Monthly Archives: December 2013

Things Don’t Happen In A Vacuum: The New Year And You

27 December 2013, by A. Cedilla

Let’s start with a little visualization: Think of how movement in space influences other things sharing the same space.

A few of the most basic examples are: a circular ripple effect, from a pebble thrown into a pond, with rings moving out from the center. Ripples going downstream are affected by the condition of the stream bed and any rocks big enough to present interruptions to the flow. And for an absolute lovely visual representation of ripples in virtual space — complete with sound effects — go spend some time on Hatnote’s Listen To Wikipedia.

You act, work and live in a lattice-work of systems. Go back to those science classes and sociology lectures and remember all the various terms they used — kin groups, eco-systems, social networks, virtual communities. Think of your work environment and your work relationships. Think of where you live and your community relationship. Think, and connect-the-dots.

(Want to go wild with the visualization? Visit Hatnote’s other Wikipedia visualization projects.)

“The world is not in your books and maps. It’s out there.” – Gandalf The Grey, The Hobbit

If you’ve planned with a bit of daring, you’re going to go beyond what you know now, and you have a very good idea of what you want to happen next. That means you’re prepared to go beyond what you’re familiar with, and you’re okay with feeling lost at times, or completely out of your depth. The way it works is, information and inspiration can be found in books and maps, but the glory in true experience lies in going out and doing new things — which can have side effects of perspiration, vexation and indignation.

If you’re the nature-loving type and have a garden, or live close to nature, you’ll be familiar with the seasons and the effect they have on you and the environment. Think of living with your own garden. How do you prepare for and live with the seasons via your garden? Avid green-thumbs know that good gardens don’t sprout overnight. They need planning, good preparation, and consistent care so they can reach their full potential, whether it’s sweetly scented blooms, a riot of color, or food for your table.

Imagine a garden mentally…what do you want in it? What do you want from it? Continue reading Things Don’t Happen In A Vacuum: The New Year And You

Getting Ready for Next Year: Mapping Your Course

20 December 2013, by A. Cedilla

Have you written down your plans for next year?

Having a plan in mind is better than having no plan at all.

Even better is writing it down — doing that sets your mind free; you’re free to work things out and play with how the different factors and players could work together for the best outcome, and free to aim for the best results while planning back-ups (just in case things fall through at certain weak points). If you have a good idea of what you want and need to make happen in 2014, write it down. You need a map to navigate next year. And by ‘map’ I don’t mean a to-do list. Those are relatives, the close cousins of what I’m talking about.

By ‘map’ I really mean goals. With no goals and no direction, your chances of influencing events to your favor go down, and you’ll likely get what you’re getting now. Are you truly okay with what you have now?

Things won’t change on their own. Situations may develop differently, but if you don’t actively take charge to protect your own interests and make the change, if you don’t act to change the situation you’re in, it won’t happen.

In connection with last week’s article and your plans for a whole new year, drawing up a map means getting your bearing and your direction. ‘Bearing’ is where you are in relation to something else. In travel terms, this means knowing where you are, and marking that down as a starting point. As in a place to start from. Getting your bearing gives you Point A. Direction is where you want to be at the end of the process.

You decide the points B,C, D, etc. from there until you hit your intended goal, which is a better place for you– that may or may not include improved Points A, B,C, D, etc. — or a better situation for you still at Point A. It’s your map, it’s your choice. Continue reading Getting Ready for Next Year: Mapping Your Course

Planning The Year Ahead: Use Good Questions to Get Good Results

13 December 2013, by A. Cedilla

One way to getting good results is, oddly enough, to ask good questions. You can easily start off with the simplest ones: the answers to what, why, when, how and where bridges the gap between good intentions and actual results.

Try to remember what your New Year’s resolutions were from last year. Did any of them make it, and if they did, how did you go about it?

  • What were the things that you aimed for? How many did you get?
  • Why did you choose those things? Towards what end did getting these things change your life? What aspects of your life were they concerned with? (i.e financial, physical, educational, relationships, self-improvement, etc.)
  • When did you want them, time-wise? How realistically did you allot time towards each goal, and what did your estimates show you about yourself?
  • How was the experience like? How did you keep going until you made it? What resources and support did you use or get?
  • Where are you in your life now with these things? How did you measure the improvement before and after you attained your goals? How much did it make a difference for you? Are you willing to do it again with the new skills you’ve learned for next year?

Seeing what you did this year, what about next year? What new way of scaring yourself are you willing to try so you can push yourself past old boundaries and the limits of what you think you can do? Continue reading Planning The Year Ahead: Use Good Questions to Get Good Results

Too Much Tech? Ask Yourself These Questions To Control Technorrhea

06 December 2013, by A. Cedilla

Think about the communication structure in your life. To start off, how many devices do you use?

For the basics, a phone and a computer are all you need. Some smartphones can already act as a mini office-station for email and files. Laptops can go anywhere with you, and desktops can provide more options, like more processing power and being able to use 2-3 monitors at once.

And what about hybrids and entertainment devices? How about tablets, phablets, and readers? And music players and dedicated cameras? Take a moment to check just how many tech tools you own.

How do you manage all the tech you use? How do you manage the data you access? Lay it out:

  • How many platforms are present? How do you access data across platforms–just the cloud? How secure are your connections?
  • What systems do you use in storing and syncing data, and backing up the important bits? What about security?
  • How systematic are you in attending to your communication –in reading, responding and viewing? How much time do you spend?
  • How about maintaining the hardware: protecting it from surges, damage, dust, scratches and whatnot? What’s your update schedule?

 

The deeper issues here are easy to overlook because of the technical details and personal preferences involved. Keeping things separate for business or personal use can be messy as well –imagine the hours we do something other than what we intended to do*cough-Skyrim-cough* but in the end, when it comes to your devices:

  • Do they help make work easier?
  • Do they make you work more effectively?
  • Do they make more work for you?

Continue reading Too Much Tech? Ask Yourself These Questions To Control Technorrhea