Mojo's Dojo // Day 78 - Excited validation

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Writing to learn, learning to write. With practice comes clarity of purpose. #100days

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Day 55 - ان مع العسر يسرا

The Futuredads.club podcast was featured this week in the Middle East Podcasts Newsletter! We had an additional 4 listeners! I think...because the stats on Anchor aren't great so it's a pot shot. 

I also had an Arabic parenting podcast reach out and appreciate what they heard, with a possible collaboration possible in the future. I'm not sure how that'd work, my Arabic is super colloquial and probably isn't refined enough for a medium that requires clarity. Which is something I'll need to work on, if lil dude has any hope of picking up a second or third language.  I was sharing with my, the awesome Adnan that English is a sort of viral language, it's ubiquitous and therefore easy to slip into. 

It's also been a strange rollercoaster of a week, with some long awaited client work dissipating for no good reason.  No, that's inaccurate, every decision someone makes has a reason, it just isn't one I'd agree with. In this case, I think the issue may be a single person prioritizing status over service and undererstimating the client's challenge. Unfortunately, anyone selected to walk into this, isn't privy to this information, and were they to accept the work, would stumble a bit more than they planned for. This is a reality of freelancing I don't find myself enjoying. However, I can't imagine myself engaging in work under conditions I've purposefully stepped away from.


Which is why I take solace in the above Quranic verse "With every hardship comes ease" My friend Adnan, had mentioned that I, when ready, could utilize the power of print, and submit the podcast to parenting magazines, and other media in the region, because they're always content hungry.  I think in the glut of online media, I forgot how finite the spaces of a page are, and that if it does reach enough eyes, some future dads might also reach out, and want to share their stories. 

It might not reach as many people as work I would have done on the project I wanted to participate in, but I hope, the few that it does, would maybe think through their own path to being a future dad, who wants to be a present dad. 

Day 54 - Writing on the run



I'm getting a taste of what it'd feel like to have a night that ends late because of meetings, and having to find time for food and to eek out time write after feeling drained. I've seen it argued that writing is best in the morning, when the mind is fresh, and your subconscious has had time to process what you loaded it with the night before.

I'm happy to say my mind is most blank in the morning, I don't think I've ever been a morning person, there was that one time I was terrorized by a manager, who would pick me up at 4 am and we'd go for the hour or so drive to work. After a few weeks I turned Stockholm and started to enjoy the drive, mainly because he had a quirky yet endearing personality and was a great story teller. He had a way of making things come to life through words, and sometimes you could see people listening pausing and actively trying to visualize what he'd just said. There'd be a bemused glazed look in their eyes as they went up and slightly to the right. One of these phrases was, and I've definitely given away who this is, "I'm begging you, with bended knees over broken glass" delivered as he clasped his hands together.

I'd been away from this city for a few months, and the place I had my meeting, had some familiar faces who recognized me, I enjoyed that feeling. Each face I met, I conversed with, and one of the questions I was asked was, how is everything, and their arms went wide. So I said everything, arms as wide as I could manage, is going well alhamdulillah, and then I started drawing smaller circles within the bigger circle, and said, and here it's ok. But everything, arms drawing a wide circle again, is going well alhamdulillah.

I recall this, because the faces I met, after a few months, all had one thing in common, the look of determination, of forward momentum, of seeking to better their tomorrow, by challenging it today.

Before I even got on the computer, I caught myself slipping into an old thought habit, what difference will one day make, I thought. For the faces I met today, every day made the difference, so I had to beat back my poor excuse of a habit.  Besides, if the stuff about morning writing has some truth to it, I expect some next level writing in 5 years when I don't need to stay up all hours of the night for lil dude.

Day 53 - What the F is leadership



You never get someone in your day checking you like, whoa, you gotta check your leadership bro, it ain’t right.

So how is leadership noticed? Is it when it's lacking or are there very stark in your face examples that make you think, I want to do 'that!'

Tapping in to my fallible memory, reveals a few memorable moments, when I consciously recognized someone's behaviour as being worth noting and possibly emulating. After all, we are constantly observing, from childhood, how people interact, and the impact that has on others. I don't remember being chastised for not being a good leader, I was always chastised for not following some rule or the other.

So how do you shift your perspective, and recognize the absence of leadership, if you don't know it needs shifting? Is it the same way we were sold the Iphone?

I'm making an assumption here, that your definition of leadership, is somewhat aligned with mine, in that, to lead is not within the purview of capitalist, socialist, autocratic, or theocratic gods.

Oh crap, is this why we like the story of the under dog so much? I digress, as usual.


For me the perspective shift was LeadIN, but it was predicated on multiple moments of past managers, never "leaders" doing something of note. Like the manager who asked me to never stay later than official work hours, or the manager who kept facilitating conversations with other people in the building, in other departments and after sometime, asked me who was doing work I was interested in, and then assigning me work similar to it, and eventually asking facilitating my joining the relevant team. Or the manager who tore into their director, in public, because they were inhuman and inconsiderate with my peer. Each of these examples, burned into my memory because they were significant examples of how they decided to follow their own rules.

What they were guided by, when they made the decision to behave in these ways, was the way they chose to lead. It wasn't a week long course they attended, it was on the daily, the conscious decisions they'd make, to make life better for the people around them, whether it was related to quality of work, or related to quality of life.

I believe it was because they were able to converse with themselves, to observe others, to experiment, and in so doing, have the confidence to pursue work in a way they believed they could. It's also why one of these managers decided to leave, when they were doing so well career wise, because their values were no longer aligned and their warnings left unheeded.

I haven't answered what the F leadership is, but I have an idea what it isn't. What is leadership not, for you?

Day 52 - Finding Focus

Hello friend, this one I write to you. You'll have read some of my writings, skimmed others, and I thank you. On day 28 I worked myself out of a corner I willingly walked into.

I think I've now created a habit where I type every evening. I'm not calling it a writing habit, just yet. But I need your help to...


I would humbly ask you to skim through days 1 through 51, and let me know which ones made you curious to learn more, and what themes you sense emerging from what I've written so far. 

Though I write for myself, I think I may need to push towards a goal of writing for others. I'm an obliger after all, and It would need to be useful. I might just be writing myself into a corner again actually.  And maybe I need to ask this question on day 101, what do you think?



Day 51 - What not to do when job hunting.



I write as a person who has decidedly given up on spending hours applying on job sites. Since those sites have wasted enough human hours, I’ll be brief.

No. 1 

No one owes you anything. I promised brevity, that’s all there is to that one.

No. 2 

This one is a bit longer, but has the meat of the argument, along with a copy pasted template that works...If you do the work that needs to happen before using it.

Organize your time —> Learn something useful —> practice by applying it.


If you’re great at doing all the above, skip to No. 3


Organize your time
With all the time I’ve saved you from visiting job sites, I’ll now need you to write down all the things you need to do in a day. Preferably on post it notes. Otherwise take a scrap piece of paper, tear it into equal lengths and get writing. One task on each piece of paper. Anything and everything that needs to happen in your day, including sleeping and eating.

All set? Alright, now if you’re currently working, get post-it notes, tiny ones, if you don't have tiny post-it notes, cut a normal sized post-it note into 4 pieces. Do that 8 times in total. That’s your work day in 15 minute increments. People not currently working, you can follow along and do the same exercise for 8 hours of your day.

For the things that need to happen within that 8 hour framework, please assign those pieces of paper (which represent 15 minutes) to the task that needs to be completed. All out of paper? Good. If not, you have more time than you thought you needed to fill 8 hours of stuff. Where does all the time go? Try and pinpoint the distractions, they exist, you’re only fooling yourself if you pretend they’re not harmful, eliminate them. I classify things that I think are a distraction, make your own classifications and stick to eliminating them.

Learn something useful
It needs to be strategic to the industry you seek to create value in. Note the use of the word value, not work. If you’re working, you’re dead and will be replaced, if you plan to grow and create value, you will be indispensable. What counts as creating value? Read this article. In short, making, writing, sharing, teaching, something useful, making people smile also counts. Ever hear Disney Land being sold as the happiest place on earth? It’s not the rides, they’re mediocre, it’s the people bending over backwards and consistently smiling to create an experience like no other, that you...value.

Practice by applying it
What you learn is useless, unless it’s creating...value, so reach out to meetup group organizers and offer to participate as a speaker, workshop facilitator, moderator, or any role that actively allows you to convey what you’ve learned to an audience seeking that knowledge. Then get their feedback, rinse, repeat until it's like breathing, then move onto the next thing you need to practice.

5 years ago I swore up and down that I didn’t have what it takes to be a “speaker”, this year I was on the same stage as a “Best Selling Author”. I phrase it in this manner to highlight something important, “Speaker” and “Best Selling Author” bear a weight of sorts. For me, it was a barrier, which I didn’t dare cross, until I re-evaluated why I placed so much weight on those words. Now, they’re just words, labels, like the stickers they give at networking events, you can write your name, or you can write anything, you give that empty paper meaning.

If your conditioning is too strong, which mine was for a time, then surround yourself with people who don’t care for labels, you’ll find them, they’re easy to notice if you’re looking. Attend events and observe their behaviour, their choice of words, their actions online, find someone that looks like you, it gives you a tiny boost, practice feeling proud for their achievement, your psyche will apply that felt pride to the steps you take. Because why not you?


No. 3
If you’re here, congratulations, this got longer than I expected, probably because I wrote with anger for myself, that I didn’t meet someone who slapped me upside the head, but then broke down why what I was doing was not working.

This part is easy, if you’re curious, if you have a proclivity for growth, and persistence. I’m sharing a template from a course that is built for founders, who want to grow their company and break through barriers. The course recommends founders write a book, because creating value is currency that can be exchanged for 5 minutes of a stranger’s time. You’ll need to be persistent, and follow up with people you’ve identified, consistently.

Your outreach to them is based on something you’re looking to create, build, explore that has a defined output, whether it’s an article you’re writing, a podcast you’re producing, a book you’re writing, or a white paper you’re researching. Yes, this means work, this means realizing that 1-click apply is a sham, and that no one owes you anything, even if you’ve got the best grades and the best degree, because the worlds most open secret is referrals have the highest applicant to hire conversion rate, 7% of referral applicants can account for 40% of all hires and that’s probably higher in this region.

If you’re not strategic about who you meet, and for what reasons, how will you successfully follow up with them? How will you avoid contributing to the noise they consistently receive? By Getting organized, learning something useful, and practicing it.

If you beat yourself into submission, and agree that no one else will do that for you, then you’re ready to reach out to them. The assumption here, is that you’ve done your homework, understand what makes them tick, what they value, what they write about, what they’ve read recently, and what conferences or events they frequent. It’s public information, use it. Once you’ve met them. Use these templates to reach out.




To Connect Via LinkedIN

Hi [Name]. I’m a [YOUR SCHOOL alum/student][INDUSTRY/SECTOR veteran/newbie][fellow entrepreneur/COMPANY alum] researching about [20 word summary]. Your background looks like it could be really helpful and hoping to chat in the coming weeks. Thanks! [Your name]


To connect via Email

Hi [Name],

I’m a [YOUR SCHOOL alum/student][INDUSTRY/SECTOR veteran/newbie][fellow entrepreneur/COMPANY alum]. Great to connect over email. ([Reference the five minute favor or another connection in these parentheses —ex., “I recently [read your book/recent article][listened to your podcast/a talk you gave at X][learned about your cause][started following you on Twitter/Instagram/YouTube] and it resonated enough with me to share it with my network.”])

I am working on X [podcast, book, white paper, research] and it’s about [20 word summary]. I thought you insights could be really valuable.

Would you be available to do a short 20-minute phone interview in the next couple weeks? I’m early in the process and would appreciate your thoughts.

[Your Name]


*The above template was sourced from the creator institute.* The blog topic was inspired by SPN


I just realized that the title is what NOT TO DO, I'm too lazy to re-write this article, so I hope by sharing what worked for me, you'll be able to identify what not to continue doing. 


Thank you for your time. Now please spend what remains in a way that'll make you proud. Inshallah إن شاء الله‎

Day 50 - It burns.


I was researching the effect of sound transitions on adults, and ended up finding more information about transitioning young children to ensure they feel rooted, safe and secure when shifting between activities or environments.

This rabbit hole led me to review the makeup of the inner ear and how delicate our sense of hearing is. Queue distant memories of loud night spaces and my ears protesting at my flagrant abuse, I also recalled how uncomfortable the spaces were, but not as uncomfortable as ignoring peer pressure was.

Which had me wondering, if anyone with hearing impaired, due to their own negligence, ever looked back fondly at the times they spent damaging their hearing and said "Yup, still worth it." What possible mind trick could be used, to dissuade someone from engaging in harmful environments, especially when related to activities that involve one's social circle. Is the need to belong, or in some places, not stand out, so strong as to override one's personal safety? Is it because the damage isn't as immediate as feeling the heat from a flame?

How much of this relates to willpower? Do people make more disadvantageous decisions during day time, or night time? If so, do these decisions increase as the day lengthens? how many hours after waking? What kind of decisions are most taxing? How does the presence of authority impact this if at all?

After reading about the need children have to transition, and what I know about the cost of cognitive task shifting. I'd like to find any research conducted on sounds that assist transitions for adults. For example, the whistle of a teapot means you will...and the sound your bed makes when you lay on it means you will...So what then would transition sounds associated with daily life look like, sounds for breathing, for setting intentions, for visualizing, for writing. I know I play background music at times, but it'd be wonderful to know what music, scientifically, could aid in transitions, for adults.

And just maybe, it could bolster one's willpower, so they make decisions that in retrospect, would've been easy to make.

Day 49 - How to change your workplace



Put simply, don't. But if you're into gruelling self-inflicted psychological torture which manifests into psychosomatic illness, then by all means, try.

I tried, and succeeded, in the most generous sense of the word. Coming from the humanitarian relief industry, into the energy sector, I thought I could infuse some of the humanitarian values, into what is primarily MOE business (money over everything).


For example ensuring people feel heard and feel safe, so I put in place a process for soliciting examples of unfair or unsafe practices anonymously.  It was a charged environment, and without the right leadership in place, anything less than anonymous would ensure voices were left unheard.  I'd make sure to make the rounds in the field a few times a week, because If I went there on just one day, at a selected hour, it would leave anyone who spoke to me exposed to being suspect of submitting something.  


I also ensured I spent time with supervisors, so that they could also feel heard, something that isn't often afforded middle management. It also allowed me to collate information that would better inform our path forward in HQ, it's always the smallest ripple that seemed to make the largest difference. For instance, a field worker, favoured by a client, is informed of work yet to be announced by the client through official channels.  This little ear worm reaching us early enough, would allow for better organizing our resources and capital. With some further clarifying conversations on the side of course. 


Though, for each tiny success, there were a multitude of horrifying examples of how not to treat people.  The female manager who "wears the pants in her relationship", but also "doesn't have what it takes because she's a woman", the people who "need to be treated like children, it's all they understand." If you're horrified at this, please, continue to be, because all this was happening while "woke" folks roamed around the halls. I'd insert an all too well known quote about silence here, but sometimes, you just can't change your workplace, and that's ok. It doesn't mean you failed. It just means it's a place that's failed to respect the dignity of it's people, and is bound to fail, it might not be in our lifetime, but it is bound to fail, insert reference to British Empire.  So if in your current workplace, you're breathing a sigh of relief, pelase keep in mind, that if you hear something, and it's only groan worthy, or eye-roll worthy, please know, there's a difference between someone being a part of a joke, and feeling like they're the joke.  It might make you feel safe, not being a target of that joke, but it will chip away at your soul. Until you leave.

Day 48 - Who you know



Today, I was told that I know a lot of people, this happened after I introduced a few people to each other who happened to be in the same place at the same time. I disagreed, and said I probably know less than a hundred. They also disagreed, and pointed out there were at least 10 people in this space I knew.

This friend also said I was not hungry, thirsty or tired, for my headache to be going off the way it did. She said there was a thought, or a strong feeling I harbored, that was triggered at that hour. I scoffed at that idea as well.

That's a lot of scoffing, which is why I'm going to now own up to knowing a lot of people, and maybe this headache will go away once I own up to my state at the time it started (but not here).

I talk to anyone, and I started talking to anyone, because I was shy and didn't talk to anyone. I think I used to place an expectation of sorts on the exchange, I continue to be a private person, but I was more private then, owing to my shyness. I'm sure any therapist I speak with would burn their notebook with their furious scribbles. Which makes me think, I wonder if there was a therapy service, modelled on prostitution, the anonymity aspect of it. Imagine travelling somewhere for a week, having intense concentrated sessions with a stranger, getting back on a plane, and doing it all over again the following year. It'd be like the trips people take to Mexico, but instead of booze and... it'd be another way of unloading one's baggage.

Filing that one under crazy ideas, which are things that I won't act on but will probably either be already on offer, but not mainstream media flavour of the week popular yet.

Back to whatever thread I had, ah yes, talking to anyone, so I started asking people about themselves, if I'd read that in a book, I probably wouldn't have tried it, it sounds ridiculous, but it works. What books fail to tell you though, is that the state people are in, kind of matters. A lot matters, it's impacted by the environment, was it crappy and rainy that day, it's impacted by the type of space you're in, are the exits clearly marked and is there space enough to retain your personal space, it's impacted by the type of event they're in, is it multi level marketing closed doors till you're let out space, or a turkish bath music lounge (with multiple levels from cool to sweating buckets).

Over time, talking to anyone, stopped being about my intruding into their space, and in so doing, inviting them to intrude into mine, and became about satisfying curiosity, mine, theirs, but mostly mine, because the more they say, the less of a need I have to figure out what my story, for that moment, is.

Day 47 - The lost art of making friends


One of my most conscious decisions to make a friend, is also one of my earliest successes and failures. The setting, high school, grade 9, French class. After two years in middle school, finally comfortable in my skin, in my story and the surroundings it belonged to, looking forward to going along with my hard earned friendships to the high school across the street, I get thrust into a new part of the city, neighborhood, street hierarchy, and new high school. Looking back, it was a blessing in disguise, I was well on my way into being a belligerent bully, a somewhat benign chubby one, if I’m allowed to save face.

In French class, I asked this stranger, if I could borrow his ruler, we’ll call him Vance. He obliged, and told me he charges $2, I laughed it off, he was serious, and it turned into a video game match which started a new friendship. Fast forward to 10th grade, and we’re playing basketball, his best friend is there, we’ll call him Donald, because it’s not a very popular name at the moment.

Close to the end of a what I considered a friendly game, with Vance receiving a pass to make a difficult shot beating the encroaching team from another hood, Donald waves urgently, requesting Vance allow him the honour of closing the game. Vance opts to shoot, missed, we lose, Donald, as youthful teenagers are wont to do, is disappointed, angry, embarrassed that the team from another hood has beaten us, because his best friend did not pass the ball.

Donald prods and teases Vance, and everything leading up to this moment I’ve had to dig for, but this part remains the most clear. Donald declares, “I’m not your best friend, I’m no best friend for a loser”, Vance’s face was heart breaking, he’d known Donald since grade school, and they’ve kept their friendship all the while, ages for a teenager, identity defining surely, and in one fell swoop, Donald destroys it.

I remember thinking how unjust that was, and quietly declaring, “I will show you how you best friend!”, and proceeded the process to eliminate Donald from living memory. I won’t go into the details, but it involved some humanity, a dash of listening, and understanding.

My mistake, was failing to honour that pronouncement, though I didn’t angrily declare him no longer my best friend, I did allow for time and geography to distance our relationship. We didn’t go to the same university, didn’t live in the same neighborhood, and then I left the country a while and didn’t call him whenever I returned for a quick visit.

Though I continue to succeed at making friends fast, and I could write you a check list of the best ways to do so, I think a critical element that I can’t share, is how to respectfully and consensually end a friendship. Once I give it thought, I can share my thoughts on the lost art of making friends, and losing them.

Day 46 - It’s for older people

I got a really nice wake up moment today. Like most things, in retrospect, it’s clear as day. It was also a reminder to me that, my experience, shouldn’t have an overwhelming impact on what I design. It’s a dance really, but I’ll leave that for another day.

If you came across my post Day 38 - Growth Tribe, this is a follow up, so go back and read that first. I received two sets of feedback on the product I created. One of the participants had feedback that I believed positively impacted the “closing ritual” report I made for the participants. It was heartwarming and helpful to hear that the report made the implicit explicit, that there was just enough information to not be overwhelmed, and that I led their reflection for the future with questions. They observed that it would be helpful to have more in terms of action oriented actions, and a process whereby they can keep going. So I included space to take notes, attached a printable sheet for their 6 minute morning ritual, and broke down their goal into 8 weeks (sound familiar?)

All good so far, then I decided to ask my sister, the oracle of the black mirror youth, who in her mid 20s, is aware of all things social media compared to me. Since I’ve heard good things about this process, where people reflect on their leadership, their path forward, their goals, and are bolstered by others who have a similar interest, I thought well, why wouldn’t someone younger jump at this chance.

Then I remembered myself, I’m not sure when my cognitive leap into reflecting and observing my actions deeply happened. But I do recall a time when I let outside influences muddle or mute my way forward, that I used to coast, used to be ok with being ok. The only thing positive I can recall, is that I wasn’t at the least consumed by consumerist culture, brands, the must have toy, gadget, or fashion of the day. I by passed that stage, because I used to ask why. I just didn’t focus that indifference to consumerism internally, and I didn’t ask why I was ok with being ok.

I know, there’s a post I wrote sometime back about mediocrity (Day 22), but there’s something even worse, apathy, and that’s what a majority of my youth was wasted on.

So here I am thinking, you show up online, you can do it on your phone, which is glued to your hand, and you can be the better for it, what’s not to love. My sister quipped just as quickly, “This sounds great, for you know, older people”. After that ego inflation earlier that morning, it was demoralizing to hear, that this wouldn’t even hit the radar (yea I’m old, I’m sticking with old technology, no gps here; fun fact, radar was discovered by mistake and ignored the first time around) the radar of younger folks. So of course I asked what are they doing now that’s so important. Lo and behold, it’s the same thing kids my age were into, well not completely, but it surprised me to learn that healthy lifestyle living is the thing today. Whether it be going to the gym and taking photos of you there, or eating vegan and taking photos , or even fashion meetups. I lost you there didn’t I, yea that’s a thing. What I remember being copying the popular kid’s fashion trend has turned into a social media fueled get rich or implode trying lifestyle.

This is how it goes, you have fashion meetups where people talk about the latest influencer to follow, what clothes are getting noticed, how to stay consistent, who to collaborate with, consistently posting yourself in different fashionable attire, exchanging clothes with your fashion group, returning clothes after ordering them online, and a whole lot of things that will one day lead to, drum roll please (still old), getting discovered!

What does that mean? More followers, leveraged into sponsorships, free trips, which leads to more followers, for more sponsorships, for...you get the idea. But I countered, there has to be a dip, queue explanation of 2008 depression. Here’s how she explained it, once they achieve the status they just need to coast, keep consistent, and the mill of sponsorships will keep you afloat.

Incredulous, I countered that once in the jaws of Charybdis, there can only be one result, queue side trip into Greek mythology. She clarified that there are people, who do get famous, from one viral video, who shoot into stardom, and don’t really know what to do to either keep it going, what the masses want, or who they are without it. There’s a feeling of being left behind, of failing to keep up, that you need to stay relevant to the click and dip (disappear) tribe of followers. Lightbulb! Maybe these are the people I need to target, who better than an regular person, thrust into conditions they weren't prepared for, to undertake a reflective process, with peers, whether it's those who are coasting, those who were sun dried, or the ones trying to figure out what next. These social media, currently darlings are definitely in a better place than I was when I was their age, they're aware of the power of ego. So I asked my sister the million dollar question.

What would they pay for this? $90...I tried to coax some more from her.

For the report?

No, for everything, or at least, 3 workshops, one reflection meeting after the 8 week period, and the report.

$90? That's it? But how much do they spend on the gym and being vegan?

A lot more, she quipped, on a night out at the bar, movies, or shisha. Maybe they'll spend $150 max on this, because they're not about this. Ain't nobody got time for this.

...I didn't, especially when I was single, so I shouldn't be surprised. Maybe we spend so much time trying not to be single in our younger years, because it has it's own stigma, that we forget what it was like being an individual, when we're older and trying to explore the meaning of self in the concurrent contexts of work, family, and close relationships.

And since you've read all the way here, you get a free poster! Print it out and use it in the morning






Day 45 - How goes the bonding?

I skipped a few months, little dude is almost 4 months old.
I have not had the time time to record any podcasts for my future dads club. Each episode I tackle one question, and my friend had a good one. He wanted to know how the bonding was going with little dude. Time flew by so quickly that I hadn't had time to note the growth of his little personality. It's interesting how much of my time and my wife's time is spent on just keeping this guy alive.

So much so that I am not sure we are doing what we're supposed to the doing with him day in day out. Outside of feeding, clothing, burping, and cleaning anytime I look into to what this guy should be up to I get hit with a wall of information. There are many websites and lists upon lists. The information overload is unbearable, it's like going to a restaurant and having a menu with with items you didn't know existed, and no waiter to help you out. Omg I just realised, we get more help with food than we do with a human being...that's so sad. I'm not even working full time, I can only imagine what two parent households have to contend with when raising a child for the first time.

So I'm currently doing what any dad does I guess, winging it! But I check in with youtube once in a while, to ensure I'm not causing any irreparable damage to little dude. We've been focused on a lot of the general stuff like tummy time and also more tummy time and once in a while, when we meet his most pressing needs, I give him a massage. Outside of the first few weeks when you're told about the importance of skin to skin, there isn't much direction.

Sometimes he tells us for what wants by either crying too much or not crying enough. so what are we supposed to look for books I have so many books it's very difficult finding the time to read all these books and make sure little dude is doing alright.

Yes, I have books, many of them, they're just not in an easy to use format, which at this point is probably a weekly check list on A3 paper that can be left on the floor so I can remember during tummy time. No, I will not turn this into another side project, because if I've noticed one thing from these books, it's that people wait until they're on their 4th child and have the space to breathe before they write them.

Case in point, this article was voice typed as I rub his feet with both hands. Sure I have to edit like crazy when he finally sleeps but it's better than nothing. Apparently you are supposed to speak very slowly to help them learn. The Google assistant I mean, little dude has been paying attention to my speech, I guess like the google assistant one day before you know it they've taken over your world.

Oh, and the bonding goes well.

Day 38 - Growth Tribe DXB

I think I'm ready to plan for the second iteration of an experiment I conducted earlier in 2019. Some background first.

As a partner at LeadIN, one of my roles has been to engage people in peer led learning circles. The circles are designed to create a space outside of work, personal routines, and social obligations, in order to ponder, experiment, and iterate on your leadership path. Like most things worth taking the time for, it's simple, there are no stage productions, no headline motivational speaker and deep bass or drums to get the blood flowing. It's taking the time to breath, to learn, to have a conversation, to take action, and to be held accountable to your leadership goal.

The challenge for LeadIN has been, that it's growth primarily relies on word of mouth, because like most things that really matter to me, and perhaps, to you, is that we're really not very comfortable promoting something, unless we're sure about it or respect it. This has worked wonderfully well for LeadIN in D.C. The space where people gather, once a week for 10 weeks is provided by the Chicago School of Psychology, D.C. campus. Facilitators, like myself and Zarko, the founder, spend our time, without pay, with each cohort. The costs outside of our time are negligible, and we like it this way. Because our intention is to introduce our leadership peer learning format to organizations. Can you imagine, mixing and matching departments, regardless of rank, or position, into 10 week cohorts that they are responsible for partly delivering. We know it works, we have the measures to demonstrate the shifts in teams, but again, the challenge is, anyone that's believed in us and invited us, has either attended LeadIN or has been invited to learn about LeadIN by alumni.

So back to my experiment. In Dubai, I was able to convene people to attend a teaser workshop, the subject was first time managers. There are a few obstacles related to this particular format. Some of which legal. More importantly, there is a glut of free personal development workshops in Dubai. And I've not been able to position LeadIN in a manner that makes us stand out. So I opted to experiment with an all remote format while I was in D.C.

I invited people from the Creative Bunch, so sticking to what works, inviting people I have a relationship with. Out of 110 people, 7 people signed up. Out of the 7, 4 were able to make the first 2 meetings. The third meeting? Didn't happen. Part of the challenge was the nature of our geography, with restrictions to video conferencing software, participants in 3 time zones, and possibly way too much upfront work that was required to be a part of the group. People needed to do a Strengthsfinder test, then fill out a questionnaire that became a benchmark for their current state, then film a video 2 mins long, about a current challenge they have, then review the videos of the other people, and then show up for the call. You wouldn't be wrong to assume that the 4 who showed up for the first 2 meetings, had more interactions with me, than did the others. Meaning to say, they knew me well enough, to be present, and support this initiative.

I spent the better part of today, downloading stock video footage, because I realised, even though it's oft repeated, people are also simple. There are a lot of things vying for a person's attention, and something as important as your leadership path, and it's growth, doesn't register high when there are more pressing needs, or louder distractions.

So I hope to create a series of 1 minute teaser videos, that will try to appeal to people's need to congregate, alluding to rituals, and how they've evolved from creating a meaning for the world, and our place in it, to being removed from our daily lives and rituals being subsumed by likes and swipes.

I've downloaded 120 royalty free stock footage, and now I need to write a script of what feelings trying to solicit from people, and what action I'm trying to have them take. I've committed $500 to this project, which will include a website, and advertising funds, since the copy editing, sound mixing and video editing will be learning project.

I need to first publish the results of the first cohort, I've had three people complete their outgoing questionnaire, and remarkably, there were positive changes, I didn't expect this piece of data to give me good news. I need to think of how I should share with them their results, so that they can easily share it with others, and that way I make it easier for them to be excited about sharing what this space is all about.

So two things need to happen, first, invite the creative bunch to nominate people for the upcoming cohort in the fall, a friend who attended a recent gathering shared the following quote, "If I keep doing the same thing with different people, in different places, at different times, it's always an injustice." I need to be more actively listening to people's needs, and have a hearty mix of zeal and heart, so that I can better understand how needs can be addressed.

I can also offer that anyone that can't physically attend, can be funnelled into an online mastermind option, the growth tribe dxb. It's a weak name, and googling growth tribe only confirms that. What are some names that evoke the warmth of a fire and the strength of community?

Day 43 - Veterans of Kindness

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Veterans of Kindness, they help for the sake of helping, and continue to do so.  They are the quiet many and they are surprisingly kind. There are a number of individuals, who at times go to great lengths to ensure no one is aware of their good deeds.

There are historical figures, none of which I can recall right now, who are lauded for their quiet acts of kindness. Somehow I feel that hearing these stories centuries later, only proves that there was some amazing old school public relations going on.

That said, it could also be that some people were genuinely helpful, and some soul wanted them to be recognized. It's something I'm trying to figure out at the moment. I'm experimenting with an Instagram account that has been dormant. To facilitate an online exchange between community members of the bunch, and also individuals that follow the bunch account, I've been posing questions every Thursday under the moniker of 'Helpful Humans'. The idea is to ask questions that people usually answer in the silent space of their mind, the idea is to make real and public, what it is they find challenging, to allow for recognition that this isn't a unique challenge, and hopefully someone in the community has undergone a personal shift to overcome said challenge, and can share a tip or two on what worked. Eventually, and this was picked up by a member of the bunch, this exchange should happen face to face, because these conversations are important, and they need to be had.

Some of the exchanges have been related to overcoming the fear or public speaking, sales, finding inspiration when you're drained, and getting encouragement to keep on top of existing goals.

I've saved the above on highlights, and they're publicly accessible to people, but the essence of the exchange is individuals rallying to help each other. I need to experiment further to further refine the process and possibly invite individuals who would like to tap into the information shared to create articles that synthesize the points that seem to most resonate.

Day 42 - Help yoself Kemosabe

I started puttering around LinkedIN recently, or as I affectionately like to call it LookHERE. Outside of an increase in funny, aspiring, Facebook videos, I didn't really see too many changes from the few years I'd been off of it.

It still takes days for a post to surface from someone you're connected to, which is a strange choice for a business oriented platform. By the time it surfaces on my wall or feed, it's been 3 days, if not longer, since it was posted by the author.

There is a noticeable increase in the number of videos being posted by anyone looking to be what I assume is a LookHERE influencer. The echoes of the Facesphere are reverberating, thought I've also noticed people also end their posts with "follow me on Twitter, I'm more active there". Which begs the question, what is LookHERE used for outside of recruiter stalking. I've yet to understand.

I've also started experimenting with the Creative Bunch Instagram. I think my commitment to writing each day has seeped into other areas of life. This is the third week I've hosted a Helpful Humans series of stories, where I solicit people to share their vulnerabilities, and then aggregate helpful tips from others who've overcome similar challenges. Most interesting are the chat groups, a new feature, that can stay open in perpetuity, I think I'll A/B test and close 1 of the 3 currently existing groups, by summarizing what's been shared on a medium post, and hosting the shared learning there. I can't imagine InstaCRAM can be a place to store information for the long term. I think I'll also announce that it'll only be active for 12 hours from 7 AM to 7 PM so people have a time box, and a ritual of sorts, I've noticed an uptick later in the afternoon. I recently converted the account to a business account to access the analytics insights, so I'll wait a week before delving in, which reminds me I need to highlight the stories shared before they disappear.

As for me, and my professional growth, I've had a number of conversations and this next year, I really need to up skill in service design, so that I can have portfolio of work worth sharing, mainly to increase my self confidence as well. If this project comes through, we'll be running it using a sprint format. I'm also committing to writing at the end of each day, so I can leverage this habit to capture daily insights that can be transferred to a text only portfolio if need be.

I need to also prioritize the things I want to work on,

So far there's

The Growth Tribe X
Future Dads Club podcast

Creative Couple Cards X
Government Service Design Research doc
Starting the first LeadIN cohort in Dubai X
Starting a Liberating Structures group in Dubai X
Starting a Reinventing Work group in Dubai. X
Facilitating a phones down, heads up event X
Continuing the Bunch X

Almost everything involves people, which means a considerable amount of time and effort spent soliciting, prodding, and maybe even begging people to pay attention, or to help lead.

I'll need to segment the above into whether they need a great amount of energy, so I'd need to lead, or moderate amount of energy, so I'd need to delegate, or take little to no energy, so I'd need to mentor.

I've also been sheepish about answering my own questions about the kind of help needed on the bunch account using my other accounts, like LeadIN and Future dad, somehow it feels wrong to be asking for advice, in the same forum you're moderating. It's like the person at Alcoholic's anonymous taking up the space they're supposed to hold for the circle.

Yet, I must help myself, because this is post number 42, and therein lies the answer.

Day 41 - Facilitation Fail

Communicating clearly to one person is challenging, you have to get in their head, understand where they're coming from in terms of culture, priorities. Where they are, who they are, what they had for breakfast, etc.

Most importantly, the person needs to feel heard, acknowledged, understood, and respected. Crucially, critically, insert all synonyms here, they must identify, relate, insert all synonyms here also, with what you're trying to communicate.

Now imagine it's a roomful of people. How would you approach it differently? How do you convey, that you may need to risk going deeper than is comfortable, in order to create a shared understanding of what is important. How do you allow for deep seated bias, to be recognized, acknowledged, and let go.

There was a client engagement where I was brought on for one thing, and it turned out to be a 'whole other thing'. You've probably experienced this in some form. I was too naive, and decided to concentrate, on the thing I was brought to do, and I found myself getting frustrated whenever I was pulled away, by the 'whole other thing', I didn't have the agency to highlight it so I kept working on the thing I was brought on for.

No twist in this story friend, straight faced and straight laced I forged ahead with an agenda that required a measure of vulnerability, honest self assessment, and it worked, but not the way I expected.

The people in the room, the ones without the power, let their hearts out, yearning for recognition, and this seemed like a safe space for it. So share they did, and I was almost in tears...until I noticed the faces of the people with power.

Ever have your most calm poker face, flip into one filled with outrage. But really the fault was mine, I should have read the room, it was my responsibility to ensure that the room came along for the journey, the whole room. I hadn't heeded the early warning signs, and as a result, I failed half the room, the half that was yearning to be heard, that trusted the process.

One thing I'd try next time, is to ensure everyone took time to reflect on the purpose of the organization. Possibly through a journaling exercise the day before we all meet.

I'd also take more time upfront, understanding who is going into the room, and what they're walking in with. Because regardless of power, if we don't take the risk, we'll never know what could have been possible.

Day 40 - 17 Million Dollars

I remember a guy from high school, we weren’t close, or acquaintances, we may have had a class or two together, but with my memory such as it is, we probably didn’t. I’ll call him Terrence.

He was tall, slim build, braces, I remember him wearing a track suit, he will have worn other articles of clothing, but Terrence looks like a track suit guy, and I mean matching track suits, long sleeved top and maybe tear away track pants. He was a light blue track suit kind of guy.

Terrence was also a humorous dude, not the typical high school regurgitate the latest Simpsons episode kind of humorous, but a genuine, well thought out, slow burn kind of humorous.

He wasn't the type of person who was not noticeable, so when he didn't come to school for a few days, and it turned to weeks, we didn't know what happened.

Turned out, his family had won a few million dollars, bought a house, a recording studio, a few cars and other knick knacks. I saw Terrence a few months later, he didn't mention the new life style, he may have been lonely and tried to visit a familiar place. The change was abrupt.

I tell you about Terrence, because at some point, I thought I want to make $17 million, and give away all but $1 million. I've even bought a ticket or two, when I feel my stars aligning, do you ever get that feeling? That something good is coming your way? Once every few years I get that feeling, and I spend it on a ticket. Nothing ever comes of it of course. But I can't help but think of all the fun I can have by giving away a crap ton of money.

My friend Adnan, who started this whole Moemusing at you mess, had his own unique way of looking at this. He suggested I flip this desire on it's head. What if I saved, through my interactions, or service, I could save people $16 million.

So what in your life time, would you be able to do, to save a group of people, that amount? It doesn't need to be cash, it could be services rendered, that may be valued at that amount, over a period of time.

Let me know what you'd be great at saving people from.

Day 39 - It's Service Design, not serve us design

Oh client, thou shall not be named, yet trample you must on best laid customer centric plans. Sure, sometimes it happens because we haven't convinced you sufficiently, and yes, your eyes may pop at the costs associated, but isn't this why we spent the better part of a year, finite time, for the benefit of your brand.

I'll stop with the poetic crap there.

On our last project, it took sometime to convince our client that it was in their best interest we have access to all manner of customers, partner organizations, and their staff.

Questions clients ask:

Why must you shadow this person? I just told you all you need to know, in 5 minutes!

Why do you need to see a sample of service chat logs? So what if they don't contain confidential information, what use will they be?

I gave you access to the team, why do I have to be in the room for the first meeting?

What do you mean this is a prototype? When will you finish?

I realized by the end of the project, that I could have done things much more differently. Here are my top 3 early bird service specials.

1- Identify early on the people most positively impacted by the changes, and win them over by asking detailed questions, sharing your process, and soliciting their advice.

2- Only engage the leadership with moments of forward momentum. That could look like maps you've completed alongside their most trusted staff, and present it in their presence because they will eagerly answer questions their leadership throws your way. This is important, because it demonstrates to leadership that this isn't just your hair brained scheme, and that their staff will move it along when you're gone

3- Visuals visuals visuals. Account for the different learning styles, and begin with visuals, they worked wonders and engaged everyone regardless of language proficiency.

Day 38 - Growth Tribe DXB

I think I'm ready to plan for the second iteration of an experiment I conducted earlier in 2019. Some background first.

As a partner at LeadIN, one of my roles has been to engage people in peer led learning circles. The circles are designed to create a space outside of work, personal routines, and social obligations, in order to ponder, experiment, and iterate on your leadership path. Like most things worth taking the time for, it's simple, there are no stage productions, no headline motivational speaker and deep bass or drums to get the blood flowing. It's taking the time to breath, to learn, to have a conversation, to take action, and to be held accountable to your leadership goal.

The challenge for LeadIN has been, that it's growth primarily relies on word of mouth, because like most things that really matter to me, and perhaps, to you, is that we're really not very comfortable promoting something, unless we're sure about it or respect it. This has worked wonderfully well for LeadIN in D.C. The space where people gather, once a week for 10 weeks is provided by the Chicago School of Psychology, D.C. campus. Facilitators, like myself and Zarko, the founder, spend our time, without pay, with each cohort. The costs outside of our time are negligible, and we like it this way. Because our intention is to introduce our leadership peer learning format to organizations. Can you imagine, mixing and matching departments, regardless of rank, or position, into 10 week cohorts that they are responsible for partly delivering. We know it works, we have the measures to demonstrate the shifts in teams, but again, the challenge is, anyone that's believed in us and invited us, has either attended LeadIN or has been invited to learn about LeadIN by alumni.

So my experiment. In Dubai, I was able to convene people to attend a teaser workshop, the subject was first time managers. There are a few obstacles related to this particular format. Some of which legal. More importantly, there is a glut of free personal development workshops in Dubai. And I've not been able to position LeadIN in a manner that makes us stand out. So I opted to experiment with an all remote format while I was in D.C.

I invited people from the Creative Bunch, so sticking to what works, inviting people I have a relationship with. Out of 110 people, 7 people signed up. Out of the 7, 4 were able to make the first 2 meetings. The third meeting? Didn't happen. Part of the challenge was the nature of our geography, with restrictions to video conferencing software, participants in 3 time zones, and possibly way too much upfront work that was required to be a part of the group. People needed to do a Strengthsfinder test, then fill out a questionnaire that became a benchmark for their current state, then film a video 2 mins long, about a current challenge they have, then review the videos of the other people, and then show up for the call. You wouldn't be wrong to assume that the 4 who showed up for the first 2 meetings, had more interactions with me, than did the others. Meaning to say, they knew me well enough, to be present, and support this initiative.

I spent the better part of today, downloading stock video footage, because I realised, even though it's oft repeated, people are also simple. There are a lot of things vying for a person's attention, and something as important as your leadership path, and it's growth, doesn't register high when there are more pressing needs, or louder distractions.

So I hope to create a series of 1 minute teaser videos, that will try to appeal to people's need to congregate, alluding to rituals, and how they've evolved from creating a meaning for the world, and our place in it, to being removed from our daily lives and rituals being subsumed by likes and swipes.

I've downloaded 120 royalty free stock footage, and now I need to write a script of what feelings trying to solicit from people, and what action I'm trying to have them take. I've committed $500 to this project, which will include a website, and advertising funds, since the copy editing, sound mixing and video editing will be learning project.

I need to first publish the results of the first cohort, I've had three people complete their outgoing questionnaire, and remarkably, there were positive changes, I didn't expect this piece of data to give me good news. I need to think of how I should share with them their results, so that they can easily share it with others, and that way I make it easier for them to be excited about sharing what this space is all about.

So two things need to happen, first, invite the creative bunch to nominate people for the upcoming cohort in the fall, a friend who attended a recent gathering shared the following quote, "If I keep doing the same thing with different people, in different places, at different times, it's always an injustice." I need to be more actively listening to people's needs, and have a hearty mix of zeal and heart, so that I can better understand how needs can be addressed.

I can also offer that anyone that can't physically attend, can be funnelled into an online mastermind option, the growth tribe dxb. It's a weak name, and googling growth tribe only confirms that. What are some names that evoke the warmth of a fire and the strength of community?

Day 37 - Books I Read on User Experience.

It's been a busy weekend, so I'm just going to list names of books I read a few years back.

Interactive Design: An Introduction to the Theory and Application of User-centered Design

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13590592-interactive-design

Wireframing Essentials
by Matthew J. Hamm

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/20718118-wireframing-essentials

Designing Connected Products: UX for the Consumer Internet of Things
by Claire Rowland, Elizabeth Goodman, Martin Charlier, Alfred Lui, Ann Light

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/23236797-designing-connected-products

A Project Guide to UX Design: For User Experience Designers in the Field or in the Making
by Russ Unger, Carolyn Chandler

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/4565900-a-project-guide-to-ux-design

Just Enough Research
by Erika Hall

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17236175-just-enough-research

Lean UX: Applying Lean Principles to Improve User Experience
by Jeff Gothelf, Josh Seiden

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/13436116-lean-ux

Interaction Design: Beyond Human-Computer Interaction
by Yvonne Rogers, Helen Sharp

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/344711.Interaction_Design

Information Architecture for the World Wide Web: Designing Large-Scale Web Sites
by Peter Morville, Louis Rosenfeld

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/70132.Information_Architecture_for_the_World_Wide_Web

100 Things Every Designer Needs to Know about People
by Susan M. Weinschenk

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/10778139-100-things-every-designer-needs-to-know-about-people

The Design of Everyday Things
by Donald A. Norman

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/840.The_Design_of_Everyday_Things

Don't Make Me Think, Revisited: A Common Sense Approach to Web Usability
by Steve Krug

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18197267-don-t-make-me-think-revisited

Rocket Surgery Made Easy: The Do-It-Yourself Guide to Finding and Fixing Usability Problems
by Steve Krug

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/6658783-rocket-surgery-made-easy

Communicating Design: Developing Web Site Documentation for Design and Planning
by Dan M. Brown

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/56837.Communicating_Design

Designing Together: The Collaboration and Conflict Management Handbook for Creative Professionals
by Dan M. Brown

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17986275-designing-together

Practical Design Discovery
by Dan M. Brown

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/34336605-practical-design-discovery

Intertwingled: Information Changes Everything
by Peter Morville

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/22931460-intertwingled

The User's Journey: Storymapping Products That People Love
by Donna Lichaw

https://www.goodreads.com/en/book/show/25587382-the-user-s-journey

Day 36 - The Golden Child

Guilt, not fear, as in Frank Herbert's memorable mantra in 'Dune', is the real mind-killer. You may have heard of or been exposed to the concept of Catholic guilt, Jewish guilt...there are so many types of guilt.

It whispers at the nape of your neck when you feel you did something wrong, or when you think of doing something nasty, even if you don't follow through.

It keeps you up at night and compounds when you don't think you did enough to help someone in need, could be the homeless person you pass by, or a co-worker whose family member just passed away.

It absolutely howls at you when you think you're doing better than someone else, it doesn't need to be as extreme as surviving war, it could be as simple as having a better life than your closest family members, financially or physically.

If you know me, you know where I was taking this...Muslim guilt. Yup! That's also a thing. The rule is, if you make a minor mistake, something that doesn't harm anyone, but is definitely a no-no as per the tenets of the faith, you should feel bad about it, you should make up for it, you should ask for forgiveness, and then go about your merry way, with the caveat that, you've now acknowledged your mistake, don't repeat it. This of course doesn't apply to anything that causes another harm, or what is considered classified as a crime. The jurisprudence can become a rabbit hole so I won't give you any specific examples, so let your imagination run along.

Now that you've been introduced to Muslim guilt, come along with me to my childhood. At the tender age of 10, my mother, 3 siblings and I found ourselves in Toronto, Canada. As the eldest child, I was one no longer, because my younger siblings were 6, 5 and 2 years old, so I ended up skipping adolescence.

You see, there was a barrage of messaging from everyone connected to our family, be it grade school teachers, or family friends, even the local grocer, that I was one very responsible child, to be helping his mother so well! And So the Golden Child was born, never to err, ever faithfully serving, protecting, and being a role model worthy of emulation.

When I said I skipped adolescence, I skipped it hard. No alcohol, no partying, no rebelling. Nothing that would jeopardize my mission to ensure my mom was not overwhelmed by raising the 4 of us alone. I had to do my part, and for the most part I did pretty well. I still have the moniker attached to me.

Everything that sparkles has it's price. Historically, Gold and it's extraction resulted in heavily polluted lands which impacts the surrounding environment, poisoning both flora, fauna and the water table. This continues long after the mine's resources are extracted, for a century at best. Similarly, the impact my Golden Child persona has on me is yet to completely unfold. One of the main lessons I learned, if I were to play the role well, was to know how to lie very well. It's possible that my fascination with observing people, listening to them, and trying to understand their pain had started at a young age, in order to better understand how to hide my own.

It's what keeps the Golden Child a beacon, ironically, one that has disturbed my siblings, causing them unresolved tension, and dismay. It's hard for them to understand that it wasn't me being "Golden", that my primary motivator was an overwhelming sense of guilt, of potential guilt, of future guilt, of my potential mistakes, forever influencing theirs. I was mortified by every interaction they had with my peers, by the things they could possibly see on television, and so I did the one thing I continue to regret to this day. I pushed my siblings away, in my effort to protect them, I kept them away from my friends to shield them from their language, their thoughts, their ideas. That meant tersely informing them they needed to go play elsewhere, or to go home while I was staying past sunset with my friends. It was easier then, there were only two vices, television, and my foul mouthed inconsiderate-of-my-duties friends. It's a wound that is still on the mend.

They call me the Golden Child, not as a sign of respect, but as a small rebellion, because their adolescence, their little rebellions were unwelcome, and unfortunately misunderstood as evidence of a failure to parent.

Like the revitalized Gold industry stepping away from it's use of Cyanide and Mercury and turning to environmentally friendly techniques to sustain itself. I'm slowly allowing everyone to see that the Golden Child, was really Gold plated, and that it's time for it to be removed from the mantle.