• Dwelling in the future

    Everything we hear is an opinion, not a fact. Everything we see is a perspective, not the truth.

    ~ Marcus Aurelius

    Another year has passed, and it has been a quite interesting year. A lot of things have happened in this past 12 months.

    I wanted to write this post as a retrospection on what has been happening in this past year, but I feel like this would be dwelling in the past, something I advocate not to do to anyone that asks me. So following my own advice I am going to just say what I do want to do in 2014.

    I want to spend more time exercising

    By the end of last year I began to run again. This is a mayor achievement for me (I need a badge for that!) as I haven’t exercised in ages before that. I have found that running gives me some peace of mind, similar as meditation does for a lot of people. I definitely want to keep on doing this and set time aside for it (hopefully every day).

    I want to write more

    Writing is hard. You need a lot of alone time to be able to do this (writers confinement). At times I have a lot of drive to write and it seems that I cannot stop doing it, but other times no single word comes out of my hands. I want to do this more. This Christmas I set a little task for myself (which I have been doing) of writing every morning some thoughts, an account of the past day, or just about anything that was on my mind. I hope that this new year I will be able to produce more writing.

    I want to write more software

    I actually write a ton of software. I code every day on different languages and things to satisfy my ever growing curiosity. What I feel though is that I want to release more products to the world. Not as a capital gain or to make any successful business out of them (although that would be welcome as well), but to actually produce something that people can use in their daily lives that will help them somehow.

    I want to reach out more to my friends

    I love my friends! They are all over the globe and meeting them is always linked with a trip to somewhere else. The problem with me is that I am not really good at communicating with the people I hold dear when they are not around. It’s so easy to fall into the daily grind and forget to tell someone you appreciate that you are thinking about them. This year I am going to try to do that more and keep in contact with my friends (If you are one of them and you are reading this, I am really sorry that I suck so much in keeping the contact alive).

    I want to loose and gain some habits

    Last year I spent a lot of time reading about habits and living a simpler lifestyle. This is something that resonates with me. I have been working on that over the past few years, and I want to continue doing that. Life is simple, we should keep our lifestyle simple as well.

    Other than that I think that I will keep on helping as many people as I can (easy with my current line of work).

    **Happy 2014 to everyone out there!**
  • Merry Christmas

    I was about to open my email client and start sending Christmas emails to everyone I know. Then I thought that maybe I should first write this blog post.

    This time of the year the lucky ones amongst us gather with family and loved ones to celebrate; some for religious reasons, others as an excuse to spend some days together once a year.

    There are some amongst us, less lucky, with no place to go. For those of you, who have nowhere to go or no family, loved ones or friends to spend the night with I extend my love; you are in my thoughts tonight.

    For my friends close and far, my colleagues at work and people I have worked with during this past year I love you all!

    A Merry Christmas to you all!

    And now I am off to celebrate with my family…

  • An uphill battle

    Our doubts are traitors, and make us lose the good we oft might win, by fearing to attempt.

    ~ William Shakespeare

    When you push yourself out of your comfort zone you often confront yourself with your resistance. It shouts at you and makes you doubt about your ability, your intelligence, your self.

    The biggest fight for the learner it the fight with his inner self, the countless battles fought with resistance in order to step outside your comfort zone.

    Your resistance is the devil on your shoulder telling you that you can never truly learn that hard new skill you want to acquire. It tells you that the hard work you are putting into learning does not matter. That the knowledge that is clamoring to leap out of you will always be restrained by social pressure, time, and the ringing words of all those who have laughed at your in the past.

    Fight it, you are not alone, we all suffer this malady and we all fight everyday with it to get ourselves up on our feet yet again.

  • Why I teach at Makers Academy

    I have been asked a couple of times now why I teach at Makers Academy instead of making a lot of money with my skills.

    I could write about many reasons that this is so; being part of an awesome team helps, but that is not the main reason.

    Last friday, at the graduation, magic happened while having an inocent conversation with the mother of one of our graduates; a humbling moment; a compliment; an inspiring gesture.

    There are many different reasons that make teaching a fullfilling calling, but that conversation trumped everything so far:

    In 12 weeks you have achieved what I, as a mother, haven’t in a lifetime; thank you! ~ mom

  • Use your imagination

    The true sign of intelligence is not knowledge but imagination. ~ Albert Einstein

    One of the hardest thing for a learner is to start being able to use his imagination in order to apply his knowledge.

    When we learn something new, we learn a way of doing something, a syntax. This information will not stick long in our heads if we don’t practice, practice, practice the newly acquired skill a lot while it is still fresh in our heads. Once we do though something interesting starts to happen. Our brain starts recognising patterns and weaving new ideas and ways we could accomplish the same thing or improve over it.

    A musician learns to play note by note a song. It sounds boring and lifeless, even if he hits every note perfectly well. But as he practices over and over he starts making that song his; a piece of his soul wanders into his instrument and the notes he is playing, art happens.

    When you learn something novell, go over what you have learned, a million times and over again, but then, let your imagination and your playfulness have a go at it and create new pathways and patterns around the acquired knowledge.