Archive for the ‘Transformation’ Category

275- Gratitude for Service

When we receive #gratitude after performing a kind gesture, a typical response might be: “Don’t worry, it’s no big deal.”

The response is adequate if the exchange is nothing more than a pleasant formality.

But in situations where the gratitude expressed is asymmetrical to the effort required to accomplish it – it’s healthy for us to take a moment to consider the circumstances that allow us to perform such grand gestures of kindness so casually.

Taking the time to appreciate our ability to help others in need rather than dismissing it gives us the space to reflect and recognize the hard work we’ve put in or the privilege we were born into.

That recognition can then help create more energy so that we may serve the world better and more consistently.

Be grateful. It’s good for you and the world.

180- One-Time Friction

Six months ago, I hated cooking.

The mental energy it took to think about what I wanted to eat, leave the house to buy groceries, and the mediocre food that would emerge after hours of effort had a terrible effort/reward ratio.

As a result, I never bothered learning.

Fast forward to today; I’m choosing to cook rather than eat out if I have the choice.

What changed?

Living in an RV as a vegan forced me to understand the fundamental basics of cooking. As my ability grew, so did my motivation to do it. All I had to do was get past the initial friction.

We often discount an activity because it’s unpleasant, but for challenges we face every single day – it might be worth tackling them head-on so that we may spend a lifetime reaping the benefits.

166- Ambition and Permission

When it comes to big, bold action around climate change and sustainability, we often try to encourage ambition. We invite our colleagues to develop audacious milestones, unique initiatives, and inspiring visions for 2030, 2040, or 2050.

But ambition alone isn’t enough unless it comes with permission.

Novel initiatives often exist in a hostile environment that prioritizes short-term gains and business KPIs – especially when they touch a companies core product or service offering. As a result, disrupters and their allies find themselves working against existing short-term business and career incentives.

To rebalance the power dynamic, top-down permission to pursue change is also required.

Permission not just for the designated few whose priority is #sustainability or climate – but #permission for every employee to take the time, money, resources, expertise, and career risk to pursue those big, bold visions and milestones.

145- Disposable Value

We live in a #disposable culture where the next best thing is waiting just around the corner. Anything that we break is an opportunity to replace it with something newer, shinier, and better.

As long as we have the cash to buy the next best thing, we can treat everything we own as disposable – especially as it becomes more and more convenient to replace the old with the new.

Unfortunately, this #mindset of disposability is a self-fulfilling prophecy. Once we start believing that something is disposable, we treat it as disposable.

We become careless, negligent, and outright abusive towards the products we own – confident that we can replace or upgrade them when needed.

But what happens when that same mindset permeates into our #relationships ? If we treat people as disposable, they become disposable. However, if we recognize them as irreplaceable, our thoughts, behaviors, and actions shift too.

Seeing value in all things requires just a tiny mindset shift. The rest quickly follows.

120- The Valerie Effect

My friend Valerie has the power to materialize #joy out of thin air.

For the last two weeks, we’ve been co-living together. Every time she spots me from across the room, she lets out a cry of delight, runs towards me, and wraps me in a massive bear hug as if we were reconnecting for the first time in decades.

It’s one of my favorite moments of the day, and the best part is that the entire experience is manufactured.

We simply made the #decision one day to greet each other with unbridled enthusiasm.

It makes me wonder: What other triggers can we plant in our lives to self-generate the feelings we crave?

104- Integrity and values

To me, values are like a map that others can read to quickly understand who we are, what we stand for, and how we make decisions.

We draw this map with a combination of the words we use and the actions that we take. When we live with integrity, there is no gap between the two. But when we don’t, the lines of that map begin to blur, and that map becomes hard to follow for those around us.

Values are easy to follow when life is abundant in #time , emotional bandwidth, and financial capital. But the actual test happens when resources become scarce.

Do we stand firm in our values when things get complicated, or do we hide behind them when it’s convenient?

If our actions don’t mirror our words consistently, perhaps it’s time to redefine our values to make it easier for both ourselves and the relationships around us.


96- Milestone Visions

As we dive deep into ourselves and the future, the details that surround our dreams become so rough around the edges that our perspective of what’s possible also erodes.

But if we step the timeline forward from the penultimate dream to the nearest celebration milestone, that elusive vision can suddenly feel more tangible.

Imagine yourself celebrating a year from now. What are you celebrating? Where are you? Who is by your side? What have you achieved? Who helped you accomplish it? Who is giving you recognition? How does it make you feel? Who did you help along the way? What did it cost you to get there?

Now that you have the #vision start sharing it with those around you. Find the believes that will help you transform that dream into reality.

ht: Jason Brown


76- Untangling string

The key to untangling a pile of string is not to try and fix things all at once but to prevent them from getting worst.

Resolving an #argument is similar. There is no one “right” way to fix the situation, but many ways to antagonize it.

Good and bad decisions compound over time. We can increase our chances of success by designing systems and processes that help eliminate the obviously bad ones that detract us from the desired outcome.

From there, all that remains is to stay focused, adaptable, and aware of the situation as it evolves.

Of course, most real-world situations aren’t as infinitely patient as a pile of string – so factor #time into your strategy.

69- Player or piece

When Facebook first started, the user was the player.
The primary game was to connect with people, discover common interests, and deepen relationships.

Today, the user is the piece sold to advertisers.

The primary game is to help advertisers discover users most likely to buy a product or service.

In a complex world, the games and rules are constantly changing. And while nobody is forcing us to play, we must consider whose game we’re playing and what role we want to play in it.

If you can’t figure out if you’re the player or the piece, stop playing and observe yourself. You can always play again later.

60- Translating Problems Into Solutions

When getting into an argument, we often focus on how we feel rather than what we want.

Telling someone you’re frustrated is not the same as telling them what they can do to fix the problem. Translating someone else’s feelings into actions requires a lot of effort, has a high margin of error, and rarely addresses the root cause.

Activists tend to do the same.

They spend their time raising awareness and frustration of a problem rather than designing or highlighting a solution.

It’s easy to point out what’s wrong, but the value comes from translating what’s bad into what we can do to improve things.

56- Change Requires Momentum

The last few days, I’ve been learning how to fly a kite upwind while kiteboarding.

To go upwind, you need to first build speed and momentum by going downwind. Only then can you start turning your body, sticking the edge of your board into the water, and begin to carve your way up. Trying to work against the wind right away is a losing strategy.

When it comes to disruption and changing the status quo, the process is similar. You have to meet people where they’re at, build speed and momentum, solve people’s problems, before trying to change their behavior.

Trying to change people right away is a losing strategy.

33- Should vs. Could

Sociologist Charles Horton Cooley once said: “I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.”

In other words, our actions are shaped by what we think society, friends, and family expect of us.

But what we “should” be doing blinds us from all the things we could be doing.

If you feel stuck, try changing your perspective from should to could — and see what comes up.

30- Transforming Routines into Rituals.

The difference between a routine and a ritual is the sense of purpose.

A routine is like a chore. A series of actions that we do because it is necessary. It focuses on the outcome.

The ritual, on the other hand, comes with a different mindset. It comes with intention, understanding, and awareness. It focuses on the journey rather than the destination.

For many of us, changing mindsets is challenging. The shortcut? Design an environment for the ritual.

The practice of preparing the space and experience of a routine helps to create a ritual.

29- Solving The Need for More.

Modern-day society is all about accumulation.

More status. More wealth. More power. More stuff.

We spend too much time thinking about how we’re going to acquire more and too little time thinking about what we’re going to do once we’ve acquired it.

The antidote? Specificity.

What exactly do you want to do, what do you need for it to happen, and what will you accomplish once you’ve done it.

Now you’ll know when you have enough.

26- Leading With Presence

We’ve all felt what it’s like to be in the presence of someone that inspires us to be a better person.

We’ve probably also felt what it’s like to be in the presence of someone that is such a drag that it brings out the worst in us.

Vegans, environmentalists, and social rights advocate s have a reputation for being a drag – But it doesn’t have to be that way.

After all, good leadership is not just about leading — it’s about how others experience you in their presence.

25- The World Is Not Just.

Most societies teach kids the Just-World Fallacy.

“Karma. You reap what you sow. What goes around comes around.”

The Just-World Fallacy promises that you get rewarded for good behavior and punished for bad behavior.

As we get older, we start to see bad things happen to good people. We observe or experience firsthand the effects of systemic oppression. Inevitably, we begin to question if the entire system is rigged against us. Sometimes, that makes us want to give up.

The world will never be perfect, but we can always work to make it better. The question isn’t whether or not the world is fair. The question is what you’re going to do about it.

4- When in doubt, be specific.

Do you know how a toilet works?

Most would say: “Of course!”

But what if you had to build one? What are the parts necessary? Can you explain the physics of how it works?

Because it’s something that we use every single day, we assume that we understand it. When something goes wrong, that’s when we realize how little we knew all along.

I recently stumbled across a job description that excited me. It had the right buzz words, job title, and mission statement.

But then, a friend asked me to describe to her exactly what I would be doing on a day-to-day basis. What kind of teammates would I have? How would success be measured? What lessons and skills were I trying to acquire?

It was only after being specific that I realized that this might not be a right fit.

Specificity helps to create clarity.