Tension for growth.

The seeds of growth are found in discontent.

However, if we’re too focused on dissatisfaction we can easily get frustrated with where we’re at and could find ourselves unhappy. Or even get fed up and quit.

So, how do you become dissatisfied enough to grow and do it patiently?

Here’s one thing that works for me:

“You’re better than you think you are and not as good as you could be.”




What if it’s true?

We like to think we’re open-minded and that we can take feedback. In reality, it’s difficult and we’re not good at it. We get defensive. If it’s a strongly held belief (or even loosely held in some cases), we immediately look for and identify reasons it’s not true. It can’t be true.

Sometimes it’s not true true. It could be true for the individual delivering the message. But maybe it’s not fact. But maybe it is. To be open-minded, you must form a habit of asking yourself “What if it’s true?” … and that’s where you start. You don’t attack the messenger. You don’t need to break down and cry. You have to detach yourself in the beginning. Once you assess, you’re welcome to release emotion. Emotion is vital. It needs a productive release, though. Not just release.

If it’s true then you now know. That’s the first step. Now you can improve. I have yet to meet someone who thinks they’re perfect. We all know we need to get better, but it seems we’re afraid to. Are we so harsh on ourselves that we’ve given up on improving? Maybe we’ve beaten up ourselves so much that when we get feedback from others we’re too raw to properly receive it?

Be kind to yourself. You’re doing better than you think. But not as great as you will. It’s a balance of gratitude for what you’ve become, but discontent that you still work hard enough to reach your potential.


Other Resources



There’s no idea that will change everything by its existence in a theoretical place. An idea is only as good as its execution. True impact occurs as a product of smart, good, honest work by people who care.

You know, one of the things that really hurt Apple was after I left John Sculley got a very serious disease. It’s the disease of thinking that a really great idea is 90% of the work. And if you just tell all these other people “here’s this great idea,” then of course they can go off and make it happen.

And the problem with that is that there’s just a tremendous amount of craftsmanship in between a great idea and a great product. And as you evolve that great idea, it changes and grows. It never comes out like it starts because you learn a lot more as you get into the subtleties of it. And you also find there are tremendous tradeoffs that you have to make. There are just certain things you can’t make electrons do. There are certain things you can’t make plastic do. Or glass do. Or factories do. Or robots do.

Designing a product is keeping five thousand things in your brain and fitting them all together in new and different ways to get what you want. And every day you discover something new that is a new problem or a new opportunity to fit these things together a little differently.

And it’s that process that is the magic.

Steve Jobs

Continuous improvement.

The goal is to increase the rate at which you and your team are able to execute the right ideas. If you can do that, you’ll not only catch up (if you’re behind) to the competition, but you will eventually surpass. Make sure your objective (direction) is sound and then your only major roadblock is ego. Overcome that and your team will fly.continuous-improvement-2018-aaron-edgell



What you are becoming

Your past helped form and shape you, but it does not define you.

The most important aspect of you is what you are becoming, not what you’ve done or what you’re going to do.

Focus on what you are becoming. The process of becoming happens in the present.

The byproduct of being incredible, remarkable, and impactful is that you produce work, products, businesses that are incredible, remarkable, and impactful.


Clarity Sans Extremes

Changing your mind from thinking to execution doesn’t come naturally for most. We like to mull over and discuss and present. We like to meet about and talk about and complain about. We like to intellectualize and theorize.

To overcome this some just go. They move fast no matter what (or who) is in the way.

We prefer things to be THIS or THAT. Not a little bit of THIS and a little bit of THAT. I think there’s room for clarity in the combination of things. Not just in the isolation of them. It’s tough to articulate how we arrive at clarity without going to extremes, but it’s a skill that can be developed. It’s a skill that should be developed.