maybe I'm wrong

Mental prompts. Every weekday.

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Gate to the Ordinary
The most primitive parts of our brain are designed to recognize food sometimes, sex sometimes, and threats always.

For most of our modern worlds, the amount of daily stimulation surrounding us has outpaced our genetic expectations, but we try our best to keep up. We build gates so that our focuses narrow on the risks in front of us (or behind us, or in our past or future). In doing so, we're having to ignore more sensory inputs than ever before.

Where we once ignored the sound of the river to focus on the stirring in the grass, we now ignore the train tracks, car horns, shouting, advertisements, and smells of fried food mixed with the exhaust from the cars whizzing by, all so we can focus on our podcast, all while we stay on the alert for danger. We do it this simultaneously, without really thinking about it.

Maybe, at least occasionally, we need to be put in an environment where the gates are allowed to open. Where we're allowed to shut off the part of us that is trained to ignore everything - to shut off the part of us that is trained to sniff out the danger in every moment.


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Lateral Management
The job title manager implies you are solely responsible to manage those below you.

In reality, most of the things we categorize as management (morale management, expectation setting, quality of life assurance, domain buffering, peace keeping, etc.) is  done by peers, not managers. It happens during the day-to-day conversations, decisions, brain-storming sessions, and meals. It's built through collective empathy and understanding.

"I see you, because I'm there too."

Maybe it's an organizations job to lift up peers who are adding collective management value. Of course, lifting them up with a title, raise, or promotion, often hinders the very work they've been recognized for.

In the end, maybe it's not called management after all. It's culture.
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Social Nomad
As we grow up our social context is ever shifting. Friends, family, tribes, partners - they shift in and out or your life as you grow up. Sometimes this shift is geographic, sometimes it’s cognitive, and sometimes it’s both.
 
 Maybe during these periods of transitions we are social nomads - searching for the others that will make us feel what we require. 
 
In the past, geographic approximation forced our hand - you needed to be deeply integrated into the social systems that physically surrounded you. Instantaneous global connection changed everything. The fidelity of communication and interaction has opened us up to new worlds of possibility.
 
Of course, this is still new. The social nomad, once a rare outlier, is now in all of us. Not only is it in us, but the availability to find groups who get you is easier than ever.

Surely this gives solace to those who feel physically trapped with a tribe they don’t identify with. It opens worlds of freedom and opportunity to those that might feel oppressed by the norms of their physical world.
 
 But maybe this also gives us an easy out. It gives us easy places to hide and allows us to avoid the hard work of discovering and discussing ideas that we don’t immediately agree with. After all, there’s a group somewhere that believes exactly what you believe (and if they don’t work out, there will be another). Maybe this mode of behavior turns the world inside out - shifting the lens we see through as a reflection of our hiding places.
 
Maybe social networks are exactly that - interstates for the social nomads in all of us.

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Blame
When something goes wrong, there's a few ways to handle it. One way is to find where the nearest fault-line falls outside of your domain, and point the finger. Another is to disregard who's at fault and focus on a solution.

The latter approach is unnatural to us. Maybe it's unnatural because if something went wrong when we were kids, we would get in trouble. Our worth, in some way, was on the line and we needed to protect it. Maybe that worth was tied to love, security, protection, support, but it made sense to us then.

The problems occur when you grow up. You find yourself in more situations where there is nobody around to get you in trouble. Pointing the finger falls on deaf ears.

Not only that, but you start to learn that others respect you more when you disregard the impulse to blame - you're viewed as someone who leads.

You are the grown up.
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Rehabit
We all have habits. Some good, some bad. Some we've chosen, and others chosen for us. Some are seen and others are invisible.

It can sometimes feel like habits are patterns which will exist forever - the struggle against them feeling impossible. But we know that's not true. We've seen negative patterns disappear, even if the absence is fleeting.

So maybe it's up to us to decide. Not to simply decide things will be different (that hardly seems to work), but to decide we're going to do the hard work of observing the habits when they show up, decide to recognize them, and decide to forgive ourselves.

In the end, maybe decisions like these open space for a new path.
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Read all about it
No fiction can match the unrelenting drama that is the world we live in.

Each country, city, and burrow has events worthy of a second look occuring every single day. Although this has always been true, the internet has helped us consolidate this overwhelming data set into a smaller, easier to manage, global* lists (and it's given us convenient platforms where we can yell at each other discuss such lists).

As a result, we get a concise set of the worst of what's happening around the globe, and we get it every single day. The closer and more frequently we look, the more money is made selling ads (one mustn't be uninformed, after all).

Of course, it's easy to get wrapped up in what's going on, even if we can't quite influence it. The drama fuels the part of us that wants to know. The fear fuels the part of us that wants to keep us safe. The injustice fuels the part of us that wants control.

But maybe, as we lay on our deathbed, the anxiety fueled by the headlines of March 12th, 2018 (or any other particular day) might not seem so crucial. Maybe we'll wish that we had looked a little closer to home for a sense of what's happening in the world, and what deserves our focus.

* Less global than the label suggests, as it primarily focuses on western, english-speaking places and people
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Power of Distraction
Our world is filled with the most wonderful distractions.

On one hand, these distractions can be used to mask our pain, circumventing the healing that takes place when we sit still. After all, there's a TV show, video game, podcast, or novel ready to help you forget.

On the other hand, sometimes we need a little help. The power of our mind to put the darkness on repeat has helped us survive (which has ensured the survival of these traits as well).

We live in an incredible time, with more tools today to aid healing and enlightenment than ever before. Maybe we should view each emerging distraction as a tool in our tool belt.

Maybe just because we have a hammer, not everything is a nail.
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Gratitude
Gratitude is continually linked to happiness and good health. As a result, you're told to simply feel gratitude in your life. For many of us, however, attempting to seek gratitude as a habit can be awkward, forced, or somehow disingenuous.

Of course, we've all had the experience when the bad times come, that we can more clearly see how good things were/are/can be. Being engulfed in the fog of suffering makes us long for life outside it's vale, and, unfortunately, when the fog lifts we rarely retain our appreciation.

And so, feeling gratitude over the suffering in our life is honoring the seed of graciousness. Like all seeds, it's destined for growth, but withers without nourishment.

Maybe our job, then, is simply to wait for life to hand us the seed, and nurture it. Maybe remaining connected to good we see through the fog ensures that it can't thicken so easily.
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Articulation
Historically, having a leader that can rally a tribe is what we've valued above all else. Can this person get people to show up? Can this person inspire? Are they likable? Can this person not disgust everyone?

Our tribes have gotten larger, more specific, and more complex. Maybe we're entering an era where the a rallying cry isn't enough. Maybe now, what we require is someone who can articulate the complex needs of our shared goals, not only to their own tribe, but (especially) to tribes that aren't primed to care or understand.


We are only as strong as we are united, as weak as we are divided...
- Albus Dumbledore

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Jumping Ship
Our culture tells us we need to be everything.

What are we good at? What's our passion? Where can we make an impact? What projects, tribes, causes, or organizations can we contribute to?

And so our heads go spinning with the possibilities we jump from ship to ship, attempting to scratch the surface.

Of course, when we try to do everything, we don't go deep enough to truly make a the impact we want. Maybe in our attempt to be everything, when it's all said and done, we'll have been nothing of consequence.
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