The Prequel to ‘Finding Your Calling’

Ok, so I wasn’t so clear about how I actually went through the exercise early Friday Morning. After reading back over the post, I realize that it looks like I skipped the first two steps, but they were just done on paper. Now I’ll share them in hopes that a review of them will give me stronger results.

My Gifts:

  • Musical Performance
  • Facts and Trivia
  • Instruction
  • Performance
  • Technological Proficiency
  • Strong Faith
  • Communication and Conversation

My Passions:

  • Creating, Writing and Performing
  • Being a Positive Influence on Others
  • Systemization

More Specific Passions:

  • Music Electronics/Synthesis/Gear
  • Live Music
  • Liturgical Music
  • New-Media/Design and Technology Aggregation and Integration
  • Keeping up with Technology Trends

It is from these gifts and passions that I drew Friday’s ‘Passion Intersections:’

  • Music Technology Instruction – Teaching people (kids?) the correlation, history, and future possibilities of music with computers, computer based instruments, etc..
  • Musical Resource Development – I write a lot of liturgical music, most of which could be used even worldwide and receive modest payment for it.
  • Musical Performance – I could always gig but this is an obvious one I’ve intentionally stayed away from as a career choice since I left for college – why?
  • Technology Instruction – I’ve actually done this before with much success, but never in my current market so it might be worth testing the waters of SC.
  • Leadership Instruction – I’m an effective leader of young people but this market might be slim.
  • Productivity Instruction – I think I’d get a big kick out of doing GTD-style training to executives and watching the results as they become more productive, but this is an odd market to break into, and the local market is probably intensely slim.
  • Buzz Consulting – How is this even on the list, huh? I don’t even know where this could go but with my ability to get a good overview-like knowledge of emerging technology very quickly, I’m a good box drawer. I’m good at coming up with systems (at a high level) that will work once the boxes are connected by the right programmers and designers.

This is, of course, still a work in progress. But there was some confusion so I think this should clear some things up. I appreciate the comments and assistance.

Who does what they want?

There’s a lot of talk in the blogosphere about only doing what you’re really passionate about. If you don’t know what I’m talking about look at, or It seems to be one thing to really take on your dreams if you’re already someone of note, either electronically or professionally. But what if you’re just a space-age cipher with a ton of chutzpah?

I’m a big fan of the ideal: work your passions. The things you love, you’ll love to be good at, you’ll love to persist at, and you’ll really love when you succeed. The problem is most people are living in a hamster cube. Who has broken free? What did it for you? What was your secret, what was your drive?

I’ll anxiously await your comments. It doesn’t even have to be your finished story. Maybe you’ve got a friend. Maybe you’re almost there and you’ve got a plan to finish. Or maybe you just want to know the same things I do.

Help Sleepless Nights

Another (near) month without a post. I’ll start by saying my life has been busy. My wife gave birth to our second daughter. She’s a wonderful blessing even though it’s been quite an adjustment. I took 2 weeks of (unpaid) paternity leave time in order to help Cindy adjust to having two at once all day long, which was a pleasure. All of this comes in the wake of my acceptance of a part time job as Youth Minister at my Church and of my Father’s passing, which has weighed heavily on my work, life and heart.

Last night was particularly difficult to endure for some reason. I laid in bed for what seemed like hours: grieving, being afraid of what is unknown and really just thinking too much. I don’t know what finally led me to slumber, but this isn’t a problem I wish to continue having. I’m not a fan of chemical sleep aids because they tend to keep me down for longer than I like to be asleep (and they’re chemicals) and I don’t really have any reason that I just layed awake for so long – so it’s hard to come up with a probable solution.

So my call for help now is, how do you all (assuming some of you are still there) get over whatever you’re thinking about and fall asleep on those particularly thoughtful nights?

Jabra Bluetooth Headset

OK, I feel bad giving this thing any criticism since I haven’t actually used it, but I would like to know how you’re supposed to read the display with the set jammed in your ear.


Am I expected to take it in and out? How about a voice that reads the phone book entry name or phone number instead to help with my decision to take the call? Ooh, or maybe a HUD that emblazens a picture of the caller on my retina! Thoughts?


According to there are two mathematical definitions for an intersection:
1. The point or locus of points where one line, surface, or solid crosses another.
2. A set that contains elements shared by two or more given sets.

In all of the tasks, people and places that make up life, sometimes intersections can save us time, but we often overlook them.

My friend and colleague, Jonathan is traveling soon. Since his last moleskine is nearly full, he considered rush shipping a new one for the space to adequately journal his travels. I had an extra, and offered it to him as a solution so he wouldn’t get robbed on shipping charges. He found an intersection.

This is good; however, I missed the next intersection. My wife was coming into town (we work ‘in town’) to drop off our daughter at my office for the afternoon. Why didn’t I think to have her bring the moleskine to the office with her? I predict that we miss lots of these intersections that would save us plenty of time. I’m sure there is some extremely over-studied facet of psychology that attempts to explain all of this, but it’s a phenomenon that has only recently surfaced in my conscious.

How can we save time by noticing these intersections and acting on them in time? My example intersection was obvious to me only when it was about 10 minutes too late: the “why didn’t I think of that earlier?” zen-slap.

Hopefully in the future I can post ways to hack into that part of the mind, but for now please offer your suggestions.

Public Transportation

Columbia has grown up a little. We have this trolley (made over bus) system that can get you from the one area of town where all of the employers are to the one area of town where the food, entertainment and shopping is. It’s kind of cool, and it almost works. Almost. For starters, there aren’t well marked stops. For this reason (and probably some others) you’ll often see a trolley off route in order to bring someone to a destination without a stop. Generally, there seems to be about one person aboard a trolley at any given time besides the driver. Can you still get on a trolley off of its route? Probably: it’s starting to look a lot like a really cheap, really large taxi service. The drivers don’t seem overly concerned about following any specific pattern or rules.

Unfortunately, because of the lack of “programmed use” it’s actually very hard to tell when you’ll be able to catch a ride. In fact, I originally drafted this post in my moleskine at the CVB convention center while waiting for the driver of a trolley. She’s the one (so I’ve been told) who can take me where I need to go, but she’s on a break. Eventually, she comes back and I get back to work, but this is oddly discouraging and confusing (especially to someone with less patience than me).

Is there anyone from other cities where a small subset of the public transportation system seems to cater to a specific group of people in a specific area of your city? What works well in those situations? I’m tempted to do some research and give some feedback to our RTA because I think the system isn’t utilized to its potential. Let me know what you think.

Travel Belt, Sleep anyone?

Travel Belt: Trent is the closest thing to a brother I’ve ever had. Over the weekend he married Jamie and, as far as I’m concerned, she’s now a part of my family too. They were married in a small town about 2 hours from here that is quite a ways off of the beaten path, and it gave my small but growing family a chance to do some light travelling. It was good practice eo cum liber as well. With the veritable supply train of baby goods that had to be loaded into the Accord, it was easy to overlook one small thing: a belt. Since I left in my travel clothes, I was casual enough not to need one on departure and when dressing for rehearsal I realized I didn’t have one.

Now, I have a hack. My wife ended up buying a reversible belt. Yes, not the ultimate in fashion but when you’re in a bind, it’s a great thing to have. I definitely won’t wear it on a normal day, but it’s going in my computer bag – something I’m likely to have with me while travelling. Then, if I happen to forget my good belts, I can avoid looking sloppy because I have a black and a brown belt on standby.

Sleep habits? I’m struggling a bit lately with sleep efficiency. If anyone has any hacks or tips on getting the most out of sleep, then I’d love to hear them. Thanks!

Declare Yourself Victor

Everyone runs into those days and weeks (I can imagine even longer) where most things seem not to go your way and it becomes tough to carry on. This is especially true if you haven’t quite yet found something you’re passionate about doing. Try to remember what drew you to what you’re doing. Then find a part of it that you’re good at (hint: these are probably the same notion). Make a next-action that relates to this idea and do it soon. Declare a small victory on this action and your personal morale will be boosted.

How do you declare small victories?

Big Move, 43 Folders Wiki

This weekend saw the intense drama of a family move. My wife, my infant daugher, and I loaded our lives into a 26-foot truck and brought it 5 miles down the road to the first home we’ve ever owned. I’ve moved a few times in a few different ways, but I can say now that the effort required of a move has little to do with the distance you’re moving.

All this to describe a shortcoming of mine – productivity during high-activity or high-stress events. All of the systems that make my daily life fall into place (mostly to overcome ADHD and the procrastination and disorganization that follow so closely) get temporarily abandoned when things just get too busy. My ratty moving clothes didn’t have a place for my HPDA, I didn’t have any furniture to home my inbox, there were plenty of people hanging around to tell me what to do, et al. As a result of this, I’ve been back to the old house twice to pick up random things we need to carry out our every days lives, and I still have no belts to wear. Of course, I’m back in synch now – but there’s got to be a better way to deal with the firehose-effect that comes with these sorts of situations. I’m open to suggestions of course.

In other news, Merlin Mann (of 43 Folders) has made public a wiki that is sure to bring more people, more ideas, and more momentum to the cause of the entire world’s ability to get things done more efficiently. His introduction:

The long-promised 43 Folders Wiki is finally up and running at W00t.

Be sure to check it out, and if you can contribute meaningfully, DO IT!