Point of View

Challenge the status quo

Life, like plans, should fit the moment

Each week, I attempt to openly reflect upon its happenings in hopes of figuring out how to get closer to living my ideal life. Oftentimes, I’m successful, like this week with changing how I consider where my desired attributes lie.

I take care of myself

While meditating this, I realized that my challenge of the status quo aspect was more applicable as a leadership trait than personal. Therefore, that aspect has moved.

I’m quite happy sticking with my twice-weekly water-only fasting for Monday and Thursday. Yesterday, I was hungry upon waking; it stuck with me going to bed. This, it only took thirty-minutes before my refrigerator was devoid of vegetables as I prepared a breakfast caponata with three eggs.

I’m slowly getting more consistent about wrapping up my day and going to bed by midnight or 1 AM. As such, I went on two short morning hikes this week to enjoy the peace before work’s afternoon rush and evening push.

I’m finding myself requiring more mental recovery time, though. Because the past few days, come 8 PM onward, my brain seems more sluggish.

I’d been feeling compelled lately just to knock out the last of my consolidation loan debt. And, when running some numbers Wednesday night, I found myself paying it off.


I realized that from the time I took the loan at the end of October, I’ve already paid nearly $1,200 towards interest fees, and though I’ve brought the balance down significantly, that number would just increase. Plus, when I looked at the short- versus long-term savings level of paying off, it became a just do it situation.

USAA loan paid graphic
Seriously? $1,200 interest in nine months!

Only, my typical paid-in-full monthly credit card usage and student loans remain.

And, I’ve got my savings plan kick-started for two- and then six-months emergency savings set aside again wth bringing up my kid’s savings too. Within a year, I should be debt-free and reinvesting.

I’m looking forward to that time.

I have healthy relationships

With taking on ownership of our recruiting platform, I’ve been changing the stance and tone of our interactions. For the better has been my intention, and other than that 200 accidental blips of rudeness by me, we’ve succeeded.

However, I don’t believe such change would’ve happened without an attention to the desired attributes above; fearlessness, specific feedback, timely recognition, and attention to people. And, while not mentioned, being humble to recognize that my outcomes can improve for the good of Axelerant.

So while I had initially thought that having healthy relationships was meant for my closer ones, I’ve found that it can apply as well to casual. And, genuine people notice.

Those other folks, well, I accept that we’re not aligned, and I wish them well anyway.

I am an inspiring leader

While meditating sometime Wednesday, I had the thought to move challenging the status quo here. I didn’t write it down.

Yesterday morning, after slogging up a hillside for fun, keeping the legs stretched, breathing clean air, and of course, finding a spot to meditate amidst nature, that move status quo thought came around again. Yet more strongly.

Man sitting on wooded trail
A 35-minute slog up the hill to listen to Cicadas

And, as I’m sitting now, I realize how right doing so is for me at this time.

In leadership, good leaders follow some form of a plan and help others get onto it. Frankly, though, I am finding that great leaders have the same plan, yet along the way, make sure it’s right the one for that moment. And, tweak things when not.

With last week’s recognition that I’m doing my best to ensure there’s documented clarity for what I genuinely expect of people, I’ve been breathing easier. However, I’ve noticed now that I’m working to bring consistency for how I respond to unspoken expectations—like, giving expressive applicants a positive mental nudge versus those who tend to be short and blunt.

In doing so, I’m slowly wrapping my mind around how I want to craft the message, which dictates how we want to recognize and reward those people. In this case, with the potential opportunity to work here. And for those that don’t fit, being kind in how we let them know while providing constructive feedback.

Creating that documented guidance is tough, though. 

For example, some folks, when responding to our interest checks and other questionnaires, might only write one sentence. Yet, it’s reasonably well written and passes typical grammar and spelling checks. Other folks, write a few lines of bluntness. And, some people write well thought out novellas.

Where is the line drawn that someone did well or not by our culture?

Oh… oh… ideas! We could require…

  • at least two sentences for the majority of our open-ended questions
  • responses pass typical grammar and spelling checks
  • uses polite verbiage
  • includes ethical, legal, and mindfulness considerations

Thank you, everyone, for helping open me up to this possible decision-making framework.

What do you think of these things?

By Michael Cannon

Boundless Virgo water-rat, Drusus & Jace's nearby dad, for @Axelerant's success, of conscious choices & simple living by kindness through curiosity & reflection

One reply on “Challenge the status quo”

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