Sunday, July 01, 2012
The Road to Inspiration
I’m currently on vacation in the wilds of Northeast of Canada, by which I currently mean Prince Edward Island, which is not all that wild at all.
If you know me at all (and no doubt you don’t), you’ll know that I’m not short on ideas, but am quite short on…what…motivation?...energy?....stick-to-it-iveness? Let’s just say the “doing”.
I have now two book series that I’d like to write, any number of articles about what the future has in store for us and how to learn from past predictions, ideas for new things, ideas for improving old things, ideas for websites that should be profitable if I could only get around to them, ideas that would take hundreds of millions of dollars to implement, thoughts about all kinds of philosophy, humorous observations of all kinds, a presentation or two for the local Quantified Self meetup that I’d like to give, and the occasional food/movie criticism.
As you can guess, not much is happening on any of these fronts as of yet, but on this trip I’ve run into two, what you may call “propellants”.
First, we visited the Alexander Graham Bell museum in Nova Scotia. It was my wife’s idea to go there and, I have to say, I was pretty indifferent. I came away pretty inspired. Mr. Bell, most well known for his invention of the telephone, was hugely prolific as near as I can tell. Also, as near as I can tell, he considered himself an amateur at most everything. I don’t know why Thomas Edison, who was no doubt triply productive, doesn’t inspire me to the same depths. I imagine Edison as the head of a large enterprise and Bell as working with a small number of passionate people. I imagine the truth to be more complex than this.
I tried to find something suitable from the gift shop to capture the inspiration that I felt, but the best I could come up with was a bookmark (my daughter, on the other hand, came away with a complete ink and pen set like they used in the days before ball points). It’s not enough, but I’ll put it on my desk when I get home as a reminder that the race goes to the runner, not the one who could imagine how to run faster.
The second propellant was the discovery that a neighbor died just as we set out on our adventure. He was 57, and I don’t know what happened, but he left behind two kids, a wife, and an apparently non-trivial legacy. A reminder that, as yet, time is ticking for all of us, and once the sponge between our ears is no longer wet, everything in it dries up and blows away, so at the very least, write things down.
So that’s what I’m doing. Hopefully this means more entries about things and progress towards the increasingly large list of things I’d like to even get started on.
If you’d like to help me out on this, feel free to give me a nudge virtually or in person. The more propellants we all have, I guess, the better.