Musings on Some Short TED Talks

Try Something New for Thirty Days

Matt Cutts gave a short little talk titled “Try something new for 30 days.”

He gave a few examples:

  • Bike to Work
  • 10,000 steps a day
  • Take a Picture a Day
  • Write a Novel

 Bike to Work I’m working on it, that’s not something that can be done without proper preparation (at least not in Dallas, and not in the summertime)

10,000 Steps a Day – They gave out pedometers at work, I discovered I was walking about 12,000 steps a day during my workday alone.

Take a Picture a Day – Been there, done that.

Write a Novel (Nanowrimo) – Been there, done that.

How about a blog entry every day for a month… yeah, that sounds tough, not.

Then he gave a short list of examples of things to stop:

  • No TV
  • No sugar
  • No Twitter
  • No caffeine

I don’t find giving something up for 30 days to be so inspiring. If you want to give it up, give it up. If you only need to cut back, then cut back.

So, let’s give him the benefit of the doubt. What can I do for thirty days that wouldn’t be too difficult, expensive, or time consuming, starting tomorrow. Let me think about it and go on to another TED lecture.

 Derek Sivers: Keep your goals to yourself

Interesting idea. I have always thought that telling everybody your goals gave you the advantage of using social shaming as a motivating force. Another thing to think about and come back to.

Don’t eat the marshmallow yet

The most important principle for success is the ability to delay gratification. No big surprise. Anyone that has spent a lot of time around teenagers knows how rare and important this is.

Of course, there is another factor that isn’t discussed. Even when I was a kid, I hated marshmallows. I would have hidden the thing to make them think I had eaten it so I didn’t have to deal with another one.

Life Lessons Through Tinkering

I spent an enormous amount of time as a child tinkering. My children never really did this at all. Does that make a difference? I don’t know.

My tinkering spaces (my office room and my half of the garage) are sorely neglected. They are cluttered and inefficient. I miss the tinkering. I have a handful of tinker projects half completed.

Can I put the lessons from all these talks together?

OK, here’s my plan. I’ll work some, every day, a few hours a day, for thirty days, on the half completed tinkering projects I have laying around.

What are they?

I’m not going to tell you. Keeping it a personal secret will help me get it done. I have two projects in mind, both rather small projects, I know I can get them done. The bigger projects, such as redoing my office room, I’ll put off for the next thirty days… or the thirty after that.

Thirty days or so from now I’ll write a couple blog entries on what my projects were. Come back and see.

What about the marshmallow? Well, in this case, delayed gratification isn’t really an issue, the doing is the gratification. Maybe I’ll reward myself in some small, extra way. I don’t know how – there is no extra money laying around…. I’ll have to think about it.

Any ideas would be appreciated.

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