OMG – am I an introvert??

Most of you, who have met me, would say no. I like being around people, like talking and do occasionally end up centre of attention with a good story… Well, well, what if it wasn’t as black and white as that? Who here treasure time on your own? Thought so. And who here need downtime after lots of socialising? Thought so, too. We are not one or the other. And there IS no right or wrong – even if society, the schooling system, workplaces with open offices and many other places make us believe being extroverted is the only thing that counts. It’s not as simple as “do you prefer partying or staying home alone?”. How social we are, may give a hint, but our preference is as much about how we motivate ourselves – do we get energy from others, from outside, or do we get our energy from within. As always, there is value in diversity. Have you noticed, how the best conversation partners are often more introverted? They actually LISTEN, they aren’t too busy talking about themselves, and often they have a deep knowledge and understanding of lots of fascinating subjects. I’m very fortunate to be surrounded … More OMG – am I an introvert?? »

When a lot is not enough…

Who else than Danish TV would show ‘De perfekte piger’ (the perfect girls), where four girls in their early twenties meet weekly to help each other let go of the mask of the perfect girl? Well, I don’t know any other countries I’ve lived or worked in, who would. It’s pretty confronting to watch, because it’s not glamour or talk-show or famous-people-surviving-on-an-island: it’s everyday girls. And it’s confronting because most of you reading this would either know the perfect girl from yourselves or have girls or women in your lives who know that role all too well…. They may be 8, 11, 14, 17, 21, 35, 47, 56, 69, 77, 84 or…. They try so hard, and it’s never enough. Because when we define perfect in our heads, it’s the best-possible-façade that we see others put on during school, work, family gatherings, shopping or on social media. It is based on the little pockets in time, where someone, somewhere has got it all together. It’s NEVER a realistic full-week-in-someone’s-life where you compare your everyday life to their everyday life, with all the ups and downs, disappointments and joys, misunderstandings and glimpses of contentment. It’s a comparison that will never be … More When a lot is not enough… »

As sheep – or fish??

Some of us try most of our lives to be like everyone else – fitting in, doing what others would like us to do, say and think. It resembles sheep, doesn’t it? There are many reasons for choosing to not act independently. It feels safer in the short run, definitely easier, and takes no bravery. But instead of feeling bad about it, let’s reframe being like sheep to moving like fish?! Fish are shoaling for social reasons, but it also gives protection against predators, higher success of foraging and less energy use. Sounds familiar? How great it is to sometimes NOT have to think, to just follow suit, be part of the team. The protection of fitting in. So, let’s accept that sometimes we need it. That it’s nice. Schooling like fish is like a little rest, a nice cruise with a given direction, going with the flow. And then appreciate our need to sometimes break out, to go off on our own. To think differently, shine our own light, be independent – the unicorn of fish? Whether you’re resting at the moment in the safety and anonymity of moving with the crowd. Or whether you’re sensing the urge to … More As sheep – or fish?? »

Hello…., I’m talking to you!

The Positive Thinking movement is overrated. It’s great to know we can change our thoughts, and focus on the positive, on what we’re grateful for. But. So often, that voice will very quickly be overtaken by the inner critic. So, what about we acknowledge that it’s there? Hello…. inner critic, I’m talking to you! I need a word with you. And to most people’s surprise, that word is ‘Thank You’! Because that loop of self-criticism is really just our egos trying to keep us safe. Wanting us to stay in our box. Stay put. So, the best way of opening that dialogue – which may be a very new one for you –  is saying thank you. Thanks voice, for wanting to keep me safe. I’ve got this. This time, you’re not invited to the party. I may not get it right, but I’m gonna have a go. I’m good enough as I am. And right now, I’m doing that thing I’ve been keeping away from. You’re not invited, I’ve got this. With clients, I get them to dress up their inner critic. Give that self-talk, the critical voice in your head, a new pitch – what about making it … More Hello…., I’m talking to you! »

Are your decisions quick?

Successful people make decisions quickly, and change them slowly. Yet, most of us take forever deliberating, procrastinating, pondering, wondering, worrying about a decision to be made – and never get to making it! How much wasted time and worry is that?? So, what about choosing a handier strategy for decisions: deciding to make them quickly going forward? The simplest way is by using Richard Branson’s bullet proof decision tree: 1) what’s the worst thing that can happen? 2) can I handle that? For some of you, that is scarily simple – and if you want, we can make it more complex and add a few steps. But what about trying it this coming week, using these two questions and having fun making quick decisions? Start with little decisions to get you going, and enjoy ramping it up. OK, now for those of you, who simply can’t deal with something that simple – here is a brain twister to keep you entertained, while making up your mind: “What will happen if I do this?” “What won’t happen if I do this?” “What will happen if I don’t do this?” “What won’t happen if I don’t do this?” You’ll be amazed at … More Are your decisions quick? »

Asking myself WHAT??

The quality of our life is determined by the quality of the questions we ask ourselves. Unfortunately, most of us ask ourselves really rubbish questions. You know, how great leaders ask great questions – instead of just telling people what to do, which is common, but a low standard of leadership. Well, for all of us, leaders of businesses, teams – and leaders of life – most of the questions we ask, never pass our lips. They are part of the constant self-talk in our heads, the looping noise. Starting the day with (self-talk) questions like: ‘How am I going to manage all this?’ or ‘Why me?’ or ‘How am I going to get through this day?’ is pretty common for even the best. But we give our brains very little chance of high quality answers with such a low starting point. Our brain’s best options would be answering ‘You’re not’, ‘Because that’s what always happens’ and ‘Barely breathing’. So, what about setting the bar a little higher? A good place to start is with these 7 quality questions, that give your brain an opportunity to actually look for a quality answer (from Awaken the Giant within). You have to … More Asking myself WHAT?? »

Passport to the world

Becoming a global citizen, what does that entail? After getting my second passport, a friend on Facebook played with the idea of having passports for “citizens of the world” – how good would that be? I imagine it would mean free entry to all countries, honorary dinners at the “citizens of the world club” and a fascinating Facebook community sharing key insights to living truly globally. Of course, you would have to pass a test to get this citizenship, maybe with language tests on at least 3 fluent languages and showcasing experiences from at least 5 different cultures? Speaking different languages is such a gift. Because you really get to understand a culture when you understand the structure of the language and the thinking behind it. I must admit my benchmark went to another level on a flight to Europe, sitting next to a former correspondent speaking 17 languages, including currently having a go at Vietnamese – his first ever attempt at a Tone language. How fascinating is that?? I may be nerdy, but it got me very excited learning about the principles of a Tone language, and my number of spoken languages suddenly felt a bit average. It’s always … More Passport to the world »

Like teenagers again

Some friends of ours slept in the car the other week, coming back to the grandparents’ place after a great night and finding themselves locked out. It can’t get more teenager than that – sleeping the last few hours of the night in a car outside your parents’ place. Fabulous. That’s exactly what we need to do more of. All of us. Enjoying ourselves, taking time to just be, to have fun with people we like hanging out with. Exactly like we (may or may not!) have done as teenagers. If you didn’t, grab a second chance. Celebrating friends’ 50th at the moment, we and lots around us have that freedom coming back now with kids looking after themselves. But it doesn’t matter if you, reading this, have kids or not. If you’re in your 20’s, 30’s or 40’s, in a high-pressure career or retired – it doesn’t matter at all. The point is, as we’re so busy becoming responsible adults, doing the things we’ve seen others do as adults, we forget. We forget that the most important thing is to keep your childlike curiosity alive, to tap into your teenage-like enjoyment and laissez-faire now and then. What’s something teenagish … More Like teenagers again »

Snoring….. who me??

I’m a snorer. And when I say that at social gatherings, a lot of husbands start laughing and nudging their wives, so I guess I’m not the only one?! Like with everything in life, when you start being open about your flaws and problems, others relax and feel that they’re OK with being human, too. I’ve nearly made it into a positive: it must mean that I’m so relaxed when I sleep, that I really let go of any turmoil of the day. But then, another thought creeped in: I recalled a dental specialist I chatted to years ago, telling he could see by looking at you, if you snore… Oh. That’s a bit creepy, like the Christmas song where Santa “sees you when you’re sleeping, he knows when you’re awake…”. Anyway, unfortunately I didn’t dig deeper back then, finding out HOW he knew (the specialist, not Santa!). So, in my mind it has grown bigger: this image of him checking out people in the supermarket queue, at meetings and in conversation. What is it, he’s looking for?? What’s the signature, snorer cue? I create answers like “a loose, hanging double chin”, heavy overweight – or simply diagnosing a loose … More Snoring….. who me?? »

No fluff

There is no fluff in living from your heart. It is challenging, takes bravery and will be met with disdain. Because it provokes people meeting a person taking off masks, diluting and dissolving labels. When our auto setting is hiding behind arguments, creating conflict or placing blame. World peace doesn’t come from sitting around saying nice things to each other. It comes from all of us taking responsibility for our own shit, dealing with it to the best of our ability, and not just passing it on to the next person. Results come from contrasts and challenges overcome – and results is not a dirty word (for those of you scrunching your noses right now thinking results only belong in the business world). We are all getting results all the time – whether you like your results or not, is a whole-new kettle of fish. Let’s call it feedback. Living from your heart only works if you’re getting the results you are planning for at the same time – otherwise it’s just another convenient label for hiding and letting yourself off the hook. So, did you get the outcomes you wanted this year? If not, what are YOU gonna change … More No fluff »