Category Archives: trying

Phase 1: trying

“Sometimes you just gotta roll the dice.” – Paul (the alien), Paul (the movie)

Things have going smoothly for the last week or so; I’ve made a couple of blog posts and a couple of awesome people have commented. Good times.

I thought it was about time for me to ‘fess up. I don’t know what I’m doing. Most bloggers I’ve come across seem to know what they are doing. I don’t. I didn’t want to wait until I was good – it could have been a damn long wait – so I’ve started now.

I’m in phase 1 right now, and that means trying. In this case I’m trying to do four things:

Write. A bit obvious this one. I like to write. Now I’m writing. Go me! 

Work towards my top-level goals. More on what they might be another time.

Tease out a process. I’m gathering some thoughts around a process I’ve had rattling away in the back of my head for some time. It’s part-Agile, part-Lean, and part wisdom accumulated from a decade or so working as a project manager. I’m not sure what the process is yet but I know it starts with trying and has the aim of small, repeated steps of improvement, moving gently up and to the right.

Finally, and this is the one that surprised me: 

Make the world more awesome

I realised something recently. Naive and simple I might be, but I want the world to be awesome. Not just good, but awesome. Not just for some people but for everybody.

I don’t see myself as being revolutionary material but that’s kind of the point. We could rely on the actions of the powerful few to make the world a better place or we mere peons could band together and do it. The technology exists now to make a motivated few a force to be reckoned with. Get enough people working together, taking baby steps in the right direction, and the cumulative effect could be surprising.

I don’t think I’m going to get very far. I’m unlikely to change anything. But the thing I’ve realised is that there is precisely no reason not to try.

Why Yoda needs a slap

“Do or do not. There is no try.” – Yoda, The Empire Strikes Back

In case you haven’t heard this oft-repeated phrase, or you just want to see it again:

I love Yoda. He’s a cute ball of Jedi-awesome. But this phrase really gets my dander up.

There is no try. Translation: if you know you can succeed, great. If you’re unsure, better go home buddy, coz failure ain’t holding no truck here.

How do we stretch, how do we learn, grow or develop when we don’t dare to do anything we’re not certain we’ll succeed at? Was Picasso perfect with his first brush strokes? Did Einstein produce the Theory of Relativity without so much as a typo? Did Cruise flash a flawless smile for his first photo-op? Okay, probably he did.

Failure isn’t just an option. It’s a privilege.

What do you think? Am I being too hard on the little emerald imp? Or should someone deliver a very respectful slap to his wrinkled green face?

Or try anyway.