Haven't gotten too much done the last few days. I was in Saigon for three months, so I had to pack up and finish errands there before moving on, and I haven't really gotten settled into Kuala Lumpur yet. I'm not really working on the big expansive projects I've got, I'm doing little odds and ends with my time, including giving in to a fair bit of distraction.
And then I realized - I'm actually doing okay, because I'm not engaging in addictive pastimes. Some pursuits, once sucked in, really grab you and hold you. Things with high levels of stimulation, learning curves that keep you in flow, and social elements are the worst. I've never played World of Warcraft, but I imagine that's why it's so addictive. Heck, I used to spend quite a lot of hours on Conquer Club each day, which is an online version of Risk. Part of it was, you'd get into team games, and if you dropped out you'd hose your team.
So the last few days, not much has really happened... but that's okay, I've been screwing off and wasting time on Hacker News, Quora, Less Wrong, and various blogs in my RSS Reader. That's not good, but it's not so terrible. It's easy to let those fall off and get back onto track.
This was part of a conscious shift I made a while ago - get off anything that's a consistent presence in my life that's not producing good things. It took a while, but I cleared out a lot of that stuff. How about you? Got any addictive pastimes? Could you, perhaps, swap them for less addictive pastimes? The latter paves the way to dropping out of pastimes that don't serve you in favor of activities that really do.
Leaving places where everything is right "just because."
I just arrived in Beijing. The air is cold and crisp, the pace is fast, people are wearing suits and carrying briefcases and the general vibe here is I'm on a mission.
I hate cold weather except in small doses, and I haven't spent more than two weeks in a cold-weather place during a cold time of the year since... I don't know when, it's been a long time. A few years.
I forgot how the cold makes people move fast, crisp, not dally, not lounge about... it's refreshing. I feel like I'm in New York a little before Christmastime, which (shitty cold weather aside) is one of my favorite times in one of my favorite places in the world.
But let's about traveling (and life) mistakes. The biggest mistake I've made, by far, is leaving a place where I'm very happy or productive or I've got a good workflow. Occasionally, everything is just right somewhere... and when everything is just right, I'd recommend you milk it for all it's worth.
Life has been crazy lately, and I haven't seen my daily writing habit in months. I have a hundred blog posts written, but I forget exactly where they are, and I remember thinking none of them were amazing. So I'm in that position that I created that habit to get out of: it's the night before a post is "due", I'm unwilling to skip a day, and I've sat here for an hour writing intro sentences for a million different posts.
I wanted to write about how, when giving advice, I used to always just tell people to do exactly what I do. In time, I realized that the best way to support someone is to give the advice that will bring them closer to their goals and desires, rather than what you'd do with their resources to get to your own goal. I think I already wrote that post, though, and I'm not sure if I posted it or not. Then I realized that I spent about four hours today explaining to my friends why they should buy bitcoins and possibly buy a plane. So maybe I'm not so good at that, after all.
I scrapped that post and came back to an empty box. What am I thinking about these days, I asked myself?
Well, I have one cool project I'm doing, but it would ruin it to talk about it before it's done, so I have to wait on that. I know exactly what the blog post is going to be, though, and I can't wait to write it.