Derek Featherstone's Box of Chocolates: You never know what you're going to get

Box of Chocolates

Thursday, January 7th, 2010 - 10:31pm

Connecting the Thoughts

I love the process of writing. It makes me think, helps me process my thoughts, and synthesize them into something that is (usually) coherent. Taking that trip through my own brain and pulling pieces from what I have experienced and putting them together in new ways helps me set the course for my future.

That is part of the reason that I signed up for Project 52. It isn’t just a kick start to get me writing more. I’m using Project 52 as a means for me to understand myself and others more deeply and thoroughly.

In processing the past year of triathlon training and racing, I came to the realization that last year’s activities were focused entirely on the long haul. My wife and I competed in two races: IronMan Lake Placid, and IronMan Muskoka 70.3. Both are long distance races, and are spaced such that they ended up being the only races we trained for. And ultimately, that hurt us. We resented training. We weren’t having fun. We just didn’t want to do it any more.

Mentally reliving the experiences of the past 12 months while kicking off 2010, connected our world of triathlon racing to my world of work. Last year’s long-haul-only tri pain was that of 2008 in business — where we worked almost exclusively on one project for one client for the entire year. That singular focus for an entire year nearly burnt us out completely (ask Jeff Smith — he’ll tell you!), and I’m determined to never let that happen again.

Just as we need variety in our training and competitions in triathlon, so too, do we need variety in the projects we take on in business. It can’t just be the long haul.

It seems to me that in many ways, my ideal year in triathlon would be very similar to an ideal year of business. For the company to be healthy, and for us to maintain our passion, to feel good about what we’re doing, we need a well-balanced mixture of activity. Mix some short term projects — the sprint distance triathlons where we push our limits to go fast and furious — with some longer term projects — the long haul, IronMan and IronMan 70.3 races that take long, slow preparation and lots of endurance building — and a good dose of fun — projects where we experiment and scratch our own itches, doing things just for us.

Now, more than ever, I’m looking forward to the year 2010 — with a clear path forward for the right variety — in business, and in health.

What’s the right mix for you for 2010? How are you going to maintain variety so that you don’t burn out and keep the passion for what you do alive and well?

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Feeling good having published my first two posts for Project 52: and #p52

This comment was originally posted on Twitter

How are you going to maintain variety in 2010’s work so that you keep the passion for what you do alive and well?

This comment was originally posted on Twitter

I’m leaving my workplace of 4 years for the same reason. Variety is what keeps the ideas coming. Else it’s just banging one’s head against the wall over and over.

Greg and I ran two miles today. Does that count? ;) I’m considering my own start-up instead of all these little coding jobs or big websites for other people. But that’s all predicated on being able to take time to make plans for it… 2010 might just mean plodding, but still moving forward. :)

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