I am on track of an interesting phenomenon that’s important when working self-employed: you have to protect yourself from economic self-exploitation.

When being employed at another company, you might see your job as slavery. The thing however is, it is highly probably that your boss has learned that he’s got to treat his workforce not too bad, or their productivity will suffer and they will eventually flee and get another boss. And if he did not yet learn that, there is the state that will ensure that your work conditions are not too bad.

If you start to work self-employed, however, you still gotta learn exactly that lesson. You will have times where you’re quite stressed, by project deadlines and financial constraints, and then you’re going to load yourself with ever higher workload just to get through. You will work Saturdays and Sundays also, in the evening and night, not meet friends, not take time for eating as you was used to, nor for buying food if you start to miss something. If you have an IT job, you might be 9-13 hours at the computer a day, and will probably not do sports to compensate this; and after some weeks doing so you will feel your body getting badly off. In the end, you’re through with your project and perceive that it was not at all worth that sort of stress.

That’s my experience currently, and I do not want to repeat. In the future, I’m gonna keep projects apart with a big gap in between, so they will never manage to overlap and create stress … and if they do, I know that I’m not going to do both. The same with project deadlines. Make sure what are the really hard deadlines before starting a project, and simply do not accept if they are too constrained … keep in mind that miscalculations of plus 150% are not unusual in IT projects.

I thought about what I would do if I really, really care about somebody and take somebody seriously. Like, say, in a partnership.

I think the deepest expression of that, for me, would be something most other people will think is quite strange: shared information management. The most important part of my thinking is externalized to documents, mostly mindmaps, but also blog posts, idea lists etc.. If I would allow somebody to be part of that way of “written thinking”, by reading and writing, that would be like telling “her” everything and allowing “her” to be an essential part of my life and plans.

Just talking is way too ephemeral to be about taking somebody seriously, if there are other means as well.

Other people do sports, cook for themselves, maintain their health and beauty, keep their house clean and well-equipped, call and meet people, and work more than I do (so earning more money), and even watch TV and do games. I ave nearly no time for all that, on average.

Means my time goes somewhere instead. I finally find out where: thinking about things (includes blogging, mindmapping, idea management, authoring in general), sleeping (1-2 hours a day), perfectionism (being more exact in all I do than people are on average), and helping people. In that order.

Mmmh. I’d like to exchange sleeping and some perfectness and even some thinking for sports, socializing, a better household and better food, I think. In that order.

It is said that people in their late 20s undergo a crisis because they realize that they are not able to change the world. Me thinks, I am currently in an acute phase of that time. It actually drives me crazy to see dictators and / or aristocrats in Zimbabwe, Sri Lanka, Europe, basically all around the globe, misuse their might for their own advantage while the population is held captive, in unfree conditions, poor, ill, or else. Or, more precisely, it drives me nuts that I’m not able to change that to any meaningful degree (which means, 1% or more).

On (Mon) 2009-02-23, I … umh, say, attended a wedding. A wedding of my 4WD truck and its box body (German: “Kofferhochzeit”). That’s at least the jargon in my favourite 4WD truck forum. Then, on (Wed) 2009-02-25, the vehicle with its new body moved places and is now just below the window of my li’le flat. Very cool, because now I can work thereon whenever I’m bored of programming!

I’m gonna show you some pics of the “wedding”, but before, I need to place an “honorable mention” here: Micha, a friend of mine, really helped me in the substantial portions of preparing and executing the box body mounting. All the things that I either am not able to do or had too little experience yet: re-welding the box body subframe after decreasing its width, helping in the mounting procedure with that crazy lift station you see in the pics etc.. And, what was also very cool, he let me use his workshop and tools whenever I worked on the body or vehicle. And let me use parking spaces for the truck (for 3 months) and its body (for a year) before finally both went off together. Not to mention that he found both these perfect offers (box body and vehicle) on his journeys through mobile.de resp. autoscout24.de.

Well then, the pics:

This one shows the setup before the start of the body mounting.

Yay, cool lift. Comes in very handy.

Finished, but all the tools laying around in a total mess still … 

The truck just before it left its place on (Wed) 2009-02-25. The back flap came in handy already, to load all my tools and stuff in it.

I’ve wondered once and again why I have such a little level of motivation in my life, when comparing to others. It seems that I’m slowly getting to recognize the causes now. As, one cause seems to be: I did not allow me to be passionate about anything.

Why that? As a rational thinker, my worldview is very analytical and decompositional (it comes through e.g. in my post “Logicians also should accept themselves”). That is, the right way to live seems to me to do in every single moment what is “adequate”, where I mean with adequate: being the fitting answer or activity when taking into account the whole context. And the whole context includes: the world, a fallen one; God, a graceful one; ones own abilities; ones social contacts, … .

Now, this way of thinking is successful as far as this: it answers what is the best thing to do currently. For example, the whole Second Acts project thing developed that way … it deems me to be the most pressing question to answer. But: this mode of finding decisions does not necessarily lead me to do things that I’m passionate about. While I find the Second Acts project to be deeply necessary, I’m not passionate about it. I would not do it for its own sake if there would be no necessity to do anything at all.

Even more strange, my attempt to do what is “adequate” made me even unlearn what is “being passionate about something”. I’m not passionate about computers. While I can program and could be good at it, it’s only a tool for me to do something else. I’m not passionate about money. It means nothing to me, and therefore I’m also unwilling to do a job that does not fit me. I’m not passionate about community. I once was (see my posts on Xpedition Community). But due to non-collaborative people and not finding any fellow members here in Germany, this passion “sleeps” now. I’m not passionate about women. (Well, ok, I readily admit there are exceptions 😉 ) But generally … how could it be adequate in a dying world to have a partnership as ones life content? And I’m not really passionate about God. That’s sad, yes. I mean, God is very important to me and I’d really really like to get closer to God and get to know him better. But I don’t have the passion to deal with spiritual things for their own sake all day long, like praying, talking with people about God etc.. Simply, it currently does not seem to me to be “paying off”, i.e. to be rewarding or of any effect that would indeed make me know God better. It can even leads to more frustration … like seeing and experiencing the non-ideal, all-too-human state of the church first-hand.

Now, how comes that I’m talking about passion when I say here that I dunno what being passionate is all about? Because, I made an interesting experience in, say, the last two weeks: at times, when building my expedition vehicle, there was a strange feeling inside me. Yesterday, I realized it is passion … to build an expedition vehicle and live in it life-long. This passion keeps me going to build this thing, providing all the patience and force to do it! It even kept me up until 4:30am this morning, reading in internet forums about 4×4 trucks. I’m stunned …

Umh … and now? Until now, I did not allow me to be passionat about material / non-spiritual things, as I would not think it to be adequate to work so intensively for stuff that will pass away along with this world. But, seeing that being unpassionate leads to a lack of motivation, and, that way, to not working at all, I’m not sure about this whole thing now … . Also, I don’t know anymore what God would recommend … . So, comments welcome, as every time.

So, sigh. It seems that I’ve that hard tried to override my human behavior with logic behavior that I lost passion on the way, and motivation with it, for anything whatsoever. I seem to be in an impasse: I neglected that humans need motivation to do anything, and that real motivation comes from passion only, not logic.

By the way, what exactly is being passionate? People say, you can only be really good in the things you’re passionate about. Basically, being passionate is having a hobby: you care for something that is not yourself, and feel well if it is well. So, caring for something else “falls back” on you and helps in your emotional well-being. Part of this effect, of course, comes from the fact that the things you care for can indeed help you do better in the physical world (in my case: an expedition vehicle provides accomodation, transportation and shelter).

To conclude, something for you to chew on. Let’s take the above definition of being passionate and transfer it to the pair relationship topic. You can only be good in a pair relationship, only have a good pair relationship, if you care for your partner for her / his own sake, that is, because you’re passionate about her / his well-being. If your partner is well off, you feel well; not only, but also because your partner then has the strength to do you well. This might be what they call love.

Through all my education I’ve thought that people with good technical and intellectual abilities are in an enviable situation when it comes to utilizing the world and influencing it.

That’s one of the reasons why I invested here. The result: a guy with a relatively broad range of education in computer hardware, software, programming, Internet technology, technical communication in German and English, publication technology (incl. photography, typography etc.), some mechanical engineering, some vehicle technology, craftsmanship in metal and plastics. Yea, and some other stuff.

Now, during the last two years, I learned, and during the last few days I recognized, that the whole idea of mastering the world through technology is crap. Why? As a technician, you think thus: the world is a technical system, quite complex, but if you look deeply into it it will be manageable. Because technology is basically logical. Now, the error is here: the world is basically not a technical but a social system. Bummer.

And social systems are not logical. So that the highly qualified technician with all his logic simply has not the tools to successfully interact with the social system. He’s left in a dark corner with all his technology, tampering around with that and having some fun, but without money and with just a few friends. I mean, real friends, not those with just technical needs or technical abilities. Because, both money and community are acquired through social means, not technical.

I’m now gonna detail out the profile of some of the “real masters of the world”. Which does not mean that I would want to acquire all of these abilities. It’s basically a sad thing that the world is not logical, as this means basically that you’ve gotta be an actor of one or another kind, to be successful. (As for me: yes, I’m gonna learn some social stuff to live out better community, but I don’t care for monetary success. My technical answer to the latter has been in the making for a decade now, which is about self-sufficient technology. Zero need. Full stop.)

But, regarding the socially successful qualifications that I wanted to detail out:

  • The charismatic person. A person who triggers to be trusted and followed. As it has nothing to do with logic, charisma can be used for any purpose whatsoever, not just for the correct purposes. Hitler was a charismatic person who used his charisma for the wrong ends. Barack Obama is a charismatic person who’ll use his charisma for the right ends, I hope.
  • The beautiful person. How different would the world look today if Cleopatras nose had been one or two centimeters longer (said C.S. Lewis).
  • The affable person. Here, I don’t mean being nice, patient and friendly towards people. This is no social ability that would grant any success in this world. The affable person is one who can contact foreigners without any problems, and quickly makes new friends among them. And as most business between companies is arranged on the basis of personal connections (German Kontakte / Kontax, Chinese quanxi), having many friends in the business world normally means to have many customers. You don’t even need to be high-qualified in your profession to have monetary success … .