Whenever the list gets long and overwhelming, I find myself reminded of Anne Lamott’s wonderful story.
“Thirty years ago my older brother, who was ten years old at the time, was trying to get a report on birds written that he’d had three months to write. It was due the next day.
We were out at our family cabin in Bolinas, and he was at the kitchen table close to tears, surrounded by binder paper and pencils and unopened books on birds, immobilized by the hugeness of the task ahead.
Then my father sat down beside him, put his arm around my brother’s shoulder, and said, ‘Bird by bird, buddy. Just take it bird by bird.’”
The ability to think long term is a powerful marker of privilege.
As I reflect on the privilege I’ve accumulated over the years, the biggest change has been a sense of security – both mental and financial. That sense of security, in turn, enables long term thinking and investment.
That long term thinking and investment, in turn, has inspired more privilege.
The interesting question that then arises is – can we invest in the long term without accumulating privilege? Can we reverse this chain of events?
I think it is hard to do this because of the absence of said security.
But (and there’s always a but :-)), if we do manage to do it as often as possible, we’ll likely find the return on investment on that thinking to be positive.
(2) You develop a deep understanding of the dysfunctional nature of large organizations (if you deal with customer service) or of user manuals.
(3) You develop a lot of appreciation for how smooth things are when they do work. If this emotion is channeled well, you might just walk out of the experience a more grateful, and thus a happier, person.
The IKEA effect is a cognitive bias in which consumers place a disproportionately high value on products they partially created.
The Ikea effect posits that we disproportionately value furniture we assemble.
I only find that loosely true in my experience. I don’t have a strong attachment to furniture I assemble. In fact, if the assembly is complex and the equipment is expensive, I prefer having an expert do it.
But, I nevertheless find myself assembling things/furniture from time to time. And, when I do, I inevitably cut or bruise myself.
Every time that happens during the assembly process, I find myself looking at the cut or bruise with a warmth that wouldn’t have existed otherwise. That warmth is a result of the halo effect that accompanies a DIY project.
A badge of honor, if you will.
Such events are a reminder of just how much our perspective shapes our life experience.
A winner of the award for America’s “most innovative winemaker” explained that there was nothing innovative about his approach. He has simply emphasized natural, ecologically sustainable farming, and fermentation for decades.
In a sense, his approach is all about going back to the basics.
But, he’s done that long enough, well enough, and consistently enough to be regarded as among the most innovative folks in his profession.
I first read about the space between stimulus and response in Stephen Covey’s “7 Habits” nearly 12 years ago.
I’ve attempted to study the “7 Habits” a few times over the years. And, while I think I’ve made progress over the years and learnt a few things along the way, I often stumble upon reminders that tell me how much farther I have to go.
For example, I recently had one situation where I succeeded in separating stimulus and response. Just as I was feeling good about resisting the temptation to react, I remembered 3 other situations where I failed to do so.
On the bright side, a 25% hit rate is much better than what it used to be.
I’m hoping to continue to improve it in the coming months.