Moving fast doesn’t have to come at the expense of quality or long term progress

Moving fast doesn’t have to come at the expense of quality or long term progress.

Make small moves and correct mistakes quickly.
Avoid irreversible decisions, so when you change your mind, you don’t have to start from scratch.

The quicker you learn and adapt to reality, the better.

Check your ego and listen to feedback. But you only get that feedback if you put yourself out there. Thinking about doing something while you are in the shower is different from being out there in the dirt.

When you are starting out, act as a field mouse foraging for food while the owl is hunting. Stay alert, be nimble, and use your size and speed to your advantage. Stack up the small wins and then take cover. Repeat and build momentum over time: the more forward momentum you have, the more significant the outcomes.

Photo by Pixabay on

For whom the dove coos

A Mourning Dove cooing is an auspicious sound to me.

The bird and its call make an appearance during significant moments in my life.

On the day of my wedding, I was in the Presidio in San Francisco with my eldest brother. We decided to grab a quick bite to eat and take a walk on Crissy Field while everyone was getting ready. As we were walking through the Eucalyptus trees on the way to Crissy, I heard a dove cooing high up in the gum trees. The sounds calmed my nerves and reminded me of my family who weren’t with me that day.

The other time, I was with my other brother in Lafayette Park in San Francisco. We were waiting for some life-changing news and decided to take a walk to do something while we waited on the results. We were standing at the top of the park and looking down towards Sacramento Street when I heard a dove cooing. A couple of minutes later, I received a good news text from my wife that changed my life forever.

The other day I was dropping my youngest son off at school. We’d been away for a while, so it was his first day back, and the drop off went badly. He was crying his lungs out as I walked away from him and left him in the capable hands of the teachers. I felt awful. As I walked home, I heard a dove cooing on the quiet street. I took a deep breath and calmed down. Whenever I’m at my son’s school now, I listen for the dove watching over the school. 

If you listen carefully, you can hear mother nature whispering to you. Next time listen, look, and be still. 

“Out beyond the ideas of right-doing and wrongdoing, there is a field I will meet you there. It’s the world full of things to talk about.”

Photo by Frank Cone on

Sheeple People

Humans are like sheep. We mimic the crowd and don’t like to stand out. Nobody wants to be first, but then when the dam breaks, everyone follows pretty quickly.

We are more comfortable wearing a face mask if someone else is already wearing one. It’s like anything in the fashion world – we first see a new style of clothing on a fashion ramp during Fashion Week, then we see it in a magazine, then some film star is wearing it on Instagram, and then it’s available at Zara or H&M. There’s comfort in conformity.

I noticed the reluctance to wear a face mask during the last two smoke filled fire season and now again during the COVID-19 pandemic. The same applies to proper etiquette for social distancing in grocery stores, public transport, and public parks.

Politicians, CEOs, and community leaders should set an example for others to follow. Most people want to do the right thing, but don’t underestimate shyness and the reluctance to stand out as a significant roadblock.

Photo by Quang Nguyen Vinh on

Zen before Zen

I think AA Milne was tapped into Zen before Zen was a Western thing. His writing is simple and profound at the same time. It reminds me of Rumi who was a 13th-century Sufi mystic and William Blake, the English poet and artist. AA Milne was an author but also a mystic.

Here are my top four lines from Winnie-the-Pooh:

“Sometimes,’ said Pooh, ‘the smallest things take up the most room in your heart.”

“‘How do you spell love?’
‘You don’t spell it…you feel it.'”

“I think we dream, so we don’t have to be apart for so long. If we’re in each other’s dreams, we can be together all the time.”

Weeds are flowers too, once you get to know them


Be Real

It isn’t how you are made. It’s a thing that happens to you.

Being Real hurts sometimes, but when you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.

It takes a long time, and you got to be tough and persevere.

When you are real, you are beautiful.

* * *

It’s said best in The Velveteen Rabbit:

“Real isn’t how you are made,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘It’s a thing that happens to you. When a child loves you for a long, long time, not just to play with, but REALLY loves you, then you become Real.’
‘Does it hurt?’ asked the Rabbit.

‘Sometimes,’ said the Skin Horse, for he was always truthful. ‘When you are Real you don’t mind being hurt.’

‘Does it happen all at once, like being wound up,’ he asked, ‘or bit by bit?’

‘It doesn’t happen all at once,’ said the Skin Horse. ‘You become. It takes a long time. That’s why it doesn’t happen often to people who break easily, or have sharp edges, or who have to be carefully kept. Generally, by the time you are Real, most of your hair has been loved off, and your eyes drop out and you get loose in the joints and very shabby. But these things don’t matter at all, because once you are Real you can’t be ugly, except to people who don’t understand.”

― Margery Williams, The Velveteen Rabbit

Pets and Patience

I was chatting to an old grey hair friend the other day and he shared his rule for working with people:

When he meets with new clients, one of his questions is whether or not they have pets. It gives him a good idea about what they are like to work with. His theory is that pet owners are more comfortable with the imperfections of life and mostly roll with it. Animals vomit on that special carpet or scratch that fancy chair. Their hairs get everywhere. Dogs bark at inconvenient times like when the baby is sleeping, and cats don’t come when you call them. Living with animals is a practice of love and patience.

Animals teach us to throw our hands up in the air and say shit happens! We get exasperated and angry but give the dog a cuddle anyway.

Be okay with surrendering control. Life won’t follow your script. Animals are great teachers.


Have you ever seen a Springbok in the wild?

They live in the now. Alert, guard never down. The routine is the same. Eat grass, freeze, flare nostrils, smell wind, look around, go back to eating. Keep moving, no time for zoning out. 

They stay with the herd. The herd is a connected force shield. When the energy in the bush changes they feel it. A startled bird or a quick movement in the peripheral sends a lightning fast energy ripple through the herd. The herd body is one – muscles tighten, ready to explode in different directions in a split second. 

Stay fit, stay connected and smell the wind.