Release notes: October 2020
See all reflections.
I did a lot of things in October. Not all of those things were planned and many of my planned things didn't get done as a result. I think it's often important to roll with life's punches and to subsequently course correct to get you back on track.
One thing I did that I also planned to do was vote in the 2020 US Presidential election. If you haven't taken the time to vote yet and you're eligible - go vote! You can read about how I voted and why in How I'm voting in 2020.
My name is Hamilton and this is my October 2020 Release notes.
US Presidential Election
The biggest thing to call out in this release notes is that I voted and you should too. The outcome of this election will have a huge impact on the direction of the world and we must have everyone's view points taken into account.
You can read about how I voted and why in How I'm voting in the 2020 presidential election.
I believe that personally I'll be largely unaffected by the outcomes of this election. I'm a white cis male with a flexible tech job living in one of the most liberal cities on Earth. This is a privilege I want to keep top of mind as many will be deeply affected by the outcome of this election. That's a large reason why I voted the way I did.
The biggest change in my life now that election day has arrived is that I'll be wrapping up my HamForGood Elections workstream and allocating that energy to other projects. This is both a relief and a bit of a disappointment - there's always more that could've been done but I'm kinda over it. I think it's important to do what you can and work hard at what you set your mind to. But at the end of the day / project / workstream it's equally important to wrap it up and accept that you did what you did. That's all you gave and you can't go back and change that - the only thing you can do is inform how you'd do it differently next time.
Check out some projects from this workstream:
This month I've been thinking a lot about what I want to do in H1 2021. This has led to a lot of fruitful reflections on my core systems leading to changes in my perceived identity, missions, values, and goals.
The biggest change, and perhaps a summary of the rest of the changes, is that I've changed my perceived identity. This reflection came about after reading a passage in Atomic Habits saying that habits were a way to become your ideal self and that your perception of your self is a large driver of how you form and maintain habits in the first place. This argument set off a lot of connections in my brain so I took some time to encode it in my systems.
I haven't figured out a great way to describe what this is / means but the closest I've come up with is it's how you'd elevator pitch yourself if you had to do it. By having this elevator pitch handy, it's easy to get a read on what actions / efforts would help / hurt you getting closer to your ideal self.
So say you had 1 sentence to describe who you are, what you do, and how you do it - what would you say?
If your answer was 'I am a modern-day Jesus' then you could then use the phrase 'Would Jesus do this?' (or the more popular version among car bumpers 'What would Jesus do?') to help guide the actions, habits, plans you make.
For a while mine was "I'm a software engineer and creative technologist". I think that worked fine for awhile but I've been goaling more and more on creating businesses and solving real world problems and I don't think that adequately covered that side of my life.
So I've changed it to "I'm a world-class creative technologist x entrepreneur". I think this covers my creative, technological, and business drives as well as my ideal of becoming elite in each of these directives. Of course telling people you're world-class at anything seems a little pompous so I've truncated that part for external consumption, leaving my elevator pitch as "I'm a creative technologist x entrepreneur".
This new way of framing has led to a lot of changes throughout my core systems. I think this is because it provided a concrete version of an otherwise nebulous long-term vision of myself. By having this perceived identity that I hope to fulfill, it's much easier to frame the kinds of things I want to have accomplished by 27, 30, 40, etc and also provides a good framework for going about day-to-day tasks as well.
Would a world-class technologist ship this code without first validating that it was working as expected? Probably not.
- Overall: Lead a happy, healthy, and impactful life.
- Projects: Make the world a better place.
- Self: Build a strong, healthy, and sustainable foundation for life.
- Adventure: Fuel my energy, outlook, and understanding of the world.
- Art: Present new perspectives on the world.
- Be smart, systematic, and symbiotic
- Be practical and sustainable
- Do good
- Have fun
- With elegance and grace
My hope is that these new core systems will help me plan and do things more closely aligned with my ideals - where I want to go and how I want to get there. I've already completed one project in this vein - redesigning my websites to better reflect who I am and who I want to be.
I'll share my goals for H1 2021 later this year. Subscribe to get updates when it's released.
After modifying my core systems to reflect who I want to be, I took a look around to see what wasn't working for me anymore. At the top of that list was my websites. They were slow, inaccessible, and full of crufty code. A world-class creative technologist x entrepreneur would not do that and since these sites are the primary way people find me on the web was giving the wrong impression to thousands of people (usually) each month.
So I redesigned my sites - making them more efficient, more sustainable, and more accessible than ever before. You can read more about this redesign in iamhamy 3.0.
Another benefit of this redesign is that my sites can now support 12x more people each month! Hello, world - I'm ready for you!
My adventure focus has continued to be a bit unstructured. For the most part I think that's okay. But I have noticed that I've been doing a bad job of keeping up with people near and far. I'm currently thinking through systems to help me grow and maintain my connections wherever I go and regardless of pandemic conditions. Stay tuned.
That's it for October! Thanks for reading and don't forget to go vote! You can find information on where and how to vote at iwillvote.com. Just do it!
Until next time,