objective feedback and the path to discernment

Feedback is such an amazing and powerful tool that we forget how much we do get manipulated by that.

Think about the time when you wanted to start a new thing, and a friend told you that it wasn’t such a great idea.
Did you feel that kind of disappointment? Did you get a little less enthusiastic?

Or what about the opposite? What if a feedback pumped you up so much you did an all in into a project that was a failure to begin with?
And maybe the feedback from your friend was just a polite way to avoid confrontation?

These are the pitfalls and they occur not because people are not to be trusted or feedback to not be listened, they occur because we get manipulated by feedback instead of seeing feedback as an additional input to understand a scope, a project, a situation.

We should look at feedback as we would look at the results of the test. By understanding the domain, the context, and the information we should seek the info that helps us choose what to do or to improve, but we should not consider them, if taken singularly, a complete representation of the outcome. They can’t be.

And the hardest past is to dismiss the good feedback and look at it objectively, while accepting the bad feedback instead of dismissing.

By doing the opposite of what we usually do we can aim for a more objective processing of the information, because the biggest pitfall of all is the ego that, pumped by the good feedback, forgets everything else.

it’s time to make the call

I often encounter complex situations when the Owner of a product can’t decide which way to go.

It’s hard, it’s complex, because there are so many variables, so many inputs to consider, so many outcomes.

At the end of the day, though, someone’s got to make the call and decide which one is the way to go.
Freezing everything in the hope that the world, destiny or simply luck will make it clearer it’s not a useful strategy.

Why? There are many cases when waiting doesn’t give a definite solution. Unless we know that the answer will come on a specific date, the it’s hard to predict what to do and there’s only one person who should do it. The owner of the product.
She’s the key to unlocking every single decision, otherwise no one else will have the courage to step it.

“But I don’t have enough X, how can I do it?”
Ask for it, ask for help, and if it’s impossible, make it clear you’re choosing based on what you got, that you might be wrong, but waiting might be even more expensive than choosing the wrong way.

We need more courage. Courage to fail, to test, to experiment, to push the boundaries and go the extra mile.
Too often we’re being paralyzed by useless fears, many of which could be neutralized if we only considered how much worse will it be if we don’t do nothing.

Doing nothing has a price to pay, the only advantage is that it’s not paid instantly. You pay it when it’s too late, so better be ready.

life around a child

When you have a child your life changes in way you didn’t expect.

First and foremost: It starts (your life) revolving around her/him.
She will be the starting point of any choice, of any destination.

It seems like breaking up habits, abandoning the good things, but in fact is adaptation. Things change, you change, it’s a change after all.

Life around a child is not easier, it shouldn’t be. It’s a step up in the game where you have to choose what you’re after. Your wellbeing, her wellbeing, or your family’s wellbeing.

It seems obvious when written, it’s not so obvious when you need to make it happen.

we’re not comfortable with diseases

I hope this has never happened to you, but did you have a friend that got a pretty serious disease?

He’ll most likely try to hide his situation, his illness. In case of chemo, he might wear a hat or add some extra hair, in case of severe depression of addiction he might express extra joy to distract.

When we catch a disease our body react differently and for once in our life we don’t feel immortal. We feel like we could lose it all, we feel vulnerable.

As humans our first reaction is to hide our status, fake it as if nothing is happening, even though it’s tragic.

But a disease doesn’t make us less of what we are. So why hide it into the first place?
It’s the idea that we are perfect and we can be perfect, the idea that we can escape death, get another round.

But there are no extra rounds.

being wealthy is not about what you show

Wealth is always perceived as an abundance of things. Ownership of houses, boats, businesses.

I’ve loathed the rich for a long time. I was raised in a family with modest earnings and I understood that money can come and go in a minute.

While I was growing I understood that, as with many parts of life, there are many sides of it. Many different kind of wealth to be aware of.

Wealth is not about what you show to people: The rolex, the house, the boat.

Wealth is about what you _have_. The things that belongs to you in a deeper level.
In a way you could see true wealth as the things that are tied to you and, in some special ways, as the things you belong to.

nuances of a job

Did you ever though “It’s not my job, I shouldn’t do this” during your job?

The conflicting battle inside your head to determine: Is it worth it? Should you continue or not?

When this happens it’s usually caused by three reasons

1. You don’t want to do it (because you’re frustrated or other things)
2. It’s out of your responsabilities
3. Someone else should do it

When it’s worth it then?
There are times when it’s ok to rebel and don’t do it. Those times help people who should take ownership of the problem realize there’s an area that’s not covered, an area no one is caring about.

The times when you should really do it are when it burdens your team if you say no.

Those are the times when it’s critical to _not_ hold the line. Your team should always come first because if you fail, if they fail, we’re all going to fail.
It’s often counterintuitive because we tend to think about “Others”. What “they” should do. Knowing that hinders our thoughts because we related to the problem. We are working hard and _they are not_.

Nonetheless it’s important to protect our work, not as individuals but as a group, because the things we can accomplish as a group are much greater than the one we can accomplish alone.

handling total failure

If I look back at my failure I can clearly see that something in the way I digest that information has changed over the years.

In the beginning failure, for me, was total destruction, surrender, a condition I couldn’t escape.

When I remember one of my work-failures I can remember how it made me feel, how my stomach grasped for air, how I felt powerless, useless, utterly trash.

Thanks to growing up, meditation, and a lot of introspection and work now that doesn’t happen anymore, but there are some similarities.
There are times when I feel like I’m not at the level of my competitor, that they are crushing me.

Or where I feel I got too much at stake and I should simply give up.
Giving up is my default answer to pain and depression. It’s my symptom that a hidden area of my brain wants to take control of what I built over many years.

But those times, the one I don’t feel at ease, are now a moment for me to pause and think about the distances.
The distance in term of skills, of knowledge, of preparation.

What could I do better? How could I prepare better? How could’ve know the missing piece of information I needed?

When you want to stack up against the best, you’ll fail. That’s part of the plan, because if you were already the best, why even bother competing?

That failure is much different now from years ago and maybe it’s all because now it’s not “my failure” as in “The Human I am”, but now it’s always correctly framed as a failure in missing skills or preparation.

It’s a learning path, while years ago it was a roadblock.

you can’t hide

One thing we learn as kids is that, from time to time, we can do something wrong, but have no one actually noticing it.

We can get away with it if we can hide the evidence, the proof, then you’re fine.

It’s a toxic mindset that follows us through a big part of our life.
Each time we do something wrong, we still have that lingering thought, that hope that, if we do all the things in the correct order, we might still get away with it, we might avoid the confrontation, the public failure.

We fall for this trick. It’s so easy and so relieving to not be blamed or faulty, to actually be on the winner side.

Until we get exposed, until someone finds out.

The thing is: We cannot really hide. We can try, and we might win some of the battles, but in the end there will be always someone that finds our trick.

So, better be prepared, take full responsibility and stand up for what we believe in.
We might be wrong, we might do something in a bad way for good reasons, and yet we should take full responsibility for that.

The underlying issue with the child that’s thinking “I should hide the evidence” is that, if the evidence gets out, we’re less good, we’re less skilled, we lose something.

It’s actually the opposite. It’s when we hide and get exposed that we lose something very important: Credibility and trust. Two things we should fight for.

fear of trying

We do all fear failure and we skip the trying part. We avoid trying something new, because it creates uneasyness.

But this is where the learning starts, when you learn new skills, when you go over an beyond your limits.

You can’t do that if you don’t try.You’ll only be able to do the minimum.

nothing beats consistency

There’s a topic I come back to very often, and it’s the fact that consistency trumps everything.

Keep moving is the best way to reach a goal, to get to the end of something.
I saw this recently while reading a book on how to raise children.

It’s hard to raise them because we surrender, we give up, we stop holding the line, while we should do the opposite.

We don’t fail because it’s hard, we fail because we give up.

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