My Java Journal

On Growth: Reconsidering Focus For A New Year And Decade

Music. An unexpected, and greatly appreciated diversion from, or perhaps towards, the realization of goals and dreams.

My Java Journal is about, in a word, growth. It does still chronicle a journey, and that journey started with a dream, but that journey has become much less linear than, I realize now, was, in a gross oversight, intended. By this I mean that I think I expected to leave the military and get straight to opening a coffeehouse. I didn’t anticipate finding other opportunities and business ventures en-route to that coffeehouse. All good, but in retrospect, I realize that the desire for a linear path towards my goal was at odds with one of the reasons I left the military. I considered the military career path too rigid and prescriptive. As a result, I deliberately sought a less linear path; only to see now that I was at risk of replacing one linear path with another.

As it turns out I stumbled upon the winding path I sought despite my inadvertent veer back towards the status quo. It has been in being open to opportunity and willing to work, and of course willing to adapt, where growth has been actualized. That means personal growth, but also growth in convictions and ideation relating business and goals.

Writing a blog, for example, is a lot of work. Very enjoyable and rewarding work, but work the same. Writing this blog for coming on two years has seen me reconsider several times the path that this blog should follow. One of the best suggestions I was fortunate enough to have been exposed was to read other blogs. I am doing this more and more. The challenge was, at first, to find blogs that were either interesting, and in (many) other instances, current. That wasn’t easy, especially to find blogs that were both interesting and current.

I’ve referenced many times The Art of Manliness, which is both interesting and current; and has been the one I read the most. I very recently however, also discovered and shared another blog, Mr. Money Mustache. This practice of being open to opportunity, and willing to work and adapt has, I believe, allowed me to grow in my understanding of, and effectiveness in developing this blog.

I want to focus here on Mr. Money Mustache because it has been the reading of this blog that has reaffirmed for me that focus is a critical requirement in successful blogging; and life in general. Determining the focus for My Java Journal has been difficult. Sure, it has been clear (at least to me) that it has been to chronicle a journey. However, unlike The Art of Manliness, which is explicitly a one-stop resource for actionable advice for men, or Mr. Money Mustache which is about money, My Java Journal has grown (or morphed, maybe matured) by way of reconsidered and tweaked foci several times to date.

Regardless, it is a work in progress and, hopefully, always getting better. It is current, I work hard to ensure this. But, is it interesting? I think a clear focus will help resolve this, if it is indeed needed; it should, at any rate, just generally make it better overall.

Both of these two blogs meander a little. The Art of Manliness spans functional as well as philosophical themes. It can be straight forward advice, or spiritual musings. Likewise, Mr. Money Mustache is as much lifestyle and introspection as it is direct money advice. In both cases though, their respective focus is perspicuous.

This got me thinking again about My Java Journal. I have considered this before, and last February, with the 1-year anniversary of the blog, I made some changes. Now then, as we have entered a new year and decade, and with the 2-year anniversary of My Java Journal approaching, it is time to again reconsider the intent and purpose of this blog. I figured the best way to do that now would be to define in a single word what this blog is about. That word: GROWTH.

There has been much growth already, and perhaps maturity (and some hard truths) as it relates my dream to open a coffeehouse. There has also been growth for me with respect to entrepreneurial spirit and orientation. I have remained open to every opportunity thus far, and have learned much as a result. Since retiring from the military, I have become a barista. There has been music by way of the band and in hosting open mic nights. I have also found myself learning how to, and producing silk screened t-shirts and sweaters. Events hosting has gained traction. Writing remains cathartic and a true joy.

The biggest challenge now is finding a clearer focus and re-calibrating the direction of this journey. For despite the joy and creative expression these opportunities have allowed, the ability to be husband, father, son and friend, and to advance any of these emerging initiatives has been hampered in that there is now too broad a scope and too much distraction – and too little focus.

So, starting with the blog, which will remain a focus, for 2020 I will write around the theme of growth.

There it is. A little focus and direction for our journey into the 2020’s.

As always, gratitude. Happy Sunday.

Of interest, keep an eye on my Instagram – @myjavajournal – where I will soon be posting a daily live feed of a song I am working on or practicing. It’s time to start spreading the word, taking decisive action and using the tools at my disposal.