Quality Matters

Quality Matters

Hi there! We are in the second week of November. This month has been super important for me because it has been all about maintaining foundations that I tried to build earlier in the year. After my mom left, I really needed to get back into a routine. So, I made some decisions. I’m making sure to wake up on time every day, doing my morning routine, staying on top of work, spending quality time with family, and taking care of my health too as I gained a lot of weight while my mom was here. Today I want to talk about quality but first….

Weekly Inventory Check

Did you get done with what you wanted to do last week? Remember, it’s not just about doing a lot, but majorly about doing things well. Instead of adding more stuff to your checklist, make sure what you’re already doing works smoothly. There’s this cool concept in agile called “stop starting, start finishing.” It means don’t keep on starting with new things, but rather focus on completing what you’ve already started. In personal development, we often try to add more and more, but it’s important to make sure we’re doing things right before adding more. So, stop starting and start finishing.

Quality Matters

In my workplace, where I function as a consultant, there exists an agile coach who plays a pivotal role in guiding the organization towards increased agility. This individual is amongst the most intelligent and insightful professionals I’ve encountered in the realm of agile methodologies. Recently, he introduced a thought-provoking concept centered around the notion of quality. The organization has been grappling with challenges in delivering high-quality software, and the coach advocates for a shift in focus. Rather than incessantly adding new elements, he emphasizes the importance of enhancing existing systems to ultimately elevate the overall quality of the output.

This perspective triggered a reflection on my own life and the broader sphere of personal development. It dawned on me that, similar to the workplace scenario, individuals often fall into the trap of continuously setting new goals and building upon them without ensuring the stability of their foundational routines. It’s comparable to constructing additional floors on a building with a shaky base. The coach’s advice to “start finishing” resonates deeply—complete ongoing endeavors before venturing into new ones.

Consider the analogy of constructing a tower. I realized that, in my pursuit of building a perfect routine, I had neglected foundational elements after my mom’s departure. Weight gain and a departure from my established morning rituals underscored the importance of reinforcing the basics. The month of November, for me, symbolizes a return to building a sturdy foundation before introducing further enhancements. The analogy extends to personal development, where individuals strive to become their ideal selves. Often, in the pursuit of self-improvement, the focus shifts solely to adding new elements without recognizing the decay in the existing foundation. It’s crucial to periodically assess and fortify the foundation to ensure its stability.

My commitment for the upcoming quarter is to concentrate on understanding the state of my foundation—evaluating its strength and addressing any weaknesses. This entails a deliberate effort to resist the urge to incessantly add new goals without first shoring up the existing structures. The coach’s mantra of “stop starting and start finishing” translates, in the realm of personal development, to “stop starting and start maintaining.”

Reflecting on my recent attempt to implement dietary changes without a solid morning routine, I recognize the necessity of a robust foundation. My failure to adhere to a no-takeout challenge on the very first day of November highlighted the importance of maintaining the basics. I urge others to embark on a similar journey of foundation-building before aspiring to achieve more significant milestones. It’s a proactive approach to ensure sustained personal growth and prevent the crumbling of one’s metaphorical foundation.

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In this article, the author shares a shift he made a couple of years ago. Hey chose to follow Aristotle’s advice and actively pursue excellence in their life by implementing a positive daily routine.

Reel of the Week

Check out our reel of the week where I am talking the science behind habit formation – that it primarily revolves around the time our brain needs to rewire habits, whether they are easy or challenging to establish, thereafter, helping us to break the unhealthy habits and replacing them with newer and desirable ones.

Instagram post by @thisisvasl

The Weekly Vasl Podcast

Our Episode on What Makes Failures in Life So Scary is out now! You can watch it below! Here, Mudassir and I examine openly the eerie quality of some setbacks and the widespread anxiety associated with the idea of failure, analyzing how it significantly affects important decision-making processes and the path that one choose to follow.

We also are on Spotify, Apple, Google, and wherever you listen!


After the failed attempt last month, we are back with Ten Toasts and my calendars are properly marked! This is specifically for people living in the Netherlands, and more specifically for those living in Eindhoven. The meetup is next week i.e. 18th November’23. We’ll be sharing stories and toasting to the ones that changed our lives. This is the link to join. Hope to see you there!

Round Table Conference

I am excited to introduce the Roundtable Conference at Vasl.

In this conference, you have the opportunity to join a group for the upcoming quarter. Together, we will determine your quarterly goals and form a cohesive group centered around shared themes. You will get a chance to learn about 12 agile principals in 12 weeks that will help you get closer to reaching your goals. While I aim for a certain level of similarity to facilitate cohesive discussions, I also appreciate the value of diverse experiences. The goal is to create a supportive environment where learning from varied perspectives is encouraged.

We are opening eight seats for this group, and I will act as the facilitator. Throughout the journey, you’ll be backed by your fellow peers, have access to shared resources and as I tend to introduce shared Notion Space this will also allow you to achieve your selected objectives through the collective power of group collaboration with reasoning outside the group sessions. If this opportunity resonates with you, you can sign up now by following the link.

Please note that this commitment is non-binding initially. You will first fill out a form, and we will assess if we are a match. Once we think you are a match, you will be officially sent an invitation.

However, I must stress that there are limited seats available—only six to eight seats. So act quick to secure a spot in this cohort, as we wouldn’t want you to miss out on this opportunity. The upcoming cohort will commence at the beginning of the year, with the following cohort scheduled for March 2024.

 I look forward to welcoming you to our Roundtable Conference and witnessing the positive impact it will have on your personal and professional growth.

Thoughts to Leave You With

I’m really surprised by how much we can learn from agile in the personal development world. It’s like having this fantastic tool that we can always use to understand ourselves better. Even in the round table conference that we are introducing at the start of the year, it’s all about agile methods. We will not just be talking about the technical stuff but will also dive into how you set goals and build the basics, your foundations. The idea is to make sure that quality is at the core of what you’re doing. Once you’ve got that quality foundation, you can then grow and become the person you aspire to be. It’s like giving yourself a solid starting point to launch into whatever you dream of achieving.

 Elevating Your Life with a Focus on Excellence The Weekly Vasl


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