I started this as a blog in 2016, but most of the stories and posts go further back and were written in various notebooks. Though it may seem I am a writer if you asked any of my teachers in high school, I was not even a reader, let alone a writer. In parent teacher conferences they would say I was bright and underachieving. There are stories that my classmates tell (some of them are true) including the one about a classmate calling me at like 9-10pm at night reading me the physics problem, and my ability to tell him thru solving it, and at the same time i wrote the answer down. It saved me from carrying a heavy physics book home nightly. And some other stories about how I solved math problems in ways that were also not in the book.
But now I look back at over 150 posts, and 30 plus more in draft state I wanted to know how far I came. Well, the first writings were poor, compared to my later works. The topics and my thoughts may be just as good, but the writing was awful. Why? I had to find my voice in writing, as and find myself. I thought about the books that I was able to read and what I liked about them. My ADHD makes it hard sometimes to absorb information and I find authors who write as they speak, in a conversational voice easier to read. I started looking at my writing as it has changed over the years, and the best ones are lessons or topics that are tied to my personal stories and spoken as a conversation to my reader.
I honestly did not know I was looking for my voice. In fact, when I started writing some of these when I was in my twenties it was more about ego, that I knew better than you and my book and thoughts were going to change the world. Thank God I was not given the green light to write it. As I started writing, I found the why I write, and then I started to find my voice. Visiting and reading some of my posts, I can see the ones where I was on this tall tour lecturing, and others where I find myself humbled by lessons I learned and link to stories of my life.
So how do you find yourself, and how do you find the why? It really is a series of trying things, some which may succeed and others that may fail. It is not chasing the vision of success, but more challenging yourself to succeed. It took me years to figure out my why, as stated I started writing more of ego. Later I found writing therapeutic and helped me with my day-to-day life. From dealing with how challenging work is, to struggles when I lost my wife the ability to have a creative outlet that was just for me seemed to keep myself grounded.
Finding myself was harder. This blog is an insight into the journey. I remember when I was younger, I was told how bright I was, and what I was good at, but it is not what I wanted to be good at. I wanted to be a famous athlete or musician. What most people do not see is the work that those top 1% put in to get there. The hours of practice, the loss of other things (social life etc.) to gain it. And just like starting a company, there is no guarantee of success. For every Michael Jordan there are hundreds of thousands of players who did not make it. For every Billy Joel there are hundreds of thousands of Larry Golds who enjoy playing music but do not hit heights.
While trying to be those and failing I was able to find the things I was good at. I was asked by someone how did I find Technology. I realized later in life that it was related to my ADHD. I was fortunate that my parents could afford get buy me a PC (in the early 80s) At that time you could not download software from the internet but there were magazines which printed source code and you could type it in. I found myself doing this often and getting excited when things worked. Then you would tinker a little to see what you could get it to do beyond what you typed. And little did I know these small shots of excitement were dopamine hits. This continued from building PCs, to getting crazy infrastructure to work till this day when I play with some AI stuff and get it to succeed. The excitement of building something is what got me to where I am. The connection between ADHD and what I do was a revelation.
The managers who got the most out of me gave me short assignments, less than a day or so, because they seemed to understand how I worked. Other managers who tried to get me to do long term things did not work out as well. Even now for me to achieve things I break them into smaller tasks, often ones i can do in an hour or so and get that hit when done. Even cutting the lawn I break into two parts, cutting the front/back and later going out and doing the edging. This way I get to victories for what is really one task.
What is only obvious in retrospect is all the things I failed at were things that I was not getting enough positive feedback, not seeing the instant results and thus I was not willing to put the effort needed to get the results I wanted. I see it in myself now from a song that I wanted to learn in guitar that the difficulty was so high I could not get past the first few bars and gave up. I keep telling myself to try again, and maybe I will learn it. I need to remind myself of the post from last week, that failure is not something that should hurt me, but should teach me.
So now at the ripe old age of fifty-six I have found my voice, I have found myself and I try to work with the gifts I have to reach my goals. I will eventually learn that song, I will eventually write some fantastic post that is known outside my circle, I will go to sleep one night not thinking I have imposter syndrome but for now I get to smile as the last words of this post has given me another dopamine hit.
This opinion is mine, and mine only, my current or former employers have nothing to do with it. I do not write for any financial gain, I do not take advertising and any product company listed was not done for payment. But if you do like what I write you can donate to the charity I support (with my wife who passed away in 2017) Morgan Stanley’s Children’s Hospital or donate to your favorite charity. I pay to host my site out of my own pocket, my intention is to keep it free. I do read all feedback, I mostly wont post any of them
This Blog is a labor of love, and was originally going to be a book. With the advent of being able to publish yourself on the web I chose this path. I will write many of these and not worry too much about grammar or spelling (I will try to come back later and fix it) but focus on content. I apologize in advance for my ADD as often topics may flip. I hope one day to turn this into a book and or a podcast, but for now it will remain a blog. AI is not used in this writing other than using the web to find information.Images without notes are created using and AI tool that allows me to reuse them.