While I’m not blogging or anything, go ahead and read this post detailing The Top Root Causes of Everything Wrong With the World. Let me know what you find out. That is an early entry on a blog I probably want to read. I’m noting it here so that it will enter my consciousness every time I check to see whether or not I’ve posted a blog entry lately [I haven’t]).
I have been commenting on other websites a lot lately, which strikes me as, if not stupid per se, then at best wasted energy. Why should I provide my awesome content and insights to other websites, when I have one right here dying from lack of care and feeding? There is no good reason save sheer laziness. (I think there are other, bad reasons, though.)
Good old King Kaufman got me going on a bunch of tangents tonight by listing a few bloggers he liked a lot. That distracted me from my main task of the moment, which is (shh!) updating my online portfolio. Not just updating it — completely creating a new one almost entirely from scratch, since my current portfolio site was designed sometime around 2001 or 2002 and was last updated in 2004. Now that it’s “time for a change” (imagine me saying that in my best Bill Clinton voice), a new portfolio is due.
Anyway, about those tangents, the main point of this post. (I think that’s irony.) The promise of the combination of good writing and sports-related analysis appeals to me greatly. King himself linked to Cold Hard Football Facts, whose last major article displayed a fair amount of glee at how wrong most mock drafts are. Aside from their maybe gratuitous level of Schadenfreude, it seems a promising source for decent football talk. (Incidentally, I also just like saying “Schadenfreude.”)
CHFF linked to this amazing dude, The Once in a Lifetime Fan, who just decided at age 30 to move his family from Sydney, Australia to Green Bay, Wisconsin because he liked the Packers. Quite a story. He’s back in Australia now, but despite the fact that I was born approximately a hemisphere closer to Lambeau Field, he’s been there, and I haven’t.
King also linked to Deadspin, which seems promising. Sabernomics? “Economic thinking about baseball”? Okay! Someday I’ll read that, too.
Let’s take that a step further, though, or maybe turn it inside out. This is fascinating: Management by Baseball. In the few entries I’ve read, I gather he’s using baseball examples to illustrate some kind of Japanese management technique I’m hardly familiar with at all (“Lean,” apparently, as practiced by Toyota and blogged about by this guy).
By way of preamble, I certainly intend to continue to be somewhat careful about what I say on this blog. Clearly I’ve taken caution to its logical extreme the last several years. Now, though, thanks to being fed up with repressing my thoughts, feelings, and emotions for fear of offending somebody, I’m going to start expressing myself more than I have in the past. (Thanks, therapy!) And maybe one of these days I’ll post the podcasts Eric and I recorded a few weeks/months ago… that’ll be fun. [Narrator: “He never did.”]
Anyway, I find it illuminating to read about “management philosophy.” I’m starting to come to the conclusion that the people around me who make decisions that affect me (sometimes profoundly, like funding or not funding a key project) either don’t have an overriding philosophy for why they do things a particular way, or they have no interest in letting me know what that philosophy is. That is starting to bother me.
This article about Sandy Koufax and Frank Robinson — well, more broadly, about how good managers/teachers/leaders have the ability to observe and empathize with “the world outside one’s self,” and if they’re geniuses how rare that is — stands in contrast to what I experience every day.
Commenting on other sites rather than building my own is a pretty good metaphor for what I’ve been doing lately. And when I say lately, I mean most of my adult life. I have spent a ridiculous amount of time and energy making other people’s ideas come to life. In the last three years, I have done that over and over again. In the meantime, my own ideas — and I have them, oh, do I have them, despite my having failed to provide much evidence of that here — get shot down, are met with indifference, or never come to fruition due to lack of time, energy, or commitment on my part. (Admittedly, one good side effect of making other people’s ideas come to life is the body of work I have built up, which demonstrates my worth in whatever marketplace you’d like to imagine.)
But today is the day I stop selling myself short.
Today is the day I move ahead.
Today is the day I reject the pre-existing frameworks I’ve accepted that describe “change” and “getting things done” and “helping people” and “making things better.” Today is the day I start achieving my own goals and dreams in the way I want and in the way I know I can do.
(Well, in reality, this is something I’ve been building towards for a while now. I just haven’t articulated it quite like this to this point.)
I do know this: accepting other people’s ideas about how things work, or how things should work — and, maybe most importantly, acceding to those ideas and having my input seriously undervalued — is killing me.
I’m actually really good at thinking. I’m going to start doing it for myself from now on.
Whew. More later.