Vision and the inner voice

The importance of a vision, closely linked to the soul of the country, or company, is one of the thoughts reverberating in my head after my meeting with Richard Gerver yesterday afternoon, together with Susanne, Ann and Therese from #skolvåren back office. I only missed Ninna, who was with us in spirit, not being able to get away to join us.

Meetup with Gerver

Richard shared the story of his meeting with Eric Schmidt, CEO of Google, who said, the real failures of Google, have come about when they tried to act based on the fear of what someone else is doing – Facebook are launching X, we must have something similar! – rather than go deep within to find what they, Google, want to do, regardless of what others are doing.

And that’s what Richard asks Sweden:
Find your vision, believe in you path ahead, and stick to it. Don’t copy cat Finland (now slipping in the ranks of PISA), to move on to copy cat Singapore (latest fad school system everyone want’s to learn from), to move on to….


No, stop right then and there. Ask instead:
What do we want?
Where are we?
Where do we want to go?
What are the needs of Swedes and Sweden, for a school system?

Discover our Why, find that vision, and stick to it, Richard passionately asks of the hundred or so of teachers, principals, school developers and #skolvårare, in the audience in Huddinge.

I have more thoughts to sit with, after an hour listening to Richard, but this one is top of mind at the moment. But I’m fairly happy to just sit with it, not really doing much at all to act upon this, at this very moment. I’m on a school break, with my kids, enjoying them and their company immensely.

And you know what, the message Richard wants to get across is extremely relevant here as well. So I’ll do what I can to make sure my children know how to listen to their own voice, to find their passion, rather than believing life is about going after someone elses dreams. Because it’s not. Listen within, and there is a voice somewhere, sometimes whispering, other times shouting loudly.

What might happen in the world, when more of us wake up to that inner voice?

Listen/Read/Watch – Sept ’14

Read a beautiful post on Born Happy the other day, and got inspired. Figured why not create a playlist of the month just like Lian did, and let you in on what moves me this month, when it comes to listening, reading and watching! So here it goes:

Last year and the previous 5 or so were my blog reading years, but I’ve not followed a single blog continously during 2014. Instead, 2014 has been a pod-year for me, when I’ve listened to more pod talks than ever before! This month I’m heavily into The one you feed, and three talks stand out especially for me. I’ve listened to them all more than once, and hear different things each time. The episodes with Lama Kathy Wesley, Timber Hawkeye and Jonathan Fields are all great choices to get yourself acquianted with The one you feed.

OK, so I’m not a proliferent blog reader anymore, but that doesn’t mean I don’t read. I do. Books. Loads of books. I have been turning to fiction again lately, since my head starts spinning with new thought when I read non-fiction at bed time. A book that really made an impact on me was The Buddha in the attic by Julie Otsuka. It’s a strange read, but it captured me from page one, and made me feel as if I had to keep on reading. A little bit like I have to keep on breathing. That urge to draw one more breath, when the air has left my lungs, was the urge I had while reading this book. I just wanted to read one more page, hear the voice of yet one more – anonymous – Japanese bride. The book opened me up to a moment in history which I have not given much thought before.

Watched the movie Pay it forward with my two children last Friday. The eldest was amazed that I had never seen it before, but I just haven’t gotten around to it. Now I have though, and boy were we crying our eyes out at the end of the movie. It’s a lovely little film, because of the general message, which is paying it forward, meaning (in this film) to do something (big) for three other people, who in turn have to do something (big) for three other people and so on. It’s a concept I am fond of, and believe in, mostly because I see it as a way to jolt me into being human, rather than doing human. Why? Well, because what stops me from being human is usually just my thoughts. Thoughts of ”Oh, well I can’t make a difference, can I?”, ”What will this person think if I do something for them?” or even worse ”What might someone else think…”. Know what I mean? When I am being human, I connect to that which connects us all, all the time, and acts on it. Big or small, doesn’t really matter to me, but just being that person makes a difference.

Listen Read Watch

What have you been listening to, reading or watching this past month, that you’d like to share? Won’t you please write a comment (please write on on Lian’s original post as well, spreading your playlist to a larger audience as well!) and give us your best tips, ok?