INSIGHTS (on leadership/self-leadership)
Movie star Seth Rogen was recently interviewed about his fast-growing cannabis lifestyle company, Houseplant. In reflecting on why he started the company at this point in his life, Rogen offered this gem about aging meaningfully:
“As you get older, and you do more things, hopefully you get better at minimizing the gap between what you want to be putting out into the world, and what you are putting out into the world.”
Toke on that for a moment.
Therein lies an important insight. It’s easy to get caught up in the daily grind of going, going, going, doing, doing, doing, until one day, often alarmingly late in life, you look up and realize you’ve drifted. You don’t love what you’re putting out into the world. You’re staring at a yawning gap between the person you want to be, the life you want, and where you are.
It’s a great goal for aging gracefully and with purpose. Ask yourself, “What do I want to put out into the world?” Acknowledge the gap between today and that desired state, and be honest about what’s getting in the way.
Then commit, in steps, leaps, or bounds, to close that gap. To put out into the world what fulfills you, not what fully fills your current calendar.
IMPERFECTIONS (a mistake many make)
I was recently blown away by the simplest of gestures – the kind of gesture all too many of us fail to make. A Delta pilot, via a smiling flight attendant, gave me this little card:
It’s a note, addressed to me personally, thanking me for my frequent flying status, and how much he appreciated my loyalty and business.
But why, wow? Well, I’ve never seen that in all my years of flying. And he had cards written like mine, for everyone on the flight.
It got me thinking about the power of a simple, unexpected thank you from a leader. From someone you’d think was too busy or otherwise engaged to notice. From someone in an elevated position, a few degrees removed from your day to day.
You can invoke this sense of awe as a leader, too. Pick someone, this week, who you really appreciate, and who wouldn’t expect a written note from you.
Then write that note. And like the pilot, watch heartfelt appreciation take flight.
(By the way: if writing a note really isn’t your style, verbally giving unexpected thanks works too. As proof, look at the photo below, from a separate flight. It’s a heartfelt note I received from a Delta flight attendant, with a promise of 15,000 frequent flyer miles, handed to me as I was getting off the plane. All because I spoke a few words of encouragement and kindness to her while she was handling a rude, unruly passenger.)
IMPLEMENTATION (one research-backed strategy, tip, or tool)
Sometimes we get burdened with things we wish we hadn’t: more work, thorny problems, unwanted stressors, unfair circumstances. It can wear down your patience, perseverance, and perspective.
I find this sentiment, from author James Clear, to be a potent reminder that helps ramp up your resilience when burdens have you down:
“You don’t always get to choose the load, but you can choose how to carry it.”