The time has come for another plunge into this curious ocean that the mind is.
This is another audacious edition of curious exploration of that which is unseen but incommensurably powerful. I have taken the time to decode some books, read some real stories, spoken by my own internal voice. What a marvelous thing to be able to do.
Human beings are simply incredible. Humans have become so efficient at surviving that all the processes keeping us alive have become automatic, effortless, unnoticed. I am curious abut that. We are also scary when not in our right minds.
Reading is one miraculous adaptation method I have found.
Reading to me is honoring the time I still have here, by taking care of my mind, feeding it the good stuff instead the less nourishing stuff. My hope is that in this way I can become someone who is aware of the reality, someone who understands more or less the world and knows how to treat humans in a way that is conducive to improvement.
Reading has given me imaginary friends, they have been very loyal and trustworthy ever since we met. It gave me the opportunity to get to know great human minds who have produced such work that my own mind was changed after the interaction with their ideas.
Reading taught me languages I was not born into. Even to this day I remember (I feel like I do!) the day I could figure reading out.
That day I become powerful beyond imagination.
I am reading because I am curious to know myself and this world we all live in. I believe that Readers and Creative, those who are courageous enough to let themselves feel in a world where feeling might be perceived as a human weakness , these are the beings who are going to take this magical power further into our future human consciousness.
How I learned to understand the world by Hans Rosling
This is a the life story by a human who owned it in a great way.
Hans Rosling - I did not know who he was when I bought the book but the title and the implied curiosity, the search for something out there, for the meaning of life and how it works, convinced me.
There are quite a few moments along the storyline when I paused and thought: Ouch! Really ?
A reoccurring theme in the book is poverty, extreme poverty.
Poverty bends and breaks human lives from their very beginning. Myself I am coming from Republic of Moldova, a silent little volcano bursting open in minor, inefficient revolts from time time, burning life and the living all around.
Growing up there, together with my family and everyone else living there, we have survived extremely difficult moments . It it hard to live with that heavy insecurity on your shoulders, the economical constipation all around, the emotional vacuum and the hunger for lightness, for the possibility of joy, free time or the possibility to dream and live without all these heavy thoughts.
So, while reading this book I truly felt what the author meant. He tried to understand life in its barest and simplest forms. As as young doctor , together with his courageous wife, he started his carrier in Mozambique, in an isolated village. He was the local doctor there performing operations in such unsophisticated conditions that he had to chose between death for some and life for others every day.
Opening a human being up, performing surgeries in an unequipped room, with alliterate personnel (more than half of them could not read even) this is requiring adaptation, realization of what is, acceptance of life and it's most basic rules.
The internal conflict the author had was related to the fact that he was coming from Sweden, a country where he was naturally having the right to get healthcare, a place he often returned to, to be treated for cancer himself, or for his wife to give birth to their child, so that the child could become a citizen of a wealthy country. Health care - another theme in this book, another basic need so many of us in the world today are not having. Myself, I have lived with the fear of getting sick, not allowing myself to feel any kind of pain or simply ignoring it, for too long.
Hans Rosling became a scientist and an academic teacher in global healthcare. Together with his wife, who wrote a touching introduction to the book because death took him away, back into the cycle of life before the book came out. They worked for the improvement of research, finding cures for illnesses and the causes for viruses. Hans Rosling met Fidel Castro in Cuba. After that meeting he was allowed to enter the country and do his research there. Reading about their meeting was quite fun .
Hans Rosling invented a new way, at that time, to view data, the bubbles or The Gapminder health chart. Google acquired the bubbles' code and created Google Public Data - a public tool to view and use statistics about the world.
This was a captivating life story to read.
Emotion by design by Greg Hoffman
Now, this is one of those books I will be re-reading some time soon. It is simply hard to realize it's value and the meanings after one reading.
Not to mention one of the most striking things about it..... of course, the color! Can you see how it is already speaking to us in so many ways?
The book is about a living human being, a creative human being, a courageously creative human being may I say who took small steps into the unknown and now is telling the story.
This the creative life, retold by Greg Hoffman himself who after decades of giving life to ideas from within Nike, is now a professor of....of emotion translated into product design and branding or communication with the public.
I can open up the book at any page and read and be asked to ponder. For ex. :
We take risks because we want to create new models of thought, of communication, of engagement.
Hmm...yes, we do!
"I wasn't an architect, but I had to design a store. I wasn't a writer, but I had to deliver the copy. I wasn't a film producer, but I had to develop stories though film. This was a time when you were often on your ow, and had no choice but to get resourceful, ask for help as needed, and trust your gut and your talent. "
"There's an unfortunate belief in a lot of organizations that the loudest voices are also the smartest voices, when in a lot of cases, they're just loud."
"Instead of imagining what is out there, we must actively go in search of it."
"But the lack of resources proved to be the creative juice we needed."
This is really a magical book. My curiosity about Nike as a brand has increased now, not to mention the need to learn more about the creators, the company culture, their way of working and adapting to this new world we are living in. Sports has been such an important part of my life, besides reading and being curious, it has proven to be a healthy method to process emotions and the passing of time. Time has always been difficult for me.
I also listened to the latest conversation with the author, on the podcast Diary of a CEO . The title : The marketing genius behind Nike is really to the point. I enjoyed the podcast a lot! Thank you Greg Hoffman.
Just work. How to confront Bias, Prejudice and Bullying to build a culture of Inclusivity by Kim Scott
Kim Scott is known for the blunt and radical openness in her book Radical Candor.
This time with Just Work she is taking it a step further addressing really disturbing behaviors and mindsets at the workplace.
If we take out the confusion and hurt, by learning how to deal with issues like Bullying, Bias and Prejudice at work, what is left is the best part, just work.
But we in reality stumble through days, getting confused and hurt after spending hours and hours in harmful environments. We get sick and die.
I always knew it, a workplace is a completely different story and it needs specific understanding and preparation for those who stay in there, so that they could feel and think in sane , creative, productive, open and human ways.
I am not going to go into the details that lead me to invest the time in reading this book, but I do want to say that I am quite proud of my reactions. Whenever I have been confronted with situations when I was the bystander or the one attacked ( to my awareness, I never attacked someone for the fun of it, or to defame them or get something in a forced way). As a bystander, I have spoken up and also as the one attacked.
The book is full of real life examples. Kim Scott has such a rich work experience, from different cultures, and a lot of examples when she suffered because of bias, bullying and prejudice. She also has the solutions and the words to speak about them.
This is simply a lesson in survival, elegantly, intelligently and kindly spoken. Thank you Kim Scott.
A German series I really enjoyed for the rawness, quality and theme.
It is showing the life of bankers , the ropes and the games played. These are games where no rules are applied and nothing is worst that having the press finding out what has happened.
The main character is a rather young woman who is trying to make her way in the banking world. She is really good at what she is doing just that she made the "failure" of pointing out a mistake someone more powerful and influential than her did, during a negotiation.
She lost her job that day. But a darker game started as she was approached by other powerful people beings asked to work for them undercover.
The second series is around start ups, investments and again the power games, influence and not so clean money going into greenish start ups.
A life like that is like walking on ice, you cannot trust anyone, there is nothing to hold on to and the chance that you might drown is pretty high. That is a rarified environment, where healthy and loving human interaction have already gone extinct. A very qualitative production of what life without emotions, empathy and care for each other is.
To stick to the theme, I have brought Manger, das Magazin on the table this time.
This is a treasure for those as curious as myself to know about economy, companies and what is happening there. The automotive world is going through a massive revolution, caused or better said, forced by the electrical cars running on software.
It seems that major German auto producers are having trouble keeping up the pace, developing the software and providing on the market that what the customers want : fast, classy, eco-friendly cars running by themselves (almost!). Zalando is also going through tough times as it is losing leaders, running away from a toxic work environment, very fast.
I guess, everyone had to choose their battles wisely.
Der Astronaut by Andy Weir
Well well well, after all, once in a blue moon I need to take my mind, imagination and curiosity somewhere else. This time I went into outer space to watch the Blue Planet and the little figures building castles of sand from a distance.
Der Astronaut made this amazing journey possible. A journey still in progress because I slowed the reading down.
I am afraid that it will end, even if the almost 600 pages of mind blowing storytelling are bringing the peace to my mind.
This is the type of book I have been hunting for in libraries I have had the privilege to visit and spend time in around the word. The National Library in Shanghai and Honk Kong have saved my life.
The story is pretty simple and therefore almost unimaginable.
A pretty normal human, teacher of astrology wakes up one day, naked, from an apparently long sleep (he does not know anything) in a space he does not recognize while a robotic voice is talking to him.
He does not remember his name, where he is coming from and what is he doing there. Well, this can happen on Earth as well. Just that the circumstances here are beyond weirdness.
I have arrived at the point where he has met an alien, they are getting to know each other. The author is so masterful with words and knowledgeable about physics, biology, humanity. Having him telling the story of being alive is incredible. I mean, how aware are you about the ability to read works, or how does the functions of seeing work or your senses? Probably not very aware.
This first exceptional meeting with a different living, sentient species is mind blowing. The human has nothing else as reference but himself. By observing what the "strange" being is doing, he is getting even more anchored into his own being. And this is everything we have really.
A Year in the Merde by Stephen Clarke : coming soon, because I am still laughing!