I ran into an old friend at a coffee shop yesterday.
We exchanged pleasantries, filled each other in on what we were up to, talked about work, etc. The usual stuff. Then I said, “You know, just causing trouble where I can.”
Just a typical goof line I often mention in such a circumstance.
But then she replied, “Me too. I think that’s what we are supposed to do…”
[Insert forehead smack]
She’s right. That is what we are supposed to do. With projects. With careers. With plans. With travel. With life…
[Disclaimer: I don't mean law-breaking here. Just for the record...]
In this context, I mean we should always:
1. Question things. Just because that’s how it has always been done? Just because that’s how you were taught? There is a different perspective. On most everything. Probably worth exploring that different view. That’s how we learn. That’s how we see things differently.
2. Challenge things. Challenge assumptions. Challenge beliefs. Challenge rules (not laws, policy). You may end up where you started. Or you may end up innovating.
3. Fix things. You should no longer accept the status quo. If you know how to fix something, or even suspect you know how to fix something, you should tackle it. Some might begin to define NOT doing so as criminal.
4. Try new things. You might just find something better. It wasn’t until I was 40 that I realized I actually liked guacamole. What a shameful place to be, this being afraid to try, test, experiment, expose.
5. Repurpose old things. There’s gold in some of those old gems. Sometimes, newer just isn’t better. Some old school stuff is just better built. Reliable.
6. Connect things. We are, in fact, a social people. Life happens when people are connected. But somehow we all started living in cliques. Break free from that. Connect with new people. Force that connection. That old comfort zone leads nowhere.
7. Reinvent things. Twitter was meant as texting on steroids. We as a community decided to change the world with it. And business. And connectivity. And service to others. Always be looking at new ways to apply what you have….what you know.
8. Break things. Because in replacing it, you might find a better alternative. Or in repairing it, you’ll learn a better way. Or in tossing it away, finding more beauty in simplicity.
9. Trust things. The Sun will come up tomorrow. Weeds will grow in the front lawn. Humans will be humans. There are plenty of things to count and rely on. This should give you comfort to try other stuff. Life will, somehow, provide a foundation. You can recover. You can heal.
10. Or don’t trust things. Humans will be humans. Organizations will do what’s profitable, not necessarily what’s right. Suspicions keep you on your toes. Keep you from being complacent. And in that edginess, you might find a new path. Being wary can also mean keeping your eyes open and LOOKING. So, look closer.
Some may call this looking to cause trouble. I also call it living life.
Have you been bad?
[photo from flickr]