Scratch and the New Pleasure

I’m a bookseller and yesterday an old lady (who was a mathematics teacher years ago, she told me) asked me about Scratch (“a block-based visual programming language and online community targeted primarily at children”).

Her granddaughter was studying it and she wanted to learn it, being curious. I was amazed, because… it’s not very common.

As she was a bit doubtful, I explained her it was easy to learn, and told her about my pleasure learning HTML and, a long time ago, programming for days in the BASIC language.

But then, I could hear myself telling her about pleasure.

Because I do remember very well the pleasure of programming!

It’s not like writing an article. Maybe more like composing music! It’s something you build (or you weave) and you constantly check if it works properly. You have to develop other ways of thinking, imagine processes. It’s invention!

So it puts you in the state of “flow“. But more important : programming puts your brain in another state, maybe similar to kids’ when they play Lego.

I felt this when I learned English too.

So what I realized is : it’s good sometimes to learn how to do something you don’t know at all. I wonder where it comes from (probably because your brain connects new things)…

What would you choose?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Basic :

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Scratch : 

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Complementary Partner?

When you’re young, you like simple, you like big statements. “Life is sad”, or “I’ll find my prince”, or “I wanna be an actor”.

Some people stay there, it’s why they love categories. They REALLY think they are INTJ – and if you say that sometimes you are also an INFJ, they say you don’t understand the concept. They use boxes and labels. For themselves.

Big question I had when I was in my twenties : “What’s better, to find a complementary partner or a same as you partner?”.

With easily guessed consequences :

  1. If you marry someone like you, it’s easier, you party together, you love the same movies and musics, and your sex life is paradise.
  2. If you marry someone not like you, it’s a mess : quiet vs loud, classical music and hardcore rap, reading in bed and motorbiking in the mud.

After all : BooksTeaCat, SportsBeerDog & their Social Interactions Necessities

Then you grow up and you live and the constant rain of complexities, disillusions and surprises end up to your upgrade : it’s A Matter of Levers – simplicity is senseless.

As we are moving forward in our days, we change, we plug to possibilities, we have many speeds, many joys, many powers and weaknesses, we have many intensities, and feelings.

(And it’s the same for your partner, silly!)

Whoever your partner is, the result is a mess, right? So what? That’s life! Amor Fati!

Oh snap : When you hate someone and 3 mn later you deeply love this person

  1. When your other is a lot like you, it’s great : my lover is a cat person, a book lover, a quiet person, and she has no car (oh this is perfect!) – we evolve in the same aquarium. And I can write or take photos as much as I want!
  2. When your other is a lot NOT like you, good. Why did you choose this person? How do you dance? Isn’t complementary perfect? Don’t you like to read alone when your spouse kills ducks in mudfens? Don’t you have a friend to talk to when your lover is a man of zero words? And also don’t we all need to be disturbed?

What’s the secret here? To stay yourself, of course. Not to bend too much, at the risk of losing your inner light…

Mmhhhhh…

“Opposites attract, but similarities bind”. Is that true?

The “Let’s make it a dance” tool says this : “When it’s difficult somewhere but you have to insist and you have to stay in the system, just accept and absorb the difficulties – and invent a dance. Your dance. It’s a mess, but you can dance it, smile, and climb the stairs”. And ignore the others. Nobody can understand your own dance. It’s a secret.

Sorry, this article is a mess, tant pis. I don’t even know where it went. Hence, I found a picture of my Eliette playing watergunning (or squirtpistoling) with a friend, voilà.

Bonne journée ! Thanks for reading!

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Everything that goes wrong goes right

Are our Fears camouflaged Desires?

Moments & Epiphanies

ONE

As a bookseller I just ordered the French version of Dan & Chip Heath‘s “The Power of Moments” :

“In this book, we explore why certain brief experiences can jolt us and elevate us and change us—and how we can learn to create such extraordinary moments in our life and work”.

You’re probably like me feeling confusedly that there’s something true here, hmm?

 

TWO

Today I opened a book about Andrew Wyeth, one of the three Wyeth painters (Andrew is the father, Jamie the son, N.C. the grand-father), and I found this quote (in French, I try to re-English it) :

I know nothing more enthralling than to be simply sit in a corn field on a windy day, listening to the dry rustle.

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THREE

Yeah, “moments”…

I admit I’ve been obsessed for years, as a young man, with the idea of “Perfect Moments”. I ask Wiki about Epiphany (I bolded the bold) :

An epiphany is an experience of sudden and striking realization. Generally the term is used to describe scientific breakthrough, religious or philosophical discoveries, but it can apply in any situation in which an enlightening realization allows a problem or situation to be understood from a new and deeper perspective. Epiphanies are studied by psychologists and other scholars, particularly those attempting to study the process of innovation.

 

Where do I go with you here? We all know that we remember intense moments (good or bad). The first time you took your lover’s hand. A haunting place, a new city. Meeting a new person and becoming like close friends in a few minutes. A life changing idea. A religious ecstasy. An harmonic moment in family, a summer evening…

I think we all know this, in a way or another!

 

FOUR

I think we sometimes “need” a moment like that, in the deepest of ourselves.

Therefore, I believe we sometimes have a strong tendancy to get “out of the railroad” (for example : doing unusual thing, traveling in new places), just to find more chances to dive into these kind of “moments”. We push ourselves… unthinkingly.

So OK, there’s a book about the “usefulness” of these, but in the end, you and me know that we can’t really trigger them. Being ready for ecstasy is a great way to never meet it!

  • Maybe one can place oneself on positions where it “could” happen.
  • Maybe to have our eyes opened for little moments, or more precisely to be ready to catch spoons, minutes and modest sparkles, like remembering that a new day could be the beginning of some experience. The happy, hidden hope to discover a new point of view, maybe just that.
  • Possibilities.
  • Including intoxicating ones, marvellous ones, overturning ones!

 

But we can’t program epiphanies, right?

 

Thanks for reading!

 

Paths of Iron & Supple Escapes

“Biases to Pieces” – when life goes wrong, do something unusual

Inventing Ecstasy? Inventer l’extase…

 

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Instagram : bodylanguage

 

 

 

Toltecking a crying colleague

Many people smile when they open this book, the Toltec Agreements. One does not understand why it’s such a hit, constantly and in many countries. “Always do your best, hahaha I don’t need a book to know this, right?”.

Well, they are printed and pinned on the wall in my apartement. Little by little they probably impregnate the guy…

A few months ago I toltecked a colleague, a young woman bawling her eyes out walking out a meeting with a rude manager. She needed to talk, obviously. What I told her followed the book by the book… but unthinkingly.

Of course there are many ways to deal with managers who manage nothing and then yell once in a while. You can fight back (man to man or with union), you can protect-mute, you can don’t-give-a-shit or quit, choose your way). My way is to deal with these like with the weather (I wrote about it here : Marcus Aurelius VS bad management).

 

  1. It’s useless to comment, you can’t fix anybody. Let go and inner erase what bothers you. Focus on good people.
  2. People deal with their strange patterns, their dispositions (from culture, childhood, etc). It’s interesting.
  3. Trying to guess what’s happening and “why is this” is losing time. Sometimes it rains.
  4. Focus on what’s important in your job, and do it well for colleagues or clients.

 

Have a nice day!

 

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The Four Agreements are:

1. Be Impeccable with your Word: Speak with integrity. Say only what you mean. Avoid using the Word to speak against yourself or to gossip about others. Use the power of your Word in the direction of truth and love.

2. Don’t Take Anything Personally
Nothing others do is because of you. What others say and do is a projection of their own reality, their own dream. When you are immune to the opinions and actions of others, you won’t be the victim of needless suffering.

3. Don’t Make Assumptions
Find the courage to ask questions and to express what you really want. Communicate with others as clearly as you can to avoid misunderstandings, sadness and drama. With just this one agreement, you can completely transform your life.

4. Always Do Your Best
Your best is going to change from moment to moment; it will be different when you are healthy as opposed to sick. Under any circumstance, simply do your best, and you will avoid self-judgment, self-abuse, and regret.

 

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What is Happiness really? – The Flow & Autotelic persons – #Csikszentmihalyi

This little article is just made of things I found on the web. It’s made for people who never heard about the “Flow”. I added a little complement with Autotelism…

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flow_(psychology)

 

Mister Csikszentmihalyi is an Hungarian psychologist. He was interested in happiness, and found out a very curious thing : one is happy when one is… busy.

The components of this happiness are :

  1. challenge-skill balance
  2. merging of action and awareness
  3. clarity of goals
  4. immediate and unambiguous feedback
  5. concentration on the task at hand
  6. paradox of control
  7. transformation of time
  8. loss of self-consciousness
  9. autotelic experience

 

For this last word, I copy paste wiki :

The autotelic personality is one in which a person performs acts because they are intrinsically rewarding, rather than to achieve external goals. Csikszentmihalyi describes the autotelic personality as a trait possessed by individuals who can learn to enjoy situations that most other people would find miserable. Research has shown that aspects associated with the autotelic personality include curiosity, persistence, and humility.

 

People who have experienced flow, describe the following feelings:

  1. Completely involved in what we are doing – focused, concentrated.
  2. A sense of ecstasy – of being outside everyday reality.
  3. Great inner clarity – knowing what needs to be done, and how well we are doing.
  4. Knowing that the activity is doable – that our skills are adequate to the task.
  5. A sense of serenity – no worries about oneself, and a feeling of growing beyond the boundaries of the ego.
  6. Timelessness – thoroughly focused on the present, hours seem to pass by the minute.
  7. Intrinsic motivation – whatever produces flow becomes it own reward.

 

You can find this when you flirt, when you blog, when you videogame, when you… work. Sometimes you have to think back about it when you ask yourself about happiness. It’s a way to show that it can be reached with(in) yourself…

 

Have a nice day!

 

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“I stopped using Facebook to be happier”, gnagna, etc

Every 6 month I read an erudite article about this : “Facebook makes people unhappy“.

Globally it’s for one reason. It’s because you watch people-you-know’s lives and you notice than they seem happier. At least, happier than you!

Okey.

So in a way it’d bring jealousy and sadness : “People swim in happiness and here I am, swimming in nothing at all”. Booooo. And sob sob.

In fact, Facebook knows better : when people are happy (for example when they fall in love), they… disappear from Facebook!

So the first thing you learn with experience, indeed, it this :

The more people post about their “big happiness” on social medias, the less happy they are in reality. It’s almost embarrassing, at times.

But I wrote about his already :

 

But well…

I know that our disease, all of us, is that we want to be loved. Therefore I’m amazed by the genius of the button “Like” on FB. It’s genius! We all want to be “liked”!

I use Facebook in another way. I follow people who like to share. Not their “life” (travels, barbecues, babies, love bliss), which is INDEED really boring, but what they found : Art, Movies, Lectures, YouTubes, Exhibitions, Paintings…

Thus, most of people I follow on Twitter or Facebook or Instagram or Pinterest are… unknown. I, most of the time, don’t even know their face! They are photographers or Italian Art fans, or American Paintings Finders… They dig and they share : that’s GREAT!

If you use Facebook this way, you’re not “sad”. You’re happy because you find great things everyday! Or, OK, lolcats…

Thanks for reading!

JP

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