February ends, March Begins, and Marty Bhatia Learned Something
Have you ever started, stopped, restarted, stopped, rinsed, and repeated with the only outcome being the fact that you really haven’t gotten anything worthwhile done? This phenomenon is sometimes called “paralysis by analysis”. As I build my blogging career (yes, that is what I am doing) I have found that my constant desire to improve has yet again left me stuck.
If you remember, the end of January resulted in a Jan wrap up post. From there I was hoping to create a format for end of month summaries so that I could follow that format every time. The problem began when I realized that I can’t keep a format because I am doing so many new things.
The amount of stuff I’ve learned only leaves me with a feeling that I’ve just hit the tip of the iceberg. But, when I go and help someone I quickly realize just how much I’ve actually learned. So I’ve decided to keep it simple, and give you a list, and then the most import thing I’ve learned in February.
A List of Successes
- Started the Meetup Group Chicago Blogs with the first event scheduled March 16th
- Added 400 new and quality Twitter followers on my @thebloggerspost account
- Switched themes for the future site of the bloggers post 3 times
- Start to participate with the WordPress Meetup group in Chicago and love it
- Helped a few friends get started on their new websites for their businesses
- Cleaned up my LinkedIn account, but still don’t like the user interface or functionality
- Learned some PHP
- Engaged with people on twitter like @Square_Inch and now have a collaboration
- And much much more
The Most Important Things I’ve Learned
I have to say that many of my theories were correct. I believed that at the source of our needs is not just a sense of, but an actual involvement in, community. If you consider every group of activities you do as a community you belong to whether you meet with others that do it or not, then the power and joy we get from interacting with others that belong to those same communities can be realized. I’ve spent a lot of time immersing myself into my communities, and I’ve benefited a great deal.
In particular I’ve spent a lot of time on Twitter. I often feel like Twitter is a big playground, and we are all 7 years old. We’ve had some school already, we’re learning new things like cursive, and we are eagerly trying to make friends. But, we don’t always know how to do that. Fear, anxiety, and our own insecurities start to scream at us. We start to create all of these stories around what is the best method to make friends.
The truth is simple. Say hello to someone, pay them a compliment, offer a suggestion, ask for help, anything that says “hey, I’m here, and I want to play.” The key to joining a community is simply…engage. Don’t over complicate things. Life is simple. It happens whether we think about it or not. You don’t think about breathing, blinking, or even the actions you take everyday. When you make your coffee or tea in the morning do you think about every step of the process?
Our complexity of life comes from our desires (which we created), and those desires make us plot, and plan, and scheme until we come up with a thought. That thought took a simple concept and twisted it into this complex beast. We pride ourselves on handling complex things. While at the same time this complexity is often unnecessary. Remember the K.I.S.S. theory and Keep It Simple Stupid.
The moral of the story is simple too. Take any medium you wish, Twitter, Facebook, blogging, and just say hello. Don’t over think it. Don’t tell yourself you can’t learn something new, and go open up your Twitter account. Click on everything, say something, put some time into the community that you wish to belong to, grow, or create. I promise the world won’t end, and we can get out of the paralysis that we’ve created in our complex analysis of everything just by being simple.
As for March…I’ve started a new collaboration with Christian Jackson of Square Inch Design (you may have noticed him in the list). There will be a series of 4 posts about how we met to collaborate, the process, the result, and where we plan to go from there. Keep a look out. If I can keep it simple, I may get the first of the series up as early as this weekend.