One of the biggest takeaways this past week from the participants at the Ignition Labwas figuring out how to create pockets of focus in their lives where baby steps could be had and where what’s possible now trumped figuring out all the possibilities.
It seems like it would be easy in this day in age. After all, there are apps out there that are built to make us so productive: from payments to entertainment, goal tracking to travel hacking, from recipes to infidelities, from dating to trading, from sharing to glaring.
And we can access them anywhere: from waiting for the dentist to walking across an active street, from driving our cars to riding our bicycles or our (holy shit) motorcycles.
But the net effect of all of these apps guzzling from our ever dwindling lake of attentionis that we’ve gone from getting certain things done faster and easier to being presented with the illusion that we can do everything faster and easier.
Those apps that have been invented to help us do anything are now part of the bigger machine that keeps us from getting things done. Salt on the wound is realizing that these programs were created by people who most definitely got off their ass long enough to now keep you on yours.
Son of a bitch.
Irony – 1, Intent – 0.
Thinking Is Hard
When it comes time to think about something challenging, we’ll often find a reason to do anything else. Why should I think about something when my Instagram feed has new photos in it? Why should I think about something when I have a letter to place in “Words with Friends”? Why should I think about something when a new email might be in my inbox?
I insist on a lot of time being spent, almost every day, to just sit and think. That is very uncommon in American business.
I didn’t say that. Warren Buffett did.
This is part of the reason why at the Ignition Lab we force allow the participants to not only spend time interacting with each other on ideas, but to also spend time thinking about the realities of their individual situation and what needs to be done next.
What’s possible in this connected world is the very thing that also paralyzes us (quite literally if these possibilities are being seeked while simultaneously operating a wheeled-device, or navigating yourself near them).
Our job as creators is to draw the line between what’s essential and what’s just easy to do.
That being said, Antonio and I would like to thank the fine individuals who focused long enough to create the compass app. It helped us figure out our general location in a country evidently allergic to installing street signs. On a 2 hour drive to Managua’s International Airport there wasn’t one sign for Managua’s International Airport even as we were turning into the terminal.