Categorie: Creativiteit

Emotional intelligence and the 30% rule: less is more

About: Focus only on the essential and the best

Steve Jobs already said it, after returning to Apple from Next, while being involved in Disney. Focus on the incredibly good ideas and leave the rest. He himself was an example of an abundance of creativity and focus on “beautiful things”. But maybe sometimes a little bit too much to be successful with them. Examples are the Lisa Computer, the original Macintosh and the Next computer.

But he was finally able to learn from his mistakes. This is were emotional intelligence comes to play an important role. He really learned from being fired from Apple after he made mistakes, and he also learned from the mistake he made with the Next project. But after returning to Apple, he did not make these mistakes anymore and discarded any not really excellent product on the roadmap.

Also, by correcting an another mistake made before during Apple times. Changing the focus on hardware to a focus on software. He brought in the software he created for Next as the next software platform for Apple products in general. To keep and make things simpler. Another example here is to change from the Motorola chip sets not to the IBM chip sets but to the Intel chip sets and finally to ARM chip sets. So, the focus on software allowed for flexibility on the hardware side.

The same is true for Elon Musk with all of his companies and products, simplicity and flexibility. He can change the rockets being built from carbon fiber to stainless steel foreseeing problems and difficulties while the concept stays the same. A rocket powered by methane and oxygen, because methane can be harvested on Mars. But what is really important in his concept is the focus on software not on hardware. The Tesla cars will get a completely new software soon for Self Driving, which he himself is already using and testing. This is because basically Elon Musk is a software guy, his first product was a game he created himself. And a focus on simplicity. If you look at all the ideas that led to companies than you can clearly see this.

Interestingly because both Apple and Tesla are known for their innovative and beautiful hardware. A Tesla is a driving computer or actually it is a driving big smartphone. The hardware can be adjusted to the needs of human beings. Made more beautiful or more comfortable, more usable. The focus on the human being is on the hardware side. This is what makes Apple and Tesla stand out. The focus on emotional intelligence, things that appeal to human beings and not only to nerds.

Another example that immedately comes to mind is Mozart. Maybe even the best example. He could create very complex music, as Bach did with his fugues. But his most well known pieces are simple such as his father Leopold created (the Children Symphonie). Think of Eine Kleine Nachtmusik composed right after his father died. But also Rondo Alla Turca and the melody for the Dutch national hymn Wilhelmus. And above all the Magic Flute which reached other audiences than just the elite. His Requiem is a magic and wonderful combination of complexity and simplicity which he wrote for himself when he felt his end coming near (Agnus Dei). Mozart had a very productive life next to being creative and having a lot of ideas all the time. He was able to create a vast repertoire by focusing on the really beautiful ones mostly driven by important things that happened in his life such as love and death.

It is not only about focus here, but to apply emotional intelligence into your everyday life. Jobs, Musk and Mozart are very good examples. Apart from all of their technological brilliance (Zu schön für unsere Ohren und gewaltig viel Noten, lieber Mozart). Just enough he replied). They were and are able to translate their talents into really useful products and solutions for the benefit of other human beings and humanity in general. This is the real genius and what can be called the 30 percent rule.

Why do you need the 30 percent rule? We live in an age of distraction. Never-ending notifications, instantaneous communication, and easy access to endless information. Fear of missing out moves us motivates us to try to do everything that our minds and hearts desire. But as we quickly move from one thing to another, preferably using our mobile phones (actually we have become computers more or less) we discover that we can’t do everything. If we try, we will not do anything well.

Jobs knew this. Elon Musk know this and acts upon this because he wants to achieve a goal. Mozart learned to do this from a very early age being asked by his father to perform for royalty. It could not only be a gimmick but hat to be really appealing music. The total becomes more than the sum of its parts. By focusing on the 30 percent, the best of the best, we can create a simpler and a better life that is really enjoyable and productive. How to make the 30 percent rule work for you? Find things that are fun and interesting to work on. But don’t forget that everything takes time and resources which are limited.

So, you have to ask yourself if you make the best use of your resources. Are you focusing on the best of the best you can do? Am I wasting time on useless things? What is the most important is to take time to analyze and reflect objectively. Do this every day or every week. Learn from your mistakes. They are not really mistakes but learning points. Make changes if needed, correct the mistakes or don’t take them anymore. If you think things through, choose wisely, and work hard–you can do it right and create the most beautiful, complex complex and simple things. As Einstein used to say: Everything should be made as simple as possible, but no simpler. Use your emotional and social intelligence. We are already smart enough anyway.

Recommendation: Make a list of things that you want to achieve, follow it the next days. Look at what you already have achieved and what is not important. Add more and better goals.

Salutogenesis: How to Be Happy and Healthy

About: Focus on health and well-being

Salutogenesis is the opposite of pathogenesis which means looking for issues, problems that need to be solved in order to become healthy and happy. Salutogenesis means to look for the positive things even when things are not optimal. Salutogenesis is concerned with the relationship between health, stress, and coping. It provides an umbrella, paraplu or parasol of many different resources that protect against unhappiness and in general to help being healthy.

The umbrella of health and happiness

Many people have the approach to look for eternal happiness by eradicating the negative things in life. We call this a focus on pathogenesis. To look for perfection in e.g. your house, your job, your relationship. Or just drinking 100 or 50 euro bottles of wine, that taste exactly the same as the 10 to 5 euro bottles of wine. People will find out that when these goals have been reached there are new goals of perfection have to be achieved. So maybe the problem is not to achieve perfection or happiness, but to continuously look for perfection and happiness,.

But why not focus on the good things already there? Even in difficult times as we experience right now.  That is a different approach and can be reached fairly easily. By just doing it. It takes less time and effort and it leaves less room for continuous improvement. Focus on things like gratitude, self-efficacy, hardiness, empathy and humor (the umbrella).

Jumping Salmons

In this view, happiness does not happen in the future. But it is there already and now. And to take action to make it happen in the River of Life. It was inspired by what wild salmons do. They are born in a river and then swim all the way to the Ocean where they feed and grow. Then they swim back to the river where they were born and even are able to jump up to high levels because they became very strong.

Health and Happiness in the River of Life

Achieving happiness is actually quite simple. Just use your strength and do the things that make you happy with the people that make you happy and with the person that you are and that you are with. Don’t wait for happiness. A list of things you can do today:

  • Being there, as in the story about the gardener who became the president (book by Jerzy Kosinski and movie with Peter Sellers)
  • Connecting with people. Develop your social and emotional intelligence.
  • Do what you love to do, whatever it is. Cook, walk, visit, listen, see, talk.
  • What are the good things everyday? They can be unexpected and paradoxical.
  • Only do work that you like to do. Are you good at text editing, translation, technology and you like to do it. Just do it and lose yourself in your work. It gives you a sense of meaningfulness especially if you can share this with others.
  • Help other people, it is not very difficult.
  • Reflect everyday, end of day before you go to sleep. Take it with you to bed.
  • Pay attention to small things. Such as reading, talking, walking, breathing, listening to the birds or the wind in the trees.
  • Taking care of other people, whoever they are. It is simple and easy.
  • Express gratitude. Also an easy thing to do once you start paying attention to small things.
  • Become a lifelong learner. Read more.
  • Simplify your life by eliminating unnecessary things and creating chaos. The minimal lifestyle.
  • Make a small change, fix or repair in your house. Get it from the list.
  • Slow down. Not everything can or will happen quickly. You can take a day off sometimes.
  • Exercise every day and develop your own little program. Walking in nature is an easy thing to do, as are simple yoga exercises.
  • Accept that things not always go the way you want them to go. The world is less than perfect.
  • Be aware of wonderful things in life. This can be something someone else is doing, such as launching a rocket to the Moon or Mars. Or it can be a great book, recipe, wonderful music or knowledge or person.
  • Go to the water to swim, sail, walk or just take a boat. Listen to the sounds of the water, the wind and look at the sky, the sun, the blue water and the blue sky.
Magical Moments

Don’t do all of these things at the same time. Just pick and choose what makes most sense to you. And above all it is not necessary to achieve perfection. Actually this will make you unhappy, which is the paradoxical truth. A great book to read about this topic is: The Situation Is Hopeless, But Not Serious: The Pursuit of Unhappiness by Paul Watzlawick. A blog post will follow soon about his psychology.

Recommendation: It is easy to focus on negative things, such as anxiety or a high pulse rate and seek for immediate relief or attention. But it is better to have a mid-term or long-term view on the positive things such as feeling well and to have healthy, positive thoughts.

Become Calm With Subtle Audiovisual Stimulation

About: Communication which is 90% non-verbal

ArkDes (Architecture and Design) Museum in Stockholm lies next to the Modern Museet at Skeppsholm. Here one can visit an exhibition about ASMR called Weird Sensation Feels Good. ASMR stands for Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response. Basically it is about subtle audiovisual stimulation. It is a tingly sensation that usually begins in the crown of the head and works its way down the back and through the limbs. The feeling is extremely relaxing and is often triggered by soft sounds, soft voices, whispering and light touching. Many people have an ASMR experience during a head massage or a facial, having their hair played with or while someone strokes their arm.

Most individuals who experience ASMR, have strong memories of when this feeling was triggered as a child. For me, I always remember enjoying eye tests, having my hair played with and quiet time in class as the other students read books and slowly turned the pages. It is also triggered or combined with visuals as can be seen on the videos on the ArkDes Website.

ArkDes Weird Sensation Feels Good Exhibition

ASMR is a term that describes a physical sensation: euphoria or deep calm, sometimes a tingling in the body. In recent years an online audience of millions has grown, dedicated to watching the work of designers and content creators who try to trigger this feeling in their viewers.

Here is an example of calming sounds. It can be sounds, but also a voice. E.g. think about the voice of the hairdresser while cutting your hair. How does ASMR relate to calmness? Well, ASMR videos Youtube and the Calm App both offer accessible relief from day-to-day stress.

Not everyone experiences the sensation of ASMR. Even for those who experience it, the videos made to induce it are not always appealing. Each person has a unique set of triggers, in the same way, that people prefer different food or music. That’s why there is a huge variety of content available. Some people who have never heard of ASMR videos or who have different sensitivities find it hard to understand the intention behind them or why others might enjoy them. Millions of people experience this calming effect. It’s a lot of fun and wonderful to see people enjoying this calmness together, but it is also being able to reach out to others with love, kindness, acceptance, and courage is everything. Sensitive people of the world can unite with ASMR. We can make a difference! It just works.

Recommendation: It is very important to daily reflect or meditate. Amient non-verbal sounds and visual can be used to almost hypnotize the brain for this purpose.

2018: Daadwerkelijke modernisering van het onderwijs?

Welk onderwijssysteem zouden we nu, in deze tijd van de Internetrevolutie, nodig hebben? Dat is de vraag die misschien, in het kader van alle sociale, maatschappelijke, economische effecten die de internet revolutie op onze maatschappij heeft, wel de meest urgente is. Immers, de kinderen van de hele wereld die nu naar school gaan, moeten er met de daar opgedane kennis en ervaringen nog zo’n vijftig jaar mee verder. En er verandert veel o.a. op het gebied van robotisering, kunstmatige intelligentie, wat een permanent effect zal hebben op de samenleving.

Er zijn mensen, zoals bv. de bekende denker en spreker Sir Ken Robinson die beweren dat het huidige onderwijs systeem de creativiteit bij kinderen doodt en niet meer van deze tijd is. Andere mensen, vooral binnen het onderwijs zelf of daaraan gerelateerd vinden dit weer niet. Elke “technologische” innovatie is hun ogen eerder een bedreiging van de creativiteit. Wat zij zich weer niet realiseren is dat veel van de uitgangspunten van het huidige onderwijs ook gebaseerd zijn op technologische veranderingen, maar dan van 200 jaar geleden.

Wat zou bijvoorbeeld Social Media kunnen bijdragen aan verbetering en innovatie van het onderwijs. Bijvoorbeeld het belang van het leren in groepen, social learning volgens Alfred Bandura. We hebben dan de neiging in eerste instantie te denken aan groepen als klassen, waarin kinderen van dezelfde leeftijd zijn samengebracht. Maar zij denken aan dynamische groepen met wisselende samenstelling, welke afhankelijk is van probleem en studie-onderwerp. Het internet maakt dat ook gemakkelijk mogelijk. Om in groepen samen te werken heb je vandaag de dag geen schoolgebouwen en klassen op basis van leeftijd nodig en nog minder vaste onderwijs-programma’s, en standaard testen. Mensen uit het pre-Internet tijdperk, de radiobode generatie, kunnen zich bij die effectiviteit en kwaliteit van leren niets voorstellen maar er zijn wel degelijk aanwijzingen dat zo’n methode tot meer toepasbare kennis leidt. Is wiskunde saai? Ja, wel op de manier waarop het door de meeste docenten wordt gegeven. Maar als Michio Kaku quantummechanica of de snarentheorie uitlegt op het Internet is dat leuk en inzichtelijk.

Kinderen in het huidige internet tijdperk worden overstelpt met indrukken en prikkels van honderden televisie-kanalen, computers, spelcomputers, iPad’s, smart-phones, reclame, en een grote kring van hele en halve vrienden die allemaal in je sociale netwerk voorkomen. Allemaal prikkels die multi-tasking noodzakelijk maken. Dat is het echte verschil met het tijdperk van de Industriële Revolutie, want wij zijn nog opgegroeid in de vanzelfsprekendheid van het leren in stilte (radio, platen en televisie uit) geconcentreerd werkend en altijd in je eentje, lezend in boeken; eigenlijk heel introvert, waarbij jouw resultaten werden gelegd naast de meetlat van de academische wereld. Het documentatiecentrum op school was een leeg bakje. Over het algemeen worden de huidige technologische veranderingen als negatief gezien op de opvoeding en het onderwijs van kinderen, maar is dat ook terecht? Is het niet duidelijk dat het oude, 19de eeuwse, paradigma voor onze jeugd in het internet tijdperk niet zal werken, en dat dat misschien ook wel de bron is van de toch wel hele hoge schooluitval in het voortgezette onderwijs, en de steeds grotere groep leerlingen die speciaal (extra) onderwijs krijgen of nodig hebben.

Maar wat stellen we er voor in de plaats, in plaats van vast te houden aan oude paradigma’s. Misschien is het wel een goed idee om te experimenteren met nieuwe werkvormen binnen het reguliere onderwijs. Laat zich zelf samenstellende groepen leerlingen van alle niveaus, leeftijden en uit alle windstreken met het hulpmiddel van de Sociale Media gezamenlijk werken aan door docenten gegeven opdrachten, met het internet als grootste en compleetste studieboek ooit door de mensheid gecreëerd als hulpmiddel continue bij de hand. De docent is deel van dat sociale netwerk als moderator en coach, en draagt zelf ook bij met zijn eigen lesinhoud die ook veel gemakkelijker gedeeld kan worden op deze manier. Daarnaast dragen leerlingen zelf bij met leerinhouden. Het zou voor veel leerlingen inspirerend kunnen en moeten zijn, en dat zij door hun gedrag in zo’n elektronisch, virtueel sociaal netwerk, ons veel kunnen leren over wat wel en wat niet tot meetbare kennisvermeerdering leidt maar ook vooral toepasbare kennis binnen de snel veranderende wereld. Met name op het gebied van wat Ken Robinson “Divergent Thinking” noemt.

Happy Know Year!