Advancing position

Until a few months months ago I had been juggling (rather unsuccessfully) multiple projects at the same time before committing my time and focus to jack.io. That was an easy decision.

Every day we find things in life that aren’t that simple, that’s pretty much a given. But some things are. When I want caffeine, I walk to Kettle Black. When I want to hear music, I launch Rdio. When I want a hug, I call my Dad.

Other things are not. We give ourselves challenges, throw down gauntlets and put ourselves in situations that are we are not always going to win. That is fine. It’s the awesomeness of life, setting goals, conquering them and sometimes even exceeding them.

It’s often the question of when is the challenge too great and when do I give up? I really don’t know, but I’ve been thinking about it a lot lately.

Three years ago while scanning the old television box at an ungodly hour of the morning, I landed on an MMA match. Once I got past the cage, the men sporting trunks that could only be compared to a Nascar truck of sponsors, hideous tribal tattoos and the ring girls, the stupid ring girls. Yes, once I got past those little things I found the rules and judging decision to be quite interesting.

When two fighters are on the mat grappling, the individual with top position control (Fighter A) is usually considered dominant. The person in bottom position (Fighter B) can be defending from their back, striking, controlling the posture of their opponent, looking for a submission, transitioning into an escape, but to the judges Fighter A who is on top is seen to be winning the fight. 

But he can’t just sit there passively resting. There is a catch. Unless Fighter A is trying to advance to a more dominant position, they will be put back onto their feet and lose the advantage.

This makes a lot of sense. If I’m not advancing what I want to do, if I’m not taking steps to achieve a goal, if it’s not in my GTD pile then maybe it’s time to put it on ice, reset and move on to the next. 

This does not mean give up, it means that if you’re being passive about an action, maybe it’s time to put it away for a while and move on the next, the one that you are advancing, and maybe we’ll get shit done and win the fight.

Packing for range and agility: the attack pack and the mothership

I have enjoyed decluttering over the winter. Now that I am heading overseas for a while, I want to travel smarter and a little lighter. The idea of the attack pack and mothership was then sketched out.

BP0kg3yCQAAqYOf

The approach: the attack pack and the mothership, ensuring maximum range and agility.

The mothership is the Rimowa Salsa Air. I picked this up in New York last year. At 2.9 kgs it’s super light and a multi wheel, making it awesome for airports and longer travels on foot. It has maximum range, acting as a hub for my belongings on the long haul of the trip. I won’t be packing my entire wardrobe, but I am no digital nomad so a suitcase is necessary. In Nashville and San Francisco it will be great to have access to some fancier threads and when I’m on the move it can be stored in a train station locker or with a friend.

The attack pack is the Crumpler Tondo Outpost, 25 litres with maximum agility. The pack is small enough to carry my day to day working gear: laptop, camera and notebook and expands enough to last me on shorter trips with the essential stuff like clothes, travel items and The Alpine Review.

I will continue to refine as I get ready to fly out Sunday, so if you have any thoughts please share them with me now.

Decluttering.

I recently stalked Steve Hopkins‘ Twitter profile, part of it reads “Decluttering, because you make what you are.”

Inspired, I set out this winter to declutter, hoping that it would allow me to cultivate a fresh mindset.

After I mediated on the concept of decluttering, I concluded that each option adds complexity to my daily process. The challenge became to get rid of the parts that weren’t essential.

A year ago I stripped my room back to a bed, a Bose Wave Radio and a side table. Last week I added a small desk that I keep clear and a 27” Apple Cinema Screen.

This environment is designed for a specific outcome: a place to sleep, listen to music and pump out wireframes.

My weekly items have been limited to a Montane Entrant Atomic DT Waterproof Jacket, two pairs of Dr Denim jeans, a pair of Vivobarefoot Neo’s, three lamb’s wool jumpers from Incu and four black and white t-shirts from James Perse.

The winter splurge was a Deadwood River’s Edge jacket, handmade from vintage leather and 80’s Levi’s denim. This worked for me when I found out the jacket required only 5kg of C02 emissions, compared to the average 200kg for a leather jacket. As the former owner of three leather jackets, this was an education.

I’ve designed my style to reflect my attachment to simplicity. The benefit is feeling comfortable and equipped for any situation. Some people have called my style hipster, I call it not having to think.

I haven’t nailed it yet, but decluttering has encouraged me to seek a lifestyle free from complexity, designed for context and optimised for outcomes.

Thanks Steve.