feeling the pleasure, betterness and meaning


I developed this table when I wrote Notes on Generative Living a few years ago. I pulled it out again this afternoon, as I sometimes do, to recalibrate and check in on the things that have proven over time, to contribute to my wellbeing. I love how it helps me re-centre and diagnose why things feel like they're tracking OK, or not. Hope it makes sense to you, if you can read my writing.

I am lucky to live in paradise. Most mornings, before I open my computer or get on the train, I get to either swim in the ocean or ride my bike along the coast with bunches of friends, after which we get coffee and talk. Maria, who I remain infatuated with after 30+ years, and I eat so well. We love cooking good food, especially when it comes from our garden. Every room in our little house gives me immense pleasure for different reasons; I simply love coming home. The village park across the road is big and wonderful. So much pleasure.

I often struggle to describe my work because it is about transformational action rather than sets of transactions. But in everything, it involves supporting people to work together to make the world better. I'm a facilitator, but I am not agnostic about the content so I do projects that are about positive social change. I'm committed to mastery. I love working with incentives to weave the common good. I get frustrated how my own ego and everyone else's too, makes the job of genuine collaboration so hard, but I think I'm getting better at suspending judgement, being less concerned about being right and more about being helpful. For me, being a leadership and strategy consultant or a company director is art, not work. I've also got music, language and art in my learning journey. Getting better at it.

It's easy to believe that our biggest challenges are technical, economical or environmental: climate change, inequality and exclusion, conflicts and war, government accountability and transparency, etc. I think not. Our greatest challenge is our inability to work together for the common good. Good people sit across idealogical divides scratching their heads at the perceived motives and intelligence of those on the other side(s). We have a pathological inability to understand that everyone believes and acts in ways that are reasonable to them at the time. We hold our view of the world to be true, per se, without realising how to do so, by definition, disqualifies us from experiencing peace and unity beyond our immediate tribe. My work is to help us appreciate our shared humanity and figure out how to work together for the common good so we can get unstuck from paralysis in the face of deep challenges. It helps give my life meaning.

And then I feel full of love, for the wonderful people who fill my life.


Happy Friday.

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currently reading

Decolonizing Solidarity: Dilemmas and Directions for Supporters of Indigenous Struggles
Sand Talk
Radical Wholeness: The Embodied Present and the Ordinary Grace of Being
A New Republic of the Heart: An Ethos for Revolutionaries--A Guide to Inner Work for Holistic Change