learning isn’t optional

If learning isn’t on your priorities you’ll probably plateauing very soon. Your knowledge can’t expand if it’s not influenced by new thoughts, ideas, people.

Let them come. accept learning, add more things and keep what you like. Not in a struggling “I’m not enough” thought, but in a more open minded “what can I take back home from this” where everything can be a present, and nothing is a lost game.

out in the wild

I managed to finish writing a small book that I’ll made opensource later this month (I hope) and so my first idea was to share it with some close friends to see how they reacted.

One of them kindly replied with some concerns and what I realized is that I made a big mistake. His concerns had some valid points but the reason he was showing them didn’t come from the contents. It was connected to the order of chapters, one thing I totally missed while writing.

This is the beauty of putting things out in the wild. You learn what works and what not. You fail, but you also get to play another round.

difficult conversations

There is one amazing book I always advise reading which is called “Difficult Conversations” of “Douglas Stones”.

It’s a book about talking with people when there is a high stake for both. In case you’re angry or you’re discussing a very complex and hot topic.

What I learned through that book is that when we start discussing we should always be truly open to listening their point of view, learning how to also repeat in our words what they said.

Why repeating is so important? Because if you need to repeat in your own words you need to do two things

  1. Listening
  2. Actively listening

Which basically is what we don’t do in a conversation like that. We tend to listen only to argue against. We listen to find flaws in what we hear, not to understand their point of view and see where it does match ours or where it comes from.

Simply by listening you can have a totally different impact on any complex conversation you might have.

Remember: Listen to repeat, before sharing your point of view.

how to blame

Don’t blame. End of the story.

Nobody likes being blamed upon. If you really want to get an insight of why a person did something wrong ask questions.
Why you did that? What was your reasoning? What did you expect?

Did you considered that X might happen?

This will lead you to understand him/her and his/her position will be much more open than in case you started blaming.

show off your vulnerability

“The world doesn’t revolve around you”
How many times did I hear those words and yet I didn’t understood them.

We have been tricked. Tricked into thinking that a one man band can be possible. Tricked into thinking that we can build a billion dollar social network in a night, tricked into thinking that we can do it all by ourselves, that you alone are more than enough, that your value will be seen.

It’s not like that. Our value doesn’t shows _by itself_. Our value is what we give to the world, how much we empower it, how much we allow it to grow.
What we could do by ourself is miserable. It’s a tiny little thing.
What we could do with others can be enormous, gigantic, infinite.

Why then, we focus so much on ourselves? Ego first, fear second.
These two great enemies hide one of the key elements of our life: Vulnerability.

They are the reason behind us not asking for help, hiding our errors, not saying I’m sorry, etc.
Vulnerability is something we are not used to. We’re more used to see men and women show off their skills, never asking for advice because, if they did, they’d be considered weak.

But guess what: People can understand your reasons if you explain them without blaming others.
If you make an error and explain with honesty what went wrong and what you’ll do to fix it, they’ll get it.

If you share your struggle people are inclined to help.
Yes, you might find that one in a million asshole that will take advantage of that vulnerability moment, but it’s part of learning who you’re talking to. It’s part of life.

Start sharing your vulnerability, asking for help if you’re struggling and sharing your difficulties. You’ll find out that people still do care.

the no complain rule

Complaining is a thing we love doing. We all complain a lot, for work, at home, for whatever futile reason we have the right to complain and we do it without thinking twice.

Yet, when people do complain to us, we’re scared, angry, we feel bad.
This doesn’t teach us anything, and even if we have evidence of the side-effects of complaint we don’t have a plan to fix it.

As in many things we can understand why: It’s easy.
It’s simply easy to complain, to surrender, to give up.
Big habits change require time and effort, that’s why they don’t happen so often.

Many years ago I loved sugar (I still do…), but one time I realized that I probably overused it.
Inspired by some findings I decided to do a one month test where I would not take any kind of sugar, even from fruits.

It was damn hard to get past that month. I craved sugar and drinking a black coffee seemed impossible to me yet somewhat I eventually got to the end of the month.

What happened was unbelievable: Every flavor was different. A cappuccino now was very sweet even without sugar, some candies were absolutely horrible.

What that one month did to my taste was “resetting” my tasting profile and it opened up to me a whole new world of flavors.

We can do the same with complaint. Test a one month no-complaint rule.
Not work-only, in the scope of your entire life. Work, home, play, sport, whatever: No complain.

Ask a friend to keep you accountable, a nice way to do this is for you to lend a big amount of money to them and if you complain, and they hear it, you lose the money.

You’ll also need to not complain “in your head”. It would be too much easy to simply avoid complaining while you bash everyone inside your mind, but that’s not the goal. The goal is to avoid complaining entirely.

It’ll be hard, but it’ll reset part of your “go-to” behavior.
Oh, and by the way: If you fail at it, try again.

There was this teacher of improv that once told me this thing: If you were already good at improv you wouldn’t need a teacher, right?

He was right. When you’re learning it takes time until you reach the level you want and until that time you’ll fail, again and again and again. Keep going until you do it, because you will.


the confort of synchronous communication

Did you ever find a collegue tapping on your shoulder for a question, for help? Did you ever had that one person always asking you to come over for a small discussion without even sharing the topic? I don’t blame these behaviours, but we should all admit that they’re shortsighted. Rarely we do need that much sync to communicate during common day to day job. If we do, it means something about our process _depends_ on this behaviour _because_ we can’t avoid it, not because it’s a requirement of the job. Also, a small discussion without sharing a topic can rarely go into deep processes. It all needs some extra work afterwards, which is why sharing the topic beforehand and with enough time allow people to prepare and, guess what, be productive. Synchronous communication like this is easy. It makes you feel in control, while in fact you waste people time with one-on-one because you can’t have a more structured approach. Also, as shown before, it doesn’t allow you to make complex decisions since everything is _on sync_ and without preparation. Would you build a skyscraper with no prep? I hope you won’t, and the same applies to many of the complex choices we have to make daily. If we prepare, if we dive deep, we can do more, achieve more, express more. So, what to do then? Ask them to share more info, to add more context. Ask them if you can reply later so that you can reply with more context and knowledge, this way you can help them have a much better insight. Maybe they’ll still tap on your shoulders and you won’t change _their_ behaviour, but at least you changed your impact. Oh, and if you’re the one that taps shoulder frequently, then think twice. I know it sounds great, but it’s not.

resetting

Today I had to reset my mac. To my surprise the whole restore from time machine process didn’t go so well, so I had to reinstall macos and restore the docs but not the apps.Which leads me to reinstalling each and every app. 

It seems crazy but when you start reinstalling everything you begin realizing what was really needed and what not. Many apps that I installed weren’t really used and I noticed instantly they weren’t worth the trouble nor the wait.

It’s much like the wardrobe, but while your wardrobe is visible your apps are not and so it’s only in these cases that we see the difference.

when work ends

If you happen to be in a smart working company chances are that you’re lucky.
Surrounded by great people with a nice mindset.

You might be tempted to simply do your work. But what is your work?
In today’s jobs our work doesn’t really equate a task.
Is a task “your work”?

I’m not sure. What I think is that a task is part of our work.
Completing a task is part of what we should do.
We should also be sure to do it correctly, be sure that we understood the problem and how to fix it, following up to be ensure that the people depending on our work will use it correctly and so on.

The more we help the people after us, the more we try to be sure that what we did was great, the more the workflow will improve, the more the quality of what we do will stand out.

It’s easy to simply finish a task. It’s one click away.
But your work is much more than that, don’t be fooled by technology and go the extra mile to help, improve, document, discuss.

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