Inhale. Exhale

For the last 40 days my work routine was completely messed up. Some of you noticed it by the number of guest posts on the blog, which was really high lately (and for that I am thankful to all my dear friends and contributors here). Some of you noticed it by my (highly unusual) low presence on social media, on twitter and facebook. And some of you noticed it when I kindly asked you a small favor: helping me test one of the most interesting things I done lately: an iPhone app based on my Assess – Decide – Do life management framework.

Why iPhone Programming?

I can hear you, guys. Loud and clear: “what are you trying to prove with this iPhone stuff? I mean this is hundreds of miles away from being a blogger. I’m confused: what are you? What do you do?” Well, I can understand your confusion. It may sound a little bit off the track, but it isn’t. This whole 40 days trial had very serious reasons. Here they are:

1. I Love To Make My Ideas Real

Number one reason is: making my ideas come true is one of my biggest sources of fulfillment. I live for this. I don’t have any other satisfaction bigger than that. I mean we all have brilliant ideas. I know some people who can have at least 6 brilliant ideas before breakfast (that would be a hook to a very interesting book, let me know in the comments if you guessed what’s the book I’m hinting at). But an idea is just an idea, an exercise of the brain. Putting all the pieces together, making it all work in the real life, just in front of your eyes, here’s from where the real satisfaction comes.

2. Self-Improvement Is Not About Writing A Self-Improvement Blog

Self-Improvement is about getting better and better at what you choose to do. Writing a blog about it can make a you a very respected blogger but it won’t automatically make you a better person. There are certain skills required to create and maintain a successful blog, I agree, but that has little to do with self-improvement. It’s just a blog. Self-improvement means challenging yourself into more and more difficult ventures, and overcome all the obstacles. This is where the real fun is.

3. I Truly Believe in My Life Management Framework

It’s been almost a year since the first draft of my ADD life management framework. A lot of stuff happened since them. I wrote 4 ebooks (all of them with printed versions published on Amazon too) and started 2 live workshops, one on online business and the other one in professional blogging. None of this could happen if I didn’t consciously apply all the rules in my life management framework. In other words: this just works. It made me far more productive than I was even when I had my online publishing company (and I was somehow forced to be productive). So, knowing that the system has been tested for almost a year on my self, I had no reason NOT to make it available to a wider audience.

The Whole Picture

But wait, there’s more. Yes, of course if is 🙂 The iPhone app is just a part. The product I’ve been working on includes much more than that. I already have an ebook describing the ADD life management framework in a very advanced stage. I hope it will be ready by the end of this month. Think at the ebook as of a companion for the iPhone app (there will be a whole chapter dedicated to it anyway). And there will also be a series of podcasts on how to use this life management framework, along with the iPhone app (or even separately, if you want, ADD is a very flexible framework, it downs’t tie you down to a certain setup).

So, please keep in mind there will be some buzz again on this blog and make sure you subscribe, because in the next few weeks I’ll be writing far more than usual. Or at least in a different manner than you’re used to.

But until then, here are a few screenshots of the iPhone app. The interface may change a little bit in the near future, but basically this is how it looks:

The Growing Process

After 40 days of totally immersing in a completely new area, I feel incredibly fresh. Yes, there were a lot of roadblocks and frustrations along the way. At some points I felt lost. I also felt like I was going nowhere: what am I doing here in the middle of the night trying to understand a stupid thing like a UIPickerDateDelegate? Why am I doing this instead of sleeping or staying in the backyard listening to some music or just going out to some party?

Well, I did it because this is what I usually do: I try to get better at stuff. I try to overcome my own limitations. I try to discover new things. And I enjoy this far more than sitting outside in the backyard doing nothing or banging my head at some dull party. I love to be challenged. And learning Objective C from scratch in one month looked like one hell of a challenge.

Now, don’t get too excited. Learning Objective C in one month if you’ve never been exposed to programming might be almost impossible. I don’t claim I did this. I am a seasoned programmer (I think I wrote more than 100.000 lines of PHP code back while I had my online publishing company).

And I also did something to soften a potential crash: a dry run using a low effort project, just to get a glimpse of what should I expect. It was what I call “calibration”: do something small just to see exactly what steps do you have to take. So, three months ago I created a small game using a third party SDK, Corona, which allows you to build iPhone, iPad and Android apps. It didn’t took me more than a week. The game, called iFlipEm Lite, was written in lua, a very easy to learn programming language. iFlipEm Lite ( iTunes link) is in the AppStore for more than 2 months now and it had around 1000 downloads. Not to mention the Android version which had around 100 installations.

Once I understood the whole process of app submission and logistic requirements for deploying an iPhone app at a more professional level, I totally immersed into it. I started to daily log my progress (or, for what it matters, my frustrations) and I committed to it totally. I plan to write a very detailed post on how to tackle such a job so for those of you keen on technical details maybe there will be something more.

Now, this whole adventure backfired at me in a number of ways. First of all, the blog suffered a little bit. I didn’t wrote as much as I usually do and I didn’t promote it (or engage in cross-promotions) as often as I usually do. I ran much more guest posts than usual. The subscribers number remained basically the same but the in the blog business, if you don’t grow, you don’t exist. Just being there means nothing, you gotta move. So, my blog was stalled for a little while.

But while my blog was stalled, something else was growing: my personal experience in implementing an iPhone app, based on my own ideas. And even if this wasn’t very obvious (or at least very public) it counts. And it counts a lot. Maybe some of my readers got a little bit confused by the fact I didn’t wrote as often as I usually do. They shouldn’t. It’s normal. I’m not a writing machine, nor do I intend to become one. I’m enjoying the process as much (if not more) as I enjoy the destination. So every detour on my road is part of the journey. And I enjoy it a lot.

Now, since everybody knows now what I was doing lately, a short explanation of the title.

Inhale. Exhale

Every time we’re immersing in something new, we’re inhaling. We’re incorporating skills, information, knowledge, experience. We’re totally immersed in this process. And this is how it should be, anyway. And every time we’re sharing or applying what we learned, we’re exhaling. We’re pushing away our know-how, enriched with our personal experience.

Our entire life process is unfolding like this. There is this game of pushing back and forth that makes the journey worthwhile.

If we’re too much into inhaling (acquiring skills, knowledge or money) we’re going to implode, sooner or later. If we’re too much into exhaling (sharing skills or knowledge) we’re going to dry ourselves out: we’re going to run out of experiences to share.

So, the growth process is nothing more than this simple, fundamental process of respiration.

Inhale. Exhale.

20 thoughts on “Inhale. Exhale”

  1. Funny coincidence :
    I have been regularly reading around 100 blogs (innovation, personal …and applications developpment, etc), but I stopped reading blogs for 2 months …because I was developping my first iPhone app too 😉

    I’m now back and I notice that “Brilliantly Better” is still among the top most inspiring, inhalation sources, in my Google Reader list.

    I think that the ratio Guess_posts/DR’s_posts doesn’t matter a lot as far as you select and publish guess posts that you consider as being relevant and of great value.

  2. This is so great! It’s true that while the blog may have stalled, it provided opportunities for others via guest posts and it allowed you to create. I loved the line that self-Development isn’t just writing about self-development.

    Great! I would love to work on an iPhone/iPad app sometime but it’s just not the right time. I am certain an idea for an app will rise in the future though.

    Assess Decide Do looks great and the app idea is great!

  3. My gosh. I’m reading “The Growing Process” section with eyes wide open in amazement.

    Coming from someone (I meant, me) who’ve coded in PHP for like 4 years till 2006, learning something new (while very much related to programming) and getting to create a whole new app in 40 days … you’ve just blown my mind.

    Besides that, welcome back! 😀

  4. Hi Dragos!

    Wow wow wow! I’m excited about your new iphone app.. sounds like something I wouldn’t mind investing in to buy *wink*

    I myself have been posting less on my blog because I had a week long workshop to do in Europe. It suffered a bit but at the same time, I got much more exposure in another market.

    So as my blog– like you said, “was at a stand still,” the sacrifice I made was much bigger in the long run.

    Cheers to our success!


  5. I commend you on turning your methodology into a tangible tool for people to utilize. Nice work!

  6. Welcome back! I was wondering where you had been. This new app looks really great. I wish I had an Iphone but I’ll tell all my Iphone friends about it.

  7. Dragos, congratulations to you. I say, if making an iPhone app makes you happy, it doesn’t matter what other people think. Also, it exponentially increases the number of people that you can help because of the reach of the product.

    Congrats again!

  8. you are the guru of business pranayama, dragos. very powerful article. it just took… my breath away 🙂


    • woot 🙂 I laughed for 3 and a half minutes without stopping after reading your comment. Business pranayama :-))) On a more serious note, I’m happy to see you around. BTW: would you like to test the app? I mean, from an Apple fanboy to an Apple fanboy 🙂

  9. “Self improvement is getting better and better at what you are doing” That is food for thought. SOmetimes we get so caught up with things that we forget the big picture. Looks like you had to take a step back to do this.
    Congratulations on getting the Iphone app going.

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