I had the perspective that things weren’t going well in a certain area of life. Then I found people that had a completely contrary perspective. They saw only goodness and hope. They saw something that had become “normal” and no longer special to me. I realized that I had a position of envy (not that we should seek after things to cause envy in others).
I realized how so many people wanted to be in my shoes. And it gave me a renewed perspective. Not only did it show my spoiled-ness, but it brought me back to reality (in a good way).
I was seeing the small issues and throwing them in the mental Xerox machine to 1,000%. Being detail-oriented at times, I was lost in the forest among the trees.
It helped me see the bigger picture: that I’ve got a lot of great things going for me and that my troubles really are not that big. So if this could be any encouragement to you, take a step back and think about the big picture: are things really that bad, or are things going incredibly well but you’re only focusing on the few, small trouble spots?
I’m trying out something new. I’ve moved hosting my blog to Medium.com. We’ll try this out. So far I like some of the styling and the ease of use . Yet to try out the mobile app (though it’s installed and ready to g0!).
At least for me, it was a pain moving over since I wanted to move all my existing stories over here, make sure they were tagged appropriately, and then it took 2–3 weeks to get the CNAME and ANAME info set up for hosting (7–9 emails back and forth later with their support crew to get it resolved). Finally happened, but took forever. I guess it makes sense why we’re so easily entrenched with whatever we hold. Whether it’s food tastes, lifestyle choices, work, or even our favorite belt: whatever we have tends to be easier than to switch.
And even if it’s pain-free and simple to switch, we have so much baggage from many other choices we’ve made in life that it feels like it’ll be pain-full.
Interesting how us humans perceive new choices, new opportunities, and new realms. We sometimes never learn. And sometimes we never forget.
I was recently on the California coast and I love being there for so many reasons. One of the big ones is that it reminds me how small I am — in a good way. I’m not carrying EVERYTHING on my shoulders. I can’t. And being there at the foot of the ocean is a reminder that there’s something so much bigger than me that I can’t control. I can’t stop it. I can’t even build a sandcastle that’ll withstand a beating for more than 10 minutes.
So, what is your immensity? What is the thing that helps grounds you? The thing that reminds you (in a good way): that you’re not in control?
Some people use the sky. Some the mountains. For me, the reminder that I’m small comes from the ocean. How do you stay in perspective that you’re a no body?
We tend to think that we need self-esteem and that we’re important. Before a presentation we stand or sit in triumphant poses because that helps our testosterone levels rise and makes us more confident…but that’s a short term strategy. What about the long term of really thinking through releasing our anxiety to remember we’re not the ones in control? We’re not all-powerful and can save everyone?
There are a lot of tragedies each day and I don’t intend to minimize them one bit. But if we stress about all the things that are outside of our control, how can we possibly have the bandwidth, the mental capacity, the physical capability of helping others that are within our control?
I’ve been thinking a lot about the “refuge crisis” lately and I desperately want to help. But I’ve been so concerned about them from a macro level that I haven’t seen those nearby. The homeless, the widow, the orphan, the hungry. I’ve focused my time on that which is outside of my control for the sake of that which I can help, at least, in part.
So us as leaders need to remember this. We are not the saviors of the world — we simply can’t be. We can get burned out thinking that and find ourselves completely incapable and incapacitated in fact. Let’s stop. Let’s think about this world and realize it’s so much larger than us. There are so many things outside of our grasp and that’s okay. Let’s take care of what we can, but leave the rest. Let’s help where we can and yet strive for more but not run in circles because we think we’re bigger than we really are.
Like the Producers (the 1968 Mel Brooks movie) with selling more than 100% of the profits, don’t be a startup founder and make promises you can’t keep or aren’t viable. Even if you’re not a startup, you should still think about the promises and “yes”s that you give, those mean something — or else they don’t and everyone knows your “yes” is worthless. Which is considerably bad.
That’s one thing I love about my company: we seek the long term vision and goals. And it’s being proven as we speak. It’s been several years since the company was founded and we’re not so deep in so many different promises that we’re unable to keep them. We made the right ones at the right time and are able to succeed in taking care of our customers and our investors and our employees.
I love what I do. I love the leadership where I work. I love where I work.
I was listening to a podcast on a bike ride recently with one particular aspect being highlighted. For managers and leaders, it is to find your second in command that you can trust, rely on, and know who will fully address concerns and issues when you’re unavailable.
As I’ve reflected on the times I’ve been out of the office, on vacation, or in a meeting, I’ve been confident that everything is being handled super well — I can’t stress how important and assuring it is to have mine (the ironic part is that this person is currently out on vacation!).
If you don’t have someone you can trust to hand over the reins for an hour, a day, a month…, then I seriously recommend reconsidering the setup and see what changes could be made. If you work by yourself (and, possibly, for yourself), look into automating systems so that you can step out for a day or a week to catch a breather.
If you can, then find ways to delegate and entrust more to your second. It may be a challenge for many of us, but it’s a great learning experience both ways. They get to learn more about our job (as leaders) and we get to learn how we can better let go, share the reins, or see the holes and gaps in our leadership (and hopefully improve).
Even if you never step out for a period of time, the mere fact of knowing you can relieves a massive burden of stress. This brings acute clarity and enables us to focus on so much more.