My digital life in a nutshell: I discover relevant content I don’t have time to consume, I find time and become overwhelmed with my scattered backlog, I wish the content were in a different format, and then I’m unable to find something again once I’ve consumed it. Not retaining enough is a valid problem but we’ll tackle that one later. There’s a lot of generalization in my summary but the core issue is an extraordinarily high level of friction in the process of finding, organizing, and sharing digital content.
For me, healthy living consists of sleeping well, a clean diet, frequent exercise, journaling, meditation, and socializing. Once in a while I let stress get the better of me and this causes my life to start spiraling and sliding out of control: deadlines start getting missed, emails pile up, I lose sight of my goals and life just gets overwhelming. It’s not pretty. Like any engineer, after such times in my life I do a post-mortem of what went wrong and time and time again I’ve found one or more of these crucial habits disappeared causing others to disappear in a chain reaction.
People have been asking me what I’m doing with my life, what my next steps are, where I’m going to be living, what my goals are, when I’m getting married, how many grandkids I’m going to have…. I wish I could tell them - because I sure as hell don’t know. Life’s really unpredictable. What I do have instead is a rough outline of what I hope to achieve over the next decade or so.
A simple thing, on paper. Get a piece of it out and start writing. Or typing - doesn’t really matter. Anything and everything that comes to mind. It’s weird and unnatural at first - push through it. Save it, or burn it. Don’t overthink it. Wait a few days, and do it again, and again, and keep doing it. Four years into it and I’m just beginning to grasp the immensity of the benefits this simple habit has brought to my life - so I hope to share some of them with you.
Occasionally I speak with people considering an opportunity to move away from the place they call home to somewhere entirely new - be it for work, school, temporarily or indefinitely. I remember myself making that decision and the questions I had swirling around in my head. Hopefully this assortment of words provides some insight or reassurance to someone else in a similar situation. I spent the first 19 years of my life around one major city - Sacramento.