Earlier this year, I realized my website was 3 years outdated and desperately in need of a refresh. Looking around for inspiration, the majority of personal websites underwhelmed me. Without a blog, these sites were pointless and consisted of: a name, a photo, and links to digital identities across the web. No unique content.
Why visit a personal website when Google can get me to a Twitter, LinkedIn, or Github page faster?
I began thinking of my personal website as a digital representation of my core identity. Links would expand to each social network and its niche purpose (e.g. LinkedIn is the professional version of me). What none of these capture is how I think or how I act. These attributes span into all actions I take, regardless of the environment.
I came up with the following concepts:
Principles - Guidelines for how to exist in the world. They apply broadly to my day-to-day existence. This is my internal operating system.
Opinions - Beliefs I hold resulting from past experiences. There is no universal right or wrong here, but writing them down can speed up future decision making.
The re-launch of my website this past winter emphasized my own principles and opinions. Since I will add to the list over time, I’ve documented the initial list here.
- Be honest, transparent, and direct
- Think for yourself
- Take responsibility for your actions and decisions
- Always be learning
- Focus on the long game
- See the point of view of others
- Be optimistic
- Bottoms up over top down
- Give people chances
- One-to-one relationships over groups
- Chocolate or GTFO
Now that I have expanded my website into a full blog, I intend to spend time writing about each principle and opinion. Principles should stay fixed over time, but I have far more opinions than I’ve written so far.