Back in 1932(May 20), Amelia Earhart flew across the Atlantic as the first solo female pilot. As I recently discovered, progress towards this goal involved a significant number of compromises. When originally asked to cross the Atlantic by plane, in 1928, she was told she wouldn’t be allowed fly, nor would she be paid. But she accepted nonetheless, perhaps this eventually lead her to crossing the Atlantic solo, not to mention many other flying accomplishments she would then go onto achieve.
More recently, as I pursue the perfect environment for software development and my team, I need to remember, this push toward perfection is a fantasy. Nothing will be perfect, and the pursuit of perfection is nonsense. Very few things in life come and go without compromise, and that is not a bad thing, let me hold that thought.
Amor Fati is a wonderful phase, latin, meaning“alove of fate”. I have a sticker on my laptop to remind of this everyday. We can’t force our expectation on a job, event, situation without setting ourselves up for the fall. I believe, without knowing Amelia Earhart, that she understood this. She understood that this would be her opportunity, not ideal, but her chance, and if she was on the inside, her chance to influence it. Being in the fold meant she stood a higher likelihood of achieving her bigger aspirations. She could have said no, conveyed some message to herself and others that she remained true to her desire to fly the plane. But this would have left her on the tarmac.
Understandably, my choices in life are not nearly as glass ceiling shattering as Amelia(as a father of two girls, I’m very inspired and hopeful for a more equal society, as we stand on the shoulders of women like Amelia Earhart). Limited expectations without losing hope for the bigger aspirations can be a helpful mindset. Epictutes reminds me:
“Demand not that events should happen as you wish; but wish them to happen as they do happen, and your life will be serene.”
Brene Brown’s latest book, Dare to Lead has had a surprising impact on me. I’ve found myself reflecting on a lot of what she has to say. She is a captivating writer, someone you come away feeling like you know. I’m not sure if it’s her openness to share personal experiences, that are so helpfully shattered through her book, or her ground way of communicating.
Nonetheless, Dare to Lead, amongst many other things; guides you through a testing framework for uncovering your values. Brene Brown goes as far as to suggest you shouldn’t have more than two values, describing them as your“core”vales. Her approach has been really helpful to me, here’s why.
I’ve been through a few attempts at trying to uncover personal values before, none of which have really resonated. I’ve found some confusing and others too fluffy. Afterall, a large list of values are, essentially all good characteristics, they all have some merit, so why choose two? Why not six? And here in Dare to Lead is the point of difference; the thought is if you have more than two, you sort of have none. It becomes unclear which values to compromise on and which to hold strong on, if you stand for everything you stand for nothing. It helps clarify, at least partially, what are you willing to go out on a limb for and what can you let go?
The moments that call for compromise in order to move forward, pull you into some sort of active or passive action, and after all, progress is everything. So, what are you willing to not compromise on, and what are you willing to let go. If you you’ve struggled with this, as I have then the establishment of two core values can be a really helpful starting point.
I plan to test myself and these values, firstly, to see if my narrowing is the right fit for me, but also, to not become an impediment, because I’m fighting on every front.
I can only assume Amelia Earhart knew this, and was willing to compromise on some things, and not on others.