Finding the right metrics

Profit isn’t the only metric that we need to measure in order to figure out if we had a good quarter.

You can measure the environmental impact, cultural impact, the time you spent, the relationships you’ve improved…

When we focus on one metric, it is likely to go up. As a result, we ignore the other metrics around us and so they go down.

It is impossible to focus on every aspect. We have to be careful about how we choose to measure success.

[Tip: Money is a lousy metric to measure. It’s a trap. It’s easy to think you are doing something right when you are staring at a screen of magical digits and bits.]

Strangers into neighbors

Collective groups of people, things and ideas are easy to find. Because human beings have always had a strong desire to share.

You make a soup you want to share it. Your neighbor needs a cup of flour, you are glad to pass some along.

That bond that comes from sharing is how we turn strangers into neighbors. Frankly, it’s what has kept us alive for so long.

Obstacles to share with the world are now virtually gone. Turning ideas into reality has never been easier.

Yet, when money is introduced into the equation, it changes the dynamics. It changes the story of the interaction we are now having.

That’s why when you go to a restaurant and pay $10 for a sandwich, no one owes anyone anything. But when your sister calls you up and asks for $200, you don’t say, “You have to pay me interest.”

Money is a story. And so are relationships. We were born to share. It goes against our humanity when we are not generous with our time and resources.

 

The best way for two people that love each other to solve an argument

Look for the trends instead of the content.

Meaning, ignore what the other person said in the heat of the moment and instead look around the edges to see how you got here.

It’s a way to examine the system you have built together.

We get so caught up in what the other player says and does, we forget to look for the patterns, the glitches, the triggers that got us here in the first place.

The first step of getting out of a negative cycle is to see that you’re in a negative cycle. Only then can you upstart it.

Look from the outside in. Not inside out.

Palm reader

The thing about palm readers is that they can’t actually tell the future.

And while most of us don’t actually go to palm readers, we do often put our faith into the same pseudoscience.

“Just one pill a day will help you lose 30 pounds!”

“Learn to be rich by signing up for our $15,000 course!”

There are no shortcuts to the top. There is no escalator. And if there was, everyone is already on it. Everyone wants the shortest path to success.

But, as it turns out, the short path of success is actually the long one. Picking, very carefully, what we allow in our circle to do every day.

Writing a blog post every day.

Running 3 miles every day.

Reading books for an hour every day.

Every day is the path of the places we want to go to.

Be careful of those who turn your hope into a weapon.

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.