can you do better?

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.

not forgetting the roots

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

afraid of trying

There are some things you don’t want to do because you don’t have enough skills.

So you postpone those things away from you, “I’ll do it later”.
That’s what I often do. I do it because I don’t feel like trying _and_ failing.

But failing is part of the game. The skills I have now are the result of me failing and learning, testing new things. Yes, some skills have less margin of error, but there’s no shortcut.

You learn by doing them.

what I learned

What I learned I didn’t learn it from studying only.

I learned from sweat, from pain, from being heartbroken, hopeless.

I didn’t learn it because I was gifted, I didn’t have an advantage. I learned the value of kindness because I got to see both side of the spectrum of the love-hate world.
I questioned. Is it good? Is it bad? On each side I doubted everything, because in some moments you think rage is the answer, in other love, and you might end up being disappointed in both cases.

I questioned again, because as you might know by now when you’re 15yo and you got your crush on a girl that rejects you or even worse cheat on you, those times you feel like loving is not a thing we, as humans, should do.
Too painful to withstand.

But I questioned. I questioned where the disappointment came from, and I learned from it.

When I was young I hold many values as set in stone. I looked up the older guys that were telling me “yeah, once you grow up you’ll understand”, and I thought “I’ll never be like them”.
Now you might even hear me saying “give it time and you’ll understand” and the values I loved are nowhere to be seen.

At first I wondered if I lost them, if I was less human because I lost those values, because I don’t follow them like I used to.
But then I questioned, what changed?
Values changed, they evolved, they grew with me and now they’re different. Now I know more, now I understand the complexity of relationship better than years ago and surely worse then the years to come. Now I know that life is all about trade offs, and they’re not born equal.

The spectrum of emotions and conditions is always there. We are always part of a spectrum led by two extremes.
The extremes do not equal to good or bad. They’re choices, conditions, results.
How can we know when something’s good or bad?
We question, we doubt even the best of the action or outcome.

Learning isn’t about being lucky, isn’t about having an outcome compatible with what we’ve learned.
It’s about questioning things even when they go well, because if you buy a house for a low price and you put a family homeless, yes, you bought a house for a low price, but you should at least question if it was really worth it.

Doubting, questioning, asking constantly where are we, in this spectrum, is a great way to learn.

Sometimes you learn through error, but we forget that we could learn something even when we’re the one leading, the winners.
Because learning shouldn’t be something exogenous, it can be endogenous too, and that’s where I got my best learning.

another way to trick the blank page

Let’s be honest, we all face the blank page effect from time to time. But how to beat it consistently?

The trick is always to start with something. The state of mind is the key to achieve a result, but more important than that it is to start.

Today I was stuck planning some articles.
I wanted to have them in line, prepare them for the future, but when I started with the first I didn’t have a clear idea. What should I have written?

I decided to take another route, so I listed all the topics I wanted to explore, one photo for each. I didn’t write the articles but now everything is ready and the plan helped a lot.

What I did differently? I started with something, even a simple title list is enough to trigger your thoughts and mind.

not written in stone

Bodyweight training isn’t something that’s written in stone. We do know some of the effects, we can expect results, but at the same time there are some edge cases of training that are not mainstream that leads to results.

Why is that? Many jobs, many kinds of work are the result of the continuous experimentation on a topic. Pushing boundaries to better understand how the world works.

With each step we get closer to the result, to what we expect.
This is true with bodyweight training as it is with many other jobs and skills.
Rules are meant to be followed, but once you have enough understanding it’s fine to test their boundaries, how they react with edge cases, because it’s thanks to those edge cases that we formulate a better understanding.

we can’t understand it if we didn’t try it

A person today told me a story of grief. He was angry with a coworker and that led to an escalation of issues and problems in his state of mind and overall well being.

When he told me the story I immediately got the crucial point. I knew the person he was angry with and I could instantly tell a list of reasons why that would’ve caused issues when having a discussion that lasted over 2 hours.

If I didn’t knew him, would I guessed it? Probably not, and it’s a big problem, because I would have missed one crucial information.

The fact that I was in the loop, that I knew the people involved, meant a totally different reaction on my side.
That was possible because I knew, because I experienced it myself, something that allows us to have a broader vision of the problem.

slow movements

Tonight I was taking a glass of water while my wife and my children slept.

To avoid doing any noise I slowed down each single movement to control the sound of the glass touching the metal, the water falling down and so on.

Slow movements teach us what it’s like to do something with full control. We can do it for simple things like pouring water in a glass, but they are an amazing way to learn for complex concepts too.

Doing it slow means refining the art, caring for the details, because when you go slow, you appreciate the nuances.

when you’re too busy you have a problem

Being too busy is a nice story, but in the end it’s the evidence that there’s a problem to solve, an issue to fix.

Being too busy might mean you don’t delegate enough, you don’t let people around you grow enough.

Being busy might mean that you are doing too much to be irreplaceable, and thus you can’t even go on a vacation.

Being too busy is a choice you make. Don’t do it.

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