Importance of collaboration

This morning listening to the news I heard that there is the first case of swine flu arrived in Austria. They told that the person is in hospital already getting better.

The swine flu teaches us about the importance of sharing information and collaboration around the world!

Nowadays due to global traffic illnesses can spread out easily getting pandemic. Without the traffic illnesses would spread slower and the radius in which sharing of information and cooperation is that important may be smaller, but anyway: If something of big relevance happens (and that is not necessarily to be an illness, it can be any experience and knowledge that is gained), the effect sooner or later shows up somewhere else in the world too. And it is not only the traveling humans, it is also wind, water or animals that is keeping things moving.

When talking about "something of big relevance" I am talking - besides of illnesses - of any health related effects (electric smog or other emissions, used ingredients in food, ...) and also of technical inventions that reduce our footprint or even political movements, philosophical views and all kind of things that can help improving the world but also can cause very negative impacts.

Although I do not agree with many actions that have been taken globally to fight the economic crisis there is one important thing that people have realized: There must be global solutions!

Collaboration is a word that is widely used as a buzzword - first of all in IT business, but we have to realize that collaboration means in detail the need of:
  • communication skills
  • intention and desire of making everybody happy
  • willingness to contribute to the community
  • viewing at the whole
  • being open minded
  • mastering of the tools to do collaboration
The fate and fortune of the whole world is related to the fate and fortune of the single individual!

Related posts: The main purpose, Best wishes to all, An eye for an eye, Tell not more and not less.


Beware of your routines

First, a short story:
When I woke up this morning, it was already seven o'clock (and I should get up at 6:30). I wondered why I didn't hear the music and found that it must have been my little son playing around there. So I did everything in a hurry, looked at the temperature outside, wondered why it was (still) so fresh outside. Then I wondered why there is so few traffic on the streets. I began to wonder, looked at the time on my watch and on my mobile phone... - I was an hour too early. My son must have been playing around with time adjustment also. :)

At the gas station, when filling the tank I am always trying to get a clean sum of money to avoid to much money changes. This time by mistake I was 2 cents above 45 Euro. From Italy I know that they wouldn't ask me the 2 cents. Here in Austria maybe not. The guy asked me the 2 cents, which I found bad customer service as I know that gas stations make a lot of money here. And there are 2 other gas stations very next to the one where I stop...

Then it happened that a driver on that street apparently woke up in bad mood and showed an aggressive driving style although so few traffic. I had to hit on the breaks to avoid a crash.
This was basically my morning. So, what to learn?

All those things have something in common: There might be a little trigger that cause you to run a complete program automatically without either thinking and/or without any further review.

When going through your routines or while doing "business as usual", it is important to review behavior and processes from time to time - or in single cases. Sometimes it may be worth making exceptions. But people do follow their automatic routines even if it is not appropriate...


The main purpose

While on the self development path you might get to focus on GTD and then you might find blog posts that propose to focus more on happiness. There is also very much written about the idea to write a life plan.

When I was a boy I was told I need to have goals. But I experienced a lot of suffering because of goals I did not achieve (in the desired time). In the parallel search for meaning I noticed that whatever "higher" purpose I will set in my life, I can always ask for the why and for the next higher purpose and meaning behind it. I was not able to find the one big meaning of mankind and so I decided not to set a particular purpose or goals and just to make optimum use of the opportunities from the point of view when the opportunities show up.

But what is the optimum? Again as there is no big meaning to identify you are free to set whatever priorities you want. However, there are some purposes that are healthy (in the way that they make you feel better) and others are not. I found it a healthy purpose to

help minimizing suffering (in the whole - and not for a single individual).

This is basically what is also mentioned to be logical by Spock in Star Trek (starting with 1:25 in the video):
The needs of many outweigh the needs of a few - or the one.
From time to time we need to remind ourselves to such basic purposes to find realignment in our life.

But what are the needs? Productivity? Happiness? Absence of suffering?

I mean, that you cannot be happy if you don't know what despair and fear is. You cannot know love if you didn't experience hate. Somehow I think that for a "fulfilled" (the word says it) life you need to get many (completely) different experiences. This probably is meant when somebody had a "rich" life. - Not rich of money, but rich of experience and rich of impressions - rich of feelings, rich of views, ...

So when you feel sad or despaired or whatever, just remember that it is giving content to your life. Accept it and feel it fully.

For your decisions and actions remember that principles are more important than rules and the direction is more important than the goal.

Related posts: Principles over rules, Direction over goals, Finding the proper priorities, Between GTD and GHE, Scotty, beam me up, Who? When? For Whom?, There is suffering, Importance of collaboration, Scoundrel days, Living your opportunities, The golden rule, Television, The fool gives way without borders.


Know better and act on it

I am currently reading the book "Secrets of the Rockstar Programmers", written by Ed Burns.

I only read a few pages so far, but I consider the content being "zipped" knowledge, as it touches many realms, not just the technical points of view. Already from the first pages the book / Ed encourages me to "boldly go where nobody has gone before" (or in some particular details to boldly return to things that worked better in the past). Actually I consider this book to be a book on self development or a book on management also. And this is the reason why this post goes to 1-2-solved blog and not to IT-Tactics.

Ed quotes Rod Johnson mentioning an important skill: "Knowing better and act on it".

In the last years I am facing more and more people and companies following just the sure path - the path that is "known to be working". People do this from my experience mainly because of the following reasons:
  • Fear to be wrong (and all the other so many people can't be wrong)
  • Fear to loose business and market.
  • Search for the quick success/money (short "time to market" - go the easy way)
  • Minimizing costs and risks (no investment into research and development)
  • Personal limits (people simply don't have better ideas or just don't bother)
But following paths that are known to be working also means that there are already many people there where the path leads to. I think people can't expect outstanding success by just providing something that plenty of others already do offer. This does not necessarily apply to regional suppliers (thinking of the supermarket in the neighborhood, haircutter, doctor, ... - although good quality or unique product offers attract new customers from the distance).

Some other words on "doing what works": Going the sure path means to do what in the past turned out to be working. What worked good in the past does not necessarily work (that good) now. On the other hand: A lot of strategies that worked very well in the past have been dropped in favor of others that do not work so well.

So, some things change that shouldn't and other things should be changed. In our fast times people often rush and quick-fix. People do not take time to sit down (or walk slowly), think and listen to their gut feeling. If they would, there own experience and knowledge could take off and have effect on the now. Then they could see and know better. Then take action on it and you will succeed!

Related posts: Think yourself, Total cost of commitment, Slowing down, Dynamic activity, In the present moment, Get focused with 3 questions, Simple Life, Razor sharp focus, The value of experience.