Self-Realisation

The best of us (the worst of us)

When we join an organization and become part of something, collisions happen. Standards change.

Sometimes, these tribal affiliations push us to become better versions of ourselves. We take a long-term view, check our selfish impulses and work hard to meet the high standards of those around us.

But if we’re not careful, we can join a group that indulges in our selfishness, one that pushes us to be callous or short-sighted. To become part of the mob, or the insolent bystanders.

There’s nothing inherent in the way humans associate that will lead to one or the other. But once on the path, the culture is difficult to change…

Reblogged from: here

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Self-Realisation

When does the water get hot?

If you want a hot shower, you’ll need to turn on the hot water a bit before you step inside. It can take a while for the hot water to rise up and clear the cold water from the pipes.

The thing is, though, that if you mistakenly turn the cold water tap instead, it’ll never get hot. No matter how long you wait.

Sometimes, it takes us too long to realize that we shouldn’t wait any longer and might consider checking if we turned on the wrong tap.

Nothing good comes from impatiently jumping from one approach to another, one grand scheme replaced by another. But persistently sticking with a plan that goes nowhere is almost as bad. The art of making a difference begins with thinking hard about when it’s time to move on. The Dip is real, but there are dead ends everywhere.

Sometimes, the world is telling us it’s time to leap.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Say one thing at a time

I know, you might not get the microphone back for a while.

And I know, you want to make sure everyone understands precisely what went into your thinking. Not to mention your desire to make sure that everyone who hears you hears something that they’d like to hear.

But if you try to say three things, we will hear nothing. Because most of the time, we’re hardly listening.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

The right effort of Generosity

Don’t expect much from a drowning man. He’s not going to offer you a candy bar or ask how your day was.

He’s too busy not drowning.

Generosity takes effort.

It requires the space to take your mind off your own problems long enough to see someone else’s.

It requires the confidence to share when a big part of you wants to hoard.

And it requires the emotional labor of empathy.

Generosity begins by trusting ourselves enough to know that we’re not actually drowning.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Prep, spec, fit and finish

In some settings, more than 90% of the time and effort invested isn’t in the actual ‘work’, but in getting setting up, debugging and then polishing the work. Heart surgery, for example, might take five hours to perform, but the actual procedure might only take thirty minutes.

A piece of code might take a few hours to create, but days or weeks to be specced, reviewed, tested and then ready for the public.

Dinner at a fine restaurant is mostly cleaning, chopping, mise en place and service, not the part we see on the plate itself.

And yet…

We often get confused about which part is important, which is worth our time, which is the point of the exercise. Without a doubt, if the thing we built isn’t of high quality, don’t bother. But it turns out that all the other parts, the parts that we think might be beneath us, it’s those that matter the most.

When in doubt, spend half as much time as you expect on the thing that most people do, and far more time on the spec, on the quality control, on the soft stuff, the stuff that actually matters.

Reblogged from: here

Self-Realisation

Erosion

The Grand Canyon wasn’t created by an earthquake.

While it’s tempting to imagine that the world changes via sudden shocks, that our culture is shifted by dramatic changes in leadership, that grand gestures make all the difference…

It turns out that our daily practice, the piling up of regular actions, the cultural practices and biases that we each choose—that’s what makes change happen.

False promises and urgent reactions are a trap and a sideshow.

Reblogged from: here