Wednesday, October 28, 2009

I see firewood

I take lots of walks with my dog. After the initial block, Lafayette doesn't struggle so much. He realizes that resistance is futile and so, I sense, he starts to relax and enjoy it.

Often, during these walks, and especially at this time of year we pass the remnants of garden work. Occasionally it's just the small pile of leaves that has been raked into the gutter but often, it's a goodly collection of twigs, branches, and even small, wooden logs.

Some people pass these collections of organic material and dismiss them as unsightly rubbish, or at best somebody else's problem. I see firewood. Whether it's to burn in a fire place, or an outdoor fire I see this flammable material as energy to bring me joy and in some cases roasted marshmallows. I don't hold it against these other people that they don't see firewood, in our current moments of life I may require firewood to either keep my home warm or heat my person and so it's of some interest to me. My neighbors probably just want it removed.

The metaphor doesn't escape me either.

I think the whole social media craze is apropos to this as well. Some people see firewood and some people see rubbish. I'm not sure what I see: I have a Facebook account and I have a Twitter account. I've had a LinkIn account for about five years now. Some people look at these tools and dismiss them as time wasting nonsense that reduces productivity and changes us from efficient worker drones into imbeciles constantly checking our e-mail and updating their status in Mafia wars. Other people have turned these tools into useful work related devices which allow their companies to either support their customers better or to get additional information about what they're doing wrong.

I believe most of us are somewhere in the middle; utilizing some of these tools for benefit but realizing that time can easily be wasted frittering away time playing Facebook games. sometimes I feel that there is a small minority out there that has figured out these tools and has efficiently integrated them into their business lives. They're making the most of the time they have in a single day; they've discovered how to utilize the hoot suites and tweak decks so as not to tempted to play Farkle. The education needed to change into one of these mythical beings is out there and it's not too difficult to acquire. I'm on that path now and I'm hoping it doesn't take too long.

Lately, I've tried to change my outlook on other people's projects. I'm much more likely to say yes when asked to devote some free time and effort to a project on which I would have passed, previously. The reason that I've been doing this is that I think I may have been walking away from some projects before I really understood them well enough to make an informed decision. I've decided that spending a few hours here and there might be time well spent and would, at the very least, introduce me to some people who I would not have met otherwise. Although my goal is not to get additional employment, some more consulting work would not go by unappreciated. Although I've not made any additional money from my new mental mindset, I've had some unsolicited requests for consulting quotes and I'm willing to chalk them up to this new technique.

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