Going into 2016, I have laid out a few ambitious goals to accomplish, mostly in my work life. The following are a list of maxims or aphorisms that I'm thinking about to help me achieve these results:

  • Luck Surface Area - Because of this one aphorism, I've listened to countless hours of the rambling, but fun and entertaining (at least in geek terms) TechZing podcast.  The idea can be distilled into an equation: L = D * T where L = Luck Surface Area, D = Amount of Doing, and T = Amount of Telling.  Very simply if you pour your passion into something and actually do things and tell people about it (aka put it out into the world), you will increase your luck surface area and opportunities that you never thought possible will arise.
  • Discipline Equals Freedom - I got this one from another podcast, The Tim Ferriss Show, from an interview with retired Navy Seal officer Jocko Willink.  I also have the book Extreme Ownership queued up in my Audible playlist.  The idea is that through discipline and structure, you can have autonomy and freedom.  The concept is applied to leadership, but on a personal development level, I see this as defining routines that enable me to achieve better results and give me the freedom to work on the things that I want to pursue.
  • If You Can't Explain Something Simply, You Don't Understand It Well Enough - Albert Einstein is credited with this quote or some variant of it, but really I think it's a more of a universal truth.  At least I've heard many reiterate this quote, probably without knowing where it came from ... but for my goals it's important.  For the last year, I've been trying to immerse myself in the discipline of Machine Learning.  I feel like Machine Learning technologies will be incredibly important in the next 5 to 10 years and it will likely have a material impact on our world and importantly our work.  My thought is that those in the Software and Technology fields who understand these technologies deeply and can build system  based on this technology will have interesting work, those that don't may become less relevant.  Getting back to the quote, my plan to understand Machine Learning deeply is to teach others about it through speaking, writing, teaching and generally sharing.  To be effective with those endeavors, I need to be able to explain it simply.  Harder than it sounds ...

If you like these Maxims, bookmark this page and check back, I'll be updating them as 2016 rolls along.  Good luck to you with achieving everything you set out to in the new year!