Monday, December 18, 2017

skills are trees; the forest is experience, enjoyment, and service

It's such a specific skill it is to recognize food allergic reactions. It's one that you can train only after such disciplined exposure in medical school, residency, etc.

...specific like all these abilities you have been pondering. Chess is so specific, all about this specific board set with such specific rules. Yet you see a beauty to its craft, its tactics, its strategy.

Software engineering, too - seeing code patterns, navigating web interfaces, searching for info. That description may already be too broad: the broad skill of adapting, learning new things, reading carefully and applying astutely. But the specific skill could be using your company's tools proficiently... engineering. Management of engineers.

Yet here we all are - humanity! Each acquiring different skills, different experience that one can then use to serve others. We must be aware of our skills, experiences, and tendencies, and translate them to serve others.

Perhaps you shouldn't be honing in on specific skills. Maybe it's making you miss the forest for the trees. *The big picture is simply to experience and enjoy life while serving others with your abilities, which come from your tendencies and experience.*

Give to others in your own special way. Be comfortable and love that.

Sunday, December 17, 2017

chess tactics: direct action to the one true goal

I used to play chess as though I had infinite time. I would prefer to trade pieces, chip away the board until the opponent was entirely stripped of everything except a king and maybe a few pawns. And then I would close in and checkmate.

Yet, chess tactical puzzles taught me that I had been ignoring more direct approaches to the goal. You can checkmate far earlier, and there's a beauty to nailing down the king with a board so full of pieces. It's like you didn't waste your time bumbling about, but you dove right to the solution.

It reminds me of Ender tunneling to the end goal in Ender's Game, strictly adhering to the bare minimum of the rules to win.

Just go for the true target, and never lose focus on that. Nail that down.

This mentality applies to so many things in life - shooting for the true pursuit, and not letting distractions make you aimlessly move about. In my software engineering work, I could do so many things to further analyze an experiment, to try new features, to implement new things - but which of those are truly in pursuit of the main goal?

All steps should clearly be taken in pursuit of the main goal.


color complexes are also elegant - seeing the pattern of colored squares that are weak in the enemy, and exploiting that weakness. advancing your queen to a protected spot to further take control of a territory feels so satisfying.

mapping of a person's abilities

a mapping of all a person's potential abilities

why is it that some people, who seem to acquire so much talent, can yet seem so immature?
as though they still lack something that others, who have less "talent" you may say or diversity of ability, seem to have.

it's something about generosity. about the willingness to sacrifice yourself for others. perhaps that is the trait that differentiates. sacrificing time, which could be spent building up your own ability for your own glory. it changes when you're more intertwined in community and relationships - you now build up ability to serve the other person and others around you. and you may give up time to acquire your new skillsets. (but you can "sacrifice" your time joyfully - when you see the beautiful fruit it brings.)

a father, a mother, gives up so much to build up children.

a child develops and voraciously acquires more and more ability - but when do they start giving back?

what message am i trying to send here.


the joy of setting goals, of setting a direction. it's like declaring before a crew you're the captain of, "we are going to this island to find this treasure!" it's the wonder of the pursuit, not the destination, that matters.

he knows not where he's going
for the ocean will decide
it's not the destination
it's the glory of the ride

Saturday, December 16, 2017

complex organizations

Navigating a complex organization is like sailing the sea - so vast, so deep, and one person could never plumb its depths completely or sail everywhere. But overtime, riding the waves, you can get a sense of how the currents work - the forces at play - and you can direct ships along it to serve people. Over time, you can create true utility out of complexity.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

two kinds of trust

If you've ever had a dispute around trust, it may help to recognize there are at least two types.

1) Trust in a person's good intentions
2) Trust in a person's ability

You must trust in a person's good intentions before you can love them. This is the traditional notion of trust in relationships.

However, you do not have to trust in someone's ability to do something to love them.

For example, if a child desires to drive your car, you can distrust their ability to drive and just drive for them out of continued love for them (or fear for their safety).

Another example: If someone exclaims in outrage at you, "You're not trusting me!" you could be trusting in that they have good intentions, but not trusting in that what they are doing is best for the circumstances. So you could explain this distinction - that you do trust their good intentions, but simply are doubtful that their methodology is the best avenue available.

Recognizing these two kinds of trust can help resolve disputes around trust issues. Once again, this is all about creating the right vocabulary so people can communicate better.