Discipline

Some years ago, in a Japanese-Colombian conference, a guy who is half Japanese and half Colombian mentioned something they apparently say in Japan, roughly translated as:

Sooner or later, discipline overcomes intelligence.

This has resonated with me, and fits with anecdotes from elsewhere, echoing Paul Graham’s take that determination is the number one predictor for startup success, the tales of John Carmack’s incredible dedication and hard work, and the situations in which disciplined work and study have served me well.

I believe that discipline can be cultivated, like many other habits, so I will work on it this year.

I will start by writing a post each weekday, with no restrictions as to time, length and subject. I will then impose a schedule, and a length; I don’t really think a restriction on subject would help. The objective is to build discipline in this area, and grow it into others, then look at the fruits of it and see if it is worthwhile.

Last time I checked, I had above-average IQ; hopefully cultivating discipline will be a multiplicator of that gift, and this will be an better year than otherwise for that.

I’ll archive the texts written with discipline cultivation in mind under the “Daily Writing” category for future reference.

Starting the blog

In order to write more, and be able to share better, I dropped the development of my static site compiler and moved to wordpress.

Over the years I’ve set many rules and goals to achieve before starting to write; among those:

  • Setting up a multi-language website. I’m a native Spanish speaker in a Spanish speaking country, but the broader audience is English speaking.
  • Setting up a static website, and the appropriate generator, to make the maintenance painless — this one was so misguided it’s actually hilarious.
  • Writing a backlog of content, and work with that content in several different ways, including but not limited to: classifying it, running it through trusted people, embellishing it.
  • Getting some OSS projects up and running so I could talk about them — more hilarity ensued by not thinking this one through and noticing a lack of community around my obscure development.
  • Generally trying to improve who I am, so I could project a better picture of myself while remaining truthful. Part of this is related to a severe impostor-syndrome episode, caused in no small part by working on in-house, backoffice software during all of my career.

So what I’ve decided is this: I’ll throw everything overboard and start. I expect a backlog will eventually form, and everything will be nicer as I work and polish my workflow. I’ll write about many things, including what I’m doing now, what I’m reading about, and insights I develop.

This is a start which almost aligns, with a slightly amusing off-by-one error, with the start of 2016. This is a coincidence, as I’d been working on setting up the php and MySQL installation and making sure they played nicely with Lighttpd for a few days, and festivity-related “chores” intervened. I’ll roll with it, though and try and make a nice run.