Giftedness

Giftedness is not what you do or how hard you work.
It is who you are.
You think differently.
You experience life intensely.
You care about injustice.
You seek meaning.
You appreciate and strive for the exquisite.
You are painfully sensitive.
You are extremely complex.
You cherish integrity.
Your truth-telling has gotten you in trouble.
Should 98% of the population find you odd, seek the company of those who love you just the way you are.
You are not broken.
You do not need to be fixed.
You are utterly fascinating.
Trust yourself!

Dr. Linda Kreger Silverman

The Rosie Project

While waiting at the station in Malmö I browsed the PocketShop store. I often do that, browse a book store without intent to buy anything. Books matter to me and give me a lot. I noticed “The Rosie Project” book and picked it up. It’s marketed as fun and entertaining. A quick look inside supported that, I bought the book as a fun read. Little did I know that the book would mean a lot more to me.

Love isn’t an exact science – but no one told Dan Tillman. A handsome thirty-nine-year-old geneticist, Don’s never had a second date. So he derives The Wife Project, a scientific test to find the perfect partner. Enter Rosie – the world’s most incompatible woman – throwing Don’s safe, ordered life into chaos. Just what is this unsettling, alien emotion he’s feeling?

Don, the main character, is a control freak (in my eyes). He lives a very strictly planned life, routines are king. Don has for instance a weekly dinner plan that’s repeated each and every week. He has many logical reasons for that. Don also is socially awkward, he’s lousy at picking up cues and goes through life sometimes acting more like a robot.

When I discussed the book with a friend I realized what made the book itch. Don is an exaggerated version of how I’ve been (and sometimes still am). The book mirrored some of my own experiences in life. My friend suggested that I should read the book with that in mind. This turned the book into a personal development book for me.

The book shows me, again, the power of stories. Lessons included in a story are much easier to grasp than a more fact based approach.

What I took with me from the book

It’s OK to be wired differently.

Too much thinking complicates things and life.

Life works better when we drop the excessive parts of our planning.

What brightens our lives is often the unexpected events, people we meet because we open up.

When great things happen – trust your guts and enjoy them!

The Rosie Project

The Book Depository: The Rosie Project

How does one become a butterfly?

“How does one become a butterfly?” she asked.

“You must want to fly so much that you are willing to give up being a caterpillar.”

– Trina Paulus

Serendipity at work

I had finished reading “Enchantment” by Guy Kawasaki which has an origami butterfly on the front cover. The quote above turned up in my Facebook stream and the butterfly connection is obvious.

Going from caterpillar to butterfly is a great example of change which is what my business is all about.

Photo source: Butterfly World June 2010

Tiffany Shlain and Connected

A friend on Facebook posted a link to Webby Awards Founder and Filmmaker Tiffany Shlain (see video below). Brian Solis talks with Tiffany Shlain, filmmaker and Webby Awards founder, about her latest film “Connected: An Autoblogography About Love, Death, and Technology”.

It’s a very interesting conversation about being connected, about independence and interdependence. It’s also about our choice about when to be connected and when to disconnect. Key words that I noted are engagement, connectedness, change, dynamics, tribes, context and curators.

The concept of connectedness goes well with My 3 Words for 2011 (Trust, Connect and Grow).

The video – Tiffany Shlain and Brian Solis.

How To Get What You Want – part 1

I am evaluating 2010 and preparing for 2011. As part of the process I have picked My 3 Words for 2011 and I’m Reinventing My Business.

This blog post is about how I work on creating a foundation for the year(s) to come.

The Law of Attraction

In A Scary Admission Chris Brogan admits that he believes in the Law of Attraction.

I believe in the teachings inside The Secret. The Secret is a book that talks about The Law of Attraction. There are several books that talk about this, and The Secret isn’t even the best of them.

The premise is that if you visualize and believe with all your heart that you’ll find what you seek, then it’ll manifest.

The key is to remember that Attraction = Attract + Action. It’s not enough to attract something, it takes action to get it. Nothing will manifest out of thin air.

Visualization of what you want to achieve is used in other concepts too, like mental training.

The Secret

The Secret is a catchier name than The Known. In my opinion there’s nothing secret in The Secret, it’s a new cover on what has been said before. They have done clever marketing though.

Think and Grow Rich

I’m currently reading “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. The book is available in print or as free ebook, I have an ebook. As the title indicates, it’s focus is on money. It lists these six steps:

First: fix in your mind the exact amount of money you desire. It is not sufficient merely to say “I want plenty of money.” Be definite as to the amount.

Second: determine exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. (There is no such reality as “something for nothing.”)

Third: establish a definite date when you intend to possess the money you desire.

Fourth: create a definite plan for carrying out your desire, and begin at ONCE, whether you are ready or not, to put this plan into action.

Fifth: write out a clear, concise statement of the amount of money you intend to acquire, name the time limit for it acquisition, state what you intend to give in return for the money, and describe clearly the plan through which you intend to accumulate it.

Sixth: read your written statement aloud, twice daily, once just before retiring at night, and once after arising in the morning. As you read — see and feel and believe yourself already in possession of the money.

Napoleon Hill talks about the importance of a burning desire. It’s not enough to wish or want, it has to be a burning desire. You need to be determined to get it, stand by it and know what you really want to achieve.

As you see in step 2 above he stresses that there’s no such reality as “something for nothing”.

My view

I believe that it’s a two-phase process: Attraction = Attract + Action. The process works whether it’s money we’re aiming for or something else.

Attract requires us to be clear and specific about what we want to achieve. That’s what this blog post is about.

Then it takes action, I’ll do another blog post about that.

Decide what you want

Napoleon Hill writes that “All achievements have their beginning in an idea”, I prefer to talk about a vision. It shall be something that you really desire and believe with all your heart that you’ll achieve. List what you want to achieve but be specific otherwise you can’t know when you have achieved it.

Paint an entire picture, personal and professional, since different areas of life interact with each other. It can be different levels of details but ignoring the personal side and only have a business vision is not a good idea. The other way around is not good either.

Examples of what can be included in a vision:
• I want to be my own boss.
• I want to work half time and do volunteer work in my spare time.
• I want to have X dollars in my savings account because that means financial security.
• I want to live and work in the Bahamas.
• I want to make the world a better place by doing….

Create ONE vision that covers what you want to achieve. Fill it with emotions, how will you feel when you achieved it.

If you don’t know what you want, you end up with a lot you don’t. – Chuck Palahniuk

Verify it

Consider this:
• Your vision shall be your beacon, something that keeps you heading in the right direction.
• Your vision shall be able to motivate you when the going gets tough.
• It shall be YOUR vision, not something you do to please others.
• It shall be a burning desire.

If your vision does not pass the test above then you picked the wrong vision. Return to the previous step and find your true vision.

Convert your vision to money

How much money does it take to achieve your vision?

How much do you need to make your vision come through?

Your vision might be to become your own boss instead of being employed, there’s still money that needs to be earned.

Your vision might be to be place independent (work from anywhere), there’s still money that needs to be earned.

Even a spiritual quest requires money to make it possible. There’s no “something for nothing” which means that somehow we need to pay for what we want to achieve.

When shall it be finished?

Set an end date – when shall you have achieved your vision?

Hint, if it’s more than a year away then you shall probably reconsider and rephrase your vision. A beacon that’s too far away makes for lousy navigation.

What will you do to achieve your vision?

You now have your vision, an end-date and a required amount, what will you give in return to achieve what you desire?

Define exactly what you intend to give in return for the money you desire. Plan it, at least roughly, so you know how to do it.

If you do what you’ve always done, you’ll get what you’ve always gotten. – Tony Robbins

Make your vision memorable

If you’re visual then create a vision board. That makes it easier to picture how you will feel when it’s all done.

Create a statement (agreement with yourself) that describes your vision. It shall include the end-date, when it shall be finished, and what you will do to achieve your vision. Remember to attach feelings, how will you feel when you have achieved your vision.

Keep your vision within sight

Print out your statement. Place it where you see it often and easy. Read your vision daily so you keep it alive and fresh.

One more thing – enjoy the ride! The journey towards your vision has to be worthwhile too.

What about me?

When evaluating 2010 I realized that my original vision had split into two visions, one personal and one for my business. When those visions were aligned it was no problem but when they differed the one closest to my heart did win. Most of my personal vision, along the path to discover your Self, has been accomplished. When it comes to my business vision it did not turn out as I had intended.

Lesson learned – create ONE vision and stick to it. If in doubt along the way, go back to the verify step and see if you vision still is the right one.

What about you?

How do you work to vision what you want to achieve?

My 3 Words for 2011

About two years ago I posted Goals, guidelines and keywords with my three words for 2009: Trust, Connect and Grow.

About a year ago I posted Ready for 2010 where I listed my three words: Trust, Connect and Grow. I kept the words I had selected for 2009, they were still important to me.

In March 2010 I posted Three Words Become Five. I added Rhythm and Nourish to Trust, Connect and Grow.

My 3 words for 2011

I go back to three words instead of five, I extend what some of my three words stand for. In no specific order they are:

Trust means to trust my inner voice, to build trust and to be trustworthy.

Connect goes outwards (connect to more people in real life and virtually, be visible and valuable) as well as inwards (connect to my inner self). I include creating relationships and to collaborate, together we can achieve more.

Grow covers to grow my business and to grow as person. It includes to learn and share. I am a life long learner, sharing knowledge and ideas is fun. I also include nourish, without that nothing will grow.

My words work well as corners in a triangle, they complete each other and none is more important than the other. My words will guide my actions during the year, it’s easy to check back to them and see if I’m aligned with them or not.

Three Words Elsewhere

Chris Brogan posted My 3 Words for 2011 where he also lists words other have sent him. Mich Sineath created a wordle based on that post, it’s interesting to see which words that stand out.

Additional reading

The last part of Happy Holidays 2009 talks about why new year’s resolutions can be dangerous.

UGL course

November 15 to 19 I attended a five day UGL (Understanding Group and Leader) course. It was a great course, I learned more about group dynamics and leadership plus got more self-insight. We were eight attending and during the week we went from strangers to a very well functioning group, learning along the way. Action based learning is terrific but it’s also intense since you’re part of the process.

We had three fedback exercises (Monday, Wednesday and Thursday), all different and very useful. On Friday we did an action plan, what shall we do in order to get better as leaders and group members. We made a copy of the plan, it will be mailed to us later as a reminder.

I really enjoyed the course, I learned a lot (new things as well as refreshing some old) about group dynamics and myself. It takes time to digest it all and see how I can make the best use of it going forward.

Understanding Group and Leader (UGL)

Source image and quoted text: The UGL course, information in English.

The course, Understanding Group and Leader (UGL), has been used as a basic leadership course within the Swedish Armed Forces for more than 20 years. It has also become popular and widespread outside the Swedish Total Defence Establishment.

Objective
The overall objective of the course is for the participants to become more effective as group members, leaders and trainers.

UGL provides training in how a group develops and matures over time, what happens in the group during the course of this development and what behaviour or actions promote or inhibit constructive development. Within UGL, this is referred to as group dynamics. The course also deals with the problems and possibilities of leadership related to the development of the group’s maturity, and what style of leadership will promote both task solving and group development.

Throughout the UGL course, learning occurs through experience of situations reflecting group dynamics and understanding your own role in these situations or dynamics. During this course you will have the opportunity to:
* participate in an experiential (experience based) learning model
* increase insight into your own personality
* learn to identify and to handle conflict
* learn to communicate in a direct and clear way
* learn to give and to receive effective feedback
* learn to recognize different phases of a group’s development
* understand that there is a need for different leadership styles
* increase self-confidence and self-insight

Course values
The course is built on these values:
* People are the most important resource in an organisation.
* Contact and cooperation between people in an organisation should be characterised by openness, trust and a feeling of solidarity. Attitudes and behaviour that can be seen as lacking respect for the dignity of others are not acceptable.
* The unity and the collective resources of a group are decisive whether or not and how the tasks will be completed. Knowledge and understanding of the interactions between people are therefore a condition of good leadership.
* Leadership is the manager’s ability to create the conditions that will allow co-workers’ personalities, knowledge, interests, power of initiative and willingness to cooperate, to be used to complete set tasks in the best way.

To this we add a clear value which stresses that every person is unique and has development potential. Uniqueness means that people are individual and are not interchangeable. The development potential is seen as an alternative to a more static view of people.

UGL includes opportunities for you to experience the processes of development and uniqueness – plus it is a real opportunity for you to be you.

Differences enrich, even in learning situations. The group should therefore be composed of people from as different categories as possible, differences in age, sex, professional background, etc. Within UGL variation is seen as beneficial to the learning process.

Brené Brown – The Price of Invulnerability

My previous post, Brené Brown on Connection, made me look around for more videos at You Tube and I found Brené Brown – The Price of Invulnerability. That’s another great presentation by Brené Brown.

TEDxKC talk synopsis: In our anxious world, we often protect ourselves by closing off parts of our lives that leave us feeling most vulnerable. Yet invulnerability has a price. When we knowingly or unknowingly numb ourselves to what we sense threatens us, we sacrifice an essential tool for navigating uncertain times — joy. This talk will explore how and why fear and collective scarcity has profoundly dangerous consequences on how we live, love, parent, work and engage in relationships — and how simple acts can restore our sense of purpose and meaning.

The video

Brené Brown on Connection

Sarah Robinson has a post about More On Living a Connected Life at Escaping Mediocrity. It’s a terrific video with Brene Brown from TEDx Houston. I had problems viewing the video at Sarah’s site so I located the video on You Tube, TEDxHouston – Brené Brown. The video is 20 minutes long (or short rather, I wish Brené had talked longer). Sarah writes:

This 20 minute video from Dr. Brene Brown is a MUST WATCH. Unless you have no interest in living a connected life.

I watched it once. Then watched it again with pen and paper. Trust me, you are going to want to make notes. And please don’t “save this for later”. Later never comes.

The book

Brené Brown has published “The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are” and I have ordered it. That’s how interesting I found her presentation.
Amazon: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are
The Book Depository: The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to be and Embrace Who You are

Creating a connected life

Sarah writes about the 12 elements of a connected life and it’s a great list.

TEDxHouston – Brené Brown

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