Micro Regression

‘Micro-mobility’ is a newer concept or term I have become aware of. It is all about the last few miles of the journey in an urban environment.

Under the current precedent, you might live in Los Angeles and head to work. You walk to the nearest bus stop, take the bus to the bus stop nearest to your work, then you would walk to work from there.

Micro Regression.jpg

Riding the bus can only go so fast. But walking to and from the bus is not a fixed time cost. You can now rent an electric scooter, ride it from your home, and drop it off at the bus stop. Then again after you get off the bus, you can rent another electric scooter and ride it to work. You would then drop it at work and now you’ve reduced your walk time by a significant amount.

Then again, you might be a bit more like me and you live in a small enough town and your commute by car. I drive less than two miles to get from home to work. I could replace my whole commute could by an electric scooter.

The scooter looks like one of those scooters that were popular when I was a kid, a razor scooter. The bicycle option is completely a regression. When I was a kid, I had no other means of transportation into my twenties. According to people studying the wear and tear on cars. According to people looking for more effective modes of transportation. Scooters and bicycles are far and away the best choice when it comes to finishing our commutes.

It may feel like a regression, but it is more effective for a commuter to use shared modes of commuting. In this scenario, regressing is more of a return to the right tool for the job and less of a regression of maturity. The biggest thing holding someone back from using one of our old tools would be pride or familiarity.

The best reason to use one of our old tools is taking part in progress and efficiency of life. (And the electric scooters are a lot of fun!)

What holds you back from trying new things? How do you react when someone is trying to get you to try something you feel like you have grown beyond? How do you continue to grow, even when you need to reuse an old idea? How are you optimizing and making the mundane parts of your life more effective to accomplish your goals?

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Success

Success seems to be an elusive unicorn. There have been so many different measurements and tests and surveys and models. Yet authors have not been able to write the definitive book that will lead to the success anyone is looking for.

On many levels it is easier to assume fairies show up and sprinkle success dust over the successful and do not sprinkle success dust over the unsuccessful.

I know I would rather assume the successful writers, speakers, authors, and software companies I want to align myself with are sprinkled with success dust and that is why I have not been able to attain a certain level of success or accolade in my life.

The more difficult assumption is to assume the successful showed up and put in the hard work and now they are successful because they started putting in the hard work and did not stop.

They

Did

Not

Stop

I am sure they wanted to stop. I am sure they had reasons to stop. There were hard moments when they were losing it all. Things were on the verge of not working and everything was about to catch fire if they stopped working.

Still, they kept going. They did not stop. And today they have the mark of success I look at and admire. It was not given to them. It was not an award the received for being the 1 millionth startup that year.

They showed up. They kept working. Especially when it was hard, they kept showing up.

What are you working on? What excuse are you giving yourself about not showing up? How can you start working on your project? When can you show up again? Have you put the appointment on your calendar to keep yourself from scheduling over it?

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Scoot Scoot

Pushing an electric scooter.

Scoot Scoot.jpg

Sounds ridiculous, but I did see someone riding down the street on one of those electric scooters and he was pushing it. Much like you might push/ride a normal scooter, but he was on an electric scooter.

Potentially, he didn’t know how it is supposed to work. Or he thought it was working normally and it wasn’t going fast enough for his liking. I have seen plenty of people riding them and, when working properly, they go much faster than he was going.

But in his mind somewhere, he decided the scooter functioned this way. He could have been fearful about going too fast under the scooter’s power and falling off and hurting himself. The scooter might have had a dead battery and he was the poor soul using a dead scooter. He may not have wanted to pay to use the scooter and instead he was pushing it purely under his own power.

No matter what, he never stopped to search it and figure it out. He never questioned the scooter. He never stopped and tried to see if there was a better way. He hopped on and whisked himself away. One giant push at a time.

How am I any different? I assume I am broken and my expectations are too high or my experiences are wrong or I am just plain wrong all the time. Probably more times than I notice really.

Where are you pushing an electric scooter?

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Easy as...1...2...3

Shoulders back, head up, and a soft smile.

It has been amazing to see how much it changes my life to walk around with my shoulders back, head up, and a soft smile.

My shoulders being back, does not jut chest out like an arrogant pride-man.

My head being up keeps it out of my phone and focused on the people and objects around me.

My smile is not an intense smile like I won the lottery. That smile would be a lie.

That smile would be a lie.

My shoulders are back, where they should be. My head is up, like an adult. My smile is gentle, as if to say, “I am ok and so are you.”

The more I focus on doing these three things as I walk around, the brighter each day is and the happier the people I cross paths with seem to be.

Every time you get up from your chair, give it a try. Roll your shoulders back. Give a gentle exhale and let the tension out. Pick your chin up off your chest. You have a neck for a reason, let it show. Curl the edges of your mouth upwards, smile because you can. The world needs your smile.

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Trying

We cannot know if something is going to work until someone tries it. You don’t have to be the one to try something, but someone has to be the first one to try it. And if is going to work, then why not it be you.

Odds are, whatever it is you are going to try has a pretty low cost in the grand scheme of things, the worst thing that can happen is either your boss or your community will say, ‘No.’ But even if they go that route, they will be nice about it. They are with you for a reason and they want you to succeed and in saying no, they are freeing you up to try something else.

And, if you really do believe in what you’re trying to do, then their no’s won’t stop you, it will deter you closer to a route that will work in the long run.

I know I usually get hung up in the exceptions and the excuses. They slow me down and I buy into them without ever trying a thing.

What is stopping you? What is the next step taking you closer to giving it a try?

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Upside Down & Inside Out

I am sure you have probably seen the Upside Down And Inside Out video by our old friends OK GO. It is a fun video. They obviously had a blast making it and I cannot help but to smile as I watch it!

There is absolutely no reason not to go watch it.

On my second time through the video, I was grinning so much. I was having fun, watching them, have fun. More accurately, I was watching them do something I want to do. They were doing stuff they had probably been dreaming of doing. Who know how long it took them sitting around flinging ideas around before they united on this idea. Then they would have to start calling around and trying to get an airline to agree to let them use their plane to do all this. 

Finally, they get to go have a great time as a group of friends zipping around in Zero G. All because they tried. All because they keep doing something they love do they get the perk of doing something so cool. I get to watch them do something I would love to do because they do what they love to do. They put their work out there. It did not start as four guys in Zero G. It started in some garage somewhere and it probably did not sound this good.

Only now does it sound as fun as it does because they kept trying and improving. Trying and improving. They get to do what they do because they keep doing what they do. I am sure there are plenty of crummy parts, where they do not want to do this anymore. But I know when I look back on my life and the fun times. I do not think about all the hard times in the midst of the fun times. I think about how much fun I had when I was having fun.

What is something you only dream of doing? What are the steps between you and doing what you dream of doing? How do you make the next step towards your dream? How are you going to feel if a year from now, you still have not taken the next step towards your dream?

Trying,

–JT

Revolving Door

Last week I was in New York City. I was blessed with a vacation by my in-laws. The thrust of the trip was rest, relaxation, touristing, and celebrating my sited-in-law’s college graduation. I believe I did these things well. During this trip we saw all the sights and did all of the things. Honestly, ask me if we did whatever thing it is you think we absolutely HAD to do and I’m guessing we probably did it.

Also during the trip, I had a couple days to myself to run around the city, see what I would want to see, and generally enjoy the city in such a way as I would prefer. I took some time to reflect about me and what I think and how I feel about life during these days. I was looking for the unexpected. Truly, looking for what I was missing about myself. Nothing struck me as I was sitting with a few strangers, all us relaxing in an 85 year old establishment titled, ‘Nat Sherman International.’ After a bit of relaxation, I departed the Nat Sherman and ventured around the city to go shopping. I found my way to my corporate coffee shop of choice to get a delicious iced black tea. 

On my way out of the coffee shop, it struck me. In the face, it struck me. The revolving door of the coffee shop struck me in the face *almost* and I had an epiphany simultaneously. Funny how often these two things coincide. 

I think the revolving door almost striking me in the face reminded me of the truest reality of life, teamwork, and success. The idea I was struck by was how a revolving door works. It is both simple and incredibly profound. When I step into the door, I am usually stepping in behind someone else. This person is probably pushing the door in front of them to keep the doors revolving. When I step in, I am unconsciously faced with a decision to start pushing right then or ride on the laurels of the person in front of me. If I take the latter of these two options, then I will be left in the turnstile after the person in front of me exits. Upon their exit, the revolving door will continue to move, centrifugal force; eventually, the door will stop moving with me inside of it.

I am then faced with my final choice, I can either stop here, count my losses, and wallow, or I can start pushing. It will be much harder to start pushing from the dead stop, I will have to build up the momentum again and there is always friction around me. But it can be done. I will push until I am all the way through the door. As I exit, I am faced with the last decision.

How hard am I pushing as I exit?

Am I pushing just enough to squeeze out a crack for me, a crevice through which I can exit? Or, am I sprinting through the exit? Am I pushing until logically beyond my capacity. The door is around the corner and about to hit me in the back of the head, but I am still pushing so the person behind me is able to build more momentum then I have.

In my life, I am not dying any time soon, as far as I know, however, there are a dozen different situations and contexts for my life. 

My vacation being one of them. As I left for NYC, did I leave pushing extra hard and farther than I needed to so the people still in the turnstile would be able to carry on the momentum while I was gone? Or, did I leave and they were left to deal with the leftovers as I snuck out of the crack the door provided for me.

As you are at work, as a parent, a friend, or a confidant you are growing and other people are filling in the gaps you are creating. Are you pushing the revolving door with all your might as you exit? What do you need to do to push a little harder, and make the door swing a little farther than before?

Pushing,

–JT

Choosing Me

Recently, I had the opportunity to get out of town with my wife and really just get away. Just an overnight trip nothing too elaborate; but, definitely a gem in the month of January, so quickly after the holidays. During this trip I found myself speaking out. Pointing out issues to store clerks, a little more aggressive in my ability to pick out issues in conversations with strangers, and generally more apt to fight for a little more than what I was being given. I wasn’t being mean. I wasn’t being rude. I wasn’t obnoxious, annoying, or demeaning. I was genuinely pointing out what I saw, asking for help when I needed it, and using my voice.

It

Was

Awesome.

If you’ve never tried it, you should! 

As we were heading home and talking about our trip together, my wife pointed out these differences in me. She appreciated the difference, especially as my outspokenness was not a combative maneuvers towards her during an “intense moment of fellowship.”

I reflected reflected on the difference, pondered, chuckled, and said, “I decided to choose me.” 

Choosing me resonates deep within my core. Especially right now. I am in a place where I am meeting adversity. In the face of adversity, I am still going to choose me. Previously, I would have just laid down and given up. I would have kept quiet. I would have been taken what I was given. This time I to chose me and I am not going to give up. I am not going to choose me because I am better or have a marginal superiority. I am going to choose me because I was chosen first. 

How often do you choose you?

Choosing

–JT