18 Minutes to Find Yourself

18MinutesThe Universe does tend to work in incredibly serendipitous ways that never cease to amaze and amuse me.  Take Thursday, for example.   Cee and I had been discussing passions in life.  Hers is definitely photography.  She comes alive with a camera in her hands.

I couldn’t figure out what passion is.  What’s the driving thing that brings me the most pleasure?  She defined it for me… asking questions.  I’m always reading, researching, wanting to learn more.

I began yesterday by wondering why TED decided that 18 minutes would be the length of their presentations.  (If you’re curious, see the answer below.)  In the course of that, I discovered a book that I can’t put down, “18 Minutes” by Peter Bregman.  The subtitle reads, “Find Your Focus, Master Distraction, and Get the Right Things Done”.  I read the first 136 pages without coming up for air.

“Golly”, you’re thinking scornfully, “yet another time management book.  So what?”

The “so what” is that I spend my life in the field.  I manage multimillion dollar software development projects for a living.  I have a darned good track record of delivering on time.  So what did this book offer that all the others did not?  It explained in clear and interesting language why I haven’t been able to have that same kind of track record in my personal life.

Why do I seem to need the structure of a job (with the necessary paycheck) to accomplish things?  Why can’t I duplicate that at home?  Why is my To Do list hanging like an albatross around my neck, even when many of the things on it give me so much pleasure?

Now I’m finally figuring that out.  I don’t know if it will make me more effective in my personal life, but understanding goes a long way to finding a solution.  You can’t fix a problem you don’t understand.

If you want a sneak preview of the book, you can grab a sample from Amazon, or read this article in Forbes magazine.  I’ll warn you, though, that the article doesn’t give you the knowledge you’ll need to motivate yourself.  That comes in the book.

Stay tuned for more…

As promised, here is the reason why TED talks are 18 minutes long.

(Q: Why are TED talks only 18 minutes?

A: It’s long enough to be serious and short enough to hold people’s attention. It turns out that this length also works incredibly well online. It’s the length of a coffee break. So, you watch a great talk, and forward the link to two or three people. It can go viral, very easily.

The 18-minute length also works much like the way Twitter forces people to be disciplined in what they write. By forcing speakers who are used to going on for 45 minutes to bring it down to 18, you get them to really think about what they want to say. What is the key point they want to communicate? It has a clarifying effect. It brings discipline.)

Hi.  I’m Chris.  I’m an introvert.  All of my postings tend to reflect my introvert world in some way or another.  Join me and like minded introverts for a special slant on the world.

5 thoughts on “18 Minutes to Find Yourself

  1. I liked your comment “Why is my To Do list hanging like an albatross around my neck, even when many of the things on it give me so much pleasure?” I feel exactly the same way about my To Do List for projects at home. Maybe if I broke them into 18 minute segments I might be able to get more done.

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