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Month: October 2015

good questions are the key

The more time it passes, the more I’m sure about this: good questions are a turn key for many things.

A great question allow people to have a spark in creativity or to go beyond, it can solve problems because of the different point of view inherently included in the question itself.

Most of the time we feel blocked because we don’t know how to handle the problem.
In fact, the thing is that we are blocked because we don’t have the answer to the question “How do I handle this?”

Such question can be rarely answered alone, it takes a few more steps in between to get to a solution, and those steps are essentials.
A way to discover the steps in between are questions.

But how to get a good question to solve a problem?
The first thing is to do small jumps.
There is no “final” questions, so you shouldn’t expect to have an epiphany and find a question that solve the problem in one shot.
What you must aim to is to move incrementally to widen the scope of your knowledge, both by confirming that you understood and moving forward and enlarge what you know.

After a few questions like this the problem will be probably more defined and/or split in subsequent pieces. That way the problem can be handled and solved with no issue.

are you listening to complaints?

There are days when I listen to many complains. 

Not that I want to, it just a happens. But what is the value of a complaint if the goal of the complaint is only complaining?

Hardly a complaint can be useful. That’s what sound criticism is for. Complaining on the other side is mainly used to express frustration and given the inherent definition of frustration it rarely leads to a constructive change.

I think we do complain too much. While I understand the need to express our perception of urgency and stress through complaints I also think that we can do more.

Complaining drains energy. It is a force your are submitted to, a force that has power in the individual silence. When you complain you don’t listen.

To avoid complaining is a hard thing but we can start by listening to less complaints and start asking questions.

Asking questions is a undervalued skill.

Good questions lead to answers, if you ask yourself the right questions every time you come nearer to the solution. That’s a great start. When asking non-rethorical questions it’s hard to complain.

don’t be too hasty in solving problems

As a developer I am inclined to search for bugs and fix them.

It’s normal for me to search for the problem, because part of my job is to solve it.

When it comes to real life, though, this may be counterproductive.
Searching for the problem and moving fast to issue a solution isn’t always a good choice.

In life sometimes we just need time.
Maybe we just need to digest the new information, or maybe we have to gain some knowledge and gaining it requires time.

Whatever the issue is, we need time.
Fixing things so fast doesn’t allow me, or other people, to have that time.
I don’t allow them to have their own time because I feel this urgency to fix the problem.

The opposite of this is accepting others.
Understanding the difference and let time to the rest.
Give it time, let it rest, let it grow.

Allow the discussion or the thought to slowly come again into your life with a more mature appearance and then face it again.

learning will question you

One of the things I learned today is about questioning yourself.

If you care to learn, to move forward, you have to accept the fact that you will be wrong, that there will be some stances that won’t be right and that you will have in fact the need to change your opinions.

Your opinions are often different than in reality and as such, you should allow yourself to change, if needed

don’t lose faith

Tension changes us.

The turmoil inside us, with voices screaming inside our head, changes us.

They change us because they change our priorities.
Well, they don’t change those, but they change our perception of the priorities.

They fool us into thinking there’s a bigger priority to follow.
A more urgent matter.

In my case it was how to finalize a product (a physical one).
Everything was foggy, unclear, unsure.

I felt lost.
And what chances did I have to feel in other ways? There was no way out, no certainty, nothing sure.

Everything was not going as planned, and what pissed me more than ever was that I got questions, but no one was answering.

Then 3 of my problems disappeared in one day. Everything was more calm, more in place.
My friend reminded me that you were the relaxed guy.

Yes I was, my fault for forgetting that.
I still am that guy, but my perception of reality shifted and lost my touch.

I am lucky that I’m surrounded by great people.
People who believe in the work I do.
People that trust me and remind me of my best self.

Life is gonna try to shift your priorities, but what’s really important shouldn’t change.
Don’t let yourself be fooled by perception.
Try to always see what’s after the glasses.


the cheap way

I don’t know if it’s us italians or if it’s an international issue, but we tend to want the cheapest solutions.

I thought about this when my mind wondered if I could get some small discount from a dear friend.
I didn’t tell him, because in the end I realize that work is work, and he was working so why not just shut up and pay for the awesome service he had gave me?

Yet I thought about how to save money, even if I’m one of the people advising to pay for services.

What’s the use of the cheap service? It will disrupt his or her job but we still want it, much like a drug.

fear of the brand

I am writing the text for a new cosmetic product and I found that while I was joking in the text many friends got worried because I cited some big names (in a good, way).

Everyone kept worrying so I naturally added some post scriptum to explain that, but is that right?
I mean, instead of working to build a better world, a better product, how much time do we have to spend in useless things like this?

If I’m not declaring that your product is pure shit then there’s no reason to worry, but truth to be told there might be .
Because big companies can do harm.
They try to crush with the money because it’s easy and fast.

The same money that could be spent into helping people.

preparing vs improvising

In any trip there are the people who prefer everything settled out and the one who prefer to adjust to the situation.

Your mileage may vary but I think that, S always, it’s good if you sit in the middle.

Not too much improv not too much control. Enough for you to be surprised and to not feel out of place.

I say this but in my mind I know how beautiful it is to be surprised by a trip. When the unexpected delights you it gives you a memory that cannot be replaced.

Even when things go wrong, if they don’t go wrong too much chances are you’ll have a wonderful story to share with your friends while drinking a beer together.

I remember the time when we were in Fez and a man came up to us and showed the hidden city.

We were always worried he was a false guide. Thanks to him we saw places with no tourists, great places we probably wouldn’t have seen otherwise.

In the end he wasn’t a false guide but a man genuinely interested in sharing culture and connect with new people. 

He was unexpected and even if we felt uneasy all the time we were with him, when we came back home this was one of our favorite stories.

Maybe we were just lucky or enough smart to avoid problems with him, but in the end what counts is the gifts you bring back home. Even if they are memories.