Unlocking creativity, shifting mindsets by Michael Roberto

Time travel into your future self

What would your future self want to see? Jeff Bezos and Amazon staff use ” time travel” frequently to stimulate innovative thinking about new products ane services.

Andy Jassy of AWS explains that developers do not begin writing software code for a new project until they have drafted a hypotetical press release for their new product offering. Of course these press releases are not actually published for months or years.

Process is described as working backwards.

How do you shift perspectives?

Recently, I conducted a 20 yr future self visualisation at a workshop. If you are interested, link can be accesssed here.

Some participants fell asleep. Some younger participants had a peek at themselves at 40 yrs old and assured that all will be well, yet chose to keep future a mystery to be discovered.

One of my clients, Patricia, who was in her fifties, visualised herself in her seventies.

She later shared that her mother in law was currently in her 90s. Alive but flat on bed. She was so weak that she cannot sit up on her own and needed help with her waste disposal. She was on many pain relieving medication. Not knowing how to read or write, her days were spent lying in bed watching television, most of the time with deep anger and bitterness. She had no religion to provide comfort nor to deceive her.

Patricia learnt from this activity that if she were to have an active lifestyle in her seventied, she needed to plan for the unexpected possibility that her days might be longer than we hope for. When we say “life is short”, and live with expectation that death comes swiftly, the irony with modern medicine is a long slow death in spirit, emotion and body.

It changed her perspective on the investments she planned to reskill and keep in touch with active age-rs.

What short term, long term, infinite term planning are we willing to put in?

#future self visualisation

#short term

Wishing you a blessed and prosperous Chinese New Year!

A nice Chinese new year blessings in Proverbs:

🍊心想事成 Ps 37:4 God will grant us the desires of our heart

㊗万事如意 Rom 8:28 In all things God works together for the good of those who love Him

🍀岁岁平安 Phil 4:7 The peace of God will guard our hearts and minds in Christ

🍊事业有成 Jer 29:11 God knows the plans for us to prosper us and give us a future and a hope

👣步步高升 Eph 2:6 God has raised us up with Christ and seated us with Him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus

💖金玉满堂 Prov 15:6 The house of the righteous is filled with treasure

🍊红运当头 Deut 28:13 God has made us the head and not the tail (as a result of Jesus’ shed blood)㊗笑口常开 Ps 105:43 God brings His people out with rejoicing, and His chosen ones with shouts of joy.

㊗笑口常开
Ps 105:43 God brings His people out with rejoicing, and His chosen ones with shouts of joy.

3 inch golden lotus feet

Bounded 3 inch golden lotus feet.

Would you believe that mothers used to bind feet of their daughters during the Qing dynasty so they will be of marriageable quality?

This pair of decorative shoes was gifted to me by my mom. But a hundred years ago in China, they were functional.

As I reflected on how older women used to bind the feet of younger women, a thought crossed my mind.

How are we binding the feet of the younger generation? With fear, doubt, negativity?

While our feet are no longer bound. Our hearts and minds are still bound.

Time to be free from this bondage.

Time to forgive the older women who did not know better.

Happiness is having big feet and shoes of peace to explore.

gratitude is a CHOICE, not a feeling.  Like any habit we want to develop, it takes practice.

How may I develop a *habit* of gratitude?

Today, I went where the pain is. A very controlling lady whom I didnt like very much, came to my mind. Practicising gratitude was tough.

But during the day, thoughts of how I first met her, and how her decision not to impose a decision on the group allowed me to do more research instead of coasting.

Biggest time waster for me in 2021 and before is spending an hour being angry and repeating same angry thoughts daily for 10 years.

Points of You Coaching Game

What is it time to start?

What do I want?

Wade and Shane (2020) uncovered a pre-COVID-19 digital transformation failure rate of 87.5 per cent. (Wilcocks, University  of London Subject Guide, p226)

Four main reasons why digital transformation fails: 

  • Lack of strategic digital leadership and investment prioritisation
  • Lack of large scale project management capability
  • Unrealistic expectations, limited scope, poor governance and underestimating cultural barriers. (Wade and Shane, 2020)
  • Lack of detailed digital strategic vision

Ross et al (2019) suggest five building blocks (really organisational capabilities) needed for digital success.

First, shared Customer Insight where Schneider Electric experimented and placed digital offerings before customers to learn what they find valuable and involved them in co-creation.  

Second, build an operational Backbone such as LEGO simplifying 13 interdependent global supply chain process with standardisation, integration of processes into other business functions and process automation. 

Third, building a Digital Platform is a technologically-enabled business model that create value by facilitating exchanges between producers and consumers, data and infrastructure (IMDA, 2021). API (Application Programming Interface) linkages allow seamless exchange of data. 

Fourth, build an accountability framework e.g Spotify has project managers that retain ownership throughout a component’s lifecycle. Metrics that record progress and release software continuously as well as collaboration built on trust. 

Lastly, build an External Developer Platform, e.g. DBS Bank in Singapore offers its outside partners more than 200 API digital components e,g, customer spending patterns, to develop synergies and complementor, collaborating with competitors.

Happy New Year 2022 to you.

How fast time flies. 2 years we spent in Covid. Is it time to emerge?

As we start the new year, may I invite you to reflect on how Yr 2021 has been for you? Exciting? Purposeful? False starts? 

What were your biggest time wasters in 2021?

What would you like to have happen in Yr 2022? Perhaps:

  • 22 goals for Yr 2022
  • 22 min on your goal every day.  
  • How do you want to show up? What’s in your control?  

My biggest time waster, surprisingly, is not social media but forgetting my goals and procrastination. Eat that frog, I can almost hear Brian Tracy whispering. Listing my goals and referring to them consciously keeps me focused. Social Media time is more fruitful for me.

Bundle goals

I am also able to bundle several goals together. Example, when someone is late for 45 min for our 1 to 1 meeting, instead of getting upset, I work on my goals in the space, grateful for the “reclaimed” time. Just this week, it has happened twice. Being more flexible (I’m a J in MBTI lingo), assess many nice-to-have goals, make better informed choices on what to let go.

Another example of a 2022 goal is incorporating wellbeing prompters into my curriculum. A reminder from the universe when my (RMIT) university organised a TTT aligned to the cues I picked up:

Positive Education: An educational approach to student learning and well-being

Why do I need approval or affirmation from someone else that this is a worthy goal? The universe is kind, and know I’m taking baby steps. It doesnt take much time, but I do need prepwork and give my brains lots of time to re-wire.

Happy to hear from you, your thoughts on Goals for 2022.

Fruitful 2022 to you. 

Majulah (Onward)

Joanne

By Leela Cyd

Principles and Philosophy of Photographs in practical bite size.

Example: Shake things up

1. What is unexpected.

Taking bamboo shots straight on. From the ground up. Shoot directly above. Try varying perspective.

2. Start with one thing

Get started. Eg a fruit, the light, the way the item moves or interact with background colors. Dont stress. Get started, then simplify and move on.

The Art of Happiness by His Holiness Dalai Lama and Howard Cutler

This very well written book and easy to read, has so many parallels to another teacher, Saul-Paul.

Dalai Lama considers “the turning toward happiness as a valid goal and the conscious decision to seek in a systematic manner can profoundly change the rest of our lives”.

1. First step in seeking happiness is learning (p38). Learn how negative emotions and behaviour are harmful to us and how positive emotions are helpful.

Paul of Tarsus – Galations 5: 22

“The fruit of the Spirit is charity (love), joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self discipline (self-control)…”

Learn about the different mental states, classify them according to whether they lead to happiness or not. (p39)

Dalai Lama considers Constructive vs Destructive emotions such as hatred, fear sense of insecurity.

Personally I think its wise to learn about different emotions especially after I underwent coaching training, I begin to realise that Ps 128 talks about fear of the Lord, when I read the Hebrew word, it translates to “awe, reverence, wonder” and not the paralysing fear we talk about.

I agree with Cutler’s point that rather than classify mental states, emotions as “greed is sin” or “hatred is sin”, Dalai Lama classifies emotions as positive or negative to whether they lead to our ultimate happiness.

If happiness is simply a matter of cultivating more positive mental states like kindness, why are so many people unhappy?

Dalai Lama’s advice is that various techniques such as developing positive motivation:

“I will use this day in a positive way. I should not waste this very day.”

“Did I use this day as I planned”

Yes, rejoice.

No, regret and critique the day.

Although Dalai Lama claim these as buddhist practices, they are not solely, and are found in Catholic/Christian texts and Chinese philosophical texts. But what Dalai Lama is excellent in doing, is use scientific research, eg neuroplasticity of mind to underpin buddhism text.

Psalm 1 talks about how your social company can influence your ways. In Chinese proverbs, the saying goes that when you immerse silk in red ink, it becomes red. When you immerse it in black ink, it becomes black.

Through training, meditation practice, we can transform our mind, says Dalai Lama.

“And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God.” Romans 12:2 (Paul)

How do we renew our minds? Do not be conformed to the patterns of the world and with supernatural intervention. Although it is not fully explained in the Bible, as Christian Bible is limited to 66 books. Where Christian text differs is the belief that God has given the Holy Spirit.

Usefulness of Compassion

Dalai Lama: once you accept that compassion is worthwhile, realise its deeper value, then you immediately develop an attraction towards it, a willingness to cultivate it… Once you encourage thought of compassion in your mind, then your attitude towards others chsnges automatically….. But without the attitude of compassion, if you are feeling closed, irritated or indifferent, then you can be approached by your best friend and you just feel uncomfortable.

Paul: (Charity, Lovingkindness) Love never fails. But where there are prophecies, they will cease; where there are tongues, they will be stilled; where there is knowledge, it will pass away. … And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love. 1 Cor 13

Further reading on cultivating compassion, joy, read Theresa of Lisieux and Teresa of Avila “The Interior Castle”.

With covid 19 and the rise of loneliness and depression, Cutler’s question to Dalai Lama on whether he felt lonely seems useful to me. (p70). Unlike investigators suggestion that the strategy to overcome loneliness is to work on improving social skills such as self disclosure, picking up conversational skills, Dalai Lama’s strategy is to bypass social skills and work on cultivating compassion.

Practice: Meditation on “our dependence on others”.

Do you wonder how many people are involved in making your shirt? The salesperson who sold the farmer the tractor, the people who grew the cotton, who sewed the cloth. Virtually every aspect of my life is the result of others efforts. Before we use the word “supply chain” and logistics realise our interconnectedness.

Although I was raised in a Buddhist family, with my grandmother and aunts living in temples and monastery, Dalai Lama’s interpretation is so different from what they taught in buddhism. I can only say his text is closer to Paul of Tarsus and influenced by his personality and staying outside of Tibet.

Cutler cites intimacy as being important in maintaining good emotional health from psychoanalyst Erich Fromm that humankind’s most basic fear is the threat of being seperated from others (p 79). Experience of seperateness and rejection is the source of all anxiety in human life.

Dalai Lama’s approach and that of St Paul, hands the locus of control back to the individual. Unlike American or French definition of intimacy as passionate, sexual relationship or attachment, it is a compassion of honor, respect, tenderness towards the other person.

Having heard the Dalai Lama over the internet, I can only guess that like Milton Friedman and the great saints, he possess an ability to cause trancelike state beyond human logic. Over the internet, I had difficulty understanding him and needed the help of translators like Ripoche. This has spurred me to learn more about NLP and how I can change my communication style to lessen others suffering, and if possible to bring joy.

Practice: Meditation on Compassion

1. Visualise a person who is acutely suffering, someone who is in pain or in an unfortunate situation. Reflect on the individual’s suffering (3 min).

2. Relate to yourself thinking “that individual has the same capacity for experiencing pain, joy, happiness and suffering that I do.

3. Allow your natural response to arise, natural feeling of compassion to that person.

4. Think how strongly you wish for that person to be free from suffering.

Comment:

I have difficulty releasing forgiveness. However, starting with thought of how the person is suffering releases me from having negative feelings to that person. In truth, we all have suffering. Difficult to believe that Bill Gates has suffering. That he causes others to suffer is easier to believe.

The difference is the starting point of what we believe and our thought pattern which sets us free.

Through lives of Leonardo Da Vinci, Benjamin Franklin, Marcel Proust, Mozart, Charles Darwin, Greene creates 48 laws of achieving Mastery.

My second time reading it after 10 years with fresh insights from self reflection. In my first reading, this book was too heavy. Now, with reflections, many of my challenges make so much more sense.

Seven deadly realities: Envy, Conformity, Rigidity, Self Obsessiveness, Rigidity, Laziness, Passive Agressiveness and Flightiness

Social Intelligence: Speak through your work. Craft your appropriate personna- if you are not careful others will attribute qualities of you that correspond to what they want to see, See yourself as others see you. Suffer fools gladly. It is part of human comedy, nothing to lose sleep over. Neutralise the harm they do by keeping steady eye on your goals.

Creative-Active: have the patience and discipline to endure an extended apprenticeship. Focus deeply on problems and ideas.

Although children are naturally creative, they never lead to inventions and substantial discoveries. Why so?

My 3 intentions:

1. Absorb as much as I can, from books and beings

2. Discipline and Diligence

3. Playfulness and experiment. Dont be defensive.

Beware of emotional pitfalls: complacency, boredom and arrogance

1. Connect to the Environment -primal powers

2. Play to your strengths – supreme focus

3. Transform yourself through practice – fingertip feel ( or 10,000 hrs of muscle memory)

4. Submit to the other – Inside/Out. Get inside the brain of the people we are trying to understand. Listen.

5. Synthesise all forms of knowledge – Jung’s Universal Man/Woman