Be like water

Be like water

Be like water making its way through cracks. Do not be assertive, but adjust to the object, and you shall find a way around or through it. If nothing within you stays rigid, outward things will disclose themselves.

Empty your mind, be formless. Shapeless, like water. If you put water into a cup, it becomes the cup. You put water into a bottle and it becomes the bottle. You put it in a teapot, it becomes the teapot. Now, water can flow or it can crash. Be water, my friend.
Bruce Lee

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 fifth agreement

I like The Four Agreements, they are great. Now I have started reading “The fifth agreement” by Miguel and Jose Ruiz. That’s a different story, I feel a resistance towards the book and switch between a decision to finish the book (as a learning experience) and stop reading it.

The fifth agreement is “Be skeptical but learn to listen” and I agree with that. It, to me, goes really well with the concept in Your teacup is full (Empty your cup). To listen with an open mind is terrific.

I think my problem with the book “The fifth agreement” is due to that there’s a clash between the fifth agreement and the tone of the book. The authors have all the answers, no room for being skeptic there.

Thrive and success

I have considered the book “Thrive: The Third Metric to Redefining Success and Creating a Happier Life” by Arianna Huffington for a while but couldn’t make up my mind. Seth Godin posted a short review, “What does success look like now?”, over at hugdug. The text below is part of that.

Most people use the word more in association with success.

More money, more power, more friends, more fame.

It’s easy to see how we end up with more, because in a scarcity-based industrial economy, that’s how capitalists and those trained to work in the system win.

Arianna Huffington, a tireless, generous, wise soul is asking us to take a few hours to think deeply about whether more of the usual stuff is all there is.

What about: More meaning. More sleep. More connection… What about making a difference to yourself and the people around you?

The bold text is my edit, that sentence motivated me to order the book.

The man in the arena

I came across this text in the book “Daring Greatly” by Brené Brown, a great and truly interesting book.

It is not the critic who counts; not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles, or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.

The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena, whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood; who strives valiantly; who errs, who comes short again and again,

because there is no effort without error and shortcoming; but who does actually strive to do the deeds; who knows great enthusiasms, the great devotions; who spends himself in a worthy cause;

who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement, and who at the worst, if he fails, at least fails while daring greatly, so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat.
Teddy Roosevelt

Vagabonding

Michelle Clarke at Michelle Clarke Coaching quoted Rolf Pott:

Vagabonding is an outlook on life…it’s about using prosperity and possibility to increase your personal options instead of your personal possessions. Vagabonding is about looking for adventure in normal life, and normal life within adventure. It’s an attitude, an uncommon way of looking at life, a value adjustment, that makes a person an explorer in the truest, most vivid sense of the word. Vagabonding is about time – our only real commodity – and how we choose to use it.

Not just a plan of action, vagabonding is an outlook on life that emphasizes creativity, discovery, and the growth of the spirit.

I got so intrigued by the texts above, especially the second one, that I ordered the book Vagabonding (Paperback) from The Book Depository.

The book has an online companion at Vagabonding.

What Impact Do You Want To Have?

I am reading “The Tao of Motivation” by Max Landsberg, a great book that makes you think. (See also The Tao of Coaching, another great book by Max Landsberg.) The motivation book made me think about what motivates me and how to keep myself motivated. As selfemployed you need to be able to keep your own fire burning.

Then I came across A Question of Impact by Jonathan Fields. It raises these important questions:

What impact do you want to have? And, on whom?

Making an impact,as in making a difference, is something that motivates me. Seeing things change or ideas spread is motivating for me.

Jonathan Fields writes that:

I’m not yet convinced there is a single, quantifiable group of people I want or need to choose between. But, I’m also not convinced I can have the depth of impact I want when I’m playing too many games at once.

I think there is a risk of spreading oneself too thin (trying to cover too many) and because of that reducing the impact one makes. But I also see another risk, making your focus too narrow and missing out on chances to make an impact. At present I am balancing somewhere in between, I see the horizon of opportunity as 360 degrees and will see what turns up.

A Bigger Game?
In A Bigger Game Jonathan Fields also brings up the topic of making an impact:

It made me want to play a bigger game. Not a bigger money game…a bigger impact game. A bigger footprint game. A bigger life game.

I’m not that into ‘bigger’, I’m more into sustainable games, making impacts that last. My thought is that small scale works too, good changes create ripple effects. Talking about sustainable, I like The Seven Generations Perspective since it makes us consider long term conseqeunces and effects.

Three Key Words.
In Ready for 2010 I mention my three key words (Trust, Connect, Grow). These key words work well in connection with me making an impact. I have to be trusted in order to be able to make an impact. I need to connect with people in order to be able to make an impact. I need to grow (including learn and share) in order to be able to make an impact.

What’s My Own Answers?
My overarching vision is to help make this world a better place. That’s done on different levels, on a one-to-one level through my work as coach and mentor. On a global level it’s done through supporting organizations such as The Hunger Project and WWF. For the more ‘medium’ level I intend to write more. I would also like to make more presentations, both writing and speeches are ways to influence more people.

And You?
What’s YOUR answers to these questions?

What impact do you want to have? And, on whom?

LESS – Accomplishing More by Doing Less

I got a copy of LESS – Accomplishing More by Doing Less by Marc Lesser at Øredev 2009. The book is described like this:

Discusses the benefits of doing less in a world that has increasingly embraced more – more desire, more activity, more things, more exhaustion. This book is about stopping, as well as the possibility of finding composure in the midst of activity. It is also about the power of accomplishing more by doing less.

I like this book, it is well written and it’s summed up nicely in the epilogue:

This book is a collection of tools as well as a manual for doing more of what is important and less of what isn’t.

Another quote from the book that descibes what it’s about:

You will accomplish more of what matters to you. Doing less and accomplishing more is about aligning your actions with your values and your particular passions.

The book is about the Less Manifesto and has chapters on its five categories:
• fear
• assumptions
• distractions
• resistance
• busyness

I like the way Marc writes about these categories, I found inspiration and tools to work with. Marc brings up meditation and mindfulness as useful tools. The book also has some interesting exercises, questions to work with. Under busyness Marc writes that:

A life of busyness is often the result of trying to escape facing our fears.

One part of the book that stuck with me is about paradoxes, like Marc’s own example “I am shy and solitary, and I love speaking in front of people.” It’s an interesting way of seeing that it’s not either-or, we can be both without conflicts.

Embrace paradox and you increase self-acceptance, tolerance of others and your own possibilities.

A question from the book that’s worth thinking about:

What is one change you could make in your life today that would have an impact on the quality of your day?

Read more:
An 18 Minute Plan That Keeps You Focused
The jar of life – stones, pebbles and sand
Start Managing Your Attention

The rest of your life?

Last night I watched Alfie on DVD. Great music but the movie is so so, Alfie is shallow and does not learn from his mistakes. In one part of the movie Alfie has regrets and walks along the beach talking with an older man. Alfie is asked “What’s gonna happen to the rest of your life?”

What about YOU, what is going to happen to the rest of your life?

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

There is a nobler art of leaving things undone

I came across this quote by Lin Yutang in Zen To Done:

Besides the noble art of getting things done, there is a nobler art of leaving things undone. The wisdom of life consists in the elimination of nonessentials.

Update: This goes well with my post Turning 2008 into 80-20 which is about deciding what shall be done and what shall be left undone.

This was originally posted at another (now extinct) blog of mine.

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