Let’s pause and ask ourselves: Why are we leaving a comment? How do we think the person on the other side is going to f…
I love having access to information via my phone/tablet/laptop, but I’m growing more & more bothered by how much myself,…
Always remember that you are absolutely unique. Just like everyone else. Margaret Mead It’s really easy to read the boo…
I’ve kind of treated the last couple of years since I left Google like a Ta-Da List, and it’s been amazing. I think this…
I’m a huge believer in the opinions, research, and rational for focusing on our most important and meaningful projects f…
There are known psychological factors that make email as addicting and distracting as it is. Many companies leverage thi…
Don’t look for the next to-do
Full disclosure; I’m probably talking to myself more than anyone else in this post :)
When we find ourselves trying way too hard to remember what our next to-do should be, or spending way too much time aimlessly going over our lists; it’s probably a sign that we need to just check-out for a bit, take a break, and be ‘agenda-less…’
The funny thing is that when we allow ourselves to let everything go, our brains are actually still busting their ass’ for us. They are solving problems, generating ideas, making connections, and creating plans for us. When you let things go your brain will naturally bring you back to the best, next thing, and it will feel like an ‘aha moment.’
I work on projects I really love and am passionate about, so I have a hard time stopping. I also love learning and have a hard time stopping that as well. I love making and absorbing, which can easily occupy all-day-every-day if I’m not careful.
For example; there is no good reason I continually find myself grabbing my phone before I brush my teeth so I can try and squeeze in a short article at the same time. In fact, the signs were loud and clear well before that, when part of my decision to buy an electric toothbrush was so I would have an easier time reading while brushing. There is an element of multi-tasking in this specific example, but I’ve dubbed this over-arching way of acting and thinking ‘Always-Tasking.’
This doesn’t really seem like a problem, in fact it’s kind of funny at times, but it’s important to stay mindful of this desire to be ‘Always-Tasking’ because it’s hard to compartmentalize, and can easily become a problem. You can become less focused when working on your projects, or your general presence can get sacrificed when with friends and family, or more seriously you can feel an overwhelming need to be texting / talking / reading while driving.
On the lighter, but still important side, I find it kind of ridiculous that sometimes I feel torn between finishing an article or greeting my wife when she gets home… well, not really torn, but I try to hurry up and finish when I hear her pull up outside the house, or keep reading as I walk over to greet her.
Again, this doesn’t sound terrible, and it’s not, but it’s largely because I try to consciously put thing in check and recognize when I’m doing things like this. It’s an on-going project, but probably one of the most important ones. I didn’t always have a handle on this and it did snowball in a very unproductive, unhealthy, and unhappy way.
Always-Tasking likes to ‘creep’ on us, and without us even realizing it, it can become overwhelming and start to affect our habits, presence, and life in general.
In the same way that small, healthy habits can quickly build momentum and have a great, positive impact on us, some of these behaviors can add up like a snowball and lead to a variety of less-than-ideal scenarios, like contemplating over doing, or burnout, or anxiety, or we can find ourselves always thinking about what’s next and not what’s now. You can start to become distracted and not present, even with friends and family, and in life in general.
Always-Tasking could be the ‘gateway behavior’ that leads to some bad habits or lack of joy in life. Sure, there are much worse things in the world than someone that wants to be doing things all the time, but it’s important to just stay aware and keep it in check.
Embedded Health Movement
Maybe the best way to get past barriers is to not even know we are going through them.
Health isn’t a single, isolated thing.You can’t lift weights every day and automatically be healthy, just like you can’t eat vegetables and all of a sudden be healthy. Health is the cumulation of many behaviors, thoughts, external factors, knowledge, and decisions. So the more aspects of our lives that include aspects of health; the better. But, on the flip-side, it would probably be just as unhealthy if we spent all day every day thinking about health, that’s why I’m hoping there will be an Embedded Health Movement.
Sustainable nutritional health doesn’t come from an extreme diet or 7-day cleanse. Sustainable mental & emotional health doesn’t come from reading one self-help book. Sustainable physical health doesn’t come from a 1-hour pain-inducing personal training session as your first workout in years. Who wants to sustain pain like this? I don’t think extreme actions like these are teaching our brains, or our bodies that this is good for us, or something to keep doing over a long period of time.
Being surrounded by things that are negative & unhealthy has a negative impact us. But, I believe the opposite is true as well; if we are surrounded by things that are positive and have health embedded in them, we will be happier and healthier.
There is a famous thought from Jim Rohn that we are the average of the five people we spend the most time with. I think there is some truth in this, but in a broader sense I think we are gradually, but ultimately greatly influenced by the things we are surrounded by and consume/interact with the most. So that includes what’s playing on TV, what we read, ads, our email, the apps we use, what types of conversations we have, and many other aspects to our lives.
I’ve mentioned this before, but I’ve always had some consistent themes, or a common ‘thread’ run through my thinking and projects. Things like sustainable health, happiness, individuality, & collaboration, among others.
As I’ve been trying to find the best way to capture that ‘thread’ in a sentence or two, I’ve realized there is another layer to the way I think about health. I almost always think about ways to achieve things like health and happiness in very subtle ways, they are very rarely explicitly about fitness, wisdom, or diet. I try to embed some of the thinking and principles that lead to health in the projects, rather than making the project explicitly about that.
There are often major barriers to all forms of health (mental, emotional & physical). To try to tackle those head-on can be really tough; and probably too daunting for most people to even start.
So how do we embed some of the things we know about psychology, the brain, habits, and happiness into our products, initiatives, and every day life?
I’ve learned a bit about (but always working to better implement :) the value of things like exercise, meditation, mindfulness, the food system, the environment, to name a few. I happen to love learning about this stuff and actively seek it out, but they can all be quite intimidating and complex; which I think creates a barrier for most people to learn, implement, and benefit.
I guess what I’m trying to say is I have a hunch there can be tremendous power in a softer delivery of all the amazing wisdom and knowledge the world currently possesses, and what we are discovering every day with new thinking, observation, and research.
Wouldn’t it be amazing if 50% of companies could fall under the category of ‘Health,’ in addition to their core category.
I do sense there is a positive shift happening. There are more and more conversations around company culture, employee happiness, knowing your ‘why,’ mindfulness, new types of schools & ways to learn, the environment, consumerism, collaboration, etc.
I don’t write about this because I think I’m an expert; far from it, but that’s kind of the point. More people and companies can include things that contribute to health without the fear of not being an expert, or not being a ‘health’ company. If our intentions are good, I think something good will come of it.
My hope is to introduce ideas that fit into this Subtle or Embedded Health Movement as well as highlight some people or companies that I think are also doing this. I’m currently exploring the best ways to do this.
Partnership for Freedom Launches
Honored to have contributed an infographic to this amazing initiative. #P4F
Yesterday at the White House, Humanity United and the Obama Administration announced the Partnership for Freedom, an initiative to spark and deploy new innovative ideas to support survivors of human trafficking. Enso is proud to have worked with the Humanity United team on this launch and the development of the first of three innovation challenges, Reimagine: Opportunity.
Shout out to the team at Enso who worked on the creation of both the Partnership for Freedom and challenge brands, a community activation strategy, and digital development for launch. We’re excited to see the new partnerships, new ideas and stronger support for survivors of modern-day slavery that Reimagine: Opportunity will bring to life.
Together, we can turn ideas into freedom.
See the complete infographic on partnershipforfreedom.org
I’m starting to explore ways to visualize this manifesto. Below is the beginning of one direction; with some notes to help illustrate the idea.
QUOTE AT THE TOP
“Art is the most intense mode of individualism that the world has known.”
GRAPHIC IN THE MIDDLE
This is one visual execution of ‘Create Yours,’ but the hope is that there will be hundreds; each one done by a different person and an interpretation of the words in their style.
COPY AT THE BOTTOM
‘Love your work. Leave your mark.’ This is an invite to sign the piece and be proud of who they are, what they think, and what they create.
Based on the theme and meaning behind the manifesto, it doesn’t feel right to me to simply create something that people read and don’t interact with, contribute to, or make it specific to themselves.
This is essentially a canvas for people to create their version of ‘Create Yours.’ The thought at the moment is to have this be a digital template, a printable template, a poster, etc. People can keep it, share it, whatever they want.
The first lines from the manifesto:
Don’t hurry to finish; instead hurry to start.
Restart if you want, but just start.
There is space for people to jot down some things they want to start, or restart.
Remove the pressure to get it right the first time, no one does.
Remove the pressure to start big. Start small. Take one step.
Recognize this is part of the journey, and the journey is all there is.
Life is not what happened in the past, or what might happen in the future, life only exists right now.
Don’t make plans to (fill in the blank), when (fill in the blank).
Now is the only perfect time.
Create your definition of success.
Create your definition of failure.
That’s where I’m at right now; if you want to read the rest of the manifesto you can check it out here, and if you want to create your version of ‘Create Yours,’ that would be amazing. You can grab an .ai template here, but don’t feel limited by this; if graffiti, or napkins, or whatever else is your medium; do it your way!
If you want, email me, I’d love to see what you come up with; and if you share it use #createyours
Thanks for listening/watching me ramble with words and visuals :)
Make a molehill out of a mountain
Make sure you take time to do ‘nothing;’ that’s when your brain is solving everything.
Yes, yes, and yes!
The New Holstee
We have come a long way on our mission to encourage mindful living. Our friends send us stories when they bump into the Manifesto in far corners of the globe: from remote beaches in Haiti to cafes in Hong Kong. Additionally, we are humbled every day by the incredible stories our community shares on MyLife.
While we are incredibly grateful for the ways in which Holstee has been received, we have spent a good amount of time thinking about what’s next. We have thousands of ideas we’d like to work on. They are all very different, from creating a sustainable home goods line to starting the Holstee cafe or producing a mindful phone. And in good Holstee fashion, we want to embrace them all.
But in order for us to succeed as a startup, we need to be focused. That’s why we can’t do all of these ideas right now, but rather work on one after the other. We envision Holstee will become a collection of startups, offering many different things. One thing that will remain consistent is that everything under the Holstee umbrella will have a common goal: every service or product will exist to encourage mindful living.
Our big goal is to positively influence 1 billion people on this planet over the next 10 years. The Manifesto gave us a good head start - we estimate that over 100 million people have seen it - but this is only the beginning.
We believe that the inspiring brands of the 21st century will be different than the giants of the 20th century. Instead of defined by their sheer size and power, we believe the brands of the future will be deeply shaped by genuine values. And they will live these values in every breath of their presence. A good example of this model comes from our friends at the Unreasonable Group; they have been (and continue to be) a great source of inspiration for us on this journey as they set out to become the “Virgin of the 21st century.”
So, what does this all mean? Instead of launching more and more products into the Holstee shop, we are launching verticals, which each will live as their own brand and store. Our first step on this journey is Holstee Print, our first vertical.
Holstee Print exists to bring inspiration, meaning and a smile to your homes and offices. We will be selling posters, cards and frames with Holstee content. On our mission to reach 1 billion people, we want to bring mindfulness to living rooms and work spaces across the world. Check out the Holstee Print store.
What do you think of our new direction? And which products and services would you like to see Holstee offering? Please leave a comment here or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org - I’d love to hear from you.