Stories of innovation: Do we still believe in them?

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It’s all over the world: The Blackberry has a new product line. As it’s becoming more and more trendy, they made a epic show out of it and presented these new devices as something unique and revolutionary.

The thing is… and I’m sorry to say it… It’s just another smartphone! And the market is reacting the same way (their shares are tumbling today).

It was funny for awhile but Steve Jobs is gone for good and his marketing and selling creative genius is gone with him. It’s time to move on and find a new way to promote your products.

It’s getting tired this trend to label every new product launch as the most revolutionizing, unique, and amazing device you’ve ever seen when, in the end, is just another slightly modified phone, tablet, computer, social network, mobile app, or a softer kind of toilet paper that you wipe your ass with.

Be honest with your self and your audience. Because it’s starting to be like Peter and the Wolf… nobody believes your story anymore!

Power, responsability and choice!

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Picture yourself in this situation:

You’re on the street, carrying and playing with your friend’s new iphone. He borrowed it for some reason.

Shortly after that, on an empty and dark street, a stranger suddenly appears, points a gun at your face and says: “the phone or I’ll shoot”.
Without even thinking you give the phone and you simply watch as the man goes away

Later on, you meet your friend and he asks for the phone. Your answer is the expected excuse: “I got mugged. I really couldn’t do anything else. He had a gun!!”

Question now is: Couldn’t you really do anything else? You might say you don’t but you actually had a choice there: Not to give the phone. You would probably end up with a bullet in your head, but it’s still a choice. You made it based on the conditions you have.

It’s extreme right? But a very common reaction on other situations of our daily life too:

  • I can’t study for the exam. My mother gave me some errands to do and then I have to pick up my brother at the airport;
  • I can’t go to my kid’s soccer game. I have a lot of work to do for Monday;
  • I can’t quit my job! I have children to raise and feed;
  • I can’t do anything about that problem. It’s not on my job description to do it.

And so on, and so on…

All of these situations are possible to be done. You actually CAN! But you don’t want to.

And, at the same time, you run from the responsability of making the choice. It’s always somebody else’s fault. But it’s not! It’s yours and only! No matter which factors influence the decision, the responsability of making the choice it’s only up to you.

We make choices everyday and it’s scaring to acknowledge that we’re the only ones to blame. On the other hand, the faster we accept it, the faster we realize that we can take full responsability for our life. And that’s empowering!

It is said that with great power comes great responsability but I prefer to think it the other way around:
With great responsability comes great power! Taking responsability is taking control of your life. And there’s no bigger power than that.

Agile Training Manifesto

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Inspired by the Agile Manifesto (http://agilemanifesto.org/), an adapted version for Corporate and Youth Training.

We come to realize that the traditional ways of delivering training are obsolete for the 21st century. We have come to observe that we should value:

  1. Practice & Experimentation over Consumption & Documentation
  2. Developing Competences over Delivering Knowledge
  3. Tailoring to Individuals over One Size Fits All
  4. Participants Knowledge & Experience over Trainer Knowledge & Experience
  5. Real Application over Abstract Concepts
  6. Promoting Continuous Improvement over Expecting Dramatic Change

That is, while there is value in the items on the right, we value the items on the left more.

I know, but…

If you don’t step outside your comfort zone you’ll never unleash your true potential!
"I know, but…"

You never really know if it was worth it until you try!
"I know, but…"

Failure is a great opportunity to learn!
"I know, but…" 

You don’t wait for career opportunities. You go out hunting for them!
"I know, but…"  

If you don’t know where you want to go, sitting in the sofa won’t help you sort that out!
"I know, but…" 

It might be hard to do it but the sooner you start, the sooner it’s over!
"I know, but…" 

Time is ticking away and you’re not getting younger…
"I know, but…" 

What will it take for you to start answering “I know, and I will”?

I know but

Tags: life

You’ll never be the best!

Being the first

You’ll never break a world record, you’ll never be FIFA BEST Player of the world, you’ll never be as fast as Usain Bolt is, you’ll never win as many gold medals as Michael Phelps won, and you’ll never score as much goals as Lionel Messi scored last year.

And I’m not being cynical, pessimist or just trying to bring you down to the cruel world we live in. I’m relying on probabilities! Only one person reaches that top level and the more people read the article the more correct I am.

So yes, whichever competition you’re thinking of I already know: You’ll never be the best! And that’s why it’s called a competition: too crowded at the bottom, to lonely at the top.

Nothing wrong with that. It’s an easy choice since you know the rules and there might just be a nice spot somewhere in the middle of the pyramid where you’ll feel comfortable enough.

The problem is that when you focus too much in being the best you end up forgetting that being different is also an option, and that being unique is actually more noteworthy than being one more competitor in the wacky race.

Interestingly enough Dick Fosbury beat all other competitors in ‘68 Olympics when he decided to be unique and do a different kind of jump.

Compete or Differentiate, it’s you choice. Just remember:

You’ll never be the Best… but you are indeed Unique!

"Haters gonna hate"

Too busy to hateHaters gonna Hate… but Likers gonna Like.

Are you going to back down because there’s a big chance of being hated by someone who doesn’t care, or step up because there’s a small chance of making a difference to someone who cares?

Justin Bieber and Rebecca Black are winners of dislikes in YouTube and overall all over the internet. Millions of people hate them. I even bet there’s much more haters than likers out there.

But does it really matter so much, for them and their music, the ones that don’t like?

If you write a text, do a show, give a speech, have an idea, or start any kind of project, there will always be people who won’t care (probably a huge load of them). On the other hand there will always be people (and probably a very small amount them) who are eager to receive your contributions and your gifts.

Question is: Who do you care the most: the indifferent crowd or the interested niche? This answer will help you decide whether you go for it or not.

For your New Year’s resolutions… ask Why!

PassionThe year has just started. We left 2012 behind and now we’re looking forward for a brand new year. A blank page to be filled with achievements and accomplishments. The well known “New Year’s Resolutions”.

By the end of the first month we already broke the resolutions we set, and by the end of the year we don’t even remember them anymore. We start the year filled with energy, and then it quickly fades away. 

What happens?

Mostly we tend to focus too much on what we’re going to do, and we forget a simple but powerful question: why doing it?. And without finding a purpose we quickly loose the passion..

"Going to the gym more often". Why? So you can be more fit? Why? So you can feel more confident with yourself? Why? So you can get more partners from the opposite sex? Whatever the final purpose is I bet there are many more options than a gym for that. Maybe the gym is not for you. Go for something else.

"Give more money to charity". What happens if you have a financial issue during the year? There goes your resolution down the drain. Maybe what you really want is to be more helpful for society. Your purpose is stronger than just giving money away. You have a thousand different ways to contribute. Don’t let money block you.

"Learn a new skill". Why? Just for the sake of learning it, or will that skill get you an access to a new job? Are there other ways? Is that skill the right one for you and that job?

A strong purpose gives you more options for action. And you can choose the one that suits you best or try different approaches during the year.

It’s important to know what you want to do. But keep in mind that if you focus to much on your actions you’ll end up forgetting your real purpose. ”Why” helps us find a passionate meaning that keeps us motivated for action.

So this year, set your Why Resolutions too. ;)

The “Christmas and New Year” state of mind

Merry Christmas and Happy New Year

What if we didn’t had the concept of years? What if time was tracked as a continuous sum of days?
Would you still stop to make your last year review and new year’s resolutions?
Or would you still constantly use the “Next Year" excuse to keep delaying your achievements?
Would you celebrate enthusiastically the end of an era and the start of a new one? 

And what if we didn’t had Christmas time?
Would you still, at least once in awhile, care about all your friends, family and close ones?
Would you still care a little bit more about that part of the world you never knew, constantly on war and in extreme poverty?
Would you, at least once in awhile, stop complaining about your problems and be more grateful for the miracle of life and that you are a privileged one?

Our society needs Christmas and the New Year. It helps us re-focus and re-think about what’s really important. It helps us keep setting new goals and objectives. It keeps us from falling constantly absorbed and lost in our busy everyday lives. 

But we need Christmas and New Year a bit more often than just once in a year…

After all is just a state of mind.

I wish you a great 2013 with more Christmas and New Years throughout the year. ;)

Write down your reason to stall

Car stallingI really like Seth Godin and his daily insights on his blog. They’re usually so simple and powerful. In a recent article he asked us what were we waiting for to start whatever we want to start.

Easy question. Nothing new. We all know this question is a cliché for any motivational speaker/writer and we heard it a lot of times… But Seth, in his post, makes a stronger approach and asks the reader to actually write down the answer to the question “What are you waiting for?”.

So go ahead. Write it down. You’ll be amazed! The simple act of trying to write down the answer and the question is suddenly much more powerful than before. It’s actually pretty hard to write it down because we quickly realize we don’t like the answer we’re going to see. On the other hand, we often realize that whatever is stalling us is much easier to overcome than we expected.

Personally, among several things, I would like to post more often and regularly on the blog. I have to admit that my excuses for not having it done lately are actually pretty lame. I always found some kind of excuse and today, as I was writing them down, I just realized how lame they were.

It’s not that hard to create the habit of delivering. If good enough is ready and perfect is too far away don’t stall! Keep shipping and it will get better everyday.

And since the world hasn’t ended, and a New Year is starting soon, “now” might be just the right moment to realize everything is stalling you from being great. :)

Saying “Thank you” and meaning it…

Among all the great speeches I’ve seen by Obama, this is by far my favorite one. And it’s my favorite one because it’s the most simple and connecting speech of all. And it’s my favorite because it’s a honest thank you to all the people who put their hearts and soul out there for him.

Here, we can see him without any big production behind him, without a scripted speech, without standing in a podium, without a big audience on a stadium, and without sitting on some unreachable place where only godlike creatures can be placed…

On this beautiful speech, we simply see the human behind a man that is the President of one of the most powerful nations today, TIME’s Person of the Year twice, Nobel Prize winner, and so on…. but still recognizes that he’s nothing more than just one of us, and gives us a immense feeling that we all made an important contribution so he could be where he is today.

And if you don’t want to see the entire speech just look at highlight of the speech where Obama says, while shedding some tears out of his eyes, how proud he really is of all those people (3:40).

Finally, this speech also makes me think about how many times I thanked to all the wonderful people I’ve met in my life that made it better everyday. I realize it’s just not enough for everything I am grateful for in this life…

And on the way to start a change I want to thank YOU out there for reading (this post and the blog)! It really means a lot :)

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