Preface: One of the ‘elders’ in our Ho‘ohana Community is an ‘Ike loa learning habit, a month-end practice we named Rapid Fire Learning (RFL). It starts as a private journaling practice, handwritten for self-reflection and much shorter than what follows: I’ve opted to post this month’s here on the blog to transcribe more, and to curate the sources of my learning.
Learn more about the process here: Rapid Fire Learning.
RFL for January, 2019
What have I learned, or re-learned with fresh attention and energies this month?
1. RE my productivity: In a Sunday Mālama this month, I talked about becoming a project juggler, where ‘more’ has helped me shift my idea-based work from a trickle to a stream. I’ve simultaneously realized there are other areas of my work where “Less is more” remains the better practice though. One example is the way I continuously try to streamline my ‘trusted system’ with Evernote to remain productive without any busywork in the documentation I curate. To satisfy my own ‘where else?’ curiosity about this, I’ve worked with a 2-column journal page this month which makes note of those “other areas” where Less is More still, versus where I’m Seeking More.
2. RE my resolve: My self-exile from social media (which started in December, 2018) has been very fruitful this month in regard to retraining my attention span with more study and concentration. Writing things out has been very helpful in this regard as well—I’m shredding more paper in my analog doodling and drafting, but the entire process has been an enjoyable one.
3. RE my video-watching: The time I’ve devoted this month to watching TED Talks and Do Lectures has been fabulous in its spin-off with idea generation, and I must continue to groom this habit. My energy track with this? I can watch and take notes in the evening hours, following up on those notes the next morning.
Posted this month: Ho‘ohana: The Founder’s Mindset on the Do Lecture given by David Hieatt.
4. RE Alonui and new vocabulary: I learned about the phrase “affective presence” and want to keep using it, to remain aware of it:
The Personality Trait That Makes People Feel Comfortable Around You. “People with positive ‘affective presence’ are easy to be around and oil the gears of social interactions.” We know that our emotions can be highly contagious. Turns out, our own ‘way of being’ gives our personality an emotional signature.
Another new word I learned, is the French flânerie: the art of being a dedicated observer;
The boulevardier, or flâneur, was a French 19th-century literary type who wandered Paris with no particular purpose other than to be on the scene. Although flâneurs didn’t necessarily do anything visible to the naked eye, besides hanging around in parks and cafes, they watched what was happening, taking in the bustle of others and so developing a deeper understanding of city life and their changing times. The writer Charles Baudelaire illuminated the flâneur and the art of flânerie in his 1863 essay “The Painter of Modern Life”
The crowd is his element, as the air is that of birds and water of fishes. His passion and his profession are to become one flesh with the crowd. For the perfect flâneur, for the passionate spectator, it is an immense joy to set up house in the heart of the multitude, amid the ebb and flow of movement, in the midst of the fugitive and the infinite. To be away from home and yet to feel oneself everywhere at home; to see the world, to be at the centre of the world, and yet to remain hidden from the world—impartial natures which the tongue can but clumsily define.
The 19th-century German philosopher Walter Benjamin likened the flâneur to an urban investigator, within the city but detached from events, the quintessential modern artist citizen.
— The best way to use social media is to act like a 19th-century Parisian, Ephrat Livni for Quartz
5. RE my self-talk: I’ve long told myself that guilt is a worthless emotion, and I’ve coached others on how to rise above guilt when it holds them back in some way. Reading Brené Brown’s Daring Greatly, How the Courage to Be Vulnerable Transforms the Way We Live, Love, Parent, and Lead is getting me to reexamine guilt’s usefulness with courageously correcting bad behaviors when the real enemy is shame. She writes;
“We often use the terms embarrassment, guilt, humiliation, and shame interchangeably. It might seem overly picky to stress the importance of using the appropriate term to describe an experience or emotion; however, it is much more than semantics. [vocabulary is important!]
How we experience these different emotions comes down to self-talk. How do we talk to ourselves about what’s happening? The best place to start examining self-talk and untangling these four distinct emotions is with shame and guilt. The majority of shame researchers and clinicians agree that the difference between shame and guilt is best understood as the difference between “I am bad” and “I did something bad.”
Guilt = I did something bad.
Shame = I am bad.
When we apologize for something we’ve done, make amends, or change a behavior that doesn’t align with our values, guilt—not shame—is most often the driving force. We feel guilty when we hold up something we’ve done or failed to do against our values and find they don’t match up. It’s an uncomfortable feeling, but one that’s helpful. The psychological discomfort, something similar to cognitive dissonance, is what motivates meaningful change. Guilt is just as powerful as shame, but its influence is positive, while shame’s is destructive. In fact, in my research I found that shame corrodes the very part of us that believes we can change and do better.”
This is completely in alignment with Managing with Aloha’s core teaching that our values drive our behavior, and that a healthy self-esteem (which often stems from our self-talk first and foremost) is crucial to sharing our Aloha Spirit.
What have YOU learned, or re-learned with fresh attention and energies this month?
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