Wednesday, December 19, 2012

Returning to the story

Neil Strauss, multiple ny times best seller said these words during a 2 day seminar with Tim Ferriss.
"You'll find you have a passion towards the things you were doing when you were 10 or 11."  

What was I doing at 10 years old?  It was a dark time for me.  My parents just divorced and really there was no space to stop life (school, church) and process it.  I had to keep going.  But no human can suffer loss or any life change without trying to compensate.  Without trying to regain the in-the-moment innocence and curiosity of a child.

So I played tons of video games.  Until playing was instinctual.  At the time, Tetris and Street Fighter were the two games I enjoyed mastering.

I also programmed code in a language called BASIC to draw parallel lines.  Sounds boring, but I got a thrill out of writing code to draw parallel lines.  Eventually I got to the point where I didn't have to draw each line, but could do 8 times more parabolic curves with only 12 lines of code.  This didn't come out of nowhere.  I had a friend, named Bill, who was truly gifted at anything he did and as he skimmed his attention across basketball, programming, car repairs (couldn't follow him here), my curiosity for these things ignited.

The other thing I did was play basketball.  Again immersion to the point of instinct.  Practice became rituals.

My mentor was the one who guided me through all these things.  He was an angel who stepped in my life when I could've gone down several wrong paths.  His name is Mr. Crews and he pushed me to write code that did more with less.  He pushed me to bet Tetris high scores and he recommended an excellent technique for practicing basketball after observing me play -- shoot around the basket at a fixed distance then step away from the hoop and repeat.

To top it off, Mr. Crews would take me out to lunch on Wednesday nights.  His generosity and willingness to teach and share will always be appreciated.

When thinking about these things, and the nature of negative events to slow me down until I consider quitting whatever it is I'm doing, I realized my 2013 creations/goals should line up closely with the things I did around 6th grade.  I'm not going to solely do things related to video games, basketball, and programming, but my creations will be heavily influenced by these things. I hope to exercise this sort of story creation connection the year to come.