She means business

While doing some research around Living a conscious life. I was pleasantly surprised to find Carrie Green had included part of a conversation following the Tedx talk above, with her in North Tea Power in her book.

When I discovered this, I decided well I might as well get a copy for my ever growing library. Today I got my copy…

From the chapter – The little voice in your head

A guy called Ian Forrester climbed up to the stage, I handed him £20, the audience applauded and he went and sat down. A few weeks later we met up over a cup of tea and he told me how a brush with death a few years earlier made him make the decision that he was never going to let anything stand in his way. He said, “People are paralyzed by their fear of what might happen, and so they won’t reach out and grab what’s in front them. And that’s pretty much what I did.”

Thank you again Carrie for the quote and everything, I will never forget the moment.

Living a conscious life?

manchester skyline may 1st

I hadn’t really considered that I might be living my life in a conscious way. But the more I look into it, the more I see the difference between my life previous to my brush with death.

So what is a conscious life? A life which is deliberate and thought-out, by listening to yourself and making conscious choices.

There’s no absolute, but rather a number of common elements which point in a certain direction. After some research and thought here’s a small incomplete list.

  • Do what makes you happy
  • Feel comfortable with saying no
  • Accept yourself and stop comparing yourself to others
  • Ignore the messages of the mainstream
  • Live in the moment
  • Be choosy
  • Focus on what you have
  • Practice a life with gratitude
  • Don’t let your ego lead
  • Spend your time and resources wisely
  • Let go of negativity and judgement

Its easy to see how all of these can seem either obvious, patronising or some hippy spiritual nonsense? I get it, maybe 10 years ago I would be thinking a similar thing. Maybe its just one of those things which you are ready for or not?

So how does this manifest in my life?

Happy Programmers

Do what makes you happy

I pretty much do what makes me happy and ignore much else. Its not out of ignorance but rather feelings of overload. I guess this is why I can sleep well at night? Don’t get me wrong, there are feelings/tensions about this being selfish but I tend to balance it out in my head by helping people when possible.

Help takes many forms but trying to encourage more people to be a little more conscious is something I quite like. Although I guess in retrospect, it can seem like I’m pushing my ideology on to others? Of course its about balance and also if the person is receptive to the advice.

Going back to doing what makes me happy. My trip to Japan was a great example. I got much advice about where I should go and visit from a great number of people & places. Although I took them on-board, I spent most of my time in Tokyo wondering the streets of different prefectures of the city. I visited every single roller coaster park except the Disney ones. I did what made me happy and still ended up trying new things. So this isn’t about the filter bubble. Its not uncommon for me to end up in the middle of a new city and just go exploring, alone or with others. Usually on a quest for the best cocktail establishment in that city.

This also applies to what I see and experience. This does unfortunately means making some tough decisions about places, things, friendships, etc…  Doing what makes me happy also means I tend to go and do things which others wouldn’t do alone. Its not unknown for me to go to the cinema, city, dinner, holiday alone. I’m quite comfortable with my self and don’t need others to reaffirm my happiness.

Feel comfortable with saying no

Following on from the previous one, saying no and personal happiness are connected. Saying no means theres less guilt and less mental pain. Saying no does mean being honest and rejecting people, but in the long run, its a much better place to be. Its great being strong willed too, great for the character. This has also stopped me from ending up in places/doing things I honestly wasn’t happy about.

Accept yourself and stop comparing yourself to others

This is something I learned very early on, maybe back when I was in primary school to be honest. I was taken out of class to go up to a special room, where a teacher/specialist would give me tests for dyslexia. That combined with being one of about 3 black kids in the school, all this made me less focused on comparing myself. I also wasn’t the most photogenic person in school, but it didn’t matter so much to me. This followed through into later life and

I’d argue this also fits well with not letting your ego rule, because what others do with their lives doesn’t concern me much. Its only when it affects others or myself I start to wonder.

Every once in a while people near me, have said they are jealous of one thing or another. I always say,

“don’t be jealous, focus on how your going to get better”

I try and get people to rethink the situation by turning that early stage envy around. Be happy for the other person and use them as a pointer. This does require some re-framing but is important and directly fits with the notion of being conscious not just reactionary.

Live in the moment

I alluded to dyslexia and links to living in the moment, but honestly my personally has expanded quite a bit to seek out more opportunities, now I notice them more. Its one of the big noticeable differences after my brush with death. Lisa Upton talked about it too, so did Derren brown’s in the secret of luck and of course there was what happened at TedxManchester3 with  Carrie Green.

Funny enough I recently found where the coffee conversation with Carrie went; into her book She Means Business: Turn Your Ideas into Reality and Become a Wildly Successful Entrepreneur.

From the chapter – The little voice in your head

A guy called Ian Forrester climbed up to the stage, I handed him £20, the audience applauded and he went and sat down. A few weeks later we met up over a cup of tea and he told me how a brush with death a few years earlier made him make the decision that he was never going to let anything stand in his way. He said, “People are paralyzed by their fear of what might happen, and so they won’t reach out and grab what’s in front them. And that’s pretty much what I did.”

I also remember a while ago hearing about smutslam and decided to give it a try. During the course of the evening, I decided to give it a shot. I ended up winning 2nd place. Totally living in the moment, just going with the flow.

Practice a life with gratitude

Been thinking about this one quite a bit, especially since I attended Sarah Raad’s workshop at Thinking Digital Newcastle. The benefits are huge for such a simple practice.

There are many gratitude apps and platforms, I’m just trying to pick one which contains all the things I respect like being opensource, decentralised, multiplatform, etc.  Currently I’m drawn somewhere between using Mastodon and trying Micropub.

What ever I decide, I’ve started writing weekly in Standard Notes, which also has a nice little micro blogging system called listed.

Let go of negativity and judgement

This is a big one. It was a workshop talk from Bobby from the happiest which unfortunately closed not long afterwards. (still like to see a distributed take on happiest); which got me thinking about negativity and how much we hold on to it (or it holds on to us?). He said something like 65 million thoughts we have everyday, 85% are negative. Although maybe not right, it got me thinking quite a lot about the possibility of changing our thought process.  Could we learn to accept and let go? Why do we hold on to negative feelings so tightly?

For me the totally irrational fear of injections was overcome by conscious thoughts of the same mind which was hosting that fear.

Although still fearful, I do feel much lighter because I was able to let go.

Shortcuts to city living

Tokyo from up high

I liked Lifehacker’s guide to Stress-Free Guide to Settling Down in a New City. The main points are…

Get the lay of the land by using the internet and asking real people.

Get out and make friends by seeking out your hobbies, meeting friends of friends and taking the initiative.

All seem sensible and to be honest I’ve done all these and more when moving from Bristol to London and London to Manchester. I didn’t have a guide, I just did it without thinking. I also find a lot of the points useful when going on holiday, but then again when I tend to go on holiday its more like an extended city break.

Anyway its a good read and if I was to move again, I certainly would have a look at it.

 

Sometimes I forget I live in the future

living in the future

In reply to my last post about living in the future, emma persky who I’ve not seen for years now. Replied on twitter with who doesn’t live in the future.

Interesting as this is certainly something I really enjoy. But Douglas Rushkroff talks about Present Shock.

Rushkoff introduces the phenomenon of presentism, or – since most of us are finding it hard to adapt – present shock. Alvin Toffler’s radical 1970 book, Future Shock, theorized that things were changing so fast we would soon lose the ability to cope. Rushkoff argues that the future is now and we’re contending with a fundamentally new challenge. Whereas Toffler said we were disoriented by a future that was careening toward us, Rushkoff argues that we no longer have a sense of a future, of goals, of direction at all. We have a completely new relationship to time; we live in an always-on “now,” where the priorities of this moment seem to be everything.

Wall Street traders no longer invest in a future; they expect profits off their algorithmic trades themselves, in the ultra-fast moment. Voters want immediate results from their politicians, having lost all sense of the historic timescale on which government functions. Kids txt during parties to find out if there’s something better happening in the moment, somewhere else.

So judging by Rushkoff I am living in the now but a different type of now from most others?

To further framing of the future comes from Steve Jobs (of course I’m not allowed to quote from Steve Jobs, says Steve)

You can’t connect the dots looking forward you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something: your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. Because believing that the dots will connect down the road will give you the confidence to follow your heart, even when it leads you off the well worn path.

Lots to think about…

 

revealed: My New Manchester Flat

Living room

Sorry to everyone for the long delay in blogging but you need to feel the pain of not having broadband at home. Some people have asked why I don't just blog from work, but to be honest I tend to have a endless list of things to do at work, so as I complete one task, I just move to the next one. This means theres no time for blogging. Also recently I've been out of the building so much that sitting down and blogging would be difficult. I had thought about drafting a load but I've been unpacking for days and am still not finished.

In the pictures you can now see on Flickr, you might notice a few boxes but up till yesterday was a lot more.

Before anyone asks, the computer next to the TV isn't there all the time, thats my test machine ubuntu box for xbmc in the future. There is no barrier between the kitchen and living room, its open plan. But I decided to put the bookshelf and sofas in the way. This means the living room area feels more cosy. The sofas are not my choosing, just like the glass table and coffee table but I'll live with them. The TV is watchable from the Kitchen and dinner table too. The second bed room still has the bed covers which came with the flat, because I would never pick such nasty bed covers. I put the servers and switch in the wardrobe alongside the extra furniture and boxes. I still need to get rid of the rest of the boxes and sort out the ethernet/telephone cables. If it was my flat, I would be drilling nice outlet holes between the rooms but its not.

To date, only 3 people have seen the new flat. The first person was Kate, while Dave's actual slept over, although Kate did get to sample some cooking. Generally I'm having a good time in Manchester and I did go out drinking the other day with Kate and Leanne, so things are going pretty well. The house in London exchanged last week too, which is good and now means I don't really have links to London except family and friends. Yes the ride up to Manchester last Sunday was pretty long (4.5hours), luckly it only rained between Oxford and Birmingham, so I was dry by the time I stopped for the 3rd time for fuel and a rest near Manchester.

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First day of looking at Flats in Manchester

So after looking at ton of flats in Manchester city centre today, I've drawn the list down to a top 3. Now don't get me wrong, Almost every flat I've looked at has been perfectly liveable and worthy of consideration, but these flats have that wow factor which has pushed them in front of the rest.

  • St Georges Island, Kelso Place, Castlefield Manchester
    This place is furnished with 2 bedrooms, 2 bathrooms (one En-Suite), secure parking and a balcony which stretches the complete length of the flat. The view is great and the only downside is the location is quite far from oxford road, so it would be almost 20mins walk to work or to the northern quarter. Deansgate station is about 5-10mins away which isn't too bad. Its also got 24hour conceirge and is right next to the canel.
  • Nile, City Road East, Knott Mill, Manchester
    Is a lot like the last one but no 24hour conceirge and the balcony is much smaller. However its a stone throw from Deansgate station and actually walkable to oxford road within 15mins..
  • Church Street, Northern Quarter, Manchester
    This one was pretty impressive and set the standard for a while till later in the day when I saw the others. The major difference is its location. Its actually across the road from the Arndale centre and located in the northern quarter. According to some people, its a great area and is recommended over anywhere else in Manchester.

Tomorrow I will have a look at, and this is just between 4-6pm!

  • The Lock, Winkworth Road, Manchester
  • The Hacienda, Winkworth Road, Manchester
  • Beaumont Building, Salford, Manchester
  • Skyline Chambers, Northern Quarter, Manchester
  • Green Building, Salford, Manchester
  • Agecroft House, Winkworth, Manchester
  • W3, Winkworth/Oxford Road, Manchester
  • Home 1, Winkworth, Manchester
  • Meadow View, Northern Quarter, Manchester
  • Home 2, Winkworth, Manchester
  • The Linx, Northern Quarter, Manchester
  • Market Buildings, Northern Quarter Manchester
  • Oxford Place, Oxford Rd, Manchester
  • Barton Place, Northern Quarter, Manchester
  • The Citadel, Northern Quarter, Manchester
  • The Ropeworks, Winkworth Road, Manchester

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