Tag Archives: reflection

TYMMPB… | Being Silver and Exact

I don’t think you will ever realize the weight on your shoulders. Actually, the expectations cast as glances, shadows, dreams upon you. Even at this age — 2 months today — every person who looks at you has expectations.

It’s not easy. I failed often, and miserably — often miserably, miserably often — with that same weight on my shoulders. But watching you this past month gives me extraordinary peace. Because I realize something you do extraordinarily well already is reflect back to all of these people what they expect of you.

When your sister sings to you, you indulge her voice, her pitch, her volume, her passion and even, her sometimes unknowing heavy handedness. She can’t help it. It’s love.

When your mother feeds you, you indulge all she has to offer you. Her nourishment, sure, but her love, her warmth, her hold, her comfort. You take it all in furiously and give it back, cheek to cheek.

When your Dadiji and Naniji come to visit. And know this, between them, you’ve had a grandmother here for about 7 of your 8.5 weeks. When they come to visit you let them hold you, hug you, change you … you reflect back all of the extraordinary, pure and intense love they direct your way by being. In their arms. Being.

I mean wow. Look at how much happiness you bring people by doing nothing other than being?

That’s you. A mirror for all of our love. Incredibly patient. Hell, you went 6 days without dropping a deuce, going to borderline jaundice, and the only thing we could tell the doctor was “yeah, he’s … a little fussy? we guess?” At two months you managed to calm our nerves by not letting the world phase you. A mirror that managed to bend and reflect back even our own insecurities in beautiful ways distorting them into something calm, simple, beautiful. Handsome.

Maybe you’ll go a life time being that reflection to all around you. It’s something powerful. People need to see in you their best selves. People do see in you their best selves.

Watching you work your way through month two has made me realize that I can be that better mirror, too. For your mom. For your sister. For your grandparents. For all the people in our lives. Thank you for making me proud, Jaanu. But thank you more for teaching me the importance of reflection … and reflecting. Literally, in some cases. Like this video.

Happy second month, son. You continue to change our lives in ways we never thought possible.

 

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My $.02 | Work | Guiding Principles

Tomorrow, 5/7, I take another step forward in my career when I join LiveIntent as CMO. It’s humbling. It’s an honor. Like any big move I’m motivated and excited about the challenge. And like any normal human being, I’m acutely aware that I have as much power to make things go well as I do to muck things up.

As I enter my new role, excited to work with this amazing group of people who found some value in my experiences and my person enough to invite me to join them, I took some time to reflect on some of my guiding principles. An exercise that served me well in my decision to leave my last role in search of a new one, and a decision that made it right to choose LiveIntent among my several competitive (and equally humbling) offers.

  • Progress to perfection must be a permanent exercise and should be a fruitless one. The world changes too much, and these days, also too quickly. If you’ve set yourself on the correct path, the final goal post should move farther out every time you look up to see how close you’ve gotten. When I look at what makes me happy, it’s clear that I find the permanence and pursuit of greater goals to be more motivating than I find the fruitless nature of them to be demotivating. Per James Thurber, I prefer to be the moth in pursuit of the star as opposed to the siblings in pursuit of a street lamp.
  • Maintain perspective and context by balancing confidence with humility. There are no stupid clients and there are no arrogant teams. There is merely a commitment to a lack of context and introspection. In any situation it is important that you understand the role you play in the lives of the people you serve — whether it be your employees, your clients, your investors professionally, your family and friends personally, or the world and the environment around you as a citizen. Maintain context. Because inflating your own value in your own eyes will make you miss the bigger picture and the opportunities around you, while also making you come across as foolish when all is said and done.
  • Be just as willing to act as you are to espouse. People are increasingly given platforms to share their thoughts. I believe this opportunity (from social media to document sharing to ill-timed meetings) has created a culture of conversation but not of action. As I look back at the people who have helped me and the people who I have enjoyed working with the most, it is not those who tell the greatest stories (stories can always change, stories can always extend — Hollywood has proven that with the sequel.) I find myself gravitating most toward those who work and deliver, and have committed myself to always being the one to bell-the-cat.
  • If you’re given the option, choose being clear over being clever. There’s no fable here. These are the words of my Jivan Mama, one of the strongest mentors in my life. When I was young and we were at dinner together, I used to just listen to him talk about how he approached his life and his work. One of the best pieces of advice I received from him was his desire to always be perceived as clear. I don’t think I do this nearly well enough, but boy do I want to. The moral of the story here is about where you focus. If you focus on being clever, you’re playing a game. Your energy, and the energy of everyone around you, is then focused on the playing the game as well. But by being clear, and by eliminating noise, you shift your focus from day-to-day gamesmanship and instead, focus on the outcomes. When you’re clear, nobody has to worry about what you’re thinking, what your priorities are, or how things will be received — everyone can instead focus on the task itself and the desired outcome.

There is no shortage of morals or lessons learned to pull from as I start my new role at LiveIntent. I’ll be posting one more on lessons learned from the past. But on this Tuesday morning, less than 24 hours before I start, these four bullets are the ones I find myself settling on with the greatest conviction. Looking forward to starting my new job, and to continuing to get better.

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