The Fools Journey

Every journey is a Fools Journey. Entrepreneurship is a Fools Journey. Trying to scale the Corporate Ladder it is Fools Journey. Frodo embarks himself into a Fools Journey. Luke Skywalker also did. Have you?

A Fool according to the dictionary it is:
a person who acts unwisely or imprudently; a silly person

The issue here is what defines “unwisely or imprudently”. Anything that defies the status quo (and some even will argue that everything that doesn’t defy that same status quo) is a Fools Journey.

Write the book. Create a Seminar. Code the Software. Pick the phone. Ignore the phone. Follow the call.

History is full of Fools. Those that were incredibly successful and those that fail miserably. What makes the Fools journey worst? Taking it and failing on every attempt or not taking it and failed by default?

I have done both, I have taken the Fools Journey and failed in every attempt (or learn how not to do things in every attempt as Tomas Alva Edison will say about the lightbulb) and not taking it and failed by default. Without a doubt, the first option was better. The failure tastes different.

I have written (as if others want to read what I have to say), I have taught (as if you have, the knowledge that others need), I have created and record Podcasts (as if others are interested in listening to the things I have to say), I have helped others (that you are assuming need my help).

All those things are part of my Fools Journey and the reality is that every time I have to embark into that Fool Journey, every time I have written, teach, create or record a podcast or helped someone, even when I have failed miserably the results had been simply fantastic and incredible.

This is not a normal April Fools Day. Today it is April Fools Day on the Year 2020 and as others have mentioned, you may get a different o kind of clarity, a 2020 vision on your Fools Journeys.

Use this time to leave the farm behind as Luke Skywalker did. The stormtroopers may come tomorrow and exterminate everything. Use this time to move forward on your Fools Journey.

Write (as your words may reach someone that wants to read them). Teach (as you have knowledge that others need). Created and Record Podcasts (as others may be interested in listening to the things I have to say). Help Others (because you do not know who may need your help).

Where is your map? Have you check it lately?

Over the years I have learn that ‘if you are not checking the map, you risk never reach your destination.’

Reaching a destination, is as much as to get there as it is to enjoy the journey. The problem is that there are moments that you will feel that you are lost, that you don’t know if you are going towards the goal, or away from it. There are moments that you really don’t know, that your instincts failed to tell you if you are in the right direction or not, that feeling of despair and frustration. That is the moment we should check the map, to make sure we can reach our destination.

As important as it is to check the map on those dark moments, is to do it on the high moments, on those moments that you feel you can take over the world, that you can accomplish everything, that you feel the world is too small to contain you, those moments, you need to make sure you check the map, to make sure you are taking on the right things, and moving your dream in the right direction.

Sadly, in my experience you and I tend to fail to check the map on both occasions,we failed to make sure that when we are in our high moments we are aiming into the right place and that when you are feeling low, you continue moving towards the objective. My question is why?

This is where this stop being useful, because honestly I don’t know. I don’t know why, I have no clue why I didn’t check the map the last time I was feeling that I could take the world, or why I didn’t check it the last time I was in a low, but on those occasions I didn’t.

The last time this happen to me, I failed to check the map, I even forgot I had a map, was like someone had stole the map. I wish to tell you that next time I will check the map, but you and I know that next time, we will forgot about the map again, and will over shoot the objective or feel like we are never going to reach it.

How well do you know the Tool you have?

Yesterday, I wrote about having the right tool for the job, and later on, via Twitter @thinkip bring to me the next question: How well do you know the tool you have?

This is an interesting question, that for a lot of people I know, the answer is: ‘not much’. That it is exactly the reason they need to get the new tools, the powerful ones. Most of the real power users I know, use old machines, not because they can’t afford new ones, but because they know there is more horse power left under the hood of the current machine.

To this day, I am always impressed how little people understand about Microsoft Windows, the operating system most likely they spend all day, or if you wish, how people can’t type, considering that they spend most of the time sitting in front of a keyboard and typing most of their day.

Knowing your tools is key in order to be able to define if you need more or less of them, if you need more or less power, for example, I have been a big proponent for people to upgrade to Windows 7, not because I think is great, but because is faster and run better on older machines than Windows XP or Vista. Most people I know, don’t need a new computer, they just need more Memory Ram, guess what, people will get a computer, because the one they have is slower. The reality is that if the old machine is old enough, will have more memory, what they need to begin with.

I understand that the reason this is reserved to a few, is simple, there is a whole industry to keep alive, that was part of the reason Microsoft, force a lot of us to upgrade machines for Windows XP and Vista, the reason new and more powerful video cards come every three months, the reason game makers are looking for new and more powerful machines, and the reasons technologies like Display Link are coming to disrupt everything, with that technology, you don’t need more power, their technology is design to expand the possibilities of your current machine.

Let me clarify, that the geek in my heart is not saying ‘do not upgrade’, don’t be fooled, I love a shinny gadget, and have bough my fair share of toys that end up in eBay, goodwill or in the hands of a lucky person, from iPods, to NetBooks, and a lot of junk in between… What I am saying is that in order to know if a tool will work, you need to know how to use it.

I was a mac user until 2004, at that time, I got a job selling PC software to Latin America. Virtualization wasn’t really possible, you could run stuff, but there were not real power, so I got a PC, the shinny object then, a Tablet PC. I love my tablet, use it for years, and finally sold it to a person in 2010 that to this day he is using it. (It was running Windows 7, the best OS that machine ever had). I Try to jump back to the Mac in 2007, and because, Mac OS had change so much in three years, (and the poor planning on my side) I end up going back to a PC and trying again the change to the Mac until 2008. The reason I failed to move from a PC to a Mac in 2007 was simple, I didn’t know or understand the tool. My knowledge of the tool was four years old. If I move to a PC tomorrow, (unlikely, really unlikely) I will need to begin to learn again Windows, but if the next Version of Windows ship, that will be know a key component of my success, since my knowledge will be so Windows 7 (or old knowledge if you prefer), I will be able to function, but to be fast and proficient,I will need to learn How to operate in Windows again.

I remember when I got my first iOS, an iPhone first generation. I was coming from a Palm Treo, that I could use with my eyes closed, the change was hard. For a while I carried both, the Treo and the iPhone, took me learn how to use the iOS to leave my Treo behind. If I decided to migrate from the iPhone (Highly unlikely too) the first thing to to is to learn to use the new device, the new tool.

In a production environment, (and you are in one, even if you haven’t noticed) you can be only as fast as the bottle neck or weakest link, the bottle neck is Always the Slowest part of the machine, type 25 words per minute, that’s your bottle neck, learn to type 45 to 60 and you will discover a new bottle neck, is for that reason that David Allen says: “The Better you get, the better you’d better get”, a quote that I really love. In case that you are not aware of the last idea, the idea that you are a production environment, the great Peter Drucker defined you as a knowledge worker, but what you are is a production unit or environment, regardless if you work for a small one person firm or a fortune 1000 you are a production unit, and the more you know your tools, the better you do, the more smoothly and efficient is the production.

I share in this blog before, that I was going to ditch my iPad, until my friend suggested that I should instead of complaining about how bad was my on-screen typing, learn to type. I download the software, and have been practicing daily. I am not typing as fast as I can type on the physical keyboard, but guess what I am typing over 50 words per minute, and improving. Also guess what, since I am learning to use the tool better, I am working mostly exclusively in the iPad, but I can work now anywhere. I am not carrying the external keyboard, and I am not feeling that I am loosing productivity, on the contrary, I am more productive, because I can work really anywhere carrying only the IPad, I don’t need the MacBook, or the External Keyboard, and I am typing fast enough that I don’t feel I am wasting my time.

Knowing the tools you use, is key for productivity, doesn’t matter if you are a writer, a sales person or you design machinery. The better you understand your tools, the more efficient you can be with them, and the more you know them and the more you understand them the better transition you can do when/if you choose to change them.

Are you using the right tool?

Using the right tool for the job, is one of those thing that are incredibly important. Not all tools works for all task, and not all tasks require the same tool.
For example, to write, I prefer my iPad over any other tool, including my MacBook. The reason is simple, it’s the focus. I can focus in the iPad in a way I can’t in the MacBook.
I have share with many of my friends, that in a way I get remind of the early nineteen nineties when the laptops began to get used by regular people. You had a powerful desktop at home, if you had a laptop, the laptop was to do the lightweight work. The interesting thing was, that the computer industry convince us that we need powerful machines, more and more power, not only in our laptops that for many of us morphed into our main machines, but in our smartphones, we need more screen size, we need more space, more speed, more for the simple reason that we could have more.
In May 30, 2007, one month before Steve Jobs announce the iPhone, Jeff Hawkins announce the Palm Foleo, basically a dumb terminal for your SmartPhone, at that time, for the Palm Treo, one of the most versatiles and advance smartphones then. The world laugh at him, and Palm sadly cancel the project three months later. The Foleo was based on the principle that the average smartphone had enough power to be your main machine, and for most people in the go, he was right. If instead of the iPad you give me a good keyboard, a 10 inch screen that will connect to my iPhone (yes like the Motorola Atrix, that is an Evolution of that old Foleo) I will not need or use my iPad, and if it’s not because I like the form and function of the Apple iOS and don’t like Android that much, I will consider getting the device and getting rid of my iPad and iPhone in the name of one device.
But going back to our topic, and leaving my rant behind, are you using the right tool?
As I said, I have a MacBook, that honestly I don’t use, it’s use for posting blogs with images (for when I write in Mind Like Monkey), keeping iTunes, so I can see all the movies in our Apple Tv in our room, Skype and FaceTime when we do it all the family, and final edit and book creation, for anything else, between the iPad and the iPhone I am basically covered.
That means that I may keep the laptop, but also means that the need to have multiple laptops is disappearing, I see in our household than when time came to upgrade computers, we will get iPads and a common computer. This days with the iPhones, most of our computer needs are cover, in my case I keep the iPad to write and read, while my wife loves to read on her color Nook. The laptop, is in a table, barely used.
The other cool thing of having the right tool, is that you discover that you need less, long time ago, I use to travel with two Laptops, and had a heavy and versatile rolling case, I now carry a bag that fit only my iPad, and most of the time, I only need my ScotteVest.
When was the last time you honestly revise your needs, that you honestly check that you had the right tool, and that you were using the right tool. When was the last time that you replace a tool, that honestly didn’t need a replacement.