There will be turbulence. Do not be alarmed.
I had to remind myself of that this week after an emotionally challenging day interrupted a growing momentum.
I’m proud to say I didn’t ignore this feeling. I didn’t let it sideline me. But I felt its effects.
That night my wife asked me to talk about it. I sat there for a very long time in silence. Then I said the truest thing I could.
“There will be turbulence.”
Last week I linked to a negative story about the mattress company Casper. In the days since I’ve felt anxious about that. Why?
I’ve come to see that because of my job as CEO, I became a part of a club: tech founder/CEOs. As a member of this imaginary club, I feel an instinct to not be critical of other members.
It’s not a conscious thought. It’s more of a feeling. Part of it is that I don’t want people to be critical of me. Part of it is that maybe one day I’ll need something from one of these people. So I — like members of most clubs — toe the party line.
Though it may not serve the “public interest,” I think this kind of tribalism is a good thing. We all need security. Getting it from informal groups — rather than relying on institutions — seems the most desirable option.
But I’m not as much in that group anymore. My allegiances will change, and my instinct of what to feel protective of along with it.
Andrew Sullivan’s New York Magazine column is the writing I’ve enjoyed the most over the past year. His positions are distinct and articulated. Sullivan sees the matrix.
I don’t think it’s a coincidence that such clarity comes from someone who communicates on a weekly basis. Up close in the stream you can only see the chaos. Just as real, but useless for knowing the way forward.
That weekly rhythm feels ideal. Have a deadline each week by which to produce a thought. Spend the week leading up to that passively collecting, feeling the air. Power comes from stepping back.
I enjoy the column’s format: three separate thoughts collected into one piece. Milan Kundera — my favorite writer — writes this way. A snapshot of a feeling, a line break, and onto the next picture.