My Aims [My I3]

The About Ervin page tells you who “I am” (which is really just who I’ve been). It may or may not tell you who I want to be. We create ourselves in each moment. This page explores the person I’m creating of myself and how I’m (intentionally) doing so daily. This is what my personal Intentional Intrinsic Investment Index (I3) is made up of.[1]

Core Intentional Intrinsic Investments

Aims and commensurate investments:

To be a thinker

Thinker

= Pursuer of truth and understanding

Personal Investments:

  1. Reading
    Articles, essays, papers, books
  2. Watching videos
    Talks, Lectures, etc.
    (See my “Thinkers” page on Pinterest for some of the thinkers I follow).
  3. Email subscriptions
    Honestly, as at April 23rd 2018, I haven’t been reading these emails like I ought to but I intend to get on it.
  4. Inviting different views
    1. Counter Arguments
      One of the things I look for from time to time online are criticisms of ideas I’ve come to adopt. If, for instance, I watched a documentary and thought it powerful, I’d see what was said about it, looking in particularl, for reviews that criticize the work. I invite these viewpoints in, to challenge my own. But even before doing so, I try to determine how the my viewpoint could be flawed. It’s following this that I seek aid in the form of other’s counter arguments.

Project-level Investments:

  1. NexConnect — A View-finding Forum — “Where Perspectives Meet”
    On April 19th 2018, I held the first of what will be a regular meetup called NexConnect. It was invitation-only and those who participated were chosen because they are thinkers, who would present a healthy challenge to my views, highlighting, for me, whether I should relieve myself of them or whether they are well founded. The discussion lasted North of 3 1/2hours. It was scheduled for and officially ended at the 3 hour mark but all chose to stay and mentally spar some more. This was a forum I intended to start in January 2018, but personal life events threw that through the window.
  2. Playing the Fence | Listening Forum
    A public forum for understanding views held.
  3. Reflections Series
    A series (written and audio) reflecting on experiences and lessons learned by way of said experiences. Go to the Reflections series
  4. Conversations Series
    A series examining past conversations for valuable thoughts.
  5. Flawed Thought Series
    A series examining views I’ve held that proved to be flawed. It examines how how I came to those conclusions and how my views evolved. It highlights how to better avoid and more quickly overcome flawed thought in the future.

To be an educator

Educator

= Sharer of truth and facilitator of understanding

Project-level Investments:

My work in general focuses on understanding so fulfilling my role as an educator is what preoccupies most of my time, with my role as a thinker being perhaps the only thing the gets more of my time. Below are some of the ways I fulfill my role through work.

  1. Podcasts (Mental Notes)
  2. Playing the Fence | Lecture Forum
  3. Online Posts (essays, articles, etc.)
  4. Making resources available for perusal by anyone who can access them
    This includes all of my work and the works I have high regard for, e.g. videos in the video library
  5. My Mentality Map
    Sharing my self-education journey

To be a servant

Servant

= Server of the whole

Personal-level Investments:

  1. Fulfilling household needs
    Chores and other.
  2. Outta road work
    Helping others with tasks they need a hand with.
  3. Interests and Intentions
    I have a personal interest in working on the following causes in the near future.

    1. JNF Hospital Blood Bank
    2. Leadership development in schools
    3. Infrastructural development of schools
    4. Citizen participation in national matters
    5. General healthy lifestyle as a nation
    6. Performing arts development
      I.e. Developing artistry and creativity
    7. Facilitating a greater appreciation for the arts in our local context
    8. Differently-able persons
      Advocating for the infrastructure for greater independence among them
    9. Mental Health
    10. Youth Empowerment
  4. Volunteerism and support
    Giving my time and energy to aid organizations with activities held. And supporting activities held.

    1. Multiple Cleanups supported e.g.
      1. Eco Friends
      2. Earth Day
      3. Sky Academy
      4. Ross University Green Initiative
    2. Helping hands lent e.g.
      1. Rotary Club of Liamuiga Heroes Day Luncheon (2015),
      2. St. Kitts-Nevis Junior Carnival (2016)

Project-level Investments:

  1. Adopt A Cause
    Working with organizations to help them most effectively impact the area(s) of their cause(s) e.g.

    1. St. Kitts National Youth Parliament Association
      Consultancy
    2. Island Xpressions (2009-2011)
        1. Digital promotions
        2. Co-organize
        3. Official photography
  2. De Taxi Stand | Rap Sessions
    Regularly held creative development meetups for poets, lyricists and writers. Whether writing for leisure, an amateur or aspiring artiste, sessions are open. Crafting thought and delivery are our areas of focus.
  3. De Taxi Stand | Stage
    A platform for creative expression. This regularly held stage show will serve as a medium through which those honing their craft at De Taxi Stand can put that craft into practice.

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To be a problem-solver

Problem-solver

= Redresser and preempter of issuesPreemption of issues and redressing issues that have already beset society is what I do with the understanding pursued (see thinker) and the understanding shared and facilitated (see educator). Problem-solving is at the heart of my work. A few of the projects developed include:

Project-level Investments:

  1. Brave Ones
    Teams venture into the community to meet with residents to better understand their challenges at a personal level, analyze, strategize and work with these individuals to help them overcome said challenges.
  2. Theoretical Work
    Articulating understanding into expository works that explore subject areas, in order to aid those creating interventions and working on the ground.
  3. Lending Guidance to Organizations
    See Adopt A Cause
  4. Playing the Fence | Lecture Forum
  5. Playing the Fence | Surveys
    For the aggregation of statistical data that will equip myself and team to better understand the issues in the local context. This will equip us to design more effective interventions. It will also equip us to aid other organizations to develop more effective interventions as well.

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To be a conduit

Conduit

= Connector of everything to everything else

Personal-level Investments:

  1. Sharing  Information

    1. With people I’m connected with
      I do this via various media (phone, social media, email etc.). I share upcoming events and other information I’m aware of.
    2. Person to person
      I share this info based on interests I know specific people have.
  2. Open line of communication
    1. I’m trying not to live with the types of “circles” we create. I spoke about the harm of these circles in What is a “Friend” Anyway? so my contact information is public and I welcome and encourage touching base if persons think there is value in doing so.

Project-level Invest:

  1. Sharing Knowledge
    1. Website Bookmarks Feature
      Here I make available what I’m reading, watching, listening, sharing and otherwise have an interest in. This includes:

      1. Articles & Papers etc.
      2. Books
      3. Films
      4. Music
      5. Videos
      6. My WhatsApp Statuses
      7. Thinkers I follow
      8. Other Interests

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To be a catalyst

Catalyst

= Leader

Personal-level Investments:

  1. I am Unapologetically myself everyday i.e. I live within my values, taking reference from said values not my circumstance. This includes:
      1. Appearance (I don’t observe social expectations).
      2. I respect the rules we lay out as a society i.e. I follow them based on principle not fear of punishment.[1]
      3. How I engage with people I don’t know (and those I do).
      4. Interest taken in society on a whole.
      5. Being a decent example (though I’ve long disliked the way we think about “role models”)
      6. My work is guided by my values.
        1. E.g. my essays and articles, projects, programmes and partnerships.
        2. Not charging for my work.
        3. Provoking thought.
        4. Sharing my truth.

Project-level Investments:

  1. Building teams of leaders in Ervin & Company
    I’m approaching the concept of an “organization” differently. For me it’s an extension and magnification of individual capacity. This individual capacity, invested in a particular cause(s), is then the purpose of organizing.Rather then an organization with members dedicated to it, and finding their way as they go along, I’m developing collection of teams that work as a unit toward to fulfillment of particular aims. My teams are teams of leaders with whom I’m comfortable having play any role, rather than followers who need instructing and who bring little more than their physical help. These leaders are thinkers who can help me refine my thoughts and plans and execute. Ultimately all teams are to be autonomous, though they will still be guided by me.
  2. Building leadership in general
    1. A cross-sectional leadership project is forthcoming.
    2. An annual Leadership summit is among future projects.

Notes:

  1. I believe in following rules. I’m not perfect but I do observe rules most times and I act in accordance with what should be even when not stipulated (not a rule). What I also believe however, is in questioning and changing rules. So rather than decide a rule “doesn’t make sense” and break it, I bring it to the fore and call for necessary changes to be made.

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To be a champion

Champion

= Instigator; Initiator; Naysayer, when we should be saying nay!

Personal-level Investments:

  1. Following local, regional and international news
  2. Sharing said news so we can be informed and active citizens.
  3. Following petitions for causes that are being championed globally.
  4. Supporting organizations as they advocate locally.

Project-level Investments:

  1. Writing articles and essays on issues observed

    1. Challenging the status quo
    2. Educating the collective
      Change must ultimately come from the collective, not leadership, so the most important cause to champion is the development of other’s understanding.
  2. Assisting organizations:
    1. To more effectively achieve their goals
      1. Finding out what these organizations need to better address their causes.
        (See Adopt A Cause)
    2. Leadership development
      (See Annual Leadership Summit)
    3. “Champions in Training” Education Pathway
      The development of a learning pathway for individuals and entities wishing to positively affect change. This pathway will explain, for instance:

      1. Skillpower vs Willpower required for an individual to change
      2. What informs one’s will to change and
      3. How change happens e.g. the difference between “appreciating” and “inspiration” and how change is inspired.

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To be creative

Creative

= Visionary; Artist

Personal-level Investments:

  1. Designing logos for my projects e.g. De Taxi Stand Logo.
  2. Creating artwork for some organizations with which I’ll work.
  3. Logo designs for some organizations with which I’ll work.
  4. Writing Rhythmic Thoughts:
    1. Poetic pieces
    2. Lyrical pieces
    3. Music
    4. Dramatizations
  5. Performing Rhythmic Thoughts:
    1. Using available platforms to share my work and hone my craft e.g.:
      1. Island Xpressions
      2. De Taxi Stand
      3. Karaoke Nights
      4. Invitations to perform

Project-level Investments:

  1. Conceptualizing ideas for artwork for Stocklopedia (See Projects page).
  2. Perspectives Project (See Projects page).
  3. Beautifully Basic Project (See Projects page).
  4. Conceptualizing audio, visual  and audio-visual presentations for content, e.g. video lessons.
  5. Conceptualizing creative ways of connecting individuals with content that would benefit them.
  6. The development of Rhythmic Thoughts Catalog of work
  7. The management of the Rhythmic Thoughts Projects
    These projects see the coordination of creative opportunities for individuals to benefit from the Rhythmic Thoughts catalog e.g. hosting benefit events.

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To be a creator

Creator

= Architect; Engineer; Contractor; Innovator

Personal- & Project-level Investments:

I intentionally operate within the roles Architect; Engineer; Contractor; Innovator in my daily life. I do so personally and within the projects I develop and those I partner on.

  1. Architect: The conceptual
    My work is largely conceptual, challenging and evolving traditional thought which is the work of the Architect.
  2. Engineer: The technical
    My focus on understanding and projects developed along these lines, is the work of the Engineer. I’ve come to conclude, of recent, that while I’ve been frustrated with organization’s focus on doing without sufficient pursuit of understanding, I ought to focus more on said pursuit myself, then share this work with organizations so the spectrum of thought and action is balanced.
  3. Contractor: The physical/on the ground work
    Building Ervin & Company is an undertaking for the purpose of expanding my capacity in undertaking conceptual work but was imperative for undertaking more physical work. Through the teams built, projects can materialize (and do so more quickly) and there would be a greater capacity through which other organizations can be supported and equipped to more effectively undertake their work. This creates, as a result, more resilient networks of interventions.

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To be much more than just the above

AndSoMuchMore

= The embodiment of all possibilities

We’re much more than the job titles we carry. While “the market” may not acknowledge this or we may never measure up to others based on established standards, we are multi-talented and our every ability has value.

Not everything we learn or are capable of, is to benefit us directly. Not even wild animals go around biting on every plant. Some things are to benefit others directly (and us, in ways we’d probably never understand fully).  We may learn a skill and never use it for our benefit. What we understand having learned that skill may benefit us, however, even more interestingly, we may be able to pass on our knowledge to someone who turns around and makes staggering works out of it. What’s more valuable than that?

I reflect on my own life as I write this, recalling two individuals who shared their knowledge of graphic design and photography respectively, and the livelihood I evolved out of both seeds of knowledge planted. We are much more than we do for a living or do as “experts”.

Personal- and Project-level Investments:

  1. Rhythmic Thoughts
    My art (written and performing specifically), are where I put this thinking into practice. By no means do I intend to be a performer but I have the capacity within me to make great works and to inform great works and I carry this potential as far as I can without having it negatively impact my other endeavours. (See Rhythmic Thoughts)
  2. De Taxi Stand
    Through these creative development meetups I am realizing my fullest potential, keeping my creativity and my craft on point. I continue to create and I’m inspired by others and their brilliant works. I’m full of possibilities and I’m not letting any of it go to waste. This project ensures others too pursue their fullness. That’s why it’s open to everyone from leisure and amateur to aspiring artistes. It’s designed to encourage the pursuit of excellence regardless of where an individual wants to personally take their work.
  3. Ervin & Company
    Take a look at the roster of projects and you’ll see an investment in every area of life (and if you don’t, you will). I (formally) studied Architecture; worked in that field; transitioned to Brand Design Consultancy in a career that lasted (officially) 10 years (until I stepped away from it to pursue this full-time). I educated myself on human behaviour through observation and inquiry, supplemented by the consumption of scholarly works and I apply all I’ve learned into the development of projects and  programmes that challenge the very way we do things socially-speaking, as a society.I am more than my job title (held those 10 years) and more than my academic credentials. I am more than the market’s valuation of my work. I am more… — we all are!

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To be unmimicable

*Unmimicable

= A completely unique being

= Fulfillment

Fulfillment on my terms, is what I’m about. That’s a fine thing for me to be about because I know I’m neither the beginning nor the end of the world. I am a cell that forms part of the body. My fulfillment is in serving the whole and the best contribution I can make to the whole is to be myself completely (and selflessly). That is what I mean by unmimicability. And so I:

  1. Work to always make my unique contribution to the world.
  2. Sow seeds of love. They’re the only kind that yield good fruit (only).
  3. Pursue my fullest possibilities.
  4. Never delay what is significant.
  5. Set my agenda by what is the most significant thing I can do in any moment.
  6. Set aims based on intrinsic rewards.
    1. This way the outcome is mine to choose (though not specifically, inevitably).
    2. I also set objectives for these aims which requires I break down the aim.
      Note: Following 4) 5) 6) results in fulfillment because with 6) the reward of work is work done. And by observing the constituent parts as wholes in themselves, one can see, for example, the reward of completed content is its completion. Connecting said content to those who’d benefit from it (marketing, as it ought to be) is another (separate) objective with its own reward.Choosing what’s most significant as in 5) ensures for instance, that I don’t choose marketing first and only have time to create substandard content, or that I build an audience and have less value to deliver to them than I could if I concerned myself to. Instead, with well refined content completed, even if unable to market it oneself, the objective of doing so may be carried out by someone else, thus the whole aim can meet its completion (though not how I’d prefer it, inevitably).

= Authority

Fear is such a weak emotion that’s why I despise it. – Lupe Fiasco

We’re creators (see “Creator” section). Our power is infinite. Our choices are what we create the world from. Our every doing is supremely important. We have the power innately. What we need is the authority to wield it and that comes through knowledge and understanding derived from it.

I believe power is only as useful as the good it does the whole so understanding the world we live in i.e. the power we have, is central to the idea of being unmimicable — knowing who we are and intentionally creating ourselves. With this in mind I:

  1. Pursue Understanding
    I learn about as much as I possibly can.

    1. I’m thorough and unbiased in analysis of perspectives and in drawing conclusions.
    2. I seek counter arguments.
    3. I inquire until I determine alternate possibilities unlikely by due process. This ensures (as far as is possible at the time) the perspective I hold is one I ought to.
  2. Choose to be a person of integrity.
    I create a way of being so consistent that regardless of what faces me, I must have an outcome that intrinsically serves my wants (though not how I’d necessariy prefer it, inevitably).

    1. I bear in mind that all things work together for good (where all things are done with integrity) so I always seek the good in any event.
    2. I spend more time looking for and understanding lessons from undesirable situations than time spent regretting missteps.
    3. I am guided by reason, not emotion, where “emotions” are irrational.
    4. I train myself so that my emotions (or feelings rather) become sound instructors.
  3. Forgo socially-constructed comforts
    E.g. money and positions for:

    1. The wealth of the whole by giving myself to the whole and believing it will take care of me in return.
    2. Volunteering my service wherever necessary, not just where obligated.

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To be invaluable

Invaluable

= Of immeasurable worth

  • Being invaluable is my reality by my mere existence. I need only be my best self to maintain this.
  • This being my natural condition doesn’t mean others will see my value but that doesn’t mean it isn’t so.

Personal- and Project-level Investments:

  • See everything listed on this page for my invests in my invaluable-ness.
  • See Unmimicability for more on being myself.
  • See Creator for more on how I pursue my best self by living intentionally.

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To be a mirror for the best parts and possibilities in people

JustAsYouAre

= As I am, so art thou

These ways of being (e.g. creator and unmimicable) do not only define me, they are applicable to each and everyone — though perhaps in different ways and though we do not live tend to live intentionally.

My work and way of being aside, there are forthcoming projects that will focus on hammering this point home.

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Notes

  1. The I3 is a project that calls persons to look their aims, determine the processes that will help them to progress toward them and to examine their daily activities to see how what they did or didn’t do contributed to their aims. The result is a better perspective of how we develop and what opportunities for development we miss.
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