I discovered a few things about life, the Universe, and everything this year. Life is a build thread, I’ve lost my village, I’m a facilitator, interest doesn’t necessarily mean commitment, and there’s real power in purpose. But what does all that mean?

It means I’ll be keeping an eye out for opportunities to leverage my strengths (and address my weaknesses) in the year ahead.

Life is a build thread.

A picture’s worth 1,000 words—but a metaphor is worth 1,000 pictures. Life as a build thread is one of the most powerful metaphors I’ve ever discovered.

I want to show people who have spent the last decade mocking bloggers—despite publishing even more banal, privacy-shredding stuff on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter the whole time—that approaching life like a build thread will change their lives.

I’ve lost my village.

I used to spend all my free time either hanging out in car forums, going to car events, or working on cars with friends. I can’t remember the last time I went on a proper cruise or just spent a couple hours hanging out at Pavilions.

20 years ago, technology brought us together. We built strong connections on a few select, shared interests. Sadly, the last decade has seen tech used to put us all in the smallest, most isolated boxes possible. It’s easier to serve up advertising or sell personal data that way.

I’m not as interested in modifications and motorsport as I used to be. Instead, I’m more interested in the evolution of the gearhead. We all know the machines bring us together, but it’s the people behind the machines who keep us coming back. Those experiences lead to modified lives.

I know it sounds corny, but I find it incredibly interesting and I am chomping at the bit to continue exploring this new territory. That means getting involved. I want to get out there and meet successful, next level gearheads face-to-face. And I want to work together to solve bigger problems.

Right now, that means volunteering more for PAPA, the Phoenix Automotive Press Association.

I am a facilitator.

I’ve long considered myself a storyteller. This year, I discovered I could—and should—be using stories to facilitate progress.

Stories are often merely distracting, if not entertaining. The world is full of hastily manufactured stories meant to generate exposure, leads, and revenue. And there’s nothing wrong with that, I guess.

But where most brands use story just to sell stuff, I want to use story to help people do stuff they want to do, so that I can learn and share new stories that help further people achieve success.

Interest does not equal Commitment.

If I’m interested, I’ll explore the easy stuff. If I’m committed, I’ll do the hard work, too.

Clearly, I am interested in a LOT of stuff. I need to come up with a very short list of commitments. And I need to make sure they count.

There’s power in purpose.

I’m starting to think forums died off not just because Facebook came to town, but because our interests are far more diverse than any single forum might offer. But the loss of purpose, combined with shady, corporate dealings, will ultimately be the stake through Facebook’s cold, dark, heart.

I’ve spent a decade getting work and life on the same team. It’s changed my life.

It’s time to help others changes theirs, too.

What did you discover about yourself this year?

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