Weaving space

Weaving space between my thoughts

To untangle messy knots,

For a night that’s bound to be

filled with feelings that are alive and free;

 

No matter how many colours I invoke

I can’t feel the hands, the rhythm of their stroke

My voice is hoarse, I can’t call my angels to evoke

A frenzy which hungered for each word you spoke.

 

No matter how much I look for your voice

I can’t fill this space with anything but noise

 

Sounds dispersed, feeling immersed

In every part of me, lost in a sea…

..of wonder, late nights, and what we had

Thunder, withering lights, and memories that make me sad

 

I’m a fool for you and the things you do

..and you knew…that you are what I come to;

 

I feel so many colours inside my heart

Choices I make that set me apart

I move mountains to birth a miracle

To live a story that is lyrical.

 

There are no questions to be asked

Or fears to be set aside

there is just a peace that lives serene

And a wonder that accompanies my stride.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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The “other minds” problem and the Dunning-Kruger effect

“One-year-olds think that if they like Goldfish Crackers, then Mommy and Daddy must like Goldfish Crackers, too: they have not grasped the idea that what is inside their head is different from what is inside everyone else’s head. Sooner or later, though, children come to understand that Mommy and Daddy don’t necessarily like Goldfish Crackers, too, and that moment is one of the great cognitive milestones of human development.”  Malcolm Gladwell

According to psychologists, we are fascinated our entire lives with the differences between other minds and ours – yet, we seem to forget about the difference at the drop of a hat, as soon as emotion comes into it. I think we are more guilty of this in relationships than any other part of our lives, expecting our partner to behave in the same way as us, and place the same importance on “Goldfish Crackers” as we do.

What I find funnier, however, having worked with executives my entire career, is that some of them will have the same reaction to a tough decision. Some seasoned C-Levels will have the same reaction as a one-year-old.

I find this intriguing, because any good leader wil know: leadership is hard. You need patience. Patience to explain over and over and to coach people you see potential in, and more than that, coach people you don’t particularly like, but you know will benefit the company. Leadership is silent, ungrateful and unglamorous. Spectacularly unglamorous.

But as difficult as it is, it is one of the most rewarding things I have been blessed to witness so far, and at the core of it is the ability to understand that different people will have different perceptions. Some leaders have this innately and some get there after years of sweat, tears and experience.

The thing is, the choice of who we want to be is in our hands, and here are some things I’ve learnt over the course of my career from some exceptional humans I’ve met along the way:

  • Our thoughts shape our existence, and we control our thoughts. And once you know this, your emotions don’t rule you, and you have an untethered ability to see people, instead of project your own view of who they are and limit them. You can finally listen. 
  • There are no problems, there’s only opportunities for growth and solutions you haven’t yet found. Success is (1) self-defined (and we so often forget this) and (2) does not belong to the perfect, rather, to the imperfect ones that just won’t give up. There’s your growth mind-set. 
  • There’s no recipe for the really complicated things. There just isn’t. Integrity and allowing people to keep their dignity are, however, two things, which although won’t make any though decisions weigh less on you, will foster trust in the long term (in your own ability to make good calls as well as trust of those that rely on you to make these). There’s your grit. 
  • Integrity is important, because even though you think you can hide whatever it is you’re struggling with from the world (in a “no one will know” fantasy) there is one person that will know the entire time, and guess what – you can’t get rid of them – because that’s you. Integrity is for you before all else, so you don’t corrode your own self-confidence over time. There’s your authenticity. 
  • We have to be aware of our own biases if we want to make the right decisions. Again, in relationships, we tend to think our partner thinks like us, hence reprimand them for the things they don’t do as we would. In a professional environment, coaches are brought in to stress the different ways people respond to problems in order to eliminate tensions in teams, but it’s essentially same issue. We aren’t comfortable with people that don’t react in the same way we do. There’s your self-awareness.
  • Sometimes, you’ve just got to let people have their problem – especially when caused by the Dunning-Kruger effect. This is only a fancy way psychologists have figured out to say that “simple minded” people don’t have the ability to assess themselves as “simple minded”, and in this, also won’t understand the full depth of the “other minds” problem. They have no ability to see their inability and thus, rate themselves highly (or is it “bigly”?).  Herein lies one of the greatest tragedies and opportunities of our time, especially when the effect is clearly demonstrated by some of our world leaders, executives and so on. There’s the ability to pick your battles. 
  • We have to remember that what you think says something about you, not about the external world. Your level of comfort or discomfort is yours and entirely yours, and it says something about how you perceive the world rather than how it is. Everything you feel and think is an amalgamation of your own experiences, history, levels of comfort, pleasure and everything in between. Here’s you owning your life as a choice you’ve already made. You can no longer be a victim, but are in control.
  • Actively listening to others is hard. Yet necessary. Research shows that in the first couple of moments of meeting each other we have formed an impression and everything after that is biased by that first impression. In an effort to control outcomes (and ultimately feel safe), we want to “read” people and end up making assumptions, never quite hearing the other person. If you do manage to remain present instead of let your mind jump to labels and conclusions, I guarantee you will be pleasantly surprised every time. And here you will grow and feel the most. 

People are wonderful. They’re limitless and they often don’t see it themselves… and often, that is because they’re just really hung up on their goldfish. And that’s okay. 🙂

 

Conflict

You are a choice I’ve already made

… and this is a game I’ve already played;

 

We’ve only seen facets of each other

Limited interpretations that only smother

Who we are and what we’d be

If only we’d allow one another to be free;

 

You and I are a choice I’ve already made;

One moment, at a price I’ve already paid…

You bought my wicked words on tipsy turvy slides

And I’ve taken you on vicious feverish rides;

 

 

I’m sorry you want me to be able to embrace

What you want me to be, when I just need some space;

And you are a choice I’ve already made

A choice I’ve fostered without being afraid;

 

I know you want me to find a safe place

In the needs you have, but you can’t keep my pace…

You are a moment in who I’ve been

A couple of words I didn’t quite mean;

…and a feeling of lust without being keen.

 

Architect of flaws

People are beautiful. So many of us walk around clothed in our fear, shying away from the miracles we can create.. yet we have so many worlds inside of us. People are limitless,  their limits are only self imposed. Not always consciously.

People are amazing. We are all blessed with the power to birth miracles and create whatever we are ready for. We are all gifted, some of us just see it better than others.

People are extraordinary. Even when they’re afraid. We don’t realise we create our fears and carry them around out of habit. We often fall into a comfortable uneasiness, and if we are there long enough it becomes a familiar, convenient and such a big part of a limiting identity.

Change is a blessing. Fear is a blessing. Hurt is a blessing. Anything that takes you outside your comfort zone propels you into greatness and challenges you to become more. People are beautiful in so many ways outside of what is visible to our naked eye.

And some people, some people…some people architect flaws within themselves because they aren’t ready to see their own light. They aren’t yet prepared to face how beautiful they are. And it’s soul wrenching to watch and life changing to witness. Heartbreaking and endearing to see they can manifest so many wonders but are unable to accept what’s beautiful within themselves.

I love people. We are so very blessed. So very, very blessed.

 

Unguarded

The dream is simple, we want to be unguarded. We want to be the authentic version of ourselves and be loved for it, not in spite of it.

The dream is simple. We want to feel free.

Reality is simple. Freedom comes from the inside. Freedom is just a choice. A choice to be happy, trusting and loving. A choice to live authentically, filtering out anything that opposes that. Most often it’s not others that make us sad, but our very expectations of them.

We live with so much expectation, of others, of ourselves, of what type of lives we have to live in order for us to allow ourselves to be happy. When reality is oh so simple. Happiness is a choice.

The dream is simple. We want to be unguarded. Free. Loving. Trusting.

So be.