Epic Quests Are Born From Clear Intentions

I wrote this blog post to: Lost by Lost Sky 🎵

Last week I wrote how much I love ops. At the end, I said the next post would be about incident severity. Surprise! This post isn’t about severity: If you know me well when I say “now is not the right time” it usually means I’m onto something much harder, much better, and timing is important…We will come back to it at the precise moment it needs to happen – soon, but not quite yet… Be intentional. 🙂

This week I know I need to write about personal tenets.

One of my favorite short reads on the subject is “No bullshit Tenets for Faster Decision Making” by Jade Rubick. If you are in an endless loop of “We keep having the same arguments as a team on this call and don’t know how to get out of this misery” start there. However, if you’ve never done the exercise at all, before doing it for a team or even a meeting… start with defining your own tenets.

Personal belief systems begin with accepting that sometimes one will never reach alignment with a person and (1) that is okay and (2) that’s where an amazing journey begins for you both. If that makes you nervous, that’s realistic. It should. This isn’t an easy journey, but it’s one that makes you stronger because it empowers you to action your own life, your own decisions, around the decisions of others. It’s magical when you find you’re actually on the same page on a fundamental level. And when you’re not? It’s still a life worth living.

Personal Tenets

I think back on hard moments, the ones that earned me nicknames for which I am so incredibly thankful, because often they are a result of living my beliefs. In the same way my husband certainly prides himself on being a gentleman (he likes to make things for me like a warm Valerian root tea at night, before I even think to want it just to see the reaction on my face), I try really hard to do the right thing for others before they may see it. I don’t always get it right. Often the universe winks and says “You still have so much to learn, but good job, here are the doors you need instead.”

I want you to live a life of purpose where you can look back and say, “I did that. I learned so much from it. And it was awesome” and understand why and how you got there through your own conviction and agency.

So with that said, there was a document I used to keep for my own sanity – these are my personal leadership principles, my personal tenets, so that in the most complicated moments of my life I know exactly what to do and you can anticipate what and how I will operate (now updated!):

Always Be Kind (Kept this one!)
When given an opportunity to do so, be kind. Be thankful. Be appreciative. Shut down rumors. Put good out into the world so that it will come back in volume. In an effort to be decisive, people will believe you are failing this tenet. Show the opposite by indexing into it daily – remind people how good they are, remind their peers how good they are. Spend ruthlessly your time on your efforts to be kind. Prioritize those opportunities. In the darkest moments find an opportunity through action. And in the kindest moments… find an opportunity to say “Yes. And.” (Thanks, Amy).
Words Are Power (Kept this one!)
What you say will be copied, it will be misunderstood, it will be shared without credit to you, it will be used by others to influence their livelihood, and it will be used to take action. Write directionally. What you cut is just as important as what you don’t. Write between the lines. You drop 100% of the packets you never send.
Question the System (Changed)
Scale systems that demonstrate good. Re-evaluate ones that constrict. Assume people have the best intentions but may be beholden to structure against their own lives. Identify systems that work and question systems that apply undue burden of process. When business seems “too hard” inspect first the systems. (Formerly tenet, “Bad Systems turn Good people into Bad People,” formerly “Fuck the System”).
Be Intentional (New)
Understand your main quests, your side quests and how many you can have. Be accountable for your choices. Admit the quests you no longer want to be on and make a safe plan to get off of them. Finish missions you start that put good into the world even if you realize it’s the wrong mission for you. Time is the single most valuable resource – measure your intentions against it daily.
Let Go In the Right Direction (New)
Say ‘No’ in the right direction – Find the people who want to own things that match your missions and give them a chance to own those things. Support them. Encourage growing others before yourself (and you will grow regardless). For every side quest on your plate, try to make it another’s main quest. Remember, family comes first.
If We Aren’t Laughing, We’re Doing it Wrong (New)
You should be laughing 80% of the time. So why aren’t you? What message are you sending that is failing this tenet? Stop at nothing if you feel the balance is off – in your family, in your job, in yourself.

What are yours?

I’ve come to realize with time, I need to iterate on them, but also that there are some that will always resonate with me, no matter where I go, no matter who I meet, no matter who you are. It’s the ones that stick around I find, that have earned the nicknames and the ones I keep tweaking are aligned with the hardest quests I’m on.

So, what are yours and what nicknames will you gain after you action your life on your beliefs?

On another note, I guess I’m writing weekly now.

Image Credit: NASA on Unsplash – “Footprint on Lunar Regolith: For all Mankind.”