Looking back at the first newsletter I sent in 2019, I realize I could use the reminder. And maybe you can too.
It was about a great book title – one that stops you in your track to ponder. This kind of books are really difficult to come by if you think about it. So when I saw this one, I wanted to share what it inspired me to consider.
This book’s title alone nudged me to think about what it implies, so I can only hope that the rest of it is just as good.
Looking back at the last 5 years of my life, I couldn’t agree more with it. What got to become a freelancer is vastly different from what it took to get my last job. What got me to the point of building a strong, loving relationship with my better half is not at all similar to my previous romantic experience.
My motivations were different because my self-awareness was much weaker. Behaviors and contexts were wildly dissimilar.
Having this realization about the past changed how I look at the future.
Clearly, achieving my future goals will take a distinct set of skills, processes, and resources to pull off.
Here’s where I found a quote from the book I named this newsletter after that makes me want to read it. It touches on exactly this connection between our past and our future and how we should try to refrain from projecting one into the other.
“Understanding the past is perfectly admissible if your issue is accepting the past. But if your issue is changing the future, understanding will not take you there.”
Our minds are sometimes treacherous friends, building continuity bridges where there aren’t any shores to support them.
We do so because we instinctively fear change (some more than others). That’s why we hang on to the belief that what has worked in the past will work again and produce the same results, if not better ones!
But, in all honesty, we have to admit that was got us here won’t get us there.
“One of the greatest mistakes of successful people is the assumption, “I behave this way, and I achieve results. Therefore, I must be achieving results because I behave this way.”
This belief is sometimes true, but not across the board. That’s where superstition kicks in. It creates the core fallacy necessitating this book, the reason that “what got us here won’t get us there.”
I’m talking about the difference between success that happens because of our behavior and the success that comes in spite of our behavior.
Almost everyone I meet is successful because of doing a lot of things right, and almost everyone I meet is successful in spite of some behavior that defies common sense.”
Instead of following the same pattern and expecting a different result, another author I’m excited to discover proposes an alternative.
Carol Dweck, who wrote Mindset, suggests we use the power of “yet”.
This way, she says, we can build a path towards the future, leaving room for growth and flexibility.
I haven’t managed to do 20 push-ups yet.
I’ve not mastered video marketing yet.
We haven’t committed to marriage yet.
I haven’t quit smoking yet.
The power of “yet” comes with a powerful assumption: when we frame our decisions, actions, and behaviors this way, we acknowledge that our abilities are capable of incredible growth.
Giving ourselves this outlook can help us cultivate perseverance and grit, both necessary to get us there. The meaning of effort and difficulty shift and we build our growth mindset along with it.
I haven’t sent my best newsletter yet.
So you can bet I’ll try hard every time to make it even more useful, inquisitive, and stimulating for both of us.
P.S. This was originally sent on January 5th, 2019 (with minor updates added to reflect my current habits).
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