Something dawned on me last night before I went to bed. I realized that all of these different aspects of my life are trying to come together in a unified way.
To put it another way, I believe that my evolving focus on computers, the Web, community, culture, personal development, organizational development, identity, social innovation, and play are all leading to weaving all of these things together into one thing.
That one thing is a highly flexible and customizable Web platform that allows an individual to express their life fully in many different ways and forms (i.e. short form, long form), thus allowing them to creatively weave these different knowledge flows of their life together and design something emergently new and innovative in the process, their own unique life path and identity.
Expressing Our Inner Selves Outwardly
What I’m talking about here is effectively building an open source Web version of a Second Brain. One that isn’t dependent or reliant on a third party proprietary systems which could potentially cause you to lose years of knowledge if the company goes under and there isn’t any way to easily export it and import it into another system.
The problem with trying to create an open source Second Brain right now though is that most platforms aren’t flexible enough to achieve this (including WordPress). For example, most people predominately still use social networking platforms such as Twitter and even Facebook because short form microblogging is infinitely easy to do on these platforms. This allows them to express themselves quickly and without thinking about it (which of course can be a bad thing as well).
In comparison, most people today feel that long form blogging requires much more of a serious intention, commitment, and effort to achieve. It shouldn’t be this way. Open source platforms like WordPress shouldn’t be hard-coded spaces primarily designed for long form writing. Microblogging should be built into it from the start as well but it’s not. Perhaps by the end of 2020 this could change, as we’ll hopefully have the ability to have full site wide block editing, including maybe the ability to customize which post elements to display on a per post basis (thus finally emulating post formats without the need for specialized post format functionality).
Seeking A “Profound Kind of Learning”
For example, one of the core developers working on the full site wide editing of WordPress is Enrique Piqueras. I discovered his Twitter account, which is fairly active, and later found his blog as well, which is fairly new but has a couple of posts on it. His very first post though entitled Writing to Grow: Why I’m Starting This Blog is quite poignant and enlightening, as he notes the following.
I want to take advantage of the more profound kind of learning that takes place when organizing and sharing your thoughts in public with the Internet.Enrique Piqueras
This is an amazing intention to set because I believe trying to organize and share our thoughts, even in just having an intrapersonal relationship with ourselves, opens up doorways to learning and growth that we couldn’t conceive of or plan when we first started. That’s because we’re taking things that are internally subjective within our life and objectifying them externally, so as to be able to fully observe, understand, and manage them. In effect, you can’t manage what you can’t see.
For me, this is what the power of blogging can achieve on a basic level. You’re able to pull seemingly intangible thoughts out of your head and make them tangible with writing. And more often than not, you won’t make sense of your thoughts until you’re in the act of writing and things emerge in the moment from it. So it’s a very personally rewarding experience just for yourself, ignoring the fact that someone, somewhere might connect with what you’re saying and learn and grow from it as well.
Seeing Our Learning & Growth Over Time
But what’s interesting about all that I just said above is that at the end of Enrique’s blog post, he said the following.
If I do this right, I’ll reread this in a few years and cringe.Enrique Piqueras
While I’m sure this was said in jest, it does reveal a deeper cultural problem with blogs and personal websites in what people believe they should be used for. They seriously need to go beyond just being long form writing platforms to being platforms of expressing oneself however simply one chooses.
In fact, in my own life, it was all of my short form thoughts and notes that collectively came together over the years (many not even on my blog) and started weaving together into something larger that made me who I am today, bit by bit. And when you have the opportunity to literally look back on your thoughts and life, seeing your growth, development, and transformation over the years, its definitely not with a cringe but rather with a sense of awe at the potential you have already achieved and can still achieve ahead of you.
All said and done, I think we just to need to let go of these “hard-coded” beliefs and expectations that are holding us back from reaching our own innate potential already within us. As Alfonso Montuori said, creativity is effectively just the process of “stepping out of our own way.”
Diving Into The Ocean of Ourselves
Finally I think a quote by Tiago Forte may be the perfect close to this post because it reveals why many of us might feel like our lives are scattered or without focus because they often are scattered across different digital mediums. But by bringing our Self together in one space, we have the potential to integrate our life and our identity by seeing creative hidden connections within them. We just have to reach into the deep ocean of ourselves at the end of our thought streams and pull these treasures to the surface.