Posted October 2, 2016 .
Hello and welcome to my blog. I am a Lead Frontend Engineer at a growing design agency in Irvine, CA (@WeAreEnvoy).
In this blog, about every week or so, I will be posting a new article, tutorial, or review that pertains to web and also personal development. In all my writings, I will be emphasizing principles and best-practices that induce “fluid” thinking.
You may be thinking: What does it mean to be a “fluid” thinker? Does this mean you should become less focused and “water down” your beliefs and actions? Absolutely not.
What I’m essentially referring to is fluid intelligence —specifically to how it applies to web development.
Since this is merely an introductory posting, I am going to tease this idea just a bit. I promise there will be a future posting that covers this concept in further detail.
Basically, to think “fluid” is to train your thoughts and actions to flow more freely like a flowing stream of water. The more closed-minded you are, the more obstructions like rocks, fallen branches, etc. there are that prevent the stream (thoughts) from flowing smoothly. You should be exploring all regions of your mind on both hemispheres without interference. Openness is key since it opens the doors that lead toward innovative action.
You should never make statements like, “I have no idea how this UI element should display and function on a mobile device —that’s up to a UX Designer.” Or, “That’s not what I do, I suck at design.”
Stop being lazy! Those are weak excuses. If you’re developing for the web, you have undoubtedly been browsing and using it for a good portion of your life. You candidly have an unlimited pool of ideas.
This blog will help guide you to step out of your comfort zone and think beyond your normal day-to-day. If you’re already a developer, go ahead and put yourself in the mindset of a Web / UX Designer; get familiar with PhotoShop and Sketch, browse awwwards.com —just get out there and get inspiration. BE OBSERVANT. Treat yourself and the services you provide like a business. Your skills from varying areas can indeed be unified and applied to your life purpose and dream. That purpose and dream I’m referring to is exclusively up to you and only you.
Although I am very far from being a great designer, I am still open to the idea of continuing to build my abilities in it. With that said, just because you aren’t particularly adept at a certain skill right NOW doesn’t mean you never will.
Don’t deny yourself of your potential capabilities. You have the power to create and become whoever you want. Build the greatest version of yourself. Please.
Also, if you really want to become a fluid thinker, avoid falling into the toxic mindset of Good vs. Bad, Right vs. Wrong, Windows vs. Mac, iPhone vs. Android, Java vs. C#, Frontend vs. Backend, Dual monitors vs. Ultra-wide curved monitor, Coke vs. Pepsi, etc. Just stop it. These are simply choices and tools of the world at your disposal. You should be willing to trial both sides and evaluate each before arriving to such rash conclusions. Once you have determined what works best for you, then use it. Don’t criticize others and their choices. It’s really their problem, not yours.
Now, let’s go through a little bit of what I’m all about:
A Sample of My Principles and a Brief Anecdote
I am a firm believer in persistent growth. For growth to really flourish, you must first recognize that opportunities for rapid learning span beyond the day-to-day duties of being a developer. Growth must be applied to all aspects of mind, body, and spirit. My hope is that this blog will communicate the idea of how fluid thinking stimulates rapid growth to as many people as possible.
To achieve rapid growth, you must learn how to recognize the patterns expressed in all things. You must also optimize any areas of your life that persistently drain your energy. Having more energy at your disposal is very important.With more energy, you can accomplish more stuff each and every day. Accomplishing more stuff, brings you closer to your goals.
So what are some hacks and tricks that can be done to get the most energy? Answer: Improve your vitality and health via lifestyle choices i.e. diet and fitness. Establish beneficial routines. Take cold showers. The list goes on. This blog will have future postings covering all of this stuff.
Here’s a little backstory on my first major lifestyle choice:
About almost 2 years ago I had enough with being fat. Being around 40 pounds overweight, I was technically borderline obese. That was absolutely unacceptable to me. At the time, dropping the excess 40 pounds sounded like an immense goal to reach. I was unsure of myself and my ability to stay persistent with my goal of loosing the weight.
I then figured, “Well, if I can work with difficult programming problems on a daily basis with ease (usually), why am I having such difficulty in simply maintaining an acceptable weight on my own body? How can I stay persistent and stop having these cravings for overly processed, toxic foods?”
Because I was a little lazy, I wanted to simplify stuff a bit.
As a relatively organized person, I knew that big goals should be broken down into much smaller and believable steps. If you’re a good developer, that should make a lot of sense to you.
So what did I do to end up loosing the 40 pounds? Since I was already too fat and lazy to cook healthy meals for dinner, I subscribed to a paleo-based meal plan for around $200 per month. All I had to do was throw a small plastic bag of food in the microwave and eat nothing else but that. That seemed easy enough.
In just about 3 months, I already lost 25 pounds —I was already looking better. I stayed persistent. I kept reminding myself during each and every boring, microwaved meal about why I am doing this. I kept visualizing a thinner, more vibrant Keenan.
My continued persistence kept paying off. After 6 months, I lost the remaining weight for a grand total of 40 pounds. And just a few months ago, I decided to really take this idea of persistent, rapid growth to the next level. I started lifting weights, cooking, reading, and listening to audiobooks. Next, I’ll be purchasing a standing desk, then a treadmill. Each and every action keeps building on top of one another. My energy levels have steadily increased due my persistent actions. You should do the same.
Remember this: Start off by breaking down your goals into small actions. These small micro-actions add up to BIG action. BIG action leads toward success and reaching the goal. Achieving goals increases confidence. More confidence equals firmer beliefs in your actions —your actions become stronger and easier to execute, then life just really takes off. That is what I’m doing here. The action of me starting this blog can bring forth more opportunity and contribute value to the community. That is the mindset you should have too. The more you give and teach others, the more you get back in return. And in order to GIVE effectively, you must have and continue to develop SKILL.
This posting may have turned into a hodgepodge of ranting and ideas, but it’s all a glimpse of what’s to come. My aim is to curate this blog in such a way that it influences the community to see the world more openly while still teaching practical knowledge to developers.
See you next time.