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Issue #31: Take a Moment to Step Back

Last week I was given the opportunity to help facilitate two retreats with Positive Gear where we cha

James Costa

October 24 · Issue #31 · View online
A batch of thoughts, resources, and motivation from a friendly digital agency owner delivered every Monday at 6am ET.

Last week I was given the opportunity to help facilitate two retreats with Positive Gear where we chatted with high school students about decisions, responsibility, the importance of acknowledging and adapting to change, and answered some profound questions about life. While I I co-founded the group with a friend, I took a step back roughly 3 years ago to focus on building Phuse. During this time, I’ve enjoyed seeing how the team has grown from the sidelines and loved being able to jump back in.
At one point while one of my co-facilitators was speaking, I got a chance to step back and appreciate what was going on around me. What had started as an idea with a friend had evolved. I could still see my fingerprints on some of the content, but it was executed more thoughtfully and with renewed focus.
While on break, I got a chance to check my emails and see how Phuse was doing. Not only did I have some promising emails, but the team was at peak performance despite my being “away” for two days. I’d imagine it’s what a parent feels when their child graduates.
When you’re constantly moving, it’s hard to tell how far you’ve come. I’ve written about perspective before, but what I appreciated realizing last week was the path that got me there. The “choose your own adventure” story on my life would be full of plot twists and tough calls, but it is realized in fleeting moments where I allow myself to be proud.
We often worry about the outcome of decisions when part of being human is being able to adapt. That doesn’t mean you should be reckless or underestimate the responsibility of the decisions you make, but if we let some of the responsibility of outcomes go and learned to instead take ownership and adapt, we’re truly able to advance.
So, will you adapt?
PS: If you enjoyed this week’s issue, I’d really appreciate your support sharing it. Whether it’s a forward, a Twitter post, or creating an inventive SnapChat of you reading this issue, it would mean the world to me.

Malcolm Gladwell on the 1 Biggest Problem Every Successful Person Faces
Skateboard, Bike, Car
The importance of sucking at a new job for a year or two
How Elite Agencies Run Project Post-Mortems
“Taking a step back and looking at the big picture can be a shock if you haven’t done it in a while.”
- Colin Wright
This weekend I picked up a couch from IKEA and enlisted the help of my dad and his van. Though it took us about an hour, we managed to fit the couch in the van (despite needing to remove the driver’s head rest, and reducing legroom significantly) by taking everything out of its packaging while in the parking lot. We got a lot of very strange looks, but we saved $99 in shipping!
As always, if you have any questions or I can help you in any way, all you have to do is respond to this email!
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