Whether a new year, a new job, a new project, Day 1 is exciting, anticipatory, hopeful. You have plans and goals. There’s also uncertainty, but on Day 1, that uncertainty is exhilarating. Success is not a foregone conclusion, and it’s not clear how you’ll get there if you make it. But the uncertainty is filled with the promise of what could be, dreams of What if it works?
Jeff Bezos has talked about maintaining “Day 1” mentality at Amazon. Day 1 means always acting like the company is a startup. The interpretation many take away is that Day 1 is keeping innovation and creativity. Bezos went on to say that “‘Day 2’ is stasis. Followed by irrelevance. Followed by excruciating, painful decline. Followed by death.”
But Day 2 is where the rubber meets the road. It’s the collision of dreams with reality. It’s the start of getting down to business, the big issues and the minutiae about what this project is going to take. It’s learning just how much you don’t know. It’s confronting the magnitude of the plan and taking the next step, which seems so far removed from the end goal. It’s putting together task lists, timetables, budgets, sub-aims. It’s lacing up your shoes and heading for that workout even though it’s dark and cold and you’re tired and you’d rather lounge. It’s realizing you have a lot to learn for your new job, and you’re sort of on your own for it, and finding a way to push through that and find your way to get things done. It’s opening up a writing prompts page and not connecting with them but deciding to write anyway.*
At times, Day 2 will be tedious and frustrating. Keeping some Day 1 enthusiasm, remembering why you’re doing this can help you push through. Day 2 will demand some creativity and innovation of its own. Day 2 isn’t stasis or irrelevance or decline or death. Day 2 is when you begin to face uncertainty and turn the glowing ideas of Day 1 into something real.
A writing itch returned, and I’m trying to write through Januwordy. I had impressions about today’s prompts, but nothing that I wanted to write. So I started writing this post, and within a minute had already pulled in the prompt for today, “uncertainty”.