add castors

wheels ...

Do you read blogs which reinforce what you believe and do?

Or do you read blogs which are inspiring?

Maybe you read posts which encourage you to move?  Change your mind?  Read a book?  Join an action group?  Start something?  Deliver something?

I think most people want to do something meaningful for others with their lives.  Some wait for opportunities to come to them – some call it luck, others fortune.

Others know stuff the rest of us don’t appear to.  That is, to put in effort changes the game.  They realise with hard work and lots of practice, more “luck” or “fortune” or “opportunities” turn up.

And there’s another benefit.  If you wait for a break to come your way, the chances are you won’t recognise it or be able to grab it.   For those who work for the opportunities, there’s been loads of stuff which hasn’t worked – but they get better at seeing the opportunities – and, in the last year, though lots of things have failed, there’s been plenty that has worked – which means they’ve grabbed the opportunities.

I’d made myself a note to write a post about castors, after reading about d.school‘s practice of attaching castors to all their furniture, making it possible for them to move everything in their creative spaces (I read this in Make Space – a book I’m enjoying much).

It got me thinking about what would happen if we could add castors to our lives, making everything movable – the things we know, how we do things, where we go.

What would these castors be?  Reading something new (or old, sometimes, as Nassim Taleb encourages us), watching TED videos, getting together with others in conversations with purpose (check out the local Meetup possibilities), even getting up a little earlier in the day to get more done – all these and more are ways of adding wheels to our lives.

What do you think?

go deep

Image

Skimming through the years –
Life is big and bright and bold
Deep down – beyond me

The design and innovation company Ideo asks the question Why? five times when it’s working on something.  They go deep.

When I was a volunteer assessor for the Institute of Advanced Motorists, I’d ask the driver to share a driving commentary with me.  The commentary allowed me to know how far ahead the driver was seeing, their readings of the instruments, and what they knew to be behind us.  The IAM takes drivers deeper.

What about your life?  If you’re always in a rush, are you  skimming, rather than going deep.

The problem is, life isn’t fulfilling when we skim.

The world’s problems aren’t solved when we skim.

Otto Scharmer (Theory U) suggests this way of living carries the mantra, I-in-me.  Me in my little world.  But I can stop skimming, suspending how I see and understand, becoming more curious, and then I find I can go deeper.

Now my living bears the mantra, I-in-it.  There’s a bigger world out there.  I’ve mentioned before how author Umberto Eco possesses a library of 30,000 books, most of which he hasn’t read, but they remind himself of how much he doesn’t know.  If I enter into the world of what I am observing, then I can go deeper still: to see and understand it from within.

Now my living mantra is I-in-you.   I begin to see something as you see it, how you comprehend it,and how it feels to you.  My world grows bigger still, and I begin to see emerging possibilities for how we can act, how I can act, which I couldn’t see before … and I go deeper still.

Now my living mantra is I-in-now.  I see how I can act and think and do.  I get to try things out (prototyping), and then produce what is meaningful and generous and hopeful.

So, going deep isn’t to get stuck in complexity but to find freedom.

Of course, it’s difficult and sometimes scary and the temptation is to keep on skimming, but to really live before we die, we have to go deep.

(Inspired by Hugh MacLeod’s Start Up)