All posts by brian

My Project Life

How Do I See The World?

Originally written Sep-2011. Shared publicly Dec-2013.

My life is a series of projects. This is the way I see the world. Each project is an opportunity to create something new. Add in love and play – and you have the answer. Love is working on projects with others. Play is doing projects you enjoy, or doing them in a way that you can enjoy them, or finding someone else who does enjoy them.

I am a creator – and each project is a new creation. I need to create projects to feel alive. Projects put things I think/feel into a structure my mind can grasp. They are a completion of who I am.

Life is a series of small projects and big accomplishments. The small decisions you make in every moment lead to the results you get in your life. Every small decision is more important than we will every know – in fact, we have no idea how powerful we are in that moment of a decision on what we focus and act on.


The only thing that separates us are the decisions we make during the journey between cradle & grave.

So you need to examine your decisions very closely. Where do they come from? They come from your beliefs and view of the world. If you are not getting the results you want in life, I suspect there are few reasons:

  1. You don’t have any specific results you are seeking (you haven’t gotten clarity into who you want to be, what you want to have, and where you want to go). You need to ask the right questions.

  2. You don’t possess the beliefs that would cause you to make the minute decisions required to produce the results you seek (a lot of it is self-esteem and deep belief that you can achieve it, deserve it, and are willing to make the necessary sacrifices)

  3. You don’t possess the habits that are constructive when you are on ‘autopilot’ (which is most of the time). Remember this: We make our habits, then our habits make us.

  4. You haven’t given it enough time. We are conditioned to believe results come quick. We desperately seek the effect to the cause and want to see immediate results. The truth is that anything significant doesn’t come without a lot of effort and time. My friend Becky is in better shape that ever. My dad is 70 and about to complete an ironman. Both of these individuals began their tiny habits years ago and today are living happy, healthy lives that many of us admire who haven’t yet gotten the results.

Your moment to moment decisions have more to do with your self-esteem than you realize!

Sacrifices will be made, but the more clear you are on the result. On who you will BEcome – then the less they will feel like sacrifices.

There are certain words you need to reframe in your mind:

  • Sacrifices
  • Failure
  • Rejection
  • Can’t
  • No

Many of us have been taught to be people pleasers from an early age. In order to please the most people, you will occasionally need to unplease others. Often the closest to you and this can be painful… but if you are clear in you communications, clear on who you are and where you are heading – this won’t be so difficult.

A dissection of the most successful projects in my life (also peak experiences):

  • Getting hired at IBM
  • Marrying the woman I love
  • Graduating college
  • Completing an Ironman
  • Publishing my first book
  • Ragbrai (twice)
  • Completing Ride the Rockies (even with minimal training)
  • Building a successful business and being self-employed
  • Moving back to the central coast

What I find for myself – is that I learn by doing – and I don’t often know how I will get there (to the completion of a project) when I start – I figure it out along the way. In order for others to emulate what you are doing, track the actions from start to finish (you can use a tool like AuthorDock). Durations are helpful to help you set realistic expectations when you ask others to do for you!


What tools do I use to write and publish?

I sometimes use the Mytory Markdown wordpress plugin to write locally in markdown. It allows me to save to a dropbox and have my posts automatically backed up on dropbox and published to this site at the same time.

I prefer to write using Markdown syntax. It is a much more reliable way to format your work, and the tools available to create in Markdown are endless.

I also use the ShortURLplugin to redirect some of my posts to other authoring tools and source content.

For years, I was experimenting with tools like Typerighter, and Simplenote.

My primary goal was to find a system that allows me to write locally (not requiring an internet connection), keep my material private until such time I’m ready to publish.

My exploration led me to PubWriter. It allows build content offline and sync up when I come back online (via dropbox). It also allows me to build a page on my own domain.

What I’ve learned is that you have to pick a system and be disciplined to stick with it. To be effective with the technology, you have to adapt your way of working to reflect how the tool works best.

Too many tools can stifle creation. The more you work with one particular tool, the less you have to think about the mechanics of how to use it. And it’s when you get to the point that the tools because as mindless as driving a car or riding a bike that you really benefit from the tool.

The other insight I’ve had is to segment information (my posts) into small chunks – with each addressing a specific question. The question this post answers is: What tools do I use to create this site? Once you’ve answer the question, it’s time to move on to another post. But I will come back to this post when I have some more clarity (which comes over time – never all at once).

I’ve learned that questions are the most powerful way to get clarity and purpose in everything you do. Often, the answer is a matter of finding the right question – and then letting our brains answer that question.