1/24 – Merely begin.

Where do I start?
How do I know what is the right project, work, next step for me?
How do I know?begin

That was the gist of one of the questions asked of Seth Godin at #SethInLondon. And Seth beautifully answers:

Merely begin. 

It doesn’t matter what you pick, as long as you pick. That is the clinch, you see! Picking. Not what you pick. But the act of picking and then taking step one, step two, step three, and so on, putting your effort into whatever it is you picked.

I think as you get used to picking, you also get better at it, learning from previous picks that might have totally bombed, or just didn’t really feel right after a while. As long as you keep on picking and continue to move, to act, to do work that matters, stuff may or may not be smashing successes or total disasters. Keep on picking. And then. Most importantly: You begin.

Reflection #1 of 24 from the notes I took and the experience I had at the Seth Godin Q&A-session in London, November 2015. These reflections will constitute my Advent Calendar for 2015, and will be posted daily from December 1st to the 24th.

Podcast 42/52 – to hold the question

Like last weeks tip, here’s another podcast that I’ve been putting off blogging about, because it’s simply so rich that I am at a loss to find the words to write about it. It’s an episode from Good Life Project this time, with Nilofer Merchant, my favorite walk-and-talk-lady!

Nilofer is a woman who’s led a very interesting life, that’s for sure. She shares openly and without a lot of sentiment, but still, there is a vulnerability to it. She talks about her inner tyrant *been there, done that* and then a very interesting piece of conversation follows, on ”sustained uncertainty”. Just listen, and you’ll get what that points at.

Anyway. I’ve listened to this show umpteen times, and the other day I listened again. And guess what! I heard something I hadn’t heard the other times. Isn’t that amazing? How I suddenly got something else, probably because I listened differently this last time.

Joint creation by Vanessa Smith and Helena Roth at Summit of Human Potential Realization.

Joint creation of the global community by Vanessa Smith and Helena Roth at Summit for Human Potential Realization.

The thoughts about community and the epidemic of people feeling alone and cut off from the rest of the world… How we are actually not paying attention to the phenomenal amount of communities we are a part of, and then they give example after example, and I had to stop to take it all in. There are a few communities that I instantly come up with if you’d ask me what I ”am a part of” so to speak. But what Nilofer and Jonathan point to, is a much larger sense of community, that really stopped me in my tracks, this time around. I am very grateful for that!

Oh. And then, the part about questions and answers, close to the end. As a person enamored with questions, this part blew me away:

My job is to hold the question. […] I think most of us were trained with the idea that you needed to know the answer. […] if you actually own the question, other people can help you with the answer […] and more importantly, they can help you make the answer a reality! – Nilofer Merchant

There’s a question that’s been a constant companion of mine these past two and a half, close to three years. And I still haven’t gotten tired of it. What’s the question that lie at the center of your life?

DAY 5 #NAJOWRIMOPROMPT: Write 10 burning questions about your life

For today’s prompt write a list of 10 burning questions for yourself about your life. I suggest not overthinking your list of questions, and you probably should not think about trying to answer those questions right now. Just write whatever questions come to mind. Remember, you’re writing in your journal. No one else should see your list, and you don’t have to answer to anyone about the questions you raise. You may find the this list troubling to write, but the questions might a useful to return to for future journal entries.

Well. This was interesting. I’ve been avoiding this prompt for a few days, for some reason. But now that I have my 10 questions written down, I wonder what I was afraid of? There’s some challenging questions, but none that come as a surprise to me, and none that make me want to stick my head in the sand.

But no. I won’t publish them. If nothing else, I won’t because the prompt actually tells me not to. And I think I want to sit with them a bit more, question by question. Reflect upon them. See what comes to mind, rather than ”try to contrive an answer” to them. That doesn’t ring true to me at all, that’s not the way to go about these. But rather stick them in my mouth, one by one, like a lozenge. Letting it sit, slowly melting away… and possibly, there will be an answer. Or more questions perhaps? That would be welcome as well. I really like questions, and I like the not knowing. Hanging out in that place of limbo, where the question has materialized, but the answer hasn’t. Possibly the answer is like a mirage far away on the horizon. Something illusory, that cannot be analyzed and examined in great detail, because it doesn’t really exist. not knowingOr it might be slowly coming to form before my eyes, a bit like the statue of David inside the great block of marble, being liberated chunk by marble chunk by Michelangelo and his chisels. Or. It might be totally obvious, like a billboard commercial. Neon lights blinking, a clear message to me.

Who knows? Not me, that’s for sure.
And that makes me sit here with a grin on my face, laughing to myself.
Imagine that, huh?

Enjoying the process of not knowing, revelling in it.

Who would have thought?


Questions and Answers

I like questions. More and more. I am not sure I used to be so fond of them, but every day, the power in and of questions becomes clearer. #skolvåren aka #schoolspring, asks the question ”Why School?” which is a question Seth Godin also asks but in a slightly different way. Just stumbled upon some other thoughts of his, concerning questions:

20140223-193424.jpgWould you share a question with me, that would disturb your status quo (and most likely mine as well!)  and scare you a little bit?