perspective

A revelatory conversation on procrastination

A revelatory conversation on procrastination

September 24, 2020
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The bottom line:
Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people,
help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me.

The September Zoom-call in the tankespjärn-community gathered nine souls to talk/explore/discover around the topic of procrastination. Part of what we brought up can be found in the doodle, part of it can be found within the nine souls present, part of it is likely gone with the wind, never to be touched upon again. Perhaps…

How do you define procrastination?
What’s the meaning of this word, for you?
Does it have negative connotations, or not?

Those were some questions we started off with, and then, in the way these conversations go, we ended up all over the map, which, for me, increases the chances that there will be a new perspective, a reframe, a tankespjärn somewhere to present new doors for me. Doors I get to choose whether or not I want to open, and then –next choice– to step through or not. Doors to new aspects of viewing life, of living life, of relating to myself or others.

Some of those doors read as follows:

  • procrastination, when I pick up on it consciously, holds information. For me to use or ignore, up to me. But contained within the sensation of procrastination there’s plenty of information.
  • how procrastination to most of us holds negative connotations.
  • an open-ended question/query as to whether there is a cultural aspect to procrastination: is it “a negative” in other cultures?
  • confirmation of my realization that there are more books to read than I will be able to in my lifetime (but here’s a bonus piece of tankespjärn for you: Nassim Nicholas Taleb has, since his teens, spent between 30-60 hours a week (!) reading. That’s massive!). The books that made it onto the doodle were AntifragileRest and Ever-Present Origin. But I swear there were a couple more mentioned…

Being in conversation with wise, curious and openminded people like these, help me shift inner beliefs if/when they no longer serve me. Given, of course, that I am open to it myself. Nothing shifts in a person with a closed mind. Nothing!


#tankespjärn, for those who wish to discover. More. Other. New.
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Tankespjärn. Say what?

March 18, 2020
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Tankespjärn.
It’s a Swedish word, but not an official one. You will not find it in any thesaurus, but rather it’s a word that utilizes one of the most fun aspects of the Swedish language, namely the ability to merge any (?!) two words into one.

Tankespjärn consists of two words.
Tanke which means thought.
Spjärn which means… to resist, to brace against, to use as a starting point upwards/onwards. Sort of. There actually isn’t any one translation that accurately describes what I mean with the word spjärn in this context.

This is what it sounds like (click on the word): tankespjärn

As a word-mashup, tankespjärn – for me – points to those moments where you hear or see or learn about something, and your face scrunches up, and you go Huh? because what you just heard, saw or learned simply doesn’t fit within the framework of your current understanding of reality.  And whenever I describe it, my hands fly up towards my face and I twist them in opposite directions as if I am wringing water out of a large towel held between my hands. Only, that imaginary towel is my brain or something…

In a sense, it’s about providing you with an opportunity to step into a new perspective, a new way to understand the world, somewhat like a door opener. Which is an apt analogy because once that door is opened… I can choose to enter. Or to close it again. To step away from the possibility, or to step into it. (But it sure is hard to forget about that door, leading to something; a something which, once it’s been revealed, even if I chose to let the door slam shut without entering will always be there, like the tiniest little pebble in your shoe, impossible to ignore.)

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Winners take all

January 9, 2019
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in Tip
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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!

 

 

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A matter of perspective

February 10, 2018
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in Tip
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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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Where should we begin?

November 19, 2017
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in Tip
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I stumble upon the podcast “Where should we begin? with Esther Perel” and all of a sudden, Esther is everywhere. I read about her here and there, friends refer to her, and she’s even a guest on “Terrible, thanks for asking”. Her book Mating in captivity is mentioned as a possible future read at the latest GIFTED book club meet up, and I can only surrender to this onslaught of synchronicity:Message from the universe

Yes – I hear you, Universe.
I am listening to her podcast.
I will pick up her book.

I get the message!

Listening to “Where should we begin? with Esther Perel” is quite the special pod-experience, unlike most other podcasts I listen to on a regular basis. Most intriguing is the way Esther surprises me, over and over again – she provides a different perspective; focussing on things I would not have thought of; she picks up on small, subtle nuances and… somehow… now and again, magic happens. There’s insight, there’s laughter, there’s a release of tension that is palpable even through the airwaves. Well worth a listen!

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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The act of noticing things

March 26, 2017
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in Tip
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My friend Laura told me she’d listened to Ellen Langer on On Being, and suggested I check it out. So I did (and would have anyway, since On Being is a favorite show of mine. But I am so happy for the suggestion!), and once finished, pressed Play immediately, to listen yet another time. And actually, I’ve listened to the episode more than three times by now! It’s definitely a very good show to listen to, at least if you are in any way interested in mindfulness, or mindlessness, for that matter. Ellen Langer has a purely scientific take on it, and I really like her definition of mindfulness: “the simple act of actively noticing things”

Because that is really what it is all about. And she does have a point. I mean, how do I DO “being in the present”? How do I know I am “being in the now”? And she is spot on with her definition. You are present when you notice things. That is how you know you are in the present moment, and not off on a mental tangent somewhere or other.

Now that’s just one of many precious gems in this episode of On Being, and I will just pinpoint one more, before letting you head on over to On Being to listen for yourself.

Fairly early on in the show Ellen speaks about perspectives, and what she said really got me thinking. She points out how nobody truly believes there is just one way to look at the world at large or a specific detail (unless they are a fundamentalist, my addition), and yet, we so often go through life doing just that. And she gave me a much needed nudge, to look at a specific person in a fairly periferal position of my life, who still somehow seem to take up more energy and space than I want. And wham. All of a sudden, I could see what for me seems like very petty and begrudging behavior, in a totally new light. I all of a sudden developed a lot of empathy for said person, because I realized that a likely cause for the behavior is loneliness and a fear of not having any friends.

noticing things

It’s so amazing when those shifts occur, it’s as if a door opens that I had no clue was there in the first place. And that my friends, is definitely an example of the simple act of noticing things.

So. Stop. Pause. Look around you.
Notice five new things about the space you are in?

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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