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Opportunity

The expected and unexpected is ripe with opportunity, it is a matter of observation and perspective. Even if you are starting today with a same-old habitual activity (doing Saturday morning laundry)  there is a new way of seeing it and a different way of looking at it. The task can have become rote and monotonous but if you approach it with a different purpose (or some intent), the outcome may be similar but the purpose and process might change.

The unexpected poses an array of possibilities, mostly your choice to make. How you chose to react, reflect, and interpret the new circumstance create a temporary frame around the events. You can change the frame by making different choices. When the frame changed the picture looks different.

Choose to see each event today as an opportunity,

B

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Is Enough ever Enough?

How much stuff do we need to fill our lives? How much stuff do we need to maintain our homes, yards, or toys?

Does everyone need a lawnmower or can two/three neighbours share? You would save money, save the environment (face it all the crap we accumulate eventually gets thrown away) and likely build community with those around you. Make sure to set up some guidelines like who will do maintenance, storage, return in good/clean condition.

Start with something small like yard tools and maybe you can save ton’s o’cash by sharing other stuff with family, friends, and neighbours.

Have you tried using libraries? Car-share services? Public transit?

I know I have enough of many things and am tempted to buy new  books, new shoes, a new digital toy. I am spring cleaning over the next couple of weeks. If you live in Calgary, I am purging more than 50 books from my shelves. If you are interested, leave a comments or send me an email bob@remarkablepeople.ca. All books  unclaimed will go to Calgary Reads Book Sale 

 

Make Today Remarkable by needing less,

B

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Moral Compass

As a society, we seem to be driven or at least conditioned to head towards an economic north. The magnetism revolves around an as yet to be disproved theory about markets, capital and people. We are turned towards financial return, budget surpluses, fiscal responsibility and all the supporting forces continue to convince us that this is ‘right and as it should be’.  The more we read, hear or see that directs us to affirming the thesis, the less we consider an alternative approach our day, our life, our mission.

I have been complicit in this experiment. Like iron on a paper with a horseshoe magnet underneath, I have lined up like an arrow pointing to the single-minded force of ROI. I allowed my discernment to be clouded and came to expect 15-20% returns without asking “how is that possible” or” what do they need to do/nor do to achieve these rates?”. The seductive pull becomes even more irresistible as the gains seem to multiply the theory’s power.

For the past year I have attempted to question how I can receive a return without compromising my espoused values. I have divested and reinvested in an alignment attempt and then needed to ask new questions about the implications an consequences of the new approach. What if the first principle wasn’t return but principles? What if the first principles of equity, responsibility, capability and community become the criteria and the metric? How would we orient our life? Would my decisions be different than what I chose yesterday?

Are you ready to explore how far apart true north and magnetic north are?

B

 

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Anticipation

Is there something lurking around a corner? Is there a niggling nudging your noggin? Is your heart a twitter with excitement of the unknown moment ahead?

I  have been carrying an edge of not quite worry – not quite expectation for a week. I have tried desperately to quell it, ignore it, and deny it. I can’t name it, I can’t put a handle on it, I can’t watch for it. It is lingers outside my near focus but won’t recede completely out of my attention.

Maybe there is a process, a set of questions, a state of mind that will either pull this near or push it far. I recall an episode of “Big Bang Theory” where Sheldon tried to see his work/world from a different part of his brain. (That is partially why I am hoping cathartic writing will do the trick). He went to work in the Cheesecake Factory.  I am going to turn my focus to something else and let  the image decide when to appear (or not) and any anxiety and frustration melt away (I hope).

Have you found a trick to being mindful and aloof at the same time?

B

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Ready, Fire, Aim and Fire Again

Planning can be helpful, planning perfection can be paralyzing. I am reading Next City’s The Future of Street Design and am amazed at the pilots that are described that bypassed red tape  in favor of doing stuff (well reasoned but not belaboured stuff) and then diligently observe and adapt the scheme. The selected cases show lessons learned that lead to permanent design changes and a couple of pilots that were abandoned very early (lesson learned).

I am applying the ‘build fast, fail early, fix’ approach to some social issues and startups that I am working on. What is we took each day or each hour as a pilot? Would we experiment more? Differently? Would each 3 second moment carry more/less energy and import?

My standard disclaimer is that I am an impatient imperfectionist with a serious action bias so doing something (that makes sense in the moment) and fixing or tweaking as needed. I use that technique in most of my independent work but haven’t shared, very often,  the process with colleagues when working towards some shared goals.

I am excited to try something new rather than rely on practice and approach that I already know will work in some measure but that is still unsettling and unsatisfying. Would you be willing to try a rapid-do approach to your weekend? If you give it a whirl, we would be thrilled to hear your experience.

 

Make This Weekend Remarkable,

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