I’ve been looped in on a number of projects lately.
I like projects.
I think there’s something about how I operate that objective driven, project oriented relationships work really well. I love being put into a space, virtual or physical, with a bunch of people aimed at a common objective. I can feel the energy of the group, the way they want to move, the intentionality.
I also have a sense for where the efficiency is low. Where the complications are over-powering the simplicity that will make it fly, and fly well. I love the challenge of looking at a system and finding tweak, hacks, and changes that take a project from, “Ooof, where do we start?” to “Hell yes, this is awesome!”
I have to quiet that side of me from time to time.
Get out into the woods and detach. Spend a day between tea cups and meditation to rest my mind and get a reset. I go to the sauna as often as I can because when I’m in there the sensations are encompassing and I am taken to a place of no-mind, instead of having to ‘go there’.
But give it some time -usually not much- and I’ll be back at it.
I suppose I see it as a “why not?” of being human. We’re here. We were something else before. We’ll be something else after we die. So while we’re here let’s make some magic happen.
And ultimately the greatest wizard of them all is the natural universe itself. I’ve found that to be more effective as a project director and efficiency creator, the most useful reference point is the universe untouched by man. Taking on the challenge of “how can I make this successful with as little stress as possible” usually goes better when I look for those easy answers.
We could do X, Y, and Z, and create a process that takes a dozen steps, but if we do A and maybe B, we only end up with three steps. Score!
A good example is launching an project.
And by project I mean a product launch, event, or other.
It is VERY tempting to go all out in creating an infrastructure that will handle every single sideways that could happen BEFORE hand. But often this only sets something into reality that could be done with far less fuss.
Back in the 1600s, the Japanese masters of philosophy discussed ideas that still apply today. In the Hagakure, Yamamoto Tsunetomo recorded a philosophy on the wall of Lord Naoshige, and commentary by visiting Master Itei. It’s one of my favorite principles of mind, planning, and leadership.
“Matters of great concern should be treated lightly.”
“Matters of small concern should be treated seriously.”
I love this notion.
To me, and in the context of launching a project, this is to say that regardless of whatever we’re fussing over in our minds, there will only be a few items of “great concern”. So we plan for these. We deliberate ahead of time. We consider their repercussions. That way, before we’re even starting, we know exactly how we’ll handle those matters.
And they can be treated lightly, and without fuss, in the moment.
On the other hand are the myriad of other “small concerns”. These are the ones we’re tempted to fuss over ahead of time. Create endless plans and strategies to mitigate them before they even happen; IF they even happen.
But they’re small, by definition, and ultimately when they come up it only takes a moment of serious consideration to address, decide, and act.
They don’t need a place in our grand plan beforehand because they won’t take much time if they come up.
I’ve found in my own experience, and watching others, that many projects are suffocated in doing the opposite of this sage advice. We humans tend to like complicated. And we address every eventuality.
A project is something to be grown, nurtured, and cared for.
It is a dynamic force of creation that needs love and support.
And like a seed that only needs water and sunlight,
It doesn’t need much.
Finding these subtle, but beautiful simplicity is something of an obsession of mine.
Finding the integration of two seemingly separate concepts is also one of those passions.
And in the space between those is where really powerful creations occur seemingly without effort or force.
I love playing in that space.
Looking forward to seeing what you create there as well.