Appreciating differences

Last week I did a really fun job up in the north of Norway. Together with a group of 20 people from Nordland County Council, we crafted their new communications strategy. Norway is divided into 19 counties, and Nordland is the second biggest. The task at hand was to create the core of their 4 year communications strategy in 12 hours.

The only way to achieve this was to attack the task with radical simplicity. And the result was a three word sentence backed up with a set of 12 simple questions with short and to-the-point answers.

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What puzzled me was how strikingly smooth the session went. And so I asked the group at the end. Their answer: “We have a great appreciation for differences”. An excellent answer – because it’s not enough to tolerate differences in a group, you have to really appreciate differences. You have to get a positive kick out of other people’s views and opinions. That’s when you get a group who forge new realities. And so we did.

What was those three words? Check out the video and figure out the Norwegian 🙂

Creating the road as you walk upon it

This is a direct copy of Ed’s latest blog post. I wholeheartedly agree:

“Many people have clear goals. These people often will write down there goals, then break them down into sub-goals and actions necessary to achieve those goals. They then draw a long line between where they are now and where they want to be. And, as anyone who has had basic geography can tell you, the shortest distance between two points is a straight line. Detours only make the journey longer and less efficient. So, the argument goes, the best way to achieve your goals is to make a clear plan; a linear plan, moving daily one step closer down the long straight line toward your goals.

Now, while this may be an excellent way for many people to live a fulfilled life, I’ve not found this method to be most suitable for me. Rather I have taken another approach; a non-linear one. I wander around and collect new experiences. I seldom walk in a straight line for any length of time. I detour often. And as I do this I’m awake to the opportunity to accumulate and learn numerous new skills, attitudes, ideas, ways of viewing things, approaches, etc. Then after some time I stop up for a while and assess where I’ve been and what I’ve learned. I look ahead to see if any new challenges might match the new skills, etc I’ve acquired. Then I take a hop in that direction and start accumulating new experiences in that general area.

The road is created as I walk on it. This is probably not the best method for everyone, but maybe for some? Let me know what you think 🙂 ”

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Ed’s blog

Brendan had a meeting with an interesting guy. Ed.

Ed has amazing experiences to share. But he didn’t think sharing them was worth it.

In keeping with our direct coaching approach, Brendan challenged Ed to do 100 days of blogging. Not necessarily for his own benefit, but because he could inspire others by sharing his awesome. I think Ed will find great value in doing so.

Ed writes well. His blog is a great read. And he’s only at day 8.

Head on over to Ed’s, leave a comment or two and let him know he has an audience:

edbrownweb.wordpress.com

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Mental training – The core

Our second OnePageBook™ cuts straight to the core of mental training:
The art of being present.

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Dropping the long explanations and anecdotes. Cutting through the bull. You get the method straight – in a just a few minutes.

This book covers the mental training that helped Tiril Eckhoff become the World Champion in Biathlon last month. Take a close look at Tiril when she hits all five targets in her last shooting – her presence and focus is remarkable. This is the run where she took home the gold medal:

The training described in this book will benefit anyone. It is a simpler and more agile way of training to be mentally present than you will find anywhere else. This will help you focus. This will relieve stress. It will help you get down to the very basic: You… here and now.

Available on Amazon

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John Cleese on responsibility for own emotions

The remarkable John Cleese is spot on again:

Transcript:

I’m offended every day. For example, the British newspapers every day offend me with their laziness, their nastiness, and their inaccuracy, but I’m not going to expect someone to stop that happening; I just simply speak out about it. Sometimes when people are offended they want — you can just come in and say, “Right, stop that.” to whoever it is offending them. And, of course, as a former chairman of the BBC one said, “There are some people who I would wish to offend.” And I think there’s truth in that too. So the idea that you have to be protected from any kind of uncomfortable emotion is what I absolutely do not subscribe to. And a fellow who I helped write two books about psychology and psychiatry was a renowned psychiatrist in London called Robin Skynner said something very interesting to me. He said, “If people can’t control their own emotions, then they have to start trying to control other people’s behavior.” And when you’re around super-sensitive people, you cannot relax and be spontaneous because you have no idea what’s going to upset them next. And that’s why I’ve been warned recently don’t to go to most university campuses because the political correctness has been taken from being a good idea, which is let’s not be mean in particular to people who are not able to look after themselves very well — that’s a good idea — to the point where any kind of criticism or any individual or group could be labeled cruel.

And the whole point about humor, the whole point about comedy, and believe you me I thought about this, is that all comedy is critical. Even if you make a very inclusive joke like how would you make God laugh? Answer: Tell him your plans. Now that’s about the human condition; it’s not excluding anyone. It’s saying we all have all these plans, which probably won’t come and isn’t it funny how we still believe they’re going to happen. So that’s a very inclusive joke. It’s still critical. All humor is critical. If you start to say, “We mustn’t; we mustn’t criticize or offend them,” then humor is gone. With humor goes a sense of proportion. And then as far as I’m concerned, you’re living in 1984.

Scientology is Hubbard’s attempt to kill science

Quoting Richard Feynman from the book, titled “What Do You Care What Other People Think?“:

“The scientist has a lot of experience with ignorance and doubt and uncertainty, and this experience is of very great importance, I think. When a scientist doesn’t know the answer to a problem, he is ignorant. When he has a hunch as to what the result is, he is uncertain. And when he is pretty darn sure of what the result is going to be, he is still in some doubt. We have found it of paramount importance that in order to progress we must recognize our ignorance and leave room for doubt. Scientific knowledge is a body of statements of varying degrees of certainty — some most unsure, some nearly sure, but none absolutely certain.”

An essential value in science is that of never settle with certainty. No theory is final. No stone should be left unturned. There is always higher ground – always room for improvement, for challenging the staus quo. No theory or practice should be exempt from improvement.

What Hubbard tried to sell with Scientology was not simply a final answer to mental traumas, social troubles, to war or all kinds of insanities, drug abuse or criminality, organization of tasks, people or nations. He was selling all of this as well as the final answer on how to become God.

Hubbard sealed Scientology with his policy letter “Keeping Scientology working” where he forbids anyone to ever change or improve his works. Although he claims Scientology to be a “workable technology”, he still kills any notion of science in the sphere of human improvement by claiming that he has indeed found the final solutions for mankind and that it shall remain unchanged until… forever.

Thanks to Brian Cox for citing Feynman’s book and thus inspiring this little blog post. Brendan, Margrete, Anette and myself went to his awesome show tonight. I highly recommend it.

Photo by Anette

Photo by Anette

Never mind the headlines…

the world is not falling apart.

We are living in the most peaceful of times. Less armed conflicts, less war casualties, homicide rates are going down, mass killings are plummeting…

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Wealth is increasing across the world, life expectancy is higher than ever and population growth has stagnated. And the people of the world is connected and communicating like never before.

It is indeed great times to be alive 🙂