"Your strength has returned. But the weakness still remains. And that is why you will always lose." - Darth Vader, ObiWan Ep 6
Last week I talked about "The Path" and that things "happen" to lead you to a place, even though you may not be able to see the destination. One crucial part of finding your path is to "accept that the past is fixed, and the future isn't set in stone."
But what happens when you (or a team) just can't let go of the past. There's a sense of certainty in the past.
Unfortunately, that's not the way things work. Change is inevitable. Nothing ever remains. Even the universe will eventually end, crush itself and turn into emptiness and nothingness—hopefully, it's not this year.
The most dangerous words to any career, company, etc., are 'that's not the way we used to do it.' If you, your team, your attitude, or even your thinking chooses not to evolve, it will become extinct.
I'm not saying it's easy to just 'let go' - it can be immobilizing when things are grounded in "what should have been" or "what was." One method to help drive change in those times is called "the bamboo technique."
The idea is pretty simple:
Just as bamboo bends and then snaps back when a strong wind blows, so should you. Acknowledge others' feelings. If someone says "this will never work," you 'bend' like bamboo, respond with 'you might be right, this is going to be challenging, and 'snap back' with actions with what they can try next to move slightly forward. It's all about concrete, doable steps.
And celebrate the tiniest signs of progression.
Sometimes a clean break, a new or opposite perspective, is the only true path forward. The Stoics refer to this as the "art of acquiescence":
The fates guide the person who accepts them and hinders the person who resists them - Cleanthes
So, where does all this rambling lead? I don't know. There's no "one size fits all solution," but I know that focusing on the past can be a weakness.
Becoming grounded in the moment, connecting to what is now, provides the strength to forge new paths to where you are meant to go.
I ran across a really interesting tweet this week:
So what is this madness? It's Lavarland:
Lavarand was a hardware random number generator designed by Silicon Graphics that worked by taking pictures of the patterns made by the floating material in lava lamps, extracting random data from the pictures, and using the result to seed a pseudorandom number generator.
If you are curious on the nitty gritty details on how all of this works, check out this blog post from the team at Cloudflare.
The wall of lava lamps in the office lobby provides a source of true entropy. In the lobby, a camera is pointed at the wall. It obtains entropy from both the visual input from the lava lamps and also from random noise in the individual photoreceptors.
In the office, there’s a server which connects to the camera. The server has its own entropy system, and the output of that entropy system is mixed with the entropy from the camera to produce a new entropy feed.
In one of our production data centers, there’s a service which connects to the server in the office and consumes its entropy feed. That service combines this entropy feed with output from its own local entropy system to produce yet another entropy feed. This feed is made available for any production service to consume.
Thought of the week
This weeks "Deep Links"
Here are a few of the articles and videos that resonated with me over the last week:
- Instead of three ideas that could change your life,"3 Principles for a Better Life" flips that on its head and was one of those posts you run across just when you needed it. While it explores the "inherent tension between self-acceptance and self-improvement," ideas like 'You are perfect just as you are… but you can always be better' are just what the doctor ordered - More
- This week, I was in Burbank, where after years of travel there, I knew I would be listening to Duran Duran, Huey Lewis and the News, and other 80's hits. It got me wondering if this has been on a continuous loop, and the internet delivered the answer of "Who's behind the fabulous '80s playlist at the Burbank airport?" - More
- "A New, Sustainable Approach to Inbox Zero" was a nice read. I've been keeping inbox zero for over ten years, but I enjoyed the perspective around more productive rituals in keeping your inbox sane - More
- File under 'this feels bad,' but check out this wacky: "Amazon's Latest Trick: Pipe In a Dead Person's Voice Through Alexa's Speakers" - More
- "Vintage photos show how glamorous flying was in the 1950s"; I can attest my flights this week looked nothing like this. I wonder when we lost the magic of flying? - More
- I liked this concept from Derek Sivers around "writing one sentence per line." I've played with writing one-sentence thoughts as an outline, but this edges on 'helping you judge each sentence on its own' - love it - More
- Speaking of writing, this great post discusses "Prestige Writing" in which it challenges the author to structure a post similarly: 'The Pledge asks a question, the Turn answer the question, and the Prestige creates something extraordinary' - More
- I learned today "Why Paper Receipts are Money at the Drive-Thru" - More
- As someone who promotes and runs remote teams, I enjoyed "Offices Are Useful for Soft Work, Not Hard Work." The post asserts that hard work, such as reading, and writing (software, specs, papers), can easily be done at home. What's missing is 'soft work,' that is 'things aren't what I'm directly paid to do when I'm in the office, and they're not what I'm annually evaluated for doing' - More
- "Abundance From Truth" explores a real simple concept around sticking to personal truths. 'When you stay true to that person inside, The Universe doesn't just conspire. It LEAPS to your aid with a shocking amount of pent up energy built up over time from repeated resistance to its overtures.' - More
Let's wrap this week with some 1983's music inspired from the Burbank airport.
If this is it, please let me know
If this ain't love, you'd better let me go
If this is it, I want to know
If this ain't love baby, just say so
Be well. ✌🏻