Monthly Archives October 2017

Be a better person

Be a better person

October 29, 2017
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in Tip
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Wanna make better stuff? Be a better person, Jonathan Fields says at the beginning of this weeks podcast tip of the Good Life Project (yet again a tip from GLP. Actually this is the third in a row – so if you haven’t listened to an episode yet, just do. They a_r_e really good, most of them!).

BoldomaticPost_Wanna-make-better-stuff-Be-a

Now, this is a Good Life Riff, meaning it’s only about five minutes long. Still. It’s worth listening to, and it sure puts a spin on things for me. Jonathan tells a story about guitars and guitar-makers in the riff, and says “You can’t keep your personality outside of the work“. It’s said about handmade guitars, but does it stop there? Isn’t that true for all work done by a human being?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts, or posts with other podcast recommendations – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

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Wholehearted – Reflection October ’17

October 28, 2017
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Part of living wholeheartedly, for me, means sharing. Sharing what I experience, what I think about, what I struggle with and what I rejoice in. This past week has been a good example, as Pop the cat went awol on Sunday the 23rd of October. We called for him, went looking all over, posted about him being gone all over Facebook, Instagram and other “cat’s gone awol”-sites available out there. Reported him missing to the police, put up Missing-posters in the neighborhood, called the local veterinarian and in all manners made it clear that we needed help to find him again.Missing Pop the cat

And how people responded!

Came with tips and ideas, shared the Missing-cat-post all over the web, kept an eye out whenever they were out and about in the neighborhood as well as contacted me with possible Pop-sightings.

And then today, six days after he went missing, me and the kids were coming home from a festive gathering outside of town, and as we were being dropped off on the street outside our house, we all heard a cat meowing really loudly, not pleased with life at all. It sure sounded like Pop, but we’d all gone down that road so many times the past week, that we had a hard time believing it could actually be. So we took off down the street, once again, with hope bubbling up in our bellies, to find whatever cat was making such a ruckus, and a few houses down the street, there he was! In the garden of a neighbor, just let out of their garage. They’d been away, and came home to weird noises in the garage.

Me and the kids were rapturously happy, while the man of the house felt so bad. I told him not to, because he’d just made our day!Missnöjd Pop

Right now, Pop is sitting on the sofa table staring me down, pissed at me for not letting him out. Or, at least, for not providing enough food to make up for the lost food intake of the past week. I’m figuring I’ll go easy on both – wanting him inside the house at least until the morning, and a little food now and again, to make sure his system doesn’t crash and burn after going on an involuntary diet for six days.Pop back in da house

So now I’ve been sharing my joy at this moment, all over the Internet, calling the police to retract the missing-cat-report, letting everyone know Pop’s back in da house!

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Poetic tools

October 22, 2017
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in Tip
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I listened to an On Being episode with composer Mohammed Fairouz, and immediately after listening to the edited version I listened to the unedited version, which was even better. Mohammed Fairouz is not a man I’d never heard of before, and I am glad that has been rectified.

He has a lovely positive outlook on the future, stating in no uncertain terms that he thinks the world will soon become a better place. Since I also hold that view, hard as it may be to stick to sometimes, given the barrage of negative news flowing all around, I exhale, and feel my body go a bit soft, relaxed, knowing there are many more people devoted to the same aspiration.

I’m going to say something that you may think me crazy to say. But I believe that the future is extremely bright. I believe that the future is hopeful. And I think that this generation is absolutely committed to making the world a better place. And I think they have the means to do it. And I think that if the world does not become a better place by the time that I’m 50 or 60, we have no one to blame but ourselves. We have the will. We have the drive.
– Mohammed Fairouz

It’s an episode that span large and far, in time, in space. Mohammed has a beautiful language, and I love the flow of the conversation. Mohammed says something which I’ve never heard and honestly never thought about. But it hit home somehow, and I’ve reflected upon it since I heard it. I believe there’s something there.

“Where”, you ask?
I reply “Here”, and give you this:

BoldomaticPost_I-think-memorizing-poetry-is

Poetic tools. Isn’t that just a wonderful way to look at it? Poetic tools, do I even have any? I’m not sure I do. When spoken about this way, I sure get an urge to get myself some, don’t you?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts, or posts with other podcast recommendations – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

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Being responsible for e v e r y t h i n g

October 20, 2017
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BoldomaticPost_Nothing-at-Facebook-is-someon”One of my favorite posters of our office walls reads, ’Nothing at Facebook is someone else’s problem.’ In a company-wide meeting, I asked everyone facing challenges in working with a colleague – which of course is everyone – to speak more honestly to that person. I set a goal that we would all have at least one hard conversation each month.”

Synchronicity is funny – I read this part from Option B after having said precisely these words together with Pernilla Tillander at one in a series of multiple workshops we are holding for att pre-school staff in a small commune in the south of Sweden. Well. No, not verbatim, as we aren’t addressing the staff at Facebook, of course, but the gist of our question was the same: Are you responsible for everything that happens at work?

The first reaction of most people is to say No. A few get confused, and basically no one steps up and says Yes.

– What do you mean, responsible for everything that happens at work? That’s absurd!

– Of course it’s not on me, I can’t take responsibility for everyone at work and their actions!

– Well, yes, but no, I mean, I am responsible for me, but…

– No, the boss has more responsibility than I do. 

The magic in this, which Sheryl has also realized, is that when people step in and shoulder responsibility for whatever happens, other people step up as well to share the responsibility. And the opposite is equally true, which I am sure you all recognize from personal experience: When people blame other people, no one steps in to take responsibility; No one actually suggests possible ways out of a muddle; Everyone is busy casting blame and attempts at all cost to avoid having the finger ultimately pointing at oneself.

Now. The point to this reasoning is not to get into a philosophical argument about the impossibility of actually being responsible for e v e r y t h i n g. I mean, I get that, you get that, everyone get’s that. But still – try it. Try stepping in to shoulder responsibility for e v e r y t h i n g and see what happens. How does it feel inside yourself when you do? What’s the reaction of those around you? Do they blame you, start to shout and scream at you, taking the opportunity to throw some more dirt upon your willing shoulders? Or do they join forces with you, sharing the load, taking part in being responsible? Does it make you feel small as a person, or large? What do your colleagues say – do they respond to you as if you are belittling yourself, or them? Or the opposite – when you step in and show yourself as the big person you are, do they show up as their better selves?

Try it out – see what happens!

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Option B – Facing adversity, building resilience, and finding joy” by Sheryl Sandberg.

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#metoo – a personal reflection

October 16, 2017
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Me too.
If all the women who have been sexually harassed or assaulted wrote “Me too” as a status, we might give people a sense of the magnitude of the problem.
Please copy/paste.

#metooThat status has been all over my Facebook-feed these past few days.

I’ve seen it, read it, recognized myself in it (yeah, me too), been slightly overwhelmed at the number of women I know who’ve written “Me too”, and all the while, have hesitated to actually copy/paste and publish on my own wall.

Part of my hesitation is the reason why I do not pass on modern style chain letters, which in the social-media-era takes the shape of personal messages in Messenger, sometimes augmented by a <3 on the walls of the people passing the message on. It would take something quite extraordinary for me to pass this type of stuff on, and with #metoo I guess I’ve come across one of those extraordinary occasions.

If nothing else, simply the fact that I’ve seen so many “Me too” truly has given me a sense of the magnitude of the problem. But what pushed me over the edge to publish the status myself, was my friend Sohrab Fadai, who wrote a reflection upon #metoo that touched me deeply. He wrote it in Swedish, starting off with: My feed is filled with #metoo and once again the male silence becomes embarrassingly obvious. 

With the hope that more people will dare to look within and reflect in the same way as Sohrab does in his long post, I will post this on my wall as well.

Because… me too.

At school and university.
At work.
On the bus.
At a party (where I actually got punched in the nose).
Walking down the street.
On the train, the plane, the ferry.
At the beach.
In the grocery store.

Me too – in way too many places. And it’s not ok.

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Bearing witness

October 15, 2017
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in Tip
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Here’s a new recommendation for you, at long last! I have tons of episodes from On Being, Good Life Project and One You Feed that I’d love to recommend for you, but I also want to give you a taste of something new. So here’s Rich Roll in conversation with Andy Puddicombe, the voice and co-founder of Headspace, the meditation app that I’ve been using for almost a year now.

I’ve just listened to a few episodes of the Rich Roll Podcast, and I will be recommending some more as time goes, but the episode with Andy was really interesting, in part because I honestly had no clue to Andy’s extremely unusual background! I might be the only one in the Western world who’s missed out on that story, but… go figure. There I was, anyway. Rich and Andy cleared that up for me though, which I am happy about. Because Andy has lived a life with a story worth telling, that’s for sure.

BoldomaticPost_Most-people-assume-that-meditI’ve never taken to meditation before. Haven’t really tried, properly, and never got interested enough to actually give it a go. And I’m quite happy about that actually, because I sure had it wrong.

Andy got it right, in this quote. That’s the mis-conception that I had. That meditation was a way to stop the inner chatter, the endless jabber, that’s accompanied me all my life.

Perhaps lucky for me, I’d already gotten an understanding of how thoughts work, how they shape the world as I experience it, and what with daily blogging (being a form of self-coaching for me) for a couple of years, I’d gotten pretty ok at stepping back from myself, bearing witness.

So when I started on the Headspace-journey, I had absolutely no wish, desire or ambition for it to help me “stop my thoughts”. Not at all. I just really enjoyed giving myself 10-15-20 minutes a day devoted to stepping back and bearing witness, just being with myself. Sometimes in absolute calm. Sometimes agitated as hell. And not getting caught up in either of those states, but rather just seeing it, seeing me, in the moment.

Anyway. Whether or not you meditate or if you really loath meditation and such mumbo-jumbo, this interview is worth listening to, in my view. And if, by chance, you get interested in the Headspace app and want to give it a go, start with the free 10-day routine, and then let me know if you want to try more. Because I have a 30-day voucher to give away to someone who want’s it! Might it be you?

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts – and this is one of them, originally posted here – , mixing them up with new podcast recommendations. 

 

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I was all I had.

October 13, 2017
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in Tip
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BoldomaticPost_I-was-all-I-had”Whatever its results, the California trip would have a lasting impact on me. I got to see the country. I came up against some real talent and held my own, but the band that took us out at the Family Dog stayed with me. They had something we didn’t, a certain level of sophisticated musicality. They were better than us and that didn’t sit well with me. It’s not that I didn’t expect to come up against superior talent; that happens, it’s the way God planned it. I was fast, but like the old gunslingers knew, there’s always somebody faster, and if you can do it better than me, you earn my respect and admiration and you inspire me to work harder. I wasn’t afraid of that. I was concerned with not maximizing my own abilities, not having a broad or intelligent enough vision of what I was capable of. I was all I had. I had only one talent. I was not a natural genius. I would have to use every ounce of what was in me – my cunning, my musical skills, my showmanship, my intellect, my heart, my willingness – night after night, to push myself harder, to work with more intensity than the next guy just to survive untended in the world I lived in. As I sat there in the back, I knew when we got back home, there would have to be some changes made.

Truth be told, ”I” is all that all of us have. I have me. You have you. And yeah, of course, we also have each other, but if I don’t show up for us, there won’t be an us. So: I am what I bring to the table. I am all I have.

Reading this excerpt from Born to run, it’s not surprising at all that Bruce Springsteen became the rock n roll legend that he has become. But I wonder – how many people don’t give themselves to the world, in the way Bruce has? What are we all missing out on, because people don’t value their ”I” enough, don’t see that their skills, intellect, heart and willingness, would give their onlyness to a world that needs it?

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you:
The book ”Born to run” by Bruce Springsteen.

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Terrible, thanks for asking

October 8, 2017
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Terrible, thanks for askingI found a new podcast to listen to, thanks to the New York Times podcast club on Facebook. It’s called Terrible, thanks for asking, and on the surface it might seem to be a “true life drama junkie”-podcast. This is how it’s described:
You know how every day someone asks “how are you?”. And even if you’re totally dying inside, youn just say “fine”, so everyone can go about their day? This show is the opposite of that. Hosted by author and notable widow (her words) Nora McInerny, this is a funny/sad/uncomfortable podcast about talking honestly about our pain, our awkwardness, and our humanness, which is not an actual word.

As I don’t peg myself a “true life drama junkie”, or a drama junkie at all for that matter, this podcast isn’t that at all, in my experience. It’s not a “revel in our horrible stories and sympathise like crazy with the storytellers while being happy as hell it’s not my own life”-podcast. Rather it’s a podcast where I can empathize with people having (had) various experiences that affected them and their lives.

Having only listened to a handful of episodes so far, the fifth one titled Help me remember is the episode that’s affected me the most so far. Grace, the daughter of Dawn Pereda whom the show is about, is wise beyond her years, and it hurts to hear her wisdom spoken out loud like this. It hurts, because she’s twelve, and she’s already experienced enough trauma, heartache and concern to last a lifetime. And yet, she continues on with her life, with grace, enormous grace.

I cannot help but think:
Here’s a young child who’s learned the hard way that the stories she tells herself shape her reality, making her deliberately very careful to create the best reality she can, given her circumstances.

In 2015 I ran a series on herothecoach.com with Sunday postings of podcasts to my liking. In 2017 I will be re-posting some of those blog posts, mixing them up with new podcast recommendations, such as this one. 

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Wholeheartedness – Reflection (July, August and) September ’17

October 5, 2017
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pop and meHere’s another one of those monthly reflections that I haven’t written, not since the beginning of June! So here I am, pondering the concept of wholeheartedness and how it’s materialized in my life these past four months, and what I can see is a lack of drama.

Not because there’s not been ample opportunity to engage in drama, oh no, far from it. Living and working amongst other people – there’s always the opportunity to engage in drama. Always.

So the difference lies rather in how little I’ve engaged in it. I mean, I’ve weaned myself off drama for a long time (starting in 1995 or so, when I ditched watching the news on TV, I just could not stomach it any more!), and more so these past few years for certain, but recently, I’ve engaged in it even less, which feels great.

I’m not aware if this has been an intentional decision – which I guess points to the fact that it hasn’t been. But regardless, getting less and less interested in engaging in drama truly makes for a different and – in my case at least – sweeter experience of life.

Do you understand what I mean when I say ”I’m not engaging in drama”?

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Symbols of loyalty

October 2, 2017
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in Tip
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“You might one day be offered the opportunity to display symbols of loyalty. Make sure that such symbols include your fellow citizens rather than exclude them.”

Timothy Snyder puts his finger on something that I’ve not been able to pinpoint before, but with this sentence the significance of symbols of loyalty becomes very clear. The chapter title reads Take responsibility for the face of the world, and he continues:

The symbols of today enable the reality of tomorrow. Notice the swastikas and the other signs of hate. Do not look away, and do not get used to them. Remove them yourself and set an example for others to do so.

It is so easy to set standards of Us and Them, to separate, distinguish, exclude. It doesn’t take much at all. To some extent, I think it comes naturally for us (as a species); but that doesn’t negate the individual responsibility I have, to be observant of myself, to notice when I do exclude, when I divide the world into good and bad guys, into Us and Them. Because me noticing, and gently nudging myself towards unity, inclusion, connection, makes my life so much lovelier to live, truth be told. And I think that makes your life lovelier as well. That’s me taking responsibility for the face of the world.

Inspired to continue blogging on the theme from the #blogg100-challenge in 2017 I give you: The book ”On tyranny: Twenty lessons from the twentieth century” by Timothy Snyder, which also happen to be the first book of The Gifted Book club, having the first meeting come October 4th 2017.

 

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