Posts Tagged ‘awareness’

Signs… or not?

Monday, May 5th, 2008

Yesterday I came across an amusing street sign and spent an amusing interlude searching for others. However, as ever, it got me thinking. The whole point about signs is they are meant to give clear information; that is their raison être. We want to know where we are, and what we should do, and signs are there to tell us. We are surrounded by signs; street signs, speed limits, directions, business names, legal disclaimers, we are positively awash with signs.

I guess it is unsurprising then that we scan our world for other sorts of sign, more primitive ones to tell us what is going to happen; is it going to rain? What kind of day will it be? Of course in less sophisticated times this was very important and part of man’s survival toolkit. In this digital, cyberspace era, we tend not to be as connected with our world and look to the TV for our information. However, at a deeper level we still scan our environment for signs; is my world safe? Are things getting better or worse? What is coming over my horizon?

I some times catch myself noticing apparently random patterns and wondering if they are telling me something. Is this a good or bad day for this kind of activity? I can’t tell you definitively if these occurrences are signs I am reading (or should be reading!) or just random happenings I should just ignore. My feeling is that our world is rich with patterns that can be read and can guide us, in much the same way that the Bushmen can follow an animal that has passed days ago in the desert. You will have to make up your own mind. It might be interesting though to see which is more helpful, scanning for ‘signs’ and then paying attention to their messages or just ignoring them all as irrelevant and stupid…


“Whenever you have truth it must be given with love, or the message and the messenger will be rejected” Mahatma Gandhi

As easy as falling off a blog? I don’t think so

Thursday, April 17th, 2008

I quite often read people saying “You should get yourself a blog! It’s easy. It will drive traffic to your site.” I beg to differ. Not so much with the underlying logic as with the presumptions that underpin this advice.

There are now 60 million blogs in the world. How many of these to you read on a regular basis? Not only that but if you go to a site and discover they have little to say and haven’t updated it for a month what does that say about the blogger and their business? Are you really interested in following the minutiae of other people’s lives (Unless of course it is one of those titillating sites about people’s sexcapades, and be honest, just how much of that can you take?!)?

I started up my blog in mid December, having no idea what this really entailed, or what it took to make it successful. You might feel this was a stupid move on my part, and you would be, at least in part, right! However, fools rush in as they say, and if I had known then what I know now, I might have thought twice.

During that time I have posted 113 times, and I reckon that it takes me about an hour per blog. I also spend at least half an hour per day following up posts and responding to them. That is a pretty serious investment of time and effort.

On the upside of the equation, as I have mentioned before, it has enabled me to move into a new space in terms of thinking about things and developed new skills in observation. It has linked me to a number of very nice and interesting people. It lets me become a part of my readers days and offers us both the possibility of introducing Change into their lives; I find that a very exciting idea. It also does help the website; according to StatPress, I have been spidered over 3700 times this month, had 176 visitors and 1153 page views.

So what would I say to someone today who asked me if they should start a blog? I would recommend them to:-

    Only do it if they were prepared to make a serious investment in it

  • Only do it if they are prepared to share something of themselves
  • Not to do it unless they feel they can add some value to their readers
  • Don’t do it just for Google, your human readers will see right though you

So if you decide to take the plunge, “Blog on!” and Good Luck!! I’d be interested to hear what lessons you have learnt and what observations you have made from your favourite bloggers. How do they affect and influence you?

“If an organization isn’t already in place where openness and transparency in communication exists and is practiced, then using tools like blogs will be unlikely to do anything positive for the organization. If your openness/transparency foundation isn’t there, don’t blog.” Neville Hobson

Timing is everything!

Monday, April 14th, 2008

I was on a long drive yesterday in conditions that could only ever happen in England, in April! We started off in lovely spring sunshine, and after about half an hour were driving into a sky that was battleship grey, split by forked lightening and soon I appeared to be piloting a submarine! It was just some of the nastiest motorway driving I have done in years. This cycle of sun and rain continued as we drove north and east.

Our journey, luckily, was without incident and we arrived safely. However, we must have past at least 3 accidents en route. Now, I don’t imagine any of those people left home expecting that day to be any different from any other; they didn’t expect to suddenly suffer some mechanical fault, or be the victim of some random idiot, or have their own misjudgement so horribly called to account. The fact is that ‘stuff’ happens, and if our only strategy is to assume that it only happens to other people then one day, who knows, there might be a painful and rude awakening.

Perhaps had each of these people driven just a little faster, or a little slower, they would not have been in Harm’s way. In life, timing is really everything. Things you can get away with one day, you are punished for another; things you are rewarded at one time can later count against you. I hasten to add; I am not just talking about driving accidents, but life in general, and Change in particular.

So, the key is remaining aware and sensitive to your environment; extending your sensitivities and tuning in, rather than numbing out. You have to be responsible for what you are doing rather than switching to ‘cruise control’.

“Life is all about timing… the unreachable becomes reachable, the unavailable become available, the unattainable… attainable. Have the patience, wait it out It’s all about timing.” Stacey Charter
“When a man sits with a pretty girl for an hour, it seems like a minute. But let him sit on a hot stove for a minute – and it’s longer than any hour. That’s relativity.”
            Albert Einstein

“Blogito ergo sum”

Friday, March 14th, 2008

My title is a play on words of Descartes famous phrase “Cogito ergo sum”1 but I wonder if my version is true for many today? Since becoming a regular blogger I have noticed some changes in myself and how I think and how I observe things.

I will illustrate this with a story. Many years ago (many, many years ago) I was very keen on photography, carried around huge amounts of equipment, went to clubs, entered competitions etc. and got reasonably proficient. Time wore on and I got feed up with lugging all this gear around and wanted to feel ‘free’ again. So I got a little camera, but that still was too heavy… eventually I stopped taking one with me. Then I noticed a curious thing; I was still mentally taking pictures, composing them, noticing colours and juxtapositions etc. My perception of the world had changed; it had been enhanced.

I’m noticing something a little similar with the blog. Everything I see, hear and feel is potential grist to the Blog Mill. I am now more aware of links between ideas, events and experiences; I ponder them more; I’m doing more original & creative thinking. So for me, I think old René had it about right.

How does this phenomenon affect you?

“If you would be a real seeker after truth, it is necessary that at least once in your life you doubt, as far as possible, all things.” Rene Descartes