Choosing Courage Over Clarity

How to Start Moving Forward Without Knowing Everything

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While preparing for my last trip to East Africa, I reached out for advice from a man who cares for orphaned children living with AIDS in Uganda. Taking advantage of the time that he was living in San Diego while pursuing a Ph.D., we met up to discuss the water project that I was embarking upon in Kenya. After talking through a variety of approaches to the project, I will never forget the advice that he left me with. “Just do something.”

I’ve spent much of the past several years trying to figure out why it takes me so long to get anything done. The objectives that matter most to me always seem to be stuck in a holding pattern. I’m starting to realize that these indefinite holds have much to do with misunderstanding the relationship between clarity and courage.

Taking the Time to Remember

Productivity, Reflections

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Someone once told me that the older you get the faster time goes by. Every passing year seems to make this statement truer than ever. We often try to figure out how long ago something occurred and realizing that it was longer ago than we thought, we say, “Wow! Time flies, huh?”

The speed of time can often make us feel that our lives are out of our own control. Life doesn’t seem to slow down long enough to let us exert intention and control over how we spend our time. This makes the future come so quick that we don’t formulate a plan in time to handle it. It also makes the past seem so distant that we fail to reflect upon what has happened to us. Both planning and reflecting require intentional effort.

Counting Down: An Experiment in Productivity

Productivity

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Life seems to creep up on me most of the time. Just a moment ago that deadline was a long way off and then suddenly it is here. This is especially true when a trip is coming up. How does this happen?

One of my favorite quotes is “Life is what happens while you are waiting for life to happen.” When I just went to research the source I realized that this isn’t actually a quote. John Lennon penned the lyrics, “Life is what happens while you are busy making other plans.” I’m not sure how I came up with my own mangled version of this quote but it still expresses the point. The big things that are coming up in our lives are closer than they appear.

The Story Behind My Obsession With Field Notes

Productivity, Reflections

This is the initial blog post I have written first in a memo book before typing it up. I have been reconnecting with the natural transfer of thought from pencil to paper and it has been both fun and inspiring. The classic style of Field Notes and the story behind them is largely responsible for this rebirth.

I have been interested in Field Notes ever since they were first released. Although attracted to their classic style I didn’t know how I would use them since I was capturing more and more of my life through digital means.

Notebooks: Where Apps Meet Their Match

Productivity, Reflections


I have tried out every writing or handwriting app that I could find for iPad and iPhone only to make a surprising discovery. The apps that I liked best most closely imitated physical notebooks. This begs the question, why use an imitation rather than the real deal?

Exploring the intersection between apps and life has become almost a hobby for me. I like discovering ways to do things better. Although apps and a digital workflow present a significant advantage in many areas, replacing notebooks might be where they have met their match.

Launching the Blog … Again

Productivity, Writing

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I feel like my blog has become a series of posts about how I am back to writing with many moons transpired between them. Here we go again. Why am I such an inconsistent writer? The answer is both simple and complicated.

The simple answer is that I tend to focus on projects in cycles. Traveling always stimulates my writing but I hardly take the time to record insights from day to day life. Consistency with blogging is key and this is certainly not my strength.