Taming Monkey Number Four – Failure?

Post Series: Twelve 30 Days Challenges In A Year

It’s time for my monthly assignment: the report about the April monkey. For those of you who have no idea what I’m talking about, please read the introductory post. Basically, instead of writing new years resolution, I decided to go for a different approach. Each month I am going to tame one inner “monkey”. An “inner monkey” is an underdeveloped part of myself, a long time avoided promise I made to myself, or something along these lines.

To make a (potentially) long story short, I didn’t finish the iAdd desktop app (that was the April monkey). Mainly because life got in the way, with a big storm of shit. In softer words, I screwed up a relaunch of iAdd and I had to clean things up. So, instead of publishing the desktop version of iAdd (which exists, I swear, it even saves data and moves it around from one realm to another) I published 4 different versions of iAdd for iOS. All in one month.

So, one can say I failed at taming the iAdd desktop monkey. And one would be damn right about it.

But during the month of April I wasn’t only into coding for iAdd desktop. There were other things happening too.

For instance, I spent a few days of the Easter holiday with both my kids, at my parents house, away from work.

I also bought tickets for 3 different rock concerts happening in July, at which I am going with my older kid, Victor  (and that would be more than the total numbers of rock concerts I’ve been to in the last 10 years). I’m going to see and listen to Sting, Bon Jovi, Judas Priest, Whitesnake and Prodigy (among others).

I kept a 5 minutes Ignite presentation about one of the most surprising passions I have: astrology.

I finished publishing all my ebooks in Kindle AND iBookStore.

I held a workshop on how to become a digital nomad.

I started to learn tango.

I cooked.

I slept.

I exercised almost each and every day.

Well, all of these little things were coming from that strange area that we’re all calling life. Not work. Life. Plain and simple and uncontrollable.

The Subtle Pressure Of Stressed Valves

The main reason for starting this taming monkey thing is that I wanted to solve some inner blocks. I wanted to replace the new years resolutions with something more alive and authentic. More flexible. More in tune with this uncontrollable flow of things we’re calling life.

Now, stick with me for 2 more minutes, while I’m going to show you what really happened once I started this thing…

Sometimes I picture our human beings as incredibly complicated and, at the same time, delicate pressured pipes. We’re just a structure of pipes of various sizes and shapes and a mysterious life fluid is constantly flowing through these pipes, second by second, keeping us moving and alive. Incredibly intelligent valves are controlling this flow, letting just enough that is necessary for each and every part of our main mechanism to function.

But these valves are not perfect. Or, to be more precise, we are not perfect. Sometimes, we’re putting too much stress on some of these valves. We agglomerate some of the fluid only in one parts of the pipe structure. The pressure increases. And, eventually, the valve is giving up. Or, in a desperate attempt to keep a balanced flowing, the valve itself is blocking the flow completely and the life fluid is trying to find other paths and it ends up irrigating places it really shouldn’t. But, most of the time, it’s the valve that is screwed.

And then we have those things we’re calling crises. And we do our best to get out of the crisis and to fix the valve. With time and effort, we eventually succeed. We get over the crisis.

But most of the time we’re not having crisis. The life fluid is not screwing up the valve. It just get clogged and never circulates.

And so, we’re living only a partial life. For instance, we’re only functioning on the work pipe. The play pipe is clogged. And the valve is still holding on. We think we’re good. Until one day we realize we don’t know how to play anymore. And then we start to slowly repair the game valve, trying to see some of the game fluid in our lives.

I think that my taming monkeys challenge, one of the biggest I had so far (if not the biggest) is doing the exact same thing. By trying to reach to the clogged fluid, somewhere behind some blocked valves,  it’s actually starting to irrigate some zones I ignored in the past. I couldn’t put a finger on those zones before. Totally explainable, since my life fluid was blocked, I didn’t know what I missed. All I knew was that were some loose ends in my life and that I started to work on them.

In a rather strange fluid mechanic, by trying to unblock some of the work valves, namely the dumb iAdd desktop valve, other areas of my life were completely flooded during April. Like the tango area. Or the rock concerts area. The subtle pressure of the stressed valves started to work. I am getting more and more fluids from a variety of areas.

And I guess I have all the rights in the world to get these fluids ;-).

So, What’s The Next Monkey?

The next month monkey (the May monkey, that is) will still be the desktop version of iAdd. Because, well, it’s a promise I didn’t honored and, as such, a potential clog in some of my pipes. I know it’s becoming increasingly difficult because I already committed to an unusual high number of events during May. I will be talking at 3 main events in 3 different cities and I will also attend to a Yahoo OpenHack (the first one in Europe, and they’re keeping it in Bucharest, go figure).

But that’s it. A man’s gotta do what a man’s gotta do when it comes to tame the monkey within. 🙂



Running For My Life - from zero to ultramarathoner


The spooky thing about depression is that it sneaks in. There aren’t really trumpets and loud voices announcing: “Hail, hail, this is depression entering the room, all rise!” Nope. It’s slow, silent, creepy. It doesn’t even look like depression. It starts with small isolation thoughts like: “Maybe I shouldn’t get out today, I just don’t feel like going out”. And then it does the same next day. And then the day after that and so on. And then it starts to whisper louder and louder in your ears: “Why would you go outside, you loser? Didn’t have enough yet? Want more people to make fun of how much of a big, fat loser you are?”

And then you start to breath in guilt and shame, instead of air. Every breathe you take is putting more dark thoughts into your body.

Until you get stuck. You can’t move anymore. At all.

If you want to know how I got out of this space, eventually, check out my latest book on Amazon and Kindle.

Running For My Life -from zero to ultramarathoner

Dragos Roua

The guy who started all this. Entrepreneur, ultra-marathoner, tanguero, father and risk taker. I’m blogging here, but I also spend a lot of time in this marvelous space.. You’re invited, by the way.

This Post Has 3 Comments

  1. Dragos,

    I love the image of human beings as full of valves and steam. It perfectly fits how I’m feeling lately (not breaking around the seams, but close… too many things to do, to many commitments to satisfy, too little energy to do it and even less time than needed). I don’t think you have “wasted” April: you have lived and improved iADD for iPad/iPhone. Who can say they did as much in a month!?

    Cheers,

    Ruben

    1. I know what you mean about overheated pipes, been there done that. Just release some of the steam, otherwise they’ll eventually explode.

  2. Might try this monkey thing. I’m a bit obsessive and when I dive into a project, I find it all too easy to let everything else go (including life). The only thing this leads to is imbalance and eventually some form of depression.

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