This weekend I’m attending Wisdom 2.0 in San Francisco, a conference addressing the intersection of Wisdom and Technology. Interesting to say the least. As a person who has actively sought after truth for the last 17 years of her life, and who also very much needs to be contributing work that matters to the world, I was desperate to be a part of this conference.
But what does “wisdom” mean?
Wisdom at the conference refers to the ancient wisdom teachings of Jesus, the Buddha, Shiva, etc. For me, wisdom has never been something I’ve sought after. It seems reserved for saints and sages, mysterious and unattainable to mere mortals, and I hope it always is this for me. The minute I think I’m wise, I’m fairly sure I’ll be doomed.
To be interested in wisdom seems fair enough, however. Though if it becomes something akin to a feather in your cap, an honor, a merit; another way to regard yourself in a way that elevates yourself above another human being, man — that is one, slippery slope. Proceed with caution.
You should never be wise in your own estimation of yourself.
People who are truly wise never proclaim it. Wisdom produces humility if anything because the more you know the more you realize you don’t know anything at all. Worthy seeking, then, is after truth, beauty, what is good - the things that lead to wise-living.
In seeking these, the practice isn’t awareness as much as it simply the art of noticing. There is a lot going on around us if we would stop and take the time to notice and then reflect daily on what we’ve noticed.
Meditation is not the only meaningful practice.
Meditation has been spoken about so much at Wisdom 2.0 I would think they were trying to sell it to me. I’m not here to dismiss the merits of meditation in terms of well-being, clearly that would be foolish, but I do question it being addressed almost exclusively as thee wisdom practice and in specific, small terms as well. This seems very short-sighted. There are so many other ways to uncover what’s happening inside of us apart from meditation.
Where is art in all of this?
Although there is art on the walls at Wisdom and some music, I wish the arts were more center-stage for its power to heal and make us better. Padmasree Warrior, Chief Technology & Strategy Officer at Cisco, talked about art - both how her own informs her business life and how art and science are being bridged in higher education - in her brilliant talk on Applied Wisdom in Business Life. And she was right on.
In doing art, we offer ourselves in such a way that our inner lives become an outward expression that can be shared. There is learning therein about ourselves. And what is more, in the process of making art, we learn to process better, problem solve better, see in a new way. This then informs everything we do.
We all have a different lens on the world and different gifts.
When we don’t create, we deny our full selves from the world, we deny wisdom from each other. Believe we are designed to create. This is not something reserved for a certain select few. Art is for all. The process of creating brings human beings great pleasure and having created something is extremely satisfying, and through both comes knowing and wisdom.
As Jon Kabat-Zinn said yesterday, “We need each other and the world needs all of us.” I would add that the world needs your art. Now is your chance to live artfully and train your mind in a new way. Consider this as another gateway to both grow and share in wisdom because that’s exactly what it is. And unlike meditation, which is very internal, this process is collective and global. It connects us. Art is in you, it just got beat out of you when you were young. Take back this practice. Begin again.
Don’t run around like a chicken with its head cut off. Do make technology work for you.
When I was a kid my Mom used to always say, “I’ve been running around all day like a chicken with its head cut off.” (Yo, PETA!) Being highly visual and very imaginative, as most kids are, it would bother me. A lot. Maybe you’ve heard it said before, or maybe it was just my crazy Mom. It was her totally gnarly way of saying “I’ve been running around like a crazy, busy person!” Okay, Ma. Gnar.
Efficiency. It’s important, right? Who doesn’t want to make the most out of their time, money, resources? These days all three seem ridiculously short for a lot of us. This is no less true in our home lives as it is in our businesses. I have been known to say that cliches are cliché because they are true. And the ol’ addum “time is money, money is time” is, well, true. Isn’t it?
Too many businesses are spending far too much time these days answering questions like, do we invest in that that slicked out Facebook page, this conference or that marketing campaign, when they really should be investing that time in researching and implementing the amazing technological tools that are at their fingertips.
Businesses should have a Technology Toolbox, much akin to Mary Poppins’ purse. And let’s not mince words. I am talking about magic. Tools that can harness speed-up processes, save time, boost efficiency. Tools that are responsive and beautiful. This is magic, my friends.
So what are these tools? Let’s name a few:
I must admit that Evernote inspired this post. I woke up at the ungodly hour of 4:40am this morning, brain abuzz with stuff. Yep. Stuff. The way I love to get the stuff out? I open up Evernote and start throwing it all in there. Evernote isn’t a task manager and it’s not a virtual coarkboard - it’s both and more. It’s where I “stuff” everything: all my ideas, all my inspiration. That is to say: lists, links, images, pdfs, the draft of this article I’m writing right now, etc. The layout is straightforward and easy. The design makes perfect sense to both my right brain and my left. Total home run. Like, way outta the park. Like, WHAT would I do without Evernote?
If ever there was an app to help you work better, this is the one. Centered around goals, which, hello - who doesn’t need to focus on their goals once in a while? - WorkSimple is the perfect place to regain your focus everyday. Login, set a goal, update a goal, share a goal, get feedback on your goals. It’s kind of like going to the Career Sherpa you always wish you had, but never knew existed. And then at the end of the quarter, the year, you look back and have this amazing track record of all your work and you’re like, “I’M FRIGGIN’ AWESOME!” Portfolio time. Promotion time. Making-your-productivity-work-for-you time. Yep. Like that! Oh and like Evernote, the design is beautiful. Give me beauty or just go home! Like, get outta here.
I’ve been impressed with Pardot from day one - since before I even opened the darn app. Their awesome people and kick ass branding and marketing precede their user experience and it’s all good - great even - from start to finish. Now this app will only help you in business - it’s Marketing software and not good for making a grocery list or setting a goal to climb Mt. Kilimanjaro. HOWEVER I had to throw it in here because, in as far as I can tell, these folks have done and are doing everything - and I mean everything - right. The app interface is simple, the design is beautiful (are you noticing a theme yet?), and they’ve stuck to exactly what you need. What comes to mind is KISS (Keep It Simple Stupid). And, I’m sorry, but we are all stupid sometimes and because of that, simple wins!
So what about you? What apps allow you to operate less stupid, less “chicken with its head cut off,” and more as the amazing, ass-kickin’-name-taker you are? Well? Give ‘em up!
I believe in Social Media as much, if not more, as the next guy to power your business onto greater heights. I’ve seen it first hand build a brand, market a product, move units. But I have to admit, with every push of the Social button I feel a pull towards a more “real life” means of advertising.
It’s not that I want to do away with Social Media. Not even. So come in close and hear me good. Grab a cup o’ joe and put up your stinkin’ feet. You see, I’ve been listening and I’ve been hearing the same story over and over again. And now I’m about to tell that story to you.
We are confused about what we want from Marketing. That’s right, we don’t know what the heck we want. Do we want Social Media? Email Marketing? A badass blog? Should we do mailers? Whitepapers? Videos? Newsletters?
We are a marketing hot mess and we are doing the best we can but we are confused. And, well, here’s why.
You know how people try and pretend like it’s gross to eat cake for breakfast when it’s really the exact same thing as a muffin? Well it’s similar to the mentality people have about Social Media and Marketing. Marketing seems to be a given - the muffin - whereas Social Media is the naughty-no-no cake that a lot of people still need convincing about.
I need to ask this simple question: WHAT UP WITH THAT?
Social Media and Marketing are sisters from another mister. To make the most out of both, YOU NEED BOTH. I’m not saying you need to understand how they work together necessarily, but let’s at least be open to the idea of it, shall we? I can tell you if you’re not doing this, you’re going to miss the boat. Major big time.
And look - I’m on your side. I truly believe that as much as our lives go online, there will always be a basic, human need to hold something in our hands, to meet each other face-to-face. As close as technology brings us together, and - dang, technology today is rad - that need will never go away. We will always come back to our need to touch.
Look at music and the resurgence of vinyl. Yeah, the CD is a dying medium and digital sales are through the roof, but vinyl sales are climbing. Why? Because we are collectors of things and things mean something to us. They just do.
What marketing needs is a similar type of resurgence. We can do all we can to create amazing experiences online (and the people who create products and marketing that are injected with the most human spirt will win, by the way - another blog for another time), but those who succeed at marketing will be the ones who reach out in tangible ways as well. It’s the one-two punch.
I’m not a betting girl, but I would wager on this one.
Okay, now go on and leave all those cheesy song lyrics that are now in your head in the comments section. You really cannot say the word “touch” without at least a dozen songs from the 90s coming to mind. AMIRITE?
DC’s Bluebrain released their second location-aware album today for Central Park, Listen to the Light. Check out this really intriguing “making of” video. One of the coolest things we’ve seen in a long time. Bravo, guys. Can’t wait to make it to NYC to experience this one. Erik and I just experienced The National Mall album in DC and it was amazing… to say the least.