Today's Bulletin Board is being written on a brand new 27’ iMac. I didn’t necessarily want to buy a new computer this week but my late 2014 model iMac ‘cracked it’ and I couldn’t be saved without me, completely losing my sanity. There is a level of frustration that only broken technology can cause and it’s up there with being a parent and slow walkers.

I had spent ALL of Wednesday trying to update and reinstall operating systems only to collapse into a heap of angry tears when nothing seemed to work. Matt, being the voice of reason, told me to stop doing what I was doing, go online and buy a new computer. This would pretty much wipe out my business bank account but I don’t really have a business without a working computer.

The earliest I could get a new computer delivered to Ballarat was on the 15th of November! After another smaller, slightly less dramatic outburst I decided to drive down to HighPoint (a gigantic mall in the north suburbs of Melbourne) and pick one up from the Apple store instead. So on Thursday I spent half the day driving to and from Melbourne to pick up this shiny new machine I have sitting before me as I type this very sentence.

This is a classic example of taking the advice that you’d give to a friend rather than what you’d tell yourself. If I was left to my own devices I would’ve probably had a complete breakdown trying to save my 7+ year old computer whereas if the same situation had happened to a friend my advice would’ve been…

Fuck, that computer is older than your children! You need an awesome computer to do your job, stop being so tight with money and go get a new god damn computer. Now.

It was just last week I wrote about Sunk Cost Fallacy, you’d think I’d take my own advice! My old computer had certainly done its job well and it had paid for itself many, many times over. I just need to ‘Marie Kondo’ it - Thank it and let it go. The outcome, of course, is that I have a new computer and it's awesome. The other silver lining, which there always is, is that I got to talk to my sister for a good 45 minutes while driving into the city.

My sister is one of the most important people in the world to me. She lives in New Zealand with her family and has just signed up to do a six month diploma in photography. She doesn’t own a camera but photography is something she has always been interested in so she decided to sign up. She only has a few spare hours a week in between school and kindy drop offs and pickups, walking the dog and the general running of a household but she is managing to squeeze it in.

Yesterday we spoke about that feeling of being at the first rung of a ladder. It can be extremely intimidating and overwhelming when you're a total amateur. I know that feeling oh-so-well as I’ve just started guitar lessons. Matt had brought me a few lessons for my birthday and I had my first one last week.

The young man who is my teacher (I’m guessing he’s about 23 maybe) is such an intense guitar nerd that he can barely look a 39 year old woman in the eye! I think most of his beginner students are 8 year old kids - It reminds me of having braces a couple of years ago when I would walk out of the appointment into a room full of 12 years olds waiting to get their braces tightened. It's the same thing with my guitar lessons - a small child is patiently waiting for their lesson after me.

The lessons are fantastic. The teacher is an awesome guitar player and despite the natural awkwardness, we both have a really good time. I’m so used to having to have the answers, or knowing what’s going on that it's liberating not knowing. I think every second question he asks me I don't know the answer for - Do you know what a sharp or a flat is? Nope. Do you know much about scales? Nope. Do you know about tuning? Nope. My latest lesson was just on theory which was really interesting.

Being at the start of something new can be pretty daunting but it is also very liberating. I’ve been reading ‘Grit, Why Passion and resilience are the secrets to success’ by Angela Duckworth this week. Angela is a psychologist and spent years researching what qualities lead to outstanding human achievement.  As the title of the book suggests, it's ‘GRIT’ that all of her interviewees had not just talent or skill. Grit is passion and perseverance for long term goals.

Talent x Effort = Skill

Skill x Effort = Achievement

Effort counts twice.

One of the chapters that really stood out for me was about ‘Parenting for Grit’. I’d never put a huge amount of weight on extracurricular activities but it turns out that they’re a really good indicator and builder of ‘grit’ in young people. If you make a total generalisation that school is often hard but the content isn’t that interesting, and hanging out with your buddies is fun but not very mentally stimulating, then extracurricular activities can be the combination of both hard (learning new skills) and fun (chosen area of interest - swimming, guitar, photography, netball…). There was a study done that showed young people who did more than 2 years of an extracurricular activity were more likely to go onto complete tertiary education. Fascinating.

Learning something new and being an ametuer is a wonderful thing to do. Not only do you get to learn something new but it can change the perspective you have on other areas of your life. When you overcome something hard or master a new challenge (like stretching your fingers to play power chords on the guitar) you are more likely to try new things that you may not have thought possible. Learning is infectious and creates momentum!

Video of the Week
Grit: the Power of Passion and Perseverance.
Podcast of the week
The Secret Life of Writers by Tablo: Sinéad Gleeson on the power of your own story.
Font of the Week
Digestive: Font of the week by Oh No Type

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