What is Purpose

Purpose, my purpose, should be independent of the medium or tool that is used to achieve it.

If I take photos of blue whales when they swim at the bottom of the ocean because they start to glow and I want the world to know about this strange phenomenon, I have purpose.  The camera is the tool, and the photos the medium, but I could write a story, or tell a story, or draw a picture, paint and painting, etc.  My purpose is still the same, and therefore exists.  My purpose can’t be , “To take photos”.  Otherwise, without the tool, there is no purpose.

What’s my purpose?  Do I have one?  I don’t know.  I think this definition will help me define it.  I love doing time lapse, and astrophotography, HDR landscapes.  I know that it’s because those things you can’t see without the camera.  Is my purpose to show the world things they can’t normally see?  Maybe.  I feel it has to be something more though.

Secretly (questioning this due to it being published on the internet), my purpose is to just be able to take pictures for a living, but that’s too broad.  Sure, everyone wants to do that.

Truly, this is just a jumping off point.  Find purpose, keep it independent of tools and medium.  Go.

Time To Simplify

MyGarageBuild.com, is a great little idea, humming along, people watch it, the blog posts itself from youtube, and although I’m unhappy with I want to be one of those people, that can affect an industry.  That can with a few choice words can bend a way of thinking.  In my quest to discover, “what should I do with my life”, I read about major players in different industries.  I check out their Biographies.  I study their path.  I want to know how they got there.  Not because I want to follow their path, but I’m looking for similarities.  Clues.  For all those people, something led them to greatness, be it, fate, luck, tragedy or whatever.  On the way to work this morning, I discovered something they all have in common.


I know.  It seems so obvious.  Forgive me, while I second guess myself, it’s part of this learning and growing process.

They have a passion for one particular thing, and they live it and breath it.  They have something to share, and something to add from very early on, because they surround themselves with their passion and learn everything they can about it.  I do not.

I searched briefly in between the Norwich and Thetford exit, for things I am passionate about.  Garages? nope.  Fixing stuff? nope.  Lawn care? nope.  Guitars? nope.  Doing video?  Close, but not really.  It’s fun.  But it doesn’t feel like I am passionate about it.  In my search, it immediately led me to…why?  To which the obvious answer is, I am doing hundreds of things all the time, in genres so far removed from each other there is no way to draw parallels between them.  I work on cars, and write code?  I play music (hardly ever) and do tile work?  Fix plumbing, write a blog.  I maintain a video series, and raise two kids.  I’m just all over the place.  I discovered on my drive, that I’m spread too thin. I jump from thing to thing, spending bits of time on each, getting “into” something just a little bit, until something shiny passes near me, and I chase it for a while.  I really do feel like a big dumb labrador retriever.  I’m not focussed.  I do a hundred things good, but nothing well.  And I’m tired of it, I’m done.

Most of the change that needs to happen, is just a shift in perspective.  Honestly the majority of solving life’s problems is just a shift in perspective, a different understanding.  I need to release all of the things I’m trying to do, and choose one to focus on.  Now, obviously, I’m not going to release raising my children.  So let’s just state that there are a certain number of things, a baseline from where we start.  Raising kids, doing dishes, taking out the trash, paying bills, loving partner, seeing friends (this last one is a whole blog post in it’s self…stay tuned).  So beyond the baseline, I need to focus on one thing.  The perspective shift is not that I’m going to drop everything else, which was where I naturally went in my brain.  Focus on one thing, drop everything else.  I starting thinking about selling my camera, and tractor, and tools in the garage and selling everything in order to simplify and cleanse life.  But after a little reflection, I realized I can accomplish the simplifying without liquifying assets.  I choose the word assets, because they are all tools (the things I was thinking of selling).  Tools which accomplish, or help accomplish tasks.  I realized that I can make the decision to stop all the “other” in my life, and just having the tools idle is ok.  It’s kind of their nature.  One can’t possibly use all of his tools all the time, and so by pure definition, tools are meant to sit idle until needed.   The shift in my mind I am making is, to eliminate the expectation that I will use the tools or that I “must” use the tools.  I carry around a certain amount of guilt about the expensive camera I bought.  If I don’t use it, I wasted that money.  I’m choosing to sell that guilt, instead of the camera.  This should help ease the stress of all that money “wasted” cause I’m not using the tools so I can focus on one thing.

So.  Guilt gone.  There are multiple categories that take my time above and beyond baseline.
Business Ideas
Active Projects
Around the House Projects (maintenance is under “baseline”, these are things that dont’ NEED to be done)

I can’t seem to stop or reduce the number of “business ideas” I come up with.  Perhaps I’m thinking to much, perhaps I should be spending more time working on one idea.  I’ve figured out in the last year, and have practiced, writing them down immediately.  My current shift in perspective will require resisting working on each and every one.  I am only allowed one.

My active projects, like www.mygaragebuild.com, and seventy9studios.com and troubleshoot.tv, and thepelletclub.com, and the other ones I haven’t launched yet, need to be trimmed down.  I don’t like troubleshoot.tv anymore.  I built it as an exercise in development, and when I was finished i didn’t like how much work for myself i’d built into the idea.  The pelletclub, is a great idea that is sitting in a realm I couldn’t care less about.

Note for future: Try to weed out the business ideas that are firmly rooted in an industry, about which, I could care less.

how lame the posts end up being, and that I want to add content to each post, I’m just not going to stress about it, or put anymore time into it.

Around the house projects, will get done, when they get done.  I am not on any sort of timeline, not under the gun to get it finished before winter.  Unless there is some dying need, just let it happen when it happens.

Focus. Simplify.  Passion.

Wait.  Passion?  What is my passion?  I also figured this out on the drive in, at least for the time being. (that’s a strange saying, “time being”, I bet it has a silent “now”  ”at least for the time being now”)  I was rattling off the things in my life, that I’m not passionate about, and I seemed to have run across all of them when I said, except.  It was one of those realization moments (no, I will not say “a ha” moment).

Except. Starting businesses.

I am passionate about coming up with business Ideas, and running them through their paces, and creating plans on how to start them.  Why oh why didn’t I dive into this in business school.  Oh yeah, I think it was cause I couldn’t spell the word entrepreneur with any sort of consistency.   Who knows.  The point is, I’m 13 years behind schedule.  My Passion is entrepreneurship.   It is what I do.

So, time to focus.

Thanks for reading.


Choosing to choose – Own your life

One of my favorite life lessons learned, is actually a lesson taught to my partner from her mother, and shared with me.  As with so many things, it is so simple it’s easy to overlook, but makes a huge difference in how we perceive everything in life.  Get ready, cause it could be life changing.

Choose.  We can make an active choice in everything we do, think, and feel.

It’s so obvious when you think about it, but very hard in practice because you are in contest with all your habits and learned behaviors.  For instance, I used to be mad and angry when I was sick with a cold.  I would stomp around being irritated, until my partner asked me “why are you so mad”, to which I gruffly responded with “Cause I’m sick!”, “Why does that mean you have to be mad?” she asked, and I didn’t have a reason.

Choose how you want to interact with this world.  Choose to behave in ways that would make your children proud.  Choose to be happy at someones party, when you might be mentally stuck from something else that happened.  Choose to eat better.  Choose to exercise.  Or choose to sit on the couch, and eat crap.  The second part of the lesson, and most importantly is this:

Own your choice.

If you choose to behave in ways you regret and you don’t own that choice, you’re doing yourself a dis-service.  You’re hurting your progress forward (assuming that’s the direction you’ve chosen).  If you choose to eat poorly, OWN IT.  Recognize that it’s a choice you have made.   Why are thrill seekers so happy all the time?  They have chosen to live dangerously and they own that choice. They are comfortable with the risk, and are accepting that they have chosen this path.  The world hasn’t brought these things that you don’t like down upon you.  It’s not the guy who cut you off in line at the store, who made you mad, and so you frowned and complained at that persons party.  You CHOOSE to be mad at that guy.  Own that.  You’ll find as soon as you own it.  ”Yes, I made myself upset at that guy”  you will find it very difficult to stay mad.

And remember, once you realize you have chosen to be where you are, for good or bad, you can choose to start heading towards where you want to be.

Thanks for choosing to read this.