“It’s a bad day” a bad moment, a bad timing.
We say that a lot, implying that it’s not a perfect day that things could’ve gone better. But when “bad” is truly bad?
Maybe bad is just the result of the sums of many moments in our life.
How do we feel appreciated and loved?
How meaningful is the work we do?
What are our expectations and dreams?
And last but not least: how big is the detour of our life from what we dream and expect?
Add these questions to “Is this day going as planned?” and you got a recipe for failure unless your foundations are solid.
After all, stable means exactly that: having solid foundations.
Some specific notes are things we need to be reminded from time to time.
”Be kind” is a perfect example. We all know it’s a good idea, we all agree on it yet we forget it from time to time.
When we’re drowning we forget it and start being an asshole again.
That note, and many other ones, shouldn’t be notes, nor reminders in our phones. They should be words we recall frequently, like moves in a game, so that we don’t forget them.
What we need from time to time is a trade-off that’s not risky for everyone, so you can quit easily and say no with no regrets.
It leaves doors open and allows you to be open about what you’re truly interested in.
In times like this it’s normal to star wondering how to handle information and misinformation.
I came across today a facebook profile of a man that denies covid. What was clear to me is how he was conveying information. There’s something similar in a specific part of politics in italy, and, sadly, in an old (we hope) part of america too.
Using big words, being relaxed and being affermative like you don’t care, like you’re so sure this is the way.
And in these moments I value all my doubts, all my questioning. Because that’s what makes a difference. Doubting. He was so sure about the way, how to handle this situation, while I’m clueless, full of doubts and so on.
I’m happy with my doubts. They taught me to question all the information I receive.
That’s why I don’t trust overconfident people.
They are usually hiding something or being a little bit too much superficial.
We always think about changes as some fundamental transformation of our beliefs, our behaviors, but it can also be a deeper understanding of people.
An old limit like “needing to have the plan explained in the details” might show a person under a different light, because what once was “How boring, I do need to repeat it again”, becomes “Oh, now I get it, he needs the complete complexity to be able to have a profound opinion on a topic”.
The same goes the opposite, what was a fast moving mind that didn’t need explanations now might be someone who’s at times too superficial because, thanks to his fast mind, he fills the blanks in the topic, but this doesn’t let him have a deeper overview of what’s happing.
Changes that actually didn’t happen, because they were always there. What changed is your perception.
Last friday our whole company had a virtual meeting with a highly skilled person working on the “growth” of people, not technologically, but from a human and communication perspective.
She’s one of the most amazing person I know and she did her job with majesty.
At the end of the meeting I had a chance to briefly chat with a couple of people who were there, they all shared the same worry: They were skeptics. “To achieve this we need people who listen, people that apply the rules correctly”.
I’ll tell you what: I constantly fall for this trick of the mind, but at the same time I’m partly a living example that we should absolutely ignore this voice.
Years ago I went to a company retreat and in a speech I asked many question about how could we improve our communications and so on.
At the end I had this bitter feeling that all my effort would’ve been useless if I was the only one applying.
To be honest I didn’t even put that much emphasis on the teacher’s closing words “we can only control what we do, not what others do”.
I didn’t think that changing ourselves could be the solution, but here we are, maybe 10 years later and I truly believe that.
I am still skeptic and I still need to learn to un listen that voice, but I know for sure that if you lead, people will follow.
The hard part is to lead continuously even when things go wrong, even whey they don’t work, even when it seems useless.
To continue in those situations you need a stable foundation, an anchor that is inside yourself, a deep motivation, because otherwise you’ll soon end up abandoning your goals.
This is why we need leaders. To achieve change we need people that don’t listen to that skepticism. People that will move forward and do their best work all the time.
“I don’t get enough compliments”
A compliment for the looks, for a good idea, for the work we’ve done is a gift we like from time to time. It makes us “seen” by the people around us.
At the same time, if we base our lives on those compliments there’ll be days when we get none and days we get some of them. Not all days will be equal but on the days when the count stays on zero we might feel like trash.
That happens because we didn’t have a stable foundation, something that reminds us of the good things we are and represent.
A stable foundation can literally be anything, it could be shave in the morning to feel clean each day, dress up better, it could be a safe net of friends that will always support you, or a hobby that can make you feel proud and protected even when the world goes crazy.
A stable foundation is something you can depend on, is something that doesn’t change with time. Usually it’s more stable if it all comes from within you. The more it needs the outside world, the less table it’ll be, because the world can always change, but you are in control of what you preach and love.
So yeah, maybe there’ll be days when you don’t get enough compliments. But if you have a stable foundation, you won’t care.
The web and the social networks gave us so many things. One of them is allowing everyone to express an opinion.
Don’t get me wrong, I listen to different opinions all day and what makes a big difference is how they are exposed.
What bugs me instead is how, given a decent skill set, we find people who blame other’s work as if they did it all wrong.
It’s the case of the new google logos, but it’s also the case for some italian pasta repackaging. People disagree with the result, that’s fine.
But such rework, such design, isn’t by accident.
The redesign of google logos have surely underwent a lot of internal debate, many people inside the company have surely expressed their opinion and the result might have been a compromise between the voices inside the company.
Could it be improved? Yes, does it have some drawbacks or limits? Absolutely.
What the social networks “gurus” forget is that we work inside a system. They expect a perfect result each and every time, but there are trade-offs to be made, both technologically, in design, and as deals with company departments.
You need to make all those people “happy enough”, which means it’s hard. It reminds me of my old self that thought that “No limits” is a better way to express creativity.
But true creativity is expressed within a canvas.
It’s the limit that makes the creativity worthy, it’s the limit that makes it sparkling.
It’s easy to move forward, adjust your life to a new kind of work, a new style.
But what brought you there? It was the mix of competence, skills, passion, vision that you had. That ,is made it special. That mix made it worth it.
Moving on and thinking you can simply abandon it it’s crazy, because that is your best skill. Yes you can take new roles, new work, but instead of trashing all the old things that brought you there it’s way better to let them evolve with you.
That way, you’ll bring the most powerful thing you had: your mix
It’s easy to be overwhelmed by the amount of things to do. There’s only one way to handle them.
One at a time. No more, no less.
Step by step, you’ll eventually get to the last.