Wellbeing and Food for Thought
Issue of August 2021
I’m about to wrap up a nomadic month! The last weeks took me to the Baltic Sea in northern Germany and down to the french mountainside. I visited friends and family, worked in new environments, tried wakeboarding and hiked up some narrow paths.
After weeks of good company I longed to be in company of myself. So it comes with great satisfaction that I sit in a quiet room next to my backpack and write this piece.
In this iterated shape of the monthly Newsletter you’ll encounter two main themes:
Interpersonal and Group Wellbeing
Food for Thought
It’s a new shape and I’m curious what you’ll think of it. With that said let’s jump in!
Interpersonal and Group Wellbeing
This section covers brief impulses for more effective and satisfying relations in both professional and personal contexts.
Circle of Safety: Humans are primed to look out for danger and protect themselves. In the modern world the daily dangers are less deadly than in the cave. Today we try to avoid so many dangers like humiliation, being abandoned, feeling dumb, feeling useless and so many more. These stresses suppress our individual and group potential. In healthy group environments the focus lies on helping each other rather than “one-upping”. When the conditions are right, when a strong Circle of Safety is present and felt by all, we do what we do best.
Raising Pinches: It’s natural that we’re bothered by something once in a while, let’s call that pinches. Pinches aren’t major conflicts; some of them pass, but others get under your skin and, if not dealt with, they can grow into sizeable elephants. Raising pinches means saying “Hey, this isn’t a capital offence, but it’s bothering me.” The attitude here is I care and therefore I share. We tend to not raise pinches to avoid conflict but this usually a misconception and an invitation for anger to build up.
Accusing Language vs. Assertive Language: There are two ways to raise pinches. One way is to blame or offend the other. That’s accusing language and a quick-fire way to end healthy communication. On the other hand there is a more calm and secure approach where we raise our boundaries clearly. No exaggeration, just facts. Assertive language is just honest and says what is really cooking inside.
Food for Thought
Interesting ideas and creative projects shared by friends and strangers.
Nature is Speaking - Actors joined forces to give nature a voice. My friend Marius showed me this campaign from Conservation International. The message is simple: Nature doesn’t need people. People need nature. The voices of Julia Roberts as mother nature and Harrison Ford as the Ocean gave me goosebumps. Check out the video here.
Iterating on fundamental rights - Politics has much difficulty to navigate today’s biggest challenges. One of the reasons is that there is little legal pressure. The book Everyone proposes six new fundamental rights to be included in a European constitution. It includes the right to live in a healthy and protected environment, the right for digital control or the right to be offered only fair goods and services. The author explains what power and opportunity lies in constitutions and the fundamental rights guaranteed in them.
Superfans - Patt Flynn wrote a book about a simple idea: Superfans are the smallest portion of your audience, but they’re the biggest catalysts for your brand and the beating heart of your business. I believe the same is true for personal connections.
Sad days, not just sick days: People are paying more attention to mental health at work. Adam Grand recently raised an interesting thought: There is no stigma if you get the flu or break your leg and stay home because of physical pain. We need the same compassion for emotional pain. Failing to address mental health leaves people suffering in silence.
Book of the Month
“Allan looked at the bus and then at the suitcase, then again at the bus and then again at the suitcase. It has wheels, he said to himself. And there's a strap to pull it by too. And then Allan surprised himself by making what - you have to admit - was a decision to say 'yes' to life.”
The Hundred-Year-Old Man Who Climbed Out of the Window and Disappeared accompanied me through the last month. After a long and eventful life, Allan Karlsson ends up in a nursing home, believing it to be his last stop. On his hundreds birthday he skips the celebration and climbs out of his window in his slippers to start a journey.
Seeing the world from the perspective of a centenarian as inspiring and hilarious at the same time. Allan shows the carefree attitude when life has gone into overtime: “...you'll see that things will turn out like they do, because that is what usually happens - almost always, in fact”
Photo of the Month
On my trip I’ve been spending some days in Hamburg, Germany with my good friend Marius. Afterwards I continued to the baltic sea. This picture was taken on a surprise evening where I came back to Hamburg without letting him know too much in advance.
That’s about it for today. I hope you enjoyed this issue and could find something that sparked your interest. Let me know what resonated with you and I’ll speak to you soon.
PS: This video of Justin Timberlake is so fun to watch. He tells stories behind the creation of his music and breaks down the way songs are made. His passion and talent are so clear as you hear him talk.