Monthly Archives February 2018

Isn’t it strange?

Isn’t it strange?

February 15, 2018
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CompetencesI’m asked to fill out a profile page and get stuck.
Competences – mine.

What are they?

What am I good at?
Good enough at to make whatever it is worth mentioning as core competences?

Writing? Seeing the full picture; drawing quick connections?
Reading. I know I’m good at that, but I mean… that’s not something to stress, is it?

Oh well. Hopefully my friends will help me. Have sent off a few queries, in the hope that they will help me. And I think it’s easier for them, than it is for me. As it would be for me, if I was to provide five competences for each of those I asked now. No problem at all. It would be quite easy, even, I think.

Isn’t it strange that it’s so hard for me to see me, and so much easier to see you? Or is it simply a clever design of human beings? Another reason why we are better together, than apart?

Because then I can see you, can reflect back to you that which you send out, so that you can see for yourself. And you can see me, can reflect back to me that which I send out, so that I can see for myself. Stronger, smarter and more competent together, than apart. Perhaps it isnät so strange, after all.

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Start with why (book 3 of 26)

February 11, 2018
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in Tip
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It’s a bit surprising I haven’t read this book before, I agree. I mean, I even helped initiate a movement in Sweden that asked #WhySchool, so undoubtedly asking Why to find the underlying purpose, the driving force, the reason for What and How, is a habit close to my heart. And yet, I’ve not actually read the book before. I’ve watched his (Simon Sinek that is) TED Talk, many times, I’ve listened to podcasts with him, and oftentimes use his Golden Circle, and now, finally, I can honestly say I’ve read the book Start with why.

Golden Circle

The Why in the Golden Circle is the why of “WHY do you do what you do?”, that which is your purpose, the driving force behind all that you do, and how you do it – your reason for getting out of bed in the morning; the meaning of your life, in a manner of speaking. In the words of Simon Sinek:
Everything you say and everything you do has to prove what you believe. A WHY is just a belief. That’s all it is. HOWs are the actions you take to realize that belief. And WHATs are the results of those actions – everything you say and do: your products, services, marketing, PR, culture and whom you hire. 

I can see my why, and have clearly seen it for about 8-10 years or so, but I haven’t truly mastered the art of voicing it clearly (which is not uncommon, and there’s a logical reason for it as well, as the two inner circles of the Golden Circle correspond to our “emotional” limbic brain, with the outer What-circle corresponding to the rational and language-centered neocortex. So, it’s easier to explain what it is I do, and harder to tell you why.). Yet. What gave it away to me, was me lying in bed on a lazy Sunday morning, looking backwards to all the jobs and positions I’ve filled in my life, and finding the common thread, that which all of those experiences has in common: I encourage change. I see that which is, and also, what it could be, and work relentlessly as an agent of change, to help (people, departments, companies or organizations) reach a greater level of potential.

On page 214, Simon Sinek tells me why that is “the way to finding one’s why”:
The WHY does not come from looking ahead at what you want to achieve and figuring out an appropriate strategy to get there. It is not born out of any market research. It does not come from extensive interviews with customers or even employees. It comes from looking in the completely opposite direction from where you are now. Finding WHY is a process of discovery, not invention.

About the same time as I saw that common thread, I woke in the middle of the night with clarity on the meaning of my life: to make a positive imprint. So, I am an agent of change wanting that change to be for the better. Now I just need to be able to voice this clearly and succinctly, to make it communicable.

The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2018, to read and blog about 26 Swedish and 26 English books, one book every week, books that I already own.

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A matter of perspective

February 10, 2018
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There is not one truth, there are many, all depending upon our perspective. It’s all a matter of perspective, and the sooner we actually start to live our lives based on that understanding, I think the world will change for the better, both for the individual as well as society at large.

Hillary Diane Andales impressed me with her entry into the Breakthrough Junior Challenge of 2017 (a challenge she actually won!), where she explains this very clearly:

So the really mind-blowing idea here is that observer’s in different frames will perceive different version of the same reality. And every observer’s frame is equally valid. So before you start to make any observational arguments with others, first imagine yourself observing through their reference frames. 

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The world needs more of it!

February 5, 2018
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in Tip
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Generosity-Curiosity-Warmth-and-laughter-opennessGenerosity. Curiosity. Warmth and laughter, openness. Depth and honesty, respect, sincerity and a willingness to stay put, to not shy away from the tough and hard questions. People with enormous integrity, making me want to find out more, to listen more, to read more, about them, but more than that, I want to listen and read more by them.

Who?

An imam and a rabbi, in conversation with Krista Tippett in On Being. I start to listen to the edited version, and immediately thereafter I press Play on the unedited version. Which I then proceed to listen to yet once again. And I don’t feel satisfied yet, I’ll be relistening more, mark my words.

Krista starts the conversation thus:
It sounds like the beginning of a joke, and in truth, there’s a lot of laughter in what comes next: an imam and a rabbi walk into a conference of reform Jews. But amidst reports of rising anti-Semitism and Islamophobia, there are also friendships — and conversations like this — taking place.

Imam Abdullah Antepli and Rabbi Sarah Bassin – I listen to them, and fill up with hope. The way these two people work, and the impact they are having, one heart at a time, is just amazing. There is humility here, loads of it, these are humble people, in my view, and yet, at the same time, they are so strong, flexible and far from easy push-overs. Far from it, by the sound of it!

At one time, Imam Antepli touches on something that is well tuned to my intention for the year:

Imam Antepli: That’s really beautiful. And my biggest holy envy of Judaism is, absolutely, Shabbat. This is something — the world needs more of it. Imagine — when the world’s largest, most effective and influential religion, capitalism, is telling you, “Work more, harder. Buy more. Study harder,” there’s one voice from Sinai for 5,000 years, saying, “Once a week, don’t do that.” 

Wise words, those. The entire show is inspirational, truly. And since I started writing this post a day has passed, and I’ve listened to the show no less than five times. This is a record! And I’m not done. I’ll press Play at least once more. At least.

This – people in true conversation – is what the world needs more of. And one of the ways I use to get more of it – besides engaging in conversations myself – is to listen to On Being, still going strong as my favorite podcast!

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Time travelling

February 2, 2018
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I sit here, headed home by train, after being away for a night and a day, on assignment for a new client. The sounds and movements of the train help lull me into an experience of timelessness; the sense of time passing, and yet… not. I’ve ridden a lot of train in my days, and I gather all those memories weigh in, to awaken the sensation of being outside time, somehow.

Perhaps I’ve also been influenced by the fact that I’ve travelled through time while the trains have been taking me first north, and then south. Time travelling through a multitude of episodes of the second season of Outlander, this favorite series of mine. Season one is my absolute favorite, and I recently viewed it yet again, for the umpteenth time. In season two, which I just finished re-watching, there’s more sadness, more sorrow, more darkness. A series worthwhile watching, definitely. Especially if you, like I, have a taste for the ways of the past. A few weeks ago I watched the third season for the first time, and now, that I’ve finished re-watching season one and two, I will revisit the third season once more. I already look forward to it, a smile not far from that of the Cheshire cat upon my face.

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Season 1, episode 9 The Reckoning

Nowadays it’s easy for me to experience the full spectrum of available emotions, from deep love, to the most wondrous joy, to dark despair and heartwrenching sorrow. Place me in front of a clip from Britain’s got talent, and I cry my eyes out – from joy, from pride, from the nerves so visibly strung, sometimes breaking, sometimes making the sweetest art. So watching Outlander most definitely has me on an emotional rollercoaster, let me tell you. And I love it. As I get to f e e l.

I am not afraid of feeling, of experiencing emotions, from the darkest to the lightest. I relish in it. In the experience. In having my heart constrict along with my throat as my eyes well up… to laughing out loud revelling in the humor of the moment at hand… to sensing my blood heat up and rush to erogenous zones spread out across my body as I watch a hand stroke a thigh, a chest, a breast; as two mouths meet up in a kiss, be it soft and tender, or hungry and desperate for more.

I know it will pass, as all emotions, feelings and sensations do – but as they pass through me, I get to f e e l them. And the more I enjoy the actual feeling of them all, the less afraid I am of experiencing whatever feeling comes to pass. It enriches my life, making it easier for me to acknowledge what I feel as I feel it, to stand up for myself and what I sense, while at the same time, not take myself too seriously.

Because that is not a contradiction – feeling it all, all the while not taking myself seriously -, though I fear many believe it is? I know the sensation in the moment will pass, and my old-time companion – the query “Is this serving me?” – helps me to act when it does serve me to, and to refrain from acting when it doesn’t. Except for then I say bugger all, and act full well knowing it is not serving me (whatever it might be!), just because I stubbornly want to. Deliberate and intentional, not blaming my actions on anyone but myself. Taking full responsibility, knowing full well, that no one else can make me feel anything, that’s my prerogative, solely.

So.
Time travel is up, for now.
The train rolled in to Malmö Central, I got off and got on my bike, and am now plonked in ”my spot” on my sofa, with Pop the cat cuddled up beside me, the soft and melodious sounds of
Myrra Ros accompanying me as I finish writing this.

Long. Rambling.
Not especially coherent.
As blog posts go, far from a master piece of mine.

Don’t really give a hoot though.

Getting back on track with daily blogging will likely have me ship stuff, that could – should? – be improved upon. But hey – sometimes there’s a point to that as well. In Lund there’s even a museum dedicated to it, a museum of sketches, called the Museum of Artistic Process and Public Art. I’ve never been there. Think I might go visit it soon. Get inspired by watching ”the birth of a work of art”, as the founder of the museum intended.

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