accountability

COVID-19 has forced many folks to reinvent their core business, which has been especially challenging for live performance artists and theatre makers.

How do you distill the ambiance of a theatre into something digestible on screen, without the budget of The Royal Shakespeare Company? Whose shows you can (and should) watch online, by the way.

It’s prime time to find a local artist you wish to support and subscribe to them on their platform of choice, but it’s also time for artists to reimagine the wheel.

The rules are changing and in all chaos lives opportunity.

It’s up to us to sieze it.

Effort can’t take us everywhere… But it can take us most places.

Usually, the only which stands between us and our desires are our own choices. Taking true responsibility for this truth is hard. It’s far easier and much more comfortable to believe the some external force or circumstance is preventing us from accomplishing what we wish to accomplish.

There is almost always a way, and the way is almost always hard work. When the work is hard, persisting is even more challenging.

Persist, and the rest will follow.

A team of excellent players who play in isolation will always lose to a team of good players who play united.

When players play for themselves, their ability is additive; when they play in unison, for eachother and for the team, their abilities mulitply.

A captain’s role is to eking out the best performance from every player through motivation and example.

The coach’s role is create harmony between them, through insightful, strategic planning and elegant design.

Teams which synergise and shine are always greater than the sum of their parts. The job of a leader is to realise that potential.

There’s no doubt that making ends meet, taking what you can get and doing what’s in front are all worthwhile and necessary things to be able to do.

However, we’re good at tricking ourselves into thinking that just because we did something yesterday, we should, or must, do it again today.

Which isn’t true.

If you can do the kind of work you want to be doing and still generate enough to survive, even if it means having less toys than your neighbour, why shouldn’t you?

The only way anyone makes a living from writing, music, surfing or Jiu-Jitsu is by showing up constantly, even though to begin with, the time they spend isn’t earning them a dime (and usually, costs them a lot).

After some time, they become good enough to earn a little, then those who continue to turn up and are adept at processing feedback get good enough to earn a lot.

It’s not rocket science, but it’s still hard work.

Tomorrow, commit to showing up.

Writers less creative than you have published books.

Producers less organised than you have made movies.

Entrepreneurs less intelligent than you have built million dollar businesses.

You are not the sum of all your parts.

You are the sum of how well you work. Not how hard, but how effectively.

Here’s the deal: we live in a strange, rapidly changing, hyper connected world which is making some of us intensely miserable in ways we don’t fully understand. 

Our ability to control our own attention is diminishing at an alarming rate.

Technical monoliths are making us feel exposed in ways people never used to have to worry about.

And our opportunities, while still limited, seem limitless in the face of everybody else’s success.

But it’s not all doom and gloom. We are sensationally adaptable creatures.

Brilliant people all over the world are constantly discovering fascinating things, many of which can inform our way forward through this jumbled mess.

Whenever it gets too much, remember that all you can ever be held accountable for is everything you do.

If the world outside is so overwhelming in scale and implication, how tiny our own short lives must be.

And if the prospect of being responsible for your every living breath is so overwhelming, how small and insignificant the rest of the world must be.

The world, and your roll in it, is neither too large or too small.

It just is.

Realise this and you might just do away with half the troubles our new world brings with it.

“Every action is a vote for the type of person you wish to become.”

James Clear

People say you are what you eat, but I’m more inclined to believe you are what you do.

Make good food decisions, you’ll be a healthy eater.

Juggle every day, you’ll be a juggler.

In many ways, we are all of the things we’re performing in each moment.

Which is why it’s so important to optimise yourself in the immediate term.

Long-term goals are great, but they have no relevance to who you actually are outside of the effect that have on focussing your immediate goals.

Dreams are so fun to imagine because they skip all work required to realise them and get right to the reward.

For them to come true, a through line must be forged which connect the dream to the now.

People who lose sight of this live in a world of constant inaction with distant goals which will sadly never eventuate.

Every action, every second, is a vote for the person you’ll become.

Vote wisely.

We experience flow when tackling a challenge in the sweet spot of our ability to overcome it without excess anxiety or boredom.

(Diagram accessed via Researchgate)

All games demand flow. When our experience becomes too challenging or too easy, we stop playing optimally (or altogether).

The secret to growth in infinite games is to only play finite games within your flow channel.

Don’t challenge a chess master to play and expect to win and don’t look for intimate connections at bus stops. These are games you’re not going to have fun playing.

If you find that your channel is too narrow to allow enough finite play, perhaps it needs expanding.

Our tolerance to failure and our ability to process it productively are directly linked to the range of flow experiences available to us.

Widen the channel far enough and no game is too boring or worrying to play.

Winning and losing ceases to matter – the point of playing becomes the continuation of the play.

If you find games you can play under any and all circumstances and still improve, you’ll live in flow forever.

Leadership can’t happen from a place of avoidance and fear.

If you can’t face the problem your team seeks to solve, can’t look it in the eyes with confidence, your team won’t follow.

They’ll look away. They’ll talk behind your back. Doubt will spread like bushfire.

These past few weeks we’ve seen Australia do just that in response to a leader who continues to fumble through the largest national crisis we’ve faced in years.

It’ll take a lot to turn us around.

(Image via time.com)

If you’re inclined to set a resolution tonight, consider focussing on what your life won’t look like if you don’t change, instead of what it could look like if you do.

Let’s face it, the fantasy version of yourself who hits the gym everyday, lives zero waste and smashes all your work goals this year isn’t going to exist.

Why promise to deliver on something you know you’ll feel guilty about in six weeks once you let it slip, when you could address the root fears driving all of those desires and make meaningful change to your every day.

What if instead of asking yourself what you want your life you look like, you asked yourself what you’re most scared of it looking like?

If you don’t change a thing, what are the most frightening consequences?

What will you look back on in 2021 or 2030 and wish you’d changed?

Here are my biggest fears for 2021:

  • I’ll be in the same job, at the same place I work today.
  • I’ll have given up weightlifting for Jiu Jitsu.
  • I won’t have completed the first draft of my book.

The dread I feel imagining a version of myself not having got these things done is more than motivation enough to see them through.

Don’t promise yourself you’ll become a superhero tomorrow.

Promise yourself you’ll be a better version of yourself than you are today.