It’s hard to truly know your value.
If you’re humble you’ll underestimate and miss the clues around you, the messages from the people. If you’re overconfident you might overestimate and miss the feedback.
Or you might do the opposite. Knowing your value is a hard task because, often, the value depends on the context.
Your range of experience and knowledge might give an incredible amount of value in a specific field, while being useless in others.
When you look around for ideas, companies, friends, it’s hard to know how much alignment there is between your skills and their needs. There is no easy path to discover it, you must always try.
But there are also times when you have clues around you that tell your value. People reminding of the amazing work you do each and every day. People that respect you and admire you.
And if they’re honest and you don’t feel too much overconfident you might as well shut up that voice in your head for a second, to be grateful for such an amazing group of people that cheers for you.
Have you ever thought of a nice idea, like a story for a book, and stopped by executing it because someone else was first?
I surely did. And I also knew that ideas alone are of no value, yet it blocked me anyway.
In my mind I thought I was simply adding repetition to the world, nothing new. We like “new” ideas. We like being first in something and that’s probably one of the reasons I stopped pursuing that idea.
Let’s take the idea for the book I told you before. It was about a different outcome in WW2.
Can you imagine how many stories on this topic have been made? Even a tv series.
They didn’t stop and it was the right choice.
An idea by itself is not enough to be neither interesting nor revolutionary. An idea can be a nice concept, but alone is worthless.
It’s what you put into the recipe that makes the difference. It the things around the idea, the execution, your take on a problem, that makes it different.
Take on ideas that you like even if they are already present in the world. Think basecamp, nobody thought it would succeed this way.
There will be many ideas that will produce failure, but that shouldn’t stop you unless you absolutely need to have them succeed.
In some cases success is simply being able to express the idea in its glory.
I’ve been in burnout many times. This is a realization that didn’t come easy.
I never asked for help, I always recovered by myself, with a long time, with many introspection.
While it seems great if you read it, it’s not. We’re not burnout-proofed.
Burnout will happen again, might happen again, and I’ve seen it through friends and coworker happen again and again. I’ve seen their morale being destroyed piece by piece, their enthusiasm being lowered and so on.
I’ve also saw the reactions of people. From the one that promise you “I’ll help you”.
But they don’t.
From the one they ignore the problem “It’ll get better”
But it wont.
And after many encounters with the burnout I can say that one of the key lessons here is about recognizing and accepting pain.
We, as humans, don’t like pain.
We don’t like tu suffer ourselves, but even seeing pain in other people is something we’d gladly avoid.
If we allow others to share their pain entirely then we can’t escape from it, we must face it.
That’s why we say “I’ll help you” (lying) or “It’ll get better”.
It’s because we don’t want to face the pain the person is ready to put on the table.
Why some brands “click” more than others?
What makes them intriguing or interesting, what makes them an example to follow?
Branding is a really wide topic. Some branding takes place in the office, while another one takes place in the heart.
In the office you plan and define how the brand should like, what message should convey and so on, on the other hand there are small companies that have such an excellent branding without resorting to the office, to paid advertising etc.
They have what’s commonly called “personal branding” and it’s not a matter of marketing alone, it’s a form of expressing and (in some cases) being true to your customers.
Taking them by hand and guide them towards your ideas to see if they match, and if so here they are, discovering a new amazing brand.
It’s about finding a niche that shares your value and having a way to express to them what you think it’s worth.
We often say “Oh, if I look back at that moment maybe I’d choose a different path”.
How much of the knowledge we get from knowing the consequences of our action would dictate our choice?
If we knew beforehand that our promotion would destroy the morale of a person and put he into depression, would we continue or not?
if the consequences were clear, would you do it anyway?
That’s a hard question that measure your inner status if the consequences produce some damage to other people.
We might end up with saying “how could I know?” but in the end the real question is: “If I knew it, would I have changed course?” because if not, it’s clear what you are.
When you have more than one insurance you can compare their behavior when something goes wrong.
I’m not saying a comparison on how they work on topics of the insurance but how does it work, for example, to cancel the insurance itself.
Chances are, one will have friction. One will make it difficult, harder, etc.
Having less friction is almost always a value. It allows people to make choice freely. So, even if your business doesn’t benefit from it, it makes people happy.
Friction, on the other hand, makes people anxious because they feel caged. Friction removes possibilities and blocks people from moving on.
Aiming for frictionless processes should be our gold standard.
It is often the case that death teaches kindness. It reminds us how fragile our life is, our weak the net of people is and how it can break easily.
It’s a powerful reminder that what we have is temporary. Today we know it’s there, but what about tomorrow?
With this knowledge we review our world, the world around us, our dreams and we come to the conclusion that maybe being angry, aggressive and so on is not something worthy of our time.
Yet we forget. We forget how much kindness can empower our surroundings. After a while all these lessons fade in the memory, replaced by our old reasoning. Our ego takes the lead again and we go back to what we were doing.
How much powerful should be our loss to make such change permanent?
Looking closely these changes are similar to our new years resolutions. They don’t stick, they are a beautiful intention, but rarely a beautiful conquering because after a while we go back a restore our old behavior.
It’s hard. It’s complex. Keeping up with kindness in a world without too much of it is extremely hard.
Yet it’s worth it.
What if, instead of being a yes-man or a no-man, you’ll simply evaluate the possibility of doing something.
To see if there’s a real space to conquer, to see if there’s a real option on the table?
What if, instead of blinding accepting or refusing an idea you evaluate it with an open mind, asking questions over questions to understand how it fits your plan, what are the pros and the downsides?
What if everything was possible and the hard thing is to make things match based on requirements, price and time?
Be a possible-man, explore the infinite world of possibilities.
As we all know, we’re under a pandemic.
And, as you might also know, italy changed his government during 2021.
This, aside from being a little depressing (who would want to see such change in such difficult times), poses an interesting question I ask myself even more often.
Right now the person in charge to manage the vaccination of the population is from the military, while before he was not.
Every time he’s dressed in a military uniform, and there’s something calming about that dress.
A dress expresses part of your goal, it’s a precursor of body language, after all if you go to a meeting with an horrible dress, they’ll think about it. How you dress is a choice.
How you dress convey a message of interest for other people. It signals your intents.
So, what’s calming? I honestly dunno. It’s a reaction I don’t control and to be honest I’m against the military usage for war, to make a point, but at the same time I suppose that having someone showing off interest for the population (military uniform) instead of himself (a normal suit), might make a difference.
It might be only a choice to show off, but it works.
One of the easiest way to have a new habit stick is to chain it with something else in a time you _know_ you can get some extra space for it.
If you don’t chain then you’ll need extra support to remember to do the thing, but if you do chain it you’ll increase the chances of you sticking to the habit and improving over time.
It’s as simple as “ do something after I wake up “.
To me morning is the perfect time when I can do something without interruptions, it started with reading, now it’s reading+writing in some days, and workout in others.
Scheduling and chaining is an effective way to have habits formed and it’s quite easy to manage once you have a time slot you can protect.