Yearly Focus

2020 Focus: Half Year Update

With the start of a new year, I take the time to set my focus for the coming year. I believe that by being selective about where I direct my energy, I can achieve results that are exponentially greater than if I split that energy across many different goals.

I detailed my 2020 focus here (read that first if you want more context) & did a quarter year update as well.. Here is how I’m progressing.

2020 Theme: Action Economy

What a strange second second quarter.

My theme this year is action economy which is about achieving more in life while using fewer resources. I am relating to board games as a metaphor to think through this topic.

I didn’t achieve much in life over the last few months, but I did play a lot of board games. That seems counterproductive to the goal, but in a funny way I think I’ll get to use the metaphor even more than I predicted due to how deeply I now understand a few games.

Specifically, I played a fair amount of the games Carcassonne and For Sale online – with friends, coworkers and random strangers. These games are very different from each other, but both very much about making the best use of your limited resources and patiently waiting for the perfect opportunity to strike.

It is a bit ironic that in a year where I’m focused on doing more, I did a lot of not doing those things. But in some ways, what can you do, I was quarantined, stuck inside, dealing with a ton of stress, etc.

2020 Challenge: Develop a Strategy Evaluation Model

I haven’ progressed here at all.

2020 Habit: Run 13 Projects & 52 Common Tasks Through the Model

I’ve logged data about a few more tasks, but really not done much here.

2020 Exemplar: Warren Buffett

I finished the biography about Buffett, and decided to start reading some primary source material – all of the annual letters he has written to Berkshire Hathaway shareholders since 1965. It is a fascinating read and also perfect for calming me down at the end of the day.

While reading his biography I learned a lot of interesting things about him – one that stood out was his love of odds, particular highlighted in a story about non-transitive dice. I bought a set of them and intend to put them to use in a similar fashion to how he did – to find out who knows a bit about probability and test those who think they know more than a bit.

2020 Bucket List Item: 100+ Mile PNW SUP & Trail Running Adventure

I am currently debating between two adventures and the level of difficulty I want to take on, depending on which one I select.

The first option is one I’ve mentioned before, a 20 mile long lake with hundreds of miles of wilderness trails around it. I would paddle, camp and run, trying to cover 100+ miles over a 2-4 day period. I’ve found some really interesting trails to explore and the waterways look beautiful.

The second option is a SUP tour of the San Juan islands. I would paddle between the islands, running trails on each and camping on beaches.

The two are very different challenges.

The former is world class running but the SUPing seems a bit unnecessary as I can get to all of the trails I’d cover via some more running, and frankly it would probably be simpler and faster. That said, it would be a nice way to try out a SUP adventure because worst case I could run back to my car.

The latter is a perfect SUP adventure, but the running seems a bit unnecessary. I might be able to find a few trails that are interesting but really, the waterways are what matters there. This option is also a lot more intense – there are killer whales, currents, waves, large vessels and other things to consider. I am perhaps not qualified to take a challenge like this on.

As I debate these two locations, I’m debating how difficult I want to make the adventure. Should I double the maximum activity I’ve ever done (last year’s 98 mile Wonderland trail run) and shoot for ~200 or should I aim for something closer to 100 miles. And as I do so, should I aim for a breakneck pace of 50+ miles per day of wilderness travel or do a more relaxing 25-30? Part of me really wants to push my limits and break new ground, seeing what I’m made of. But part of me wants to use this as a chance to relax a bit and come back refreshed physically and mentally, rather than drained but feeling accomplished.

There is another. I guess I should mention this. But this one is probably too crazy to try this year. North of Vancouver Island in Canada, on the way to Alaska, is some remote wilderness where water meets islands and glacial fjords. The place has more grizzly bears than humans and I’m sure there are spots up there no human has ever stepped foot on.

Part of me wants to just pick a point on the map and see if I can get there. But that might require a) some more mountaineering skills b) an adventure partner c) a bit more load testing of my gear. Not to mention the US-Canada border is technically closed right now due to COVID. I guess I’ll put this one on the bucket list for now.

I finished selecting all of the gear I think will serve me best, I’ve done a few 4-6 hour runs as training and I recently realized that I should attempt a decent SUP, especially considering I’d never done more than a casual mile before and I’d should probably get a decent estimate of how long it would take to go 10 miles before I attempted a 50 mile trip, lest I grossly miscalculate.