Analytical 34: Care

31 December, 2018


There’s always something that someone expects you to care about, but the dimensions of care we put our energy into can make or break us.

Transcript available
[MUSIC PLAYING] Everything can be improved, iterated, and refined. If you don't think that's true, maybe you haven't analyzed it enough. Calculated choices, carefully considered, absolutely analytical. This episode is brought to you by ManyTricks, makers of helpful apps for the Mac. Visit ManyTricks or for more information about their amazingly useful apps. talk more about them during the show. Analytical is part of the Engineer Network. To support our shows including this one, head over to our Patreon page and for other great shows, visit today. Let's talk about care. Why don't you care about this thing? What's the matter with you? How come you don't care enough? So the definition of care, the provision of what is necessary for the health, welfare, maintenance, and protection of someone or something. The reality is there are just so many things in this world, our job, our homework, schoolwork, yard work, family, extended family, friends, the world at large even, so, so many things going on around us every single day. And there's a real absolute practical limit to what you can care about. Choosing not to care can be hard for certain people specifically. Some people People are drawn into caring for things just because that's their nature. They want to help. And that's not a bad thing exactly, but it can become a problem if they don't pull back at some point. I think it's been a trend in the world because care or fear driving care tends to get attention. And attention, sometimes confused with success or maybe could be drive income or revenue or social status or notoriety or something like that. So when you strip away all of those things, do the people that appear to care actually care at all? It can be pretty hard to tell. I like Stephen Covey and one of the things that he talked about was the sphere of influence and the sphere of control. I'd like to tweak that a bit and suggest there should be a sphere of care and that is to say it's quite possible to care about things that don't fit neatly within a sphere of influence or control. So you could argue that energy spent caring about issues that are outside of your spheres of influence or control is perhaps care misspent. I'm specifically not saying care wasted because I don't think that's possible. No care is truly wasted. But if you do misspend your care, you'll become exhausted in the process. So there's two dimensions I'd like to quickly look at. Considerations for when you're choosing what to care about and trying to determine if others really care about something specific. Firstly then, my suggestion is that when we choose to care about something, it should have some of the following aspects. Am I able to positively influence the outcome? Will the outcome impact me or people that I am concerned about? Do I have time, money, effort available to invest energy to help influence that outcome? Once Once you've assessed those, then I'd also consider dimensionality, and that is what dimension of care makes sense. I guess maybe I should talk a bit more about that. Dimensions of care is quite an interesting idea as well. The best way to describe it is to break down a larger problem into its constituent components and recognize the aspects or dimensions that you can impact. A good example of this might be the environment, which is a very broad-reaching thing. And there's many ways each of us can contribute to reducing our impact to the environment, but there's a limit to what we can do. I can choose to care about littering, so I won't throw rubbish on the ground. But if I had more time and care, I could actively pick up rubbish that other people throw away maybe. Rather than using plastic bags when you go shopping that you then throw away later, you could use reusable shopping bags. And rather than driving to the shops, if they're within walking distance or bicycle riding distance, you could just walk or ride. Each of those is a dimension that you could care about. The judgment comes from others when they say, "Well, if you don't go and pick up every piece of rubbish on the entire earth, you just don't care enough," which maybe that's an extreme example, but that's BS, right? The other angle I wanted to explore was trying to determine if others genuinely care. For me, at least, that comes down to one key thing, sustained interest. The only way I've seen to really tell if care is genuine is to see whether that individual has demonstrated a long-standing interest and commentary perhaps and hopefully action on the subject. There's a lot of people that think running from cause to cause, briefly caring about each along the way is somehow a good thing. They'll typically come along with lots of energy and enthusiasm, contribute some small quantum of something and then they'll disappear like they were never there. The truth is that the less time you care about something in any dimension, the less value that has. I'm sure it's better than not caring at all, but if that care isn't sustained, are you really able to move the needle, as they say, and make any kind of difference if it's only a passing interest? So I would suggest we really need to choose as carefully as you can what you want to care about. Keeping in mind that choosing not to care doesn't make you heartless, horrible, mean, empty, I don't know. Whatever your friends, family, peers and the greater world might throw at you is some kind of judgment. When you choose not to care about something that they think you should care about in some dimension, choosing to focus your care in specific dimensions is totally fine and it's better to do that and sustain that care in those dimensions and make a long-term difference than to just appear to care briefly and fleetingly based on the opinions of what other people think you should care about. Before we go on any further, I want to talk about our sponsor for this episode, and that's ManyTricks. Makers of helpful apps for the Mac, whose apps do, you guessed it, ManyTricks. Their apps include Butler, Keymail, Leech, Desktop Curtain, Timesync, Moom, Name Angler, Resolutionator, and Witch. And there's so much to talk about for each app, we're just going to touch on highlights for 5 of them. Witch. You should think about Witch as a supercharger for your command tab app switcher. If you've got 3 or 4 documents open at once in any one app, then Witch's beautiful simple pop-up will let you pick exactly the one you're looking for. updated you can now also switch between tabs as well as apps and app windows with horizontal vertical or menu bar switching panels. With text search for switching you can show the front most app in the menu bar icon it also now has touch bar support and much much more. Time sync. Track the time that you spend in apps or activities on your Mac and it's a simple and easy way to do it. You can pull your apps by common activities, create custom trackers for non Mac activities and it's simple but powerful reporting feature shows you exactly where your time went so you can start to plan and stay focused. NameMangler. You've got a whole bunch of files to rename quickly, efficiently and in large numbers. NameMangler is great for creating staged renaming sequences with powerful regex pattern matching recently enhanced, showing you the results as you go and if you mess it up just revert back to where you started and try again. Moom. It makes it easy to move any of your windows to whichever screen positions you want. Halves, corners, edges, fractions of the screen and and then you can even save and recall your favourite window arrangements with a special auto-arrange feature when you connect or disconnect your external display. It was recently updated to be even faster. It now has touch bar support and keyboard integration with Adobe's apps. It's the first app I load on a new Mac because it's just awesome. Resolutionator is so simple. A drop down menu from the menu bar and you can change the resolution of whatever display you like that's currently connected to your Mac. The best part though, you can even set your resolution to fit more pixels than are actually there. It's very handy if you're stuck on your laptop but you need more screen real estate. Now that's just five of their great apps and that's only half of them. All these apps have free trials and you can download them from and you can easily try them out before you buy them. They're all available from their website or through the Mac App Store. However, if you visit that URL you can take advantage of a special discount off their very helpful apps exclusively for Engineered Network listeners. Simply use pragmatic18, that's pragmatic the word and 1 8 the numbers in the discount code box in the shopping cart to receive 25% off. This offer is only available to Engineered Network listeners for a limited time, so take advantage of it while you can. Thank you to ManyTricks for sponsoring the Engineered Network. I think it's possible to suffer from care burnout, making you effectively "cared out", whereby you have no more internal energy, no drive, no enthusiasm. Your care batteries are just drained completely. Pushing yourself to care more in those circumstances isn't It's just empty and frustrating and people can see that. They can sense your heart isn't in it and you'll end up with care misspent. And one final thought. I've come to think that family ties are as strong as they typically seem to be because when we have children, we need to care for them, not just for a minute, a day, an hour, a week, but for years and some would say even a lifetime. That sort of sustained care is actually what makes the difference. In the end, you may only be impacting the lives of a handful of people in this world, but that's okay because they will notice. They will care. And hopefully you've cared enough to make it to the end of this episode. No judgment. So figure out what you need to care about, and in what dimensions that you should. And don't let yourself get cared out. Because if that happens, you won't be able to care about anything anymore. And that's just not a good place to end up. If you're enjoying Analytical and want to support the show, you can, like some of our backers Carsten Hansen and John Whitlow. They and many others are patrons of the show via Patreon, and you can find it at or one word. Patron rewards include a named thank you on the website, a named thank you at the end of episodes, access to raw detailed show notes, as well as ad-free, higher quality releases of every episode. So if you'd like to contribute something, anything at all, there's lots of great rewards. And beyond that, it's all really, really appreciated. Beyond Patreon, there's also a PayPal for one-off contributions at or one word. But if you're not in a position to support the show financially, that's totally fine. There are other ways that you can still help, leaving a rating or a review on iTunes, favoriting the episode in your podcast player app of choice, or sharing this episode or the show with your friends or via social. All of these things will help others to discover the show and can also make a huge difference. I'd personally like to thank ManyTricks for sponsoring the Engineered Network. If you're looking for some Mac software that can do ManyTricks, remember to specifically visit this URL, for more information about their amazingly useful apps. Analytica was part of the Engineered Network and you can find it at and you can follow me on Mastodon at [email protected] or the network on Twitter at engineered_net. Accept nothing, question everything. always a good time to analyze something. I'm John Chichi. Thanks so much for listening. (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (upbeat music) (dramatic music) (dramatic music) (dramatic music) (dramatic music) (upbeat music)
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John Chidgey

John Chidgey

John is an Electrical, Instrumentation and Control Systems Engineer, software developer, podcaster, vocal actor and runs TechDistortion and the Engineered Network. John is a Chartered Professional Engineer in both Electrical Engineering and Information, Telecommunications and Electronics Engineering (ITEE) and a semi-regular conference speaker.

John has produced and appeared on many podcasts including Pragmatic and Causality and is available for hire for Vocal Acting or advertising. He has experience and interest in HMI Design, Alarm Management, Cyber-security and Root Cause Analysis.

You can find him on the Fediverse and on Twitter.