Monthly Archives February 2020

Change is hard.

Change is hard.

February 22, 2020
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Change is hard.

Truth?

Nah. I don’t think so.

But I did think so until I fully embodied the concept of #tankespjärn and applied it to this so-called truth.

Hard? No.
Something you are unused to so it requires some extra effort? Yes.

Change might require more or less effort of me, but it’s not necessarily hard. It might be, learning quantum physics or… I don’t know.
But inherently hard? Nah.

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My real job?

February 21, 2020
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I tell my students, ’When you get these jobs that you have been so brilliantly trained for, just remember that your real job is that if you are free, you need to free somebody else. If you have some power, then your job is to empower somebody else. This is not just a grab-bag candy game.’
– Toni Morrison

Now and again I read, or hear, something that provides me with #tankespjärn. Like this quote from Toni Morrison. The thought that the real job is something other than that which I (we) have trained for is one. The question then arises as to what I am/have. Freedom? Yes. Power? Some. Energy? Yes. What else? Are those just the obvious choices? Are there other, more profound, hidden underneath layers of… what? Self-doubt? The Law of Jante?

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Who do you want to put more focus on?

February 17, 2020
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Invited to an all-ladies dinner party, with a total of 16 ladies, of whom I knew two beforehand. To open up for sharing amongst many newcomers, the two hostesses passed around a deck of Vertellis cards, and mine read: Looking forward, who do you want to put more focus on?

My answer to that prompt was, a bit surprising to many, was me.

I have been self-employed since 2007, and the past 4-5 years up until a year ago, I had a lot of time working from home, in the company of me. In a sense, [I’ve gotten used to, or even, spoiled with having ample time and opportunity to hang with myself and for the better part of the past year, I have had so many assignments where I spend my days at my customer’s sites, so that time for me, just me, has diminished. Not even weekends are unscheduled enough to give me my daily – or at least weekly – dose of solitude. 

And I need it. I want it. I crave it.
It’s when I create. It’s when I blog. It’s when I connect dots.
It’s when I honor myself and rediscover even more of my Self.

So I vow to make room for me, to put more focus on me and ensure there is me-time in my life. 

Who do you want to put more focus on in the upcoming year? And why?

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Critical chain (book 2 of 12)

February 16, 2020
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My guess is this book has been standing unread in my bookshelf for the better part of 12-13 years or so. Possibly even longer, who knows. (Imagine if books could tell their stories? I mean, the individual book: Oh yeah, I remember the day she picked me up at the bookstore and brought me home, I was so thrilled, but honestly, I’ve been feeling extremely neglected for the better part of 1,5 decade…) The book in question is Critical chain by Eliyahu M. Goldratt.

Being involved in a project building a manufacturing site for pharma, the book called out to me when it was time to pick my 12 + 12 books. Had I not had this current project top of mind, it would likely have stayed on the bookshelf for another decade or so.

Reading it, I’ve underlined several passages directly relating to my project managing quandaries du jour, but none of that is especially interesting outside the scope of project management. However, there’s this one passage that directly relates to another one of my current ventures, the most-likely-or-at-least-hopefully-soon-to-be-released-podcast-adventure I am on with Caspian and Dominic.

“Presenting a problem as a conflict between two necessary conditions makes a lot of sense. But I was almost programmed to proceed to find a compromise. In academia we don’t call it compromise, we call it optimize. Three-quarters of my articles are optimization models of some kind. You can imagine how difficult it was for me to accept that a much better solution, or even solutions, emerge by refusing to attempt to find a compromise, and instead concentrating on exposing the underlying assumptions.”

The I of the quote is Johnny Fisher, a professor at a university, in this fictionalized business/project management-skills book. If you’ve read The monk who sold his Ferrari by Robin Sharma, you know the type of book this is. If you haven’t, well, basically it’s a novel teaching a specific project management skill.

Concentrating on exposing the underlying assumptions.

That sentence jumps out at me, almost punching me in the nose with its insistent underlying message. For many years, and many times, I’ve said that assumptions are the mother of all fuck-ups, and so far I’ve yet to be proven wrong. And at the same time, assumptions can be so sly, so cunning, undercover bordering on stealth-like, elusive as a unicorn, because what they point to is my personal truths. And those just are. I don’t question them. I am rarely aware of them, they just are. So how, then, to expose them? Perhaps in different words, but still, that’s one thing we are looking at in the podcast-adventure.


The book I am blogging about is part of the book-reading challenge I’ve set for myself during 2020, to read and blog monthly about 12 Swedish and 12 English books, books that I already own.

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Hacks, amateurs and pro’s!

February 15, 2020
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The Creative’s Workshop continues, this time with a prompt that had me struggle and shirk away from the full extent of it. Asked to identify a hack, an amateur and a professional within my given creative outlet, I had the following to say:
Hm. So. My creative outlet is, to a large extent, my blogging, the writing process is the thing. So I’d have to look there. I don’t make any money from my blogging, which I guess makes me an amateur. I certainly don’t have a vast and adoring public either, but drip by drip, it’s increasing slow but steady. But who are the glorious amateurs, the successful professionals and the hacks? That prompt sure makes me dig deep. Especially so as I am Swedish, and still want to share people writing in English here, so you might be able to discover someone new.

The glorious amateurs. My friend Anna Brix Thomsen. She’s powerful. She’s brave and courageous. She definitely doesn’t hold back from sharing generously and with huge amounts of vulnerability. And boy does she ever provide #tankespjärn! Her sharing revolves a lot around parenthood, and unschooling/learning, but the underlying theme of it all is self-discovery, I’d say. And anyone who’s a parent knows the amount of inner work that having a kid entices. She’s got a daughter at home and has had less time writing her-style-long-posts, so a lot of the sharing these past years have been done on Facebook and/or Instagram rather than on her blog, but she’s picking up blogging again from what I understand. I hope, and think, that she’s stepping into the professional arena. And I for one am cheering her on, wishing her great success, for she is definitely glorious!

The successful professionals. Well. That one’s given. Seth Godin. Daily. Definitely showing up with enormous generosity – both in the blogging, the podcasting, the course materials etc, and also live. I attended #SethinLondon in 2015 [Shiiiit, time flies!] and the generosity and warmth that Seth exuded was amazing. Tangible. I was totally star-struck upon meeting Seth in person, and with the most caring down-to-earth:edness, Seth put me right at ease. Very inspiring!

Buuuuut, it’s a bit too easy to point to Seth in The Creative’s Workship, created by Seth himself, isn’t it? However, as I’ve basically stopped reading blogs (once Google shut down their Reader, I really haven’t followed blogs, with one exception, and you know who’s blog that is…) I struggle to come up with another name.

Luckily, I do follow one more person, who blogs, and who is in my view, a successful professional, and who is inspiring also as an entrepreneur, as he’s created the life he wants to live. I am talking about David Stiernholm, known in Swedish as Struktören, which is another make-believe Swedish word (another reason I have a soft spot for him!) which basically means the person structuring things. I have followed David more or less since he started as a Struktör in 2004, and have found an endless amount of resources, ideas and hands-on-tips on structure from him. And if you think that sounds boring? Think again! David shares his knowledge with a sense of humor as well as with great simplicity and pedagogy. I follow him in Swedish, but he does work in English as well and he’s well worth checking out!

The hacks. Hm. Even more of a struggle this one, mostly because I don’t really follow people whom I experience as hacks, in any area. Nah. Nothing and no-one, comes to mind. Nada. Zilch. I’ll sit with this one though, and if I come to think of someone, I’ll revisit this prompt!

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Three dailies and two prompts later…

February 12, 2020
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The Creative’s Workshop. 

Jumped in six days ago, the dailies started three days ago, and there have been two prompts so far (Mondays – Wednesdays – Fridays. It’s Wednesday today, so…), and I am already having a blast.

The dailies are about writing something, anything, daily, for 100 days in a row. Been there, done that. Not a problem at all for me.
But never have I done it in a community like this one. Never with so many people willing to share, to encourage, to question, to cheer and hook up with on this journey of ours for the next 150 days or so.

The prompts are a thrice-weekly prompt. Intended to get me thinking, writing, creating. Answering from instinct rather than figuring things out. Putting pen to paper (or finger to keyboard as it were) and letting what-ever-wants-to-come flow out of me.

My calendar is more full than I feel comfortable with. I have a huge capacity for Doing. No doubt. But in the past six-seven years, I’ve cultivated my capacity for Being as well, and with a full calendar, there’s less room for the latter, unfortunately. So I have been low on energy. I’ve been tired. Feeling drained. Putting pen to paper (fingers to keyboards, sure, yeah, of course, but it just doesn’t sound as poetic, does it?) have resulted in… naught. Nada. Zilch.

And now, three dailies and two prompts later… I am buzzing. Alive and kicking! Inspired, energized, On. And very curious to see what want’s to happen here!

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Dailies on #tankespjärn

February 10, 2020
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The other week, on a whim, I got myself a spot in Seth Godin’s The Creative’s Workshop.

It’s not as if I have plenty of time on my hands… well. That’s a bit of a lie, I do. 24 hours per day to be precise, just like everyone else, but what I meant was that it’s not as if there is a lot of unclaimed time within those allotted daily 24 hours. And it’s not looking better anytime soon…
And it’s not as if I need the challenge to be able to live up to whatever runstreak-challenge there is out there, because I know I excel at that.
And it’s not as if I am struggling with what it is I want to do. I do know. I just don’t do it.

Starting today, the workshop features a dailies challenge, asking me to do this:
Not the private Morning Pages that are an essential part of the day for many creators, but a semi-public daily post to create the habit of shipping.

If you’re a writer, share some writing. If you’re a songwriter, share a lyric. If you’re working on becoming a public speaker, share a video. If you’re working in a different medium, share that here.

Every day. Short is fine. Rough is fine. Every day.

Don’t break your streak.

We are set to start the Dailies today, even though some people in the workshop have already kick-started it a couple of days early.
I didn’t, as I was pondering what it was I wanted to do with my dailies. So this morning, when I awoke, I realized what it is I want to use my 100 dailies for. This:

I will not post my dailies here on the blog. (I think.) This is a one-off. (Possibly. Or not?)
But now you know. Now I know you know. And now I know that I am dedicating time and effort to developing #tankespjärn.

To write about it.
To get clear on what it is, what I want to do with it, how I want to do that, what my timeframe is, who my target audience is, the size of my minimum viable audience, and, most likely, a heck of a lot of other questions that I don’t even know now.

 

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