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Letter Zero.68
Dear <<First Name>>, 

This email starts out with a bit of housekeeping but there’s a life hack for introverts in here if you stick with me. Plus there’s a bonus life hack at the end if you make it that far.

Lately I have been working on updates to my new (and I dislike this phrase) personal brand. The new logo at the top of this email is part of it, but I want to explain why I decided to go by Ade instead of Adrian.

First of all, how is Ade pronounced? It’s one syllable that rhymes with made as in first aid or Kool-Aid. Short and simple. Ade is what my family and close friends have called me my whole life. I am actually the third in a line of Adrians and when I was growing up, saying “Ade” was how you knew someone was talking about me and not my dad. 

But why change my name now? Am I having an identity crisis? Here’s the life hack I mentioned...

It takes me a while to make friends. I tend to be private, slow to open up to people, and skeptical of smalltalkers. In other words, I am an introvert. In some ways that’s my super power (BTW, I highly recommend a book called Quiet if you want to understand why being an introvert is so great), in other ways being introverted is something I have to compensate for. So...

I started a new job last week. It is a large company and as I was preparing for the overwhelming amount of new people I would meet, I wondered if there was something I could do to make myself feel welcome faster. My theory is that hearing people refer to me by my “friends-only” name will trick my brain into a positive feedback loop that looks like this:

I will feel at home faster. Feeling safe, I will be able to be myself. As a result I will make friends sooner. As a result I will start contributing to the team faster. Which means people will appreciate me more. Which leads to more trust. Which leads to deeper friendships. Which will make the team stronger. Which means we will preform at a higher level. And on and on...

Can you see the technique? I am using a name change as a way to jumpstart a flywheel. By the way, I’ve written about The Flywheel Formula before if you want to dig a little deeper. 

Will this work for you? Sure. And you don’t have to change your name to do it. The trick is to look for ways to transform ordinary things into flywheels. For example, I’ve written about how being more intentional about coffee can give you a mechanism for triggering flow states almost at will. You can organize your life in ways that benefit from the good things and reduce the impact of the bad. I call them Boosters and Drainers. But beware of the flip side, the dreaded Doom Loops

Stay creative.

Your friend,
Ade

P.S. Bonus: There’s a second hidden life hack in this email. It’s called affirmation. Notice how I wrote a detailed description of a future that hasn’t happened yet? You may have even thought I sounded silly reading my optimistic prediction. I have no way of knowing whether my new job will be great or a grind. But by imagining an ideal scenario (and writing it down, that’s important) it has a much greater chance of becoming a reality. It seems impossible, but try it. Write about a future that hasn’t happened yet. Add to it daily, adding detail and color. When it becomes a reality you will feel in control of your life in a way that seems impossible.
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