June 28, 2012 at 6:01 am, by Carl
You probably know the rest of that phrase, huh? Had a simple experience with the concept that also provides an example to you (and me) about letting worry get the best of you. Background is that I got a natural bent for worry from my mother…bless her heart, she can worry with the best of them. Today, my friends would say that I am a natural cynic and pessimist, though I make the claim that I am merely a realist.
Regardless, I do have a propensity to worry and over think things. The “over thinking” part stems naturally from one of my strengths which is to see the world through a view for grand strategy. I can’t just make a simple decision lest I miss a critical move for a much deeper decision.
OK, so there’s the background on me, so here’s the story. For the past year or so, I have put off making any update for Apple’s new operating system (OS). Partly I have done this because of the very clear idea that Apple (and all the other major technology players like Microsoft, Google, Amazon and Facebook) are moving to force us to accept computing as something mobile and probably somewhat invisible. For my part, having grown up with desktop computing, getting my first Apple computer in 1978 (the venerable Apple II) and happily taking my Apple IIe to Auburn in 1982, I am very comfortable with a certain way of doing my work at the computer.
I have not bought anything mobile (yet) and, as my frequent readers of the blog will know, have very strong feelings about the move to the cloud and the general sense that the tech world seems to be in love with not supporting the idea of true ownership (ownership = I have it in my hands). So, Apple’s plans to force a merger between their OS for the Mac (desktop and laptops) and their iOS for mobile devices (iPad, iPhone, iPod) have annoyed me. Not that I wanted to make others compute my way, but merely a desire to be allowed to continue to work the way I am comfortable.
My sense of frustration and angst was added to by the many articles I read about the new OS, code-named “Lion.” There has been a ton of ink spilled about these changes, and many laments about the very things I feared….change to what I am used to. So, I decided I would simply not upgrade. Apple, however, held a trump card over me….my email address.
Some years ago, I got onboard with their plan called “.mac” or better known as “dot mac.” The beauty was that I could get my own email address as well as become able to see my email and calendar online. When this happened in in 2004 (Apple launched it in 2002), there was a fee, but that was fine with me. Yes, I soon heard from friends about using Google for free, but I like the way Apple does things and I liked the easy integration (at the time, Apple was almost alone in that ability). When I took my speaking business more “formal” in 2006, it was simple to make my firstname.lastname@example.org email the speaking email. I simply could not afford to lose it now.
The trump card Apple held came out when they announced they were closing the service I had used for 6+ years, and rebranding it as “iCloud.” This did not make me any happier, though it was free. In the shift, they were going to eliminate certain aspects of the service that I enjoyed, but of course Apple didn’t really care what I thought. To their credit, in a nod to the old users, we were given an extended period of time to merge over….about a 12 month window, ending June 30, 2012.
Can you see the dilemma? Not yet but hang on….to make the switch to iCloud demanded the new OS, the very OS I had swore I would not use and had heard so many negative things about from old users like myself. So, if I didn’t take this poor OS, I would lose my email because I couldn’t move to iCloud. Finally, in the early weeks of June, I determined that I simply had to get over it. My worry about the future had to be overcome.
I started to read more and more articles. I turned to a new friend who was involved in the IT area at Valencia. I consulted others who were more familiar with “the cloud.” And finally, this weekend, I converted over to the new OS, and then made the switch to iCloud. Then, I prepared for the worst.
And I waited.
And so far, am still waiting. That’s right. From what I can tell right now, all my worry and angst were “much ado about nothing.” Yes, there have been some moments of having to track down a new solution or answers for how to do something new. And yes, there are now some programs that I used often that no longer work. I’ll need to figure out something about those when I get to it. Yet, on the whole, it’s really been no big deal.
The take away should be easy to see. Often, your own strength (for me, strategic vision) can get in the way of your own path to success. Excessive worry can also hamper your ability to take that critical next step. While there is always reason for caution and one should often look for pitfalls to avoid, letting fear or worry trap you into inaction will merely leave you in a poor position.
Now, back to doing more of the things I enjoy on my computer, the computer that is basically working the same way I wanted it to be before I upgraded.