What did it for you?

This post stems from a conversation had in a coffee break over a year ago now, in the land of the Red Rose. I had the answer then ( for me) but I’ve played with it a bit in my head ( and in reality since)

We’d been talking about Hands and the enormous amount of brain connectivity  that is given over to the hands both for sensory function and motor function, proportionate to other parts of the body..

There is a superb One minute Twelve second video about it here take the time and watch it. You will smile!


Two initial examples cropped up in conversation. Despite the person concerned being highly educated and still having “insatiable curiousity” about the world, and dedicating time to learning new stuff as well as mastery old stuff, despite having  travelled the world, met interesting people and listened to them:

The skill named?  Touch Typing.

Because no matter what job, role or business they were in whether typing up notes, reports, writing marketing materials, searching the  internet, developing thoughts and ideas. Having the skill to touch fingers to the keyboard gave a fluidity of thought.  Practical? Of course.  Much better than that: a freedom of mind because the fingers could move swiftly to recording..without paralysing the thoughts.

For me, it was a different example. I can sort of touch type, I am looking at the screen as I do this not the keyboard and I am relatively fast. I am not in the same league as a touch typist. We discussed how in some colleges this certainly used to be a mandatory skill everyone was taught, and what a great idea. A sort of driving test for the fingers, giving freedom of thought movement.

Discussing this with other writers subsequently there has been an interesting response. Some need pencil and paper to think to get their ideas down. Some can send their thoughts straight to their fingers via the keyboard. Personally if an idea is clear, it will come out whole using a keyboard. If there is still some work to be done on the thoughts, in the end the swiftest way to get there for me, is completely manual. A hunt will ensue for a writing implement and the back of an envelope if no sheets of paper are around.

I’ve blithly summarised what must be an exhaustive set of things that being able to Touch Type has made a  significant difference to. I know because it was not my personal experience that I have massively understated it.

The person I was talking to is a highly visual person.

Initially my thoughts went to literacy. Being able to read early gave me transport into other worlds, and minds. Being able to read means the internet is an infinite playground for me. Literacy is the passport to so many things without which life in the 21st century would be permanently hobbled. Literacy it seemed  wasn’t the right answer for me. It didn’t sound right. But it was close to it.

As a highly auditory person, I listen for HOW things sound. Even when reading it is a sort of combined  auditory and visual experience. Of course typing adds in another sensory experience and one using the hands so a lot of neuro connectivity there.

In the end it became startlingly obvious what it was for me. Learning to read music.

Learning to read music as a child was useful in the moment, because I could start to play music with others because of it. And I LOVED doing that.  But later in life the realisation has come that so many things that feel innate were developed from that time, were given some magic boosts.

Learning to read music gave me:

An understanding of symbology

An understanding of rhythm and tone

An appreciation of harmony and dischord

Because I could read music, I learned a few instruments and sang. Because I did that, I developed more brain hand connections. Because I did that  my music playing ( as  child!) developed. Because my technical skill developed, I learned to play in groups. Because of that I learned to Listen to HOW things sounded. Because I did that I learned to work in a team for something unimaginable and greater than me. Because I learned that I learned about responsibility to the group and to myself. Because I played in wider groups I was exposed to all sorts of different people, through the music and through the people I played with I was exposed to different cultures and different stories. Because I learned that …

List goes on.

What Pivotal thing, what skill was it that you learned early on, that when you look back  you know was the foundation and the stepping stone to things you have done subsequently?

What was it?

And are you actively using and honouring it today?

Comments are enabled so I would love to hear, please chime in.

What did it for you?


Your life story, ready for some plot changes?

“When patterns in engagments with the people around you become well-worn and ineffective, are they persistent because they have to be, or because the story demands it?”

This is the last line from Seth Godin’s blog post today, if you don’t regularly read him you are missing out on some wise words and simple wisdom. He sometimes says stuff that you know you always knew, but had forgotten. Other times he says things that throw a light on something you hadn’t considered before. He is always short, always entertaining. He writes well, understands the importance of that .


But he rates taking action higher than making things perfect.

I likes him!

If you are beginning to guess I have a lot of time for him, you would be right, there is nothing special about me for that he has 162,000 twitter followers to start with..

The headline to his piece is Extending the Narrative and you can find it here  http://sethgodin.typepad.com/

Sometimes ( always) when we lead or are asking to others to lead, there are voices in our heads telling us what people think, what we should do, how we should behave. These voices are not evidence of madness. They are evidence that as well as writing out our stories for the past, constructing them, we are in a very powerful position.

Instead of being caught at the whim of life’s events, we are able to create how we live by the simple measure of listening to what we say to ourselves ( and others) and then having the power to decide what we say and do instead.

We can choose, its just that we often forget as we live the story that we can choose, we can step out of the story at any time, change the direction of the story, the flavour.

There is a grand name for this Constructionism – of which there are many flavours, social, relational, religions, philosophies, scientific methods etc etc..

My simplistic synthesis of all of them ( by that I mean it works for me!) is that we are sense making creatures, we seek to explain what is going on around us, happening to us, within us and in doing so we build, we construct our sense of reality.

We don’t need to have lots of qualifications to do this, we don’t need to have lots of life experience or a grand job title.

A sense of humour helps, along with a sense that we can open our minds and remain curious.

Because we create, we can change whenever  we decide that the story (US)  would benefit from it





Heading off – Out to gather back in.

In a former life I used to project manage fast and furious and sometimes slow and strenuous technology projects. It was an exciting and adrenaline driven experience. Satisfying.  Everyone does this in different ways some rely on process and organisation.

I relied on people, and the strengths of the relationships built before during and after the projects. Running multiple projects across different countries each with different timelines leads to a facility for the scattered mind to function and for what feels like several layers of consciousness. However it is not my preferred state. I can do it. I am good at it but I no longer have joy form the experience itself. Certainly not for long periods of time. It is a learned strength. 

In other non work related parts of my life right now the project manager is busy with planned events and planning generally. It is all for stuff I care very much about, that is where the drive, the motivation is.


I am at that point, that frustrating point where I have the poles set up, some of them have plates on them, and some of the plates are spinning. It is progress. I am not yet at the point where all the plates are up and there is a pleasant hum. There is not enough momentum yet for the effort to be elegant.

Its strenuous, important and not yet at the point where it is satisfying. That is a few steps away and all I can do is remember that is it a few steps away and now I have to wait. 


In the meantime I have to switch from a feeling of high intensity, getting in close to the detail and step back far enough to see what I am attempting to achieve.  To a completely different way of thinking and BEING this afternoon

So I am off OUT. Under the sky, with a dog, breathing, walking and waiting for the scattered mind to come back together before the next phase of different focus.


Oh yes, just been playing with quick posting, now about to Post, without all the usual options to check… my creative mind would love that. But I am living with the scattered project manager’s mind right now — and she isn’t too keen.. 😉