Pushing your chips in

There’s this notion floating around that in order to push your chips in, you have to go all in.

Quit your job, cash out your 401K, take out a huge loan…

Personally, I don’t have the guts to ever push all my chips into the center. Ever. Because I don’t want to quit playing the game. I love it too much.

Instead, I would recommend very quietly, take the one to two hours per day that you own, where no one can tell you what to do and…

Make it productive.

Over time, those hours will add up to something magical.

It’s not sexy. It certainly isn’t heroic. No one is going to write a book about you when it is all said and done. But it is a lot more effective.

Doing something daring, important and worthwhile doesn’t happen overnight. It takes stamina.

“What does everyone think?”

Silence. Crickets. 

Really?

No one has anything to contribute?

The thing is when it’s our turn to speak up, to stand up, often, we fold.

Because we worry what others might say, we are afraid to be judged.

Ironically, when the class or meeting is over, everyone has plenty to say.

Which means we are all capable to contribute. Not all of us see that it is our turn to do so.

It’s your turn.

[As teachers or presenters, we can do a better job facilitating conversation. Instead of asking the audience what they think, we can ask, “What do you think?” It’s a subtle shift, but when we move from wandering generalities to meaningful specifics, enrollment grows.]

Consequences of predictable outcomes

When we become more compliant, we become more predictable.

When we become more predictable, our lives become more predetermined.

When we become more predetermined, we don’t act very mindful.

And when we stop being mindful, our agency diminishes.

Making choices has always been a burden in its own right.

When we choose, we are responsible. It’s that simple.

Yet, when we trade in uncertainty for safety, reliability and predictable outcomes, there’s no need to make decisions anymore.

Someone will make them for us.

Therefore, the more predictable our lives become, the less alive we feel.

We only feel alive when we get to decide.

Two types of knowledge

There is the knowledge that is inside your head and the knowledge in the world waiting to be discovered.

But because of our narrative (bias and prejudice), the knowledge in our head quite often doesn’t align with the knowledge of the world.

As a result, humans can minimize the amount they must learn. We don’t need to read multiple books on a subject when I can take two-minutes to google it.

Increasingly, we learn to look to others to tell us what to us what do. And if we continue to look around for others to know, then we can continue to hide in our ignorance.

Thanks to the internet, it has never been easier to hide.

The more disconnected we become, the more we will support this type of behavior.

With time

If you are choosing to do something important, it is much easier to see progress over a longer period of time.

Because progress is always made with time, never without it.

Now is not the only unit of measure we have to focus on.

A story of inefficiency

Bodybuilder are told to consume between one to two grams of protein per pound of body weight.

Think about that for a minute.

That means in order for a 185-pound person they will have to consume one to two chickens per day. 356 to 712 chickens per year.

To feed those chickens, it takes six times the amount of grain to produce one gram of animal protein.

It is no surprise then to discover, 83% of our agriculture land is used to feed this livestock (which only produces 18% of the world’s calories) and 27% of the world’s fresh water consumption is used for producing this animal feed.

Hamburgers are not any better. One hamburger uses 660 gallons of embedded water, 26 ounces of oil and seven pounds of coal to reach your plate.

Animal agriculture alone is responsible for 18% of greenhouse gas emissions.

By some estimates, if people in the United States switched from a meat diet to a whole food/ plant-based diet, it would be like cutting 660 million cars off the road.

We haven’t even talked about the cost of our health and well-being. Medical care continues to climb while heart disease continues to be the number one killer for Americans.

By the time you have finished this blog, four Americans will have died by heart disease.

Like everything, what we eat is a story. A story we tell ourselves and to others. And clearly is a story of inefficiency.

Right now, the script is reversed. It is more convenient to find and eat a hamburger than it is to find and eat an apple. But what if we could make it more efficient to eat fruits and vegetables? It is possible to make clean eating more readily available? Making it the first step to grab in the fridge or the first place we see on the side of the road. It’s possible.

What we eat affects our only two homes we got: our environment and our bodies.

In case of an emergency

Life is full of emergencies. Subsequently, we build systems to avoid the next emergency.

Reassurance, insurance, contingency plans, uncertainty…it’s all there.

We build our whole lives around risk management, the next set of fires, in case something were to fail, yet spend so little time embracing risk and failure. 

The problem is, we have become so hyper-focused in trying to avoid problems, we forget that problems are not avoidable.

So when someone shows up and follows through with what they set out to accomplish, we are amazed. We are amazed because we planned for the worst-case scenario and it didn’t happen. We are dumbfounded when Plan B didn’t happen.

Spend less time building systems for in case of emergencies. You are more resilient than you think.

A large body of work

We tend to worry too much about blank spots on our resume instead of focusing on our large body of work.

Instead, what if we focused on:

What is the arc of the change you seek to make?

How are you doing it?

Show someone.

What if instead of a resume you could show someone your portfolio of all the designs you have made or a blog with 2,000 consecutive posts about your insights or how about a list of referrals of the last 100 customers you worked with.

Much better than spending our time fixing the typos on your resume.

When we can build a narrative of how we are making a difference, every day, regardless of what our resume says, we have a better chance of being seen.

Producing over polishing.