I used to judge myself for spending long hours binging YouTube content until one day I realized that as long as I copied the things I watched the people do in the videos I could categorize it as learning and research. There’s no reason to judge myself for learning. So I don’t anymore. I just try to make sure that when I do end up down one of the many information rabbit holes I find myself in I take notes and document the journey so that I can learn and share what I’ve learned later when I’m ready to organize it all and process the data.
I’m no scientist. I just like to try things. I wanted to be a scientist when I was little, sure, but I just couldn’t make myself be interested in school when I was a kid. Back then I wanted to be buying and selling things, or reading fantasy novels. I can’t fault my younger self for using those books to become addicted to the act of reading. I don’t really give myself time to indulge in reading fantasy novels anymore though. Sometimes I’ll listen to a sci-fi book if it’s not an apocalyptic one, but otherwise I generally focus on absorbing content that pertains to whatever my current grand interest seems to be. Sometimes there’s a few irons in the fire at a time.
The last few months for instance I’ve found more and more reasons to experiment and improve at cooking. Being a dad to two and us living with my family, I find it very fulfilling to be improving at a skill that adds something to the rest of my family. There’s also this little demon on my shoulder telling me the better I get the more likely I could make money doing this. I wish he would shut up sometimes. 😂
Next to that our family has a garden. For ages I have had an interest in plants. Recently (maybe two or three years ago at this point I’d have to dig through the photo reel to find the exact dates) I found myself worrying about food. Because of the pandemic and my vibe of how the world feels right now, I was worried that if I couldn’t grow my own food or know how, that could be a fatal flaw along my lifeline. So I dove into learning how to grow food. Somewhere along that journey I stumbled into tower gardens and hydroponic (all water, no soil) farming. Then I later discovered aeroponics, which is the next level from hydroponics, you just use a pump to pressurize the water and push it through a nozzle to form a fine, micron-small water droplet that is misted directly onto the roots of the plants.
When I reached this depth of that particular rabbit hole it became more and more difficult to find educational content about the topic, let alone long-form content discussing it. The little demon on my shoulder started whispering about entrepreneurship again.
I wanted to learn how to do this. If it’s so hard to find info about then it must be fairly new. Or just hard to do. That led me to fogponics. Simulating the high pressure system (which I was afraid to mess with) by using ultrasonic misters to create a fog in a chamber below the roots of the plant. These foggers are cheap and people use them as Halloween decorations to make spooky fog. So they were easy to come by for my experiment.
Okay, so what’s the point of all of this? This morning I was lost in thought and realized I had recently been judging myself for one of the recent information rabbit holes I’d ventured into. And I found myself scolding the judgmental voice, saying to it essentially that starter paragraph. That voice is only helpful to me if it’s guiding me away from behaviors that could harm me in the long term and towards behaviors that will benefit me. If when I analyze what it’s been shaming me for doing and find that it’s incorrect in it’s assessment I have no qualms telling it to shut up. Let me explore this endless universe of information I only have so long to explore before my own flame goes out.
If you would like to see more blogs about the various rabbit holes I have been exploring I am planning to start taking all the documentation from my plant growing experiments and organize it for writing about. I put so much time and effort into that project it feels weird to have all of it packed away now and just the pictures and video clips are what remains of that time. There are a lot of lessons and things I picked up from bumping into reality with that project and it would be nice to get it written out so that the next attempt goes smoother. Also, if this is so rare to do/see, maybe someone else might want to try this stuff too. I guess we’ll see!