Waiting is No

More from Die Empty by Todd Henry (page 95),

Waiting in some form is inevitable, but it can also become a habit, a form of abdication. An excuse. It’s easier to blame someone else for our failure to act than to face the deeper source of our inaction. Waiting is a less risking form of “no.”

Waiting can also be procrastination. I like Henry’s observation that inaction is a form of saying “no.” And of course the other side of this is that waiting can be a good thing and appropriate for the circumstances. I suppose the critical part here is knowing which situations need “waiting” and which ones need “action.”

Here’s a little bonus that kind of ties in from page 97,

If you could snap your fingers and change one thing right now, what would it be? I challenge you not to think about contingencies and limitations, but instead to think of growth opportunities. You must own your own growth and take responsibility for your own progress.

Help Me Decide if Facebook is For Me

I recently signed up for an online course that came with a private Facebook group. I was not thrilled about it being on Facebook, but given that I wanted to get the most out of the class begrudgingly created an account and joined the group. A few weeks after that I started hearing about other private Facebook groups for podcasts or books I really liked and joined them as well.

I’m surprised and impressed with the quality and level of interactions in these groups. If you know me at all you know I don’t care for Facebook and have never had a presence there. Facebook is just one more place to maintain my online presence run by a company I just don’t trust when it comes to having the best interests of their users at heart.

I continually get the impressions that Facebook (the company) is all about making sure they get more from the platform than the users, including their approach to privacy. It’s possible I’ve read it all wrong, but I’ve been extremely turned off in the past by what I’ve heard about Facebook’s approach to user privacy–creating a gauntlet of and hard to find settings and default settings that leave new users wide open to sharing everything.

I get that social networks are not necessarily about privacy, people are on them after all to share things publicly. I think, however, that there’s no good reason to set such liberal default open privacy settings. With all this in mind (and perhaps fears based on out-dated information) I setup a Facebook account with a unique email address (to see how it gets tracked or used, and also to break the chain between my Facebook email address and other social networks).

I realize there are other ways to draw associations with my other networks using ip address lookup, cookies, etc. so it was also an experiment. Once I had my account created I also set the privacy settings as I high as I could… is it working? Who knows. I was surprised that within a week, two people I had barely corresponded with over GMail suddenly wanted to be friends on Facebook.

My attitude about Facebook has changed slightly given the highly helpful and positive private groups I’ve joined. The interface and notifications process is smooth and beats the those classic online web forums that are so ugly and difficult to navigate.

So now that I’ve joined some of these groups and am meeting new and interesting people, I’d like to stay in contact with them. The problem is I don’t want to “friend” a bunch of people or be “friended “by others so I feel stuck. So far I don’t have any “friends” on Facebook, though I have received some “friend requests.” I really don’t want to have a new group of people to track and stay in touch with on Facebook. Is that short-sighted?

I’m already on three major social networks.

LinkedIn — https://www.linkedin.com/in/johnpoelstra
Twitter — https://twitter.com/johnpoelstra
Google+ — https://plus.google.com/+JohnPoelstra

I like LinkedIn for keeping track of people connections and Twitter for general sharing and seeing what’s going on. I also like Google+, but am not as active there. So far I just haven’t seen the need for Facebook.

In my perfect world, I could have a Facebook page, wall, whatever, whereby someone could see the following:

  • My name and that I’m there
  • Other social networks I’m on
  • A short block of text encouraging people that want to connect with me to do so on one of the networks I’m already on, with links to those networks and a short block of text maybe explaining that I’m not maintaining connections on Facebook.
  • A simple way of contacting me

My two questions are:
1) How can I make the scenario I’ve proposed above work on Facebook or is it a bad idea?
2) What am I missing or should I reconsider about having a larger presence on Facebook and if so, why?

I haven’t been able to figure this out using the Google. Does anyone have good overall suggestions or an approach that works given my preferences?

It’s Up to You

I just started reading Die Empty by Todd Henry. Here’s a quote from early in the book that ties in with a lot of other things I’ve been working on and thinking about. From page 9:

Waiting for permission to act is the easy way out. Everyone has to play the hand they’re dealt. This means you can’t make a habit of pointing fingers, blaming others, or complaining. As painful as it can be, unfairness is baked into every aspect of life, and to make a contribution and empty yourself of your potential, you have to come to terms with it and refuse to be a victim.

I Don’t Want to Care What You Do

I’m not sure where I heard about Everything That Remains: A memoir by the minimalists by Joshua Fields Millburn and Ryan Nicodemus.  I don’t even recall requesting it at the library, but one day they told me my request had come in so I picked it up.

It’s well written and insightful. From page 63,

But let’s think about the question for a moment: What do you do? In reality, it’s such a broad inquiry that any answer would suffice.  What do I do? I do a lot of things: I drink water. I eat food. I write words sloppily onto little yellow legal pads.  Once you scrap away its cheap gold-plating, however, we find a series of noxious inquisitions lurking beneath the surface.  Sadly, what we’re actually asking when we posit this question, albeit unknowingly, is: How do you earn a paycheck? How much money do you make? What is your socioeconomic status? And based on that status, where do I fall on the socioeconomic ladder compared to you? Am I a rung above you? Below you? How should I judge you? Are you even worth my time?

I was just thinking about this.  A few weeks ago we were camping and met another family who had a boy our son’s age.  The boys hit it off immediately and played together from dusk to dawn. At one one point I asked the parents in some round about way what they did when they weren’t camping.  Something about the way I asked the question garnered a non-response and the conversation moved on.

I realized as I spent more time talking to them and even after we parted ways that I had no idea what they “did to earn money.”  I had learned a lot about how they loved the outdoors and the amazing trips they’d been on, but I didn’t really know how they earned money.

As I kept thinking about how strange this was, not to have ever found out what they “did to earn a living” it dawned on me how little it really mattered. In some ways not knowing made it easier to accept and know them as simply who they were.  Interesting now to read this quote which perhaps illuminated why.

I also had a crazy thought of wondering, if our paths were to cross again, how long we could go without discovering what any of us did to earn money.

As Millburn points out, just because someone earns money in a certain way does not mean everything about them, nor does that job that pays money act as a full representation of them.

Deadline to Change

Just listened to a great podcast by Brendon Buchard titled Why to Quit.  It’s about way more than quitting. It’s about making positive changes in our lives and being intentional about making them.

I’ve followed Brendon’s work for a while, but had no idea he had a podcast until Ray Edwards shared his favorite podcasts. The episodes are short, always encouraging and I never miss one.

His encouragement to set a deadline and then live by it is big.  I know I need to make some changes and now I’m going to set some deadlines.