Everyone wants to be popular, but not everyone recognizes the potential cost. Everyone wants a meaningful role to play in their community, but hardly anyone is willing to do the work. Everyone wants to be seen as someone with integrity, though few are willing to make the investment in themselves to deserve that distinction. At the moment you have all of this going on, and you may be wondering how much progress you’re making. I would propose that you’re in the “cleaning and scaling” phase of a new relationship to whatever you think of as the public: your circle of friends, your immediate community, or perhaps some wider audience. I suggest that as you go through this phase, you take an experimental attitude, rather than assuming any long-term successes or failures based on what happens in the immediate future. The situation isn’t perfect, but it’s clearly workable—as long as you don’t set perfection as a goal. If more things than usual seem to be going wrong, or if certain objectives seem to be slipping out of reach, that’s because you’re testing a number of things in practice that you had only worked out in theory. You’re also getting to experience how “human nature” responds with you turn up the energy, and you’re learning something about group dynamics that for some reason was not obvious before. Meanwhile, if you’re looking for a dependable working method, try this on: Be clear with people and they will be clear with you.