New things

The worst way you can welcome a new thing a colleague has worked on – something that fills a gap, something that was needed and was not there – is to say: “Can you also do this?”.

Of course, it’s imperfect. It’s the first time you have that.

Of course, you have ideas and opinions. You were given time to think about it.

Of course, it will get better. That’s probably also why they have shared it.

“Can you also do this?” is the surest way to have the colleague stop working on it. Welcome the novelty instead, the initiative, the boldness. And give the new thing time to develop and accept your vision.

Caution does not spread

It might be that everyone is out there waiting for you to come out with the new feature. Perhaps your detractors are just waiting for you to trip and your competitors can’t wait to see the sneak peek of your new product. Somebody for sure has also set an alert to track everything that you are doing and beat you to it.

Or maybe not.

The point is that the time you spend worrying about all these unlikely scenarios – let’s accept it, in most cases we are not that important – is time you could invest to put your work out there and get people excited about it.

Caution does not spread.

Sportsmanship

You have challenges, difficulties, competitors, people who are definitely not on your side, the world out there that’s trying to make it even more complicated, personal problems, injuries, thoughts, feelings, uncertainties. And that can take you to dark places sometimes.

We all go through the same stuff. The best way to navigate all that is to spot this common ground and build a shared view. When you make of sportsmanship your credo, you’ll find that life is suddenly easier.

Before and after

What you are today is nothing compared to what you will be tomorrow.

And what you are today is massively more compared to what you were yesterday.

Life is continuous progress. Many look for success in what lies ahead – I will have more – while at the same time regretting the lack of what once was – I was better off. The point is to completely revert the perspective, and start measuring success looking at the path so far while aspiring to what comes next.

It’s always the journey, not the destination.

Do not spoil what you have by desiring what you have not; remember that what you now have was once among the things you only hoped for.

Epicurus

Opening up

The only way to get people to share their ideas, their thoughts, their feelings, their problems, their feedback, is for you to shut up.

If you keep talking, they will stop thinking. If you interrupt them, they will give up trying. If you go first – particularly if you are in a position of power – they will just repeat what you said.

To get people to open up you have to willing to give them space and just listen.