This graphic is a simple illustration of why some things never see the light of day.
The return to my blog while not “new” is a new beginning. It is a true reflection of the tension illustrated here.
We can spend much of time answering questions that haven’t been asked or answered other than inside of our own heads:
Why do this? Will anybody follow or benefit?
…and the answer to almost all of these types of questions – is that other than yourself
If you’re not doing it, nothing is happening.
If it’s not out there, nobody is judging you, nobody is looking.
If you’re not speaking with an independent voice, then how are you relevant?
To paraphrase Seth Godin – don’t keep waiting for the perfect horse on the carousel – just get on they are all going to the same place.
So here I am.
I’ll be reflecting on many things, and hopefully doing it in a way that reflects an attitude of dancing like nobody is watching.
I will be dipping into:
How and why we change
What we say and how we say it
How we respond and how we react
What blindsides us and what truly motivates us
Assumptions we make
Things we fail to challenge, and those that we do
Challenges we fail to take and those that we choose to pursue
That we care more deeply about each other than most of us care to or know how to express.
That community is at the core of humanity.
That we all wish for a better world – the world that we share, but at present not so well.
I hope to bring something to that discussion
My primary motivation is that this blog may change somebody’s life for the better – bring more clarity, more insight, and more reflection at a time when they need it, now or in the future. I also hope people will use this to look back and reflect on their own experiences and take the learning forward.
Being a father of 2 wonderful daughters this also serves as a capsule for them to understand me and perhaps even themselves better in years to come when I can’t be around to explain myself.
I’m on this blog knowing that it makes me more real, more vulnerable, more reflective and considerate.
A good friend and colleague of mine introduced a wonderful new term to my vocabulary – The Complicator.
I see them in many many places now, and I wish I had this cue to spot them earlier.
Generally I confused them with Chicken Little – people who always thought the sky was about to fall and couldn’t see the upside of anything.
Complicators however are a little more insidious and beguiling. They constantly complain but at the same time they seem to move things forward. You admire the effort, and say to yourself
“Wow in spite of all those problems they made progress, good on them”.
And that is it, they’ve got you. hook line ( that’s a tangled line, and not as strong as it should be, and by the way the hook is made of the wrong metal, and not really appropriate for catching those kind of fish) and sinker (it should be heavier, but we found a way around it, modified it, talked to the design department, rang the supplier, then the sea was drained of all the water so it didn’t matter anyway).
You get the point.
I like to keep things simple, minimise the drama, focus on the outcome and not embellish the journey. Complicators do just the opposite. If you asked them to go to the corner dairy to get some pens for the office the story would go like this:
“That Dairy is hardly ever open (you know it is right now), the last time I went they were working on the footpath outside (3 months ago), damn what time does my favourite program begin…
They want you to say “Hey look it’s alright I’ll go…” to which they reply
“No, no, its fine, be back shortly”
That’s the game. Eric Berne describes them well in his book Games People Play.
So my question is – what the hell do you do?
No, can’t print that one. Lets try another…
Give them an out for their plea’s for attention
Say “No I’ve heard that already what has changed?”
Say “Yep you told me that so what do you plan to do about it?
Say “Hey, it’s great you recognise the problems, it’s also great you know how to solve them. What I want to hear are the solutions”
All the other options involve weapons, cars, buses and combustible materials.
Have a great day, I’ll struggle to get through mine because, because, because….
With the remarkable success of doubling my visits for each of the first three days since I got my blog back and running under a new address, I’m encouraged.
So thanks whoever you are.
In return a new post is coming out in a few minutes.
Well I don’t mean to be, but I am. Worse, I think I am less biased than most. But then, I’m biased.
I love the anecdote of the medical professor presenting himself to a rather erudite audience and saying “statistically speaking 50% of this room are practitioners who are worse than the average”, to which the response was flat denial, loud guffaws and probably outright terror from some.
We all like to think we are someone else at times. Not just average, and certainly not less than average.
And maybe a sure sign of this for me is when I see someone being different I say to myself “Go you good thing”, knowing that I no longer have the courage or motivation to “dance like nobody is watching” (other than to make my children laugh”).
The reality is I like to think I don’t conform, but I do, lots.
And because I do, how much of me have I lost, how much of we have we lost, and how much real leadership have we lost?
I expect the answer would terrify us.
Which is why I say “go you good thing” (but not yet so anyone can hear), why I look for the lights in the eyes, the mischief, the different view, the person who snubs etiquette, the noise, the silence, the independent thinker, the colour, the quiet withdrawal from boorish company and I celebrate the difference and know there is better to come.
It is also why I am terrified. Because I am unsure where we grow this, I know we are poor at supporting it, and I am sure we seldom celebrate it.
For me it takes “different” to make “exceptional” otherwise the best you can be is very good at what someone else has already done.
Part of the challenge is picking the right “different”. ‘Me too’ and pretenders only get in the way and make the road harder for those with something truly valuable to offer.
What differences make a difference to you?
How could we support them?
Do you have your own story of being different and getting so frustrated you lost your ‘zing’?