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.
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
I offered Cynthia Tea. She said “I am sorry, I am still not Indian’ and asked me to come up and look at the lines on her table. The table had a beautiful map. And this map sounded fulfilling. It had the river Indus, a path that will leave the road behind and lead to a narrow canyon. I must take that. And walk for an hour or two to the village of TAR where Cynthia’s best friend lives, in a cave like kitchen, where Ibex’s and snow leopards come sometimes to say hello. I left. In between late and very late. Almost not sure. Not excited. On my Himalayan. but something felt missing the whole day. More motivation! No. What had I thought and where am I leading myself to. The path seemed contrasting in my head. And Just before getting close to half the way to Chilling, I u-turned from a gorgeous bridge over Zanskar and rode back like I wasn’t riding. Faster, anxious as one gets after getting a temporary focus, on …