Monthly Archives January 2019

Learn as you go along

Learn as you go along

January 30, 2019
/ /
in Tip
/

Plan. Do. Check. Act.

Repeat.

Is it as simple as that?

Well. Yes.
I mean, why not? Keeping it simple is an art, and continuous improvement doesn’t have to be much harder than this.

This is called the PDCA-cycle and it is useful for many a person, organization and business. Having been around for approximately 60 years, it’s been tried and tested many a time.

A newer way to phrase it, that I find fairly similar, is in the format of the Design Thinking Process:
Empathize. Define. Ideate. Prototype. Test.

It is possible to make it even simpler though, getting it down to three steps:
Plan. Do. Evaluate.

Repeat.

Try to keep short cycle times, iterating over and over again, learning as you go along. Trying to work things out in advance, without interacting with the people you are trying to engage, you run the risk of creating something nobody is interested in. Plan – do – evaluate, and iterate, over and over again, tweaking and refining as you go along. Combine it with deep practice, and you’ve really got one serious learning curve to look forward to!

Read More

The Ultimate Podcast list

January 28, 2019
/ /
in Tip
/
  1. Béla Fleck and Abigail Washburn: Truth, Beauty, Banjo – On Being with Krista Tippett 
  2. Gordon Hempton: The Last Quiet Places: Silence and the Presence of Everything – On Being with Krista Tippett
  3. Seth Godin: Learn to see, leave them changed – Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
  4. Mitch Albom: Building a life and living that matters – Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
  5. Tyler Wetherall: My dad was a fugitive: A life on the run – Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
  6. Sarah Bassin and Abdullah Antepli: Holy Envy – On Being with Krista Tippett
  7. The Personality Myth – Invisibilia
  8. Scilla Elworthy: Pioneering the possible – RSA Events
  9. Julia Butterfly Hill: Living with meaning – Peak Prosperity (blogged about here, here and here as well)
  10. Glenn Beck: What you do will be a pivot point – On Being with Krista Tippett
  11. Greatness is not just about skill, it’s about essence – Good Life Project riff with Jonathan Fields
  12. Mohammed Fairouz: The world in counterpoint – On Being with Krista Tippett
  13. Andi Puddicombe: From monk to entrepreneur: How Andy Puddicombe became the modern voice of meditation and mindfulness – Rich Roll podcast
  14. Help me remember – Terrible, Thanks for Asking
  15. Amichai Lau-Lavie: First Aid for Spiritual Seekers – On Being with Krista Tippett
  16. Seth Godin on Books, Business, Choices and Life – Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
  17. Gretchen Rubin: The Four Tendencies (How to start and stick to anything) – Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
  18. Linda and Charlie Bloom: When life partners become business partners – Good Life Project with Jonathan Fields
  19. Annette Gordon-Reed and Titus Kaphar: Are we actually citizens here – On Being with Krista Tippett
  20. How to become Batman – Invisibilia

The Ultimate Podcast list according to me.
It is my intention to blog about each and every one of these episodes. By clicking the link of each podcast you will be directed either to my blog post (with links to the episode) or to the podcast itself.
In time I might present the pods differently, but for now, a straight up and down numerical list which does not rank episodes it is. Post initially published 28JAN2019.

Read More

The Talent Code (book 1 of 12)

January 27, 2019
/ /
in Tip
/

The Talent Code. Written by Daniel Coyle. Subtitled Greatness isn’t born, it’s grown. The basis of this entire book is this: Skill is a cellular insulation that wraps neural circuits and that grows in response to certain signals. This is, in other words, a book about one thing: myelin. The fatty layer that wraps around neurons insulating the neural thread, so the signal can travel more rapidly along it.

It’s also a book about three things, which is how the central nervous system generates more myelin:
Deep practice
Ignition
Master coaching

Deep practice“It’s all about finding the sweet spot. There’s an optimal gap between what you know and what you’re trying to do. When you find that sweet spot, learning takes off.”

Ignition is about finding that thing you love. Stoking the fire, wanting to put more fuel on it, daily. And that requires character: “Usually, we think of character as deep and unchanging, an innate quality that flows outward, showing itself through behavior. KIPP shows that character might be more like a skill – ignited by certain signals, and honed through deep practice.” 

Might be more like a skill? No. No doubt in my mind. Character is as flexible and formative as any other skill. Learning to read and write, to dance and sing, to ride the bike and drive a car. Skills that we can acquire. Learning to be kind and generous, helpful and loving, funny and intense. Or for that matter unkind and harsh, mean and petty, jealous and hateful. All skills we can learn, even though these latter are usually talked about as character traits rather than skills. But we can learn them. It’s not a matter of being born with or without. Practice makes perfect (given that the practice is deep of course!).

Master coaching is being this kind of teacher: to get [the student] inside the deep-practice zone, to maximize the firings that grow the right myelin for the task, and ultimately to move closer toward the day that every coach desires, when the students become their own teachers. 

In the words of Robert Lansdorp, professional tennis coach: “If it’s a choice between me telling them to do it, or them figuring it out, I’ll take the second option every time. You’ve got to make the kid an independent thinker, a problem-solver. I don’t need to see them every day, for chrissake. You can’t keep breast-feeding them all the time. The point is, they’ve got to figure things out for themselves.”

Another way to put it is in the words of Thomas Carruthers: “A teacher is one who makes himself progressively unnecessary.” 

I’ve experienced this several times in my professional life, and it is the most rewarding experience I can think of. When I am no longer needed, my work is done, and I can move on. It’s simply the best ever!

The Talent Code is a fast and easy read, shining the light on learning in the most helpful way. 10 minutes of guitar playing a day, is on my list of intentions for 2019. And yup, I will be tweaking it towards more of a deep practice, that’s for sure!


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2019, to read and blog about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, one every other week, books that I already own.

Read More

Time.

January 25, 2019
/ / /

The best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, the next best time is today, or so the saying goes. I reflected upon this this morning, as I did my 1622nd Seven exercise in a row. 1622 days. 4 years and 5 months, approximately. August 18th 2014 was my start date, and every day since I have done (at least) a Seven minute exercise. Every day.

But I could have done this so much longer – if I had started earlier. I didn’t though, and I see absolutely no point in beating myself up over that fact. Because what’s done is done. I cannot go back in time and start earlier. No matter how much I might want to, it’s just not to be done.

So I don’t go there. I spend zero time wishing that I’d stumbled upon the Seven app at an earlier point in my life. That way, I conserve my energy and use it in ways that serve me instead of wasting it. I have a higher regard for my own limited amount of daily energy, than to squander it away at thoughts like:

Oh, if only I had started exercising when I was a young kid… then I would be so fit today.

Oh, if only I had understood how to be gentle towards myself when I was younger… then my life would have been so much nicer.

Oh, if only I had realized that I don’t have to believe in all the thoughts I think… then I would have saved myself so much grief. 

I. Don’t. Go. There.
(Or rather, if I do – I certainly don’t stick around.)

Because – the best time to plant a tree was twenty years ago, for sure, but if I didn’t, the best time to do it is right now. And if I didn’t plant that tree back when… nothing I may say or do will change that fact. But I can change the fact of today – I can start now. I can act today. I can set something in motion today, that will give me great benefit tomorrow, and next year, and twenty years hence.

Today is a perfect day for a new beginning. If you take action today – in twenty years time, you will thank yourself, because you did plant that tree. So, what might you set in motion today?

Read More

Loving living life!

January 23, 2019
/ / /

What gets me going is this: Seeing people use their energy wisely, making the most of it, loving the life they live, rather than beating themselves up for not being enough and/or for not doing enough.

When what I see, is people who simply misuse their energy. Burning fuel, getting nowhere. What a waste!

A waste of energy, yes, for sure, but more than that, it’s a waste of possibility, of playfulness, of experimentation and plain old having fun. And that’s not the point of living. The point of living is living. So live! Because when you live a life where your being and your doing are closely aligned, your energy is used efficiently, getting you where you want to go, and more importantly: getting there wholeheartedly, with a deep sense of knowing your own worth. And that’s what you are worth – honor yourself by making sure you live life from this viewpoint!

Helping someone get to that point, where life is lived, fully, oh… it’s just the best! I love it. So that’s what I will be up to in 2019, helping people start loving living life.
❤️💙💛💚💜

Read More

A structure to achieve my intentions

January 21, 2019
/ /
in Tip
/

Facebook reminded me about a post I made three years ago… that had me a bit confused because I’d forgotten about it. It was a post about 36 books I wanted to read in 2016, with an “I will likely be blogging about some of them” as an aside.

Facebook Live #80 🇱🇷🇬🇧 – Intentions and what makes them transform into action

Facebook Live #80 🇱🇷🇬🇧 – Intentions and what makes them transform into action

Publicerat av Helena Roth Lördag 19 januari 2019

Wanna wager if I succeeded or not?

Well. I didn’t. Not in 2016. Because I hadn’t set up the necessary structure to achieve my intention. So I bombed. However, the similar intention I set in 2018 was a success (reading 26 + 26 books in English and Swedish respectively, and to blog about one of them every Sunday), and I’ve set up a similar structure for 2019:
1) A Goodreads reading challenge (75 books to be read in 2019). I use Goodreads to keep track of the books I read, and what my progress is, so I visit the website at least a few times every week, if not daily.
2) I wrote my intention for the year of 2019-blog post, and in it, I wrote about both the #goodreadsreadingchallenge, but also about the 12 + 12 English/Swedish books I will read this year, and that I will be blogging about two of these books every month.
3) at the end of each month, I will be posting a follow-up-post on the yearly intentions, keeping track of how I am doing. This is a vital part, because it has me reminding myself about my specific intentions at least on a monthly basis. So if all else fails, at the end of the month (or the start of the next month) I will get a kick-in-the-behind to get on track again.
4) I have these 12 + 12 books in my bedroom bookcase, and I look at them every morning and evening.

Do you help yourself achieve your intentions through the structures you design and put in place, and if so, how?

Read More

Yes. And No.

January 15, 2019
/ / /

I’ve gotten good at saying yes.
Perhaps a bit too good at it?

I mean… it’s great fun to say Yes. And what I say Yes to are things that are thrilling, exciting, challenging and will definitely cause me to both expand and learn.

And honestly, saying No isn’t half as fun as saying Yes.
Still, of course, I say No when that’s what’s needed. If nothing else, Noes can make room for me to say a wholehearted Yes. If my calendar is completely full, saying Yes might be harder, or even impossible.

Lindy Hop, a definitive a Yes for 2019!

But… really? I m p o s s i b l e?

No. Not impossible. Wrong choice of word.
Harder is enough.

If my calendar is full, I might have to reschedule stuff, and/or say No to things I’ve already said Yes to, or… say No to things I would love to say Yes to because I have too many half-hearted yeses in my agenda.

Read More

Should I create and curate The Ultimate Podcast list?

January 12, 2019
/ /
in Tip
/

Caspian asked me if I had any podcast episodes to recommend to him… and I had to stop myself after sending him links to 5-6 shows. I could have kept going for a long time. I told him Perhaps I should set up a top-100-list and he cheered me on. So the question of the day is: Should I create The Ultimate Podcast list by Helena Roth? 

It does entice me. There are just sooo many wonderful podcast episodes I’ve listened to. I’ve blogged about a lot of them, and that is a good starting point for my list, of course. I listen to pods in both English and Swedish though, so possibly I should have two lists? Maybe, maybe… If so, I will start with the English one, because I’ve got a bigger reservoir of great pods in English.

Off the top of my head, I can easily pick five podcast episodes to start off my 100-list:

#053 Gabor Maté – Damaged leaders rule an addicted world at Under the skin with Russell Brand

How friendship and quiet conversation transformed a white nationalist at On Being 

What borders are really about, and what we do with them (especially the [Unedited] Luis Alberto Urrea) at On Being

The problem with the solution at Invisibilia

Juggling and bicycles at AKIMBO: A podcast from Seth Godin

So yeah.
I think I will create my Ultimate List. I won’t do it in this blog post though. Rather, I will create it as a separate blog post that I will be updating on a regular (or irregular) basis. I will (likely) also be blogging about each episode making the cut. Which is fun, because the five episodes I rattled off the top of my brain, are as yet un-blogged. Goodie – I will have no end of blog-ideas in other words!

What’s your best ever podcast episode? Perhaps one that you’ve listened to over and over again? Possibly one that left you all shook up, in the best of ways? Let me know – perhaps it will make the cut!

 

Read More

Winners take all

January 9, 2019
/ /
in Tip
/

Winners take all. The first read of the year (book 1 of 75). Written by Anand Giridharadas. Subtitled The elite charade of changing the world. I borrowed it from the library on account of it being the book for the GIFTED book club meet up.

Got it. Started reading. And bam. Bam. Baaaam! Punch after punch in the face, in the stomach, and yet another in the face. That’s how it felt reading it. As if I’ve viewed the world facing forward, and all of a sudden I’m invited to view it from the side, gaining a completely new perspective on it. And then the best part: Thanks to D during our book club conversation, I was afforded yet another view of the world, from the back this time, making me have even more perspectives to ponder.

As I sit here, looking a the pages I marked with bits and pieces that spoke to me – after the GIFTED-conversation, somehow these paragraphs have a different taste to them now. I see beyond, or perhaps, between the lines?

“Inspire the rich to do more good, but never, ever tell them to do less harm; inspire them to give back, but never, ever tell them to take less; inspire them to join the solution, but never, ever accuse them of being part of the problem.”

So here I am. Left with a deeper understanding (if nothing else, a deeper understanding of the fact that there’s more than meets the eye, and I have so much more to learn!) and an even greater appreciation of different perspectives. My ability, or perhaps, willingness (?), to put myself in a position to hear what others see, understand, like and dislike, is increasing. Which in turn has me learn even more… a positive spiral that keeps reinforcing itself.

Next book, next book club conversation – yes please!

 

 

Read More

Do you worry?

January 8, 2019
/ / /

Do you worry?, they asked, and I said No. I don’t worry. 

You see, worry is one of those feelings I don’t see any point in engaging with. Now, of course I can feel worried at times, but when I pick up on the sentiment, I release it. Just let it be. The biggest reason (besides not seeing how worry serves me or anyone else) is that worry hurts.

Worry is like a molded glass, that upon breaking splinters into a billion tiny, extremely sharp, shards. That’s how worry feels. Both to feel, and to be the recipient of, i.e. regardless if I am the worrier or the one worried about. I don’t want a billion tiny sharp shards directed at me, and don’t want to direct them at anyone else either.

Rather than worry, I do feel concern. Concern, for me, has a totally different vibe to it. It’s not sharp and dangerous at all. It’s softer, gentler, it’s warm and caring. And I would much rather be concerned about someone than worry about them.

What about you? Do you worry?

Read More