Preflections 10 January

When I said last week that I would spend January “Preflecting” on what might be emerging, I clearly had no idea.

Here we are, 10 days into the New Year with an assault on the Capitol in Washington, Donald Trump banned from his main sources of communication and under real threat of being either impeached or ejected by the 25th amendment, the emergence of the real challenges of Brexit as we actually start to do stuff, and the Mother of all lockdowns just as we had been trumpeting the vaccine program. That ‘s some going for ten days. Let’s see what the next 21 days does to 2021.

It is very hard to understand a story when we’re in the story. We’re so busy doing that we cannot see the narrative arc of where it started, and where it’s headed. What are we to do when the platforms we are standing one feel like they are on fire? It makes it difficult to just “be” for a while, yet it’s that which we need right now.

Take a deep breath, look around at what’s really happening and summon up our resolve and strength. Choose who we spend time with, surround ourselves with people we trust, and take responsibility for our own actions. Nobody is coming to rescue us. Everybody, including our politicians are doing the best they are capable of. It may often be found wanting, but blaming is a futile (even if briefly emotionally satisfying) exercise. In the end we are all, as William Henley’s poem Invictus describes “masters of our fate, and captains of our souls”. We have to look after those around us, who in turn will look after us.

We can best do that by serving rather than waiting to be served. None of us have been here before. The last major pandemic that really affected us was back in 1918, before my parents were born. Science can giveus a better steer than it did then, but when it comes to dealing with fear and uncertainty it’s probably much the same for us as it was for them. We’ve come out of (and are going back into) significant recessions. They were coming out of the Great War, and heading into another one. We are not being picked on.

All of us have what we need, and if we work together will come out this time it stronger. We have a lot to fix, but we can fix it. We should start.

Things I’ve enjoyed this last week

George the Poet’s Podcast from 9 Dec I love George’s stuff – this one I had missed. George’s thoughts talking to him. 30 minutes I think we can all learn from. Take a listen.

Charlie Munger (Warren Buffet’s partner) on Human misjudgement. From the FS blog. Very appropriate right now I think.

Tech Trends for 2021. Food for thought. Most will be wrong. Some won’t.

Rereading the intro to Seth Godin’s “What to do if it your turn (and it’s always your turn)” Works for me right now.

“Ship, Speak up, Stand out, Build a following, Market a product, Make a connection, solve an interesting problem, Write, sing, invent, create, ask a question, launch a product, organise a protest, open the door for someone, question authority, make a short film, direct, produce, create or adopt. Be missed if you’re gone”

Seth Godin,

A quote

I am only one, but I am one. I can’t do everything, but I can do something. The something I ought to do, I can do. And by the grace of God, I will  

Edward Everett Hale

What I’m trying to understand right now

How to scale the intimacy of the Artisan. People who do something relatively small, really really well. How to help people find what it is they will make them happy as artisans, and become one.

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