by Jonathan Hilton
Have you ever seen the focus of your life change in thirty days? This is the experience that I have had over the last month as I have looked to improve my writing skill and myself, as a person as well.
This is an evaluation of my project to answer one question each day for thirty days, and to work on putting more of myself into my writing for the purpose of being more honest and open about the things I write about.
The beginning of this project
It began with a conversation with a collaborator who is a great writer and I was wishing that I was more honest in my writing; it was the conversation that led me to see this video on YouTube about this guy who undertook thirty day challenges to work on things he needs to work on. Almost immediately I came across a list of “30 Questions That Will Change the Way you think about the world.” The fact that there weren’t 35, 25 or 50
questions, led me to believe that this was the project for me.
The rules I developed on the fly, but stuck to them until the end of the project, because I need rules apparently.
Rule #1 – had to answer a question each day and it had to be at least 300 words. Many I could have answered in a sentence, but that wouldn’t have helped develop my thoughts.
Rule #2- I had to share my answers on Facebook, so that someone could read them if they wanted to. This really kept me more diligent and serious; I avoided some wise ass answers, because someone might read it.
Rule # 3- Much like fight club, I couldn’t talk about what I was doing. I posted each question on FB every day, mostly to get some ideas for the days when I was low on creativity. I was interested by the responses, and the different people they came from. I really appreciated the responses from everyone even if there was only one time; I read them all and appreciated it greatly.
I also published my answers on my website www.jonathanhilton.com and they are all there if you check the categories, Thirty Questions will bring them all up.
What Was the Goal of this project?
The goal of the project was more honesty and putting more of myself into my writing, which I thought was a weakness in my overall writing, it is difficult to put personal things out there, what you believe, what you think, but I think that if you never overcome this, you will be untrue to yourself the rest of your life, so that was the motivation. Most importantly I wanted to be able to write from a place that I didn’t care if someone liked it or not. That it was my answer and that would have to be good enough.
When someone asked me what the questions were about, I told them, if they wanted to know my answer, I directed them to my website. Other than that I simply posted a question in the morning and then answered it on my website. I never looked at the next question until the current question was answered.
What Did I Learn?
The first thing I learned was that my philosophy is developing and that I have a lot of consistency in what I believe in. What I have been working on personally has pervaded my thought and I believe that I have a great start.
Secondly when you ask one question and find an answer to that question, there are always going to be more questions that result from thought and that is ok. The questions were answered and there were always a bunch more that cropped up.
Third, that there are different answers to questions, everyone has a different perspective and opinion and that is ok. All you can do is be open minded, yet faithful to what has been proven to you.
There are a lot of good people in the world and many have been asking themselves questions as well. Others are going to look for their answers in other places and find different behaviors satisfy them and they will find what they need to find in their answers, they may not have the same answers as you.
What Surprised Me?
There have been several neat relationships that have developed through the process of asking questions. Some people that I hadn’t heard from in years were prompted to contact me and see what the heck I was doing. Even with people I see every day it gave me a chance to not only have an opinion but support it and fight for it. My understanding of people is definitely higher, and my understanding of myself really was a surprise.
The many responses I got from such a wide range of people, some serious and some extremely funny, some sad, some just plain old sincere.
The most surprising thing was the freedom that came from just practicing the power of action into this thought process. Creating and producing something that was completely of my own, based on what I believe is liberating. Many people have opinions on everything, but never publish them or have to stand by them which allows for a waffling on the beliefs. I believe that through answering these questions, my thoughts are there to be agreed with disagreed with defended or adjusted as they should be. The biggest surprise was the power of the simple action on my own creativity and understanding of myself and others.
Was it a success?
I think by any measure the process was a success, the questions did actually change the way I looked at the world, and understood other people, so that awareness led to growth, and growing is a good thing. I encourage anyone who has something that they want to work on to adopt a thirty day challenge of your own. You will be surprised how it changes the way you look at the world, it definitely changed my perception of the world and those in it.
I definitely have written from the place inside me that does not care what anyone thinks about what I think or write, which is a major victory for my own self development. I think that if I can do that then everything else will be easy.
What is Next?
Well it is inevitable that one action is going to lead to another, so there are bound to be more of these 30 day challenges, in all areas of my life, in places that I feel I need personal work on. So branching this type of growth out into other aspects of my life is definitely going to be a goal for me. Taking more action to find what I am looking for.