It’s a bit more than a week into the new year and I am already behind on all the things I was going to get done during the post-holiday lull. I am procrastinating. As with many of my less agreeable habits, I decided to do a workshop on the subject for a European client late last year. The overarching question of why we procrastinate was framed a bit more specifically as “Why don’t we do the things we KNOW we need to do to accomplish what we SAY we want to accomplish?” The correlation
By Ana Lepri
There is a humorous 1-1/2 minute video called Masi, Me Tiro which is winning awards around the world. It has inspired me to reflect on how we listen to others. The characters demonstrate that our listening is often filtered through our personal judgments and preconceptions of others. This filtering limits our ability to listen. We find ourselves reacting to what’s being said and to who we think they are
By Jim Selman | BioI cannot remember having experienced or even having read about a time when there have been so many “extremes” co-existing in terms of political points of view and ways of understanding the world. All seem to simultaneously have the quality of being both ‘life threatening’ AND intractable. Whether we’re discussing climate change, social justice, lifestyles, civil rights, the economy, our political process or the price of oil, everyone seems to have a strongly held point of view without much evident interest in learning or working toward some common resolution of our differences. It would seem collaboration is fast becoming extinct—an endangered competence.
Collaboration isn’t the same as compromise or negotiation. Collaboration is not about winning an argument or making the strongest case for a particular point of view. Collaboration is grounded in the simple notion that we can’t accomplish something alone. To collaborate means to accept and value our differences, rather than attempting to homogenize our thinking into some sort of bland agreement. Collaboration, like coaching, is primarily a process of creative
By Jim Selman | BioForty-five years ago Marshall McLuhan coined the phrase “the medium is the message”. I wonder what he would have made of today’s media-on-steroids. Someone sent me a fascinating YouTube piece called “Social Media in Plain English” , which was followed up with a dramatic piece on the extraordinary impact of all that is going on in the Social Media Revolution. It includes a new term I had never seen before: socialnomics. It’s getting easier and easier to feel ignorant and out of touch.
The general consensus is that the phenomenon of social networking/social media is as potentially revolutionary as the Industrial Revolution. Whether this is hyperbole or turns out to be fact will remain a question for history. What is a fact is that the medium is changing faster and in more dramatic ways than many of us can keep up with. I was just getting comfortable with email, blogging and my own websites. And now, almost overnight it seems, I am confronted with Twitter
By Jim Selman | Bio
Last evening we were having a lively family conversation about life in general and Eldering in particular. We talked about whether there is, in fact, a ‘generational divide’ and, if so, what can we say about it. To my surprise, my children and my son’s girlfriend all felt that there was less of a divide in the minds of people their age than in the minds of people my age. I asked the question, “What do young men and women talk to each other about that you would be reluctant
By Jim Selman | BioI got another shot of what has been a curiosity to me for a long time: the growing practice of ‘texting’. This practice was highlighted for me when I read that Barack Obama has to kick his Blackberry habit in his new job and again when I was at the theater earlier this week with an audience of mostly 20 and 30-year-olds. Both before the curtain and at the intermission, I counted about 30 folks fixated on their ‘mobile communication devices’. Several were even covertly ‘peeking’ during the performance.
I don’t think I am a Luddite, yet somehow this seemed to me to be not only rude, but also a bit ludicrous. I watched myself falling into a kind of judgmental ‘old person’s’ conversation along the lines of “Don’t these kids know that they are missing the point of going out for a pleasant evening…blah blah blah.” I clearly had a point of view based on my experience of growing up and was looking down my nose at this new practice in much the same way my father probably
By Lauren Selman | Bio
This past weekend, I was hiking with a couple of co-workers of mine in the beautiful Grand Canyon National Park. As we were walking, one woman posed the question, "Is our society changing or is it our awareness making it look worse?" I didn’t understand what she meant at first, but as we continued to talk, she was speaking to the concept of perception. For example, people have been making ‘at home ‘drugs for
Relationships will atrophy over time. Not because of intentional neglect or lack of love, but because, like any ‘muscle’, relating takes exercise. Use it or it will lose strength and functionality.
I see a lot people in various states of ‘midlife’ crisis confronting their primary relationships from the perspective of ‘time left’. This perspective is different for most of us than the one we had in the early years of relating—even different from the perspective of the ‘maintenance
Princeton University’s definition of curmudgeon is “a crusty, irascible, cantankerous old person full of stubborn ideas”. My friend Dan takes some pride in owning this distinction: he is enjoying his retirement years a lot—naturally living each day on his own terms, having a lot of fun and to heck with the rest of the world. He
I was listening to an interview on CBC’s wonderful Sunday program called "Our World”. They were speaking with Charles Taylor, a 76-year-old Canadian philosopher and political activist who was recently awarded the Templeton Prize to research how spiritual aspirations shape society and politics. In this interview, he came across as one of the most optimistic commentators on the state of the world I’ve heard and he was positive without being unrealistic or naïve.
The essence of his message