The Worst Appliance in your Home for your Personal Development


Today Apple announced two new iPhones.

It was an incredible experience to listen and watch a presentation that on the one hand was brilliantly executed and at the same time was so boring.

I was bored because, like everyone else, I had already caught many (or all) of the rumors about the new iPhone and so little thrilled and tickled my imagination.

I watched with admiration as the company segmented their audience with two products (instead of one) so that they could maximize their ability to generate revenue from their target market.

Either way, whether you were bored or filled with admiration, you – like I – were probably engaged when they started talking about….wait for it….the camera.

Yes, at some point, we all became photographers who wanted cameras that had phones in them. And we all use our smart phones like cameras. Sometimes telling ourselves that we take just as good photos with our iPhones that we did with our old cameras.

And that reminds me of this poster by ShoppeSatire


The only thing you need to do is change that “crappy camera” to “cool iPhone.” Right?

Why do we love taking pictures with our phones?

I want to make the case, and stick with me here, that we use our phones in much the same way that we used our DSLR's just a couple years ago. Now if you don't or never owned a DSLR (or don't know what it is), you can skip down lower in this post. But the rest of you…stick with me.

We bought our nifty cameras with no notion that we were photographers. We just thought it would be an interesting hobby. And then we started taking pictures. And people liked them. Our moms loved them. Friends asked us to take their Christmas photo. And we got into it. And we upgraded a lens. Or maybe convinced ourselves we needed the upgraded body.

And soon we talked ourselves into a hobby that had us (internally) acting like we were photographers. Some of us bought a book or read an article online, to learn what F stop meant.

You know what we thought we were doing? We told ourselves we were developing a skill or a hobby.

But as our cameras got heavier we looked for lighter ones. We left the big ones at home. And then we started taking photos with our iPhones. And they were ok. And then they got better.

We got into it. We added filters. We posted them. People liked them. Our moms really loved them.

And we'd done it all over again – talking about how the best camera was the one with us.

But that's not what this as all about, was it? Just hang a bit longer, and see if you can't see what I'm saying here.

We were taking shortcuts

See I think we started using DSLR's under the notion that it was a hobby but we were letting the equipment do the work for us and we jumped, almost immediately, into prosumer status. We were not professional photographers. We knew that. But with a single purchase, we jumped into non-amateur status.

And when our iPhones started taking pictures and letting us add super cool filters (nothing against them), we took more shortcuts. Why learn anything about lighting when a filter could do the work for us?

See, this has nothing to do with taking pictures. It has nothing to do with an iPhone or the camera on it.

It has to do with our deep desire to take leaps instead of steps.
To jump to the front of the line instead of waiting our turn.
Our deepest desire is to take shortcuts.

If you read the post title, you might be thinking that the worst appliance in your home for your own personal and professional development is an iPhone. But it's not. It's not an appliance. I don't place the blame there.

It's the Microwave

I remember not having one. If you're over forty, I think you may remember it too. My mom cooked on skillets, in ovens and used crockpots. And then one day we bought a microwave. Dinner didn't take an hour to prepare. It took minutes.

And today, as I heat up a bagel cheese dog, I tap my foot waiting for the Microwave to get done. In fact, I can't remember the last time I heard the ding telling me that the cooking time was over – because I open it up seconds before it's done.

Because I'm impatient.

I want to get things done quickly.
To take leaps instead of steps.
To jump to the front of the line instead of waiting my turn.
My deepest desire is to take shortcuts.

And I learned this in my own kitchen—growing up using a microwave. With the promise that there would be a way to make things take less time.

Our Personal Development

Maybe it's your desire to run your own business. Maybe it's your hope to build an audience on your blog. Maybe it's the goal of creating a product and launching it successfully. Or maybe you want to become a gifted and well-known presenter.

It doesn't matter what your professional or personal development goals are—I can tell you this.

  • You need to take steps instead of leaps.
  • You need to spend some time in line with everyone else.
  • You need to skip the shortcuts.
  • You need to hear the microwave bell ring.

Yesterday I wrote that you needed to marinate in the problem space. I used the term “marinate” on purpose. I know people want to try to speed that up too. But you can't. Marinating just takes time.

And you and I need to embrace where we're at in the journey, and own our spot in the line. We need to move thru the process rather than around it. Because in the end, that's where our development happens.

So today I have only one challenge for you.
Slow down and enjoy the ride.