Hello & welcome. My name is Colin.
I design, create, write, and think, on this little corner of the interwebs.

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Strava

Strava has changed my life. It has given me a chance to not let my circumstances determine who I am. I am not a competitive person, so the idea of running races, training against or with others, and competitive sports are not motivating factors for me. I don’t like the idea of someone else yelling at me to be better, because believe me I already know I am probably not doing good enough.

However, Strava has created a scenario where I could be competitive with myself—not with my current self, with my previous self. I could literally work incrementally harder to simply be a little bit better than I was yesterday, and aim to be a little bit better tomorrow. This kind of constant forward movement gives me permission to strive for my best, to find the motivation with me, to build the positive self-motivated habit within myself that’s maintainable and sustainable. It helps me become the best version of me.

Don’t get me wrong, I have loved the people I’ve gotten to meet on Strava who share the same goal and desire to just be a little bit better than yesterday. It’s a great place where I’ve found a passive online community of like-minded niche people.

I love situations where I get to become better, to strive to be the best version of me that is closest to what God sees me as. With the help of Strava, Fitbit, and LoseIt! I have lost over 50 lbs, and been more active than I’ve been since high school (where I was basically forced to be uber-active thanks to high school basketball).

It’s amazing what the internet can do, and I know it’s only the beginning the kind of connections that can be experienced now that we’re living in the future.

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Private Life Outloud

I’m a rather private person. I don’t often share openly about what I’m personally struggling with outside of a very small circle. I’m not one to broadcast what I’m worried about, stresses, my faith, needs, desires, or even what I’m passionate about (which is probably more odd than I realize). I often find myself writing at the end of each day in Day One, honestly just decompressing my busy days. It’s a place to take a step back from the day full of input from meetings, conversations, advice, and feedback loops and trying to get out of the jumbled mess into an understandable order I can actually comprehend.

I struggle often to find words in the moment, it often leaves me initially shying away from face-to-face conversations because I’m afraid of looking like an idiot in front of someone who has better things to do with their time than to listen to me babble about something until their boredom sets in with a fierceness like that of the panic of a snowy day in Atlanta. I don’t know what that facet of me is, but I can definitely tell it’s limited me in a lot of areas. It not only makes me terrible at meeting new people, I struggle to find helpful words in creative meetings (a huge part of my job that I always feel like I’m ever-failing at), I even have a hard time just talking with people I feel safe with. It makes me terrible at marketing, promoting, or talking about myself.

I long to be articulate, to be worth listening to, or to simply bring value to a conversation that I’m a part of. I want to learn to be able to organize the jumble of thoughts in my head into something worth listening to or reading.

I think the hardest yet most comforting mental state is realizing that God made me this way. He designed me this way, knowing my desires and dreams, to be dependent on Him in the times where I not only feel inadequate, but actually am. He’s created a need for Himself, in me. He’s also created me to not be lazy, to work hard, to persevere, to overcome the shortcomings within myself. I have a lot of learned behaviors that I’m constantly trying to refine so I can be more effective and valuable to my relationships, friends, and job role.

It’s possible that I may never feel confident in my ability, but I think if I ever do, it will be for the worst. My dependence on me would rise at the cost of my dependence and reliance on God, even in the little things. I want to be better, not so I look better, but so God in my looks His best.

Being someone who’s rather private, it’s no secret that I’m insecure about a lot of who I am and what I do, so I suppose it’s about time I say what everyone else is probably already saying about me. It’s time to be a bit more vulnerable, because it’s a lie if I think I’m keeping any secrets (I’m a terrible liar, even to myself).

I have lots of learning and growing to do, but the journey is better than the destination. Here’s to life lived richly, not in the pursuit of riches.

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Non-Fiscal Investments

Investment. Defined as “the action or process of investing money for profit or material result.” I didn’t need to include that, you already knew it. We often can’t see through our obsession with financial success and comfort to realize there’s more we’re investing without realizing it. The second definition is lesser used, but more accurate to what the majority of us actually have to invest in lieu of our mega-millions.

Investment. “An act of devoting time, effort, or energy to a particular undertaking with the expectation of a worthwhile result.” Time. Effort. Energy. Things we all have a limited supply of, but things that we squander on a daily (maybe even hourly) basis. We’re not even aware what we have at our disposal until we’re looking back wishing things were different, only to deny we had the potential to make that difference the whole time.

I realize now more than ever that I don’t want to wait until the end of my life to look back and dream of what I could/should have done differently. I’m going to make those changes when I have the chance. The challenge is that it’s not just simply deciding to live my life with purpose and instantly things fall into place. It’s an endless series of small decisions that add up to and support the greater goal being pursued. It’s something you have to decide once, and then decide over and over again every minute of every day.

It’s worth living your life to the fullest, but I’m not just talking about a busy schedule in pursuit of fulfillment, but strategic investments in how to life a rich life. Not rich in money necessarily, but rich in memories, experiences, and reason and well invested time and effort.

You only have one pitcher of life to pour out, choose your cups wisely.

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Opportunities for Distraction

Opportunities come to us most often when we aren’t looking for them. Opportunities for more busy work, to meet new people, make new connections, collaborate on a project, or to build something we’ve always dreamed existed. Opportunity is really an invitation to invest your time into something. But too many opportunities can start to become something you never wanted them to be. Like drinking from a firehose, it can quickly become too much of a good thing. Now these new endeavors have moved from opportunities to distractions.

We as humans are often terrible at saying no. We’re intrinsically afraid of rejection so we’ll over-commit ourselves with opportunities that will eventually distract us from the opportunity we hope will come one day. What if we’re making ourselves too busy to actually do what matters? What if, instead of doing what is most important, we’re wasting our time doing what is simply urgent.

It’s easy to waste time on something that is easy to accomplish. It’s predictable, it’s quick, it’s achievable and the goal is in sight from the get-go. On the contrary, doing something new, something risky, something exploratory often has a hopeful but unknown outcome, it can be daunting to begin when you don’t know how it ends. But if we only did things that were safe, we’d miss out on a lot of potential growth. After all, life is best lived outside of our comfort zones. Anything worth doing is often a risk. That big leap, asking out that girl for a first date, a new city, a hard conversation, a pouring out of your soul, taking on that project you’d not done before.

It’s terrifying. It’s vulnerable. There will be failure involved at some point along the way. But one thing’s for sure. Life is best lived as a journey, not a series of destinations. Where are you heading? What are you doing today that’s going to change your tomorrow?

Choose your opportunities.

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The ABC of Architects

This is beautiful. An alphabetical list of the most important architects with their best known building.

I love the style, timing, and kinetic fluidity. Not to mention he’s wise in starting out with already beautiful subject matter. Brilliant work from Federico Gonzalez & Andrea Stinga

Concept and Animation: Andrea Stinga, Federico Gonzalez
Art Direction: Federico Gonzalez
Music: The Butterfly from Eugene C.Rose and George Ruble, (Creative Commons)
you can download it here.

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