Diego Segura

Daily Reflections

I wrote these reflections daily from May to August of 2018. I’ve compiled these all into one book and edited them for clarity. You can find To a Man Much Like Myself (Oct. 2018) at muchlikemyself.com.

On critique, congruence, and sacrificial focus

On critique You must not be a stranger to criticizing. This goes both for your work and the work of others, especially when they are part of a team and you need that team to succeed, with or without you. From Jobs you learned that the vanity of wanting to be liked must sometimes be ignored for the sake of the product. Don't go to his excessive lengths with this realization, however. There are limits to your willingness to criticize, as there should be. When you will sow more resentment than you will improvement, your critique must be kept to yourself. With someone on the verge of breaking under the weight of their own pressure, your job is not to break and replace them but to encourage and strengthen them. Build them to the point that they can take the critique and continue the good and noble work that they have set out to do. Think not of yourself in these matters, but in the final product. Think about whether or not the work will be viewed as satisfactory, not whether you will be viewed as satisfactory.

On congruence Take great care to be consistent with what you say and what you do. Your actions must match your words, and for this reason it may be advisable to stay quiet so as not to ensnare yourself in the net of your own words and commitments. You run the risk of being incongruous at a later date by proclaiming something too strongly in the present. In as many cases as you can, simply demonstrate or prove your beliefs through demonstration rather than explain them. This is difficult for someone who writes, but the remedy is simple—tell with story what you might with mere explanation. Make great use of the parable, for the circumstances are realistic and the situation relatable. In this way, what you claim to be true is congruent with what would actually happen in reality, making your case all the more believable.

On sacrificial focus Not only do you have to focus on the good things, but you have to sacrifice the great things to focus on the one thing. You fail to do this every day considering your desire to learn multiple languages and improve on multiple fronts. You think that if the task can be made small and progress can be made daily, you will not be afflicted by the effort. This is partially true, as you have proven through your own experience, but combine all of these small tasks and you begin to see that your ability to focus on one large task has dwindled. Your ability to work deeply has disappeared in the swallow depths of your numerous other endeavors. Focus does not mean saying no to things that you would never say yes to in the first place, it means saying no to the things that you ache to say yes to. That is making a sacrifice for the sake of the larger vision that is much more desirable but requires far more focus.

Diego Segura