Creating a Custom Experience

Today was my first official day training for an Olympic-length triathlon I try to do each summer. Every year, I wonder what possesses me to sign up, particularly during the last few miles of the race. However, once I’m finished, there’s such a sense of accomplishment. I’m nowhere close to winning (the winner usually beats me by at least an hour). In this particular pursuit, all I care about is finishing and beating my personal record (3 hours).

I’m curious, what pursuits do you continue with, in spite of or because of not being the best? What drives you to keep going after whatever goal you’ve set? I’ve been wondering about this question and its connection with social media. I’ll never have as many “friends” on Facebook as Robert Scoble or gain the master status of Chris Brogan on Twitter, but I don’t necessarily want to copy either one’s efforts.

I think that’s the beauty of these social applications and others like them: they’re a custom fit. In order to participate, I don’t have to meet a set standard. I create my own. In a world that can seem driven by standards, I’m excited by the continued growth of opportunities that let you create your own experience. How are you customizing your experience?



4 Responses to “Creating a Custom Experience”

  1. January 25, 2008 at 12:55 pm

    Enjoyable post and thought provoking. I agree wholeheartedly.
    If my goal was to ever emulate any of these A-listers then I would never recover from severe depression! Hence, my aim is to be no one else but myself, warts and all!

    For example, I started my blog in November as a purely technical blog that covered new websites and software, etc.
    However, I recently changed gears to reflect more of myself and started posting items that were not technical at all. I’ve gotten great feedback, but most of all I enjoy it more.
    I’ve recently posted something about Michael Chang going to hall of fame and how the lessons he taught us on court could apply to business and life in general. I’ve also posted about the Elephant Man and shared his powerful poem that inspires me till this day.
    So, you see, I dance to the beat of my own drum as well.
    Good job. I will check back often. I am a lover of words as well.
    They are the physical manifestations of our emotions and our intellect.


  2. January 25, 2008 at 12:58 pm

    Britt, I wish I had more time to frequent your blog more often. (another great post that shouldn’t have taken a Chris Brogan tweet to put on my radar).

    I admire all people who tackle triathlons for their own reasons as I do for people, like yourself, who blog in an authentic voice.

    I learn a lot from my six-year-old son. His life ambition since he could talk, was to be a recycle truck driver and it’s ALL he could talk about. When he turned six, a school friend gave him a hockey card binder. His ambition changed, almost overnight, to NHL goalie. He is consumed with all-things-hockey. He can sit through any hockey game, watches it on TV including the classic series. He knows all the teams by logo and many of the great players. He regurgitates the sportscast announcers words. He’s taken up skating. I asked him the other day, “Do you still love trucks? What is it that you like about hockey and why did you switch?” His answer was simple. “I still love trucks, daddy. I just love Hockey now. I don’t know why. I guess that’s just the way God made me.” He shrugged and went on playing knee hockey. Amazing.

  3. 3 Keren Dagan
    January 25, 2008 at 3:04 pm

    When I started blogging (fairly recent) I was hoping to get a lot of traffic. What that happen instead was that I made new friends. People that I would never met otherwise.
    For someone that was not born in USA and not so easy at making new friends I’m way more happy with this outcome. Now, this is my custom experience.
    Great post.


  4. 4 Britt
    January 27, 2008 at 8:43 pm

    @Paisano: Thank you for sharing. I’m glad you’ve found other tangents to explore in your blog. Personally, I think it makes for a richer experience to consider the implication of other things outside the everyday.

    @Caleb: I appreciate any visit 🙂

    I really enjoyed the story about your son. It’s only as we get older that we start to put limitations on ourselves. As I kid, it makes total sense to blend the love of trucks with skating. That’s probably one of the gifts given by children that is most often overlooked: a reminder of possibilities.

    @Keren: There’s something so empowering about creating a personal experience, even when it doesn’t necessarily meet initial expectations. To me, numbers are only half the story. If you don’t meet anyone interesting along the way, I think something is missing.

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