A spanner was thrown into the works, which makes it a little tough to define this as a #30daychallenge or even really measure the success of it based on the thirty day time period I had originally assigned to it. Truth is, I reached my personal goal in just nine days, a third of that time. Would I call this a raging success? No, and truthfully, here’s why… reaching my goal this soon was simply incidental. (And coincidentally, a blessing in disguise). Yes, I’ve kept my eyes on my destination & not where I’ve stumbled, but reaching this personal end-goal so soon was really just an unintentional success – a victory and a fluke – and taking credit for something I’m not 100% responsible for goes against every thing I am, want to be and become – and also contradicts Google’s 9 principles of innovation.
During this #30daychallenge, I realised that I don’t need others to change to reach or achieve success… I needed to change the way I communicate. By transforming the goal into something that’s actually within the realms of what I can control, I’ll ensure that the #30daychallenge actually lasts 30 days too.
With more time at my disposal these days, I’ve started playing around with a fairly new app that acts as a social media time capsule: it’s called Timehop. You can use it to view your activity on facebook, twitter & instagram and it segments this data into annual increments. Kind of like your very own “This day in History” tool. Timehop is something I think Facebook could quickly replicate if not acquire. It got me looking back at what I’ve been sharing and presented a not so subtle reminder of the fact that I’ve been having some difficulty translating my personal thoughts into coherent written communication for quite some time now.
— Rafiq Phillips (@rafiq) July 30, 2014
What about my written and verbal communication skills during the 24 years prior? Has there been difficulty understanding what I’ve tried to communicate in the past too? Obviously, there has been. Certain aspects of that story have been covered in articles, television, radio, and in magazines. Some have even turned unrelated tweets into amusing satire. These kinds of reactions to my communication style – or lack thereof – made it easy for me to relate to this poem and I have to say, rekindled some flaming emotions. Please take a few minutes to watch this video before reading the rest of this post or read the poem here if you do not have sufficient bandwidth for Youtube.
By turn hilarious and haunting, poet Shane Koyczan puts his finger on the pulse of what it’s like to be young and … different. “To This Day,” his spoken-word poem about bullying, captivated millions as a viral video (created, crowd-source style, by 80 animators). Here, he gives a glorious, live reprise with backstory and violin accompaniment by Hannah Epperson.
Like in the poem, in the past I’ve been both the underdog and the bully. And just like any other form of conflict, it’s good to remember that when you point a finger, there are three fingers pointing back at you. I understand that I need to change the way I communicate my experiences in this challenge, the last thing I want is for the message to get lost in translation.
‘This is who I am. This is how I stand up for myself’. I’m improving my communication on and offline so that I can confidently say, “Yes, I can string a sentence together :)”
For this reason, one of my new goals as part of this #30daychallenge will be to focus on clearer communication, ensuring that each post is written in a manner that anyone (not just geeks) can understand. More technology related topics will be discussed tomorrow, specifically with this next question (posed to me on facebook) in mind:
If I want to change my career to software development, where can I start to learn?
My one word answer would usually be “Google!” That isn’t really answering the question posed by the reader though. We find out where to start tomorrow 🙂