Sunday, 14 August 2011

Get into and out of your comfort zone

I had a small conversation today with Jen Olney, about her tweet

It's amazing what happens when you connect with those who align with your values - sparks fly and success is yours!

I agreed, but chose to disagree. Yes it's true, been there done that, and I understand the angle to this: coming out of the dark and finding "like-minded" that prove that you're not a raving lunatic after all, gives a great sense of relief.
However, I see another angle

Look at the world. Look at its leaders. Economical, political, religious - what do they have in common?
  • They all represent an institutionalised movement first and foremost
  • They all step themselves up by treading down on the opposition
  • They promise a better world by at least bending their rules towards the current situation
  • They "align to their values" when push comes to shove - back to point one
I engage with many different people, of all sorts, in many ways. Yet, when I simply analyse e.g. my Twitter sphere, I find that there isn't a Republican in there. Religious nuts? None. Celebrities? None. Twelebrities? None. So I guess I do align with those who align with my values

Yet, I react to everyone who reacts to anything I say. Because there always is something I don't know of. Not that I need to know everything, I'm perfectly happy with the fact that I know nothing - everything I think I know, is either my or someone else's opinion that I once embraced as fact, and added to my knowledge Inbox, and I started to question that whole process a few years ago. Result: inbox zero

The opinion-hungriness of it all. Take the riots in the United Kingdom. First they were rioters, then they had a cause, then they were scum, now they are criminals. Job well done? Do we all align now? I stated that only incompetents choose to fight outcomes rather than causes, and it seems like the incompetents won. Am I holding my breath for those that will stress the origin for this outraged behaviour? No. Will it come? yes

Up in the very highest level of any power structure, there is alignment. Pure alignment. Back-to-back covering of almost anything. "For the greater cause of" is the biggest lie and axe ever wielded. At that level, the disconnect is so great that thousands, sometimes even millions can die without even denting The Cause - no examples needed are they?

So, yes, finding people that align with your values, gives you comfort, and success. But that comfort and success shouldn't last too long, otherwise you'll lose touch with the world and / or reality (notice that those aren't equal, thank you).
Criticism is a great way to keep yourself in shape: my kids criticise me, and so does my wife, as well as do many others in my online world. Sometimes I won't have an answer, and I'm beyond the age that such should hurt my pride, so I accept that as a present: I smile, and laugh, sometimes out loud. Why? Because I'm reminded of the fact that the smug all-knowing Martijn Linssen overtakes the nothing-knowing Martijn Linssen every now and then, it's a bit like Peter Pan seeing his shadow not following him

I've always plead in enterprises for managers to spend 4 weeks a year "on the floor", preferably in the field where the customers are - or at the very minimum, 2. I'm seeing that being enforced right now in some companies, and applaude that. Connecting with those that don't align with your values gives you room to grow - or realise that you have to change

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