Curiosity as my secret sauce

Yesterday morning I discovered curiosity as my secret sauce. Curiosity as a go-to-state. When I put on my curious glasses I can’t be grumpy, or disappointed or judgmental at the same time. Not at myself, not at others either. Maybe that has always been my secret sauce, my super power? I loved school and learning, was it really because it triggered my curiosity? The kind of subjects I’ve studied that logically should never have been able to excite me – but then a teacher (Karen, Kit: macroeconomics!) or a fellow student or something else got me curious. Sometimes maybe even the fact that it was so far from my current sphere that it had to be explored. When first my curiosity was triggered, there was no stopping me. With our daughter currently travelling London, another example came to mind: becoming au pair in London when I had only ever babysat once (with poor results) and generally had no interest in or experience with small kids. But this amazing mother inspired me, she had a marketing background, had run her own Cafe, cheeky and fun, and I became SO curious about these two little boys, these fascinating human beings, how different … More Curiosity as my secret sauce »

I’m grumpy!! Let me have it!

Positivity is overrated. If you’ve lost a sports game the politically correct “it’s ok, we did our best” can be super annoying. If you really feel you didn’t play well, that comment is not helpful. It’s NOT OK: I’m grumpy, angry, upset – let me HAVE it! The positive psychology movement through the last decades meant well but made it WRONG to have BAD feelings, and GOOD to have POSITIVE feelings. A deeper understanding of ourselves and others – and personal growth – starts from appreciating ALL emotions. There is no good or bad emotion, they are all signs and reactions to something stirring us inside – and we should listen and take it on board. This goes for sports. For relationships. For teams. Bottling up our “bad” emotions makes it worse – and resentment sets in. Can you please let yourself and others call it what it is – let them have their moment, don’t take it personally. This has been the biggest stretch and learning for me in the last year, I’ve truly come from a “the sun is shining – and if it’s not it’s right there behind the clouds” philosophy. I’m happy and proud about it … More I’m grumpy!! Let me have it! »

Process is not a dirty word

Buying Christmas presents today, I was reminded of the power of processes. Agreed steps of action and set expectations. So many of us get nauseous around words like processes, systems, routines or standards. We believe that our personal freedom and expression craves impulsiveness and “winging it”. The power is in the combination. So, if you’re feeling the resistance in you right now, if the above words are dirty words to you, please lean in and look forward to the ride. Bringing things into a system HELPS us focus our time and energy on the creativity and expression – because we’re not constantly busy cleaning up the mess, running around confused or fighting fires because no-one knew who should have done what and when. What many of us is holding onto as “creative freedom”, is really creating a waste of our time. Reinventing the wheel for basic things that do not need reinventing. Wasting our time figuring out the best way, for something that’s been done many, many times by others. Keep the basics predictable and reliable. Introduce routines, discipline and standards for the backbone of the experience you offer. Whether you’re a one-man-band or a big organisation. Back to my … More Process is not a dirty word »

Me… butthurt?!? The 4 steps to owning your own stuff.

What’s the worst version of yourself? The moments you’re not proud of, the ones not shared on social media. Is it when you’re bitter, angry, sad, lonely or maybe like me, butthurt? We tend to have a version of ourselves that we present to others. And then we have the other side. The parts of ourselves that we have shame or embarrassment around, because they are not as attractive for others, based on our conclusions from life so far. The trick to emotional intimacy is, like for all other things, practice. Why would we want to practice it? To accept that all emotions are good signals for us – they don’t need to be sorted into a list of good and bad emotions. And they don’t need to be shared with others as we practice. Learning the piano, we do have a go ourselves and the piano for a bit, before we take it to the concert hall, right? As we get more aware of all of our emotions and allow them to show, they don’t scare us anymore – whether coming from ourselves or others. Let’s get clear: getting intimate with our emotions is not about wallowing in them, … More Me… butthurt?!? The 4 steps to owning your own stuff. »

Can Good Hearts create results?

I’ve never commented on politics – I have my views, but have seldom seen constructive outcomes from different sides discussing. But I’m so curious about this, and would love to hear your views: Obama was cherished by the global community at large, but seen by many Americans to not have created the results for their country that they wanted. I know there are always many reasons, but let’s not talk about the small stuff. As Eleanor Roosevelt said: great minds talk about ideas, average minds talk about events, and small minds talk about people. So, let’s not talk about (or judge?) people, but share a conversation around the idea: Do you create as many tangible results with a good heart and empowering ways? Or are our countries and economies and minds still wired to reacting with better results to a more single-minded, directing way? Because there you have Trump, and even if personally I am not aligned at all with his ways, I am always curious to understand both sides. And I do hear how he is creating results for his country. So please don’t comment on him as a person, instead, ponder about which part of his ways are … More Can Good Hearts create results? »

Delayed ruminating

We all have around 70,000 thoughts a day. The biggest difference in how we perceive the quality of our day is linked to how we manage all of these thoughts. Metacognitive therapy has had great results dealing with depression simply by limiting the amount of time clients spend ruminating over the things that worry us or what’s called trigger thoughts. Remarkable results through a few steps practised and followed up professionally: 1)    Become aware of the trigger thoughts 2)    Define a certain time a day for ruminating – for example, every night 8-9pm 3)    Every time during the day you catch yourself reacting to a trigger thought, you delay that ruminating: “I’ll come back to that at 8 pm” Limiting the amount of time spent turning, twisting and twirling the negative or worried thoughts is the key. It’s NOT changing negative thoughts into positive, it’s NOT trying to empty your mind and not think at all (how can we possibly with 70,000 thoughts a day?). It’s realising we ourselves have a choice: as the trigger thought pops up, decide to delay ruminating about it until 8 pm in your defined ruminating slot. During the day, we then practice doing two … More Delayed ruminating »

Human doings?

We’re trying so hard getting it right, doing it right. I could go into yr 12 anxiety and pressure, but I won’t. Sitting in the parking lot of our local shopping centre, seeing all the perfect versions of families, couples and individuals coming and going. And realising how we’re all trying to get it right. All the time. Or the opposite: if we fear we can’t, we make it messy, to prove we’re not worth it. Let’s stop pretending. The endless doing to prove we’re good enough. Apply yourself, do lots. But let go of the outcome. You are good enough. Exactly as you are. There’s a reason we’re not called human doings. We’re human beings after all.

What makes YOUR heart sing?

A weekend of singing. With 40 awesome people. Practicing for our upcoming gig. But also creating great conversations: with the newer ones you haven’t had a chance to talk to yet and getting closer to those you already know. Singing, grooving, eating, laughing, dancing, playing games. While getting super ready and pumped for the performance. Do I feel like the luckiest one? What makes YOUR heart sing? What brings you joy and energy? That you can bring into your everyday life, your work, your business, the things that may not be as easy as you would like them to at the moment? Having a hobby is a great thing. Making time for it is YOUR responsibility. If this is stirring your pot, find out what it could be for you, and how to make it happen before the end of the year. Your future self will thank you for it.

The perpetual potential pitfall?

Do you often get excited about something new that’s possible for you, but never get around to doing anything about it? Or take one step (often including buying sporting equipment (!?!), a book or something else to start this new, exciting path), but then don’t do anything more about it? That’s the definition of perpetual potential. The excitement of what’s possible, but never stepping up to the mark. We all do it, and if it’s dreaming, it’s all good. But if it’s something you really want, over time you’ll start blaming yourself for not making it happen. We get excited about this possibility, we buy something to get started – BUT, we never apply it. That’s why the potential is perpetual: it lasts forever, the potential is always there ahead of us, but never cashed in, so to speak. Did you know, that most books bought are never opened? Or if opened, never read start to finish? That’s a perfect example of this (and less costly than sporting equipment!). We humans are walking contradictions. We really WANTED to make this happen, but the second we bought that helping remedy, the mind ticked it off the list: “… now I HAVE done … More The perpetual potential pitfall? »

Sushi train of thoughts

We all have around 70,000 thoughts a day. No wonder it can get a bit overwhelming?! The beauty is though, that it doesn’t matter how many thoughts we have flying past – what matters are those we grab and hang onto, take for a spin, ponder and let linger: they are the ones that risk dragging us down. A really refreshing tactic came from recent, successful work to help people with depression, which we can all learn from: limit the amount of time a day, you dive into the worrying, ruminating thoughts. Aha! It’s NOT changing negative thoughts into positive ones, it’s NOT trying to empty your mind and not think at all (how can we possibly with 70,000 thoughts a day?). It’s limiting the amount of time we allow ourselves to give the worrying thoughts attention. Specifically, set a time a day that becomes your routine “worry wort time”. Let’s say 8-9pm every day. Whenever during the day, you catch yourself jumping onto the worry train, jump off: you will worry about it at 8pm (and no, you do not need to write a note about it). Simplified, it’s us observing our thoughts like a sushi train. Noticing the … More Sushi train of thoughts »