Beauty, Sandflies and Friction

Last week I took a short break with a good mate. We spent a few days camped on a beautiful and remote freshwater lake. These lakes only fill on occasional years in the arid outback, and they dry up fairly quickly, so the opportunity was fleeting. The photo captured part of a 100 strong flock swans relocating for the night.

We were surrounded by ephemeral beauty, far from the distractions of everyday life, and yet there was a real risk of missing it all. We were distracted by agents of torment - millions of sandflies making the most of ideal breeding conditions. 

A sandfly bite is not initially painful and the insect is tiny enough to go almost unnoticed, even in their droves. But there's a catch. After a while the bites itch beyond belief, the kind of itching that has you lying awake at night, tearing at your own flesh and teetering on the edge of madness. The level of discomfort steadily builds over multiple days.

The key is to notice the sandfly early. If you pay attention to the first minor bites, and get some good quality repellant on, the later torment can be minimised and almost avoided. The trouble is, at the moment of most effective action, the issue doesn't seem big enough to bother with.

Many issues in life and business are like that - starting small and insignificant, and building in intensity. One of my Thrive and Adapt principles is "Treat the Hotspots". It's about the discipline to notice and deal with issues while they are still small. 

The indicators of a potentially building issue are tension, friction or conflict either within yourself, or between you and/or others. This short (just under 4 min) video talks about how to deal with friction effectively.

What are the minor niggles you need to get onto this week?