Just a few things I don't think are boring:
- sinking my teeth into some fresh sweet melon
- a late afternoon jog in the woods
- hanging out with friends and family
- an ice cold beer at the football game
- an all-you-can-eat salad bar
- curling up with SO (even if it is a chick flick)
- a hot shower, freshly brushed teeth, and a warm bathrobe
- a happy dance after a new program runs the first time
But if you think of them as "living", you'll embrace them and never give the concept of "maintenance" a second thought.
- Periodic management of bank account and making sure you have enough to do
whatever it is (survive, travel, have fun, etc)
- Periodic visits to the dentist or doctor for checkups
- If distance is an issue, periodically calling your mother.
Not all hackers live in their parents' basement. ;) This one is a weak example.
- Mowing the lawn, doing laundry, wash dishes, refill toilet paper, etc...
Just wanted to play devil's advocate and point out that it takes a certain mindset and definitely a conscious effort to live well.
If you have live a sheltered life, yes. The mindset comes from realising the "living" bit and the circumstances you live for most is (often) taken for granted.
Steve Pavlina (another self-help guru which has gotten posted to HN a bunch) has a great post on why the 7's in your life are particularly pernicious:
What you’ll find when you leave the comfort of your 7 and go chasing after that 10 is that your 7 was never a 7. It was only a 3.
If you think you’re at a 7, you’re really at a 3 maximum. The 10 is way, way out there. You think you can see it, but your definition of a 10 is based on your experience of a 7, and you can’t even see a real 10 when you’re standing at 7. It’s beyond your ability to fathom.
If you were to go out and find someone who’s actually at a 10 in your area and asked them how you were doing on a scale of 1 to 10, they’d be able to label your 7 accurately as a 3. How would an Olympic gymnast rate your current diet and exercise habits? Are you really at 70% of their level? Ask a couple that seems to be googly in love with each other how they’d rate your relationship? Ask the most motivated, successful person you know how they’d rate your career? Is your 7 really a 7? Or is it a 3?
(it's Derek Sivers approved! http://sivers.org/hellyeah )
So, I'm not 100% convinced that this sort of self-obsession is really all that helpful.
On the other hand, he did die pretty much on the job, and at several years younger than he ought to've ...
Surely you'd agree that it's especially helpful to those who, unlike your grandfather, are wondering why they have not yet achieved what they want.
But the tongue-in-cheek point is that I'm really beginning to get that all that consideration is just consideration. You still have to do stuff, and the people that I think of as the greatest examples of getting lots of stuff done don't seem to spend too much time dwelling on what they can do different, or on whether it's healthy, or on whether people appreciate it or not.
I can't imagine him wondering anything about his achievements -- even though he probably did occasionally -- because he always seemed to not have the time to wonder about it. He was busy doing stuff instead.
Hence the value of a difficult childhood.
That's only half joking, most of the guys & girls that succeeded rather early in life had some luggage with them.
Maintenance is king. Maintenance is the most interesting part of
business. Maintenance is the only way that you'll stay in business.
So, you can call maintenance boring, and I love you for it. Because
while you're standing still with your "perfect" initial system, I am
eating you lunch, drinking your wine, taking your customers, and
spending your cash.
A good exercise is to take 5 minutes and write the things you want in life. I was surprised to find that my list was much smaller than I thought and to the exception of 1 or 2 items everything I could do/have within a short amount of time.
It turned out to be a $25 repair. They replaced a washer.
Sometimes things that look like they require some great, superhuman effort, but end up just involving basic day to day effort.
His depiction of university professors accurately describes most bloggers.
Those who are good at teaching, teach implies that somehow teachers are selected by their ability to teach, which is not true. Teachers happen to be teachers for a variety of reasons; but their talent has little to do with the fact that they continue to be teachers.
The case of bloggers is arguably a little different; certainly lack of talent or experience does not prevent people from blogging, but traffic provides at least some objective (if imperfect) measure of success.
But I would expect people who describe the road to world dominance to first document what they really know about it: if they haven't traveled it themselves, have they at least interviewed many successful people? What books have they read before writing anything?
What do they know?
I guess the point I was trying to make was that some people are very good at teaching (or blogging) even though they may not have necessarily done what they teach about. For example, I've had great teachers - politics teachers, English teachers, professors in law school, etc - who didn't practice what they taught i.e. my high school politics teacher wasn't a politician, my university film studies professor didn't make movies, my law school professors were not practicing lawyers or judges (in fact my contract law professor was brilliant yet had only practised law for a year before turning to academia), etc. So it is conceivable that someone could teach or communicate something of value without having the personal experience of practising the profession they're teaching about.
Having said all that, when it comes to someone making grand statements about what constitute the keys to success, etc this may not be something that you can truly and credibly teach purely based on persoaln observations or academic study (as would seem to be possible regarding subjects such as politics, film and law to repeat the examples given above).
This seems more like someone attempting to teach or make statements about what it takes to successfully climb a mountain. Mountain climbing is one of those subjects - to which I would definitely add building a business - that can't really be taught by someone without personal experience. These are subjects where the 'lab' is the real world, so unless someone has been in the real world, they really don't have helpful lessons to offer.
I'd say: try to understand the habits of those you admire the most, and try them yourself if it makes sense.
The solution is measurement. If I want more of X, I need to understand the values of X at time Y such that delta X is always positive. That's where the author and I differ. Without a fuel gauge, I would not know whether or not my car needed attention. My life works like that too.
I've been trying Giles Bowkett's system for building habits based on the "calendar about nothing" for a couple weeks. It seems promising (for example, two weeks is longer than i usually stick to things), but it's too early to tell. I think the key is to change only one thing at a time, until the habit is locked in.
You are not a beautiful and unique snowflake. You are the same decaying organic matter as everyone else, and we are all part of the same compost pile. ~Chuck Palahniuk, Fight Club, Chapter 17
You're not your job. You're not how much money you have in the bank. You're not the car you drive. You're not the contents of your wallet. You're not your fucking khakis. You're the all-singing, all-dancing crap of the world. ~Fight Club movie, screenplay by Jim Uhls, directed by David Fincher, novel by Chuck Palahniuk
Beauty and uniqueness are simply not automatic for humans.