How does inequality grow?

When we convince ourselves that “those” people, you know the ones that are different from “me”, that they are separate from our society; then it becomes easier to treat them differently.

That’s why it’s easy for most of us to be okay with the disproportionate number of Coronavirus deaths for prisoners—”If you can’t do the time, don’t do the crime.”

That’s why it’s easy to ignore police violence against BIPOC—”Look at all the _______ (rioting, looting, drug use…).

It’s so easy to point out the differences between people because everyone is different from each other. There is simply too much information for any one person to process. As a result, we sort and sort in order to create bight size junks to understand the world.

The problem is, we lump and group people into a single category. A box with limitations on it. Ignoring the fact that this person has a history, a family, and upbringing, and perhaps more importantly, a story that is still being written. Because of our fears, prejudices, and biases, we have a difficult time seeing the world as it really is.

Yet, it doesn’t stop us from being judge and jury. We have already decided before processing the information. Our brain is a map already drawn. We collect information to confirm not to change our minds.

Inequality grows without careful mindful examination.

This is water.

Things will be different

It turns out, we are much better at accepting, “Things will be shut down for the next 3 months.”

What we are not so good at is saying, “Things will be shut down for the unforeseeable future.”

That uncertainty brings so much unresolved tension. It’s the same kind of tension as we wait in the lobby for an interview. The same tension that comes while we wait for a doctor to reveal test results.

We build our lives around clarity, order, predictability. When that is thrown out the window and we don’t know when it will return, it’s really difficult for human beings to process.

We want to know when these uncomfortable feelings are going to end. With no end in sight, our brains and narrative will have us believe this must be forever—the new normal.

The truth is, this tension won’t last forever. The sooner that we can accept things as they really are, the sooner we will find peace in these uncertain times.

Plan of action

Every project needs a plan of action to begin with.

Action is the keyword here.

Without action, plans are worthless.

Action is what leads to experience.

We build upon our experiences, not our plans.

Our plans change as we gain more experience.

A step back

COVID-19 hasn’t been easy for many of us.

When our focus becomes too narrow, our options can become too limited.

Sometimes it helps to take a step back to see the degrees of freedom we each have.

Thanks for the reminder Seth.

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Uncertain times

2020 has brought about so much uncertainty in the industries we work, the places we leisure and recreate, the places we eat, testing our mental health…

This has been the most uncertain of times for anyone since the Cold War. For most today, this is the longest stretch of our lives where we have had to change “normal” behavior.

All human beings want more than anything is clarity. A clearer picture about what tomorrow brings.

Uncertainty brings about change. Change means risk and emotional exposure.

Many will do anything to release this tension of uncertainty. Perhaps, even pretend that something right in front of them is not there.

Invest in resiliency.

Shame and criticism

Here is the problem with most criticism:

We judge others in areas we are most vulnerable to shame ourselves.

So when we criticize someone about their weight, we have negative self talk about ours.

When we criticize someone’s writing, we wish we were writing something better.

In our social media-driven world, it has never been easier to hide in the shadows and throw darts.

Ambiguity is the enemy of productive criticism.

Bad advice

How do you know if advice is good or bad?

Well, you can try it and see it for yourself.

You can look at previous experience.

Or perhaps, you don’t know because the path is unclear.

I followed some bad advice once. Almost wasted a year of time and money because the person who gave it to me thought he knew the industry better than I did.

Worst, I was seeking status to show him up.

That was a hard lesson.

Most advice is worth what is given. Zero. Advice is just advice. Take it. Leave it.

My advice? Get out of debt, read lots of books and follow your own compass.

None of the above

Jeremy Bentham, the great utilitarianism philosopher once said, “There are two types of people in this world. Those who divide the world into two types and those who don’t.”

Life is not binary.

It’s not this or that.

Sometimes the best option is to pick something not on the table:

C) None of the above.

Because None of the above is always an option and a choice. One that has to realized in order to be made.

2,000+ years later

During the Bronze and Iron Age, human life expectancy at birth was just 26 years.

Fast forward to today and the LEB is 67 years.

That is a miracle.

How did we accomplish this?

Slowly. Overtime with technology, modern medicine, improved access to education, raising the standards of living, better sanitation (and so much more) we were then able to solve problems of high infant mortality, epidemics, plagues, wars, and childbirth.

By simply being born in the modern era, you have been gifted more time than anyone that has come before us.

67 years times 365 days comes out to 24,455 days. Let’s round-up.

You have 25,000 days to do something with your life. No matter how many days left, every day is a chance to turn it all around and make something great.

With feedback

We tend to think that feedback is when one person on their own has the bravery to speak to us about what they honestly think of our work.

I have found this to be incredibly rare. Most conversation prodded by the producer and is seeking reassurance.

Yet, feedback can be achieved when we publish a blog or launch a business. The best feedback comes when you interact with the market. Silence might mean two things:

You’re telling the story the wrong way to the wrong audience


It’s not good enough yet.

Either way, it’s always back to the drawing board.

As they say, the secret of good writing is rewriting.