As if the Afghan people did not have enough problems already, they have also just been hit by an earthquake. People are fleeing war and prosecution all over the world. If you are sitting in a comfy office working on your computer, spend a moment appreciating the good hand you’ve been dealt. Then reflect on what you are spending your life on. Are you really making the most of the talents and situation you have been given?
Be careful what you measure. You are going to get exactly that. You remember “Dieselgate,” where Volkswagen installed software in their cars to cheat on emissions tests. Samsung was just caught doing the same thing, programming their TVs to recognize a typical testing scenario and boosting brightness during the test.
A single measurement is easy to cheat on. If anything depends on that measure – bonuses, promotions, reputation – somebody is going to cheat sooner or later.
That’s why every measurement needs a counter-measure. Don’t just measure “Time to close support ticket.” I’ve been working with vendors who clearly had that measure as their main target, as have most people in IT. If you also measure customer satisfaction, it becomes much hard to game the metrics.
Did you ever set your GPS wrong? I know I have. It takes a little while, but I eventually figure out that something is wrong with the directions I am given. But if you set your mind’s GPS wrong, it can take much longer to notice.
If you are unhappy about the path of your life, you need to re-program your mind’s GPS. A simple way to do that is by saying affirmations. An affirmation is a compelling sentence that describes how you feel after reaching your goal. One of mine has been “I am happy and proud that I won the Best Speaker award.”
Design an affirmation and say it to yourself every day. You will find that it directs your mind to seek a way to reach the goal your affirmation describes. And yes, I did win the award I was looking for 😉
Could you land a plane? Unless you are a flight simulator enthusiast, you probably think you can’t. But if you were in the air and your pilot fell unconscious, you would be able to land the plane. A passenger with no flying experience found himself in that situation above Florida yesterday. With assistance from an air traffic controller, he successfully landed the small aircraft.
Many things we think are impossible really aren’t. Once we start, we find that we can do more than we thought. The important thing is to take action towards the goal. If you take no action today, you are not likely to take any action tomorrow. But if you take one small step today, you are likely to take another tomorrow. The difference between zero actions and one action is huge. Take that one action today.
Do you think about your life? Today is Great Prayer Day here in Denmark, and other countries have similar days. Even if you are not religious, you can take this reminder to spend some time reflecting on your life.
It is easy to get caught up in the little things we need to do to run our lives. We are so busy that we do not have time to think about the longer term. But if you have not decided where you want to go, you have no guidance in your life.
In Alice in Wonderland, Alice asks the cat: “Which way should I go?” The cat asks where she wants to get to, and she says: “I don’t much care where.” The cat replies: “Then it doesn’t matter which way you go.”
Spend some time today, or this weekend, thinking about where you want to go in your life. What do you want your life to look like in one year, in five years, in ten years? What legacy do you want to leave?
You might think you don’t have an answer, but you do. You simply need to give your brain space and time to think. That’s why religious people pray, and others meditate. You don’t have to do either. You just need to turn off all your devices and spend several hours doing nothing. You know the answer. Let it come to the surface so you can act on it.