Making the Most of my “Prime” Years (Part 1)

What I hope to learn from laser beams

Hello from day 1 of my 37th year of life.

So, let’s get right into it, starting with one of the geekiest things you’ll ever learn about me. I have this weird thing about prime numbers. I know, pretty weird and to be honest I find it difficult to explain why I care for them more than other numbers. There is very little rational thought that goes into why I celebrate them. Perhaps it’s what they represent and how they have a numerical connection to the number 1. Maybe it’s because I grew up in the church and I would always hear about one (1) God and a Holy Trinity (3). Or maybe it’s simply a way to treat one number more special than others. Seriously, I don’t know. It’s a thing of mine so get used to it. If prime numbers weird you out then you’re going to hate my writings. Nonetheless this post isn’t about prime numbers specifically, rather lasers and their characteristics. Attributes that I intend to turn into objectives and learn from during this prime-numbered trip around the sun.

Let’s start with directionality. This may be a particularly obvious attribute of a laser but I believe there are still things to glean from it. Laser light is emitted as a relatively narrow beam in a specific direction. See it’s not a simple as you may have thought. Directionality is about a specific direction and narrow scope. You need both to be as focused as a laser. In life and purpose this resonates for me because it forces me to be more deliberate and really think about outcomes and the legacy I want to leave.

Secondly, let’s talk about the monochromatic attributes of a laser. As a refresher the light emitted from a laser is monochromatic, that is, it is of one (1) wavelength or of a single hue. What I take from this is that no matter the direction I choose to go consistency is key. Whether I choose to shine, blue, green or red being laser focused means remaining faithful to myself, my passions, purpose and march to the same drum (notice I didn’t say beat) every day.

Next, let’s look at the coherent attribute. This attribute may be the most ambiguous if you’re not too familiar with lasers so I’ll do my best to make it clear. Coherent by definition, relative to physics/lasers, simply means that the wavelengths of the laser light are in phase in space and time. In phase may also be interpreted as “on the same frequency” or in sync. Practically speaking this simply means that each tactical action I take will be in concert with the others. I must do my absolute best to ensure that my daily task ultimately work together and lead me to a common goal.

Now depending on who you ask, some may say there is a fourth attribute, brightness. There is a lesson here too but for now let’s take the 3 aforementioned attributes and apply them. (you know 3 is greater than 4 right?).

For a very long time I’ve had a personal blog at justindawkins.com. If you take the time to visit it you’ll see two things. First, you’ll notice that I haven’t published anything in quite some time. Secondly, you’ll notice that there is a little bit of everything on there. I’ve struggled with writing and publishing for years. I couldn’t quite figure out why until I heard Dr. Neil deGrasse Tyson mention lasers. Suddenly, I realized what it was! My blog lacked direction, focus and cohesiveness. There was no theme, no desired result and absolutely no focus. Now don’t get me wrong there can be beauty in randomness. I love the reliably unpredictable nature of randomness almost as much prime numbers. However in purpose, business, especially technology, one may find themselves falling short in their journey of success without lasers.

Over the next few weeks I'll go deeper into these concepts and provide more detailed personal experiences. By doing this I hope to provide you with a little bit of wisdom, so that you can avoid some of the challenges I’ve faced.

In the mean time I’m committing to you, my loved ones, and most importantly myself to 365 days of focus in this prime year. I hope you’ll join me on this journey. I pray that, no matter your goals, you rays of light are monochromatic, intentional and coherent.

Peace, blessings and a center of gravity!

-J

P.S. May your light shine bright (I told you I’d come back to that one (1)) regardless of the challenges so that others may see your joy in your work and the lessons you’ll learn.