Self-Realisation, Uncategorized


A traffic jam can teach us quite a lot about human nature.

In the US, when there’s an accident on the side of the road, traffic in the other direction slows down. People voluntarily slow down and look over at the carnage.

This is nuts.

These very same people would never pay money to go to a movie filled with car wrecks that hurt real people. And yet, they do it from their car. It turns out we’re very interested in things that are happening in real time, right next to us.

Not only that, but the jam created by this voluntarily slowdown can last for an hour or more. And yet, when it’s your turn, when you get to the front of the line, instead of saying, “well, I got punished for the bad behavior of the 1,000 people ahead of me, I’m going to fix that and speed up now,” we say, “hey, I paid my dues, my turn to look…”

And of course, the nature of variance means that human-controlled cars on the highway have to go much slower when they are closer together. And so the slowdown ripples backwards, because instead of leaving plenty of space so that they can all speed up quickly, we inch together, ensuring that the jam will take even longer.

Every time you think that the human beings you seek to serve are rational, profit-seeking, long-term decision makers, visualize a rubbernecking traffic jam.

Reblogged from: here


The big hill

There’s a commuter shortcut near my house.

To make it work, you need to accelerate the SUV up a really big hill, breaking the speed limit by ten or twenty mph. Then roll a stop sign, avoid a few kids walking to school and gun it on the downhill.

All to save three minutes.

Meanwhile, the other commuters arrive at work with their psychic energy saved for the real work. The hard work of confronting the status quo.

The first shortcut is selfish. It wastes resources and engages in risk to help no one but the driver.

The other work, though, is priceless. Those are the hills worth taking.

Reblogged from: here


When well-meaning people can’t see it the same way

Yes, there are a few people who are mendacious, who are not seeking what you’re seeking. And yet, most of the time, there are plenty of good people who disagree with you–they want a good outcome, but the narrative they bring insists on getting there in a very different way. They have different glasses on and are using a different map as well.

People don’t believe what you believe, and they don’t know what you know. Some of the gaps:

Authority–because the world works better when things are coherent and predictable and someone is in charge
Freedom–because people free to speak up and find their own path are able to weave a civil society out of chaos

Affiliation–because being in sync and engaged with others makes for a happier life
Conformance–because doing what you’re told is safer and telling people what to do is easier

Inconsistent–Change is fine if it makes things better, even if you want to call me a flip flopper
Consistent–Because it’s safer to stand for something and not reconsider it

Hero—Someone needs to save the day
Bystander–There’s too much on the line, and I’m not the one to do it this time

What will they say?–keep an eye on those that are watching me
What will my mom say?–doing the right thing, even if someone is looking, and especially if no one is

Belief–because it’s a narrative to quiet the chatter in our head
Proof–because science works

Change–because things can get better if we let them
The status quo–because change is risky

Civility–because we’re working to keep it all from falling apart
Conflict–because if you can’t handle it, get out of the way

The long haul–because none of it is worth it if we poison ourselves
The short run–because the long haul manages to take care of itself

Service–because our heroes sacrificed for others
Profit–because making a profit is the market’s way of rewarding service

The strongest–because the pack moves fastest if the strongest are supported and rewarded
The slowest–because we’re only as good as the way we treat the weakest among us

The cusp–because progress is interesting
The middle–because proven is better

Family first–because you take care of your own
Community first–because everyone is in your family

Emergencies–because this pain needs to be addressed right now
The long game–because the emergencies never end

Show your work–because finding an error in my math helps us both, transparency pays
Opacity—I don’t need you cherry-picking an argument with me

Pay it forward–because someone did it for me
Put your own oxygen mask on first–because I might not get another chance

Reblogged from: here


300 seconds

Not stalling.


How many decisions or commitments would end up more positively if you had a five-minute snooze button on hand?

Esprit d’escalier* isn’t as hard to live with as its opposite. The hasty one-liner, the rushed reaction, the action we end up regretting–all of them can be eliminated with judicious use of the snooze button. It’s a shame there isn’t one built in to our computers when we’re communicating online…

When in doubt, go for a walk around the block.

*The feeling we get when we think of a witty response on the way home instead of at the dinner party, when it would have been the perfect put-down.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation, Uncategorized

“What does this remind you of?”

That’s a much more useful way to get feedback than asking if we like it.

We make first impressions and long-term judgments based on the smallest of clues. We scan before we dive in, we see the surface before we experience the substance.

And while the emotions that are created by your work aren’t exactly like something else, they rhyme.

It could be your business model, your haircut or the vibrato on your guitar.

“What does this remind you of” opens the door for useful conversations that you can actually do something about. Yes, be original, but no, it’s not helpful to be so original that we have no idea what you’re doing.

Reblogged from: here