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paul wheaton
master steward
Posts: 21396
Location: missoula, montana (zone 4)
bee chicken hugelkultur trees wofati woodworking
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My philosophy for getting things done is "try 100 things, 2 will work out and you never know in advance which 2."

Before I dreamt this up, I liked the expression "good luck comes from hard work" which I always kept to myself because it is a little vague. If I shared it, I would think people would gravitate toward the wrong interpretation. The interpretation that is true, but not particularly profound is that there is no luck - just go make whatever it is that you want. The interpretation that is also true, but I find to be particularly profound is the idea that you go out and do a lot of hard work and then good luck (of a sort) does appear out of nowhere. You put in a hundred pounds of work and sometimes you have 200 pounds of stuff. But if you did nothing and just waited for that extra hundred pounds of stuff to show up, it never will.
 
Justin Rhodes
Posts: 76
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I agree. Over the last year, I've developed a new found determination to succeed; to provide for my family, improve the world around me and help others. I feel like there's endless opportunities, and if I just keep working at it (especially through the failures), I will eventually come out on top!

As Peter Diamandis says in his book, BOLD, "Fail early, fail often and fail forward".
 
Mike Feddersen
Posts: 356
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Don't know how I missed this post Paul, you obviously discovered a good motto to live life by. http://quoteinvestigator.com/2012/07/21/luck-hard-work/


.I like the one on failing, too. These are the two things I want my son to learn. Somehow school beats the 'failure' right out of us, at least I feel that's where I learned if you can't do it right, don't even try or procrastinate so long, "I had no time, who can expect me to get it done now?"
I had a friend that was giving me some work to earn some money.A project I was doing hit a snag and I couldn't get something apart. My friend showed up and grabbed a big pry bar and broke the piece. The philosophy he worked under, "there's no monsters in there" and "broke stuff is why they made JB Weld". Very successful individual and I learned a lot from him.
 
Jason Machin
Posts: 85
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i personally like...
"to hell with the results, make sure its a good story to tell your grand kids"
...not so great for farming but good for my current lifestyle
 
John Wolfram
Posts: 645
Location: Lafayette, Indiana
19
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"Let a hundred flowers bloom, let a hundred schools of thought contend." -- Mao Zedong

Well, at least Paul's "Great Leap Forward" at wheaton labs hasn't killed anyone yet,* so he's one up on Mao in that regard.



**That we know of.
 
Tim Nam
Posts: 74
Location: Arcata, CA zone 9b
2
forest garden solar woodworking
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If this post was in reference to actually tinkering with the site then I must say its working. I couldn't help but notice the differences between Permies.com and geoff lawton's PDC forums. Permies is so much more user friendly! I sent them a message asking them to collaborate with yall to improve the PDC forums...not that yall don't have enough on your plate but...another two cents from me...
 
Kai Duby
Posts: 65
Location: Colorado~ Front Range~ Zone 4/Wheaton Labs
49
food preservation forest garden woodworking
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This idea of flooding an environment with ones own attempts and machinations reminds me of r-strategists. Those bugs, rodents, and other beings that flood an environment with offspring who, for the most part, succumb to predation, disease etc. The small number of that generation who survived pass on they're genes to a shotgunned next generation.

The r strategy of population ecology is a lot like "try 100 things" but, instead of an individual in a population living on, it is the ideas and techniques associated with success that is perpetuated. There is also the added bonus of knowing what doesn't work or weeding out the weak.

Some r-selection characteristics:
1) Unstable environment
2) Density independent (birth/death rate does not change with population density)
3)It takes less energy to produce an individual (usually small organisms)

Examined a little in the context of trying things:
1)I reckon I live in an internally stable environment but when I start looking at it from the outside, when I shove in the whole biscuit, crux and all, I start questioning the stability of the systems I am living in. I think that a wacky spinning world is part of the reason I and other people are attracted to permaculture because it provides some reference point for stability. So unstable environment check.

2)"Try 100 things" may not be density independent. In my opinion more things begin to fail as more things get crammed into one mind. But that's just me. Maybe someone out there can maintain success rates no matter how many projects they have going.

3)When I have a lot of things going on I tend to spend less energy on each but a lot of energy rushing between them. By planning the "100 things" so that each is a smaller task I think that I could get a lot more done. This is also a good way of going about it because spending a lot of time on 98 big things that are going to fail might not be ideal. Maybe if each big unfamiliar task was broken down into smaller constituents one could learn the accumulated methodology for the big ones. So less energy per individual check.

As a side note: This year is my first year planting anything other than peas. In fact this will be my first year planting over 100 different crop species. I never thought "I should try 100 things this year." It just seemed like the most convenient and realistic way to learn. Since I intend on growing plants for my whole life (I'm young) I figured there wasn't any better time to start. A lot of people have skeptically asked "will that really work?" I have to say "Well... I don't know. But I'm trying so many things something is bound to work." Maybe I internalized that whole sh-peel about the success of r-strategists in biology class and now I'm expressing it in trying 100 things.
 
Cory Collins
Posts: 40
Location: McKinney, Tx
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i moved out of the suburbs a couple of years ago onto 10 acres. i just wanted to be able to have a rooster, shoot a gun, pop fireworks, let the vegetables grow where they wish.. maybe walk around after dark in my undies without anybody called the DOMUS. i've had a lot of failures in the last 2 years, but it has been a lot of fun and has cost me less than it did in town as well. I've shared this "try 100 things and 2 will work" idea with many people as they itch their chigger bites and stare at my dead apple trees and wilted seedlings, but damn if I haven't had a surprise or two. it's all worth it when you find a huge frog living in your spinach patch or see bluebirds nesting under your eaves. i don't know if i've even tried 100 things yet, but 2 things have happened, i'm happier and all my friends would rather hang out at my place. cheers, Paul. this is the proper perspective.
 
Rick English
pollinator
Posts: 255
Location: Central Pennsylvania, USA
35
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I am a huge fan of Mike Rowe, the host of a TV show called Dirty Jobs. The show features Mike going to work for a person with a job that most people would think are terrible jobs. Mike then learns about and helps collecting garbage, emptying septic tanks, making charcoal, etc. He generally sucks at the job, gets covered in something dirty and/or smelly and makes a bunch of sarcastic comments that end up being pretty funny. The show ended up running for years, and Mike completed 300 different Dirty Jobs.

A strange pattern became evident to Mike. He realized that the vast majority of the folks with Dirty Jobs were the happiest people he had ever met. He is now an advocate for getting more people into skilled trades.

Below is a poster that I think ties in with the do 100 things concept. It advocates both working hard and smart, which to me seems to be a perfect description of permaculture done well. If you are smart and observe how nature works, and then combine that smarts with the hard work of getting the systems established, you end up being happier, and the system requires less work to maintain than to create. To me, life without working hard seems to have less purpose, and my favorite things to work on are things I WANT to do, not things I HAVE to do, but you often need to do the haves in order to afford the wants.

It is really strange to me, Mike's focus has been on trade skills, but the truths he has figured out must be something close to universal truths, because they seem to correlate directly with permaculture as well.



I could go on for a long time on this topic, but hopefully somebody finds this connection interesting or helpful.
 
Not so fast naughty spawn! I want you to know about
2017 Homesteaders PDC (permaculture design course) & ATC (appropriate technology course) in Montana
https://permies.com/wiki/61764/Homesteaders-PDC-permaculture-design-ATC
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