Paying It Forward

I have to admit that the following was not a planned encounter, the intention was not to use or teach the things of this course to anyone initially. Instead I was asked by someone for some advice specifically in regards to organizing one’s thoughts, managing tasks and time management. Without even realizing it I started reflecting on this course and the portion where we learned about Nozbe and keeping task lists and getting organized. My first reaction in the case where someone asked me how to get focused on the task at hand was the exercise we did where we wrote down everything we were thinking about at the time. I can remember getting in front my whiteboard and later a piece of paper and just writing everything I was currently thinking about down. I told them to try this. The result for me was a sense of relief since I no longer had to think about everything and could refer back to the list.

This technique alone is one that I plan to use with many people who constantly ask me how I am able to manage my daily tasks and make time for extra curricular activities. It is very neat trick that really did free my mind to focus on what I needed to. Once written I could review the list, organize the list and even prioritize the list. This made it easy to see what really mattered and what I could put off or what I really didn’t need to worry about.

Given my current position teaching in a bootcamp and the amount of tasks we throw at each apprentice I see this as a great way to pay it forward. I can help those apprentices that ask by sitting through this exercise with them, getting them started down the path and then I plan to follow up with them from time to time to see how things are going. For those that I have already started I plan to look in on them this coming week and see how things are going.

Thanks unstoppable for a great tool in my arsenal…

My Final Set Point

So this weekend marks the end of the Unstoppable Journey for me. I have been working to try and get caught up with a few of the blog posts and what not and really reflect on what this journey has meant. In this post I am going to rehash some of the previous points and see how things have changed over just these 12 weeks or so.

My Stand
My stand is really about being a positive force in this world. I want to avoid the unnecessary drama that surrounds matters, focus on what does matter and try and help those struggling overcome challenges and obstacles. I want to provide the advice and experience I can to those willing to listen and help shape the world for the next generation.

My Passion
My passion is really about programming, sports and mentoring. I love exercising my mind with learning more and more about the craft I have chosen for my life. I love picking up new programming languages, frameworks and bring ideas to reality through code. I also still love my baseball and being able to play each year. I look forward to taking that mound every opportunity I get. In both of these I love sharing my experiences and helping others learn what it is that I love so much. It brings me great joy to share this.

My Purpose
Change the world one line of code at a time sharing my journey and experiences along the way.

My Values

  • Continue to learn with each day
  • Always will myself to succeed
  • Mentor and be Mentored at every opportunity
  • Reach others through empathy and compassion
  • Be creative
  • Be passionate
  • Be Positive
  • Put my whole self into each task
  • Enjoy each day striving to make a difference

Short Term Goals
In the short term I hope to reshape how I spend my days and especially my free time. It is my goal to start focusing on my passions more and not be so easily distracted. Giving more time for the things I really enjoy doing should result in greater results than if I continue to go in multiple directions. Here are a few of the short term goals.

  • Write code 10 hours a week
  • Post one technical blog post each week
  • Run more miles than days in a given month
  • Play all 9 positions in a baseball game this year
  • Start Drawing one hour a week, every week

Dream Goals
Dream goals of mine would be things such as traveling and doing things I didn’t think I could still do. For instance on traveling, I would love to see the BaseBall Hall of Fame, Fenway Park, Wrigley Field and not related to baseball I would love to travel to Ireland and see the old castles there. I would love to walkrun the long endless fields that I see in pictures and not have to worry about work or deadlines or anything but the cool breeze off the ocean.

Overall, I have seen more of an evolution of the different aspects of this course. I always knew many of these things but the ideals are becoming much clearer. I can’t wait to see how this comes with me passed this course.

The Archer my ArcheType

A day after helping my nephew by shooting down an arrow he got stuck at the top of a really tall window with his nerf bow and arrow, I come out as an Archer in the latest quiz on what my personality is. Although, I don’t think they meant that kind of archer it is still funny. I have also been watching the series Arrow on Netflix which is just great timing on my part. Anyway…

So, I’m an archer. I work on accuracy and think through all the possible solutions and the consequences of those solutions before making a decision. I am understated, independent and careful about the emotion I put out. I use listening to my advantage and really investigate possibilities before reaching any kind of decision. I am on target and will come to a solution given a deadline and time to think through something. I carefully formulate my thoughts and support decisions with hard facts. I can quickly develop solutions and am very deliberate in my communication style.

WOW… um… well… yeah…

I don’t think that I can argue anything there. I very much need to think through something and I try to investigate all the possibilities before making a commitment. I cannot work off the cuff very well and like to have time to formulate responses. I have always been very careful in my communications, the emotions I let out and how much I hold back. I often feel that this understates the value I can bring as it doesn’t show others what I am really thinking, feeling and takes away from the conversation.

In my communication style I am very much thinking about everything I am saying, what I am going to say next, what questions the person I am talking to may have and trying to answer them before they can even ask them. I have struggled as of late in the classroom and at home formulating my sentences as my mind is three sentences down from where my mouth is speaking and sometimes end up jumbling my words. It’s quite embarrassing at times. I sometimes feel like my mouth is too stupid for my head when that happens and wish telepathy would allow my brain to just get it out faster. Then again, that would make me one of the teenage girls I have been around who talks 1000 words a second and then you can’t comprehend anything anyway. Such is my burden here, I suppose. The funny thing is when I go through 5 or 6 scenarios in my head and can choose one and formulate my thoughts in to words as fast as I am talking. People think that I knew the answers as I was talking and don’t realize I was still solving in my head. It’s just my mouth gives my head enough time to work through the problem.

In being independent, precise and careful I have always strived to do so. I don’t like to make others upset, I don’t like to have to rely on others and I like the precise solutions I can come up with on my own. Even in dealing with family I am very careful to not go too far with a line of thought or emotions or anything. I like to keep the peace as it were and know that I am not well understood in manners when I express certain things. I find this forces my independence as then I need to work through things on my own. I cannot rely on others if I cannot express things to them. I know I need to get better at this but it doesn’t help that I am not the type to make close friends easily and even worse at keeping close friends apparently. This has certainly forced a more spiritual side of me where I use thoughts, meditation and prayer as a way to express myself and relieve certain stress.

This actually applies as much in my professional life as it does in my personal. I have always been a very reserved, quiet person. This is why I laugh every time I am given a leadership position. I operate well outside of my comfort zone but that doesn’t make it comfortable.

Controlling my Mornings and Evenings

In the last few weeks we were introduced to the idea of the miracle morning. A concept where you take control of your morning by doing a few things as a routine in each morning. The steps of the miracle morning are:

Step 1 – Silence
Step 2 – Affirmations
Step 3 – Visualization
Step 4 – Scribing
Step 5 – Reading
Step 6 – Exercise

This effort should take around a half hour in the morning and helps you gain control of your mornings. After all mornings are one of the few times that we really can control our day. Once we wake up and get moving our day is really run by the fire drill we call life. This drill, no matter how much we plan for, is always interrupted and brought off course with each passing hour due to the changes in the environment around us.

Anyway enough on that… so how have I controlled my mornings?!? Well I have done ok following the steps to the side. I really have taken control of my mornings but I wouldn’t say that I go through all those steps every single day the way I probably should. I also tend to leave the extensive exercise for later in the day. I will say I have done more in the mornings as far as walking, taking the stairs and so forth but still not running in the morning, too cold.

The way this course, the unstoppable course, has really impacted my life is in my outlook. I look to everything I do as striving towards a goal or passion of mine. I see tasks that I have to do and try to get passed them and onto what counts. I can clearly see what counts to me and now have plans, goals and feel a purpose that is getting stronger with every opportunity to grow. How I see this course impacting me in the future is with opportunity, passion and more control over more of my life. I see myself programming and sharing that passion more and more with those around me. I see myself in the community sharing with teens, adults and anyone wanting to learn. I hope to build my own applications that others can use and implement in areas of need. I plan to always train, mentor and work with the up and coming developers that bring me such joy as they move on to their own successful careers.

In the last few weeks I may have taken some short cuts, I may not have completed absolutely everything I needed to or read into things as critically as I should but I definitely feel that I am more purposeful in my daily actions. I thanks this course for that and hope to continue to share different ideas as they come to mind even beyond the course.

Some call it Cold, I call it Resilience

Normally I wouldn’t post something like this. I would hold in the feelings, my thoughts and just go on with life. However, this week a series of unfortunate events coincided with the topic of resilience in my unstoppable course. That being said I thought I would share.

So this past week started with the tragic news of a fallen classmate. A great girl I went to high school with, was lab partners with and saw most every day of high school passed away. She was 33 years old and although we haven’t spoken since high school I followed her unfortunate journey through her cancer. She used a blog to express her emotions reach many other people giving them hope. She was an amazing women…

This news was followed 3 days later with the news that my Godmother passed away. My Godmother, but she wasn’t sick, she wasn’t in and out of the hospital. I saw her not long ago. I was going to see her again in a week for Easter. How? Why? I don’t understand.

In both cases I have noticed that the outside world didn’t notice that I received such news unless I told them. I hold the emotions in, but I still feel the pain, I feel the loss. I somehow am able to put those feelings aside and grieve while continuing my day. In the case of my Godmother, I received the news at lunch with my coworkers and somehow finished lunch, went back into work and continued the mock client meetings I had scheduled with the teams of my cohort. I know I wasn’t on my “A” game, but the game I was on wasn’t off enough for some to notice. The next few days I continued this path and finished the work week and have now made it to the weekend. Even this weekend I am taking my time to grieve but pushing forward with work and other obligations.

Thinking about this I wonder if some think I am not grieving their deaths, that I do not feel the loss. Perhaps they see me as being cold and feeling nothing. I don’t exhibit any substantial emotional reaction. The only way others know something is wrong is my sleep is worse that the normal bad it has been. I know this reaction isn’t the typical emotional response of someone who has lost anyone. I know or at least I feel I should be showing more of an emotional response.

Instead, I was able to lose some ground during the week while letting my emotions get the best of me when appropriate. I was taking time for myself and doing what I had to so that I could continue with all the major tasks of my day to day life, work and my family. Then this weekend I started to try to make up those tasks that I let slip. I planned ahead for time away for the wake and funeral and plan to dive right back into work following the funeral. This isn’t because I am cold or I don’t care. It is because I do care and I don’t want to let anyone down and I want to honor the memory of especially my Godmother by continuing to strive forward and live each day doing what I love. I love my work, I have been offered day(s) off to grieve and graciously declined because being around the staff and apprentices at the Guild brings my joy, happiness and in a time of need like this I need that to show me how great life really is.

Thus, although I exhibit the traits of a cold, non-feeling individual, I feel, I miss those that have passed. I choose to push forward, continue to pursue those things that bring me joy. I have made time for my family and will be there for the grieving process. I have put family first and if my family needed me I would put things aside and be there in an instant. That doesn’t mean that I can’t appropriately plan for the time I will be out or try to return to work for special events. For years, I never understood how I could move on like this. Now I call this resilience. I bend to the situation but return to form quickly. I stay the course, remember my Godmother and even my classmate and somehow make time for family, plan ahead and keep my head on straight. I’m not cold, I see it as multiprocessing and just somehow was able to put my grieving to a background process.