Roger Bannister ran a four minute mile in 1954 because he didn't know that you weren't supposed to be able to run a four minute mile. If he read running blogs, talking about how impossible it was to run a mile in four minutes, he probably wouldn't have done it.
I don't read running blogs. I don't read any blogs at all, which makes me into a huge hypocrite since I think that everyone should read my blog. It's worth it, though, to preserve the sanctity of original action. One of life's most instructive processes is acting when you've received no directions, can't predict the outcome, and are unclear on the boundaries. Only in these situations can one use all of the different areas of his brain in concert.
People ask me RV questions, and when I reply, I wonder if I'm doing them a disservice, only because I fondly remember the years of discovery I went through with my RV. I bought my RV without having ever slept in an RV before; I decided to live in it without knowing that anyone had ever lived on urban streets in an RV before (which, as it turns out, is rather common in San Francisco).
My experience with the RV has been positively shaped by my initial naivete. With no roadmap for how to live in an RV, I sketched my own through trial and error. As a result I've done many things to my RV that probably haven't been done before, and have developed a lifestyle in it that is unique and tailored to myself.
Amongst my circle of friends and acquaintances, I'm usually the first one to do new weird things. Listing these things would only serve to brag, because the actual actions are irrelevant. The attitude is what matters. I'm not afraid of the unknown; I'm drawn towards it.
Time and time again, my experiences with the novel reinforce the benefit associated with it. Exploring new territory allows us to learn firsthand-- the best type of education, it allows us to figure out what works best for us as individuals, and it sparks innovation that can be shared with others.
If humans are all capable of innovation, why does innovation happen, proportionally, so much more frequently at small companies? It's because in big companies, employees fill well-defined roles. They don't explore the wild frontier. In small companies, no one has any idea what they're doing, so they create without knowing or acknowledging limitation.
On the occasions I do read other people's work, I don't read it in hopes of uncovering their process, because I don't assume that they know me as well as I know myself. Instead, I immerse myself in other people's worlds, hoping to analyze what attitudes and personal traits allowed them to find what worked best for them. I reflect on how well or poorly I embody those traits, and then consider if improvement can be made.
But when it comes to figuring out how to implement that improvement-- I do it my way. And when I write posts, although I do sometimes list specific actions, I try to focus my writing on my attitudes and thought processes, in hopes that others will take from them and find their own way of doing things.
Photo is of me sitting in a random bench in rural Iceland, taken by Todd.
I'm about to play in the $1500 buy-in Fixed Limit event at the World Series of Poker! Wish me luck!