Plotting for Motivation, Part II

Plotting for Motivation, Part II

A couple weeks ago I wrote a long post about how I was feeling blah, and came away with the notion that I wanted to create a system to deal with it. “It” is the opposite of blah, which I’d define as being excited about what I’m accomplishing every day.

The next step is to define what the game will be. Time to dust off that old game design hat!

System Goals

Before I can design a system, I need to define what it’s supposed to achieve. The glib answer is “Happiness”, but pragmatically I am ready to accept a limited (and therefore achievable) objective. For example, a can of ice-cold grape Fanta would make me REALLY HAPPY right now. That is something I can actively plan and execute, and I even know where I might find some. Failing that, I could probably find a reasonable substitute. It’s challenging, but doable.

It’s funny how much easier this is when you’re working on someone else’s problem, because you can then just focus on finding a solution. When you’re the one picking the problem to solve, you will be of one of three minds:

  • You already know EXACTLY what you need to do, and it’s a matter of queuing up the logistics and operational resources to get it done.

  • You DON’T KNOW what the problem is, though you know it’s lurking. You need to call in some analyst resources to look at what’s going on and define what the problems are, what’s causing them, and what effect they’re having.

  • You CAN’T PICK WHICH PROBLEM to solve, because they are many or have roughly the same level of uncertain benefit in return for expending resources you don’t really want to commit. You suspect that it’s important, but are paralyzed in choice.

These three minds are present all the time in various guises, and one is not better than the other. The system I want will have to support all three mindsets. That said, let me pick a happiness subset. These correspond to my Groundhog Day Resolutions Goals for the past few years, modified slightly to emphases what is PRODUCED. In my case, what I really like doing is a bit abstract:

  1. Ultimately, what I want to produce is empowerment and inspiration. I like reading about it, and I like being a source of it. I like seeing it swirl around me and the people I’m with. Yay!

  2. What produces inspiration and empowerment? In my personal experience, it’s well-designed products that help people do things that are meaningful to them. It’s also saying the right words at the right time, demonstration by example, sharing stories and tips, speaking directly to someone’s heart, and receiving know-how that can be applied immediately.

  3. There are also certain conditions that I impose on myself for personal reasons. I prefer to work with people who are self-empowering by nature, conscientious, generous in spirit, positive-minded, and not exploitative. I also don’t see myself in a position where I’m used as a power source for someone else’s endeavor; in other words, I’ll sell generators, but not be responsible for providing the fuel beyond a certain point.

  4. I imagine that this would result in a life of independent writing and invention that, unlike now, is completely self-sustaining. I would have enough money to live on and travel, collecting more inspiration and empowerment moments than I can from my basement in New Hampshire. I also would have a new laptop and an outstanding portable video/photography kit.

Analysis

As of this very moment, I’m not sure how this is going to happen. I know that parts of it are happening, but I can’t point at a map and say, “yeah, I’m closer to that.” So, let me try to reduce the system goals into system measurable deliverables:

  • Empowerment and Inspiration: This is measurable through direct feedback from people. I get a few nice emails a week from people who like what I’m writing about, and they are kind enough to let me know. This can be measured by a count.

  • There are three ways that I produce empowerment and inspiration: through blog posts like this, through posting of useful information, and by making productivity tools available. This can be measured through web traffic, downloads, and incoming links.

  • The printed pads I sell on Amazon are a new source of revenue, but are also a form of packaged inspiration and empowerment. This is the part of the system I want to grow, partly because it tickles me to some day tell people, “Oh, I design stationery.”

  • There is also recognition, from being the guy who is nerdy enough to make design forms, from people who value such things. Celebrity can be measured by certain referrals from prestigious sites like LifeHacker and the occasional happy tweet recommending my work. Also, the percentage of work I do that’s analyst/workflow related, compared to general interactive development, web development, or graphic design is an indicator as well.

  • There’s also the sheer giddiness I like to share, because I am a certain kind of obsessive nerd. Pens, food, and DIY manufacturing are three things that are much on my mind these days. To be able to participate meaningfully in these worlds makes me happy. I’m not sure if this is part of the system I’m designing, but I’m listing it anyway.

Pondering this list, I think I can make two bold design definitions:

  • EMPOWERMENT is the production of packaged information (as a blog post or product).

  • INSPIRATION is the feedback that comes back from the consumption of empowerment.

There are different levels of both empowerment and inspiration, which suggests to me that these could be used as a kind of overall score keeping device, which is useful for measuring my speed toward a goal. That’s a good start. However, there also needs to be a destination. The idea of being that storekeeper who sells a lot of empowering products. I think that makes the goal itself that of being that storekeeper, a stockist of the finest empowerment solutions in the land, plus my own home-grown varieties. If Empowerment and Inspiration were an actual hobby, I would be serving a community of people who love creativity and sharing know-how, who perceive themselves as people on a quest to do meaningful things for the sake of doing them. In this case, meaning isn’t so much “helping the downtrodden”, but “helping people do more.” At heart, I’m kind of a knowledge nerd, so I am enthralled by things like maps and mapmaking tools, creative software, and applied science. Making the best knowledge and tools available and accessible on the individual level is part of that vibe, because I want to be able to make cool things too. That suggests that the overall goal, the close to Act II of my life, is the creation of that store. Part library, part museum w/ gift shop, part laboratory. The growth of a store is something that is far more concrete than just collecting Empowerment and Inspiration points.

System Design

Let me define this all more succinctly:

The Audience

Who’s interested? It’s the “hobbyist market” for people who love empowerment and inspiration. This market is comprised of people who:
  • love creativity and sharing know-how
  • are on a quest to do more meaningful work
  • value “doing more interesting things” as their contribution to the world
  • love insight and knowledge that are well-ordered and packaged for ready use
  • appreciate fine tools that can be used in their quest
  • value action informed science, introspection, inquiry
  • love stories about people doing stuff like this
  • are self-empowered and independent in mindset

The Game

There are two game pursuits:
  • The challenge of creating a “store” that caters to the aforementioned audience. The game is won when the store not only exists as an entity on the Internet, but when it is also gains reputation on the Internet as being the place to go to when looking for a certain kind of product.

  • The development of a line of productivity tools that are exclusive to the store, that helps define the audience as well as serving it.

Game Mechanics

A good game engages the mind using multiple dimensions. In the time dimension:

  • Immediate actions that lead to immediate feedback, accruing in a total score. For example, shooting an invader in Space Invaders is instantly gratifying, and gains you a small amount of points. The total score accrues, reflecting on your overall mastery of the game at the end.

  • Short-term tactical decisions that utilize immediate actions for optimal gain with the minimum effective effort. Effectiveness is measured by time saved, points gained, or preference.

  • Long-term goal achievement is about managing your available resources and energy with respect to what you know is coming. Do you have enough ammo to last a shootout with the bad guys at the end of the level? Did you not realize that you would not be able to buy rockets after you left the Moon level of the game? Do you have to make some kind of choice about which way to go, forever cutting off an entire line of action?

In the collection/completion dimension:

  • Gathering pieces of a larger collection that can be cashed in for a big reward. It’s a little treat.

  • Unlocking a new set of possibilities once you have completed a collection or accrued enough points.

  • Optimal strategies for collecting points and completing sets of pieces, including evaluation of whether it’s worth it or not.

  • Spending collected resources versus hoarding them.

In the story dimension:

  • Every action, however small, reinforcing the premise of you as the character. If an action doesn’t add to that picture, the game fails on a fundamental level.

  • Reminders of the big picture, the ultimate challenge you will be facing. Creating enough challenge to make you question whether you’re ready, with enough pressure to move you forward and realize that you were able to do it.

  • Growth challenges that change enough rules of the game so you have to adapt and become more capable. Builds on what you’ve learned so far, but puts a new twist on it or adds some new element to manage.

  • Moral or Ethical motivators through story and character development. At a certain point, you’ve been completely engaged with the game, and now you have to persevere if you are the warrior you have been led to believe yourself to be.

  • Epic challenges, followed by adulation. Those challenges that have true meaning in the game world. Upon completing them, you are rewarded with the appropriate amount of game-delivered respect, a sense of closure, and then a set of new challenges to accept plus a few epic-level gifts.

  • Pacing and Expectation management. Present just enough to focus expectations productively, with a level of pacing that is well-within the envelope of the player’s ability. Pacing varies depending on where you are in the story.

In the Social Dimension:

  • How am I doing with respect to other players who are going through the same experience?

  • How can I ally with like-minded people? Who will become my group of friends here?

  • How do I defeat the people that are actively trying to defeat me?

  • How will I retell the story? What references and in-game awards can I use that people will understand and respect? And perhaps want to experience for themselves?

Dave’s Game Specifics

Keeping that in mind for the design for my personal game, a preliminary outline might look like this:

Dave’s Time Dimension

The idea is to encourage me to work every day.
  • Every public post that packages knowledge or shares process is worth EMPOWERMENT points.
  • Every supporting task that supports the above is worth some small number of EMPOWERMENT points.
  • Maximizing points, ensuring that there is time to do this is part of the tactical and strategic planning.
  • Maintaining a certain number of points every day is worth certain rewards.
  • Spending 15 minutes a day awards EMPOWERMENT points the longer the streak is maintained.
  • Time spent is also counted as TIME points, which add an EMPOWERMENT score bonus.

Dave’s Collection Dimension

The idea is to complete and ship, by building features one element at at time.
  • An initial set of STORE FEATURES is defined. The small store could merely be a single collection of posts about a topic. Essentially, this is the website development plan.
  • Every post that can be turned into a group that belongs in the store as a curated piece of knowledge is worth a certain number of STORE points.
  • Every new product that is put for sale is worth STORE points.
  • Every sale is also worth STORE points, as well as DOLLARS.
  • The DOLLAR amount from the store earned per month earns an ACCOLADE. This may work with a social gaming component; otherwise, a dollar earned is its own reward. The ACCOLADE name could be based on the amount of cash (e.g. MILLENIUM for $1000/month, or the ACTION JACKSON for making $20/month). DOLLARS translate to INSPIRATION points too, at some exchange rate TBD.
  • When a set of STORE FEATURES is completely implemented, it is PARTY TIME and then an overall assessment of points earned for the phase is counted. An additional ACCOLADE is produced. Combined with the DOLLAR ACCOLADE, this creates a means of assessing players.

Dave’s Story Dimension

The idea is to acknowledge that what you’re doing is right, that things take a long time, and
  • Every piece of email I get earns INSPIRATION POINTS, and also reinforces that I am doing the right thing.
  • Every link or referral also earns INSPIRATION POINTS, and reinforces I am doing the right thing.
  • Every frustration, setback, failure and disappointment is part of the story. Every time you encounter a case where you’re frustrated, you can log that for the day. Pushing past blockages or applying some kind lesson learned the hard way earns PERSEVERANCE POINTS. These can be used for covering days where you DIDN’T do a daily required task, maintaining your streak, until they are all used up. However, if you maintain enough PERSEVERANCE points you can earn a title like MASTER OF PAIN or something cool. The title is lost if you fall below a certain level of points.
  • A streak of frustration free days in a row earns an ATTITUDE BONUS of EMPOWERMENT POINTS.
  • Tasks are categorized into KNOW HOW, DON’T KNOW HOW, and DON’T LIKE DOING. These are each worth a bonus bundle of points, perhaps across different point pools. An additional accolade can be awarded for a task that takes a lot of time. But this gets into task categorization and assessment, which is a bundle of issues.

Dave’s Social Dimension

The idea is to engage with like-minded people.
  • Every time I directly tell someone about something I’ve made or done, those are worth some kind of SOCIAL point. They may lead directly to INSPIRATION or EMPOWERMENT points earned through some other action.

  • Every time I have a meaningful conversation with someone who approaches me because of something I’ve made or done, and this leads to some follow-up action, I think that’s worth some social points too.

Review

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p>That’s a lot of point dimensions and structures. The next step is to reduce this down into something I can actually easily do on a day-to-day basis. I imagine this will come in the form of a map, an expanded Concrete Goals Tracker, and maybe a simple web application that helps track all these points and reminds me what to be working on. That sounds like a lot of work, but I’ll stew on this for a few days.

9 Comments

  1. Mike Fried 8 years ago

    Nice Post Dave!

    A few things (worth sharing) came to mind as I read it. One is the book Finite and Infinite Games, by James Carse. There is a good write up of it on the Wikipedia and you will find some very interesting things if you follow some of the links as well.

    The point is that Finite Games are played to win, thus end the game. Infinite Games are played for the purpose of continuing the game, i.e., game-like dynamics of life.

    You are designing what might be more like an Infinite Game. There is no obvious end point and no real losers. In fact, your “game” can add more and more players and any number of them can “win” and help others move in that winning direction as well. Sounds nice and brings me to my other thought.

    You say: * I prefer to work with people who are self-empowering by nature… * I’ll sell generators, but not be responsible for providing the fuel…

    This is key in that if you don’t impose these “rules of play” you are not likely to be able to continue to play. More importantly (to me at least) is that this is the crux of “my problem” and perhaps part of the human condition.

    I mean, to gain from your site, store or game it is required that one be self-empowered. As I’ve mentioned offline, I consider myself empowered but more like a speed-boat with a sometimes defective rudder. I don’t need more power so I look to your site for help with the rudder part. The key for me is to notice that I need “something” and then figure out what it is. When I get that far, I am likely to find something that here that helps.

    BTW – I just added “check the rudder” to my daily todo list for each day next week. I’m curious to see how that goes.

    The other comment (you are not responsible for providing the fuel) is another key point for me. My reaction on reading it was “right, you can’t do that” but “wow, it would really be great for me if you (or someone) could do that for me”.

    I am inspired to reach out to an acquaintance who has ambitious yet different goals from my own, and plan a meeting for at least once per week. The meeting would be to provide some fuel to each other, and explain why are rudders are set as they are right now.

    • Author
      Dave Seah 8 years ago

      That’s great, Mike! I like the analogy of the rudder you’re using.

      “Finite and Infinite Games” sounds fascinating…I’ll add it to my book list. Thanks for the recommendation!

  2. Nollind Whachell 8 years ago

    Not really sure why you went the gamification route. The reward of the game isn’t material or social but the experience itself. You could have all of the money in the world but I’m assuming you’d still want to do something meaningful with your life, rather than just sit around and play computer games.

    You don’t sell “generators” because you believe people should be independent with their own power sources. Rather you sell the “spark” which kicks starts everyone’s own generator and puts them into overdrive.

    You empower yourself through your self-realizations (awareness + perspective) which in turn inspires you to achieve things you previous didn’t think were possible. Others relate to your words and learn from your shared knowledge and experiences which empowers and inspires them to do things that they didn’t think they were possible of as well.

    Why do you think so many people read your blog. They keep coming back, like me, to see how you are doing on your journey, hoping to see what you have discovered, and hopefully learning some realizations from your own realizations. The more you explore and discover yourself, the more you help others to explore and discover themselves. It all begins with you. In helping yourself, you help others around you.

    The products you sell lets people see their lives from completely new perspectives which again in turn empowers and inspires them (i.e. knowledge is power). Remember this isn’t so much about productivity, as it is about passion and purpose. Mike nailed it when he said “check the rudder” which relates to direction and purpose.

    You’re on a ship (identity = passion) and your sailing towards a star (purpose). Yet you’re in uncharted waters which means you can’t navigate externally via what’s around you (which is why people often feel adrift and lost). Instead you have to trust your instincts and navigate internally using your own gyrocompass (if that makes sense). So it’s not about making your typical “map” but making a new form of map (new perspective) that let’s us see our lives from a completely new perspective.

    The funny thing that I’m realizing is that during our lives we “touch the shores” repeatedly of this “place” where we are truly what we should be (passion + purpose). Yet we don’t realize it during our journey because we don’t have the perspective to see it as we should. If, however, we had mapped these previous “landings”, we would have an outline of this “place” that gives us a new perspective of what we have touched (and has touched us) throughout our lives. When we finally do discover it completely, it feels both incredibly new, yet strangely familiar, as though discovering your true home.

    • Author
      Dave Seah 8 years ago

      Hey Nollind,

      I always appreciate your comments! I’ll have to think about this one. I think you’re saying, in a nutshell:

      You’re doing what you already should be doing. Appreciate it, relax, and keep doing it. The experience is reward in itself.

      Ok, let’s presume that I’ve accepted this. That I am still writing and sharing what I know, and have committed to building an independence lifestyle around my interests is the supporting evidence I offer.

      What I want to do next is MAKE STUFF. This requires a new set of skills, some of which are not very enjoyable. I have a clear idea, though, of the kind of stuff I’d like to make. And I do want to make it.

      I have found the making of stuff slow going, and have identified some factors that I think may help it go easier. One of those factors is providing some kind of ego-centered system based on incentive-generating measurement and feedback (ie.g a game).

      I think you are assuming “doing something meaningful” precludes “playing games”. I don’t think so. Try replacing “playing games” with just “play”. Meaningful play is great! Designing a game that creates the possibility of such meaningful play is what I’m doing. The beginning of this process is to identify what is meaningful to me, so I can then create a structure around it that amplifies this in a tight interactive engagement loop.

      I’m actually not sure what you’re arguing, or if you are making an argument.

    • Mike Fried 8 years ago

      This comment, and your comment on it, might be a reflection on a) this is a long post and b) it is a continuation of a previous post.

      What gets lost a little bit (for me and maybe others) is that you are not using gamification as a way to achieve the broader goal (independence through making stuff). You are gamifying the motivation part, the fuel as it were.

  3. Christopher Mackay 8 years ago

    Fascinating series, Dave. Can’t wait to see what you come up with!

  4. Nollind Whachell 8 years ago

    Dave: Let me begin by saying that I can’t tell you what you should do or shouldn’t do. All I can do is relay experiences and insights that might help you on your journey of discovery. How you use this knowledge is up to you. The primarily problem though is in describing these experiences and insights in a way that you can understand from your perspective.

    I can tell you though that I have crossed a “threshold” (if that word makes sense). I feel like I’m no longer seeking to discover my passion and purpose but I’m now seeking to actually manifest it instead. Was there some “Aha!” moment when the crossover occurred? I don’t think so but it was as if over a few weeks or a month, something suddenly “shifted”. I no longer feel like I’m looking from one side but rather now from the other side. Or maybe put another way, my explorations / research have allowed me to climb to an elevation where I can better see where I am on my map of life.

    The first thing I can tell you is that if you need to gamify your life and create a carrot to keep you going forward, you haven’t fully found your passion or possibly you’re looking for it in the wrong places (i.e. sometimes it ends up being under your very nose). Why? Because you’re passion relates to something that you cannot get out of your head, that you are constantly thinking about almost every day. For me, I couldn’t stop thinking about bad corporate environments, good leadership, great game environments that promote self-organization, great communities, positive cultures, the decline of our societal institutions, and other similar thoughts.

    Ah! And maybe that’s where the “shift” occurred. Suddenly within a short period, I started seeing these things not at separate distinct thoughts but as all part of a greater unified theme or vision. In effect, I looked at them all and tried to figure out how they related to one another (i.e. watching for patterns) and how they could interact with one another. I did this because I realized if I wanted to truly achieve something with life, I needed to work as efficiently as possible, thus I needed to work on multiple levels, trying to achieving many things at once. Thus suddenly, everything that seemed separate and different, now seemed unified and I saw these connections between them all.

    With regards to making stuff, do you honestly believe that is your end goal? EVERYONE wants to creatively express their authentic self through their lives and work. That is what I believe you’re feeling and what I myself felt as well. Therefore, it’s not that you want to make stuff, it’s how and why you want to make it that matters. Seek that out more so and what you need to make will naturally reveal itself. For example, like me, you desire to empower and inspire people. You already do this with your writing but you have this innate desire to do it on a bigger scale (just like me).

    Also I’m not really arguing, as much as trying to help you see the distinct difference between gamification and gaming / play because I myself even believed they were one and the same originally as well. They aren’t though. They are two completely different things. Good game design allows the experience itself to be the reward. Gamification on the other hand is often utilized in bad game design when the experience is insufficient enough to hold the attention of someone and thus material or social rewards are needed to keep the interest of the player. Does this sound familiar? Yes it relates to life itself. We aren’t getting the meaningful experiences within our lives, so we seek out the superficial material and social rewards that keep us interested. Yet over time, we see them for what they are and they only make us feel even more empty and meaningless.

    That said, your latter comments about meaningful play are dead on. You get it. I’m just saying don’t add a “layer” on top of that meaningfulness, as it only trivializes it and makes it meaningless, if that makes sense. You don’t need to gamify life, as life is already the greatest game every played (it blows existing MMOs out of the water). Just see it for it what it is. Keep the focus on the experience, not the material or social rewards (i.e. collecting points). Put another way, it isn’t about making an achievement chart (like in WoW) but instead about making a new form of map. You keep saying this over and over again on your blog (i.e. need to see where I am on my journey) and I’ve said the exact same thing in the past as well. Again it’s not about collecting points or achievements, it’s about awareness and perspective, as though giving someone a map of their lives that shows it in a completely new perspective, thus empowering and inspiring them with this new knowledge.

    Last but not least, following your passion isn’t easy. It does require determination and perseverance, as you said. Once you figure out your greater unified vision though, it does get somewhat easier because you’re not focused on the here and now but instead on where you want to be (i.e. the long view) which motivates you to act decisively in the here and now. It’s no different from WoW, whereby you persevere through the boring and difficult quests, because you’re focused on the heroic endgame quests and raids.

    You’re absolutely right though that play is a critical component in discovering your passion and achieving your purposeful vision. Think about that and understand it fully though then ask yourself are you being playful in your own life? Are you experimenting, doing different things, reading from unexpected places? Or are you trying to form and solidify a rigid routine with superficial rewards to keep you from getting bored? This might sound weird but I get more inspiration and drive from the unexpected yet meaningful things I discover in my research than anything else. Start looking and doing something different daily in your life to get new perspectives but always ensure you maintain your awareness, so as to be able to see and recognize these hidden gems that you come across. If you’re exhausted, sleep. If you’re frustrated, get away from everything and give yourself time to reflect. More than anything, I’ve found that the more I discover what is within me, the more I discover what is within the world around me. Again it all begins with you. In effect, you already have everything you need. You just need the awareness to see it and the belief to accept it.

    PS. My apologies if a lot of this doesn’t make sense but again this is something I’m working on articulating better, as it relates directly to my own passion and purpose in life.

    • Author
      Dave Seah 8 years ago

      Hey Nollind,

      Ok, I think I see where you are coming from, and I am aligned with the gist of your proclamation.

      If you’re looking for feedback on your feedback, what you’re describing would come across as demoralizing if I wan’t already firmly entrenched in my own belief about the path I’m taking. While I understanding your intention now, the tone I pick up from it is that I should not believe my own motivations, and engage in some second-guessing. I know this is not what you intend, but that’s the way it comes across. In the best light, I can take it that you are merely saying that in your own experience, if I don’t feel a certain way about this task I’ve set before me, then I am not truly feeling passion; don’t kid myself and keep trying. Which is pretty empty advice, if you ask me.

      We could probably have a decent conversation about the fine distinctions between game design, play, “gamification” and so forth, but we will have to define our terms. Your observations are based on your assumptions on what my understanding is of gamification and game design, and you assume they are naive and unconsidered. Perhaps this is the case from your position, but I am unable to judge them since I don’t know how you look at game design. I am pretty sure, though, that your assumptions of my knowledge of the subject as just as thinly drawn.

      I find it odd too that you continue to insist that I don’t believe what I should be believing, and that the things I know are known for the wrong reason. I’m all for sharing the benefit of our own experiences, mind you, but I would draw the line at declaring that my interpretation of the value of someone else’s goals.

  5. Nollind Whachell 8 years ago

    Dave: Interesting feedback! And yes it definitely helps.

    “While I understanding your intention now, the tone I pick up from it is that I should not believe my own motivations, and engage in some second-guessing.”

    Actually, if anything, I think your motivations have been the truest aspect of yourself that you’ve relayed over the years. For example, if I told you shouldn’t focus on work that empowers or inspires people, you’d probably tell me to shove it because it’s something that you must do, since it is the essence of who you are.

    Where I was hoping to relay some experience was in how to channel that motivation, specifically with your initial points about the gamification of life (i.e. collecting points). And yes, you’re absolutely right that it depends upon how we define these things. Again gamification for me, as described by a snippet from Wikipedia, is really about “encouraging people to perform chores that they ordinarily consider boring”, primarily by turning boring tasks into mini-games with superficial rewards.

    As for game design, I have a funny feeling that our approaches would probably be quite similar, particularly due to our short experiences in WoW together and also due to your comment from above.

    “Meaningful play is great! Designing a game that creates the possibility of such meaningful play is what I’m doing. The beginning of this process is to identify what is meaningful to me, so I can then create a structure around it that amplifies this in a tight interactive engagement loop.”

    The wording of the above couldn’t have been more perfect because you’re actually defining how to have a meaningful life. This is why I said life itself is already the greatest game of all. When you collectively identify and understand what is meaningful to you, you will discover your passion and purpose in turn.

    So if it sounds like I’m saying you’re on the wrong track, I’m not (my apologies again). I’m saying you’re on the right track more than you know. It’s just that I’m worried that you might be deviating from the right track because you may not fully realize you’re on the right track. (Believe me, while it sounds crazy, I’ve been there.)

    That said, we all have to forge our own paths. And at times, the mistakes we make help us to see things from a different perspective more clearly which is still extremely valuable. In effect, if I was in your shoes, I’d probably be saying the same thing as you are. So if it feels right to you, do it. Believe in yourself. Playfully experiment and learn. :)

    PS. This is one reason why I try to not comment on your site very much. I know I sound preachy at times and it’s something that I’m trying to work on changing within myself. Again my apologies, if it came across that way again.