70: Lessons learnt in week 14

Lessons learnt in week 14

It’s the end of the week and time to sum up what you learned reading the #weekdaykickoff series. It’s the last post before my 7-days sabbatical.

You accomplished nothing

Start your day convinced that in your life you haven’t achieved anything so that you want to make this and all the following days your best days. You have nothing to lose and everything to win. You’re like a new-born baby with a fresh pair of eyes to be astonished by the world and the curiosity that makes you ask tons of questions.

While you live the day as a child-like adventurer, you use the evening to combine your „child experiences“ with your adult life and ratio. Now your past experience comes handy because nothing beats an ultra-curious adult who is willing to explore and try, but also makes the tough decisions a child would barely be able to do.

You are professional

It’s easy to feel like a fraud when you’re new in a field and clients pay for your service although you barely got your feet wet. It’s uncomfortable when you know you’re not a super high level in your experience and you’re still treated like a professional. It’s also charming and encouraging.

Also, it’s a chicken-egg-problem: Are paying clients an indicator that you’re a professional or is the fact that you provide a service awaiting clients (having no prior payment) showing you’re a professional? You can never be perfectly ready to be professional. There’s always that gray area where you just start doing no matter if (potential) clients would call you an amateur.

In one of my first days as a merchant in training a client who approached me asked questions I didn’t have the answer for, and he asked questions I answered so that he replied: „I could have looked that up on the internet“. Bummer, but a good lesson for me to be permanently more knowledgeable than any client asking for a proper advice.

All that being said: When you’re getting paid, you’re professional.

Get your hands dirty

Nothing is greater than experiential learning. You learn by experience, not by the textbook or sophisticated formulas. Even if you consider yourself a theory person (I do as well) the actual, tangible sensation in your senses of talking to a French local in a village near Bordeaux (with your beginner’s French) is truly immersive. It creates a key memory inside your head which you’ll store longer than the third paragraph of page 76 in your French exercise book.

When you’re a practitioner, you know what you’re talking about, and are ahead of 95 percent of the world who only re-chew what someone else had said based on his/her own experience. If you experience it yourself, you’re holding true value (you can use for later), and you know the effort (time and energy) it took to have accomplished this learning challenge.

Release your thoughts

There are two ways to operate with your thoughts: in an infinite loop or in a receive-and-release-cycle (RRC).

The infinite loop is highly dangerous, even fatal. Once you entered this loop, you’ll have plenty of noise in your head that will lead to mistakes and wrong assumptions. A deadly loop like that is control of you, not vice versa. The thought dominates your mind and takes up all the headspace inside. Consequently, your head does feel like an oven-baked, superbly grown bun that is crunchy and yummy on the surface but hollow inside lacking substance. It’s blown like the papers of 2008’s financial crisis.

The RRC instead is welcoming a thought on the front door, pleases it to feel comfortable inside your head and does treat it well — one by one. Once you enjoyed the company to a sufficient level you guide the thought of your house — cordially but determined. You’re always the master of your thoughts. That’s how you make sure a deadly loop won’t happen.

In case you lose focus, resist thinking in loops because only a thought that leaves is a good thought.

The takeaway for the next week: Since I’ll be pausing this series for 7 days, here’s what you want to contemplate on.

Your life is a blank page at the beginning of every single day. Fill the page with great stories in your field of profession or a totally new one where you’re a beginner again. Being an amateur means you can be a child again, make mistakes, play in the dirt and ask a lot of (annoying) questions — why, why, why.

Eventually, you’ll be a great person who practices and knows about the stuff he’s talking about. A practitioner knows his craft, and you’ll be one of them. During your practice, you’ll encounter moments of laser-sharp focus and distraction. Be aware to avoid thoughts that distract or even harm you. Always release thoughts and be a friendly host to new thoughts. You’re in control who rules your mind, your thoughts are submissive.

Enjoy the break, and see you the week after with more powerful notions to boost your work and weekday!

This was episode 70 of the #weekdaykickoff 🌊. Every weekday (Mon-Fri).

Also published on Medium.

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