“So, I’m Thinking About…”
This phrase stood out to me this last week. I heard it a lot. More than usual. It stood out because it’s something I’ve said...a lot.
Hearing it this week bothered me...a lot. Because I know what it means.
For me, it means:
When I open my mouth with this phrase I am breaking Law Four and Law Nine from Robert Greene’s 48 Laws of Power.
Law Four: Always say Less than Necessary
Law Nine: Win Through Your Actions, Never Argument
When I say, “I’m thinking about…” I’m not arguing. But I am trying to convince. Either way, my actions will speak louder than my words ever will. Even when I don’t want them to.
Recognizing that I do this is the first step to recovery. The next is noticing when I start to say it and being present enough to stop it. Or better yet, nip the habit in the bud completely. Don’t even open my mouth unless I’ve got results to show for it.
I recently took one of my staff members to lunch. She was transitioning into another position and I wanted to show her my appreciation. It’s also a great time to solicit some honest feedback. When asked what I could be doing better as a supervisor she answered with,
Which is a frustrating place to be when you’re dependent on the actions of others. Especially if they don’t end up materializing.
Ironically failing to produce consistently over time breaks Law Five: So Much Depends on Your Reputation -- Guard it with Your Life. My reputation is my brand. The way I do things is what people remember. It’s what they bet on, it’s what they depend on. It’s one of the few things I can control.
This brings us to the action of materializing ideas. For me, journaling has become an invaluable asset. Having a place to write things down and work through them pulls them out of abstract thought and gets them onto something more tangible.
My head is like the wild west. It’s ruled by martian law. There’s no order. It’s all over the place. This is great for brainstorming but terrible as execution. Hence the problem of “So, I’m thinking about…”
Writing down what I’ve got going on upstairs gives me a chance to look at it from a different or objective perspective. Seeing it from this vantage I can be more self-critical of how it’s presented, the structure, and its value.
This is hard work. It’s why I don’t do it.
“So, I’ve been thinking about…”