Infinite Right Ways

Since mid-2020, I’ve been trying to figure out how to rearrange my disparate jumble of professional activities into something more cohesive and comprehensible.

Many people who engage with something I make only engage with that one thing, and are maybe tangentially aware that I do other things, as well, but maybe not.

Some sturdy few have engaged with the entire Colin Extended Universe of work, ranging from my books to my podcasts to my essays, and have maybe even come out to hear a talk or two over the years.

But I haven’t made doing so very easy: I decided several years back to experiment more and promote less, in the sense of putting things out and seeing how they do without too much explanation or backstory or anything even hinting at marketing, to give myself the space to try more things and dabble without accidentally over-investing in something that didn’t end up being valuable, interesting, or growth-oriented (for me or for the folks on the other end of said undertaking).

After years of exploring and experimenting in this way, I’ve landed on several projects that are distinct, but which work together to achieve some broader ambitions I think are worthwhile and worth sharing. I’ve also been playing with and refining some expansions of those core concepts that I think could flesh out the whole collection in a meaningful way.

Much of my recent behind-the-scenes effort has revolved around consolidating these seemingly disparate but actually intertwined projects without limiting them individually; demonstrating that they fit together, Voltron-like, but also ensuring they can function as independent entities.

Figuring out that balance—assessing and reassessing what I actually want to accomplish, how I want to accomplish it, and how I want to spend my time as I continue moving toward those goals—has proven to be my most cumbersome effort of the past year. And sussing out how to keep this portfolio of projects malleable, economically sustainable, and accessible to as many people as possible has been fundamental to that larger lifestyle-workload harmonization effort.

Ultimately, there are an infinite number of right ways to do anything, and that includes how we structure our days, what sorts of work we choose to do, and how we weave it all together into a purposeful whole.

That limitless number of options is both the problem and the point: it’s difficult to winnow such abundance down to a cognitively meaningful array of optimal potentialities, and at times even trickier to then choose from that curated selection of possible paths, but having (and being aware of) such options is almost always preferable to the alternative.

At some point, though, you have to decide which definition of “right” you’ll use to guide your ambitions, which path toward that collection of intended outcomes you’ll take, and then finally leap, knowing full well that you’re introducing a medley of novel risks into your life and future considerations just by choosing to leave the ground.

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