JKLTip Every now and again stop to reflect back, then get going again
In the last year I went from four lifetime blog posts to over 150. Here is the JKL Blog Year In Review. The Top Ten Posts of 2019. Should you wish to take a deeper dive, each title is a link to the original post.
Oh what a year it has been. I long believed that daily writing and publishing is something we should all do. But, in the last decade I failed to do it. Something would always get in the way. I would think things like no one will read it, blogs are dead, or I have writer’s block. The truth is none of those excuses are reasons.
There is no such thing as writer’s block if we focus on the process. Writing daily doesn’t need to be for traffic, or take a long time. It can be simply to help us integrate our thoughts. It can also be for building legacy, by leaving little breadcrumbs for people to maybe find some day.
When we struggle with gratitude, it can be easy to develop a “poor me” attitude. If we want to get a blog post up, but the internet cuts out, how do we react? If we are really excited about a meeting with someone and they cancel, do we move on?
Injury, sickness can strike at any moment. Broken bones and cancer do not discriminate. Weak, strong, young, or old, they just come crashing through. As a result we all have opportunity to react to these life moments with gratitude.
Gratitude is like that first air when we come up from water because we feel like we are drowning without it. Try thinking “I get to” instead of asking “why do I have to?” With gratitude, we see our world in colour, tension leaves our shoulders, and we enjoy the present moment.
The premise is clear. It is possible to have your ego in check and appreciate that you can sincerely help others if only they knew how to access your content. In order to serve people, they need to know about us. If we don’t have a team promoting us, then how will people find out? It’s simple, we need to promote ourselves.
We can’t have our cake and eat it too. If we want to have a big impact, we need to reach out to the world. This means we will have people who don’t like us. It also means we will feel vulnerable, awkward and confused, which is a good sign. If you truly want to grow something far greater than yourself, keep going. If your reasons and motivation are truly important enough, then just turn loose and promote, promote, promote.
If we want to make our greatest possible impact on this world, then we must explore the edges. We must look beyond the normal to have a big impact. Averages are how we have built institutions of government, schools, and corporate ladders, but it’s not sustainable.
If our goal is to truly help society, in a real way, then at the beginning we need to look beyond what the manual says. The edges are always further away and harder to figure out. They are more risky and frustrating. But, the average, the safe places are not where we will find our greatest impact. If we look back, we will probably realize our great accomplishments came from exploring the edges.
It’s so important for people who find things more difficult, for challenges that seem daunting. You know, all that “big dream stuff”. Just remember the quote “brick walls are there for a reason”.
Like effort filters, brick walls tell us how bad we really want something. They are there to guard against those who don’t really want it bad enough. So it’s easiest to see them as decision points.
When you look back, the small, easy stuff won’t have had many such decisions. There are not too many brick walls when it comes to low impact goals. The big, difficult accomplishments that only a few people achieve will no doubt be absolutely full of them. So get excited for the next brick wall.
If we don’t like, retweet, pass on, or share the good in some capacity, then we miss an opportunity to slide the scale of social media. We miss a chance to make it closer to something we want to see. With such an abundance of information overload, there’s kind of a funny threshold in how much we have to like something “enough” before we share it with others, before we retweet it, or give it a like.
We have an opportunity, perhaps even a responsibility to catch people doing awesome things and promote it for them. If we want to see more real news, more beneficial, quality content, then we must share the good. We should promote it, we should pass it on, we never know who it may help, and it’s the only way for the “good” to win.
No algorithm, no amygdala is all about the idea that we should give our energy to things that lead to creativity and spontaneous fulfillment. People speak in jest saying things like until the “robots control us all” but the funny thing is we are getting far closer to this than we think. One of my current goals is to grow a youtube channel. I want to create a ripple effect of inspiring people to do what they want to do. To live by going with their gut, and simply enjoying what they do. I want people to do this not some times, but all the time, as much as possible.
This is not to say we shouldn’t make adjustments, or create content based on data. In fact, I think it is very important to take data into account if we hope to be successful enough to maintain the business side. But, I want that data to come as the second layer. Right after doing things that I truly enjoy, or feel will help people.
This may be the most reassuring piece of goal setting advice on the planet. You won’t be the first, or the last and you won’t be the best, or the worst. If you choose the top ten things you would like to be when you grow up, what are they? When you think of those big dream skills, no matter what they are, your skills when compared to others, are somewhere in the middle.
You won’t be first, last, best, or worst, because you’ll be somewhere in the middle. Of the near 8 Billion people on the planet how many are above and below you in terms of ability? And, this is only if we include mother Earth. Imagine if we included the entire universe, then where would we rank?
This is all about how to find and follow your big dreams. You don’t have to choose one path or the other. You can choose both. The people with perspective tend to say never give up on your dreams. The analytical types find safety in stating that we are far better off if we choose the work we are best at already.
If you have wild, big dreams, so long as it is truly what you love to do, then chip away at it. While you do other work necessary to sustain our societal jails. But, this philosophy hinges on three beliefs.
One, there is no chronological predictability. Don’t tie any of these steps to time, or duration because they are different for everyone. Two, you must determine the thing you truly love doing in order for this to work. Because, there are no guarantees that what you love doing will bring you fortune, fame, or financial success. There is a guarantee that when it’s truly what you love, if it does not “pop”, you will still be able to live without regret. And, number three, there is no real finish line, ever.
Don’t be a pushover, but be easy to please. In fact, don’t allow others to dictate your mood. While this isn’t possible for everyone, it gets a lot easier if you remember two things. One, focus solely on what you can actually control. Two, focus on the things you have, not lack.
Classic parenting psychology reminds us to never become a thermometer to children’s actions. This is because a thermometer simply fluctuates up and down, with no control, just reactions. Children are definitely going to struggle with regulating, so it makes no sense for us to mirror them. We need to be the thermostat, to control the pressure and temperature.
I would like to extend this beyond parenting. We don’t have control over other’s actions. So, when we are around others, we might as well be the thermostat. We should turn the dial up on easy-going, kind, and a pleasure to be around. This is a massively understated leadership trait of the 21st century. Make those around you more comfortable and we will build mental health at scale.
When it comes to being collaborative, there is no better question than “yo, what if we…”. To which there is no better answer than “why not?” Most kids are great at this. They will continue to be great at this if we give them opportunities to maintain this sense of wonder.
Most adults are not great at this. We will never be great at this if we don’t find opportunities to support projects that create an authentic sense of wonder. Every time we add a manual, a set of guidelines, or a script we steal the opportunity to figure things out.
We can all be creative. We can all be collaborative. If we become more creative and collaborative, then we can come up with incredible solutions to problems. But only if we start supporting people who ask “yo, what if we?” Only if we give the materials, permission and get out of the way.
Thanks for checking out the Year In Review.
*Write A Guest Post: 8 Billion People
** Our Big 2020 Goal Is To Build A Youtube Channel, So Please Check It Out: