Lost in the Weeds, Living in the Clouds

Failing to act, acting to fail.

Hey friends,

It's been a few weeks since I promised myself to start working on my annual review, but apparently it's that period of my life again where I don't have time* for anything beyond work and basic life maintenance.

However, some of the recent conversations I've had with some of my friends and some of the challenges I've been dealing with in my professional life lately make me keep thinking about these two failure modes:

  • Lost in the weeds
  • Living in the clouds

On one hand, there are people (or product teams, or organizations) who seem to be stuck in an endless loop of doing: putting out fires, dealing with emergencies, fending off challenges life throws at them, having way too much on their plates.

On the other hand, there are people (or product teams, or organizations) who seem to be stuck in an endless loop of envisioning: wishing or yearning for something, thinking about acting, hoping for outcomes, creating vision statements.

In the short term, both of these extremes are fine, even expected. Shit happens and emergencies have to be dealt with. Dreams and visions are what get you moving, hopes and aspirations are what keep you going when the going gets tough.

But if you find yourself operating in either of these modes for a longer than absolutely necessary period of time, you're probably lost in the weeds or living in the clouds. And you will fail accordingly if you don't change your ways: by getting buried in the noise, or by failing to live out your purpose.

How do you know how long "longer than absolutely necessary" is? If you caught yourself thinking more than a few times about perhaps changing the way you do things because the current approach doesn't seem to be working all that well, then it might be a good time to start doing things differently for a change.

Have a balanced week


A few thoughts

Preparation is half the battle. These past few weeks we've seen temperatures as low as -23C around here, and not just briefly – but for many days in a row. Way colder than anything I can remember these past ~5 years. But it's also the first winter in years that I've actually prepared for by getting proper winter clothes, so I don't hate it as much as I usually do.

The productivity/procrastination cycle. Having an incredibly productive day today makes it more likely I'll have an incredibly procrastinative day tomorrow.

Enjoyed this

#28: Main Character Energy, and having your cake and eating it "The point of life is not to be something to anyone. It’s to build things with people you love and admire, that help others, and make the future better. It’s impossible to do this as a dilettante. You really do have to choose. Choosing dilettantism is choosing irrelevance. The curse of optionality is that you never get anything done worth doing."

Choose optimism "The life of a pessimist is easy but dreary. The life of an optimist is hard but exciting. Pessimism is easy because it costs nothing. Optimism is hard because it must be constantly reaffirmed. In the face of a hostile, cynical world, it takes effort to show that positivity has merit."

The fun part

Meet Leo – he's a good boy! And a big one. And only 8 months old.