The First Class

I’m a type of person that thinks and rethinks through interactions with people that don’t go perfectly. I analyze details like how people reacted to things I said and agonize over any faux pas. And so last night, after teaching my first class at the local community college, I didn’t sleep well.

I had four hours of class to mentally review, examine, and critique. Like that moment when I started saying “In addition to the state’s goals for what y’all need to learn, I have two personal goals” but then forgot my second goal. I had planned that statement out so many times leading up to yesterday. It was embarrassing.

But it is over and I’m ready to move forward. Live performances can never be perfect and I think I’ll get better at accepting that over time. Right now I just can’t wait to get back in there to teach the next lesson.

What Is Your Problem

One of the ideas behind the “blog every day” philosophy is that forcing yourself to ship something every day will make you better at shipping things. It will reinforce the pattern of releasing things into the world so you don’t get stuck in a cycle of fear and always trying to make it better.

Not being able to ship things isn’t my problem. If anything, I have the opposite problem. I’m an over-shipper or a premature-shipper. I have a strong drive to get things done and when that is combined with too many things to do I have to really fight the urge to ship it right away despite any flaws in it.

I bet the best solution to this problem is to not have too many things to do and to set the right pace for myself.


I stopped writing for a while. I’d been writing a blog post every day for over a year and then simply stopped one day. I was stressed and tired from working almost constantly and then the app that I made for writing broke. I didn’t have time to fix it and I really didn’t have time to write.

I’m glad I stopped. I didn’t need another thing weighing on my mind and taking my time. I didn’t like breaking my streak but streaks come and go like everything else.

During the break I kept getting urges to write. I’m glad I got that affirmation that tells me I’m doing this because I want to, not because of a streak or because I think I need to write. I want to write.


When running a long distance your pace is important. Too fast and you’ll wear yourself out early and not finish. Too slow and you won’t get the time you want. Your pace is strongly influenced by your fellow runners because we’re highly social creatures and therefore influenced by those around us in subtle ways.

Having the right person next to you during that run is a great help. She can help you keep your pace when you feel like slowing down. But the right person can be hard to find because you need someone with the same optimal pace as you.

Pacing is everywhere in our lives. Some of it is rigidly set, such as the pace at which you progress through schooling or get promotions in the military. But most of it is a strange balance between your discretion and the pressures around you. You may enjoy taking your time to eat breakfast but if you need to do that plus get ready plus get the kids to school then you don’t get full control over the pace.

Over the past couple of years I’ve come to realize how important pacing is in business. We want a certain pace for our company but outside pressures keep encouraging us to speed up. The whole world seems to be moving faster, in turn increasing the pace and moving faster and increasing the pace in an ever-quickening cycle.

Those speeds are not sustainable. We need to focus on slowing down and running our own race rather than that if the person next to us.

Brisk, determined, and ready for the distance.

Your Real Job

You probably have a title that describes the sorts of things that you do on a day to day basis. Mine could possibly be software developer on most days. But my real job isn’t developing software and if I think it is then I can very easily get caught up in the wrong things. My job is to solve problems using software. It is a subtle difference but important.

Get Things Done

The best way to prove yourself valuable in business is to get important things done. The things that no one else can do. The things that are harder. If you’re doing those things then you have the freedom to do what you please. But two burdens come with it: your peers will try to coast by while you work and you will have to find a way to say no so you aren’t burnt out when everyone wants you to do everything.

The Wrong On The Way To The Right

It is easy to get caught up in doing things the right way. I see this in my daughter’s therapists. Some of them would rather my daughter not do something at all than to do it with improper form. It makes sense that they’d have this attitude because it is what they’ve been taught. They’ve been taught their mechanics and exercises and they’ve gotten a certification in those things. If they leave those behind in the name of adapting then they’ve left their realm of knowledge. Their work is less about helping other than it is reciting what they know.

I don’t agree with that way of doing things. If a kid isn’t moving then the goal needs to be to get the kid moving and not preying about form. Form can come later.

Moving Forward

Looking at my history I’ve made decisions primarily based upon one question: will this move me forward? It doesn’t matter as much whether it moves me towards where I want go – most of the time I don’t know – but the point is that I’m not going backwards.

Limits On Patience

Thinking more about setting limits on patience, I’m nearing my first guideline. I’m not sure how clear to make it yet or if I should just leave it vague but it has to do with disrespect. I think that’s one area where I don’t need to be patient.

Obviously misunderstandings can happen so I can’t simply always think I’m being disrespected and snap on people. But I should be able to see patterns of disrespect and act upon those.

Losing Patience

I’m getting to a place where I don’t care about being patient with certain behaviors. I’m not sure what all those behaviors are yet. I’m not sure what the “right” limits for my patience are either. The problem I’m finding is that certain personality types take advantage of that patience and keep pushing its limits. I think I need to treat those people differently and set firm limits.