Welcome to Weekly Rapts.
Every week I come across some exceptional articles, books, videos, tweets and other stuff that captures my attention and inspires me to action which could be to write about a blog post; have a conversation about it with someone; create something from it; escape down a rabbit warren to learn more about it.
These have enraptured (‘rapt’) my imagination and attention for the week so I’m going to share them here as (‘wrapped’) gifts to you too.
Get it? Got it? No? okay, just read on.
Indeed, Csikszentmihalyi expresses a particular dislike for television, since he believes it is primarily a way of distracting the brain from psychic entropy without creating a challenge and feedback loop that could lead to flow. Reading is a much better flow activity, since it often requires complex skills of imagination and interpretation; furthermore, there are increasing stages of complexity as one graduates from the pleasures of young romance novels to high literature like Shakespeare or Tolstoy.
Why it got me thinking? Social media and being on my device at many times created a chaotic mind for me. Reflecting the times when I was ‘in flow’ was when I was blogging or writing at my desktop; process of planning creations that involve something using my hands such as knitting, video content and growing orchids. Focusing my reading to be on fiction in the last couple of years has also broadened my imagination, inspired a love of reading fiction and focused my attention to not being distracted so much. I think it also helps build empathy.
This was referred to me by a friend of ours Dr Daniel Lewis (@Paths2Wellbeing) (and I will write a blog post about it). Amazing slow art from a photographer who captures a moment in time of disintegration. Key lessons for me will be shared in another blog post. We have lots to learn about the future of work and learning from the messages here.
This article was referred by @PaulJocelyn on Twitter as a response to a question that someone else asked about organisational learning culture. As I’ve been thinking about presence, attention, empathy and imagination over the last couple of weeks especially with regards to how people can make these changes in themselves – to take an inward look at themselves and their own actions as well as a long term view – as opposed to an organisation or department driving culture, this article struck a chord.
Here are some of the quotes from Esko Kilpi’s (@EskoKilpi) article stood out for me.
The focus is changing from generic skills to contextual presence, empathy and interaction.
Interaction creates capability beyond individuals.
Either you are present in a relevant way or not. And you can always be more intensively present in your own life.
Referred to me by Holly McDonald (@sparkandco) this is pretty much up my street. I trust no one who says they don’t read or has read only one or two books in their life. That sounds harsh but to me, if you tell me you haven’t read a book, well…. this quote sums it up nicely…
All those books you haven’t read are indeed a sign of your ignorance. But if you know how ignorant you are, you’re way ahead of the vast majority of other people
I’m working my way through each of the papers and articles in this Research Report (highly recommended read). The Future of Work 2.0 Report is also recommended and was tweeted by John Hagel (@jhagel) whose work I never miss reading. Reading this report helped crystallise some of the situations that I’m seeing in my work and discussions with clients at Adopt & Embrace.
Although the report outlines potential ideas for ‘building the future workscape’, what I’m seeing on the ground is general uncertainty on what that actually looks like at a day-to-day level; what impacts are made to the current workload of people; and the limitations of technology in the work environment that supports people to fully connect, collaborate and co-operate with peers, stakeholders, clients and vendors seamlessly as well as an environment where long-term thinking – that involves imagination, diversity, creativity, insight – is appreciated, acknowledged and rewarded.
Diderot was a French philosopher of the Enlightenment era who wrote the first encyclopedia but at great personal cost to him. This 40 minute podcast is a great one to listen to and it got me thinking that conventional thinking will get you nowhere.
What this book brings out most brilliantly is how the writer’s personal turmoil was an essential part of his genius and his ability to flout taboos, dogma, and convention.
This superbly written and impeccably researched book recreates with vivid details the life and works of the most irrepressible mind of the Enlightenment. Analyzing Diderot’s relentless pursuit of freedom in an era of censorship and fanaticism, Curran uncovers the multiple facets of his genius and his relevance for our times. Thanks to this book Diderot’s voice is sure to be silenced and overlooked no more.” —Ourida Mostefai, author of Rousseau and L’Infame: Religion, Toleration, and Fanaticism in the Age of Enlightenment
I think the world needs more Diderots… I need to be a Diderot.
Stumbled upon this Twitter handle and it got me down a rabbit warren of lovely reading. It’s “A window on science, philosophy, and mathematics communities on social media, by Kelly Truelove (physics PhD).” Check out the Lists she has collected. Now THESE will get you thinking – for yourself.
Most of all, I LOVE how the photos are black and white – to me, black and white photos make more of an impact. They make us pay attention more. They tell their own stories.