What’s your principle?

12 May

I came across this brilliant talk by Brett Victor via Vinod’s blog and, like Vinod, I waited about a month to watch it. There were always to reasons to put it off, the primary one being that it’s just under an hour long, and I needed to find enough time to first stream it, and then watch it. Finally, after going back through my archaic list of things to do, I saw this and thought “ah, what the hell, I’ll never get it off my list if I don’t give it a go.” My one advice after watching it? Watch it. Watch it now. It’s amazingly worth it.

The talk touches on a range of principles, including but not limited to software development, engineering, artistic and problem solving. More than that though, it’s focuses on finding the right principle to guide your life.

So what’s your principle? More importantly (to me), what’s mine?

When I look back on all I’ve done, the roles I’ve played in life, and the driving factors of my decisions, my initial reaction is to say “oh, well I must like to solve problems”. Then I think of how I’ve never actually solved a rubiks cube – I’ve definitely tried, and I know there are plenty of sources to help me understand how to do it, but I tend to just give up instead. It just doesn’t interest me.
“Oh, so maybe it’s because it’s been solved before, maybe I like to solve new problems?”. Then again, I do find important lessons in reinventing the wheel – I think it’s cool to be able to understand something, and then share it with other people.
“Ahh, people! I’ve always loved working with people but … only those who are open to learning”. Yes, I think now I’m onto something. I think my principle is to enable others to grow their own ideas. I’m not focused just on helping others learn, not really. What I am interested in helping people question themselves, their ideas, and inspire them to develop those ideas further.

So now that I’ve reflected on that, I think it’s safe to say that hearing about your principle is more important (to me), after all.


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