Conversation with a Connector

spider web in closeup photo
Photo by Phil Kallahar on

My North Star is to be a Connector & a Catalyst. True to form, connectors are a little messy. Definitely not linear. It does not surprise me that I wrote the post on being a catalyst before a post on being a connector.

The loose framework of 12 Agile Best Self principles and 4 values works well for a connector. To be honest, I’m not quite sure what will and will not stick until I start weaving things together in my head. Having the persistent pressure to write something about optimism has helped me be more optimistic, and think about optimism more. But there is a theme: optimism takes effort. Optimism takes the ability to catch the sun shining on a web of connections in just the right way. Sometimes you have to purposely tilt your head to see the rays.

Yesterday I was not up to writing a post on optimism. Around 4 pm, I started getting a splitting headache and the chills. Normally I would push past this. In my pre-COVID world, soldiering-on was par for the course. However, due to the COVID pandemic, I’ve started paying attention to fatigue, fevers and chills. I took my temp and had a fever. Optimism seemed a bit inauthentic and my inside voice was going “shit! shit! shit!”. I downed some Nyquil (the appropriate dose) and did some research on where I could get a rapid test completed. By now, all the rapid testing places were closed and I just wanted to go to bed anyway. So I did. I did a partially optimistic meditation, but I wasn’t fully into it.

I did not go to bed fully optimistic, but I also did not stay up the entire evening worrying. I went back to our working definition of optimism:

“Optimism is a trainable skill and it’s the fundamental belief that it’s going to work out.”

Dr. Michael Gervais, Co-Creator of Compete to Create

I tweaked it slightly. “Optimism is a trainable skill and it’s the fundamental belief that it’s going to work out for the rest of the night.”

Agile Best Self Principle #12: At regular intervals, reflect on how to become your best self, then tune and adjust.

Tuning the definition of optimism to include a timebox was critical to helping me sleep. What I needed most was a good night’s sleep. Whatever was going to happen, I needed to approach the next day refreshed – or at least not exhausted. I was expecting to have to call a rapid testing center 284 times over the course of 45 minutes to nab a time slot (like my brother did).

As a connector, I was able to connect the heart of the definition of optimism with my current context. The result was what I needed at that moment in time. This mindful adaptation exemplifies one of our Agile Best Self four values:

Adapting mindfully over prescriptive self-improvement

As a connector, I don’t do well with checklists or prescriptive steps. I’m more comfortable taking what I need and applying it. This morning, I got off lucky. I woke up with a migraine that made it impossible for me to be online. But no fever, no chills, no cough. My sense of smell is intact and I’m not fatigued. And now I am feeling OK.

This is where I’m supposed to invoke a call to action, or end in a clever way. Brian typically lands his posts well. Dear reader, that is not how this blog is going to end. I trust that you can find your own magic in today: a sunbeam on a spiderweb, or just the smell of coffee in the morning. You’ll have to make your own connections, because I’m going back to bed.

Copyright © 2018 – 2023 Michaele Gardner and Brian Hackerson

Published by MichaeleBestSelf

Connector, Catalyst.

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