A word for the year

I don’t normally do this but I am going to have a word for 2018 and that word is expand.

It is multi-faceted and encompasses (at least) the following:

  • expand my mind - I'm going to join the local library and read more actual paper books,
  • expand my knowledge - I intend to learn more, to study, which is obviously related to the above, and
  • expand my creative output - I don't know how yet but I want to produce something that's not just blog posts.

I feel like I’ve just been drifting along with no real direction so, this year, that’s going to change. It may just be the start of a long journey but I hope for it to be a fulfilling one.

Here’s to a great year!

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Making it 'app-en

Jamie Thinglestad asked:

”What apps do you have on your phone that are making you a better person?”

He details a number of ways he has tried to use apps to achieve his goals and improve as a person.

Like him I removed social apps from my phone a while back - I just don’t do social any more, with the exception of micro.blog but that’s an edge case I’m still contemplating. I also uninstall other addictive apps which is why (along with getting bored of them) games never last.

But do the things I install help to make me a better person?

I suppose it depends on your definition of better. What does better really mean?

It’s an interesting point to ponder.

Does it mean fitter and healthier? Does it mean calmer, more focused and present? Does it mean less buried in technology? Does blogging and the way it forces me to think make me a better person and, therefore, do the writing apps I use qualify?

Better isn’t just what you have but the practices you employ, your behaviour and habits. Something like an RSS reader can deliver useful information but, used in a bad way, can also be damaging. But it’s not the apps fault, rather the user’s.

Garbage in, garbage out.

With all this in mind I have decided to have another go at meditation and installed a couple of apps: Oak and Insight Timer.

I've tried meditating before but, each time, given up on it. I've never really given it a proper chance or run up against monthly fees that I wasn't, at the time, prepared to pay to decide if I liked the particular app. You may question putting a price on wellbeing, and you'd probably be right, but I don't think I was really in the correct mindset to truly benefit.

While I don’t like making New Year’s resolutions per se there are some things I want to achieve and, maybe, using my phone as a prompt, reminder or support system might help.

If that makes me a better person then so much the better.

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Colin Walker Colin Walker colin@colinwalker.blog