Thursday, July 26, 2018

Start with a Buffer

There is what you can do, and what you do do. In between, there is the stuff that gets in the way or helps. That stuff in between is resilience. It determines whether you are fragile and break, or anti-fragile and benefit from the noise in the world. I am a big believer in 'building buffers'. What you can do takes a lot of time to build. What you do do is a collection of deeply wire habits. Changing those habits also takes time. The buffer is where you can be micro-ambitious. The buffer is where you start.

A Financial Buffer may be saving one month's salary, so that you aren't living payday to payday. A slightly bigger buffer may mean you have a few months salary in case you lose your job. Then you can start investing. Grow it a little and you may be able to voluntarily leave a job to train for a better job. Grow it a little and you may be able to have a stab at building your own business. Grow it more and you can build an Engine, so you are freed to work because you want to, and not because you have to. A Buffer doesn't tell you what to do, or how to do it, but it gives you the freedom to have a go.

Emotional Buffers are similar. I don't think there is any point in arguing with someone you don't like. Relationships need a buffer of kindness and respect. Start with that. Once you like each other and can find a few solid points of agreement to work from, only then can you start exploring differences. Grow that through context and understanding and you start to give each other the benefit of the doubt. You start interpreting what people say in the best possible way. Grow that and you have love. Love doesn't tell you what to do, or how to do it, but it gives you the freedom to have a go.

Buffers are about looking after yourself. Looking after others. They are a recognition that the world can be random, confusing, harsh, and unfair. They are a recognition that even the best-laid plans can just be a set up for a cruel joke. They are a recognition that we are wrong more often than we are right. That what sets us apart is our ability to learn. Buffers let us listen and adjust.

Start by building a Buffer.



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