Thursday, October 30, 2008

Where Do We Go From Here?

I’m reaching a point where I have to admit… my blog is suffering from an identity crisis. What is the ultimate purpose of this thing? Am I blogging for myself? For others? For my posterity? What drives the topics that I choose? Is this a Personal Finance blog? Is it a Religious or Philosophical blog? Is it a Life Hack blog? Is it a “share quirky stories about your family” blog? At the moment, it seems to be “all of the above”, but there’s definitely a trend developing, and I’ll have to see what I want to do about that trend.

First, I’ve gone back to see many of my posts and there seems to be two main angles that get the most stage time, Personal Finance and General Philosophy/Life Hacking. Some could say that these are two sides of the same coin, and I guess in a way, they actually are.

Personal Finance interests me because I see it as a major problem in many people’s lives. I realize I may not be the best example for people as to how I got to where I am today. Let’s face it, telling the world “I worked for Cisco for 10 years, and I got lots of stock options” doesn’t offer much inspiration. It's also not been terribly relevant for the past several years, as it can be said that the glory days for that stock have long since passed. However, it is a hope that the things that I am doing today (focusing on thrifty decisions, placing a truer emphasis on value rather than cost, and letting go of a sense of “Stuffitis”) may very well resonate with others, and I do find that there are areas I do enjoy talking about and perhaps learning and sharing some newer insights.

Life oft-times revolves around our actions and the way that we see the world. I am an active member of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. The process of living as a member of that community informs many of my life decisions. Still, there are many things in my life that I do and that I find pleasure in doing, and just want to have make my life better and more effective, that are not necessarily 100% wrapped up in the Gospel or in the scriptures. Many times, of course, there are efficiencies of life that I have learned and that I practice that have come totally from the Gospel and understanding and applying the scriptures to my life. Thus these are areas I want to talk about and encourage others to, if not discuss, at least consider, while providing firm application of the ideas and ideals, and why and how they are effective (and sometimes, how I’ve found them not to be effective without some personal tweaks).

At the end of the day, I have to decide who and what this blog is actually for. Is this blog for external viewers, and do I write this blog for you? Or is this more of an online journal that I’m making public, and in the end, is all of this really just being written for me? While I enjoy writing and pondering ideas, I enjoy it more when I feel there might be some other people who could benefit from what I have to say. I’m not so arrogant as to think that my ideas will somehow revolutionize the world, but it’s possible I may inspire someone, and they may choose to look at how they do things a little differently.

This blog is also an “Accountability Partner”, where I put my ideals out there, and let the site, and the people who view it, take a little piece of that effort and record it for themselves in their thoughts and their hearts. It encourages me to think that people may actually come back and say “so, did you follow through on what you said you were going to do?” That’s encouraging, and it makes me want to keep striving. Partially because I want to move forward anyway, but also because it invests my ego just a little bit to say “I wrote it, and I put it out for the world to see… am I strong enough to live up to what I said I’d do? And if I’m not… am I brave enough to admit I was wrong?” It’s easy to crow when you do something that looks and feels great, when you have an accomplishment to post about. It’s another feeling entirely when you have to “eat crow”; admit that an idea you had, an approach you tried, an opinion you harbored, was actually wrong, ill advised, or just plain didn’t work out. My goal is to actually post successes and failures, the achievements and the shortcomings. If I feel I’m right about something, I’ll try to explain why I think I’m right. If I mess up, or otherwise don’t succeed, I want to hold myself accountable here.

Thus I guess the answer to my title question (Where Do We Go From Here?) is “where I’m already going, and let the chips fall where they may". Not everything I write will be fun, not everything will be informative, and not everything will somehow have some deep cosmic meaning. What it will do, however, is give me a way to put down my thoughts, examine my motives, and keep vigil as to the ideals I seem to profess having. Likewise, it will give me a chance to keep some thoughts, goals, and projects at the forefront of my thinking, and hopefully allow others to either give me encouragement to keep at it, or to say to themselves “Hey, now that’s something that I want to do!” Either way, I’ll be here for you (and me :) ).

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