Loving Life Blog

Spur of the Moment Reflections

What’s holding you back? February 4, 2011

iPhone Up - Don't give up - Loving life blog

DON'T GIVE UP!

Coming back from NYC this time I had one new thing to unpack: a package of magnets with the look of iPhone apps. Hm. As I put them up on my fridge, I was thinking – I guess it’s official: I am an apple nurd! Or fan, to choose a more flattering word.

My fridge has a number of photos of family and friends, and a few motivating cards and statements etc. The one card that draw my attention, that got surrounded by iPhone apps, had the message “DON’T GIVE UP!”. They had one thing in common. This very card I got when visiting a friend in London, the summer before starting my business studies at Stockholm School of Economics. I was spending a whole day in the city – shopping – and came home with one thing: this card. Summer of 1995. Since then I have moved more times than number of years that have passed, and it is still with me…

So now it sits on my fridge, surrounded by a reminder of my original business idea of Herringbone. The software – and app – that will support and inspire stories of change and positive impact. Maybe, if the idea still holds, I will get there one day. But there are many roads to Rome.

The main software I use today to get voices heard for positive change is another one. Objective Marketer, the social media marketing campaign manager. The core reason why I am doing what I do is still the same. It’s not about marketing. It’s creating a positive impact by using social media to reach out with your story or offering, making yourself accessible and provide others with something valuable for them to gain from, because they choose to listen. And at the same time reach those who express that they want what you have to offer, because social media can help you find them. Real time. Globally. Or locally. And create a social media community landscape of likeminded where demand and supply meet. I think that is a beautiful way to serve the world.

Now – what is your story? What is your dream to create? And is something holding you back?

A friend of mine shared the video in this link from Harvard Business Publishing on this topic: What is holding yourself back? with special focus on leaders and entrepreneurs. Maybe that will give a kick in the right direction.

Enjoy,

Johanna

 

Leadership Lessons… from Geese August 30, 2010

Filed under: coaching,Inspiration — Johanna C. Nilsson @ 11:08 am
Tags: , , , , ,

Life is beautiful. All around us there are gifts. Inspirations. Lessons to be learnt.

If you need a sip of inspiration – just look around where you are, nature, messages that comes to you, people who crosses your path.

I received an email today from Simple Truth with a movie on high performance teamwork – lessons learned from geese.

Click here to see it: Pulling together – high performance teamwork

Who new? Who will you “honk” to today? Or who will you lift up?

Lift your wings buddies and loved ones! We are going to fly high and far.

Enjoy the ride,

Johanna

Loving Life Blog - Leadership lessons... from geese

 

Transform a Lone Nut Into a Leader April 25, 2010

Leadership Lessons from Dancing Guy: How to create a movement in three minutes…

Lessons learned:

1. As a leader you need to have the guts to stand alone and look ridiculous.

2. Remember to nurture the first few followers and embrace them as equals.

3. Make everything clearly about the movement, and not about you.

4. Be public, be easy to follow.

5. Leadership is over glorified. It starts with the shirtless guy, and he will get all the credit. But, it is the first follower that transforms a lone nut into a leader.

6. There is no movement without the first follower.

7. We are told that we all need to be leaders, but that is really ineffective.

8. The best way to make a movement, if you really care, is to courageously follow and show others to follow.

9. When you find a lone nut doing something great, have the guts to stand up and join in.

Which dance do you want to dance? Whom’s dance do you want to follow?

If you are unsure – there is a great event this week in the Bay Area: Bay Area National Dance Week. You can try all different kinds – for free!  http://www.bayareandw.org/

Enjoy,

Bay Area National Dance Week, Loving Life Blog, Leadership, Movement

Raisa - the only soloist performer at the Grand Opening flashmob. Would you have the guts to join her dance?

Johanna

Bay Area National Dance Week, Loving Life Blog, Leadership, MovementBay Area National Dance Week, Loving Life Blog, Leadership, Movement

 

The Door to Success – In the Service of Life March 25, 2010

The below is a handout I received in Leadership. It followed a great group exercise that really brought home the message. Recently I have been referring to it in conversations with clients and friends – I hope it will serve you too…

A FIXER – A HELPER  – A SERVER


A fixer has the illusion of being causal.
A server knows he or she is being use
in the service for something greater,
essentially unknown.

We serve always the something:
wholeness and the mystery of life.

Fixing and helping are the work of the ego.
Serving is the work of the soul.

When you help, you see life as week.
When you fix, you see life as broken.
When you serve, you see life as whole.

Fixing and helping may cure.
Serving Heals.

When I help, I feel satisfaction.
When I serve, I feel gratitude.

Fixing is a form of judgment.
Serving is a form of connection.


In this context – what is your pattern? Are you a fixer, a helper or a server? Do you choose to help because someone has asked you to? Or what is really the driver?  There is a difference in-between helping someone who ask for it, verses helping someone because you think s(he) needs it.

As Rachel Naomi Remen expands on it “When we help we may inadvertently take away from people more than we could ever give them, we may diminish their self-esteem, their sense of worth, integrity and wholeness.” Read her full reprint “In the Service of Life” from the Noetic Sciences Review by clicking here.

However – in life, and business, it may be very powerful to ask for help. It may even be key to get ahead and get things done. It may be the perfect way when it comes to starting a business. I stumbled on an article this morning in Huffington Post by Tanja Aitamurto, a Silicon Valley-based Finnish writer: Woman: How To Start a Business Without Money.  “According to my observations, the older and the more successful the women are, the more likely they are to share their knowledge and the less hesitant they are to ask for help. Also, they seem to integrate fun and friends with work more often than we younger women do.” Not only women do it. An example is Chris Lindland from Cordarounds, who traded pants and meals for web design and ads. Read the article for more juice.

Bottomline: The door to success is to ask for help when you need to. And serve others.

 Door to success, loving life blog, in service of life, business, life

Be Kind - Serve - Ask for Help - For Success.

 

Screwed or Nailed? March 22, 2010

So you got screwed today – most people nail it.

That was a joke by the associate at Wheel Works when I came in with my flat tire today. Screwed big time. I mean the screw was big. But wow what such an incident can be seamless when everything just works. AAA roadside assistance showed up after 30 minutes at no cost thanks to great insurance. I made it on time to the next meeting and Wheel Works was on the way home, with drop-off and instant service for a low cost. Meanwhile I enjoyed a cup of tea at Starbucks and got some work done on my computer – with a gift card worth $5 you have free internet during two hours per day.

I experienced something new today: traveling with my mobile office wasn’t just to bring the computer(s), the phone, and the coaching client folders. Today I traveled with the white board filled with colorful Post IT notes. Size big enough to just about fit in my Subaru Outback. I got the comment once: “Why… do you have this kind of a car? Either you are lesbian, or a great skier.” If I would have listened to my mentor in San Diego, I would be driving a truck – I wonder what the assumption would be then? Anyway – back then I didn’t respond – he could well wonder. Today I would say “no – a software designer”. I kind of like that. But I guess – that is just part of the picture.

#loving life blog # newageentrepreneur #entrepreneur #software #design #earth #facebookComing home tonight, seeing my bedroom wall without the storyboard made it look so empty. I put up a blank piece of paper and started sketching out the Meta view perspective of my idea. Pulling together the bits and pieces I have gathered in conversations with or readings by different people, and added some new. Holy moley – I think I had a eureka moment! Talk about potential – now I just need to figure out a way to make it happen… The face of the book won’t be the same… and the face of the Earth neither I guess.

Thanks for the inspiration guys and gals: My dear Dad, my bro’ Johan, Henry Kimsey-House and Leadership, Vikram Lamba, Michael E. Gerber, Laura Guy, Tim Shaw, Christine Comaford, Rob Espinosa and Sally Grisedale. I think we nailed it!

Johanna

 

Dead Man Attracts Love September 10, 2009

Welcome! I thought I would become a journalist – what do you think of my headline? Seriously, please read on – there lies something in it, as we would say in Swedish…

I started writing this last time I came back from yoga. Relaxed and happy – the session ended with a nice Savasana – dead man’s pose. Apparently it is the most challenging pose of them all, although it’s the one that seems the easiest. B.K.S. Iyengar wrote: deadmanspose

In this asana the object is to imitate a corpse. Once life has departed, the body remains still and no movements are possible. By remaining motionless for some time and keeping the mind still while you are fully conscious, you learn to relax. This conscious invigorates and refreshes both body and mind. But it is much harder to keep the mind than the body still. Therefore this apparently easy posture is one of the most difficult to master.

Keeping the mind still. It is good to practice. Not only to learn to relax, and refresh your body and mind, but also to allow things to happen. As Rusty put it at that time: “the biggest favor we sometimes can do to ourselves is to step out of our own way. To stop thinking, forcing or manipulating something to happen. Sometimes the quickest way to create what we really want is to step out of the way and let it happen.

The following evening I attended an entrepreneurship event organized by TiE – The Global Network of Entrepreneurs in Silicon Valley.  The title was “Wisdom From Past Entrepreneurs – The Dirty Little Secrets that No One Talks About” presented by the CEO Freedom Fighter Christine Comaford. Christine is a business accelerator referred by individuals such as Bill Clinton and Bill Gates. She has track record like few – check this video for a taste of her wisdom to help you as an entrepreneur avoid the mistakes that keep you overworked, underpaid, and feeling trapped by your business. As a former Buddhist monk (aside from software engineer, geisha trainee, entrepreneur and venture capitalist) one of her key tips at the end was “keep the mind still daily”. She recommended Eckhart Tolles latest books “Stillness Speaks”, and she reiterated what I have said beforeit is so often in that stillness that you find a great idea or the solution you have been looking for.

Next morning I receive an email from my leadership group where one individual shares along the same lines on a personal level:  “Awareness is just that…staying without judgment, feeling without adding shoulds, and in the end, being able to look into my own eyes and see the joy and strength and beauty of the moment – awareness of the moment is the connection to the heart…. connection to the heart is connection to everything else that exists in the Universe.  […] I have gained quite a swatch of grey hairs over the past year – and the peace I feel in my heart is allowing me to step into my role as an elder with courage and incredible enthusiasm.  While I have lost what I thought was the love of my life, I have gained what I know to be the life of my love.” So beautifully put. It made me think of the introductory words of a book I had just come across: Enchanted Love, by Marianne Williamson. “Forget logic. Forget your head. Open your heart, and come with me.” Now I am curious what more it has to say.

Dead man’s pose in reality – how attractive is that? Maybe more than you think.

With love,

Johanna

 

Take PRIDE in who you are July 1, 2009

I took the sub downtown Sunday to see a little bit of the Pride Parade. (I guess it is called Bart, but I never use it, that alone was an adventure. Now I am getting side tracked – but using the map quest app on your iPhone, and checking how to go from A to B by train or bus – it is so smooth! It tells you what bus to take and when it takes off, and of course how long time it takes. You probably already knew this…). Pride. What a colorful folk feast, full with joy and celebration! “I am proud of my straight parents”, “I am proud of my gay son”, “Let the sun shine… “

It reminded me of when a very good friend of mine stayed with me for a couple of months, while doing a leadership program together two years ago. I had turned my storage space/walk in closet into a combined guest room. He was laughing one morning saying “This feels like coming out of the closet every day!” He is someone who takes pride in who he is, and he is a great role model for others in his community. Recently he opened what has become the #1 bar for lesbians, gays and other positive people in Iceland: “Barbara Sunshine”, where people dance their way out of the recession. I would love to join the dance floor!

What are you hiding in the closet? What talents are you keeping for your self, not sharing with others? Which piece of yourself have you not given attention that is time to let bloom? Share the beauty! Have fun with it. Join a community. For my own joy and self-development I recently joined a few Meet up groups: 1. San Francisco Entrepreneurs, 2. Les Ami(e)s des Francophone and 3. SF Karaoke! Meetup is such a great thing where you can easily dive into your area of interest together with others who have the same passion. If you can’t find a group or live in a country where it doesn’t exist – create it!

Creating joy. Yesterdays issue of the Yoga Journal had an article about Meditation to Invoke Joy. I was happy to read a formal “formula” for it that I could share – I have literally just gone through the process, and it worked for me. My bottom line prescription would be slightly different: 1. Connect with a feeling of absolute joy and happiness that fills your whole body. 2. Repeat it for 5 minutes, 3 times a day, for a month. It works. You simply reprogram your system and your cells get very familiar and addicted to the feeling of joy. Do you want what I have? ;) Try it!

Take pride in who you are, and let the sun shine!

Johanna

 

 
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