As we head closer to election day in the United States, changes to immigration rules have been coming thick and fast. Naturally, it is a frequent topic of conversation amongst those of us who are impacted.
One friend described it nicely when he sighed and said – “Let’s add this to our growing list of immigration related things to stress about.”
We then made a few jokes made about the fabled green card – a multi-decade process for most Indian immigrants. Those jokes reminded me of a video of Ormie the Pig trying to get hold of a few cookies on top of a fridge.
I’ve spoken to many first time parents since we had our first kid four years ago. First time parents, as is their wont, typically ask for advice. I say the same thing to all of them.
When we were expecting our first child, the one idea that helped us the most was – “expect it to suck.” Go in expecting the first couple of years to be a nightmare. No sleep, no rest, no husband-wife time – the works. Definitely avoid any expectation of the fabled “miraculous” bonding experience.
It inevitably ends up being better than that. :-)
Our day-to-day happiness is a function of reality over expectations. Expecting a better reality means saddling your poor new born kid with the pressure of being a good sleeper, healthy eater, etc.
Just lower your expectations and embrace what life presents.
There’s a learning curve involved with habitually doing things we’re afraid to do.
My reflection from taking such plunges in the past is that their value is often misrepresented. When we hear folks speak about this, we only hear the positives.
We hear folks encouraging us to embrace our fear and step into the unknown. They tell us that it is always worth it to take those uncomfortable steps. Fear is overrated, carpe diem, etc..
Interestingly, such narratives implicitly assume that the reward at the other end always makes the discomfort worth it.
However, that is only true some of the time. Many a time, we learn that we were uncomfortable for good reason. And, sometimes, such failures can be costly.
So, if habitually doing things we’re afraid to do doesn’t always pay off, why should we do it? (or should we?)
My learning is that the reason to take such plunges habitually is because they’re good for our soul. By habitually removing any chance of regret, they change how we see ourselves. We go from passive observers to active changemakers. And, we find ourselves embracing more discomfort and, eventually, more growth.
So, it doesn’t always work out in the short run. But, in the long run, the learning and growth it inspires counts for a lot.
2020 has been rough on many of us. In times like this, it is more important than ever to take the time to appreciate the folks who make our lives better and take stock of the many things to be grateful for.
But, it is hard to do that without building a daily habit.
We’ve been working to build a product to help do just that and we want to make this available as a mobile app.
But, building a mobile app is a lot of work.
And, in the spirit of learning quickly/understanding if this idea resonates, we’d like to start out with a 4 week “Alpha” test on a web app that we’ve built.
We’re looking for volunteers who’d be willing to commit to 2-3 minutes every day to give this product a try (we’ll send a daily reminder).
It won’t be “easy” – at least not in the stare at the screen and watch a fun video sort of way. But, we think it’ll be WELL worth the 2-3 minutes or so you invest every day.
If you’re willing to give it a try, please just let us know on this form and I’ll follow up.
I’ve shared Morgan Housel’s posts a few times over the past year. He shares notes from time to time that really hit the spot. And, the most recent post that hit home for me was one from last week titled “A few rules.”
Below are a few excerpts that resonated deeply.
The person who tells the most compelling story wins. Not the best idea. Just the story that catches people’s attention and gets them to nod their heads.
Tell people what they want to hear and you can be wrong indefinitely without penalty.
Being good at something doesn’t promise rewards. It doesn’t even promise a compliment. What’s rewarded in the world is scarcity, so what matters is what you can do that other people are bad at.
The world is governed by probability, but people think in black and white, right or wrong – did it happen or did it not? – because it’s easier.
Most fields have only a few laws. Lots of theories, hunches, observations, ideas, trends, and rules. But laws – things that are always true, all the time – are rare.
Simple explanations are appealing even when they’re wrong. “It’s complicated” isn’t persuasive even when it’s right.
Don’t expect balance from very talented people. People who are exceptionally good at one thing tend to be exceptionally bad at another, due to overconfidence and mental bandwidth taken up by the exceptional skill. Skills also have two sides: No one should be shocked when people who think about the world in unique ways you like also think about the world in unique ways you don’t like.
Reputations have momentum in both directions, because people want to associate with winners and avoid losers.