Recognizing Ugly


I’ve read several of those short books by SimpleTruths and one that really stuck with me was “Eat That Frog“. I took the 21 principles is lists and made them part of my planning tool, as data rather than a feature. This means I actually have 22 agenda items related to evaluating my day in terms of the frogs I need to eat. The strange thing is I didn’t have a feature for the ugliness of the items I was putting on the agenda.

Was I avoiding something? Could I have really been that dense?

I may have some data in the next few weeks and months that will help me answer those questions. I’ve added a new factor for “ugliness” and have filters that let me make sure I am giving adequate attention to the ugliest items on my agenda. Or rather, I will be able to consider ugliness as one of the ways I tackle my agenda.

The wonderful thing about adding ugliness as a field is that it helped me recognize something I hadn’t seen before. A few days ago, I added Factors to the DateHabit layout, so I could use the insights I got from reading “Eat That Frog” to actually help me change. As I was going through the ETF principles this morning, I started adding Factors to the ones I did after I implemented Ugliness as a feature. That was when I realized I needed to have a new routine that happens monthly.

  • I need to go back and look at the results of my work and see what Factors are showing up for what Habits.
  • And I also need to look at what Habits are showing up on which Factors

This might sound like overkill but I don’t think it is. Consider the post yesterday about Serious Habit Building. I’m using the tool to help myself work backwards from a seemingly impossible goal (losing 70 pounds for example) to a point where I have data to help me make a decision about really doing the change. That was always missing in the past. I would jump into some change I wanted to make and build no support structure for it. I thought that being an intelligent person was enough. It’s only now, with barely four weeks of data, that I recognize I am just like everyone else. Only I might be worse off in the sense that I now have data showing me my failings.

But guess what: Having the courage to fail is one of my strengths. I learn a lot about what works and doesn’t work just by trying things. Not food, but mostly ideas. I’m always looking for ways to get better. And now, I have a tool to help me do it. I have a passion, and Ken Robinson helped me find it.

Or rather, Rolf Smith helped me survive my stint in the corporate world so I could enjoy my retirement and get around to all the ideas I put on the back burner while I was working. I can’t remember when I was having so much fun.

And maybe by the time people start reading this blog, I’ll have something I can show them pieces of, prior to launching my next adventure.

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