The culture of escalation

Are we supposed to be surprised at what someone does when they have a camera pointed at them or what someone says when a mike is shoved in their face?

Every thumbs says I care about this.

The culture of one upping each other is really a race to the bottom. At some point, you hit the floor. In this hole, you can’t be loud enough to be heard, nor big enough to be seen.

You might have gained our attention for a moment but you definitely didn’t earn any trust with a stunt like this. What a wasted opportunity.

How do you want to be remembered?

What kind person do you want to be seen as?

What is something that people have learned from you?

Will you be proud of how they shared your movement with someone else?

Life as an emergency

Regrettably, some people will choose to live a life from one emergency to the next.

As the adage goes, a lack of planning on their part doesn’t constitute an emergency for your part.

Not everything is always going to be fine.

Our energy is better spent when we work with those who are eager to change.

That isn’t everyone but someone.

It’s not your job to put out fires, that’s what firefighters do.

Remember, our time on this Earth is expiring.

Act accordingly.

Busy is not the same as productive

Busy work is any activity that we do to help us pass the time without creating value.

It takes in the form of conference calls, emails, Tweets and Netflix binge watching. At times, this busy work can feel productive but it isn’t. It is another form of hiding.

TPS reports never have and never will change the world. In the end, this false narrative of being “busy” while appearing to be productive, isn’t going to give us the kind of joy and meaning we seek in our lives. Merely existing, getting by and through the day, isn’t enough to fill our cups.

If it is important, productive people find a way to get it done.

The next time someone asks how things are going, I hope you will resist the urge to say you are busy and instead tell them how productive you have been.

What do you stand to gain by attempting to right this wrong?

When you work to change people’s lives, you are eventually going to come across those who do not want to be changed. Even if the work you produce is better, it isn’t what most are used to.

The status-quo is rooted deep in our culture, making it is easy (and even popular) to tear apart people’s work.

The thing is, some wrongs don’t need to be made right. If someone is insisting that your work isn’t good enough, we have to have the courage to say, “Thank you. It’s not for you.”

Critics, trolls and haters all starve for the same thing: Your attention.

Don’t just give it away by engaging with someone who refuses to change. No need to waste our time and energy into convincing those who refused to be convinced.

There are plenty of people out there waiting to be touched by your generosity. Those are the ones we seek to serve.

Spending our time creating the perfect email response or visualizing the perfect comeback, what is it for? What are we hoping to accomplish by stepping into the argument room?

Are we justified? Sure. But is it going to make us feel better?

Revenge is a zero sum game–in order for me to win, you have to lose. No one is going to change their mind in a state of anger.

Far better to use that time to make things better than to right every single wrong that is made in our lives.

Next time someone throws garbage your way–let it lie, let it die.

What is the worst that can happen?

Take the thing you are most of afraid of doing–that blog post you refused to ship, your business proposal you’ve spent months preparing, getting ready to take the Bar or MCAT’s–if you were to fail, what is the worst that could happen?

Write it down, in great detail everything that could possibly go wrong. On paper with purpose.

Chances are it isn’t as bad as you originally thought. Yeah, you might be fired or have to start over. Money, time, resources might be spent.

But when we take the emotion out of it, when we decide to dance with our fears, it turns out that the worst that could actually happen is not as bad as what we imagined.

And then we get to do it again

There is a space, a void that is only momentarily filled when we create something worth sharing. We fill satisfaction when we change the recipient.

But just like that, it’s gone.

Because no one is forever changed by one blog post. No one is changed after one public speaking engagement.

If we are lucky though, and if we can build enough trust, they will be inspired to read another blog post, to listen to another talk.

Soon enough, real change begins to happen.

Send it. Click it. Ship it. Make better art. Capture us again, if only for a few moments.