Steven Pressfield on playing hurt

The concept in all these [“healing”] environments seems to be that one needs to complete his healing before he is ready to do his work. This way of thinking… is a form of Resistance. What are we trying to heal, anyway? The athlete knows the day will never come when he wakes up pain-free. He has to play hurt. ……

Not easy but possible: Jonny Giger, repetition and persistence

It’s time to revisit the mother of skill – this time in the world of skateboarding. Jonny Giger is – according to some – the best flat ground skater in the world, and by any measure very, very good (here’s a good sample). What I like about JG is that he makes it look easy, but shows and tells us…

Leaning in and leaning out

Your posture matters: in conversation at the table or fireside; on a video call (especially on a video call!); with your kids; while you work alone. It’s a signal of intent to yourself as much as to others, and so often our minds follow our bodies. Leaning in usually helps, especially when you don’t feel like it. Leaning out comes…

Commitment: their actual lives

This might be your life’s work. It might be a side project. But as you work – doing something to help, perhaps hiring people to work with you, apportioning your time and attention between competing people and priorities – remember that these are people’s actual lives. And yours. Be as clear as possible about your commitment and its costs, and…

I’d rather be

If you’d rather be doing something else, please go and do it. You are more useful there than here. But if you really would rather be, say, drinking beer, you probably could be. Which means that actually you’ve chosen to do this instead. So maybe you mean “Drinking beer is more immediately pleasurable than this, but instead I choose to…

Fewer inputs, greater output (1)

More than ever, we’re aware that our energy and attention are scarce resources. How are you stewarding yours? Rather than starting with the fear that you’re frittering your time away, it might help to remind yourself how valuable your attention is: valuable enough that other people are willing to go great lengths (making websites, movies, TV, articles – and adverts)…

The tortoise and the hare

I’ve been reminded that even for those of us who get off lightly, our current situation – lockdown in response to Covid-19 – is going to be a slog. A marathon is different in kind from a sprint, and an involuntary slog of indeterminate length is different in kind again. Sprints – single events, urgent work, tight deadlines, sudden crises…

Distractable vs Curious

We tell ourselves that we live in a distracted age, and blame our lack of focus on our phones, social media, and the pressures of the digital age. But I’m not sure we’re that much worse than we’ve ever been. Our phones might be the default channel, but I find I’m just as easily distracted from the task of the…

When not to speak

Here’s a flow to help me with my “helpful contribution” problem:Is the priority of (this part of) the meeting to discuss things exhaustively, or to cover the essentials? If the purpose of the meeting is exhaustive discussion and there’s still time and attention available – go ahead and share your point. If the purpose of the meeting is to cover…

A strategy of usefulness

Be 1) as useful as you can be,* 2) as often as you can be,** 3) to the people you want to be of use to.*** Application At DriverlessCroc, I post 1) something that might be useful,**** 2) daily,***** 3) for people interested in building effective and humane organisations for change.****** There aren’t usually this many footnotes. There will not…