I’m noticing an interesting correlation between my gameplay in the World of Warcraft and the activities on my website here. When I create a new character in WoW, I really enjoy playing the character during the beginning lower levels (i.e. 1st through 10th). However, as my character progresses pass this point, something changes and the excitement quickly dies off. For example, my main character is a 57th level warrior and while I definitely enjoy meeting up with friends weekly to adventure together, the adventure itself is somewhat tedious, repetitive, and boring (primarily now due to the type of quests that appear the closer you get to 60th level). Again, if I create a new character for an evening’s gameplay though, I have a blast (even though I may be repeating quests I’ve done before). So what’s going on?
Well for some reason I’m reminded of a post I wrote a while ago that talks about the culture of startups. In a nutshell, it reveals that companies are at their best when they are just starting out because everything is usually open, loose, somewhat messy, and mistakes are expected because everything is fairly new. In other words, you don’t feel like you have this weight on your back but instead you feel like you can do and say anything because you’re more willing to take risks. However, as an established “professional” company, you have this image and history to maintain (i.e. the weight on your back). When this occurs to me, it feels like I have to live in the past being dragged slowly along by this “weight” instead of living in the present or even leaping into the future. That’s exactly how I feel about my website right now.
To be honest, I feel like dumping everything in the trash bin with this site (including my journal) and starting over. And again, to be honest, this is the type of person I am (and I think some of you who’ve known me for a while realize this). Instead of dragging along trying to hold something together with duct tape (i.e. my last attempt at trying to make some changes to the site), I like blowing things apart and rebuilding it from scratch. It doesn’t matter if I have to do this repeatedly on a daily basis, as all that matters to me is that I eventually achieve what I’m looking for. Of course, this usually drives people nuts when I do this (i.e. my wife shakes her head at me and chuckles every time I change around the layout of the office/den where I work). To others, it seems like I’m going in circles. To me, it’s like I’m exploring something new for the first time. I mean just imagine a kid smashing his beautiful LEGO castle apart, while his parents looking on in disbelief. That’s me. All the parent’s see is the accomplishment of the beautiful castle. All I see, as I smash it apart, is the vision of the next castle in my head that I’m excited to try building.
I believe it was Margaret Wheatley who said it best in her book Finding Our Way. There are “pioneers” and there are “specialists”. The pioneers explore the unknown as the vanguard to the specialists who follow behind them. Once the pioneer, as explorer, has scouted the unknown and made it fairly known (in terms of mapping the boundaries of it), the specialists come in and start building a permanent settlement within the area. As for the pioneer explorer’s whereabouts by then, well I’m sure you have a pretty good idea by now.
“Where’s the explorer? Who knows! We couldn’t keep up to him and lost him in the woods on the last ridge.”