Need Your Help To Start Writing a Book

Since the fall of Reactuate Games I’ve been trying to decided what I’m going to do with my life. I won’t go into the process that I’ve been going through because that would be a distraction, but I’ve decided to decide.

I’m going to write a book.

Working title is Distinctions For Life. It will be a self-improvement/self-help/lifehacks book. That’s as far as I’ve gotten on its over all concept. But each chapter will be a pretty self contained topic.

For the last few months I’ve been compiling a list of topics in the form of Chapter Titles. This is where I need my friends’ help. I need to start. Looking at the whole of the idea is daunting and a great way to never start. I’ve decided I’m starting this week. But to know if anyone else thinks this is a good idea I want you to tell me what to write first.

Here’s my current list of chapter titles.
– The Macro and Micro parts of life.
– Take Responsibility
– Things wear out – replace your socks
– Social Interaction can be learned
– Build a network
– Yeah Goals
– Live life with Purpose
– Make mistakes
– How to avoid mistakes
– Routines
– Morning Pages
– Your brain is for thinking Your Phone for Remembering
– Knowledge brings depth to things
– Your body is a soup of chemicals
– Emotional bank accounts
– Anything worth doing is worth doing poorly
– Simple is not easy
– Systems
– Change you focus change you mood
– Beliefs
– Identity
– Go the extra mile
– Peoples communication channel of choice
– The myth of work/life balance
– Enjoy the process
– Process oriented goals
– People orient goals
– Work around mental blocks
– Stop shoulding on yourself
– Expertise isn’t about what you know it is about what others don’t.

Please leave a comment and tell me which chapter you’d find the most intriguing. From that list I’ll pick what to write first.

“Grown Up” What’s that mean really?

Yesterday I got a number of calls from my eldest who is 190 miles away in Austin. Seems his computer monitor got knocked over and broke. He was calling to ask if the warranty would cover that. (AppleCare spoiled him. They fixed everything on his MacBooks.)

I could tell he was trying to get me to handle his problem for him, but just a little. I gave advice, but didn’t really do much.

So he took care of it himself. He called the maker and found out damage isn’t covered and repair would cost more than a new monitor. He rode the bus to Best Buy and got a new one.

I thought, “He’s getting all grown up.”

Then I wondered what I meant by that. I mean he’s been off on his own for 3 years now at UT. For a year before that, he was pretty much free and had to buy his own food.

He had to take responsibility for his actions. This most people consider a hallmark to being an adult. And we wonder why there seems to be so little of it in the world today.

But taking responsibility for your actions isn’t something you really get a choice in once you become an adult and once you leave your parents home. You commit a crime, you are taking responsibility for it whether you want to or not. You don’t have money to pay for stuff, you are going to deal with the problem – even if that means getting on the dole. If you don’t you’ll suffer hunger – the consequence – no matter what you believe should happen.

No, what he was doing was taking responsibility for himself. There is a subtle but important difference.

Taking responsibility for yourself is proactive. It is deciding you’ll get what you want by your own actions and not depend on others to do it for you.

It requires a choice. You can passively sit around and let things happen when they happen. If the consequences of those actions don’t meet up to your desires, well you can endure them. But if you want something to happen – you don’t like the consequences enough – you can take responsibility for yourself and go change something.

Taking responsibility for yourself is a key and powerful distinction.