Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Working on your best idea

Turning ambition into success is hard enough as it is. Whether you’re taking time to work on a project on the side or you’re launching a full-time business, it’s going to require peak personal investment. Not in terms of working crazy hours, but of dedication and perseverance.

Why would you want to pour so much of yourself into anything less than your best idea? Other ideas might seem more achievable or convenient, but if your heart and mind is elsewhere it’s all for naught.

Whatever excuse you can come up with for why you’re settling for less is probably not good enough. It’s intensely draining to give up on your dreams and you’ll not look kindly back at yourself for treading water.

Are you working on your best idea right now?

That was from David Heinemeier Hansson of 37Signals, a fellow whose attitude, ideas and work I admire. It came in the footsteps of this interview he gave:

I've been struggling a bit as of late. I, for all intent and purposes, wrapped up my third masters degree and my time has now been freed to pursue other interests. I tend to have too many and I get distracted and confused. I've always wanted to learn how to play a stringed instrument (beyond the few weeks I spent playing the string bass in high school). Was at a concert last week and got the cello bug again. Been reading a lot about Russia and so thought about trying to learn Russian again. April is Concept2's Marathon Challenge month. There is an appeal to preparing to row a marathon in a few weeks. I have been working out. Pursuing another martial art is always in the back of my head. I finally got the historic site recognition plaque that my town gives to houses in the historic district which has made me even more willing to get my house (and barn) fixed up. The boowahs are busy with choir, track and baseball. Still have to do my taxes. Still have baseball card packages to send out to people.

Those things (minus the boowahs activities) are the minor stuff. I need to find full-time post-summer employment now that I'm done school. Baseball projects are really important, one in particular. That's where my focus needs to and is going to be for a while.

I'll still be reading. The Robert Downey, Jr. project is probably done. Nothing in the card collecting world is captivating my interest right now. As far as this blog goes, it will likely be book reviews and hopefully some baseball for the next couple months until the next big life change.


Mark's Ephemera said...

Interesting stuff. I couldn't make it to the end of the video, but I like some of David's ideas.

I popped over to his site and downloaded the book fragment. That's some radical thinking.

I think that it would be a hard sell for my company to go totally that way, but I might just try it in my department for a week or two.

Bottom line, don't sweat the small stuff. When does Cooperstown start?

Also, have you read any of Nicholas Basbanes' books?

Mad Guru said...

If you fast forward to about the 1:25:30 point, they discuss Rework. And if you scope out the 37Signals site some, you should probably be able to find a download of their earlier book Getting Real which was pretty good.

My own management philosophy has been built a lot from Chip Conley's Peak. Definitely check that book out as well. I recommended that to a management professor who was at the library several months ago. She was in last week and said that she had bought copies for three of her friends after reading it. Great book.

I've read Bisbane's A Gentle Madness. One of my favorite books of all time.

Off to New York at the end of May.