Giving it a week 

I have an idea for a project that I am really excited about. It’s ambitious, it could make a real difference in the world and as far as I know hasn’t been done before.

It’s definitely out of my depth and I don’t know yet whether or not it’s actually something that I’m able to do. It’s also risky with a high chance of failure and could be copied by someone else which has made me reluctant to approach other organisations.

Yet, I want to do it anyway. I know however with projects like this that it is hard to pull the trigger and devote myself entirely to it because there is a fear that it won’t work out.

That’s why for the next week this project is all I will be working on. Literally. No other side project or any other work will be done for 7 whole days so if I don’t feel like working on this project then nothing gets done.

This is also the only opportunity I’m going to give myself for this project. If after a week I haven’t managed to make any progress then that will be it. The idea will go on the back-burner and I move onto something else, failing fast.

If after one week however I have made real, tangible progress that demonstrates clearly to me that this could be successful then I know this is something that I can focus on and continue to pursue.

One big advantage is of this is I will have no fear when it comes to sharing my ideas with potential partners because I won’t allow myself to continue with it anyway unless I make progress, and in order to make any progress I need to share it and risk it being copied.

It also means that I have to focus on real work and prioritise the things that matter. Sure I could start a Facebook account for it or design a fancy logo but with just a week things like this that won’t help me to get closer to progress no longer seem like good uses of my time. This idea is based on the Pareto Principle suggesting that 20% of the effort leads to 80% of the results. This week will be full of that 20% work.

7 days or 168 hours. The project starts now.

Results Day

Nearly a year ago I made the decision to apply to the University of Oxford. As I write this in just 14 hours time I will find out whether or not I will be studying there for the next four years.

I don’t know whether or not I will meet the requirements of the offer I was given by the University back in January, and the pressure to not let down the friends and family who were so excited back then is high.

I’m sharing my story of my experiences over the past year in the application process in a YouTube video which is both a personal diary and a guide to anyone thinking of applying on what to expect from the process and that however unlikely they may think it is that they’ll get an offer it’s still worth giving it a shot.

I hope that tomorrow I will open my exam results to the news that I have got in but if not I’m excited about the prospect of beginning again to forge a different path in my life. Seth Godin has spoken about the importance in creative work of embracing the idea that this might not work. Applying to Oxford has reinforced for me the importance of this concept in life in general, and should I fail to get in I look forward to finding something else to devote myself to that might not work either.