Making enough room

We all have circles in our life.

Who are in those circles? People you like? That look like you? That think like you?

If you’re like me, probably yes. But what about others on the fringe, the edge of that circle who might be as caring and lovely too. Am I making room for them?

I’ve heard a lot more recently about allyship. The idea that there’s enough space for all of us if we choose to open our circles and enter other circles. Freely and openly.

Because there’s room.

Starting from experience

When something happens to us, we usually tell ourselves to start again. Which is sometimes the hardest to do.

But we also add “…from scratch.” But usually, that’s never the case. You’re already farther along than you think. You’ve learned a lot already. You know why each bruise and cut or bump happened.

In fact, you are starting from experience. And that’s a great place to be.

Be brief, be bright, be gone.

When you meet someone, perhaps at work, did the interaction feel full? Feel warm? Feel complete?

People don’t remember the words, but they’ll remember the feeling.

A good adage I heard was to come in thoughtfully, treat them wonderfully, but leave without lingering.

Enough to enjoy the moment for what it is. And more moments to come.

Fruits we want to eat

Anything worth doing begins with starting. That means planting the first seed.

And with anything good in life, it takes time. We need to nurture the seed daily for it to grow tall and bear fruit.

But is this the fruit we want? Is this someone’s else fruit? Is this what everyone is growing?

A reminder to myself to focus purely on the fruit I like. That means the journey will be worth every step.

WIIFY - What's In It For You?

In any message or communication, it’s not about you. It’s about them. Your audience.

And their attention is yours for only reason: what’s in it for you?

I read a great acronym for a presentation to remember this: WIIFY. A reminder that your content is only as good as your audience feeling its relevant to them.

Some ways to always check:

  • “This is important to you because…”

  • “What does this mean to you?”

  • “Why am I telling you this”?

  • “Who cares? You share care because..

  • “So what”? Here’s what…

  • “And?” Here’s why…

A WIIFY knows all too well =)

Create vs. consume

Take, take, take. It’s easy to be an indulgent consumer in everything.

But what are you giving? What are you building for the world? What are you sending back out there?

Something I’ve been thinking about this week. How I’m drawn to and inspired by makers. Those are dive head-first into a world unknown: leaving a dent and making a mark.

I am working on being a better ‘maker’!

Digital nutrition

I read a great tweet from my friend, Faheem.

The digital age has contributed meaningfully to increase in anxiety. Digital nutrition is a real thing. Follow good people, prevent empty calories. Improve the quality of info you consume, reduce the junk & and you’ll feel the difference.

The idea we need to care about what we consume in digital food, as it’s having a material impact on our well-being.

Great concept - we spend so much time keeping our spiritual, physical, and mental health at peak conditions. But a huge component is where we spend our attention & time. And for most of us, that’s on digital products.

I have been trying to do a few things: 1) mute content that exacerbates a negative reaction (anxiety, FOMO, etc.), and 2) trying to read high-quality journalism and longer form content.

Hopefully, those inputs start to create a long-term, sustainable plan for self-care and more. Thanks for the though, Faheem!

We just don't do this.

It’s a phrase that really upends an organization. A definite ‘no’ to a “what could be”.

Something I think starts to get engrained in a culture that stops questioning and asking if we need to redefine the current way we think about things. Hoping to catch ourselves when this feeling starts to creep up.

Because what got us here wont get us there.

Language, all over.

I'm traveling through Europe this month. And what a lovely delight to hear languages from all around the world.

It flows in the trains, the streets, the restaurants and everything in between. 

Even though they are from far off parts of the world, everyone connects and enjoys their holiday. You feel like a part of something greater. Something special!

Can-do vs. IQ.

What you know is certainly important. Your IQ.

But what I am starting to realize more and more is your ‘can-do’ might be even more important.

The idea that “I am going to pour my heart into something to learn it and do it”, vs. “this is what I know”.

I can, and I will. Versus I know, and that’s it.

Less helping, more hearing.

Sometimes, they don’t need the help. They don’t need a solution, a fix, or anything in between.

They just need to attention and appreciation that I’m going through something difficult. And the best they need is : “I hear you. Sorry you are dealing with this, but I am here.”

Doing my best to remember that. That being helpful is sometimes just the ear you give, and nothing more.

Nothing but your company

I saw a quote the other day that I loved:

How beautiful is it to find someone who asks nothing but your company

A simple reminder that the people that matter the most in your life, the ones that fill your cup up, are the ones that genuinely enjoy spending time with you - for you. That's it.

Grateful to have a few of those that ask nothing more.

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Being first than being perfect.

As I’ve been working the last couple of years, a concept that I’ve been playing around with the idea of proactiveness. The idea that I could be the person to raise their hand to be first; whether it be starting a project, coordinating a meeting. Honestly, anything really.

The idea is that when you get to do the first draft, you have an open canvas. You can set the tone of how you want to shape the idea and project. In the past, I felt easier to be the editor, the one who reviews and adjusts. But I realize how valuable it is to be the author, the instigator, the creator.

The world appreciates the first step. And I’d like to take that in as many opportunities as I can.

Love in the room

I was listening to a podcast, Hello Monday, where Elizabeth Gilbert, the author of Eat, Pray, Love was talking about what she wants to remembered for.

She said an amazing quote: “I want to be remembered for being love in the room.”

What a totally powerful and incredible statement. To make sure everyone in that room is felt, heard, listened to and cherished.

Something that I think about a lot: how do I make everyone I talk to feel absolutely comfortable in their own skin. That those who I talk with they can feel a sense of belonging and care, no matter who they are and what they do.

I am working lately on taking more pauses and space to let conversation seep slowly, to let it open up and unfold and help love take its own sweet time. One room at a time.

A road to emotion

I started Seth Godin’s new book: This is Marketing. Already a few chapters in, I read something that resonated with me: marketing is a road to emotion.

By road to emotion, it means that marketing needs to connect to a higher order sentiment. A feeling, a reaction. It can connect the customer to a product that removes frustration, bring joy, fill with surprise & delight.

As a marketer, I am trying to up-level my briefs & strategy to reach this more readily. How can I tap into more primal human feelings of belonging, care, support, etc with my product?

I think it starts by really understanding the space my customer is in, deeply. Most have families, most have jobs and want to do better. How am I getting them closer to what they “feel” versus what they “need”?

Will be working this - building a better road for them.

When not to scale

As I think about my week, I spend time wondering how can I make things work faster, more efficient. How I can scale my time. On the most part, this does get me more out of my day.

But sometimes, I think of things that it’s better not to scale faster. Like spending time with your family, or a leisurely dinner with your friends.

We work on certain things faster so we can do certain things slower. Hoping to remember that.

Live in the arena

There’s a quote that I continue to reflect on:

"It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better. The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again, because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause; who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

The idea that life begins when you actually show up. When it’s messy and confusing. When there is no plan, or established path. There have been many times where I was the bystander; it was easier to look on versus jumping in. Fear brims and bubbles inside.

Hoping to always have the courage to stand tall, in whatever arena of life I’m in.

Rush and point

I was reading the other week about a wonderful phrase: rush or point.

Inspired from Abby Wambach’s book, Wolfpack, it talks about the idea of what makes being a great leader in a team.

When someone on your team does something amazing, rush to celebrate them. Envelop them in appreciation, because behind every success, there’s a mountain of work unseen.

When you do something amazing, point to all the people that made it happen. Likely, many of them gave you the wind so you can fly higher and do more.

Here’s to doing that with gusto.