Telling Smaller Lies

July 20, 2016 · 0 comments

People like certainty but we live in an uncertain world.

The future is uncertain and therefore it’s scary, so we tell ourselves stories about the future. We know they’re lies, but they’re good lies. They help us set our expectations.

We can’t help but lie to ourselves. If we didn’t, if we had to live completely in the unknown, then we probably wouldn’t get out of bed in the morning. Moving into the future with a sense of security is a good thing as long as we recognize that it’s a sense, an educated guess, and a projection to be validated and verified with reality.

As soon as we validate and get feedback, we learn the truth. The trick is to validate frequently, and when you get feedback, do something with the information.

I’ve seen a lot of teams do retrospectives and write up list of great things they could do to solve immediate problems, and then never get around to doing any of them.

If you are in a team that faces this problem then consider looking for small ways to improve that are easy to implement, and that can accumulate and compound over time. A few small changes consistently made over time can end up having a more lasting effect than a radical change that is tried and then abandoned.

If we can’t help but lie to ourselves then let the stories that we make up be empowering and drive us toward good action. We get to tell ourselves anything we want, so let’s tell ourselves stuff that ultimately makes us proud of ourselves and of our accomplishments.

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