One Apple A Day #826 – where do you point your attention?

When a problem or challenge arises, and you become aware of it, you have to make a choice.
There is no way out because even not choosing is a choice.
You have to decide where to point your attention.
You can close your eyes and act as if the problem doesn’t exist. After a while, you may even convince yourself of that.
You can stare at the challenge hoping that somehow it will sort out on its own.
You can point your attention to your feet or up to the sky, waiting for someone or something else to sort everything out for you.
You can look backwards, hoping to go back to life as it was before you became aware of the challenge. When the grass was greener, and everything was better.
You can point your attention forward, beyond the challenge to find a way out or a way through.
Or you can make your unique mix of different nuances of all those choices.
There are not good or bad choices, per se.
It’s your choice, it will reflect who you are and where you are in your life journey.
However, be aware that the decision of where you point your attention will inform the outcome. My wish for you is for your choice to be a conscious one.

Picture from BeTheChange cards by Vanessa Jane Smith.

One Apple A Day #815 – external disruptor

Yesterday I learned about this idea from Marcia Reynolds, one of the most amazing coaches I know.

The external distruptor.

She says that “we don’t change well on our own.” We are trapped inside an invisible web of thinking patterns, beliefs and stories that limit our ability to see beyond. And because we can’t see this web, we can’t get through it, and we run in circles, stuck where we are.

To see this net and rip off its wires, an external disruption is needed; something or someone outside our head that disrupts our thinking patterns, challenges our stories and prompt us to wonder why we think the way we do.

In his book, Liminal Thinking, Dave Gray wrote that “if you’re part of the system you want to change, you’re part of the problem.

That is true also when the system is me.

To change my system, an external disruptor is needed.

Being an external disruptor for others.

That is who I love to be.

That is what I like to do.

One Apple A Day #796 – sense the future

As they say, we can only connect the dots looking backwards.
To me, that means we can only make sense of things in hindsight or, in the best case, while they are happening.
Our sense-making skills then are less useful when it comes to the future.
Sure, when we make sense of the past, from the immediate to the remote one, we can make forecasts about what may happen.
But predictions are based on the assumption that the future will unfold consistently with the past.
But that’s not always the case.
Plus, this approach makes us blind to the unexpected.
If we rely solely on our sense-making skills, then, we may miss out opportunities or be overwhelmed by something that doesn’t make sense, yet it happens.
That’s why, to deal with the uncertainties of the future, we must reclaim our sensing skills. Something that kids have in abundance. Because they can’t make sense of most of what they experience, they have to rely on their ability to sense. Same for our ancestors. They didn’t have our knowledge and our tools to make sense of what was happening around them. To survive and thrive, they needed to sharpen their sensing skills.
In such an uncertain time then, I believe we should take the time to reawaken our ability to sense.
To me, it is a challenge because sensing has no words, no numbers, not even thoughts. All things that come only afterwards. Because I can’t explain what I sense, it’s hard for me to act on it.
Though anytime I do it, magic happens.

One Apple A Day #709 – build on love

We need to change things to prevent this from happening again. We must avoid going back to how things were before. 

These are two sentences I often hear lately, and they made me think. Recently, someone reminded me that after every big global shock, humanity reacted creating new structures or configurations. 

The UN was created after World War II to prevent future wars. The same for what evolved into the current European Union. After 9/11, many changes were made to the way we travel and live.

Yet, here we are. With all these structures showing fragilities and struggling to provide answers to the challenges we are facing.

Energy informs configuration. And the energy from which those systems and structures were sourced was one of fear. As a result, they feed on that fear so they can’t really create the way forward unless they don’t shift on a different energy.

So, this is my wish. 

For individuals, families, communities, organisations, and countries.

That whatever new system, structures or configuration that will emerge from these circumstances, they will be sourced from love, compassion and courage. 

Not as a way to escape from something. 

Not as a way to avoid or protect something. 

But as a way to move forward and create a better future for everyone

One Apple A Day #675 – state of confusion

Richard Phillips Feynman was undoubtedly a genius. He may not be as popular as other scientists, but his contribution to quantum physics was essential. For his work on the development of quantum electrodynamics, Feynman received the Nobel Prize in Physics in 1965.

He was the kind of guy you’d expect to be incredibly knowledgeable and capable of understanding everything anytime. Instead, as you can hear from his own voice in the video below, he admitted that he was, more often than not, in a state of confusion.

You see, it’s tempting to think of the great innovators and geniuses as superhumans with the incredible power of seeing the answers, knowing the direction, and envisioning what’s next with clarity. 

However, as Feynman revealed, the real power lies in their inability to understand things and acknowledge it not as a weakness, but as an opportunity. A source of wonder. 

Obviously, Feynman knew a lot of things. But, he found pleasure in not knowing and being forced to figure things out.

If there is one thing we can learn from the great innovators of the past, is that to create impactful results, we have to muddle through, with no guarantee of success while seeing the perfection of uncertainty. 

Most of us approach innovation because we want results. Preferably predictable results. 

But, as Feynman taught us, it’s only when we become comfortable with living in a state of confusion, that we can create wonder.

I learn about Feynman and his state of confusion from this article by Greg Satell