Say What You'll Do; Do What You Say

A person rock climbing up a steep mountain.

One of the most powerful ways to build trust is the simple-but-not-easy process of making and keeping commitments. It's simple because it only takes two steps: you make a commitment and then you make it happen. It's difficult because it's incredibly easy to overcommit one's capacity, overestimate one's skillset, and overstate one's desire to see it through to completion. In fact, the asymmetric nature of the two steps almost makes it inevitable that some agreements will be broken or renegotiated to something more realistic.

The Components of Trust

Do people trust you? It's a serious question because it greatly impacts how effective you'll be in those relationships. In high trust situations, decisions can be made quickly, there is no need to second guess a person's intentions or abilities, and the occasional miscommunication can be dealt with in a straightforward manner. Contrast that with low trust situations where decisions need to be discussed in great detail or even require lawyers to get involved.

How Will You Show Up?

Dread, worry, anxiety: these are just a few of the emotions that most people experience as the alarm goes off on Monday morning, signalling the end of the weekend and the start of getting back to "the grind." Most of the time this negative emotional state lingers around like a dark cloud with the only glimmers of light piercing through is hope that it'll all be over soon. The hope that we'll "get through it" so we can get back to the weekend.

Running on Empty

There are few things more embarrassing for a teenager than having to call your mom to come rescue you. However, there I was on the side of Route 5, my car completely out of gas. Had I just taken 5 minutes before I left Amsterdam, I could have made it home without issue. But through a combination of overconfidence (e.g. "I have plenty in the tank to make it home") and being oblivious (e.g. "Oh shit! I didn't see the gauge drop below E"), I found myself having to waste a good hour waiting to get picked up and then having to suffer through the ensuing jokes.

If Only I Had the...

  • Time
  • Money
  • Skills
  • Experience
  • Access to the right people
  • Courage to take a chance
  • Approval
  • Willingness
  • Motivation
  • Assurance that it would work first try
  • Balls
  • Authority
  • Buy-in
  • Right strategy
  • Right timing
  • Right moment
  • Right company
  • Right coworker
  • Budget
  • Information head of time
  • Full backstory

If. If. If. If.

The Virtues of Anger

Anger gets a bad rap. Sure, it's not the most pleasant of emotions. It can be destructive and you certainly don't want to live your life there. But anger is arguably a more useful emotional state than apathy. At the very least, with anger comes the energy and motivation to take action and change something. And as long as said action isn't destructive or irreversible in nature, that emotional state can continue to transform into something more useful.

Anger isn't an enemy. Used correctly and sparingly, it can be the fuel for good.

Fasting Versus Starving

These two experiences only share one thing in common: not eating. Beyond that, they are night and day different.

Fasting is an intentional act, usually embarked upon with the goal of deriving some benefit: cleansing one's physical body, strengthening one's mental resolve, or connecting with some higher spiritual forces as part of a meditative act. The person fasting generally has the privilege of being able to stop at any time, knowing that they can eat whenever they have had enough.