Building Positive Momentum

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When life goes well, let it be that way.

Change is such a buzzword. Change happens all the time. If you think about it in our experiences we tend to think change either as a) good b) bad.

Depending in the culture you are living in, you might have more or less bias towards action. Some cultures prefer a lot of action right away where are others are more of the ‘wait and see’ types.

There is no right or wrong.

When it comes to living a life where you feel good because of your actions, you’ll need to learn to recognize what is desirable and focus your limited actions to reinforcing that good. Often times no action is required: when things are well – let them be.

Too often we sabotage our own wellbeing.

Action is not always the best solution. Sometimes inaction is good solution too.

Do not confuse inaction with laziness, that’s a different breed. You’ll need to learn to recognize what kind of action creates waste and what kind of action creates value.

Either you need to focus on building more and more value, or find someone to who your waste is value. These both are rather good options.

You have limited time and focus. Use these limited time and focus to build something meaning, something positive and reinforce that positive momentum.

Once you’ve the positive momentum going, do not touch. Just seek to build on it. Build on every success you’ve, one brick at a time.

Pressure Reveals Ourselves and the Culture We Are Surrounded by.

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We can become that which we learn to be under pressure. By observing our thoughts, we can change our response, we can change our action and we can change our habits. We can change ourselves to take smarter action under pressure.

We can become smarter by taking smarter actions.

Top performers perform better under pressure, because they have more time to choose a better response. So can anyone become better at chosen action is the responses are better and you have more time to respond.

Pressure reveals how prepared we are, and how do we react to the pressure: do we have time to evaluate the best choices or do we mindlessly react like animals do?

More than ourselves, the way we react reflects the culture around us. For those who are in the culture, it is difficult to see. From outside its easier to observe that under pressure our behavior is often based or even copied from those who are close to us.

Pressure therefore not only reveals ourselves, it reveals the culture we are surrounded by.

Of course we do influence and get influenced by culture at the same time. What is in our own control is the respond to each situation and that’s it. Do you breathe for four seconds before reply or do you respond straight away? Do you have multiple choices or do you go with the first one that pop  into your heads.

Embrace the Odd

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You are a bit weird aren’t you? We all are rather weird, especially when we start to look closely.

In fact it is exactly because of our differences and diversity that makes life fun and worth living. This I wonderfully odd I am and still getting somehow along.

It’s surprising that a common language and a task can bring so many people together. This is what fascinates me about company cultures. Originally I started doing my thesis about company cultures, then later on I become so absorbed my current company that of course I cannot see the company culture anymore, because I am living it so strongly.

Culture is an unseen, strong force. A collective unwritten agreement on how people will act under pressure. What will the stress response be, that is the test of the culture.

Another interesting test is how does the culture handle the new and odd. Does it manage to embrace the change or resist it?  I work in a change management consultancy, so the people who are attracted there are very open minded and open to change as well. The differences and diversity sparks the creativity in my opinion. And it’s just not my own opinion as well, because most creative cities in the world across the times have been tolerant of the diversity.

It’s not just the diversity in others, it’s in ourselves as well that we have to be learn to embrace.

Oddity in ourselves is the thing we need to be proud of, because it is through that from where we can bring most value to other people.

Your Goals are Team Effort

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All great individuals have teams behind them. In fact when it comes to this, there are no great individuals at all, they are all part of the team.

To me this has taken almost three decades to realize and see, and to start grasping the true meaning of a team.

In western culture the individual seems to get attention in media for example and this creates false sense of what really made this possible. However, there are good examples too: credits of the movies for example or the acknowledgements in books, these both are eye opening to the number of people involved and gives slight hint of how much work and thought is behind a complete product.

In scientific research these are the references. We all are standing on the shoulders of the giants.

Whatever worthwhile you want to achieve, i.e. your purpose, your goals etc. You need a team. Whatever worthwhile you achieve is because of the team.

Be grateful.

Have a great day!

Janne

Fulfill Your Potential, Give Your Gift to the World

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Human mind tends to overestimate what is possible in the short run and underestimate what is possible in the long run.

This bias leads many, but not all. Through history there are people who have literally moved mountains or cut through them with small, daily actions repeated over thousands of days. You need to start to think your life in the same way: what small actions you can start doing today towards the realization of your grand goal?

If the goal feels unsurmountable, it’s not the right goal. Right goal is energizing if it were possible, you do not yet know. If you get too stuck on the totality of the goal, it will be depressing. Instead you should figure out some action, which will lead you probably to the right direction and then keep repeating these action each day. Eventually you will succeed, or die trying.

At least you tried 😉

How else we would ever to be know what is our potential, what we are capable in this life?

Even better, we should not think of ourselves too much as individuals trying to achieve something great. Start to think what is possible with co-operation and team work! Human beings are naturally social animals and we tremendously enjoy belonging and doing together. What is possible through super productivity is totally unknown. One plus one is more than two, always. In the same ways as two planks will hold much more weight as each plank individually, at best the social bonds will create much more than each one could ever do individually.

We are at least as much products of the culture (=other people) as we are our genes, and the biome we inherit. Thus nothing worthwhile should not be done alone: learn to co-operate and see how the pieces start to fit together.

Modern societies and businesses cannot operate without the power of this co-operation. We cannot specialize and dedicate our time to worthwhile efforts if our time is consumed to meet our very basic needs. With the division of labor we are getting some things right.

There still is a lot of potential in you and many others unharnessed, so it’s not a perfect system. However at least if you feel the frustration deep enough as I did nine years ago, you can start to do something about it and dedicate most of your free time to learn something more. Opportunities are not yet equal, however we should not blame our circumstances, in today and this age the opportunities are more abundant than ever.

For example:

  • Access to knowledge is great thanks to abundant libraries and internet.
  • The tools are more available than ever: i.e. you can write and publish a book, or a video very easily.

There are no excuses not to do, to start learning and to filling your potential. What is your gift to the world?

Summary: Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg

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Habits are worth studying and this is a one great book to get started. I had to summarize the key ideas to my blog as well, because I’ve a feeling that I will be referencing to it quite often in the near future.

“All our life, so far as it has definite form, is but a mass of habits” – William James, 1892

Our lives are made much of habits. Habits shape not only individual lives, but organizational lives as well as organizations are networks of people. People operate in where ever they go through habits. Cultures grow out of habits.

Habits can be formed consciously or unconsciously. Habit forms a habit loop: “New habits are created: by putting together a cue, a routine, and a reward, and then cultivating a craving that drives the loop.” Old habits cannot be deleted or forgotten conveniently, however almost any habit can be transformed if the cue and reward remain the say.

“Every habit, no matter its complexity , is malleable . The most addicted alcoholics can become sober . The most dysfunctional companies can transform themselves . A high school dropout can become a successful manager.”

Where does the change begin? Again, Duhigg refers to William James who has written the Will to Believe: “will to believe is the most important ingredient in creating belief in change.” Then he refers to NFL Coach Tony Dungy as well, who had said that “belief is the biggest part of success in professional football.” Will to believe, opens the possibility to beliefs. Then Duhigg brings up the concept of small win, which enables teams to believe that the bigger success can be achieved.

“Movements don’t emerge because everyone suddenly decides to face the same direction at once. They rely on social patterns that begin as the habits of friendship , grow through the habits of communities , and are sustained by new habits that change participants ’ sense of self.”


Book: Power of Habits by Charles Duhigg @Goodreads @Amazon @WWW

Nature of Willpower

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Although willpower sounds very powerful, it’s power within the context of making the change happen is rather momentary and fleeting. To make a more lasting change, we need to harness the power of more recurring forces, like habits and culture.

Willpower is however interesting phenomenon that can trigger very important changes. With willpower we can finally have the spark to do a thing we have been procrastinating. Right use of willpower, in the key moments is like pushing down the first domino. To make sure that the rest of the dominoes line up we need to be aware of the power of habits in our personal life and of culture on a more social level.

Willpower is momentarily force that cannot be sustained for very long. Like all conscious efforts, willpower drains a lot of energy and therefore it’s just a spark in the dark.

As we become aware of the energy system we are. We can understand our actual needs, and then we can use this willpower in the key moments: when the dominoes are lined up so to speak to have the maximum impact.

Winning Culture

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Winning culture is a story that manages to sell itself over and over again.

There is a big but!

A culture, where people do not hold on to the common values, tends to become decadent drug ring type of thing.

In culture where people have personal and shares values,  the cultures ability to sell itself to increasing audiences does make the culture.

Culture of Extraordinary Results

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Which is more impressive:

  • Oridnary people doing extraordinary things
  • Extraordinary people doing extraordinary things?

I think it’s the ordinary people doing extraordinary things. Especially this can happen when there is a group of people who exceed all expectations. Superproductivity. Flourishing. Thriving. Whatever you want to call it!

What makes this happen, is people themselves. When people feel safe and trusted at work, they know their goals and what’s expected of them this kind of fun creative force starts to take over.

Much of it boils down to the culture. Leaders are the conductors of the culture.

Potential is something unseen and unexpected that can only blossom in a such environment. It’s like a spring: fruitful abundance.

Discovering The Thing

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We become good at what we do.

Today I was confronted with the fact that I’ve probably mastered some tasks and it would be useful to think what are the next things I want to master professionally. Although in general direction I’ve good idea, on this micro level I am not so clear yet.

In my youth I’ve spent most of my time as far as I can remember with games and anime. That part of my personality I still sometimes find difficult to match with real life, although I am getting better at it.

I’ve grown in Finland, English is the first thing I’ve felt like I succeed in ever since I was a kid. I’ve sought out the Japanese and Asian cultures. It’s a kind of interesting mix.

Yet we all are. Maybe I am a hybrid of global cultures, yet we all are also very mixed up genetically. There was the ad by Momondo, which makes this point very well. Human memory does tricks to us, and we forget our relatives, where we’ve come from. In actuality we are all kind of family.

It is through these interesting mixes that we are able to create. Create something new, remix something old. Express and leave our dents to the universe.

What do you want to do?