Exchange

Most good relationships work on chemistry and personality. But we can also find ourselves dealing with people who are not such a natural fit for us. In this case I find setting up an exchange helps.

If you can find a way to ask for someone’s help in exchange for your help, it will form a sort of beneficial relationship. No chemistry. No humour. Just help.

It won’t be easy flowing laughter or deep discussion necessarily, but it won’t be war.

If you’re struggling with someone, look for an exchange.

Happy Saturday chimps.

Covering songs – Struggling vs Story-telling

Good singing is about story-telling. It’s pretty easy to hear when a singer is struggling with a tune. The voice doesn’t quite convince the listener. Perhaps the timing is slightly off. Most importantly, it doesn’t sound authentic. There is no sense of a story being told.

There’s this thing that happens once you know a song really well. Once you have played and played and played the song, the technical stuff moves out the way and you can focus on telling the story – imbuing the song with emotional labour and making a connection with the listener. This applies to much more than music, of course.

The thing that is interesting is that this authenticity (or lack of it) doesn’t really reflect technique, ability or skill. Even great technical singers can make a song sound empty. Instead, it’s about how well you know the song from every different angle. How convinced you are as the singer that the story needs to be told. By classical opera standards, Bob Dylan has a technically terrible voice but he is utterly compelling.

Rambling post – but I am convinced that the old adage that ‘practice makes perfect’ means that practice opens up a singer to perfectly tell a story the way they want to in order to connect to the audience.

Happy Thursday chimps.

Teaching

It is often said that teachers are important, noble, and essential (disclosure – I come from a family full of teachers). But why do people say this exactly?

I think it is because of the long term. Teachers (if they’re doing their job) are trying to prepare young people for long term success. This is not the case with so many jobs.

Wall Street traders trying to profit as much as possible in the shortest time frame. Or the fast food store selling the cheapest rubbish to as many people as possible. This sort of short term-ism or race to the bottom is not really useful with proper teaching. Instead it requires patience, creativity and a long term approach.

What stops many teachers making the impact they ought to make or gaining the recognition they deserve? I think it is likely the system in which they have been employed for so long. The industrial model of education which we still mostly use, treats children like factory employees, squeezing them into predefined boxes and encouraging cramming for tests. This is not necessarily preparing them for the real world problems in this Information Age. But I digress.

Teachers, like doctors and nurses, are heroes.

Happy Wednesday chimps.

Your life vs. your Self

This morning I woke up super early to feed one of my children. When that happens I use the time to meditate, read and listen to music. If I could I would do these quieter things all day.

I’m often more creative, engaged and productive with big stretches of time spent on my own. This is good to understand.

Happy Tuesday chimps.

Split

It helps a lot if you are confident about the desired outcome. If you know what you want. I’m not sure what the stats are, but I bet that the odds of something happening go way up if you have the end goal clearly emblazoned is your mind.

All of the most important things related to a project – values, culture, status, leadership – they depend on the parameters that are set.

Maybe an example will help me express myself. If you write a novel, and it starts as a tragedy, then slips into a sci-fi, then to a slapstick comedy, and finally reaches a crescendo as a religious historical piece – well that sounds like a confused mess.

Genre and its audience is perhaps where you want to start. It helps to define the values, the culture and the modus operandi.

With that in mind, I have realized my writing on this blog tends to split into different interests. I might write about creativity, African trade, productivity, music, or sci-fi all in the space of a week.

This needs to become a little clearer, and step one in the splitting out of interests is to redesign the site a little. I think this new template is clearer and the menu at the top will help to clarify things.

It’s a work in progress.

For anyone who has reached this far in the post, happy Monday chimps. 😀

Revisiting old posts

The below post didn’t publish properly on Friday, so here it is again. Happy Sunday chimps.

One of the fun (if lightly embarassing) things about having a blog, is that you can look over your old posts. There are stats so you can check out your most popular posts, check them by date, by category and so on.

A few years ago I wrote this post highlighting the fact that I didn’t know who I was writing for. That was in 2017 and unfortunately 3 years later I still don’t really know the answer.

I read that in order to succeed building an audience on the web you need to have the who, the what and the where. The only part of the equation I have really sorted out is the where (this blog). I still don’t know the genre to stick with or who to share it with. Which is a little discouraging.

Happy Friday chimps