Learning about yourself through the experience of others.

I don’t usually talk about personal things here, but I will admit that 2016 hit me hard. It’s a tough thing to explain as both personally and professionally, nothing terrible happened. Yes, the election was part of it, but it was a feeling I was facing much earlier in the year. It led to me pulling back from writing more publicly and speaking at events (even now, I write this blog but pretty much never promote my own posts).

Suffice it to say, 2016 forced me to face the need to change myself. I am someone who tends to thrive on routine but over time that routine can become a trap from which it is hard to escape. The only way out is through a bit of learning about yourself and learning to defy your own instincts.

As part of that learning, I have started to explore some resources that are outside of my typical tech blog or news articles that I read on a daily basis. One podcast that I recently came across is called Heavyweight. I’ve already gone through several episodes and I highly recommend it.

What is Heavyweight about? That’s a bit tough to explain. It explores people’s experiences - their regrets, their anger, why they want what they want, how their behavior impacts others and, probably most of all, the how our ability (or inability) to communicate and see each others perspective can come to almost define a person’s life.

Yes, it’s a bit philosophical, but it also never seems that way. The host, Jonathan Goldstein, simply allows people’s experiences to more or less speak for themselves, while also adding necessary detail and backstory in his commentary. Often, the guest (and subject) of the show finds out things about themselves that they didn’t know. And yet, the stories being told are engaging. Meanwhile, listening and reflecting on your own behavior, experiences and emotions as it relates to their story can, in my opinion, help you learn a bit about yourself.

Anyway, for the three of you who read this (all bots, I know), sorry to get all overly touchy feely here. That’s not typical of me - I told you 2016 hit me hard.