Art of unpredictable phases

Did you ever thought why it is so easy to burn you food? Why it takes 20 minutes to bring food to warm temperature and only 1 minute to burn it? Answer is hided in absorbing of energy.

We like to think in linear term, more A gives more B. But laws of nature are different. In cooking there is phase transformation, in finance elliot wave principles. Our perception is often mistaken. There are phases in which subject need to reorganise internal structure to upcoming shape.

Just like there is something standing between buying your product by customers and producing goods. There is distribution of goods. You can?t produce something just for sake of producing. You need to take into account that somebody somewhere needs to want it. If faster he can buy it, than better.

Traditional model of supply and demand is too simple to explain this terms, thats why I?m gonna use elliot waves. Elliot waves is pattern of stock prices which suggest next movement in particular price.There are some rules which needs to be followed to predict next moment. Predictions are based on trends of human nature, more specific – sequence of human emotions, proportional waves of hope, denial and optimism to each other.

And just like during recession in ?30, society demand movies like Godzilla and King Kong, stock prices were dictated as well by negativism. People didn?t see future clearly. Something was wrong, nobody just knew a that time.

Look at charts as effect of battle. Between this who see the future positively, second who see negative patterns and theses who follow others. Three parties want to be right, but there can be just one winner.

Traditional model doesn?t have space for doubt. We are creatures of doubt. We want to check everything. It is our need to be in control. We are managed by trends. Look at your decisions about buying stuff. Not always but sometimes they are influenced by others.

One thing consistent about buying and selling stocks is that we can buy stock early at low price but later more people need to join party and buy it as well. That is how yo make company grow. Many people need to invest.

Preciously I mention the phase transitions. When you have one block of ice, and you want hot water form it. First you will have ice-water at 0 celsius degrees than after all water is melt you can bring it up to boil. There is sequence which needs to be followed in order to change physical changes.

Here is very interesting conclusion. If you are boiling something in water, you cannot burn it. Environment will not allow for that kind of operation. But if you remove water and steam it, possibility of burning is much higher.

When you are over the edge it is really easy to fall in to. It is the same easy to step to safe place. When you have accurate map, world is yours. Some transitions seems, linear, but they are not. Sometimes you need to melt something, sometimes everything is fine you just need more time, different environment.

Let this metaphor about finance and phase transition be a your companion. Somedays we don?t have possibility to change or predict. Then is moment for changing environment or change of strategy. If you look at just one point at that charts you cannot tell anything. With exploration of different variables you get experience when something is working or not and possibility to understand and grasp predictions, when and much absorption or alignment with reality you have.

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Power of influence or How-To land on cover of Times

“The easiest thing is to react. Te second easiest thing is to respond. But the hardest thing is to initiate.”

Seth Godin

What is base of being man of power? In english language we have many different phrases. Money melt the way they say. Our two primal needs are making love and going for war. For past few years definition of both have change. Now we don?t attack neighbour tribes but difficult diseases. We just don?t make love to our spouse but to whole nation. Our scope have spread.

Rudy Giuliani

For years I have been trying to understand it what makes people powerful. What makes people to take care about transformation of world. NY Mayor Rudy Giuliani is almost legend. He was able to make major changes like declining crime by 56%, property crimes by 65%. He showed himself by qualities of true leader in face of 9/11. Few months after attacks on WTC, city is taken over by Mayor Bloomberg.

New York is in ashes after attacks, budget is 3-5 millions $ over the minus edge. When he is leaving city is thriving. NY is one of most wanted To-Go destinations with 54 milions of tourist every year, transportation system more and more efficient, air is more clean due to environment reform and NY is thriving one more time.

Toyota factory

Sustainable growth requires a lot of attention and huge effort. One of my favourites stories is about GM plant in California. It was one of the worst plants producing car in whole US. Employees were not organised, rates of cars with effects leaving this place was huge, efficiency was very poor. GM sold factory to Toyota and within months it was one of most efficient factories in US.

Toyota have done something americans cannot do. There is many reason why Toyota is still number one brand of cars in US.

World is changing, everything flows, but there is some little crack. We are men of our destiny. We can influence our world. We can change it.  Animals on other hand, they don?t have that kind of grasp. They just live, cannot control almost anything.  Few decades, we have landed on moon. It is done guys, we have landed on other planet. It took millions of dollars and effort of almost every scientist. But It could be done.

Politicians

Power comes unexpectedly. You cannot plan it. You can attempt to gain it. You can have it on short term but it is different thing to be in power over long period of time. Good example of that is how politicians get elected to office. It is ?easy? to do it once. But look for seniors who are doing this over and over their lifetimes. When new possibilities arise they embrace it.  Being canny.  Adaptation is what makes it powerful over changing landscape.

Now after many years of working with so many successful people, after so many books and seminars attended, one thing is very common for success. Willingness, hunger for it.  After all everybody starts at square one. Everybody need to accept theirs faith. People have very good tools and sells because they acquire them. Many of people who you are seeing on covers of newspapers, they spend years working harder than competition. Not just longer but harder.

Athletes

If you will have chance one day, to know better good athlete, spent some time with them. Soon you will discover how much work require gaining strength on competition level. They are set for succeeding. They workout to erase pain. They don?t know to do anything else what make so much satisfaction.

Motivations

It begins one day. Situations taken apart in past, now make sense. They come together again. You begin need to break this record. With every second, to ease pain, you need to do your work. Your journey begins.  It takes time. It is painful. It is simple. It will take years, at least 10 000 hours. If you can make capacity for that huge effort, nothing can stop you. You develop abilities.  But sometimes goals are set to high. Sometimes they fail. Sometimes they don?t have enough power. Sometimes things go just in wrong direction.

But. After years of practice, acquired skills, they succeed. When they hold prize, mind is going crazy. Every obstacle  cumulated trough these years want to be heard. It would like to scream. But it is showtime. Now it is time to enjoy success. They made it.

Olympics

There is reason why most new world records are set on olympics. It is easier to do it. Even if you try to imagine in your mind. Your goal dictate results. Imagine standing on the podium. You are best in the world. Look around. You can see thousands of people. You national anthem is heard by everybody. It is played because of you. You are most seen representative of your nation. You have made dream come true.  Higher stakes always equals higher rewards.

True influence, when you can grasp big problems and transform them. Not only be aware of them. This is core of influence. Core of change.  Best indicators of influence is performance. How quickly you can get results, starting from beginning.

By getting into field we get true feedback. More we are pursuing our strong side, stronger we get. Influence, power is concept which is making sense only when pursuing your performance further. Trying harder rearly change. You can?t just hope to change something. You can?t be in your head only. You need serious tools. Tools which can transform world.

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Don’t aim to be happy to be Happy

Our small children. One of elements which doesn?t fit into happiness frame. They are happy. Doesn?t matter where they are. Doesn?t matter where they came from. Happiness is unpredictable in there case.

We are pursuing in all directions possible. We want everything. But maybe experiencing happiness is something different. Happiness as state when our resources are present. We when we have enough and we are happy about it. Maybe after all is not a cause happiness that we fill fulfilled. Maybe we need to be fulfilled to be happy. We can?t aim for being happy. We need to aim to be full.

So many examples are denying standard theory about happiness. Every alpinist, person who was in walking around mountains agree with me, that happiness isn?t only physical state. After long hike you can be extremely exhausted, and still you are happy. After summiting, it its hard to be more happy. Long years or ever decades of preparation, everything just for this moment.

Fighting for things which are worthwhile this is what makes us happy. There are many recipes for happiness. But there is one, universal. Minimalist what makes you unhappy. Don?t avoid it. Minimalize. Aim to be full.

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Limits of will or When our thinking doesn’t work

Things happen, despite our urge to control them. Risk is factor, chance of happening of certain event. Bigger risk equals bigger chance.

Question I would like to ask is,how to asses is it worth to risk your chances?

When you shoot gun straight in to air on huge field, there is big possibility, you will be fine. Do it in small room, and your life will be in danger. Influence, money, can give you some feeling about risk, that you have absolute power, absolute control. Today world implies, control over almost every aspect of life. We are masters of our destiny. Most of our decisions become lean itself. We ale able to remove obstacles. What we believe in becomes what we are able to do. Unconsciously we become risk takers. 

Our thinking seems to be self sufficient.  Our thoughts become reality almost instantly. But our thinking by it self it is not enough. 

To give example, think about jumping on bungee. It can seems like good idea. But there is some danger. Your spine can be dangerously extended.  If your spine gets overstretch, walking and lifting can become more difficult. Are you able to asses pain of your stupidity?

Winning in lottery doesn?t make you macho. Maybe except in your head.  You can convince yourself that you have chances. Maybe have some advantage. Risk can be blinded. It is not true. It is gambling. Winning and being powerful, are two separate concepts.  Our will is only powerful and only in case when we are align with this laws of nature.   

There are some law of our world.  You can create reality when it is align with rules of physics, economy, marketing, financial.

Imagine now, cowboy from western, typical Clint Eastwood type. Maybe without cigarette. Put him on board of International Space Station – spacecraft hoovering around 100km over surface of earth. One of the antennas is broken. Somebody need to fix it. So we ask our cowboy to go out and fix it. He is afraid. He never been in space before. He will go without and kind of protective equipment just his western type clothes, blue jeans and shirt in red circles. His feel of being confident, that he will do the job, it not gonna change anything. World is again him.

These rules, are not oriented in terms of good or bad. They are oriented in reality, in part of it which we don?t see. God is playing in much deeper sense. Our human logic don?t apply to it. If you look inside bible you will find a lot of examples. God was punishing with something out of perception. By nature, by invisible power. When asses risk, pay attention to invisible. 

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Environment for understanding Art

For very long time in our history, we were just providing goods. We didn?t took customers needs to seriously.

Product just worked, fulfilling basic requirements. Process was self sufficient. You could produce things which nobody wants. Sellers could charge too high price and still be fine.

Then modern era comes and internet.

For past 15 years world come to complete change. In our heads. We are thinking differently. End customer is playing much bigger role. Process of manufacturing, creating and distributing is different. Instead focus on-one-part-at-time we focus on process as a whole. We integrate different part to make best fit.

Audience is extension of artist, writer, producer or business owner. Needs of our costumers are solved by solutions provided by us. By our logic. Structure of whole experience need do be as integral as possible. Think of Spotify – streaming music provider. They are providing all of their music based on subscription of there product – music player. Spotify customers solve very narrow  problem – access to high quality records. Solution is be available on your computer, phone or tablet. This is what they do. Solutions to their main problem listening music can solve different problems, like boredom or support during home tasks, music for workout, remembering favourite playlist or sharing them.

Audience let you articulate very subtle elements.  If you play few notes on underground, it become unnoticed. Do it in environment where people expect that and theirs reaction will be different. In order for plans to grow, you need to plant in in soil.

Music is usually, very precise tool to influence our emotions. Just think about funeral music or music in chapel, music for workout. Not many people listen to Metallica on funeral but many do during gym-time.

Values have changed recently. Sharing is not only possible, is required. One of best resources – Wikipedia or Linux are completely open. Even you are as user encourage to modify them. Users create what they want to use. They are self standing guard of content.

Different side is listening to your customers too much. In that case costumers take care to predict company direction. It can be good, but can be very damaging. Good example is Apple. They are listening to theirs costumers but as well hold very clear philosophy. When you remove possibility to change too options you obviously, will have smaller choice but as well when things will go smoothly, your experience will be more pleasurable. Sometimes not listening is profitable on long term.

Environment you create, it will have rules. Like every system, it will work certain way. Do it consciously.

 

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Start with good ingredients or Why structure is so important?

What means to produce quality work? Can the future trends of quality can be predicted? How it connects with our lives? How Quality influence our day-to-day life?

Just like good quality watch need to be build by high quality parts, our work need to be build on strong base. Think about Nike. Nike is not only about great gear. Nike campaigns, honour great athletes. It is theres part of mission. They don?t create only nice, workout gear ads. They give back everything.

Quality is always strongly influenced by the past.

In US quality means it works, in Korea it is brand new, in Japan it is highest efficiency, in China it gives you social status. Perception of quality is influenced by language,  location, culture.  In one word environment.  We are adapted to it. Our thoughts are effect of our environment. What we have build it is in direct connection with our nature our basics needs. Where you are is in direct connection what you will have on mind. Evolution is direct effect of adaptation to have better quality of lives. To grow. We have created farms because we needed sustainable sources of food. Hunting was not enough. We need something more. Our expansion was too rapid. To many babies was born. Rising expansion of tribes, rising aggressiveness. Hunting wasn?t enough. We needed bigger river to swim. Hunting will be always part of us, is one of longest periods of our evolution.  That why hunting will always be connected to high quality of experience.

Sometimes we want to enhance something which is not great. We know deep inside it is not good way to go. We hope that when we add extra items it will make more nice. It is wrong way. Use only this material which is congruent with you. Show to the world only this what, can be biggest disaster. What is part of you. Francis Kafka, famous for ?process?, publish it against publicity. Nobody believed in him. He didn?t live long enough to acnowlage, fact about his enormous success. He just felt it. He know it . Belived in it.

Success sometimes is a lot of bullsh*t. It can be.  Maybe pharmaceutical companies, banks, institutions make just money for secret society. Maybe. But it doesn?t matter. We have job to do. We can change the world. It can happen. Choose to make good work.  This is story how not to go on shortcuts. Maybe is more difficult way, maybe gonna cost more pain but is only way to greatness. It is story how to be congruent with your past. Remember very much question of quality is connected to aspect of congruency. If system in which we are living is congruent, it will be high quality as well. Be like Nike, share what you believe in. Use culture but create it as well.

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Have experience in your field or Why exploration into new matter

Deliberate practice was coined during research by K. Anders Ericsson. He was studying people who are very good at what they are doing. Long story short, world class experts are doing many things differently and have years of practice. One of most visual examples of long practice is driving. You can be driver with a very long experience. But does it make you an excellent one? How would you do on NASCAR or F1 track?

Answer to this question is core to deliberate practice.

Unless you are training on the edge of your skills, you are NOT gonna perform better. If you are in a comfort zone = you don?t progress. If you want to join performers, you need to get there. You will be required to try things differently. You need to find your way in gaining advantage. Competitive sports are good example of that.

 

Everybody is on the same page at the beginning. Than training begisn. Some have extra advantages, extra cognitive capabilities, better body, better environment to train, or bigger motivation. Everything is then summarised during the final race. Person, who is thefittest, has the ability to involve the biggest amount or resources will win the race.

 

One of the most important concepts which you learnwhen practicing deliberate practice is the concept of  new distinctions. Distinctions give your way for making new things. Distinctions are based on associations of physical world to our internal feelings. Do you remember Pavlov dogs? This is the same structure, just in different emotions.

When you see distinctions, you are at the stage to discover structure. Anything what you are working on is not black magic but relationships of cause and effect. Just like your neighbourhood. In the begining you didn?t knew anybody. With time, houses around yours were filled with people who you knew personally. It was?t a house, it was ?Jim?s? house. With time you develop a more accurate map of the world.

 

The moment you stop exploring, you stop learnig. That is how the things are. Continuous learning has a side effect of failing sometimes. Question how fast you will be get up and start running again is the curve of your learning.

 

Normally, failure makes  you stop in the process of what you are doing. If you are fuelled by internal motivation, failures just make you stronger. Failure means that you were using wrong thinking for a wrong problem. Just to change the outcome, be aware what you are doing next time. Be aware of the previous mistakes. Try not to do them again. Now as far as you are willing to try new things, accept bigger challenges, bigger success with current mechanism you will have. If you want to be best at tennis, train like crazy, search for the best techniques, try new things. As long you will be able to keep your motivatio up and keep trying in face of raising obstacles, more successful you will become. There is no easy way.

 

The last thing you need to remember is the fact that persistence comes from your inner self. It cannot be learned. You need do discover it. If it is too hard, change your direction. You have just one inner genius. It needs to be on the right path.

 

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10 Rules for making Good Art (or product)

1.Start with good ingredients – retrieve what is there, don?t create fake  – embrace history.

Michael Angelo didn?t make sculptures, he retrieved them from piece of stone. They were already there. Great painters don?t choose lazy subjects. They choose what is important. Use history as your ally.

 

  1. Have an experience in field – prepare yourself – know what you are talking about – do your work

Most artists prepare themselves for making art. They read everything on a given subject. They take advantage of experience in a real world. If you want to write about trains, take a few trips and talk to people interested in the subject. (Ayn Rand and train research for Atlas Shrugged)

Better you prepare yourself, better and faster your job will be done. Doctors practice for years before healing people. Be like a doctor of soul. Move people in right direction.

 

3.Environment – have an audience who can hear what you want to say.

Create or use environment ?1where your art gonna make right reaction. Remember about Joshua Bell and Washington  DC Metro experiment. If you don?t have right position, nobody gonna listen.

 

  1. Make it with love. Make it because you can, not as if beeing forced to do it.

Think about your grandma preparing cakes for grandchildren. If you do anything with love, you will care more. People will sense your attitude. Be playful – Margaret Atwood and her book Debt. Good art is not always making big important things. Sometimes is this subjects which nobody is touching on.

 

5.Be truthful

Everybody can lie. Few can get away with it. Fewer can tell truth. Feed the right wolf.  If you are to stop caring for you material be careful, it gonna feed wrong wolf. Take a break. It is better not to do it than damage yourself.

 

6.Embrace obstacles – what is happening is happening, use it, don?t deny it.

Your feelings can be transmitted. Some hard feelings are part of the process. That is what makes us human after all.

 

7.Remove waste – unnecessary things

Always aim for perfection. You not gonna achieve it. It is impossible. But it is worth trying.

However, remember – don’t oversimplify.

 

8.Embrace your broken hart – strong emotions

If somebody broke your heart, use it. There is a juice of art. Everybody feels broken. Everybody feels lonely. Everybody feels wasted. Use it. Help others. Remember in Art everybody starts from zero. Just like everybody starts on eBay with zero feedback.

 

9.Embrace feedback – criticise you own work – look for a fake signal

Find what is not working. Be like a magnifying glass. If you gonna be looking for smallest mistakes, your audience won?t see small ones.

 

  1. Look for invisible

Overachievers just perform better, genius will find invisible, something what nobody can see.

 

These 10 rules are inspired from Neil Gaiman 2012 Commencement Speech – Make Good Art

Brilliant watch.

 

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Why separate Goals and Resources for future growth

For past few years we might have observed a new trend of planning using agile rules. Instead of sequential planning and what is called a waterfall model ? where progress is seen as steady slow downwards through ? concept, initiation, analysis, construction etc. Agile is using short but intense sprints.  The idea is declared in beginning and developed to final product with a set of sprints. Each sprint is finished with a feedback to track progress toward  a final product.

Agile is now being used mostly in software development but many other different areas tend to  introduce it into their field as well [marketing, sales].

The main feature of agile is a small feedback loop ? short time for the construction of a product which eliminates  lots of unnecessary elements ? waste, ? documentation or feature, which the end user don?t use. The only way to do it is updating the final product though,as often as possible. This is the final level. Sustainability.

In today era, traditional planning is a little bit too stiff. We need something more flexible. We can?t follow strict schedules like 40 years ago. Changes take place  too fast. Seven years ago,  Apple introduced iPhone. iPhone 2G Ladies & Gents,  7 years ago. A lot have changed since then. Our tools, environment, Twitter, our computers are 20x faster.

So iIf long term goals do not align with the world peace what we can do? The answer is: short term goals. Instead of keeping a clear vision, get yourself prepared. Instead of focusing on looking for a new deal, prepare yourself for it. Find areas where you are good at. Find your purpose. Find your Genius. Take better sleep, eat better. Take care of your body. In future  your health will always constitute a key component of your overall performance. Better you gonna feel, better you gonna perform.

Said that, we can connect both of the systems. If you use goals for short term learning goals or performance indicators, and use resources planning as long term planning, you gonna align a lot better with a current development.

If you would like to learn something, apply goals. This is still the best method to track performance. If you learn fast, you will get goals faster. Learning is such a zero/one operation. If you know how to do it, it can be done. Timeframes not gonna change it.

Additional help can come with the elimination of time wasting. The elimination of what is unnecessary leaves you a lean process.  Sometimes it is better to do nothing than be trapped. Take out tasks which fix your time. You gonna be wasting your time no matter how well you do it. Be careful for this.

You know exactly what needs to be done. These tasks gonna be things you will run away in every possible  other direction. Your thoughts not gonna change the world. If you avoid them, you will pay the price.

And the most important thing ? be data informed, not data driven. Innovation is not data driven. Track what not gonna change.

 

 

Resources

 

Steve Paulina ? articles about planning 

Read Agile Manifesto. 

Watch Agile inventors speaking about agile. 

Agile and family

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