Sunday, November 21, 2021

Hell Yeah!

If you are reading on a smartphone, use landscape / hold phone sideways. 

The Great Resignation has been in full swing for some time now. It is an informal name for the widespread trend of a significant number of workers leaving their jobs during the COVID-19 pandemic. It is sometimes called the Big Quit. Personally, I think the better name would be the Big Reset or the Big Rethink.

Reports of the Big Quit may have been exaggerated.

Over the past several months, a rapidly growing number of Americans left their jobs - more than 4.4 million in September. During that time, most of the narrative has been focused on burned-out employees stomping out of their jobs in which many workers are demanding higher wages, better working conditions and more mobility. 

It's complicated. 

Long before COVID, my buddy Derek Sivers wrote the book "Hell Yeah or No." As he tells it, at one point he sold his company, and because he signed a non-compete agreement, he was prevented from doing the one thing that he loved doing for most of his adult life. So, now what?  His book Hell Yeah or No is all about his thoughts about what's worth doing, fixing faulty thinking, and making things happen. Here is the link from 2018 where he says if you're not feeling "Hell Yeah!" then say no. 

Derek has another book "Anything You Want" and it was written for exactly the times we are now living. Get his books. Read his books. Even better, listen to them. It is like he is in the room with you - it is like a Master Class for life.

Which of course, brings me to Occam's RazorWhy, of course, right?

Occam's razor, also known as the principle of parsimony or the law of parsimony is the problem-solving principle that "entities should not be multiplied beyond necessity", sometimes inaccurately paraphrased as "the simplest explanation is usually the best one." You know, the "If it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it is probably a duck - and not an eagle" logic. 

And, of course, we all know that Hickam's Dictum is the opposite of Occam's Razor. In a complex system, problems usually have more than one cause. For example, in medicine, it is possible that people have more than one disease or medical problem at the same time. It would really suck to get an X-Ray for a broken bone from let's say a car accident, and then ALSO find out that you have cancer

Or - did that car accident just save your life?  Did that X-Ray for the broken bone just allow you to catch the cancer early enough, so that it is treatable with a strong probability of a full recovery? 

OK, land the plane, Tom.......

COVID made the world rethink - everything. Our jobs, our careers, our lives. Quality of life. COVID made us think about what is really important. Issues of family, priorities, personal self-worth and fulfillment. I think that the cause of The Great Resignation is more Hickam's Dictum than Occam's Razor. It's complicated. 

COVID made ALL OF US to see that life is so very short - and time is the coin of the realm. Did COVID, even though tragic and terrible, give us something good - something positive? Like the unscheduled broken bone X-Ray that caught the cancer in time? And why does it take something as terrible as a global pandemic to make us stop, pause, and reflect on what we are doing with our life, what we are doing with our time, and our careers?

Happiness is what you feel along that long and tedious path towards your goals. Fulfillment is the feeling of hard work and dedication, leading you up to your destination. Happiness is enjoying those moments during the journey that help you create the best memories possible. 

Should you listen to Derek's books?  

Hell Yeah. 

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