The Idea Dude

CONNECTING THE DOTS ONE AT A TIME

Thursday, March 16, 2006

Investing in yourself

I was reading the preface of a great handbook for CSS and web design by Jennifer Robbins. Apart from being a great reference for both experienced and novice web page designers, I was struck by her candour when she shared that after writing the first version she had lost 'her edge' when revising the subsequent edition. Web design culture and methodology had changed so much that she was compelled to rethink and relearn and indeed rewrite many sections she had originally thought only required some tweaks.

It brought to mind another of my favorite books, the Book of Five Rings by Musashi (translated by Thomas Cleary). Musashi was a successful samurai who retired and devoted his life to philosophy, teaching and art. One of his analogies refers to carpenters who must periodically sharpen their tools otherwise their work would in the end suffer greatly. In our busy world, it is something we should be mindful of...make sure we invest in ourselves and that we invest in our people. It is a culture that pays off in the long run. Failure to do so degrades our skills and we simply hack our way with blunt knives in an unforgiving jungle.

Investment could be simply keeping up to date with technology, taking time to read your favorite blogs, calling people in your network, reconnecting with your family or simply doing something completely different like brushing up on your golf game or your jazz repertoire. But it is about building a better you. Investing in ourselves by taking time to renew and reconnect is a responsibility that belongs to self. Excuse me, while I go and read the 100+ blog posts that I have yet to get around to this week...

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