Category Archives: Moods & Emotions

Old songs to inspire a new century….

Here are some of the songs from the 20th century that inspire and energise me.  It a bit of an eclectic mix, but my mood shifts when I play them.  What inspires and renews you?

The Heat is On by Glenn Frey is one I love just for the rhythm/beat – a great source of energy:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqZ9WVBXBvw

Tom Petty’s  I Won’t Back Down for the melody but also the words “Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around / And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down”: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nUTXb-ga1fo

Ease On Down the Road by Michael Jackson for the energy and lightness, but also for the message to let go of the baggage of the past and just take the next step: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3ztDwyEuiBY

High Hopes by  Frank Sinatra for the lightness, also for the value of persistence (although I also advocate for hard work on smart strategy):  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vWZ-pLUb9L8

‘Tain’t What You Do (It’s The Way That You Do It) by Ella Fitzgerald to me points out the value of bringing acceptance, intention, curiosity and wonder to HOW we do WHAT we do: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=X8fCXNTCWig

The Music Of The World A Turnin’ by The Seekers – tune into what’s happening, not what’s going on in your head: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0K8BbTNXx2o

Jimmy Cliff’s I Can See Clearly Now reminds me to let go of the negative moods and emotions that shut down my creative thinking:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gIqLsGT2wbQ

Learned Helplessness: a recipe for sustainability INACTION?

Back in the 1960s, psychology researcher Martin Seligman and his team discovered how to create helplessness and passivity – first in animals and later in humans.  Some sustainability campaigners could learn an important lesson from his research about how to present their message so it generates action rather than helplessness. Continue reading

Environment: Be angry, but not aggressive…

In a global culture where an underlying mood of aggression and distrust is deeply and subtly embedded, it’s easy to respond to the multiple and increasing threats of ecosystem breakdown with the same aggression that we see played out on a daily basis.

However, this is a place where Einstein’s famous quote is absolutely relevant:

“Problems cannot be solved with the same mind set that created them.”

It’s as important to learn to shift out of aggression and operate from more constructive moods as it is to understand the systems shifts of the emerging regenerative economy. Continue reading

Alan Atkisson: What Music Means (to Me)

Alan’s book “Believing Cassandra” was a great insight for me at the start of my sustainability journey.     What helps you nurture and sustain yourself?

Alan AtKisson

AtKissonBlogPhoto9Apr2013This article describes how music came back into my life — again — and the process of recording my new album with some of Sweden’s leading musicians. The album is to be released later this year (2013) .

A few years ago, I heard someone ask the veteran global trend analyst Lester Brown — who is known for dire warnings about the state of the planet — this question: “How do you maintain your optimism?”

“I have a one-word answer for that,” said Lester. “Bourbon.”

As someone whose professional life often involves analyzing global trends, and then informing others about them (while trying to help them change the direction of those trends), I often get asked the same question. So I adopted Lester’s snappy, whiskey-based answer and modified it. “Unlike Lester,” I would say, “I have a two-word answer for that. Single malt.”

My real answer, of course, is more…

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A quick “body hack” for sustainability change-makers…

Changing your body will change your effectiveness.

I found Amy Cuddy’s TED talk about this last week, then was reminded in a training session the other day that 93% of human communication is n0n-verbal:

  • 7% what you say
  • 38% tonality
  • 55% body language

So what your body says is the most powerful part of your communication – and it’s surprisingly easy to shift it. Continue reading

3 simple practices for success in the business sustainability game

Resilience Practices: Acceptance; Ambition; Curiosity & WonderGreenBiz.com recently released its 2013 State of the Profession report on the sustainability executive job market.  One of its findings was that there are key ways of being that support sustainability leadership success – particularly curiosity and an ambition to communicate effectively.

There is a trio of definable and practicable mindsets that support these ways of being. In the same way that Pilates builds core strength in our physical bodies, these practices build emotional resilience and are a strong foundation for career and life success.  The three practices are acceptance, ambition and curiosity/wonder. Continue reading

What’s YOUR sustainability scope? Keeping focussed in the face of overwhelm…

In a recent interview for The CO2 Manager, I was asked how I stay positive and focussed when sustainability can seem so overwhelming.

Thinking about it, what works for me is:

  • To remember that the fact that there are at least 150 million change-makers in the world.
  • To be really clear on my sustainability scope  – what I’m working on and why.

For all its downsides, a global population of  billion people means that I don’t have to do it all. Even if only 1 billion have the freedom and resources of the Western world, and only 15% of those are innovators and early adopters, that means that we have a talent bank of around  150 million change-makers.

To me, this means that I’m free to do “my bit” in the sustainability game – and concentrate on doing it well.  Continue reading