Waiting for our turn

We spend a tremendous amount of time waiting…

Waiting for a promotion.

Waiting for a raise.

Waiting for a new boss or a new job.

Waiting for the call back.

Waiting for conditions to be just right.

Waiting for customers.

Waiting at the stop light.

Waiting for class to dismiss.

Waiting for an offer you can’t refuse.

Waiting for things to get better.

Instead of waiting to be picked, what if we decided to take our turn?

(Hint: It’s always your turn.)

Which moment do you choose to judge?

The moment where you saw someone at their worst?

Or the shortest they have been today?

Maybe you can choose to see the whole history.

Of course, you can’t actually see it.

But you can assume it’s there and give them the benefit of the doubt.

People are generally not that bad.

Just occasionally filled with bad moment.

Triggered by choice

Avalanches are extremely unpredictable.

Factors include:

Aspect

Temperature

Elevation

Slope angle

Snow pack

Snow density

Wind speed and direction

You could be the first rider or tenth.

The good news is in 92% of avalanche accidents, the avalanche is triggered by the victim or someone in the victim’s party.

In other words, most avalanche accidents happen by choice, not by chance.

Most of the challenges we face in our everyday lives are also triggered by choice, not chance. 

There are elements we can observe but not necessarily control. Sure, it’s frustrating to operate under ambiguity. Instead of fighting it, learn how to embrace it. Safely.

Changing behavior

You can’t change someone’s behavior without first changing someone’s mind.

Until we change the internal narrative, until the person or group we seek to change sees a clear path, they’ll remain still.

Because not knowing what is going to happen next really terrifies us. So much so that we rather stay with what we know. Even if what we know is painful to stay with.

The problem with meeting halfway

Compromise isn’t meeting halfway.

It isn’t conceding on some points in order to win others.

Too often though, the “this for that” attitude leaves both side feeling slighted and shorted.

The thing is, someone doesn’t have to lose in order for you to win.

Real compromise is going 100% of the distance.

It’s about closing gaps, not waiting for someone to fill them.

It’s not a gift unless you share it

What good is it to have an amazing voice but only limit yourself to singing in the shower?

Or to have an incredible insight without speaking up?

Our skills and talents are not gifts unless we find the courage to share them with others.

The Knowledge

To achieve the required standard to be licensed as an “All London” taxi driver you will need a thorough knowledge, primarily, of the area within a six-mile radius of Charing Cross. You will need to know: all the streets; housing estates; parks and open spaces; government offices and departments; financial and commercial centres; diplomatic premises; town halls; registry offices; hospitals; places of worship; sports stadiums and leisure centres; airline offices; stations; hotels; clubs; theatres; cinemas; museums; art galleries; schools; colleges and universities; police stations and headquarters buildings; civil, criminal and coroner’s courts; prisons; and places of interest to tourists. In fact, anywhere a taxi passenger might ask to be taken. — London Taxi and Private Hire (LTPH)

To become a taxi cab driver in London, you must first take a state administered test.

This test has been coined the hardest in the world.

There are over 25,000 streets and alleyways in London that perspective taxi drivers have to memorize.

This fool’s errand is referred to as The Knowledge.

The question is: In the digital age, why are we still making cab driver’s take such a monster of a test?

Mastery.

Mastery of knowing every detail, every part of your craft. Knowing what the street name is unnecessary with GPS. But having someone that is willing to dedicate so many hours, so many years to their art is hard to find.

Writer’s block

After 800 blog posts and 150,000 words, I can safely say that writer’s block is made up.

More often than not, it’s an excuse. A reason to hide from shipping our work into the world.

Sure, some days it’s hard to write. It can be difficult to know which words to say. But then again, I have never met someone who woke up with talker’s block.

If you have something to say, say it.

Because we need you. We need you to be a voice for the voiceless.

Asbestos

In the old building where I used to work, they found asbestos under the carpet.

To solve the problem, management contracted prisoners to tear the carpet out.

They were supposed to be experts.

They weren’t.

They were supposed to wear safety equipment.

They didn’t.

And they were supposed to seal the area to keep it from spreading.

They couldn’t.

Management saved a few bucks. A job well done.

Except, of course, the job wasn’t done properly.

No one wants to work in a building full of asbestos. No one wants to feel that it isn’t properly taken care of. Even if there is no clear risk to the people in the building, the message is clear:

Your health and safety is important but not enough to hire professionals to dispose of cancerous material.

Trust takes a long time to build and can be completely wiped away in an instance in the never-ending pursuit of faster, cheaper and cutting of corners.

Treat people the way you want to be treated. With respect.

When was the last time you did something for the first time?

Two weeks ago, I quit my job.

Since that time, we finished the state licensing process for our startup. (Five months of work to complete.)

I started a Recreation Department for the city I live in. (In its 100 year history, it has never had one.)

It makes me wonder: If I didn’t quit my job would I still be working on the license? Would I have started a Recreation department with the security of a 9 to 5?

I’m afraid, deep down, I wouldn’t have had the guts.

We live in a culture of starting. But really, starting is the easy part. It takes guts to finish.

Sometimes you just have to scuttle the ship.

Never miss an opportunity to bet on yourself.

You have more power than you can imagine.

Act accordingly.