We all have different blind spots

“You want to know why? Because we all have blind spots, Vi, even you. The good thing is that yours are different from ours. ”

Brent Weeks, Beyond the Shadows

This is one of the best reasons why we need to work in teams. Because of the blind spots we all have. The hard part is to keep listening even though we can’t see what they see. It might take a while to understand their perspective.

Living your purpose

“he was the world’s best swordsman, wielding the world’s best sword, facing a monster out of legend. Lantano Garuwashi was living his purpose”

Brent Weeks, Beyond the Shadows

Living one’s purpose is about finding what you are really good at. It is about practicing those abilities. It is about using the best tools. It is about surrounding yourself with the people that can support you in fulfilling it, and you helping them live their purposes. Your purpose is not fixed, and it will change over time. It does not have to be about saving the world, but if it is about making the world a bit better then it probably will be a bit more fulfilling. You don’t have to work on it full time, do it as a hobby. Do it because it is fun.

Do something that you are good at and that you love.

How trustworthy are you?

“He’s untrustworthy,” Amaram said.

“He keeps his word, so far as I know,” Dalinar said. “That is more than I can say for most.”

“He keeps his word because he never promises anything.”

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

If you say you will do something and you do it then it will increase people’s trust in you. If you say you will do something and you don’t do it then their trust in you will decrease, no matter the excuses you have for not doing it. If you don’t promise anything to anyone then you will never break anyone’s trust but you will not create any long lasting relationships either.

We will have to do

Aladar extended his hand, but hesitated. “You realize that I’m stained through and through. I’ve got blood on these hands, Dalinar. I’m not some perfect, honorable knight as you seem to want to pretend.”
“I know you’re not,” Dalinar said, taking the hand. “I’m not either. We will have to do.”

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

No one is perfect. No one has all the skills needed to do a task perfectly. No one has lived a flawless life without making any mistakes. Find people that you can be yourself with, and that have skills you don’t have. Surrounds yourself with people who you want to learn from. Ignore their flaws and focus on their positive sides. Then create something fantastic!!!

Making decisions can help a group grow

“I register four yes votes, two negatives, and one abstention,” said the Consul. “The ayes have it. Who wants to start?”
The table was silent. Finally Martin Silenus looked up from where he had been writing on a small pad of paper. He tore a sheet into several smaller strips. “I’ve recorded numbers from one to seven,” he said. “Why don’t we draw lots and go in the order we draw?”
“That seems rather childish, doesn’t it?” said M. Lamia.

Dan Simmons, Hyperion

What would have happened if they instead of just drawing lots had taken the time to talk as a group and decide in which order to tell their stories?

You should avoid some decisions because they will take time and just use up energy, but sometime the energy that is lost now will be regained during later decisions or conflicts. People need to practice discussing and managing conflicts, and it is much better to start with something small than having your first conflict when the entire organization is hanging on the line.

Sometimes we rush towards what we think is important when the most important thing is happening right now.

Be honest but not stupid

“In her business, there were many who laughed at honest men, calling them easy pickings. That was a fallacy. Being honest did not make one naive. A dishonest fool and an honest fool were equally easy to scam; you just went about it in different ways.
However, a man who was honest and clever was always, always more difficult to scam than someone who was both dishonest and clever.
Sincerity. It was so difficult, by definition, to fake.”

Brandin Sanderson, The Emperor’s Soul

Being honest does not mean that you have to say everything it just means that you are honest in what you share. A very honest response would be:

  • “I can’t talk about that right now.”
  • “I don’t feel like talking about that.”

Being honest mean that you want people to be honest with you as well, but it does not mean that you trust everyone you meet.

If you want people to be honest with you, the you have to be honest with them.

Mistaking assumptions with knowledge

“Kaladin narrowed his eyes at the tall lighteyed man. “What do you know?”
“Almost everything. That almost part can be a real kick in the teeth sometimes.””

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

We can’t know everything and problems usually arise when we mistake assumptions with knowledge. Some of these assumptions often comes from earlier experiences when they were true, they worked and then we have continued using them over the years. Sometimes they have worked really well, sometimes they worked ok, and sometimes we got really frustrated when the world seemed extremely unpredictable. When it felt like the world gave us a real kick in the teeth.

What is truth?

““What? No it’s not. Truth is . . . it’s Truth. Reality.”
“Your truth is what you see,” Pattern said, sounding confused. “What else could it be? That is the truth that you spoke to me, the truth that brings power.””

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Many people look for the Truth when they should be looking for their truth. We all see the world in different ways and for any situation what is true for you might not be true for me. What we notice and think is important in the world depend on who we are and what we do, and with this realisation we can solve most conflicts. We should not take this as an excuse to ignore scientific results just because we don’t agree with them.

What you can do is to look at how they performed their experiments, how they analyzed them, and what other studies have shown. After you have done this then you can think about if the results are relevant to you. We will never be able to find the truth about how the world works, but for every year we get closer and closer and we understand more and more. The same goes for understanding other people.

We will never understand other people completely, but by spending time with them, talking about our stories and how they view life then you will get a better and better understanding of them and they of you.

Sometimes we need to be reminded of who we are

““Brightness,” the man said as she stepped up to him, “we aren’t what you think we are.”
“No,” Shallan replied. “You aren’t what you think yourselves to be.””

Brandon Sanderson, Words of Radiance

Sometimes we need to be reminded of who we are and what we can do. When we can’t see it ourselves, we need someone who tells us what we are capable of doing, who we are capable of being.

What is your canary?

“If you’re mining for coal, you keep a canary in a cage so that if you hit a gas pocket, the bird will die before you do, and you have time to get out. Assuming that you don’t explode. Actually, in modern times the canary has been supplanted by an electrocatalytic sensing electrode, but quite a lot of people still call the unit after its avian predecessor.”

Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

We all need canaries in our lives that will tell us that we are in a bad place before we fall unconscious. We need some way to make sure that we are living a healthy life before we realise that we have not worked out for a year. We need some way to tell us if we are too stressed or work too much. We need some way to check our balance between working and meeting friends and family.

How do you measure if your life is where you want it to be? What is your alarm? What is your canary?