Write, no matter what

Writing is a practice. Just like running. Logging down miles everyday is a practice of piling up your running reservoir. The more you run, the more you can run.

To persist in writing, come rain or sunny is not as easy as it seems. Showing up, perseverance, grits, whatever you call it, those are hard works.


The container

Been listening to UX Coffee lately, and totally enjoy the podcast. One of the recent episode about newly promoted manager (新晉管理者的自我修養)resonate a lot with me.

I’m not in the path of management. Working as a facilitator/coach, the feeling of being the stupidest one in the workshop could be quite similar to what discussed in this episode. There are always people more senior than you, people that’s expert in the field, and you jump in as a facilitator/coach trying to guide them through the process while deep down you sometime feel like you are the least qualified person to do so.

I really like one statement coming out from the episode about the role of a manager. Paraphrased here, a team might consist of a lot of experts, they are like treasure to the team. The role of a manager is not to compete with them in their field of experts, but to serve as a container keeping all these treasures in the same space to demonstrate their beauty.

I felt that’s also the role of a facilitator/coach, to provide the team with all the necessary nudge/guidance, work with them to reach their full potential. With that mindset changed, one could be at ease being the stupidest person in the workshop 😉

design thinking writing

Trusting the process

As I was in one of my early design thinking workshops, one of the first exercises we got to do is, rotating among a small group, take turn to facilitate one of the 6 phases of design thinking process in that small group.

The instruction was given in such a rush while the small group was still trying to getting to know each other better. That looks pretty much like destined to become a disaster. Everyone was nervy and anxious.

I was hesitating what I should say, what could be the right opening, how to facilitate one particular phase in such a short time, will I look stupid in front of other members that all look very experienced and well-versed in their craft.

Then the magic of time timer plays it’s role. When the time started, you just have to jump into the role of a facilitator. Ya, most of us stumble on something, but very quickly we get things under control and start to facilitate the session with our best effort. Most importantly, we can only learn if we start doing, without action there will be nothing to reflect on, no mistake to commit and hence no improvement possible.

Instead of focusing on not making mistake, trusting a longer-term process of exploration, purposefully discovering what can be learned throughout the journey, I guess that could bring greater joy and contentment in our pursuit of growth.


100 days of something

Looking thru my recent writings, the common pattern shows a long period of nothingness, then a sudden appearance of 2-3 posts, then another long period of silence. Every restart kickstarted with something saying, it has been a long time since my last posts.

what causes the difficulty in writing post here? I guess facebook is the number one culprit, the feeling of casually posting something on, a photo, some words, then you got the gratification of likes and comments drop in. Once the creativity urge fulfilled by facebook, it sorta kills off the desire to write something longer, something slightly more meaningful, something that requires us sitting down, thinking a bit, and help crystalize our thought.

On one hand one can say that facebook actually creating opportunity for people that are not used to write stuff to start writing things, people that hardly read books, to start reading something, articles, news, whatever. On the other hand, this convenient is actually at the expand of shifting our focus away from writing for ourselves to writing merely to gain some meaningless popularity.

The above point seems to suggest social media (facebook in my case) made us treat writing too casually. Counterintuitively, being too serious about our writing is another obstacle to writing. A lot of time I’ve been thinking too long on what are the topics worth writing, will what written looks stupid to someone else. In actual fact, a post written could be like a drop of water in the vast ocean, no one will even notice it. Worrying too much about the seemingly none existence audience will only drain out the joy of writing.

So, with the longwinded purpose spelled out, here is my first post to the journey of 100 days of writing, here. I believe there’s beauty in perseverance in keep doing something, we will inevitably grow with it. As the Chinese proverb saying goes, 滴水穿石。


Obsession with perfection

My little doodle in the morning. An observation on what’s common in any organization. Even when we knew there is a problem, still, any proposed solution would need to be perfect, or we would rather stick with the broken path. But perfect is the enemy of good, planning forever for that perfect solution might lead us to nowhere at all.


Writing, again

Been a good 3 years not writing anything in the blog. The easiest excuse that one could blame on is of course being busy, but distraction from various social networks is the real culprit, the false sense of achievement posting to facebook and the subsequent likes earned from the post somehow fulfilled the urge to create something more meaningful than just posting food, baby, or travel photo.

So I want to get back to the habit of writing more often, that I use writing to crystallize my thinking, that I appreciate a fruitful discussion more than just another mindless likes.

This mark the beginning for me to write more often this year.