Little Blue Crosses

Day 122 of bootstrapping my life

Morning pages is one of the life bootstrapping practices that I have been using. I have a stack of sheets from doing morning pages for the past six months. It’s something that I have created, physically, using my hands, over a long period of time. It’s a physically small thing, but it’s taken a lot of time and care to produce. That little stack of pages is imbued with my creativity. It represents dense value, dense quality. When I hold that stack of pages in my hand, it feels like a wad of cash money. Paradoxically, it’s actually a stack of mostly nonsense, because writing nonsense is what makes morning pages valuable.

I had a similar feeling as an early employee of NVIDIA. I was writing test programs for the 3D rendering engine on the first PC GPU chip. On a single sheet of paper I drew many different types of triangles, each representing a different way that a triangle could intersect with other triangles and with the viewport. I was trying to capture all the possible corner cases, all the possible ways that the engine could be used, all the ways the engine could break. After weeks of referring to, and refining, that sheet of paper, it became imbued with high-density value for me. It was a valuable creation in itself, and now I wish I still had it. When I looked at that page, and saw all of the many different corner cases that I had thought of, and tested, I was motivated to think and test more.

I’m now finding that I have the same feeling about my lifestyle challenge charts. Each chart is a satisfying creation that gradually evolves, refines, and completes over a month. Each chart feels like money. And all of these charts come together into an inspiring and satisfying display on a wall in my office.

By the way, I love making those little blue crosses. They’re blue to signify that I have produced them with my own hand, rather than being printed. The pen I prefer to use for this is a Pilot Bravo! with a bold point. At the time of writing, they’re available at a discount at Amazon.

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