Principles

Published on 2021-05-25

I'm slowly refining my principles (I'm not really sure if they're principles or philosophies). This is what I have so far.

Spend career capital on others.

As I build career capital and influence within the organizations I belong to, I want to use that capital and influence by spending it on those who have been denied it unjustly so that they can excel. The only way the work I do and the actions I take matter is if I do it with the intent of helping to raise others up.

Live life as a vector: forward with velocity

In everything, find the next right thing and try it. Keep moving forward. Maintain velocity. It may not be the right thing, but it's at least a thing to try. If you try it and it's wrong, it's still right because you know you need to pivot. The important thing is that you're constantly finding what's next and doing it.

If it's safe to try, let it fly.

When things are safe to try, try them. I won't let excuses or objections or blocking "what if"s be the things that hold me back.

Be clear, not clever.

“Clever code” and “clever language” often creates confusion. Choosing to be clear emphasizes that the value is in the message, not in the implementation.

Enough is best.

More isn’t better. Less isn’t better. Enough is best. There’s power in saying exactly what needs to be said or doing exactly what needs to be done. It doesn’t mean that I should “settle” for what’s in front of me. It does mean that I should know exactly what needs to be done and to do it the best that I can. If I could have added more, make that the next objective and stay on task. It means only removing that which can be removed without sacrificing exactly what’s meant to be said.

Hope is not a strategy. Be prepared.

Every day comes with new circumstances and new challenges. Hoping for every day to go well is not a strategy. The strategy is to always be aware of the challenges I've faced in the past and the challenges I'm likely to experience in the future and prepare for how to handle them. Plan for Chaos, Strive for Order.

Context, context, context.

Context gives our experiences and ideas purpose. Always provide context when presenting ideas or feelings or experiences, without it, they're just data points.

do. document. distribute. automate.

Strive to do work that can only be done once. It’s deep work.

If it can be done, but must be done more than once, start with documenting the process. Understanding something well enough to document it creates a stronger context.

If it’s a process that can be documented but can’t yet be automated, distribute: teach others how to do it, leveraging the documentation. Sharing the toil makes room for the task to be automated so that the toil can be eliminated altogether.

Finally, automate the task, and start over at "do that which can only be done once". Automating allows all who toiled to then focus on deep work.

It’s a good day for a good day.

It’s easy to allow negative outcomes or undesired circumstances to passively guide me into feeling that it was a bad day. Choosing that today is a good day for a good day and focusing on the wins of the day and the positive outcomes allows me to own the day, to be an active accelerant in my own success.

See the best in people, even when they can't.

On hard days, it can be difficult to see the best in people. On their easy days it can be hard for them to see the best in themselves. Choosing to see the best in people gives me an opportunity to expand my perspective and help others realize their potential, even when they can't realize it themselves.

Daily a Learner, Daily a Teacher.

Every day learn something new. Every day share something new with someone else. Knowledge and understanding spread like wildfire when there is a constant desire to create a cycle of learning and sharing.

Not doing something is worse than doing it poorly

^a35dc5

This is especially true where it comes to writing things down. There needs to be a counter-balance principle that is "reflect on how a thing was done".


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graphic I made of the colorado flag's C
Made with curiosity in Colorado