Tuesday, December 22, 2009

Musical Chairs: One of life's lessons?

The excerpt below Is from The book: A Fraction of the whole by Steven Tolz
I find his analogy very interesting and wondered how many of you like me, share(d) the same views or memories on this particular childhood horror.

Please share your memoirs on the things you disliked and LIKED about childhood.


The life lessons never stop at a children's party.
The music blares.You never know when it's going to stop.
You're on the edge the whole game; the tension is unbearable.
Everyone dances in a circle around the ring of chairs but it's no happy dance.
Everyone has his eyes on the mother over by the radio, her hand poised on the volume control.
Now and then a child wrongly anticipates her, he dives for a chair. He's shouted at.
he jumps off the seat again. He's a wreck. The music plays on.
The children's faces are contorted in terror. No one wants to be excluded.
The mother taunts the chidren by pretending to reach for the volume.
The children wish she were dead.

The game is an analogy for life: there are not enough chairs or good times to go around, not enough food, not enough joy, nor beds nor laughs nor friends nor smiles nor money nor clean air to breathe... and yet the music goes on.

Monday, December 21, 2009

What is your new year's resolution?

My new year's resolution is to get physically fit again. I have actually started following through as I commenced running again this month. I enjoy being out there on my own, quieting my busy mind and "feeling" my body again. Things suddenly got nasty last week when the ice-age arrived and brought with it my old white enemy: Mister Snow.
Mister Snow and I have respectfully kept out of each other's territory. He knowing that an African in a cold climate is complicated and me knowing to keep out of his way.

When the old guy turned up big time a few days ago and decided to throw a party, I was at first astounded. I am ashamed to say that he gave me a good licking and I stayed indoors for days nursing my easily frostbitten appendages and seething from within.
Luckily today the primal call in my bones egging me to go out and move was too strong to ignore. So this evening I marched resolutely into the snow storm for a showdown with the old enemy.

And what a beautiful world of shrouded silence I encountered! The air crisp and pure and intoxicating. I was expecting that my toes would roll over and die within minutes as they usually do but for the first time in all my 15 years of cold climate survival, nothing happened!
Never mind the teenagers whose evening fun was sealed as they watched me almost scale the nearest tree, half dead from the shock of their illicit fireworks.
Today I overcame myself and made a new friend: "Me and Mister Snow ieez like 2 peas in a pod now";-)

So tell me, What self-imposed limitations are you going to give a licking come 2010?

Friday, December 18, 2009

The Social Networking Handbook :The power of Randomness and Serendipity

The power of The Random and Serendipity.
In business and networking I still meet business people who tell me that they don’t do business beyond a certain city or regional limit. Or that they never connect online with people they don’t know.
This form of shortsightedness never ceases to amaze me. It always leads me to asking these questions which I believe are essential to all businesspeople:
Taking/Getting:
Do I want success? Do I want to excel in what I do? Do I want to be well known for what I do? Do I want Profit?
Giving/Sharing:
Am I in a network so that others besides myself can gain from it?Do I add value to my network? Is the success of others also important to me? Can I connect 2 people to one another without expecting any form of gain?
The 2nd group of questions are not usually answered within 1 second.
Business people who understand that networking is not about what’s in it for me also understand that there’s value in the helping others. They also understand the power of weak ties, random contacts and serendipity. This means that the best chances are often hidden in the folds of coincidence and in those contacts we make and pass on to others. Though you may not need my services or products, and we may be separated by a yawning geographical distance; there are always secondary connections which we can pass on.
Connecting others may not bring you instant financial gratification but you have added value and value leads to (more) social credits and new opportunities. The beauty of value is that it grows cumulatively in ripples that reflect back to you.
The point of the matter is: We should think further than the length of our nose. Think in terms of long term profits.
Refraining from connecting because the other doesn’t operate in your local area or isn’t in your line of immediate interest only limits your possibilities. The larger your network the more possibilities and the more you have to offer to - and receive from others. Serendipity is about coincidentally finding treasure in the least expected way. Coincidence increases the more your surrender to the power of randomness. It doesn’t cost much effort to open up to the unknown. Every encounter carries with it the seeds of opportunity. Look differently, look longer, but please keep looking.



(DUTCH VERSION)
De Kracht van Willekeur en Serendipiteit
Vaak kom ik ondernemers tegen die heel resoluut dingen zeggen als: Onder /boven de Ijssel, het Alkmaardemeer, de Afsluitdijk, het Ij, mijn achtertuin doe ik geen zaken en hoef ik dus geen mensen vanuit buiten die gebieden te leren kennen.
Hetzelfde verhaal hoor ik ook online: mensen die ik niet ken accepteer ik niet binnen mijn netwerk. Dit soort kortzichtigheid verbaast me telkens. Het brengt me altijd terug op een aantal basale vragen die gelden voor alle ondernemers:
Nemen/krijgen:
Willen we succes?Willen we excelleren in wat we doen? Willen wij goed bekend staan voor wat we doen ? Willen we omzet/winst?
Geven/Delen:
Ben ik aan het netwerken zodat anderen behalve mezelf er ook beter van worden? Voeg ik waarde toe aan mijn netwerk? Vind ik het succes van een andere ook belangrijk?Kan ik twee mensen in mijn netwerk bij elkaar brengen ook als er voor mij geen geld te verdienen valt?Is mijn doel bij netwerken puur het kijken naar wat er voor mij te halen valt?
Bij de 2e groep vragen begint het “hmmm” en “even denken hoor” vaak op te spelen.
Ondernemers die degelijk beseffen dat een netwerk niet alleen bedoeld is om er zelf alleen beter van te worden beseffen ook dat er een weelde aan waarde zit in het blij maken van anderen door ze te helpen. Ze begrijpen de kracht van de zwakke contacten, het willekeur en serendipiteit . Dit houdt in dat de schatten vaak verborgen zitten in toeval en in de contacten die je weer via via opdoe/doorgeef. Wellicht heb je niets aan mijn diensten/product en omdat ik in (Ik zeg maar wat) Rotterdam zit en jij in Enkhuizen, er niet veel kans is dat wij wat met elkaar kunnen doen. Toch zijn er vast mensen in mijn netwerk die blij kunnen zijn met jouw diensten of andersom en ik kan jullie beide een plezier doen.
Er is geen instant winst voor mij maar ik heb wel waarde gecreƫerd; en het mooie van waarde, is dat het resoneert verder dan je neus lang is en neemt cumulatief toe. Ergo: toename aan social credits en nieuwe kansen.
De clue is al verklapt jongens: Handel niet alleen uit eigen (korte termijn) belangen. Iemand weren van mijn netwerk omdat ik alleen lokaal bezig wil zijn of omdat het geen bekende is van mij werkt uiteindelijk beperkend. Hoe groter jouw netwerk hoe meer mogelijkheden voor jezelf en hoe meer waarde je te bieden hebt. Hoe meer waarde je aan jouw netwerk biedt, des te meer waarde je ontvangt. Serendipiteit heeft te maken met het vinden van de schat via het minst verwachte manier: toeval. Toeval neemt toe op het moment dat jij je overgeeft aan de kracht van het willekeur. Het kost geen moeite om je open te stellen voor de onbekende. In elke ontmoeting schuilt er altijd kansen. kijk anders, kijk verder, blijf kijken.

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Cutting the Crap and Getting to the point

Yes I'd like to cut the crap and get to the point. I'd like to peel of the layers of the onion and dicover the wizard of Oz.
To be honest all I truly want is to be part of a world, a collaboration, a people who truy care and support one another. All I truly want is to be of service to others and myself by being and doing that one thing that makes me truly happy, that one thing that makes me sparkle.

Tell me how simple can it get???? Yet we all at some point in life get lost along the way and wind up with selling bullshit to others and especially to ourselves.

So today I will cut the Crap and just do it.

(Or am I now selling for a famous shoemaker?????)