Smarter Than Yesterday

Have you been curios and learning something new today? If you haven’t there is no need to give up hope. Turns out that curiosity is trainable. And even learning new skills doesn’t take years if you apply the right methods according to Tim Ferriss, who has been a human guinea pig in learning new skills in the shortest amount of time. You too can chose to get better every day. The best way to do this, is to spend time with others who also Level Up! each day 🙂

I call this being a Curiosity Ninja!

Ignore Everybody [Do Learn Form Them]

Today I got inline to get some Norway Lobsters at a local fish wagon. Same place I went to yesterday when I didn’t get any because I was there to late. So I did learn and became smarter than yesterday. Some people do. Others has worked for 20 years and only have 1 year of experience to account for, i.e. they has the same 1 year of experience 20 times. This I “Read” today as I listened through the audiobook Ignore Everybody with Hugh MacLeod. I really peculiar book that isn’t for everybody. It was for me. I really like the double messages that confirms that nothing is ever black or white. Check it out: Ignore everybody and 39 Keys To Creativity.

Many people have already made the mistakes that your are about to make. You don’t have to learn form your own mistakes. You can actually learn from others 🙂

Ignore Everybody - The Blog

Ignore Everybody – The Blog

Level Up! [Make Smarter Choices]

What I’m getting at is that becoming smarter each day by learning by your own and preferably others mistakes is a choice. I choose to do things differently today to see if they turned out any better. Different is of course not always better. But without experimentation we can’t innovate and improve ourselves.

Neo , The Chosen One – Are he making decisions or are he just to understand the choices already made?
– What Choices Do You Make?

I will go back to the word “Choice”. Am I really choosing to do things different? This is a very interesting question. So interesting that I had to re-watch my absolute favourite movie on the matter tonight: The Matrix Reloaded. Did I have choice in watching it tonight or am I just to understand why I watched it again? The question of free will and if the universe is deterministic is very interesting on a human level. Mostly because this is the only level, part from some really smart mathematicians, that most humans can think on. And it’s ok. We need to think like humans and we need to become better at it all the time.

Most of us humans don’t really think about becoming better humans on a daily basis.

But what if we did?

I now feel that this is one of the things I really care about. How can we become better versions of ourself than we where yesterday? How can you? Like in a roleplaying game like World Of Warcraft where one of the main focuses is getting more experience each day so the you can increase your skills and learn new talents every week, month and year. To Level Up! This is the book I’m writing. How to Level Up! your life. By training your brain, your body and your empathy and social skills every day.

Check Tai Lopez too and his take on investing and improving yourself every day: Invest in Yourself.

Double down on your own brain and invest in yourself — Tai Lopez

I have also been reading and doing exercises in Daniel Priestley’s books, Key Person of Influence and Entrepreneur Revolution. They are all about defining yourself and all of your experiences into a clear version of yourself. One that you want to take further into life. One that others will look up to in your particular tribe and niche.

Do give Daniel a listen on his long talk on London Real.

Within the context of an environment, certain outcomes become very normal - Daniel Priestley

Become part of an environment that normalizes what ever you want to succeed with – Daniel Priestley

Do want to get a brain that sees the world in a new perspective?

Both Robert Kegan and Peter Sage both talk about another effect of pursuing knowledge and insights each day. Our brain can reach new orders of mentality and consciousness where we perceive the ourself and the world in whole new ways. Read more here and here. So by training yourself you can actually become better at training yourself. This is very good news for you. Also people will wanna hang out with you if you are a wiser person.

Find Your Fellows [Start a Level Up! Club] 

The central theme in all this is to spend time with other people who also want to Level Up! their lives. Not with people who drag you down but with people who lift you up. This is sometimes hard. There are global meetups like Live Your Legend Local and online communities like London Real Academy that tries to gather people into peer groups that boost each other on a regular basis. Or start your own Level Up! Club. Start befriending people you want to have in you Level Up! club.

As for the book I mention at the top: Ignore Everybody. With it I mean Ignore Everybody except for your Level Up! Club.

And Mentors [Who Are Your Mentors?]

Try to find mentors to include in the group of people who you spent the most time with. People who are already ding things toy want to do. Listen to Geoff Woods on the subject: The Mentee. And listen to Tai Lopez TED Talk. I know this isn’t easy. I have never had a mentor in my life. And the all the mentors I have today come in the form of Books and Podcast with interesting people. Still I would like to find some real mentors and become one as well.

Do find it in yourself to Level Up! each day even if it’s only 5 minutes before bed — Lord Sillion

And how did it go with my Norway lobsters? They tasted delicious when me and my family ate them in our annual Lobster Party 🙂

/Lord Sillion
Level 42 and climbing

 

Our Lobster/Crayfish party at House Sillion

Our Lobster/Crayfish party at House Sillion

Advertisements

Lies, Truth and Self-Narration

We all do it! Tell Stories. And almost every one of them we tell to ourself. It is how consciousness works. It’s a story of yourself. And your conscious self can help self-direct it. It’s called making choices. Some say that we don’t have free will. I think they are defining it wrong. We do choices all the time. All based on the previous stories we have stored in our brain. What is a lie then? It’s just a story. Most of the time we can’t tell if it’s “true”. To the brain all things are stories. A conscious lie is when we have two parallel stories of what took place and chooses to tell the other. So how often do you direct your own stories?

How good are you at lying to yourself? [Become a better Self-Narrator!]

Think about for 10 seconds before you read on.

Dan Ariely - Why We Lie

Dan Ariely – Why We Lie

So I have been listening to a lot of different “Stories” on Lying and Self-Narration. For a good start I recommend listening to TED Radio hour: Why We Lie with people like Dan Ariely and Michael Shermer.

“Can’t have champagne wishes without caviar dreams.” – Nolan Ross

As you read this you are watching a movie. It’s a very real movie triggering all of your senses. It is called Consciousness. It’s made up from a very complex source of external and internal sensory inputs, simulations, memories and stories. In order for it all to come together, The Director in your mind, has to cut many corners and throw away lots of material. The Director is a very good liar, or Storyteller as we would like to call it. This is in fact “You” lying to yourself. It all makes sense. This Story, that is you. Sometimes it’s just not “The Truth”. Because for the Brain that is a mythological concept.

“Character Is A Vital Lie” – Ernest Becker

As you interact with the outside world, you are constantly using this story to further you, on your journey through life. Your brain is full of filters that makes everything you experience a very unique experience just for you. Keep that in mind when you interact with others and share your story.

You Always Believe What You Tell Yourself

Belief Or Make Belief

Belief Or Make Belief

When you think of it, this is our greatest gift. Something that should be cherished. It’s also a good skill to have. It’s a form of Masquerade and a Roleplaying Game. You have many internal roles and parts of your brain that blends into a mix that is you and gives rise to your self illusion. With this in mind let’s get better at it. If you want to Change people. Don’t tell them what to do. Tell them a Story that they can internalize and tell to themselves. That can become part of their story.

The Self is a house of Cards – Jason Silva

Life is a Game. Let’s Play Tonight!

Let’s play a little game. I want you to try and tell your story to others and have them tell your story back to you. How does that feel? Now do the same for them. Ask them how does that feel. To to reflect together on how your own story differs from others story about you.

We can all need a little help in the Narration of our own lives. Start spending time with people who are good at Narrating their own life. Then you will become better at narrating your own. We can all Become Gurus of Our Own Life as Jonathan Fields put it. Just remember:

Even if you are alone in your own mind, you are never alone outside of it. 

Become a better Self-Narrator!

@LordSillion 
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Is the Future For Sale? [Do You Own Yours?]

When I went to Almedalen this summer, me and my friends stumbled upon an art gallery with the walls covered in calendars sheets. It was an Art Project called “Dagar Till Salu” [Days For Sale]. It’s a thought experiment created by Filippa Krusenstjerna, Hanna Stahle, Lene Willumsen and Maria Lilja. What happens if you can buy your own day in the future? Can you call Dibs on everything that day? What happens in your brain when you buy a day? Do you in fact create your own future? Sure you can have visions and set goals. But are you responsible for the outcome of the future? If so, what can you do to Architect your own future?

Dagar Till Salu [Days For Sale]

Dagar Till Salu [Days For Sale] – We are buying the future! – Daniel Stintzing – Michael Sillion – Jörgen Welter

Is the Future For Sale? [Or do you sell your future?]

Thought experiments like these give rise to some very interesting questions. Can you buy the future? Or even the Present? What would you do if you called all the shots and where King for a day? And what happens in Your Brain when you buy a day in the future?

For me this evokes 2 different thoughts in my head. Should I start with the most worrying question first? I think I do:

Thought No. 1
[How do you spend your action points?]

If you have Money, Power or Influence how do you use that to affect life on Planet Earth? Now and in the future to be?

Sure we all interact with each other creating connections while weaving the tapestry of the future. But what if you can do it in a literal sense? Like in so many of the modern designer boardgames where you have some kind of action selection mechanic. You spend your time and recourses to decide on what outcome you expect. Can we do it in real life to. Sure we have desires for the future and they all constantly clash and interact with other people’s agendas. But if you don’t set your own agenda, someone else will. And that leads us directly to my next thought…

Thought No.2
[Are you taking full responsibility for your own future?]

So many inspiring people I have listened to lately all say the same thing. How do you shape your own future? Can you try to little? Or can you try to much? There are 4 ways to go throughout life according to Peter Sage.

1. To Me. The World happens to me.
2. By Me. The World happens by me.
3. Through Me. The World happens through me.
4. As Me. The World happens as me.

To go down to the desired step nr 3 requires both age and wisdom. We can all get there, with the proper mindset and guidance. So if you aren’t on your way, we can all help you get there.

Do you want to own up the outcome of each day by letting go of firm grip of too much control? Just do the right things that aligns with your visions, affirmations and goals and you will get there. We can’t predict the future. We can try to take control. Or we can let go and trust our own master plan. A master plan is also best if it aligns with all the other members of your tribes in this modern Networked Society.

My Day October 12 - I bought this day. It's mine I tell you. Mine!

My Day October 12 – I bought this day. It’s mine I tell you. Mine!

My Day [I Set the Agenda for My Future]

So how did it go in Almedalen? Well I bought a day in the near future. October 12th. This is now my day when I set the agenda. And My agenda is to talk with you about how we all set our agendas. So I will use it as an inspiration day for setting agendas. A Kind of META  thinking 😉

The RSA’s new idea ‘The Power to Create’ argues that the potential now exists (but is not yet fulfilled) for every citizen to be the author of their own lives. A responsibility we have in pursuing the creative life is to resist the lure of already conversations with ourselves, with our friends and, perhaps most of all, with our competitors and opponents.

And My friend Jörgen Welter also bought a day. In fact he bought 3 days 3 years in a row. Namely November 2nd all three years.  Let’s see what happens on his day. Why should we then do this kind of experiment? Because the brain is amazing companion that we can talk to. The best way to talk to your brain is to tell it stuff 🙂

People don’t believe what you tell them.
They rarely believe what you show them.
They often believe what their friends tell them.
They always believe what they tell themselves.
Seth Godin

This is what is happening in my brain, when I think about owning a day in the future. It gives rise to a feeling of autonomy. A story I tell myself.

/LordSillion
Architect Of The Future

Future

Tell yourself a story of your tomorrow. A tomorrow where you set the agenda!  A Future you Own!

The Hunt Is On [Here be Pirates] #Blogg100

Here be Pirates! It’s time raise the sails and cast away on a new 100 day journey. This journey takes place in our minds as we travel ever deeper into our minds using the technique called journaling. As I have given the Ninja side of me much love lately it’s now time to give the pirate side some love! I’ve been seeing some of the new pirate series Black Sails and I just love the Pirate Myth. We can all be Pirates and Ninjas and go hunting for a new society together. Find out more by reading below and follow with me on this 100 day journey.

Avast, me hearties! [Let’s go hunting]

#Blogg100 Challenge

#Blogg100 Challenge

It’s that time of year again. Last year we boarded our vessel on January 23 to go on a 100 day journey. This year it’s the March 1. The Vessel I’m referring to is not a physical one, but the mind. And The Journey we are embarking on is the #Blogg100 Challenge.

Why go on a Journey in your mind? By doing journaling in the form of a private diary or a public blog is very helpful for the mind if it’s done in an analytical way. When putting words on your thoughts, you greatly help your brain sorting and evolving them. So while embarking on this Journey my mind also immediately draws on to another adventure …

Black Sails [“Yo ho ho, and a bottle of… rum!”]

As you may already have figured I love Ninjas. I also like the Mythical Pirates from the movies. The whole Ninjas vs. Pirates Meme can be found throughout my blog. So it’s about time that the pirate side got some love as well. My favourite movie as a child was Crimson Pirate with Burt Lancaster. It was the first movie my uncle had taped on his first VHS player back in the eighties and me and my brother watched it countless times together with Star Wars. It was with great anticipation that watched the first episode of HBO’s new series Black Sails. And it did not disappoint. I just love the beautiful setting of Nassau in the Caribbean and mix between fictional and historical narration. It sets me head cap’n spinnin’! And have gotten me playing Gangplank allot more in League of Legends 😉

It may not be the deepest of shows but it has its moments, like the one below. For me personally it’s about what life and ambitions was like back then. How is that different from, how many men in power today, just want to rob the world? Mankind haven’t changed a lot in the last 50 000 years. We are still capable of so much greed and cruelty. This is something we should think about on a daily basis.

– The emperor writes: How should you be?

You should be like a rocky promontory against which the restless surf continuously pounds. It stands fast while the churning sea is lulled to sleep at its feet.

I hear you say – “How unlucky that this should happen to me”. But not at all. Perhaps say instead how lucky I am that I am not broken by what has happened, and I am not afraid of what is about to happen. For the same blow might have stricken any one, but not many who would have absorbed it without capitulation and complaint. — Marcus Aurelius, Meditations read in Black Sails

Nassau - Kingdom of Pirates

Nassau – Kingdom of Pirates – Black Sails

Hunting your own Destiny [“I won’t rest till I see ye hangin’ from the yardarm!”]

What Captain Flint wants in Black Sails, is to hunt down his Destiny as King of Thieves. It maybe isn’t the noblest of quests but it is also about being rid of the of Imperial Leaders of the Greedy Olden World. Nothing is ever that simple.

It’s also about the journey to get there. This is how I intend to use my focus when doing my blogging. Hunting down my Destiny and recording my Journey on the way. Thus reflecting on my motives to get there. What actions is worthy raising me sails for? Who will I want as “me hands” to get there. And what price does me hunting’ come by? So the Pirate Meme is comes to mind after all 🙂

Will you set out on a great adventurous journey with me hunting down our destinies? Life is about the Journey. Let’s make it a good one that may be worthy of a song!

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Smaug the Grandmaster [Sherlock the Maestro]

Smaug the Grandmaster [Sherlock the Maestro]

What are your expert skills? Now and in the future? What will you spend your days on mastering? As you can see, this is an area that I’m very interested in. I will now give you a run-through about how you can become a Master of your own life, skills and passions. What insights can Sherlock Holmes, Smaug and Tauriel give us on the quest of living? — Life can be made more social. We can have more intent in our thoughts and actions. The Brain is the most astonishing invention of the Universe. Start treating it with the Awe it inspires and it will start giving back to you. Life is about making a flourishing society here on Planet Earth and we can become skilled experts in helping it along. Below I will give my thoughts on the subject. Do share your thoughts too below, in the comments or find me at my next social event and discuss it. 

Here be Dragons!

Becoming a Master Expert [Skill Up Your Life]

Smaug the Grandmaster

Smaug the Grandmaster – Greed-King Unparalleled and Death-Dealer Extraordinaire 

We all now that it takes time to master a skill. And Malcolm Gladwell’s 10.000 hour rule is jet an arbitrary number for becoming an Expert. Some take less and some take more. I went and saw The Grandmaster last year and it certainly takes more than 10.000 hours of training to become a Grandmaster let alone a Master in Kung Fu. Yet if you break down any skill in small pieces you can become a novice in every skill-piece in just 20 hours according to Josh Kaufman.

So I went to see The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug or as I will call it The Hobbit: Grandmagistra Tauriel & Grandmaster Smaug. What did I think of the Movie? On a personal level this an awesome movie. The best Visual Movie I’ve seen. The fairy tale feeling is nothing short of a masterpiece. You are actually there with them in Midgard. Witch brings me to my first observation:

The Master Team [Together We Can Build Everything Ever]

To make a movie like this and the first trilogy you not only need a super team of experts and masters in each and every skill required. When you put them all together in the right teams you create something more than the sum of the whole. The emerging outputs of such a creative teams is just amazing. No-one can argue against that. In-movie wise we have the Dwarfs. What they have created in Erebor is also a fictional masterpiece of engineering. When lead by a strong vision where everyone has put their heart into their own master craft, there is no limit to what we can create together.

That’s why I’m advocating using storytelling so much to help shape the future into what we want it to be. Soap Operas and Reality TV maybe great ways to stimulate our unquenchable thirst of our social brains to get more social stimuli? But when it comes to building common visions for our future, not so much. Then we need stories with a lot more philosophical thoughts going into them.

Then we have the fictional Master teams as well. From Tauriel and Legolas in the The Hobbit to Sherlock Holmes and John Watson in Sherlock. Both connected through Benedict Cumberbatch and Martin Freeman.

“When your art fails, make better art”
“It’s never too late to redefine self-control, to change long-ingrained habits, and to do the work you’re capable of”
Seth Godin

So why does it take more than just the 10 000 hours, to become great at something? If it was easy everyone would make Masterpieces like this. And even this movie I find too lacking in its philosophical parts. How should we all get better in our trades? If we are to make better art like Seth Godin says we better get good at it. I will try to find out how.

Tauriel the Champion [What Is Time Well Spent?]

Tauriel

Grandmagistra Tauriel – Wicked Bow-Woman and World-Thinker Fantastique 

The stunts that Tauriel and Legolas pulls when fighting the Orcs in The Hobbit is very spectacular indeed. But when you think about it, what a human grandmaster learns in 40 years of training, is nothing compared to how much training a 600 year old Elf must have. Lets say 4 hours a day and it will be something around 200 000 hours. Then you’re expected to be able to do the stunts they are doing without even blinking twice. They are able to become true champions of any craft or art of their choosing. And who wouldn’t want that? Do you?

Groundhog Day [Punxsutawney Phil]

What about Phil in Groundhog Day? How long does it take him to master all the skills in the end? Harold Ramis responds to a calculation by saying he spends at least 30 to 40 years in the Groundhog-verse.

Rita: It would take a year to get good at this.
Phil: No. Six months. Four to five hours a day and you’d be an expert.
Rita: Is this what you do with eternity? – Groundhog Day

So what is time well spent? Who are we to judge what skills are worth spending a lifetime on nourishing. What are the jury saying about becoming an expert in anything other than a traditional craft? And what skills should you devote an entire lifetime on to become a master and eventually a Grandmaster [Grandmagistra] in?

Mad Passions [Sample Your Skills]

Just practicing a skill over and over ain’t gonna cut it either. Yes for you to master a skill you will need to have a passion for it or develop a passion for it along the way. And passion alone is not going to cut it either. Cal Newport gives a great speech about it here: “Follow Your Passion” Is Bad Advice. He is just putting a spin on it. Of course it’s great to have one or many passions. But in order for you to become an expert you need to have the knack for it as well or you will be fighting a very uphill battle.

So how does this help you and me? For one thing if we are to become masters of our craft and art we there is probably not too many shortcuts around the hours put in. Practice makes perfect, and perfect practice makes you even more perfect. Then it becomes even more important what you pick to master. No, the agony. What should I master? Here trying many small skills and learning them in just 20 hours can come very handy. You need to sample many skills and passions to find some that fits in both camps. Either a passion that you may seem yo have the knack for or a talent that you can begin to love.

You should try to sample many skills. It’s very helping and insightful and it gives you a better perspective on the whole spectrum of human endeavor. On the road to mastery do explore many branches in your skill tree. Should you find yourself on a dead-end you can easily go back and follow another branch.

Does that mean that there is both a long and a shorter road to mastery? It probably does. With the right focus and learning-techniques you can learn a skill or a craft much faster. Leaving room over for other skills to learn as well or becoming even better at something. Also worth taking into considerations when learning something is this pillars I will talk about in a coming blog-post: Mental Condition, Technique, Motivation, Social Setting and Fun.

Some people will always need help. That doesn’t mean they are not worth helping – Meera Reed, Game of Thrones

But don’t be afraid of cultivating some mad passions that you posses. As long as they are not to harmful they may do you and society some good. We are in such of dire need of more originals in the world. Serendipity may take you a long way. Just try to be mindful of what you are doing and keep and open dialogue about it with yourself and maybe a mentor or two.

Take deep breath and take a sip of your favourite beverage.
Look yourself in the mirror…
Then comment and narrate your own thoughts and actions out loud. — Lord Sillion

Because most of us should not be left alone to our own devices going blind into the future. We are all in dire need of social coaching within our various tribes that we belong to. Try asking for help when choosing what path you should trod down and what skills and passions you should follow. And DO sidestep your predestined track. At least ask yourself when staring into the mirror: “Who am I and what am I doing?“. We can all use a little more self narration in our lives 🙂

How Do You Get A Rock’n’Roll Mind? [Start Rockin’ And Rolling It!]

Mad Genius Sherlock

Maestro Sherlock Holmes – Deduction Superhero and Self-Narrator Spectacular — John Watson – Friend Supreme

Dr. John Watson: Am I pretty?
Sherlock Holmes: Beauty is a construct based on childhood impressions, influences, and role models.

The great team behind Smaug and Bilbo fittingly began their Team building carer in Sherlock. The breathtaking series from BBC about a modern Sherlock Holmes. Sherlock also being a kind of Master. From the evil mind of Smaug to the Master thinker Sherlock Holmes, Benedict Cumberbatch transforms them both into the pure essence of Storytelling Master Art. He also gives being smart a new rock’n’roll face. In episode 3 of season 3: His Last Vow we are even giving a wink of the connection between Sherlock and Smaug:

Sherlock: A dragon slayer. Is that what you think of me?
Mycroft: No. It’s what you think of yourself.

Mycroft: MI6. They want to place you back into Eastern Europe. An undercover assignment that will prove fatal to you in, I think, about six months.
Sherlock: Then why don’t you want me to take it?
Mycroft: It’s tempting. But on balance, you have more utility closer to home.
Sherlock: Utility. How do I have utility?
Mycroft: Here there be dragons.

Here be Dragons is the reference to: “To go on an unexplored quest into an unknown future”. An endeavor for the whole of the human race to embark upon. Killing myths and superstition with science and knowledge. Who will join me in the this quest to be Dragon slayers?

So how do you get a Rock’n’Roll mind?

When we then think about Robert Kegan’s thoughts about the Self-Transforming Mind. Then it becomes hard to grasp to what insights, an old Elf or an even older Dragon like Smaug, has to come to. Because a mind needs constant stimuli to become smarter. So what has all the slumbering done to Smaug? Not to mention that he spends his time in solitude. Maybe only Madness lies there. Is it no wonder that he likes the mind game with Bilbo so much?

I am almost tempted to let you take it, if only to watch Oakenshield suffer. Watch it destroy him, watch it corrupt his heart and drive him mad… But I think not. I think our little game ends here. So tell me, Thief, how do you choose to die? — Smaug

Elf and Dragon brains may also be different from our human brains. Then it’s easier for us to grasp “a mere mortal” like Sherlock Holmes. Although a little far-fetched we all find the mind of Sherlock Holmes very fascinating. He is a master in some areas but a novice in others. But he is still a human we can relate to despite of being a highly functional sociopath. That’s why he is the star and not his even smarter brother Mycroft. Par that with the humorous and thought-provoking story of Sherlock and it’s now wonder the series is such a hit. This is fiction at it’s best. It makes us feel, laugh and most importantly think about the world.

Mycroft Holmes

Mycroft Holmes – Political Master-Genius and Puppeteer Exquisitness

On top of all I discussed above we all also need intellectual stimulation, rest, exercise and a safe social environment to make our brains smarter. I will go into that in a coming post. To give you a heads up here is a teaser with Dan Hurley, in which he talks about: Can You Make Yourself Smarter?

Well it turns out you can in so many ways 🙂

Start Rocking and Rolling your mind. Give it a shake now and then. Change perspective to get another view of the world and yourself. And get your heart pumping and your blood rushing. It turns out your brain runs on blood filled with sugar and oxygen. Give someone a hug to get the Oxytocin flowing. Stare someone in the eye and give them praise. Connect socially with everyone around you.

Let us all challenge our minds and bodies to become smarter, better versions of ourselves!
Get a great coach or mentor. Narrate your own story out loud to yourself.
We can all become Grand Maestros of Life!

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Dragon Kung-Fu Ninja

Here be Dragons

Here be Dragons

Update:
Do take a look at Benedict Cumberbatch acting as Smaug

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FHuXSZv6Tqs

What is an Innovation Rainbow Ninja? [We Paint the Universe in Color]

Many of us has a very simplified and biased view of how the we humans and the world works and operates. We like to label things in simple terms like Black & White. And things we can’t see or are afraid of we label Dark. Because it makes so much “Sense” to our brains. We can change all that! Together we an embark on a journey beyond Darkness & Light. By creating colorful teams of Innovation Rainbow Ninjas, we can go on new type of Quest in the world. A Quest where no-one is the good guy fighting the bad. More like a mission to explore “the known” and “the unknown” Universe by painting it into a multitude of colors. We can tell it in ever evolving stories. We can elevate our understanding of the world that was, the world that is and we can build a better world of tomorrow together. Everything is invented by us and We invent the Future.

[013] Darkness & Light [The Visible Universe]

We paint the Universe in color with our own eyes

We paint the Universe in color with our own eyes

This fall has been about Darkness & Light. Darkness was fittingly the theme for the last Pecha Kucha here, in my hometown Varberg, Sweden. As it is now October-November and they days are fast becoming darker here, high up on the northern hemisphere. Some people can’t stand the darkness and others like me love it as a part of life. Now you can cosy up inside or stroll the dark forests at night. Many of the speeches was about finding light in the darkness. Light has always come to represent the Good in us and the Darkness the bad and the Evil.

We Fear the Dark and Love the Light. Why is it so?

The Universe is a Dark place. And we Humans places too much emphasis on light, color and vision. Maybe Rightly so, as it’s our primary sensory system. It’s how we navigate the world. Where there is Darkness the world is not. What we can’t see scares us. And now the scientist tells us that The Universe is full Dark Matter and Dark Energy. Things we can’t see. Unseen things we label dark. Things that exists in the scary world. Out there beyond the light of the campfire.

Fear the fear, feel the fear Most of the things we avoid are avoided because we’re afraid of being afraid. Too meta? — Seth Godin

Those of us who isn’t fearless, fear the Dark. But must we? Can we all become fearless of the Dark? Or should we leave it be? We have come out of the “Dark” ages past “Enlightenment” into this world we now slowly are beginning take form. A world of Sustainability, Collaboration, Transparency, Openness, Empowerment and Community. Yes, there is still much Darkness in the world. Real “Darkness” that we should fear for real. Even in our own so-called “Free Democracies“. The whole world learned this summer, thanks to Edward Snowden, that even the Land of the Free is going in the wrong direction. It’s not a given that everything is going in the right direction.

Dear darkness Dear darkness Won’t you cover, cover Me again? — PJ Harvey

We must bring our torches and shine light into these dark corners. Because they are still everywhere. Just around your own corner, there is Darkness still, in our own neighborhood. No matter how much we light our way there will still be Shadows on the wall. As long as we are aware of the Shadows, we can handle the Darkness. We can live in the Darkness. Embrace it and get to know it. It’s only in the eyes and minds of the living, that Light & Darkness exist. The Universe is neither Light nor Dark. The Worlds of Light & Darkness is where humans lives. We choose the paths that we tread into these worlds. Carrying with us our own inner Light and Darkness. –

Black & White [Stop Demonizing each other]

We humans are very prone to paint reality in Black & White. Some of us knows, that it isn’t so. Yet we struggle with our world view ourselves. We all do. Just when we think the we finally made rational sense of the world we discover that, we too, hold some things sacred. Or worse. We don’t recognize it all, and only see demons in others. This is a “Dark Path” to wander. If we are to live together in the long run on this small spherical spaceship, we can not afford to demonize each others. We must stop painting the world in Black & White.

JoinTheRealm_profile

The Universe can be Red & Blue just as well

We must learn to see all the colors there is in each and every one of us. We must recognize that this is our strengths instead. That the best teams are made out of people with different skills and different world views. We just need better team-leaders to manage us. To help us release our inner Light, Darkness and Colors onto the world. So that we can paint it in a rich palette together. We humans paint the Universe with our eyes. We put beauty onto the things we view.

“The only thing we have to fear is fear itself” — Franklin D. Roosevelt

Annika R Malmberg talked about putting together teams containing individuals with different skills & colors on Webbdagarna here in Sweden. You can view it in Swedish here from Webbdagarna in Gothenburg (See Khoi Thu below for an English Counterpart). Apart from different ways of thinking, a team also need common visions and goals.

A team sets up the basic rules and methods to use when collaborating yo reach their set goals, while traveling in the direction of the Vision.

So many people are talking about it. Yet why don’t we get this: …

Rainbow Ninjas

TMNT — The Rainbow Ninjas of a sort 😉

Rainbow Innovation Ninjas [Smart Diverse Flexible Teams]

Most teams today are just one color. Black or White. We humans are exceptional good at seeing and mapping the world in color through our advance brain. Why then settle for a one-dimensional — one-color team? Here is great opportunity for small teams of Rainbow Ninjas. Ninjas work in small flexible teams that thinks on their feet. Who can take on a much larger foe or challenge. They can attack a problem from all angles using different skill-sets. Ninja Innovation is a book by Gary Shapiro in with we are given the insight into what it means to be a modern Ninja. Then Rainbow Innovation Ninjas are a team of Ninjas consisting of members of different prominent colors. Usually most small teams are to narrow-minded and subject to strong group think. We can change all that by making better teams like I’ll explain below. Cowabunga!

thinkers

The 6 Types of Thinkers to Seek for Your Team

On the this subject Martin Berg fittingly talked about Intellectual Antimatter. Not just choosing between the Red or the Blue pill like in The Matrix. Give us more options. Give us A Third Pill. The Green Pill. Just like what The Matrix is really about … Choice. The Free Will to make choices between many options. We need to cross-fertilize our society. Then the Magic of a multicolored palette of choice happens. Scientist need to meet Entrepreneurs, and Business Developers need to meet Creative Hippies. And all teams needs Doers, Dreamers and Leaders. It’s the same idea that Khoi Tu gives a great presentation on The RSA called The Secrets of Super-Teams. I also came across this article about The 6 Types of Thinkers to Seek for Your Team. I translated that into the 7 types of Creative Ninjas. A team of Creative Rainbow Ninjas can be but together by all or some of the 7 roles. It’s also possible for a ninja to fill several roles. Here are the 7 roles:

1. Master Green – The Dreamer. The Visionary who always challenges what is possible. They bring the energy to make dreams come true. The think big and never stops asking questions like Why? and What If?
2. Master Yellow – The Debater. The Mindbender who finds problems where others finds none. They test your irrational emotional thinking and preconceived notions if they hold up to science and logic.
3. Master Red – The Disruptor. The Explorer who takes a different path and helps the team to see things in a new light or calls out a groupthink plan. They are excellent at finding new opportunities.
4. Master Violet – The Driver. The Lord Commander who pushes the team forward. The one who communicates with other teams or the receiver and customer of the mission. They motivates the team when the excitement wears of and keeps them focus on a goal in sight. They can also keep conflicts from tearing the team apart.
5. Master Blue – The Detailer. The Engineer who controls facts and keeps the rest from making silly mistakes. They find bugs in the system and relentlessly considers every facet where something can break.
6. Master Orange – The Doer. The Warrior who does all the hard work and is in charge executing tasks at a flying rate. They make things ship.
7. Master Indigo – The Coach. The Ranger is the secret invisible Ninja working outside the team gathering intelligence for the rest of the team. Or inspiration for that matter. Tracking ahead or spying from a distance. Or coaching the team without interfering too much.

I will go more into detail in a later blog how we can create and use Ninja Teams for a future to come. Will you be a Ninja with me? –

Fear & Love [Why should we Love more and become Ninja Lords] Lizard

We have also discussed the many Fears we have in life that holds us back from our true potential. Seth Godin explains it well in his blog posts: Avoiding Fear by indulging in our fear of fearFearlessness is not the same as the absence of fear and Fear the fear, feel the fear.

Life without fear doesn’t last very long – You’ll be run over by a bus (or a boss) before you know it. The fearless person, on the other hand, sees the world as it is (fear included) and then makes smart (and brave) decisions — Seth Godin

Each and every one of us has the ability and potential to become a Linchpin. Someone who resists the fear that the Lizard Brain constantly warns us about. The Lizard Brain is always stronger so we need methods and training to come up with ways to win over the Lizard Brain. But of course we only do this when there isn’t any real danger to be afraid of. The Lizard Brain consist of the Amygdala and it has kept us alive for million of years and it will continue to do so for million of years to come. Our mission is to train ourselves to recognize when not to listen to it and to trick it with our own acting. I will discuss this in a coming blog post. Things that helps are: Deadlines, Iterate & Ship often, Thrash early, Do “Today-lists”, Have fun & play.

“Shared anger destroys trust. It eliminates dialogue. It activates the lizard brain of everyone within earshot, and produces nothing of value.” — Seth Godin

Fear - Love Line -- Donnie Darko

Fear – Love Line — Donnie Darko

You may have seen Donnie Darko when they talk about the Fear-Love Line. Yet another way to make the world into the same one-dimensional grade as Darkness & Light and Black & White. So wrong and yet it feels so right at the same time.

Donnie: Well, life isn’t that simple. I mean, who cares if Ling Ling returns the wallet and keeps the money? It has nothing to do with either fear or love. Kitty Farmer: Fear and love are the deepest of human emotions. Donnie: Okay. But you’re not listening to me. There are other things that need to be taken into account here, like the whole spectrum of human emotion. You can’t just lump everything into these two categories and then just deny everything else. — Donnie Darko

Should we only try to have a White, Light World full of Love? Is it even possible? OR should we try to abandon this way of thinking? I say we love as much as we can. Although I can imagine that much change has come into the world by people hating the current system with real fear of losing one’s own head. Most of the hate in the world leads to no good. Even a hateful spark that started a rebellion had little chance of success if not planned in a cool-headed manner. That would almost always lead to a new way system no better than the last one. What ever the emotion that started something we must balance our way of thinking when executing and shipping change. We can become Ninja Lords of our own thinking and doing. Masters and Eternal Students of ourselves and the whole of The Universe. This is also a big paradox. We are trapped inside our human minds. Things will always be emotional. We just have to be aware of it and help each others when we become stuck in our thinking. Watch out for oversimplified Mental Models because we can’t stop using them and they often do us no good. There is always at least another version of every story. –

Evil Overlords & Warriors of the Light [Stories will paint our way]

Malekith the Dark Elf wants to Paint It Black

Malekith the Dark Elf wants to Paint It Black

Or should we go the Way of the Dark Elves in Thor 2: The Dark World. By making the Universe a very dark place to live. Maybe even Sauron has something to say about plans to cover the world in Darkness? Why is this the goal of so a many Evil Overlords? What will they do once it is black?

“Fear leads to anger – Anger leads to hate – Hate leads to suffering” — Yoda

Nah. Neither would do. As it’s all in our heads anyway. So by taking all of the above into account it becomes clear that we can choose for ourselves how we would like to perceive the world. Yet in our stories, we like it nothing more than when an underdog fighting for the light defeats a much more powerful foe with bucket of black paint that are trying to paint it black… that is, the Universe. It’s our own human fear of the dark that puts Darkness on the agenda of the so-called Prime Evils. That’s why stories about Evil Overlords are so fascinating. They can embody our own thoughts and apply agency to the Darkest parts of our emotions.

“The alliance… will die. As will your friends. Good, I can feel your anger. I am defenseless. Take your weapon. Strike me down with all of your hatred and your journey towards the dark side will be complete!” — The Emperor

I think that it’s necessary to paint & illuminate the world in many colors. Colors that only we can see. That live inside our minds like stories do. As our scientist are continually exploring and painting the Known Universe in color (Even the Dark parts). We should tell Stories about it that only live in our imagination. To continually light the way for how we can see into the future. To keep the passion alive and inspire us to build a new, better and more colorful society. The Eternal Struggle of Heroes vs Villains [Evolve our Quest]

Vader vs Yoda - The Old Quest

Vader vs Yoda – The Old Quest

Life isn’t An Eternal Struggle between Light & Darkness. It may be convenient to slap either label on something. Thus reducing our mental map to a one-dimensional one. It’s makes for such a great narrative. But it’s not they way forward for our ever evolving consciousness. Sure we all love stories about underdog heroes and charismatic villains. And this Stories will always have their place in our hearts. As long we recognize that they are just that, Stories. And relate to them and the real world in a thoughtful manner.

OH, YES. A VERY SPECIAL KIND OF STUPIDITY. YOU THINK THE WHOLE UNIVERSE IS INSIDE YOUR HEADS. ’You make us sound mad,’ said Susan. A nice warm bed … NO. YOU NEED TO BELIEVE IN THINGS THAT AREN’T TRUE. HOW ELSE CAN THEY BECOME? said Death helping her up on Binky. — DEATH and Susan, Hogfather

Now we have the chance to tell ever more and better complex stories. And some have already started. And we like it. That’s why so many of us likes stories like Game of Thrones, Revenge, The Americans, True Blood, The Borgias, Dexter and Continuum. We want life to be more complex. We are all Sinners and Liars without us being evil or bad for that sake. We can all help each other to make life a little more colorful. Stories like Revenge start out by giving us a clear set of Heroes and Villains. But then they change it by giving them all complex emotions and agendas. They even questions the Agenda of Revenge and what it teaches us about ourselves and being good and having Empathy.

“Fear. It’s a fire that burns from birth and even in the coldest heart. It motivates and paralyzes the best of us, or it’s used as a weapon by the worst. But when your path is one of treachery and deception, the greatest fear of all…is that the truth is absolute” — Emily Thorne

revenge

Our Lust & Fear of Revenge – That creates much of the Evil in this World

“Fear is the most primal of emotions. Can linger as a memory burned into one’s mind of a parent taken to soon. Or burrow into one’s soul as self-doubt over child rejection. But the one fear we all fear the most is the unknown.” — Emily Thorne

Of course we should make it our quest to fight all Evil in this world. We must just be aware that there is no Pure Evil to fight like in the old Fairy Tales (or the new ones for that matter). Life is so much more complex. And fighting Evil & Darkness with the same kind, usually just means we get more of the stuff. We need to upgrade our Mental Maps of the world. Make new complex quests to go on adventure on. Evolve our Visions & Missions to match our ever growing understanding of how we and the world works. Let’s assemble new and better teams of Innovation Rainbow Ninjas. And I say we start by paining the world in color… So that we all can visualize the beauty, we can explore together. Just remember that everything is invented. We Invent our Future.

I say: Paint the
Universe in color!
Invent a better Future and
Tell it in Stories about us.

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja

Prime Your Brain

Visions of The Future [Part 2 of 3]

We all need visions for the future. By playing a simple trick on your brain you can “Prime” it to look out for events that will seem like serendipity to you. And since your brain can’t separate fact from fiction. You can tell stories to your brain and it will try to make them “True” 🙂
This is Part 2 of 3 about Visions of The Future.

“It doesn’t matter what you pick. It just matters that you pick. The reason people don’t wanna pick is, because then they have to claim it. You pick that? You didn’t pick this? Better to pick nothing.”
Seth Godin, #GoodLifeProject 

[011]
Use Storytelling [It’s the only way to remember anything]

Jenny Åkerman

Jenny Åkerman – Talking Brain Science

I have been on an interesting seminar in Gothenburg. We started out early with Jenny Åkerman giving a free public speaking about how we can use the brain to achieve what we want. She is a Swedish Brain Scientist who gave a very entertaining speech about the brain. She goes briefly into what I talked about before. That the brain stores everything as stories. It can not tell apart fact from fiction. You know when you dream and all the crazy stuff seems so real. Even flying that I do from time to time feels so normal in your dreams. I also met a new good friend on the train up and recommended the book “The Storytelling Animal” by Jonathan Gotschall to him. This is one of the best books that I have listened to. It gives you great insight into how your storytelling organ inside your skull works. Jenny mentions how use simple bizarre story to remember everything on a shopping list.

The Brain stores everything as Stories – WE just need to help it by telling better stories

A story like this can’t be ordinary for the brain to remember it. The brain remembers all new stories it are exposed to. It’s what the brain are made for. It’s what the brain lives for.

Can you be Leonardo Da Vinci? [Seven steps on the road towards an awesome mind]

Can you be anything like Leonardo Da Vinci? Jenny Talks about the myths and truths of using both sides of the brain. We should use as many centers in the brain at the same time when doing everything. We may not be as genius as Leonard but here are 7 steps that will take you closer to becoming great. They can be found in my blog: How can you be a modern Ninja. and in the audio-stream from SXSW: Design Like Da Vinci: Leonardo’s Sketching Lessons.

genius


7 Steps to Everyday Genius

1. Be curious.You should be constantly learning new stuff.
2. Test knowledge. Learn from your mistakes.
3. Improve your own experience. Make it multi-sensory.
4. Embrace ambiguity, paradox and uncertainty
5. Whole-brain thinking (science / art, logic / emotion)
6. Know the physical world (grace, dexterity, fitness)
7. Use system-thinking. See interconnections

Do Sketches and Write a Journal every day. Sketch by hand or blog online like I do 🙂

Sketch

Step out of your Comfort-Zone [That’s when Creativity and Courage happens]

Jenny spins it further by saying that:

“All new knowledge and progress is preceded by confusion” — Jenny Åkersson

It is when the brain is confused that it steps out of its comfort-zone and try solve things in a different way that it is used to. The Brain actually likes being confused. It feels good. Think about that the next time you feel confused. This is what Peter Sengie calls Creative Tension.
The gap between vision and the current reality is called the Creative Tension. This is the space on with the magic of creativity happen.

You must be willing to leave current reality. Step out of your comfort zone towards an unknown future. A future only visualized in a dream. You must expose your art to others. Thus becoming vulnerable. Only then does creativity and empathy happen. Both Brené Brown and Seth Godin explains this well 🙂

See my blog-post on empathy: The Way of Empathy [The Beast with 2 Hearts]

Brené Brown on Vulnerability and Courage

Brené Brown on Vulnerability and Courage

In all her 12 years of research Brené Brown can not find a single example of Courage, Spiritual courage, Moral courage or Leadership courage, when someone didn’t first step out of their comfort zone and became vulnerable.

Have the courage to do what is possible. Just not convenient.

Prime Your Brain [Tell your story to your brain]

Like Jason Silva says: “You can Prime Your Brain towards a goal you want to reach”. As your brain can’t separate fact from fiction: Everything that you or someone else tell your brain makes sense. Because the Brain even can’t tell the difference between someone else talking to it or you doing the talking yourself.

Your brain is a goal achieving machine. Your subconscious is hard at work on achieving your visions and dreams of the future. So start priming your own brain, by telling your brain what visions of the future it should have in mind.

Serendipity is just that. Filling your mind with patterns on your path. To be on the lookout for. And then your subconscious mind will be on constant watch for these patterns and make them happen. So here is what you can do:

1. Start by thinking about where you are a year from now.
2. Start backtracking ever step that you took to get there. Think about the big events on the way.
3. Now think about the first step you took a year ago.
4. Start Walking, Running, Jumping, Climbing and Flying to get there!

Live Your Legend - Scott Dinsmore

Live Your Legend – Scott Dinsmore

Live Your Legend [Be true to yourself]

Scott Dinsmore among many others all say how important it is to be true to your inner self. You owe it to yourself to find your own truth in this world and live that truth. He has a project called Live Your Legend. There you can find 2 free toolkits to set a year-long plan or your weekly goals.

Be the Person, You can’t not be — Scott Dinsmore

See Scott Dinsmore on Good Life Project or find him in their podcast. And see his TEDxGoldenGatePark talk: How To Find And Do Work You Love.

Look to the Moon

Look To The Moon – Run To The Hills

It’s Prime Time! [Look To The Moon & The Stars]

Who are  you a year from Now? Should we really ask questions like this? I think we must! We should not dwell on the past. But we should revisit it from time to time in order see the contrast to our present. Most of us should focus on the now. To keep things moving and operating. But some of us must make it our mission to study the past. And others must fantasize about the future and create stunning Science Fiction to inspire us all. We need all these skills.

The Past like the future does not really exist. They are both fantasies created in our minds. The Future is a probabilistic simulation we run in our minds in order to help shape the world we want to live in.
The Past unlike The Future has actually happened. The Past, as represented in our mind, is a mental simulation too. Our memories are not precise records of what actually happened. They are reconstructions of what happened. Most of us believe our memory is filled with reliable info we can access at will. Not so. But memory isn’t an outright fiction. It is merely a fictionalization of what took place. Memory is an unreliable self-serving historian. It’s there to help us make decisions that help us along for the bumpy ride that reality is.

Jonathan Gottschall from The Storytelling Animal

But even people who focus on the present benefits from priming their brain in some way. Because we need a larger goal for our modern society than Consumerism. Something to aspire to. And as we all need to be part of this vision, we all need some connectedness and some priming with the environment around us. We are not just the Animal who collects food or money on a daily basis. We are something more. And we can become so much more. We can put a Dent in the Universe!

We all need to look to the stars! Together! — Lord Sillion

@LordSillion [Michael Sillion]
Holistic Thinking Ninja