Which Web Is the One That Really Matters?

By Brad Thomason, CPA


Today’s piece is not so much news, as it is a simple observation.

The term “web” has of course become synonymous with the internet, due to the interconnectivity of all the different types of information that can be accessed.  Like a spider moving from point A to point B, there are any number of pathways available to travel.

The web puts quite literally a world of information right at our fingertips.   It’s also given us the means to express our basic society-building instincts – through email, blogs, Facebook, etc – in ways that even a generation ago would have been impossible.  Just as the growing strength of computing power has made it possible to develop areas of mathematics and science and that were once impenetrable because of the depth of calculation required (quantum mechanics, and the study of chaos/complex systems, for example), evolving technology has driven the ways, and the speed with which, we stay in touch.

However, beneficial things come with a cost.  One cost is that technology is now so ubiquitous and multi-faceted that it has the ability to become engrossing.  People used to warn about the perils of spending too much time in “mindless entertainment” in front of the television.  Now they make the same warnings about the computer screen.

Side note: I do get the irony of mentioning all of this on a web site…

But there’s another web out there that’s worth keeping in mind, too.  It’s the one that exists within what we could call a person’s “space” for lack of a better term.  I think of space (in this context) as being the part of the world that each of us carves out which defines the things of a productive nature that we do.  For most of us that’s going to be professional and financial, at minimum; but also might involve community involvement, charitable activities, and so on.

At the risk of stating something comically obvious: it’s important for each of us to spend time developing our space.  Or perhaps a better tack would be to point out that differences in success between one person and another often come down to who spent more time and energy developing their space.

A couple of books that do a good job of getting at this notion of space are Think and Grow Rich (N. Hill) and The E-myth (M. Gerber).  A theme common to both is the idea that to be successful you need to decide what you want (specifically) and then work in a methodical way to get it.  To do that takes a combination factors: information and knowledge, connections with others, opportunities in which to participate, financial resources, not to mention a detailed game plan.  Also takes time and effort.  Just as a spider moves around from one region of the web to another, working to create a connected whole which allows it to accomplish its overall goals, we have a similar job to do.

Do you know what you want?  And just as important, I think: do you know what’s not part of your space?  Do you try to make it a point to push your space out a little farther each day, or expand and strengthen the components within it?  If not, is it OK with you if you don’t achieve the goals you’re after?

Now, I’m convinced that everybody needs some down time.  Trying to be productive every waking minute is a formula for wrecking as much or more than you build.  But that doesn’t change the fact that how we  allocate our time impacts the life we end up getting to live.  Winning, after all, is something you generally have to mean to do.

A good way to keep track of our efforts on that front is to simply be aware of which web we’re devoting our time to.

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