how venture capital works, get an MBA, analyze the prevailing market trends and, of course, drink from the firehouse of information that's out there about current or formerly successful entrepreneurs. Like I said, I'm going to do this thing right if I'm going to do it.
But here goes the problem, there is no "right." There's only did, or didn't. Logic follows that startups fail more than they succeed and any analysis of the situation will always bring you to the same logical conclusion. Don't.
So I return where I left off at the part about being a creature of emotion. I love my job right now. In fact, it's my dream job. It's very challenging, very dynamic, offers endless learning opportunities, and I'm highly respected by my colleagues. As I write this, I'm 27 years old and am blessed with such an amazing life; but, if I just work for the rest of my life, I've basically reached my peak. Sure, I'll finish grad school and make more money and gain more responsibility, but I've cleared a lot of the greatest hurtles to success. I have to stop thinking through this so much and I have start getting emotional!
I recently watched this video from my youth again and realized that success isn't enough, I have to do great things. I had suppressed my memories from my childhood so much that I forgot how much of a fighter and survivor I was and had to be to make it through that crap. I can't waste all that effort on complacency & a BMW M3, I have to act! I need to be young, stupid, bold and naive. I need to try to reinvent the world and be so ignorant that I think I can!