CPOA (Cherry-Picking Ounces of Appraisal)

Working in a capitalist world is sometimes a mess, and here’s, with no reason, a hell tango of two things happening all the time, which are not good at all :

  1. Your work is evaluated with digits (therefore your managers know nothing of what you do, and worse : they THINK they master something (and they don’t)).
  2. You expect your good job to be valued, to be “seen”, and you’re not seen or valued at all.

I wrote in my last Chronicle :

The factors that employees consider motivating are : Good wages, interesting work, security of the job, of course, but the number one factor was“to be valued”. Really valued.

It’s not about a bonus or a “best employee of the month” challenge. It’s really something like :

“I see what you do and I appreciate what you do”.

People often do the best they can with what they got. And they wait, they need to be seen

N/N-1 Business Bullshittery is a good example of how the managers who have “numbers” don’t understand half an ounce of what’s happening on the ground.

Raise your eyes heavenward – but inside your head only, because illusion of mastery is funny to watch, after all. Let them “evaluate”. And do your job properly, that’s all.

And if you expect to be valued to be motivated, you have to expect… not to be. Na! So there!

Your manager doesn’t know you’re doing a good job? So what? You thus can :

  1. Know what you’re doing nevertheless, value yourself, determine your own good goals, be strong and try not to “need” to feel valued to be efficient and motivated.
  2. Cherry-pick little ounces of compliments or happiness where you can : colleagues who can see what you do and wink at you, or customers, or even people passing by, who can see your work and appreciate it. In French, we call it : “Grappiller” (it could be : “To make a little-bunch” of something).

Have a nice day!

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“Pick the Quarter Best”, a Quincy Jones pattern

Listening on the radio to old stuff you didn’t hear for years, I fell off my chair with Smooth Criminal (Michael Jackson). Since, I can’t put it out of my mind.

I remember an interview (maybe exaggerated) with Quincy Jones, who produced “Bad”, who said that the team wrote, recorded and produced forty (40) songs, to choose finally 10 of them, the “ten best”, right?

I should find the interview to check numbers, right? But like they say in this John Ford’s movie, let’s print the legend.

 

That’s a tool for workers. An unusual one maybe :

“If you need great stuff, build 4 times more then pick the quarter best”

(hmm is this even English?)

An exhausting/expensive tool, right?

 

Have a great sunday!

 

Listen loud, extract : the bass (sound and holed line), the snare drum games, the voice production, the building in “double stereo stairs” (synth-strings), the up modulation for the chorus.

Annie, are you ok
Will you tell us that you’re ok
There’s a sign at the window

 

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The gap between the real and the hoped

“L’écart entre le réel et l’espéré” : The gap between the real and the hoped…

When the gap is too wide, what happens? We drift.

Drifting is boat vocabulary. You can say you’re out of gas. Or you’re stuck. Parked. You’re powerless. Whatever.

Drifting means you have no steam and you let go. Maybe you watch. Maybe you wait. Maybe you think. Drifting is interesting. Be angry. Or zen. You could get lost… That’s maybe cool!

If you know the 4 laws of action when you have a problem, when you have a gap between the real and the hoped :

  1. You can go away. No gap any more, because the hope has gone.
  2. You can change the way things are. New boat. New rivers…
  3. You can change your hopes. Invent new ones.
  4. You can just shut up – and accept the gap.

 

Meantime, drift. Wait. Quarrel. Drown. Insist. Watch. Endure. Actualize.

You have the right to say no to “Don’t forget to smile”. Drifting people who fakesmile on their boat look like lunatics!

Stand up, though. The horizons could signal.

 

OK. There’s always hope : Remember to smile back, one day!

Have a nice day!

 

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Fecundity of Limits

If you’re a creative person, you encountered the “Fecundity of Limits” concept, obviously. Fruition. I’d distinguish :

  1. the limits you choose yourself
  2. the limits given to you by someone in charge
  3. the limits you encounter while you’re building your stuff.

Choosing your own limits is such… a pleasure. It’s about preparing your work. Paint something with 3 colors only. Write a book in a month. Travel, but no more than 5 miles a day.

Limits coming as instructions can be a relief. Many actors talk about the freedom you have while you have to obey strict orders. It’s about unfolding inside a frame : perfect for certain personalities.

The limits you encounter are parts of the building process. Your technical shortfalls is a good example. You then move forward “within” your capacities – trying maybe to push them back. The budget can be a limit. You’ll discover the others while you work : It’s a stream, a current!

Tool : Choose, change them, ask someone for limits (as seeds), think about them while your create, and then… forget your feedback : you’re in the flow, a good one!

Thanks for reading! Work well! Travaillez bien !

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Working with what you have… today

When I was 25 I complained to a friend of mine who was 40, a painter. I was composing music slowly and in a bitter way because I was missing instruments, equipment, etc. I had a Macintosh, a mic, a synth, a reverb and a flute.

In art or life, sometimes we feel stuck, therefore we don’t do anything, because we “miss something”, we don’t have enough of this or that : we just wait, bored like a lonely koala in the taiga.

So we just “watch a goal”, a state or a line where, at last, we will be able to begin.

THEN we will have enough time, enough money, enough energy to do it!

I will… paint, compose, be happy, invent, write, blog, learn, the day I will have this or that, blah blah blah…

This is procrastination, laziness & threnody. Sometimes it’s useful to wait, though…

My friend told me I was silly, and, as a painter, that if she only had a pen and paper she would work. “Do something with your flute and your keyboard, instead of complaining, silly!”.

Okey. Watch around. Pick up a tool. Begin. To begin : begin, as they say. Now. That’s true!

…unless you don’t work for another reason, using this syndrome to do nothing. Rhoooo this is baaaad!

Bonne journée!

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Defuse, forestall, or drama increase?

When someone you know says something dramatic or excessive, there’s the possibility to be more dramatic, to unsheathe swords and cut your partner in two (or three, ouch).

Or else, you can use these two lovely words : defuse and forestall. Add a smile, a pair of kisses on forehead, and a few kind words, and hopla, done!

 

You’re funny, were you out of your mind or what?, let’s forget it, come here you silly!

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Wealthy Valet

A few days ago I talked with an aged funny married couple, who explained that they have two divorced daughters, in their thirties, complaining that they don’t find any suitable guy to date.

Both told me something like : “OK, the guy must be : handsome, interesting, wealthy, great in bed, protective, obedient, kind-hearted, with feminine qualities, while giving them big space when then need it”.

“Where is my Prince?”

Then they finished by : “Well, my dear, this kind of wealthy valet doesn’t even exist!”.

Who knows, though? How to lower expectations in love or marriage? What kind of doors/choices are dancing here? Can we cross out some qualities in the list? Why? What if the wealthy valet type says “No”? Why would men be frightened by such a program?

By the way, is “to make do” really a verb?? (question from the French). I found :

“We’re striving to make do with less”.

Bonne journée !

Arthur Rimbaud & Glenn Gould : The “Big Less” Temptation

Rimbaud was a French poet who had a huge influence on Arts and Literature, but stopped writing at 21. He became a merchant, mostly in Africa (in coffee trading, for example!), and died at 37.

Gould was a Canadian pianist who stopped giving concerts at the age of 31 and became an eccentric hermit in recording studios.

Different destinies, but a similar pattern : at one moment, they stopped completely something they succeeding in, they closed a door.

Rimbaud stopped writing. Many wondered why : The artist had said everything? He wanted to explore another face of his personality? He had a secret wound? Dead wordsourcespring?
Gould didn’t stop making music, but never came back playing in concert, and he explained himself about that.

I write this because I wonder if sometimes we should consider a similar flip. A combination of levers & dials, studying what’s good in our life, considering that insisting (even in different ways) could be, from now, a failure : it’s maybe time for a closure?…

 

The Big Less is about considering to close a part of you which… works. Why would you do that, like “I park it”? Why would you stop what works? You feel you miss something? It’s too easy? You reached a plateau? I works but the wrong way? You lost a goal? You need to experiment to enrich? Fresh air? You need to get smaller to go faster? A fresh start to go elsewhere? You’re afraid of some ticking-over routine? Is it a bad idea? Why?

And who knows what will happen after some years? Maybe you’ll realize you needed the big disturbance of it? Maybe a bigger room will open? A secret path will appear? Maybe you’ll make good Bach records, or trade coffee?

Have a nice day!

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The Disillusion of Level 2

In my life I met many times the Disillusion of Level 2. You just have to listen to people’s stories.

We all know this process, especially when we are young :

  1. You desire something strongly (a job, a love, a change, a project)
  2. You act to achieve this goal
  3. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed
  4. You rethink, invent new goals, with more confidence, you do the contrary, you take another path which, at least, will be the good one!
  5. You act to achieve this goal
  6. You fail, you are disillusioned, disenchanted, disappointed

Yes, it’s like a loop!

This triggers a few questions :

  • Do we always expect too much all the time?
  • Isn’t “expecting disillusion” a way to be lazy?
  • Is there a way of drawing a “good map”?
  • What do you do when you see a friend about to be on this path?
  • Where is the Level 3?
  • What’s the knowledge we gain after these?
  • Is it about daring more? Being more casual? Expect nothing?
  • Or is it about stopping?
  • What is the “need of change”?
  • Who is wise, and why?

Now apply that to any concept of life you know : love, job, hobby, politics, arts, goals, etc. What do you find? What are the stories you know? What do you think?

Merci ! Bonne journée !

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Instagram : bodylanguage

The Tenderness Agreement

There are many ways to make love, and it’s interesting to watch the levers you can activate, from 0 to 100 :

  • Energy from 0 (cuddle and no movement) to 100 (ecstatic fast ending)
  • Words (from 0 – a silent intercourse, to 100 – a conversation sex session)
  • Time (from quicky to three-days non-stop dance)
  • Giving (from “I give” to “you give” and all shades between)
  • Tenderness (from 0 : technical ways kama sutra exploring, to 100 : eyes, words of love and attentive caresses).

I’m sure you will find dozens of others dials to watch, risky or not, with or without music, with or without light, etc : the “consenting adults” concept is very powerful, opening doors and paths and windows, destroying inner and “rules” cages.

Today I’m examining the Tenderness Agreement. It’s very soft and sweet. It can exist between husband and wife, or friends, or exes, or siblings, three people, anyone. It’s an agreement, which means you freely both DECIDE (you’re adults, right?), that it’s “only about that”.

Invent your own rules, then :

Underwear only. Skin, but no more. Spend a night together, or one hour. Whatever : you decide before. Cuddling. Caresses. Nothing more. Just being together, listening, breathing, soft caressing, no more. A night, an hour, whatever. It’s about tenderness. “I care”. There are SO MANY ways to say I love you, right? Sex without “sex”. Yessss you can.

So I go back to the levers I wrote at the beginning, and with my partner-of-tenderness (“la tendresse”, en français), we choose. Slow, no light, few words, one night, hands and kisses, keep underwear, tenderness. Then, go to bed, skin touching…

It can trigger some desire? So what? We have an agreement, right? No intercourse and no touch of some strategic places, as we said. It’s interesting. Listen to breathechanging is good. We will respect our agreement.

Or not. Whatever.

Thanks for reading!

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Unconditional Friendship

“Unconditional love” is a beautiful romantic story, and the idea of marriage will fascinate me forever. I am casual for so many things… I do think that some commitments need some solemnity, though.

There’s unconditional love in other places : a mother and a child, for example.

In this little text I imagine an unconditional friendship. In a life, it’s possible to meet a person so important, as a friend, that you could imagine something like a high range commitment, a bond, something so strong that it gives each other a strength – yes, it’s like a spouse who you know is here standing next to you, whatever happens.

Your believes differ? You take a big decision? You fight around ideas? Good! You can fix everything, and you will, because you know that you both dance with this strong and respectful “engagement” – you just invent it everyday, with absolute freedom, and no cage ever, inner or real.

Thanks for reading!

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Seeking Approval as a source of energy?

Just google “seeking approval” to discover what you already know : this is baaad, and shame on you!

To be a normal adult shouldn’t be about doing things “just to get approved”, right? Nevertheless, some of us… do what they can.

Many Internet activities use this seek of approval motivation we all have in us, from the Facebook “likes” to the number-of-followers you are happy to have on Instagram, or on your blog.

OK, this is bad and childish and narcissistic, but it’s also incurable, deal with it! Therefore what can you do? Use it, and try to keep a little dignity. Keep your seekness invisible, or you’ll look like a duck-face “love my selfie” chick…

Seeking approval can be a source of motivation. If you work well partly because of this need, good for you! Be guilty, but not too much. Voilà!

But…

What’s the best : a bunch of thoughtless empty “likes” from unknown people, or one smartcunning criticism from an intelligent person you love? 

Thanks for reading! Follow my blog 🙂

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Instagram : noamfrost

 

 

 

An American Z Traveling Fantasy

I’m French, and I’d like to visit the USA – noooo not the Route 66, come on : everybody goes there, thus I don’t and won’t.

Then I had the idea to cross is from San Francisco to New York : Interstate 80, but a friend of mine told me that I will miss the South (oh Faulkner) so much that it would be stupid.

So I’d like to make a Z.

1 From New York to Houston, Richmond, Atlanta and Nouvelle-Orléans.

2 From Houston Texas to North, crossing this “pile” of States : Oklahoma Kansas then, well, Iowa & Minnesota.

3 North Dakota to Salt Lake City and San Francisco

Maybe I’d like to add a SLC to Seattle then South to Frisco?…

What do you think?

 

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Instagram : viaurelia

 

 

The “So What” Disillusion

Well that’s a fact that we all partly grow up with disillusion. What you chose is NOT that easy, nor simple, etc.

When you see younger people taking the path of “This will be perfect for me, easy and simple”, you sometime want to poke them, but you don’t, because, obviously, they have to experiment it.

The “So What” disillusion, as you can guess, is when you succeed to live your dream (to publish your book, to make your first movie, to work for “this” company, to find a lover, to get this job), and you realize that you absolutely f*cking don’t care.

Dial : How is it possible to be so lured by ourselves? 

So what?
Probably let go. Your brain will also find another rabbit to chase, right?

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Instagram : aykutmaykut

Fruitful Constraints & Creativity

It’s an old tool many artists know : many constraints are fruitful. Mainly because a constraint is a problem calling for a solution, therefore you have to move, to be creative.

All jobs and activities have constraints : budget, environment, other people, time, space, your skills, your tools.

If it’s too loose, though, you feel a freedom, which can be messy. You can not catch anything. Stuck. You maybe need to tight something up, to find “your” freedom within a new frame.

Brian Eno invented the Oblique Strategies (mainly for musicians) as a card game. You pick a card and you have to obey (sometimes it’s terrible!). Some directors are well known to tell the actors to follow precisely something (the dialogs, or the places they have to move on the set, etc) before shooting. Some digital artists sometimes go out in a park with a pencil and a notebook. A photographer can go outside with the limit of 20 pictures taken, not much. And G. Perec wrote an entire book without the letter “e”.

Constraints are fruitful. You probably have many disposable levers for these. A poet can obey : write something in alexandrine; without any letter “p”, in less than 5 minutes. You may have to present a project in ONE minute only, and… with no words. What are your levers?

You can pull a lever to Zero, it’s the Total Constraint. For example, you’re a photographer and you go out without any camera. Just your eye. You’ll feel the need, you’ll feel your brain simmering. As you can only watch and… think, you’ll maybe have bursts of ideas (instead of taking pictures).

Of course it’s an example of “Amor Fati”, being content with what happens to you, even if it seems bad. Embracing fate : every constraint, if you can’t avoid it, should (and will have to) be danced with.

Thanks for reading!

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The Splendid Paradox of #Divorce

I never married, and I will never understand the idea of divorce, it’s like a loop in my head. Why would you ever consider to divorce… since you are married??! Isn’t marriage a commitment? Then, well, it’s exactly it : when you meet a problem, some difficulties, betrayal, whatever, you’re supposed to work on it, right? Because, well, you’re MARRIED! So yes, I realize that I’m much more solemn than I should be. Or not : I never married, after all. Voilà!

Tool : what is a commitment? As it IS a commitment, what can it bring to you? What if you feel prisoner, in a cage? What if a commitment was REALLY a commitment, which means that you can’t even have the possibility to consider there’s a way to change or cut it? Can this happen in friendship, like the “Best Friends Forever” you hear in teens’ mouths? What if it was a real commitment?

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Instagram : ___bodylanguage___

The Serendipity Moment

The “Serendipity Moment”, it’s when you search something, then you accidentally find something else, and you realize that what you found is more important than what you were looking for in the first place…

But… are you ready for this?

“Chance favors only the prepared minds”, says Pasteur…

So it would be here : “searching something but keeping your mind opened enough to be able to notice an interesting “something else””?

Ohlalaaaa!

Bonne journée ! Bonnes trouvailles ! Thanks for reading!

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Instagram : iza_goulart