The people I could have been are awesome!

Sometimes, link one life is not enough to accomplish all of our dreams…

In the many-worlds theory of quantum mechanics, all possible events exist, have existed or will exist as each act or decision spins-off a plethora of parallel universes. This means, among other things, that every project I haven’t put into practice has in fact been accomplished by one of my many-world selves. Think then of all that I’ve accomplished over the years as I procrastinated, dithered and postponed putting my ideas into action!

You really should check-out my blog from universes Ψ∞28.312.12670.5044 to Ψ∞39.122.42600.0023 where I took the time to post all the insightful articles, reviews and stories that, in this universe, I’ve dictated in my head but never got to put into writing.

While you’re at it, you should play the cool adventure game my self from universe Ψ∞30.114.00065.1177 made, where my theories of gameplay ecology have been implemented. The sequel will be even better!

My self from universe Ψ∞27.255.86400.112b is enjoying early retirement from his sale of the social application I thought up in 1998 while my self from Ψ∞22.278.00965.6630 lives in abject poverty, but is quite proud of the comic books he published to critical, if not popular, acclaim.

In universe Ψ∞21.122.42600.0023, my other self’s mother clutches with pride her son’s fourth novel, the latest in a sprawling fantasy series I envisioned with a friend in 1988 but didn’t publish (yet).

And, finally, my self from Ψ∞6.022.62502.1112 may not have become an astronaut, as his childhood dreams had envisioned, but thanks to revenues from his sprawling media empire he managed to purchase a ticket to the next Space Shuttle launch as a space tourist.

I envy these alternate-selves for their dedication to their ideals. Let’s wish them luck in their very active lives as their own decisions and indecisions keep spinning even more new universes out of the fabric of infinite possibilities. Maybe one of them is even now wondering where he’d be if he had put into execution some of our other ideas or simply delayed acting on his dreams just a little while longer in order to spend more time with his family…

And you, what do you think your other many-world selves may be doing right now?

Links

  • Check-out my blog to see which ideas my self from this particular universe has managed to put into action.
  • The many-worlds theory is one of the themes of Anathem, an excellent science-fiction novel by Neil Stephenson.
  • More about the importance of following our dreams in Dispelling Illusions, a post by Ara Pehlivanian, the esteemed founder of Webstyle Magazine.

This Sedentary Life

It snuck up on me. It may be sneaking up on you, glaucoma as you read this.

I sat in front of a computer all day. And all night. It was what we web developers and designers did. We counted the number of hours we worked in a row like they were badges of honour. Only 6 hours sleep over the last 3 days? Awesome! Pulled an all-nighter to get that code out the door. I rule!!

Many of us in this profession got into this industry because we had experience and passion for the web. Our hobby became our job, sale our career, click our calling.

There’s a problem when what you choose to do with your free time is also what you do with your work time. The two blend together seamlessly as though they are one. It leads to 12, 15 or even 20 hour days at the computer. We entertain ourselves with the exact same tools we use to make our living, and that does nothing but encourage inactivity, addiction, and an unhealthy lifestyle.

I know. I was there. Flickr doesn’t lie.

In 2005 I hit an all time high of 215 lbs. I’m only 5 foot 7 inches tall, and I’m pretty sure my ideal weight is somewhere in the 160 lb range. Eep.

Fast forward 5 years to 2010. In a few short weeks, I’ll be competing in my third IronMan triathlon in Lake Placid, USA. I do crazy stuff now that I’d never have thought possible, and certainly wasn’t when I weighed too much and didn’t take care of my health. For me, I started taking care of my body and mind by getting fit through triathlon. I found something significant to do, that was not in front of the computer.

I’m not saying that everyone should become a triathlete. What I’m saying is that if your leisure time and work time are spent doing the same thing, you’re in danger of becoming part of this sedentary life.

Choose to do something other than be in front of your computer. Take the stairs instead of the elevator. Go for a walk at lunch instead of staying at your desk and working or watching videos. Get out for a run, or a bike ride. Do situps and pushups every day, or regularly take a yoga class. Anything.

You owe it to yourself to start, before your body says stop.