Admitting Defeat

 Aug 24, 2009  |   Filed under: offtopic, personal  |   Tags: Blog, Change, Mindhex, Opinion, Philosophy, Theory


As hard as it may be to admit; I have failed miserably.

About 3 months ago I set out on a journey into independence. I named it project Mindhex. The basic idea was that I would give myself free hands to work on whatever I desired.

The plan was that I would polish my ruby skills, learn to develop IPhone applications and create a kick ass Sinatra clone in .NET called Nancy. That was far from what actually happened.

To track my progress I kept a journal....for about 14 days. Truth be told 14 days into my little experiment I started to slip. It rather quickly dawned on me that I don't actually have to do any of this I can do whatever I want. So I did, I picked up scuba diving, I started walking, I slept, I refurnished the apartment and I spent time with my family. I went into what I would like to call vacation mode.

The result is that I didn't accomplish any of the goals I had set for myself. Thus I call failure on the project. However I have read somewhere that failure is a byproduct of learning. So what did I learn from this?

After conducting my private little retrospective I found that there are actually two lessons to be learnt here. One could aergue that this is very individual but I really think that others may also benefit from this aswell.

Lesson 1: If there is nothing chasing you, you don't really have to run. I had arranged it financially so that I wouldn't really have to work during my 3 months to make ends meet. This didn't add any sense of urgency to the work I was doing. Since it wasn't urgent it became really easy to procrastinate or assign low priority to actual "work" which resulted in a complete halt.

Lesson 2: There is no I in team. Working alone quickly becomes boring and painful. Some problems that could easily be solved with another set of eyes can snowball out of control quickly. A bad day can, combined with Lesson 1, makes it really easy to give up. Without someone in the same boat to help you over a speed bump the speed bump can quickly become a brick wall. Besides, doing good work is not really rewarding if you don't have anyone to share it with.

To summarize; if I were to do this again I would most definitely con someone into doing it with me and I would make it so that my survival depends on the projects failure or success.

So what now?

Well I guess it's back to work! I feel somewhat misadjusted to everything after slacking off for 3 months, but I guess I will settle in eventually.