Iteration

Iteration is “the repetition of a process in order to generate a sequence of outcomes.”

There is so much power in this.

Want to lose weight? Replace your breakfast every morning with something healthier. Do that for a month. Then next month, replace the soda you drink with water. And so on.

Repeating the process over and over again, slowly replacing one habit with another can change things.

When we talk about the massive problems plaguing our planet such as climate change, iteration is how we can reverse the process.

The most important outcome isn’t a healthy body or planet but a shift in mindset—a belief in doing the impossible.

Because once we can see, it is way easier to believe.

Artificial

Artificial workouts, artificial ingredients, artificial experiences…

The paradox is:

The more concerned we become about our health, the more artificial things become.

And

The more artificial things become, the worse our health gets.

Think about it.

Experience doesn’t matter that much

It turns out, that previous experience is a lousy predictor of whether a new hire will be successful.

So, why do we insist on hiring people with previous experience?

It is because if they fail, we can point to someone’s resume and say “they were the most qualified.”

We value experience so much that we forget, people can defy the odds of where they came from to do things we never thought they could do.

You don’t need a shiny resume or born in the perfect circumstances to make a difference.

You simply can be the one who raises their hand.

As a culture, we can do a better job forgetting about yesterday and focusing on today.

Risking too much or too little?

For most of us living in a post-industrial world, I think we risk too little.

The risks we take only feel like they’re big.

We wait for conditions to be just right. For the map to show us the way from A to Z.

Does life ever work this way?

Yet, we continue to hesitate.

Life favors the bold.

When is the last time you actually did something for the first time?

(They say we should look before we leap but I think we spend too much time looking and not enough time leaping.)

“People change”

We often hear that “people change,” especially when we are talking about long lost estranged family members or a terrible boss.

A more accurate statement is, “People can change.”

Of course, we can adapt to new circumstances, take radical steps into disrupting our status quo.

So, why don’t more people do it?

It turns out, change is hard.

So hard that I’m not so sure if people change as often as we think or hope they would. That, in reality, we become more of the same.

Deep meaningful change for the better, that is magic. And when it does happen, it something to be celebrated.

Smarter

Do you believe people are doing the best that they can?

It’s a fascinating question.

In general, I think most people believe they are doing the best they can and that if we believe that people are doing the best they can, we feel better too.

But…

I also think that when we start to believe that people are not performing it is a symptom of a much bigger problem. It is less of a question of effort and more of a systematic problem.

“Work smarter, not harder.”

Perhaps, we are not leveraging all the tools at our disposal. We fall victim to the marshmallow or can’t resist another dopamine hit. Our status quo gets in the way. Or simply, we are unaware. We fall victim to the environment. Sometimes, without much thought.

I would argue, that we do the best we can based on our environment.

Fortunately, with some will power, we can create a better environment.

Finding way

There is a difference between finding the way versus finding a way.

Too often, we get caught on the tactics of finding the perfect way through.

The smooth road from A to Z doesn’t exist.

There will always be bumps and hazards. You will be uncomfortable. You might have to turn around.

Finding a way, that is a much better strategy follow.

Bad moments

Bad moments happen. A lot actually.

It’s tempting to label ourselves as “angry” or “addict” in the struggle of correcting a bad habit.

The problem is, we only notice an angry person or addict when they mess up. Or worse, we beat ourselves up over our mistakes forgetting all the progress we have made in the middle.

I think it is more powerful then to find a new label to grab a hold of. Preferably one where you can identify ourselves as the ideal person we seek to become.

For instance, you are not an addict but actually a sober person who made a bad choice.

I’m not angry, I am a calm person who had a bad moment.

There is a difference.

Deep down, telling ourselves a new story can change our behavior. So, we might as well tell ourselves a story that makes us want to do better.

Strength and speed

Most beginning rock climbers believe that they are not strong enough to get up a climb.

But perhaps, you are strong enough.

The problem has nothing to do with your strength but that you don’t move fast enough.

The tools you have are sufficient.

Execution is where our challenges lie.