Ten things I have been learning, lately

love you

  1. Every puzzle is more possible to solve than it first appears. There are always tools, tricks, allies, new approaches.
  2. The extent to which my level of introversion depends on the environment I find myself in. Surrounded by smart, interesting people, I can be as energised and engaged as a proper extrovert.
  3. That no-one else has all the answers, either.
  4. A useful metaphor about procrastination and attention that is helping me change my relationship to work. One of the monkey’s most useful insights: the importance of play and anticipation.
  5. How if something is meant to happen, it probably will eventually. At the same time, if it’s within your control to make it happen, you are never going to ‘feel like it’, so you may as well do it now. (Related: the art of self-administering a compassionate kick in the pants).
  6. Positive deviance: maybe just a particular kind of ‘strengths-based approach’ – the idea of solving problems within communities by looking for examples of people who have already solved the problem, and working out how to share their knowledge.
  7. The critical importance of storytelling: to make change, to build connection and to be heard.
  8. That some time in the last couple of decades, ‘catalyst’ became a strategic planning cliché. Which is a shame, because scientifically speaking, it’s a perfect metaphor for certain kinds of aspiration. A catalyst is small, almost nothing, but is exactly what’s needed to change everything.
  9. The value of workplace ritual: ordering, setting intention, making things happen. Post-it notes as spiritual mechanism.
  10. “If the path before you is clear, you’re probably on someone else’s.” – Joseph Campbell.

Thanks Marianne Elliott, whose writing inspired this post.

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