Subscribe: My work, sitting patiently in your inbox.

Monday

Steven's Shoes: Loving Your Work, Watching the RNC Self-Destruct, and More

I sift through a lot of information everyday.  Whether it be some gaming-geared article inspiring me to write an editorial or news piece for PlayStation Universe, a news article on Flipboard, a brilliantly written cover story within TIME Magazine, or a post on my ever-growing list of favorite blogs, new information is constantly flowing through my cerebral cortex.  Some of it sticks, most of it doesn’t.

That’s the horrible reality of data consumption.  Unless we attribute meaning to something, or have some specific reason to remember and reinforce what we’ve learned, it’s likely to fall into the abyss of our minds and never heard from again.

Personally, that scares me.  When I read something, I’d like to think that I’m adding to a vast library of knowledge from which I can draw upon when I need it.  A conversation, a presentation, an exam--I want to know I’m actually absorbing something useful when I read.

Otherwise, what’s the point of most of the reading I do?

One technique I’ve found helps me remember what I’ve read is by writing about it.  Even if it’s only a sentence or two, going back to summarize what I’ve just read helps me hold onto the most important points of a book, article, or blog post so that the reading actually serves me in some fashion.  So, on days when I consume a lot of information, I plan to wrap up the day by sharing what I’ve read and learned.  It is, if you’ll allow me the cheesiness, a moment in my shoes.  Hence “Steven’s Shoes”.

Today

  • Tynan :: Love Work ::  This blog post really resonated with me.  I’ve always had a natural aversion to work I dislike or am not passionate about, and it has been an underlying fear of mine that I will be forced into a job I hate for the sake of staying afloat and being responsible.  In summary, Tynan explains that hard work is a necessary part of succeeding, and it shouldn’t be jeopardized.  If you don’t put in your full effort, you’ll never achieve what you’ve set out to.  And that’s OK, Tynan says, so long as you make the choice to not achieve your dreams consciously.  It’s all about perspective.  Working hard doesn’t have to be something we hate if we can find the meaning behind what we’re doing and link it to our passions.  That’s the goal: Do work you love, work smart, and work hard.

  • Tynan :: Training Yourself ::  After reading this above post, I couldn’t get enough.  This was the next post I stumbled upon, and I love it as well.  While I’m not the type to throw hundreds away on self-help books and other brain-drains, I realize the importance of constantly striving to be better, and enjoying the process.  That’s what Tynan discusses here.  We all want to improve, but if you don’t enjoy the process, you’ll never reach a level of contentment.  You’ll spend the entirety of your life chasing a “perfect” you that will never exist.  Self improvement is admirable, it’s what I’m all about and something I work to accomplish on a daily basis, but it’s not just the end goal that’s important -- it’s the process.

  • Tynan :: Stimulation and How I Learned to Love Dishwashing :: Yep, more from Tynan.  This was the last post of his I read today, and it’s all about positivity.  He starts out by discussing his original aversion to dishwashing, and how he was able to overcome it by focusing on the positive aspects of the activity, like the calming feeling of warm suds on his hands.  I don’t advocate magical thinking, but I believe in the power of the optimistic outlook.  Being able to see the good in things, to overcome negativity and setback and be resilient, is undoubtedly a good thing.

  • Marginal Revolution :: The demand for NSA data ::  I then turned my attention towards all of the NSA happenings.  I’m on the fence concerning the government’s collection of my every phone call and digital interaction, and so I am always looking for new perspectives to help me take a side and defend it.  This bit has me leaning in greater support of the NSA, for this reason: There are a number of federal agencies that want to use the hoards of data the NSA has acquired.  Some of this could probably be put to good use, but it could also be abused.  The narrative of the NSA discussion on many levels has led myself and others to believe that the NSA is a poorly controlled agency that is simply collecting and sharing all of our data.  That’s not true.  In fact, the NSA declines so many requests from other agencies that there has been rising tensions.  While I am still unsure of where I stand on the NSA collecting my data at all (I previously posted about my indifference), I am comforted to know that the NSA is practicing restraint and closely considering who, and who doesn’t, have access to my data.

  • World War II Today :: John F. Kennedy Finds Solomon Islanders :: This piece tells the account of JFK and other soldiers after a Japanese ship left the soldiers stranded on an island.  I found it interesting how persistent, but restrained, the soldiers were.  Continuously swimming back and forth from their “home” island to Cross Island in search of boats, the soldiers generally remained in the same place until a reasonable opportunity to leave presented itself.  This is different from the generally depicted group of soldiers who run recklessly through jungles and defeat an army by themselves.

  • Chicago Tribune :: Republicans Threaten to Boycott NBC and CNN Debates over Clinton documentary, film :: It would appear that the Republican Party is looking to “opt out” of the 2016 presidential debates hosted by CNN and NBC should the stations decide to air a Hillary Clinton documentary and film.  This, then, would be promoting a potential democratic candidate and hindering the republican nominee’s outlook for success.  Apparently withdrawing from the debate, and thus not being heard and appearing childish, is the way to woo voters.  Well done RNC.

More to come.