Jan 13, 2017

Lessons Learned Part 2

We learn and adapt our behavior in the small things we do and notice every day. This is my selfish account of what I learned and where the kernels of adaptation come from in my life. 

Get your stuff together
This week I went from 30k+ emails in my inbox to about 5. I realized I am constantly spending time on CVS and Ann Taylor and losing valuable time and a potentially valuable inbox to consumerism bots. All that stops after this week, and I can pay more attention to the real emails from real humans and have room in my inbox and brain to create more and have more real interactions. A small but important step in my media diet.

Pause and give yourself time to think when you have to make a choice
Knowing I had an oil leak in my car took me to a dealer service shop this week. The mechanic found about $2k worth of things to fix while poking around in there. Because I don't understand my car or anything mechanics say, I would normally just suck up the painful expenditure and get it over with. This time, I took a pause amid the dealer's pressure to commit to the repairs on the spot, and said I'd need to evaluate whether it made sense to do this or to buy a new car, since my car's trade in value sits somewhere around $5k. I asked trusted "car guy" friends and read lots of reviews, and ended up taking my vehicle to a well-respected mechanic who told me I didn't need one of the fixes the dealer suggested, and was able to do all of the other work for $400. I can now enjoy this car (and a $0 car payment) for another couple of years without a huge investment. It felt like growth to not just cave in but to do my own homework this time. Thanks to my brother Rick for his advice.

The team is the most important thing
This one I learn over and over again, but have been reflecting this week as we bid farewell to the Obama administration. Politics aside, he built a team with diversity of experiences, ideas, ethnicities, cultures, and viewpoints and it all mashed together to make urgent progress attainable and desirable. The positive yes we can energy when you walked into any space occupied by members of this administration was palpable. The science of building a team is a fascinating area to me. How you push reset on dysfunctional teams with decades of animosity for one another is, too.

Put yourself out there
I broke my hand in September 2016, and while I think I handled it pretty well, it caused me to retreat and just survive for a little while. I didn't proactively reach out to friends as much, make plans as much. I just got through the days. I am still in a considerable amount of pain and have limited motion, but am mostly back to functioning and made a conscious decision this week to start being more proactive about life again.

Previous Lessons Learned
Part 1

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