A Start

Something interesting happened to me yesterday. I finally overcame my fear of taking this Nano Version Control idea out into the world.

The weekend started with a message from Jake Shepherd telling me to hear his radio recording (here) about life-long learning. I respect Jake so much and I honestly hang on his every word because he has an incredibly down-to-earth way of articulating really deep philosophical concepts. I love that. For a breakdown of some of the fascinating things he discussed, go here.

This shows the various concepts and ideas that Jake gives in his radio talk.

What really stands out for me is that he says that “we need to be able to articulate our thoughts“. Much easier said than done, but I’m grateful for having him to look up to on how to achieve that. This website, nanovc.io is my concerted and committed effort to do this for an idea that I have been passionate about for years now, and it’s time to share it with the world, for the better.

Jake continued to tell a story by John P. Coter about a man who made a change for the better and when he was asked “How did you manage to transform yourself to that extent?”, he replied: “I go home every day and I read. If I get home and I’m exhausted, I will force myself to read one sentence and I invest in myself that way.” This piece of advice will come up again later in this blog post.

Another amazing thing that happened was that my wife was sorting through some old books and I came across (or she planted) a book by Tony Robbins called “Notes from a Friend“. My curiosity got the better of me and on Saturday evening, because as I sat down in my comfy couch and decided to “give it a go”, it wasn’t two minutes before I got a message on MS Teams from my most esteemed colleague from work, Tjaard (pronounced Chart, like the Excel Chart, he says). I’ll get back to the book later…

Tjaard sent me a link saying “I think you’ll like this…”.

Andrew Price – The Habits of Effective Artists

What was really fantastic was that this talk was the catalyst I needed to finally tip me over the edge. A summary of the points is at 28:19 and I have repeated them here for reference:

  1. Daily Work
  2. Volume, not perfection
  3. Steal
  4. Conscious Learning
  5. Rest
  6. Get Feedback
  7. Create what you love

To my horror, I realised that I was only doing the last one… “Create what you love“. That was a very sobering reality check. Notice how the first item, “Daily Work” echo’s the same message Jake said earlier.

I immediately whipped out my dusty notebook and sharpened my pencil (it’s a click-click one) and started sketching the humble beginnings of what I imagine the website to be.

Yes, I know… It’s hideous and rough… but for me it’s an important step because it’s
A Start“.

You might not see much to it, but for me it’s an anchor, a scaffold, around which I can finally start putting all the content that has been rattling around in my head for such a long time. From here, I will let your feedback drive where it continues to go.

After putting the kids down, I promptly went about building the infrastructure I needed to turn that piece of paper into reality. This ultimately led to the creation of the nanovc.io wite and the blog you are reading right now. You can see my journey in a dependency diagram here.

If you are curious as to what a dependency diagram is, please check out my first YouTube video ever, for the upcoming Miroverse launch. This exercise of creating that video has also been pitoval in giving me the confidence to “Just Start”.

This morning I was prickling with excitement to continue with this. After breakfast, I took Jake’s advice to invest in myself by reading. So what better opportunity than to pick up that Tony Robbins book from the previous day and “Give it another go”. This time it worked. I found myself speed reading like I’ve never done before. For once in my life, I managed to finish a book in one sitting (thank goodness it was a short book), but still, I did it.

Some great ideas from Tony’s book that resonate with what Jake and Andrew were telling me were:

  1. Feeling overwhelmed – How to turn it around – pg 27
  2. There are no failures – pg 33
  3. The unstoppable you – Decision Maker – pg 35
  4. Build your beliefs… Blast off! – pg 45
  5. What you see is what you get – pg 51
  6. Questions are the answers – pg 55
  7. Welcome to the great state of you – pg 63
  8. The vocabulary of success – pg 69
  9. Are you up against a wall – breakthrough with a new metaphor! – pg 75
  10. Ready… set… goal! How setting goals can build your future – pg 79
  11. The ten day mental challenge – pg 89

Although I think it will still take me some time to really internalise what Jake, Andrew and Tony are trying to tell me… it’s been a really incredible weekend of God sending me the right messages that I obviously needed to hear.

If you are wondering why I am telling all of this to you, it’s because I need to practice. Practice writing. And sharing. Often and with mistakes. My biggest challenge has been overcoming my own mental block of getting this idea out there. Fear. Anxiety. Naivety. All of the above. These have stopped me from spreading the idea. Now I must practice writing, drawing, coding and sharing. More importantly, I need to take people with me on my journey because the secret lies in their feedback. Not mine. My mission is to distill this nano version control idea down into the simplest message it can be, so others can use it.

I sincerely hope that you enjoy the glimpse into this exciting new world that I have discovered hiding in plain sight. I hope to share the perspectives and glimpses that I have been fortunate enough to see and I hope that you get as excited about the prospects of this new way of thinking as I do. Once you see it, you can’t un-see it. This nano version control idea fits in so many places and I can’t wait to show you.

Please bear with my crude website, poor drawings, combombulated explanations and buggy code. With your help, I will be able to boil down this idea to the elegant essence that it deserves to be.

Until then, I will keep applying the sage advice from my mentors like Jake, highly regarded colleagues like Tjaard and the myriad of amazing people out there like Andrew and Tony for the push they gave given me “to Finally START!

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