4 Lessons in Primility I Learned From My Unconventional Mentor

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[Editor’s note: Today, Melissa Suzuno, Wristband #69, joins Andrew Stillman, Sonia Thompson, and Peter Morneault in contributing a unique guest post here at Primility. Melissa’s joy, exuberance, and humility leap off the page. Enjoy.]

I clearly don’t belong here.

I’m not saying that because I’m an American woman in the middle of Tokyo, which on the surface is a pretty shockingly homogeneous city of 12 million Japanese. (If you want the whole back story on why I was in Japan in the first place, you can find that here.)

But no, I don’t belong in this exact place where I’m standing, which happens to be a concrete patch at the entrance to Yoyogi Park, with a group of hula hoopers.

If you’ve ever had that sinking feeling that you were an impostor — whether you were faking your way in a college class, a board meeting, or a group of funky circus performers, the feeling is remarkably similar — let me pause and say that you’re not alone. Continue Reading

What Do You Stand For?

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It all started with this list of six questions I was sent and asked to answer …

They were questions dealing with topics from my professional life: adaptive content, customer experience, online conversations, etc. They were good questions. They made me think.

But it wasn’t any of the actual questions that got me really thinking. It was the intro to the questions. Continue Reading

How a Little Humility Added Much-Needed Comfort to My Workstation

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Here’s something I am coming to realize about myself: when it comes to how I work, I am far too resistant to change.

Here’s what I mean. You may be able to relate …

I get set in a certain way of performing tasks — a certain manner, a certain order, a certain position or style — and I get tunnel version. My way works, at least to a minimum level, so why pay attention to possible methods that might work better? This is how my thinking (or occasional lack thereof) seems to work.

So when the opportunity to participate in something called an “ergonomic challenge” came across my inbox, I almost didn’t even look twice. My chair is fine, thanks. (Even though it’s not.)

Fortunately, I did look twice.

Because a week into said ergonomic challenge (which, yes, I am participating in) I am finding that my old way of working was far from optimal. Continue Reading

Giving Is Not the Only True Meaning of Christmas

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Giving is the true meaning of Christmas, or so we are told.

This is true. It’s just not the entire story.

Christmas has become such a commercialized holiday — so much about lists, and long lines, and sales, and boxes under the tree — that the natural cultural counter has been to say that the spirit of Christmas is not really about the stuff we get, but rather about the stuff we give.

And, again, that’s true. It’s just not the entire story. Continue Reading