Connectedness (part 2)

Connectedness – a philosophy, approach, technique and movement (for lack of better description at present).  Not individualistic only, but connected between us.  By seeking us I find me.  The level of truth found in the mess of relationships and the beauty of failing quickly and learning deeply.

Connectedness is the way that the 21st century is shaping.  In the 20th century the work moved from the farm to the factory; the factory to the office and in the 21st century the work is moving online (or into the cloud).  It used to be the unseen hand of the market and deregulation in order to set the human spirit free – there were a few mistakes…

It is however no reason to completely remove the old system (yes, the C word – capitalism).  It is also no real good reason to kill all creativity with regulation.  So what kind of  ‘ism’ remains for us to utilise in order to shape the way we live, interact, produce and create in the present age?  Is there a third alternative?

In order to answer this you must ask yourself what do you believe in?  For years I have been exploring different aspects of living a life, and I mean LIVING!  Not adrenaline, today is the last day on earth anything goes craziness – no!  Real living means you are true to yourself and those around you, you seek your North Star and you align your heart and mind to it.  From this center you act boldly, and with love in all that you do, you seek out every opportunity to grow and honour the purpose of your life.  In so doing you also help others on their journey – LIFE!

Connectedness is an approach to life that unites, in paradox, agency and complexity.  In order to fully utilise my ability to reflect and grow it can only truly happen in interdependence with others with the same agential capability.  The presence of others and the constant changing context within growth means that together we are more than merely the sum of our relationships – something emerges from amongst us which amplifies individual agency and potential.

Most importantly it is openness, fearlessness and divergent whilst being convergent simultaneously.

This is also the way that I am connecting with people and want to do more of.    I am not trying to invent something that doesn’t exist or even trying to come up with cool names (although that is fun too).  Look outside your door, and you will see walls coming down.  I know in some places walls are going up, I am not ignorant.  The reality is however that you can decide whether you want to be part of the progression towards less wall or more – you’re call!

Personally, I want to see the walls come down where it is appropriate for them to come down.  I have a personal interest in business because it is the greatest tool to influence our society in order to become better together.

What will follow in the weeks, months and years in this blog is a call for action and connection – will you join me on this journey from survive to alive?


For 7 years I have been writing this blog – At times it has been more frequent than others.  It started out as a project to connect with friends and family, develop my writing skills and share ideas and insights.

I have also focused much more on intrapersonal issues and related this to broader issues in society.  On a journey where I have refined my understanding and skill relating to change, innovation and leadership that has lasted roughly 14 years so far I have been privileged to learn about myself and the world we all live in.  From the beginning of this blog I have considered the  possibility of it becoming more.  I have a passion for writing but also for instigating change and challenging leaders to take up their role irrespective of position or title.  I dream of a world where more people get rid of the burdens that they take onto themselves due to societal influences, their own beliefs or other references that they might have built up and therefore create unnecessary rules that govern their happiness.

These rules that govern each of us creates a barrier hindering the possibility of true transformation that each of us has on an intrapersonal, inter-personal and organisational level.

This is a world of plenty, not of scarcity; possibility, not impossibility.  I want to connect with individuals that dare to dream in the same way and create a movement where those on the margins of society and on the margins of freedom can be included in an endeavour that helps to bring about a changed paradigm for the 21st century society.  …A society that revolves around purpose, people and meaning.

I know there are many of you asking critical questions around your family, job, business, environment and the rest of society.  The first step is to start talking the same language and then from collective meaning start to focus efforts on targeted areas by connecting and collaborating.  This is where this blog will play a greater role in the future.  It will become much more of an integrated platform where individuals and organisations can tap into in order to join a discussion as well as coordinate  actions leading to greater positive impact.

I am moving the blog into a more productive and focused mode as part of a greater service offering from my side.  I will continually keep writing but also be exploring other tools and avenues of facilitating movement of hearts and minds towards a greater interdependent force for good.

I will be using the term connectedness to describe this movement, but more on that in following posts…

As I develop this I will be connecting with some of you directly in order to understand the need and perhaps craft the most appropriate approach that will be more targeted and effective.  At times I will be focusing more on the South African situation, but I will also be writing with an international audience in mind.

I hope to see as many of you joining me on this journey going from survive to alive!

Pleasure and Pain (part 2)

I finished my previous post with the promise of continuing the discussion on pleasure and pain as motivators.  I also indicated that I believe that it really is a significant force to reckon with.

I have now been applying it to some of my own habits for example lowering my intake of sugar (sweets, in coffee, etc.).  I am glad to report that it has been approximately 3 weeks and I have never before felt this good about changing a habit.  If I can do this, what’s next?!

I need to tell you that I don’t have a weight problem, but I want to keep it that way.  If I can look as good as my parents do today when I am their age, I have a worthy goal to attain.

Bottom line: this was my trial run and achieving this is my platform to start changing even greater things.  …Just keep watching this space.

But back to the impact of utilising the pain and pleasure paradigm for good.  Every time I want to eat something sweet or add sugar to my coffee I simply ask myself: “Can I do without it just this once?”.  The answer obviously is a simple YES!  In order to get to my yes I just imagine the joy I will feel to overcome just this once, just this instance and use that as my motivation.  Not only that, I also see that giving in is a slippery slope and before I know it I will be an old fat man that regretted my bad habits when I was younger.  I use both the vision of pleasure as well as the vision of pain to move me in the direction of improvement.

I therefore utilise my imagination in service of a higher standard for myself according to who I know I am.  This certainty propels me to make a choice that moves away from mediocre towards greatness.  From simply surviving towards being fully alive.

Now it’s your turn: Pick just one small habit that you feel you want to stop doing or one thing you want to start.  When faced with the choice of not executing your power of choice in regards to your habit that you want to quit or start simply use your imagination and condition yourself into seeing the pain of not choosing your preferred option and the pleasure of choosing the preferred option.  Give it at least ten days (step by step, instance by instance).  As soon as you reach the ten day mark simply keep going and aim for three weeks.

Once you’ve reached this point it is perhaps time to inspire everyone else by telling your friends, emailing me or even putting down a post on this blog if you really want to make a bigger impact.

I want to join you on a journey from survive to alive!

Pleasure and Pain

I like to think that I am rather sophisticated and educated and that the reason that I do things is of truly egalitarian motivation…  You know, one of those really ‘higher level’ individuals that have shed the burden of earthly toil.  I see myself as raising above the squabble of the lower passions and that I am motivated by higher purpose in all that I do.

Yeah right!  Who am I kidding?  On my continual journey from survive to alive I pick up books of new authors on a regular basis.  Some of the stuff I read is really not that useful or I feel that it is nonsense, but I continue to search.  One of the authors that I have been avoiding for many years is Tony Robbins.  Rah, rah, rah!… That is pretty much what I thought of him – a flamboyant charlatan posing as a one-size-fits-all self-help guru.

Yet, I pride myself of being one of those ‘higher level’ individuals, so let me not judge.  With this thought in mind I picked up Awakening the Giant Within, a book Tony Robbins wrote before the turn of the millennium and before  the world drastically changed.  So perhaps it is all out-dated…

With positive expectation, none-the-less, I started reading and in those first few pages I read something I have possibly considered before.  I mean, c’mon man!  I continuously ask myself: WHAT MOTIVATES US?!  I have a masters degree, completed various business and leadership courses and I have not been able to truly identify the driving force behind our decisions.  And what do I find here in the pages of this book?  …Our decisions are emotionally driven in order to avoid pain or experience pleasure.  Could it really be that we shape our pain and pleasure paradigm through our experience and accordingly realign our actions in order to either avoid pain or experience pleasure?

With confounded intrigue and curiosity I read on and applied the theory, with reflection, to myself.  Have I been caught in a trap of pain/pleasure confusion that leads to excuses and inaction?  Yes!  Indeed I have experienced some traumatic events, lived through pain and rejection and have allowed that to shape my pain/pleasure paradigm.  I am telling myself, before it will actually happen, that certain activities will lead to pain.  I then complete this wonderful cycle by reinforcing it with mental pictures of how I am going to suffer, but it has not even happened yet!

Anybody out there feel the same?

The question is how is this keeping me from going from being alive?  In my next post I will continue this discussion…