Towards the start of last year, I dubbed 2017 to be The Year I Started Thinking, based loosely off of the Laurel and Hardy skit that goes like this:
"You know Ollie, I was just thinking."
"Nothing, I was just thinking."
The subtle undertone being that I didn't have to tell anyone exactly what I was thinking about because it's really not that important unless the thought is one that I want to bring to life in the world. Not all, but most, thoughts are dumb, lame, and dangerous, but it can be hard to know that when the thought occurs.
Part of it was also getting to a point where I could focus on the few things that I wanted to focus on, and deleting the rest, so I installed the theme of reduction and goal of simplification.
Now tha the year of thinking has come and gone, I think it's time to move onto something else. Thinking, by itself, does not move any needles. You can think all you want about something - think so hard that you mind feels like it's going to explode - but you will have achieved nothing since before you started thinking.
As I have already proven to myself, overtly good things happen when you build things that support a specific function. There's a reason it's
- build relationships instead of think relationships,
- build rapport instead of think rapport, and
- build a wall instead of think about a wall.
Of course, you have to think about the thing before you can make it happen. That is obvious. But for me, I have spent too much of my life thinking about all sorts of grand ideas that are still just that: thoughts. It's time to stop thinking so much and start building. So 2018 will be The Year I Started Building.
How do I make it so?
Even though I feel as if I haven't thunk as much lately, there are still a bunch of ideas of things I can do in my head, and new ones are generated all the time. I'm not sure which one will be best.
(Does it even matter?)
Not being sure about something is the perfect time to say, "hmm, guess I have to think about it more," but that is not going to work in the year of building. Thinking about it more is a definite dead-end.
With that said, my goal for this year: Build something worthwhile.
This goes on top of the past two year's goals of the annual spending forecast and simplification.
Hm, I think it would be a good idea to define what something worthwhile is. (Oh boy, here I go thinking again...)
To me, something worthwhile is a thing that provides benefit to a person not myself. It is something that a group of people would get excited about, recommend to their friends, and would feel comfortable paying for it. It is worth their while. While getting people to pay is not the priority, if people are willing to pay for it, it is worth something. That is a the measure I will be using to determine whether I have succeeded in this goal.
The first rule to accompany the goal is: Do not think more than is required to start building.
Having been in sales, I know how far one can go in trying to figure out what the customer is thinking without actually getting anywhere productive. The entire quarterly business review can be a big circlejerk of assumptions with everybody sharing their anecdotal evidence to back up their conjecture for what the customer actually wants.
Just ask, why don't you?
There are a few things in my mind as I write this. One is a dating platform that a friend wants to put together. The second is the Step-To-Freedom guide. The third is to build a feedback system for my employer.
These are all things that I have gotten some feedback from the outside world to be valuable, so I would consider them worthwhile. They are at various degrees of progress, so I will continue to work on them and see what happens.