The Power of Slow Change, Visual Wisdom, & More
Today at a Glance
- Question: What are you celebrating next year?
- Quote: The leap of faith.
- Framework: Pygmalion Effect.
- Image: Wisdom in visual form.
- Essay: Slow changes.
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Question to celebrate a future reality:
What are you going to be celebrating one year from today?
During our event in London, Ali led the crowd through a visualization exercise that I loved.
Close your eyes. Imagine you are sitting here one year from now. You're smiling from ear to ear. You're celebrating something.
What are you celebrating?
Spend a few minutes thinking about it. What are you going to be celebrating one year from now? Vividly imagine it.
What growth, achievement, or progress is making you smile and cheer?
For each of your career, health, and relationships, identify what you're going to be celebrating one year from now.
Then go out and take the tiny daily actions to make that imagined celebration a reality.
P.S. Email me your response. Check back with me in one year when you're actually celebrating it!
Quote on the final leap of faith:
"We must walk consciously only part way toward our goal, and then leap in the dark to our success." - Henry David Thoreau
Planning, preparation, and execution will only take you 95% of the way there.
The last 5% requires a leap of faith.
Framework on expectations and reality:
The Pygmalion Effect
The Pygmalion Effect is a behavioral phenomenon in which the level of expectations placed on a subject impact their level of performance:
- High expectations lead to high performance.
- Low expectations lead to low performance.
The core idea is simple:
- Those who have high expectations placed on them are more likely to internalize these expectations and improve their performance accordingly.
- Those who have low expectations placed on them are more likely to internalize these expectations and weaken their performance accordingly.
You've probably experienced the phenomenon in your own life. When we are aware of someone's high expectations, we want to rise to the occasion and prove those expectations were well-founded.
As a business leader or manager, understanding the impact of expectations can be a difference maker. A simple, positive vocalization of the high expectations you have for each member of the team can provide a free push in the right direction.
As a parent, I think about this a lot. Striking a balance between vocalizing high expectations and being overly-demanding is the key, but a child knowing that you hold them in high regard can go a long, long way.
My friend and mentor Kat Cole summarized this well:
"I’ve learned that when I see people for their potential and their possibilities, that they seem to live up to that more quickly…the frequency that I’m let down is so low compared to the frequency that I’m proven right in people’s potential.”
When you view the best in people, you will occasionally be proven wrong, cheated, or let down. Instead of letting this change your future behavior, simply view it as a "tax" against all of the "profit" that you get from the people who prove you right along the way.
Lesson: Expectations can create reality.
Image that really struck me:
This visualization was created by my friend Greg Isenberg.
It captures hundreds of books of wisdom in a single, simple visual. As I've said a million times: Simple is beautiful. Just loved this.
Essay on falling in love with slow:
Beautifully written piece on embracing slow change.
Embracing slow is the ultimate arbitrage, the ultimate edge. It allows you to think in decades while the world thinks in days and weeks.
This all relates closely to my Growth Paradox:
Growth takes a much longer time coming than you think, but then happens much faster than you ever thought possible.