The respect of ‘why’, or Obedient Serfs Don’t Innovate

A mediation on today’s post by Seth Godin: “The respect of ‘why'”.

Questionsall was my first Twitter handle, and is the title of my poetry blog, and my very first site here on Blogger.  I deeply value questioning, on probing. In not accepting things at face value.

I believe the path to a great life comes through questions.

  1. What do I want to do with my life?
  2. What feeds my soul?
  3. What makes my heart soar?
  4. What steals my energy? My passion? My joy?
Hence, wise leaders accept the value of questioning. Everyone on the team needs to value the mission, share the dream and the goals. Then, and only then, will you have a team of innovators.
Obedient serfs don’t innovate!
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It’s Never Too Late To Start, It’s Never Too Early, Either

Grabbed the above image from Pinterest. 

Some great wisdom on this image. I often get stuck in “I should’ve done that years ago”, yet can also be paralyzed by “maybe I should wait…”, whether it’s more detail, risk aversion, or just fear of the unknown. It’s hard to avoid self doubt and recrimination.

With all this, I’m re-evaluating quite a bit of my life right now. Questions like “what do I want to do with my life”, “what skills do I want to build”. With that, all of my social media is being evaluated, too.

I need to focus. One of my challenges: all the things I’m trying to do. All the sites that I’m trying to manage, all the communities that I’m trying to be part of.

I expect I’ll drop some of my sites, and move others around. I might even launch a new one. We’ll see.

I want my efforts and resources to be building something. And something cool.

Have you done this sort of evaluation before? How’d it go? What advice do you have? I’d love to hear it.

Success Leaves Clues 

This morning I woke early. It was not planned (generally isn’t). 

I brain-dumped on how I could be managing all my projects better. All the things I think I could do better. 

I realized how weird it might be to get excited about this. 

Remember: I’m focused on growth. I don’t want to be focused in maintaining an illusion of perfection. If there are no challenges in my life, I’m not challenging myself. I’m not growing. I have no interest In staying in that state. Now, I admit that there’s something to be said for a stresses existence. And there are times I wonder why I do THIS to myself. 

I want to grow. I want to do better each time. That doesn’t happen by sitting around congratulating myself. 

So, yeah, I’m pretty stoked about my analysis. There are things to grow. Success leaves clues. I spent time looking for them.

Reflecting on Seth Godin’s “We Don’t Do Rabbits”

Seth often makes me pause and think. “We don’t do rabbits” has a simple premise? Focus.

A vet struggles to help a rabbit. Their challenge: they don’t know rabbits.

Wouldn’t it be better for everyone, especially the rabbit, it said vet acknowledged this and referred them to a rabbit expert?

Know what you’re good at, and what you’re not. By specializing we expand the quality of our “product”, whatever that may be.

We can’t be everything to everyone. I expect you’ve heard that before. Scattered focus results in weaker/poorer quality. We end up serving no one well. Fear, manifesting as desperation, often drives us to try and please everyone.

I ask myself this: is it better to complete 100 tasks poorly, or one exceptionally?

It’s part of the power of “no”.

On The Road 

I’ve long admired that itinerant hippie lifestyle.  Driving into town within my VW Van, working for a few months raising money for the next leg of the trip. Spending years driving. Wind in my face, windows down, carefree. 

Part of the love lingers on. But I’ve left that motion behind. It really doesn’t match my personality. 

I found this series on YouTube. Kombi life features folk who’ve done this. They’ve driven this weathered ol Kombi from Peru to Alaska. Quite impressive. 

Reflecting on 2017 and considering 2018

​It’s been a mixed year for me. I started a new job, one that pushed me far outside my comfort zone. As a rather cautious soul, that’s been quite challenging at times to deal with. The frustration of too much to do with constrained time. 

I did get to recapture AutoCAD knowledge, then grow and expand that knowledge. I’m looking to continue this growth. 

Another frustrating element for me: learning a new job. It’s one thing to expand my knowledge, quite another to learn a new role, where a company depends upon my effectiveness. It’s a rather terrifying sensation. Permitting, working with consultants, governmental representatives and departments had presented a deeper challenge. These organizations often are opaque and arcane. Learning their rules and needs requires delving into Byzantine regulations, laws and opinions. It’s often been murky and confusing. My project management skill set has been helpful. Actually, critical. 

More positively, I’ve grown as a martial artist, and my family has done some great stuff. I’ve deepened friendships I valued, and grown to new ones. I’ve also spent the past few weeks studying myself, seeking to deepen my understanding of what brings me joy, what brings me success. 

There’s great emotional risk in this research. What if my self-concept, ideas I’ve invested so much energy on, turn out to be bad fits? I realize my internal counterpoint needs to be “why would I want  to invest time, emotion and energy into something that robs joy and beauty from my life?” But overcoming negative self-talk scripts is challenging.

So, exploring, growing, developing: that’s my theme right now. What about you? What were your favorite parts of 2017? What challenges will you be facing in 2018? 

Monday Motivation: Start The Week Right

I continuously need to recharge the positive side of my life. There’s so much negativity, which wears me done.

I appreciate this reminder to be bold, to have the courage to ask. Asking not only displays your desire, but also holds you accountable. Others now know your dreams, and, if they’re invested in your success, will hold you to your goals. Which is critical for attaining those goals, those dreams.

May your Monday be effective and affirming. And may your Christmas shopping be free of conflict and aggravation.