It’s the holiday season! At least in Italy. This is typically the month when nothing happens, and everyone is in vacation mode (often even when they are working).
Anyway, whatever your situation right now you’re probably worried because you haven’t received my monthly newsletter.
At least, this is what I’m telling to my ego. 🙂
Reality is that your inbox is already full of stuff, so you’re just realising now that this month I’m late.
Even more than the previous months.
It looks like I can’t keep up with my own commitment.
If I squeeze my brain for a few minutes, I’m pretty sure I’ll come out with some excellent excuses for this delay.
But you know what.
Screw the excuses.
“Victims make excuses. Leaders deliver results.” — Robin Sharma
I have no plans of being a victim.
I want to deliver results.
And that requires me to take responsibility. With “taking responsibility” I mean to own my failures, so I can learn from them. To do that I need to have an honest and frank conversation with myself, asking uncomfortable questions and staying away from the easy answers.
So, right now I’m asking myself; “what can I learn from this failure in keeping the deadline for my newsletter?”.
Yep, all of a sudden this newsletter is about the answers I found in my self-inquiry process. I know each one of us is unique, so what came out of my process will be unique to me. But who knows, you may find some ideas or insights that will be beneficial to your own processes.
Lesson #01: Clarity of meaning
“He who has a why to live for can bear almost any how.” — Nietzsche
The first thing I’ve investigated in my self-inquiry is the “why”.
When we investigate the motif behind something we want to do, we may be tempted to use a “why” question. Like “why do I want to do this?”
But even when I’m talking with myself, this question tastes judgemental. So, I decided to go for a different one.
“What are the things that make this newsletter so important to me?”
And this is the list that came out:
- I love writing, and this is another opportunity to write
- This newsletter is more personal than the other stuff that I publish, so it sparks a different type of reflections
- It creates opportunities to start conversations with others
- It helps me slow down and assess my own journey, something I often overlooked because I’m too busy doing stuff.
- It’s an opportunity to improve my discipline (like having a book to suggest every month).
No lack of motivations then. The solution ought to be found somewhere else. Even if, it’s good to reconnect with the intentions that started this small project of mine.
Lesson #02: Plan ahead
“A man who does not plan long ahead will find trouble right at his door.” — Confucius
I realised I had to send the newsletter only on the 1st of August. That means I was already late for it. That’s not a good start. On top of that, my schedule for the first week of august was already defined. So I couldn’t find the time that I needed to write this newsletter. I am a slow writer, so I need at least four hours to get in the flow, find the inspiration, do the actual writing, review and polish and then send it. If I want to be on-time, I need to set aside the time for this task way ahead.
Thanks to these two learning, I was able to design some actions.
“There can be no learning without action, and no action without learning.” — Reg Revans
- I locked the time in my calendar for the next five newsletters, until December.
- I defined the list of books to read and comment for the next five months
- I’ve decided to publish these newsletters also on my website as articles to create even more opportunities for conversations (that would be the page you’re reading now. If you want to receive it also on your inbox, just subscribe to my newsletter using the form on the right of this page).
- I’ve decided to share more updates on all the things I’m working on, so maybe new collaborations can emerge.
From my bookcase
This month’s suggestion is “Liminal Thinking: Create the Change You Want by Changing the Way You Think” by Dave Gray. This book had a profound impact on my vision on almost everything. It really opened my eyes on the power of the space in-between.
“In order to learn anything truly new, you must empty your cup, so your existing knowledge, theories, assumptions, and preconceptions don’t get in the way.”
So, in a few weeks, I’ll have a new monthly edition with more updates and a new reading suggestion. If you want to be sure you won’t miss this article next month (or if you want to check if my actions deliver the expected results), just subscribe to my newsletter.
For now, this is the end of this summer (and first) edition of this post.
Thank you for your patience and for giving me this opportunity to reflect and improve.
And if you want to share with me how you deal with your own failures, comment below. I’d be happy to have a conversation with you and learn!