I'm going to lie to you, and that's ok
We're still friends, it's not you, it's me.
If you are a friend and reading this now, this is me, letting you know I'm going to lie to you. It's not personal, and it's not that we aren't friends; the truth is too painful sometimes, and lying to you lets me lie to myself.
I've always been a person that values openness and deep honesty. But, as I've gotten older and increasingly dealt with difficult things, I've learned that while those things are essential, they have their drawbacks.
Sometimes a friend that asks how I'm doing isn't ready for an honest answer. Or, more often, I'm not ready to admit what the honest answer is to myself or anyone else.
I recently ran one of the most brutal, simple errands of my life. A couple from our area live and work in the city in China, where our son (whom we are working to adopt) lives. Our main connection to him is through this sweet couple. They recently let us know they will be going back soon and asked if we wanted to send our son a care package. So my wife went shopping with our boys and got him a stuffed animal, some clothes, and a lego set. Then, it was my job to take the care package to this couple to pack for their trip.
I drove to the home, thinking about this boy, that I consider to be my son, halfway around the world, and the closest I can get to him is to hug this stuffed rabbit, whisper "I love you," and hope that someday I will finally get to see him and tell him myself. We have been seeking to adopt him since May 21, 2019; that's 1,042 days and counting. If my guess is correct, it will be at least a year more of waiting. All while he waits and hopes for a family to love him. All while he looks at a picture and dreams of a different life, outside of an orphanage, with a family. All while we miss him, he misses us, and the world continues to spin in between.
If you are my friend and ask how I'm doing, I can't tell you that story; it's too hard. I can't tell you that every holiday is a mix of enjoying our amazing family and crushing sadness that one of our family is missing. I can't tell you the guilt I feel for the days when I don't think of our boy in China because life was busy that day.
What I can tell is I'm ok. That's the truth. At that moment, when you ask, I'm ok. That's all I can be, because people need me, and I can't change global geopolitics. I'm ok because I have to be. But, dear friend, there are those moments when I'm not, and in those moments, I may lie to you and myself, and that's ok too.
Great leadership reading from this week
I Use This Simple 'Error Checklist' to Avoid My Worst Mistakes. My Performance and Confidence Have Skyrocketed
I’ve never thought about an error checklist, but I like the idea. Write down what didn’t go well over the last month, summarize it into a checklist, and check that list from time to time, so you don’t make the same mistakes. Simple and brilliant.
Being the best talker doesn’t mean you have the best ideas
Another great post from my friend Mickey. As someone that is often a good talker, this is a good reminder that often I need to be quiet, hang back, and make sure other people have the room they need to contribute. Likely that will bring out better ideas than mine and help everyone do better.
Stop Wasting People’s Time with Meetings
At this point, I avoid most meetings, mainly because they require a lot of time and have little impact on outcomes. This has some great tips on how to make meetings better.
Employees want more freedom. Here’s how to give it without spoiling your team
Freedom is better than money for
manymost employees. But, freedom is hard to give, and people can take advantage. This article has some great ideas for extending freedom.
Other interesting reading from this week
Mental time travel is a great decision-making tool — this is how to use it
Imagine what your life will look like when you wake up tomorrow. Now imagine waking up in a year. Now imagine waking up in ten years. What does it look like each time? What’s different? What’s better? Now, what do you need to do to get there?
Effortless Journaling: The Small Habit That Can Improve Your Entire Life
I’ve been thinking about doing more journaling to gain perspective. This may be just what I need to get going.
Great podcasts from this week
The McDonald's Hot Coffee Case - You're Wrong About
OMG, I’m shocked by how wrong I was about the McDonald’s hot coffee case. I made jokes about the frivolous lawsuit and how silly it was to sue over spilling hot coffee. I didn’t know that this poor woman was in the hospital for a week from the burns from the coffee and was unable to stand or walk well for the rest of her life! This episode was so good and gave me perspective. This is worth your time!
How to Succeed at Getting in Flow - How to Succeed Podcast
This was a great episode about getting into a flow state where you can do high-quality work well.
My Podcasts to check out
Tech Talk Y'all - My tech/comedy news podcast.
Real Pink - I host the national podcast for Susan G. Komen. If you want some inspiration or information about breast cancer, give it a listen.
TechBridge Talks - A podcast about using technology to end generational poverty.
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