In this episode, I’ll be sharing another way to build and sustain your Deep Joy by rapid prototyping and baby steps forward.
Quite often, we try to bite off a bit more than we are ready to handle… a bigger project than we really need to. Today, we’ll use meals, paintings, online videos, and any other project or product that you deliver into your world, large or small, to consider an approach for growing your Deep Joy.
What we have found in the world of software and other business projects is that if we plan a little bit, deliver a little bit, watch and see how it ‘lands’ with our clients, learn, inspect and adapt it, that we end up with happier clients, and a happier delivery team.
I think this applies to us in everyday life, as well.
When we are making meals, if we haven’t made this meal before and we aren’t following a recipe (a plan that someone has tested and perfected), if we are inventing a NEW meal from the stuff you can find in your refrigerator and cabinets, the way to feel more joy and feel more confidence is to take it in little steps.
We would not make the whole meal and wait to taste it until the final tableside experience, would we. Imagine if we have a crowd for whom we made the meal which wasn’t a close and supporting family member or friend. The outcome could be a disaster just because we were not checking the intermediate results during our cooking process.
Instead, we make the sauce and taste for flavor and texture. We make the meat, and check for salt and seasonings. We make the veggies, and check for tenderness and color. We check at each step, evaluate, adjust, adapt, and move forward. In the world of science, this is ’empirical evidence’ – information gained via the senses and experimentation.
We might even ask one other person to taste a small bit and give us their opinion. We incorporate their suggestions, and they help to be sure that our end product is delicious, looks colorful and appetizing, and that the texture is perfect.
In the end, because of our ‘rapid prototyping’, our meal ends up a great success. We can take some notes to create and document our own recipe, noting any special tips for the next time. Or, we might never make this same meal again. We might have learned a new reusable skill or learned a new tip about our ingredients, but this might have been a unique meal, amazing, but not to be repeated exactly this way again.
I use this rapid prototyping approach in my acrylic paintings, as well. I am not a professionally trained nor have I been painting all my life. Art was not my ‘thing’ in high school or college.
I’m taking on painting in baby steps. I try simple paintings using simple techniques and small canvases. Every time I take on a new painting, I’m learning a new technique. I’m trying out a new brush. I’m trying out new color mixes. I’m trying out new styles of painting…loose vs. precise…new ways to depict clouds, mountains, trees, etc.
The great thing with my paintings is that no one is paying me for them… I can use them as my rapid prototyping, learning process. I can use them for my own purposes of creativity, thinking outside the box, learning. My friends and family might enjoy them, but the risk is low and the enjoyment is high.
It is a continuous delivery approach. I want to deliver a new painting week by week to see what I have learned, to adapt my own skills, and then try again the next week. I learn and practice on small canvases to minimize my risk and to focus on the ‘baby steps’ of learning. No 1 meter (3 foot) canvases for me yet. I’m not spending a lot of money on canvases, paint, or brushes.
I plan a little, deliver a little, check the results, adapt and learn, and repeat the cycle.
This is a way that we can find joy in life.
Every time we deliver a bit of our value, every time we complete one cycle, we get a little shot of happiness.
Happiness of sense of accomplishment which gives us a ‘happiness pop’ in the brain with dopamine.
Happiness in the journey of the work delivering our value.
Happiness in learning what is successful, and what could be improved.
Happiness of seeing a bit of joy when others receive our gift, our value, our ‘product’.
Online Videos and Products
Shifting to a more business product, I am taking the same approach with my online videos and digital learning products.
For my Face-to-Face Friday Facebook videos, I’ve created about seven or eight of them. The first one was created just a few weeks after having my tonsils removed and just barely having my voice back.
My first goal was to learn how to create a FB Live video and overcoming my initial fear of the camera. As you’ll see if you ever watch that video, it is a long way from perfect. But I did it, and I learned, and I adapted and improved.
My second goal was consistency. I committed to making them each Friday, and I have succeeded (with a few other them getting made on Sunday after).
Each week, I try to deliver another tidbit of value – a suggestion on how to enable, support, and grow your Deep Joy. The videos are a long way from perfect, but the message is still there. I’ve had some specific suggestions from supportive friends on where improvements are needed, and I continue to adapt, learn, and improve.
Your Product or Service
You can use this same idea as you work to deliver your own product or service into the world.
Plan a little. Deliver a little. Watch and learn from the reception. Adapt and Improve.
In life, each gift to the world, each time we deliver our value, it often is not repeatable in the same unique way. We might not have delivered in in quite the same way before. We are constantly adapting and inventing new and creative twists on our service. A bit of ‘chaos’ because there is no perfect recipe.
Live and Learn.
We brought a bit of ourselves, our value into the world. This gives us joy and shares our joy with others.
It may not be perfect…. it will likely not be perfect and may NEVER be perfect. But we value progress and value delivery over perfection. We value the learning and growth.
I hope you’ll try out this approach – rapid prototyping, continuous delivery, and baby steps.
Over time, your confidence will grow. Your skills and your ability to deliver, learn, and adapt will grow.
Over time, your resilience will grow. You’ll learn to accept those imperfections more and more, and you’ll learn how to learn from them. There is no perfection. Embrace the progress. Enjoy the outcome. Perfection is less about the product and more about how the recipient values and uses it. Relish the value you delivered to them that allows them joy and happiness and growth. Today’s delivery is just today. Tomorrow, you will try again in another better way.
This approach also enables hopefulness by keeping our heart and soul on the value we deliver to others… our servant leader mindset…our daily cycle of improvements as we bring our value into the world.
So while Rapid Prototyping, Inspect-and-Adapt, Empirical Evidence, and Continuous Delivery sound like fancy terms used in the world of business, products, and software, these are great techniques for us to use in our daily lives to deliver our value sooner, more frequently, and with better quality… even if we are just talking about dinner.