Years from now, after this event is long over, what should we remember about it? A week from now, when the crisis hits, what should we remember about this meeting? Tomorrow, when the day gets busy again, what would you like me to remember about the discussion we just had? Begin with the end in mind.
Draw a perfect circle. Use a compass or a plotter. Now, zoom in. If you zoom in close enough, you’ll discover that it’s not a perfect circle at all. In fact, anything we create, at close enough magnification, isn’t perfect. It’s foolish to wait until you’ve made something that’s perfect, because you never will. The alternative is to continue to move toward your imaginary ideal, shipping as you iterate. Getter better is the path to better.
Ruts don’t dig themselves. Most of the time, we’re in a rut because that’s precisely where we put ourselves. Actions become habits, and habits get repeated because they feel safe. The easiest way to make things more interesting is to simply stop repeating your habitual behavior. And that often comes from reacting to triggers. Remove the triggers and you can alter the habits. Tiny changes. Different ways to keep score. Tomorrow comes daily. But we don’t have to take the same route to get there.
Sometimes guilt pushes for better results. Thus Chatter woke up dot at four in the brahm mahurat. Even though he left home at five. We were able reach Rajpath in the darkness of the dawn. It was no less than grand theatre going on there. Never was Delhi be heard and felt from the pride and the energy with which they marched past. With the bands of each regiment leading the way. The drums, the beats, the smell of the sweating young, the valour in the air. The discipline, the clacking of the iron bar beneath their marching boots to the tar ground woke us all up. The mist, the vapours coming out of mouths while a woman officer commanding against the street lamps of Rajpath takes you close to India’a colonial cold faced armies. The practise and improvisation that has gone in the making of them. Oneness in the motion. The pride. It felt like they were owning the day. It felt like they made it our day. Whole, united. It was a day …
Peace might not mean getting everyone else to do what you want them to do. Instead, it may involve understanding that people don’t always want what we want and don’t often believe in what we believe. Everyone has their own narrative and is struggling with their own fears. We can begin there. Most of the time, people want to be seen, understood and appreciated. And if we can offer someone dignity, we give them a gift that’s difficult to find.
A checklist to get you started—you can either do the same thing or a different thing… More of the same Persist Get the word out Doing something different Change an element of what you do Raise your prices Lower your prices Make it better Tell a different story Serve a different customer Enter a new segment Change the downstream effects of your work Earn trust Make bigger promises Organize Get better clients Do work that matters to someone