I recently came up with my “Ethic” ala Todd Henry’s advice on the matter. The Ethic is your way to approach each day with what you think is important in life. Every morning, look at the day with the lens of your ethic, and act accordingly throughout the day. Then, review in the evening.

I spent some time thinking on this, and came up with these words, and an acronym to remember them by.

Conflict - Positive Passionate Discussion is key to building trust on a team. Work, Family, Sport, etc. Any team. I’ve seen how these discussion move teams forward so well. But as humans we’re hard-wired to avoid conflict. I’m practicing and training to run toward conflict, but am hard wired to avoid it.

Humor - I love making people (including myself) laugh. I’m currently studying improv and standup comedy. I think humor is one of the things that is a basic human emotion, that transcends language and cultures. I want to find the funny in the things that divide us to show how we’re not so different after all.

Amor Fati - The old Stoics had this concept, “Love of Fate”. Or at least it’s been popularized recently. Either way, it means finding problems and making them opportunities. Flipping problems on their head. By doing this often enough I’ll get good at it, and like conflict above, run towards problems. I recognize that the levels of difficulty in each of our own problems vary greatly. I try to remind myself I am not trapped in a room with a bear to keep perspective.

Plus - As story tells, animators and other folks at Pixar have a concept they call “Plussing an idea”. You take an idea, and build upon it. Discarding what isn’t working and making it better. This isn’t binary; good/bad. It’s a way to examine ideas and build upon them. I see a correlation in the first rule of Improv here which is “Yes, and” - accepting the reality in the moment, and building on it. So I try to find the good parts in ideas and build upon them. Solo, or with the teams I am on.

I think it’s OK if these change as you practice. That’s how you know you’re growing?