Dress Shirts

After nearly 18 months of t-shirts in this world of Working From Home (or Sleeping At Work), I tried on a formal shirt today. It fit, somewhat too snugly in some places, and just right in others.  Walked out into the living room, & was immediately greeted with “Nice, where are you going?”

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Not a bad view, on our evening walk at the local beach.

[embed-google-photos-link "https://photos.app.goo.gl/Z9mWfFtdpLQURSrEA"]

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Everyone has opinions. They’re based on experiences, biases, partial information, total bullshit, etc etc.  By themselves, they generally cause little harm to the collective. Until of course, they’re brought together under conditions of duress. Like after a few drinks. Or sometimes, a workshop.

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I had several strokes of good fortune today. People came to my rescue in ways I hadn’t expected. Others pointed out my ‘super-power’ and how they wished they had it. It allowed me to slow down and think about the things that make it seem easy, but are actually a few micro-skills I learnt over time working seamlessly and at great pace without me even thinking about them. James Clear, in his book Atomic Habits, helped me frame this better as a habit – a sequence of behaviours that is automatic. ‘A’ urged me to talk about this in one of the sessions I organise. The procrastinator in me screamed out “NO”.

Freedoms and Gratitude

Some clouds have a darker side to them but like much of the country now, there is light in sight. Including at our household, where all members aged  15+ are now vaccinated.



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A friend and colleague shared a 2002 HBR article today titled Make Your Values Mean Something. Among other things, it made me reflect on how scarce authentic appreciation of a fellow human for their efforts appears to be in the work world.  The larger corporates I’ve come across seem to mandate that people thank each other, even a target to meet. There’s often an inability to acknowledge by the powers that be (who likely have never used it themselves) that the systems ostensibly designed to keep this thanking business together are so full of friction that few use it, leading to more mandates. The loopy loop goes on.

Upon reflection, I have found it easier to say something in a meeting than to do it in writing. I’ve also let the memory of the best thank you exercise we did together as a team fall into the recesses of my mind.  It was a simple exercise: pick any one person in the team that you were thankful to for something they did for you, and tell it to them in writing. Everyone got multiple mails. Everyone without exception, expressed how valued, even loved, they felt to read the words from their colleagues _____. The feeling of being on top of the world despite being in the thick of the lockdown lasted weeks.

Why don’t we do it more often? Why do I not do it more often?

Acknowledging Tensions



The earthy red on the boat stands out – almost as much as the piers next to it.

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I’ve always wondered if everyone has a desire to be doing impactful or at least useful work. Over the course of many hundreds of conversations, I have come to believe that it is true, perhaps with my biased sample. It’s also becoming apparent to me in those conversations that the effort involved in such meaningful work throws some people off to the point where they much rather keep their “work” work separate from the impactful work they do, inspiring as it is.

Perhaps applicable only in my present context: What I’ve been learning from these conversations, particularly in the last couple of weeks, is that the people who are able to recognise and acknowledge the environment in which they find themselves in, seem more able to continue feeling excited and enthusiastic despite the challenges of their environment. Why might that be?