Resources  to read and watch

Let's be honest, I am definitely not the best at keeping a website alive...and as regards social media, I'm pathetic... I'm told this is very bad, but I still can't get round to being serious about it. The time it takes! How do other people do it?  I have all these other fascinating things to do - for example, taking long walks in my beautiful nature feels so much better for my body and spirit than sitting at my computer for the same amount of time - and it's good for my dog too! 

 

Also, I have never bothered filming myself, and when I happened to be filmed by others, I simply didn't bother asking for a copy... Again, bad, very bad, but it is never too late is it? Let's see if I improve on this one! So, I am the chief "keeping my website alive" procrastinator. However, sometimes (rarely) I get round to doing something about it... So here is!

Je suis un paragraphe. Cliquez ici pour ajouter votre propre texte et me modifier. C'est facile.

Four tips to enhance your charisma...

Be both humble and self-assured

Barak Obama is a good example: he oozes self confidence, but he remains humble and is never arrogant - nothing is less charismatic than someone who acts high and mighty! Do you find Donald Trump charismatic ?

Be positive

And what about those who are always complaining or pulling a face?  Charismatic people are welcoming and positive. They always see the glass half full rather than half empty, and they don't burden others with their problems...

Be open

Listen to the ideas and opinions of others with benevolence. There is nothing as irritating than someone who acts as if he knows everything and who spends his time judging others. 

Make the other feel important

Charismatic people do not seek to be the center of attention and don't try to impress others. . When you are dealing with another person, give her/him you full attention, speak to her/him as if she/he were, at this very moment, the only person in the world that counts for you. 

Thought and Tips

Beware of "success recipes"!

You have probably noticed that there are many « success recipes » out there are based on the amazing success stories of individuals (or organisations), which then become models of what we must do to succeed.  You have also probably noticed that even if we apply to the letter all the elements of the recipe, the amazing successes do not systematically follow…Read on...

Tech overdose!
I
am suffering from acute technological indigestion... I can’t take it any more! I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE !!!! I want to regress! I don’t want to become an hostage of technology  - and when I say hostage, I mean exactly what the dictionary says: “a person who is captured by someone (or rather « something » in this case) who demands that certain things be done before the captured person is freed ». The problem here is that the captured person...Read on...


Co-creating a better world
Research in quantum physics suggests that the material world is a manifestation of the immaterial world, and not the other way round… and that this immaterial and invisible world is an infinite, timeless, and non-localised field of information: a universe of potentialities that manifest themselves in, and interact with, the material world... Read on... 
 

Something simple that changed my life

After hearing so many times « it can hardly be worse » (mmm… really ?) I feel like going back to basics, to those simple things we can do - and that we tend to forget - that can significantly improve our lives... Read on...

Ooops! I put my foot in it!

Do you ever regret not having kept your mouth shout ? Have you ever wished to be instantly abducted by aliens and disappear forever from the face of the earth after having made a dreadful blunder ?

Most people tend to believe that once they’ve put their foot in it, there’s no turning back. Read on

Charismatic speaking tips

Interview - in French, sorry - where I share some thoughts and give you some tips on charismatic speaking

Chilina in action - snippets from a talk in Brussels "Anti Skeptic recipes" on how to defuse resistance.

Education kills creativity by Sir Ken Robinson. Hilarious and thought provoking. Enjoy! 

Beware of success recipes!

You have probably noticed that there are many « success recipes » out there are based on the amazing success stories of individuals (or organisations), which then become models of what we must do to succeed.  You have also probably noticed that even if we apply to the letter all the elements of the recipe, the amazing successes do not systematically follow…

 

And this is normal, because these recipes are for a great part illusory, even if their authors mean well and even if there are many interesting, thought provoking, and innovative aspects that deserve our full attention.

 

Nevertheless, when we look at someone’s (or an organisation’s) success, we tend to build the story of his success from specific elements, without realizing that we chose those elements amongst a fantastic amount of other elements. This is due to certain automatic and incredibly fast mental mechanisms which, totally out of our awareness, are prompt to take shortcuts  and make instant associations that make us see the world as much more simple, orderly, consistent and much more predictable than it really is.  

Why? Because we need things to make meaning, and to do this we select the elements that allow us to give events a logical and rational explanation. Moreover, if we like the story that those selected elements tell us, we want to believe in it, and naturally deduce that it is a formula for success.

 

But this is far from the truth, as there are way too many other factors at work, one of them being luck, to be able to produce a fool-proof « recipe », even though we can find common elements between the different success stories…but we can also find just as easily these same elements in failure stories, as for example « tenacity ». If you look at the well-known success story of the talented actor Dustin Hoffman who struggled for ten years doing menial jobs, and was turned down many times from auditions because his physique was not up to expectations (he was also often told openly to give up acting and get himself a real job), we will tend to say that he succeeded because  “ He didn’t let anyone get him down and was particularly tenacious”. 

But there are many other actors out there who were just as talented and just as tenacious and yet didn’t succeed  - and we would probably say of those failed actors that they were obstinate, unrealistic, and didn’t have the discernment to give up while there was still time…It is the same thing in music, painting, business…

 

LUCK, a major success factor

In his years of research in behavioral science and behavioral economy, Daniel Kahneman has proven without doubt that this element we call « LUCK » (or bad luck !) is the one that makes the biggest difference. When I say “luck” , I am talking about something random, that we can’t know, that we can’t predict, that we don’t provoke consciously, that we don’t control, such as a set of circumstances that makes us be "in the right place at the right time", or the fortuitous meeting of someone who is going to change the course of our life (and this remains true if you believe – as I do – in the power of intention and synchronicity because we cannot plan the time or the place something we intended is going to happen).

 

A case in point is that of successful corporations: most of us tend to believe that their success is mainly due to the exceptional leadership skills of their leaders. Well…although these skills (or lack of) do have an undeniable impact, they are of much less importance than we think, and represent only 10% of the impact – above or below -  as compared to the “luck” factor (everything that the leader does not control) which represents 50% of the impact. I must say, this pleases me no end! :)

 

Oh, and by the way, what might be the recipe for attracting luck ?...

Tech overdose!

I am suffering from acute technological indigestion... I can’t take it any more! I DON’T WANT IT ANYMORE !!!! I want to regress! I don’t want to become an hostage of technology  - and when I say hostage, I mean exactly what the dictionary says: “a person who is captured by someone (or rather « something » in this case) who demands that certain things be done before the captured person is freed ».

The problem here is that the captured person is never freed, it simply goes on and on: the continuous and offensive stream of alarms,  “beeps” and “blips” from our array of connected and oh so smart phones, tablets and laptops; the invasion of SPAM mail to delete (why do I get some in Chinese?) to the point we don’t dare leave our laptops behind more than a couple of days so as not to be overwhelmed by the task when we get back…

And all that to make our lives easier, happier, more interesting, more informed: hundreds of 24/7 TV news channels, the Internet with its ever thickening web of contradictory truths, the ever expanding social and professional networks which we cannot go without (otherwise we risk passing for hopeless has-beens). And what about the Trip Advisors and other on-line comments on just about everything, where by the way many ecstatic comments come from friends and many crucifying ones from jealous competition.  

And there are video cameras watching us everywhere we go, GPS trackers, camera-drones, delivery-drones, everything drones… everyday new inventions, new applications (where do people find the time to use all their apps.?) whence the indigestion and the spectre of Big Brother appearing on the horizon...

In my view, this technological bulimia is not progress because it has become exacting and addictive: we are dependent and alas complacent … 

I long for peace, simplicity, authenticity, nature, friendly relationships (with real flesh and blood human beings), I long for the joy of BEING... I do not reject technology outright, that would be stupid, but I have decided to be a conscious user and to dare go against the stream (particularly as regards social networks), even at the risk of looking old hat and not with it (but I am old hat and not with it!).

And what about you, are you a techie-addict, are you definitely lost to human kind, or is there still a little hope?

Co-creating a better world

Research in quantum physics suggests that the material world is a manifestation of the immaterial world, and not the other way round… and that this immaterial and invisible world is an infinite, timeless, and non-localised field of information: a universe of potentialities that manifest themselves in, and interact with, the material world (and my CERN physicist friends, please forgive my rough “vulgarisation” coupled with minimal knowledge of classical & quantum physics…)

In the same way a radio receiver picks up the intangible and invisible radio waves but doesn’t store them, the brain picks up the information coming from that field but doesn’t store it. Continuing with the radio analogy, during radio games or debates, listeners can communicate directly with the transmitters thus co-creating the programme.

As human beings, and according to what quantum physics suggest, we can access this field both as receivers and as transmitters – it is a two-way communication, a sort of feedback loop, through which we co-create. This means that we can all have access to this inexhaustible supply of information and potentialities and thus we are all co-creators – except that most of us have no idea that we are, indeed, co-creating…

 

Moreover, it would seem that intention is what would allow those potentialities to materialise, and that this field of potentialities is neither negative nor positive: it just Is, and materialises in permanence what we “ask” of it, whether we are “asking” consciously or not.

Should this be the case, it isn’t surprising then that negative thoughts and beliefs trigger the materialisation of negative manifestations. For example, our entire society is based on the Darwinian belief that only the strongest survive, leading to a society based on competition from the earliest age: at school or at work, you must be the best or as near the best as possible otherwise you’ll be left on the shelf! In business, you must take market shares, you must expand your power if you don’t want to disappear…and this is how we materialised the societal, economical and ecological deadlock we are in…

However, again quantum physics suggest that the true nature of Life and all the elements that make it up is relational and based on cooperation and caring for the other – and this is not so surprising as we, human beings, are all intrinsically searching for love, belonging, and fulfilment.  We have still some way to go!

But all is not lost. Since we have materialised our current world, we can possibly materialise a better world, nearer to what we really are.  It seems we just need to formulate our intention thereby inviting the corresponding potentialities to materialise.

Simple enough, BUT it does call for constancy and vigilance - not like those new year’s resolutions that we drop as soon as we let the never ending daily “stuff” take over: In fact, it is precisely every day,  throughout the day and all it’s cartload of “stuff” that we need to work on this.  How? Here some tips:

BE as you want the world to be: you want the world to be love, compassion… be love, compassion down to the most insignificant things. This is a great way to connect with this field of potentialities so that it can materialise accordingly. Remind yourself to look at everything you see with love, whether animate or inanimate – yes I know, it can be very challenging to look at certain human beings with love, or compassion…such as certain political figures or someone that specifically pushes your buttons…but this is not a problem: if you can’t do it, turn the love and the compassion towards yourself for not being able to feel compassion for the other. This will neutralise the message of hostility. But let’s take something a little easier, for example, you surprise yourself being irritated by a sales assistant who is chatting with a colleague rather than serving you:

  1. Congratulate yourself for noticing your irritation,

  2. Smile inwardly, and kindly,  at your irritation (yes, start with turning the love towards yourself), 

  3. Look at the salesperson with love, and approach him with a big smile (and, here’s an extra tip, if you say to him “Hello! I’m sorry to bother you, but…” there’s a fair chance that he will smile back and reply “Oh no, not at all, that’s what I am here for…”). Needless to say you really must be sincere, otherwise it won’t work: it is not about forcing yourself but about choosing love over irritation – and if  the word “love” is too much for you, then replace it by “kindness… 

Stop wanting to be right. Mmmmm, not always easy, it is so  deeply anchored! Yet, it is because we want to be right that men end up killing each other, whether with words or with weapons. As soon as you realize that you want to be right, i.e. that you want to impose your point of view on the other:

  1. Congratulate yourself for having noticed

  2. Remember that it is only an opinion or an interpretation (even if you KNOW you are right), and

  3. STOP pushing your point.  For example, if someone believes that homosexual marriage is against nature, and you believe differently, and the discussion is becoming heated, don’t try to convince the other at all costs that he is wrong. Stop, and say something like “Yes, maybe, you could see things that way… I see them otherwise…”  SMILE and move on. This doesn’t mean that you must never defend your ideas. The true question to ask yourself here: “is it really worth it?”, and if the answer is “Yes”, then defend you idea but always with respect and benevolence.

 

Never take yourself seriously! Whenever you take yourself seriously, you become heavy, and you weigh down the world… Remain light, open, and always try to see the funny side of things whenever possible.

Send thoughts of love, kindness, beauty, joy, abundance (and whatever else you fancy!) to yourself, to your loved ones, to everyone you meet, to the world in general. Make it a daily and repeated practice. Make it become a new state of being.  How do you know when it is imperative to have these thoughts? Any time you feel sad, anxious, angry – in a nutshell, anytime you feel bad: your ill-being is there to remind you of the path to well-being! 

P.S. ... I don’t manage to apply what I preach all the time...

Something simple that changed my life

After hearing so many times « it can hardly be worse » (mmm… really ?) I feel like going back to basics, to those simple things we can do - and that we tend to forget - that can significantly improve our lives.

Here is what Fanette – my other mother – said to me when I was eight years old and was grumbling about something I didn’t have:

Chilina, instead of looking at what you don’t have, look at what you do have!”
 

I told you it was simple! And yet, I can still remember the exact moment and place where she said this, and the powerful internal shift created by the insight her words triggered. I realized I took for granted everything I had, that I didn’t even see it: what I had was “normal” and thus held no interest whatsoever. So when I took a conscious look at all those things I had, it was as if I saw them for the very first time!


Since that day, I have (almost) always seen the glass half full, rather than seeing it half empty, and I say “Thank you” everyday for what I have.

So, shall we take a look at the months that have just passed from this perspective? Maybe things weren’t so bad after all:

  • What were the best things that happened, and what did you like about them?

  • What were the worse things that happened, what did you learn from them and how did they make you progress?

 

So,as from today, let's remember to make a conscious effort to:

  • Notice all that is positive and joyful in your life

  • Be grateful for what you have

  • Look for what is useful or positive in what is negative or painful: how does it make you grow?

 

Ooops! I put my foot in it!

 

Do you ever regret not having kept your mouth shout ? Have you ever wished to be instantly abducted by aliens and disappear forever from the face of the earth after having made a dreadful blunder ?

Most people tend to believe that once they’ve put their foot in it, there’s no turning back.

Well, not always, some people get away with it pretty consistently.  Look at Donald Trump. Despite his numerous blunders, faux pas and downright insults that should have made him toast, he still became the 45th president of the United States !

But OK, you’re not Donald Trump. So, unless you are immensely rich and powerful, harbor no doubt, or answer a visceral need for change, it might be wise to attempt your best to repair the damage as soon as you realize what you’ve done… What should you do?

 

Here is already what NOT to do:

  1. Pretend it didn’t happen. Unless you are certain the other person did not hear you, it is adding insult to injury. Not a great idea if you want to keep a good relationship.

  2. Say: “this is not what I meant”. This time, you are taking her for an idiot…even if it was not what you meant (alright, I’ll believe you), you’ve said it anyway, and you better find something else to make the pill easier to swallow.

  3. Apologize excessively: yes you must apologize, but don’t lay it on too thick as it amounts to rubbing salt in the wound. Not good.

 

Here are three classics and how to recover from them, at best elegantly, at worst without irreparable damage.

 

You have just called your boy/girl/friend the name of your ex. You are mortified! Don’t threat, and reassure your loved one: there is a rational explanation that has nothing to do with the quality of your relationship (well, unless…?).  According to brain research, substituting a word for another is linked to linguistic processes rather than psychological processes, which means that habit (you have lived six years with your ex.) or the fact that the names sound somewhat similar, manifest verbally while mentally you are unambiguously thinking about the right person.  This explains why my dear friend Shelle’s mum regularly used to call me « Quelinda » - the name of the dog (Quelinda / Chilina), and why I regularly call my daughter Chanelle the name of my stepmother “Fanette” (Fanette has been in my life since I was 8 years old, so both habit and similar sounding names are at work here).

 

« Ah, congratulations! When  is it due? » You have just warmly congratulated a woman you haven’t seen for a little while, thinking she was pregnant. But she tells you she isn’t… This particular blunder belongs to the serious ones, very difficult to repair. The golden rule here is: NEVER congratulate an “expectant” woman unless she has told you herself she was expecting. For one, it isn’t your business, but also she could be suffering from some medical problem, or simply have put on quite a bit of weight, or again she might not want to talk about it. However, this being said, what do you do if you have made the blunder?

 

First of all, know that you will not be able to recover 100%, unless by miracle you are dealing with an infinitely wise woman, infinitely benevolent, who has totally transcended her ego. Don’t count on it. The only thing to do once she has told you she wasn’t pregnant is to apologize simply and sincerely “Oh, I’m sorry, please forgive me” without making a song and dance about it (frankly, what more could you say? That you didn’t have your glasses and couldn’t see properly? Come on!). The offended will probably answer “It’s OK, don’t worry…” You can now say a genuine “Thank you” with a repentant smile (you are thanking her for having forgiven you), and move on swiftly (for example, you can ask her a question that takes you both elegantly on more neutral ground) : « Can I offer you something to drink? »

 

You have just insulted someone inadvertently. For example, you have just declared in front of your new boss that people who like hunting are blood thirsty morons who enjoy killing, and it turns out your boss is a seasoned hunter… “I’m really sorry. It was excessive and thoughtless of me…”. Then ask a question that shows interest and respect for your interlocutor “In fact, I would be interested to find what hunting is about from someone like you.”

 

But what can you do when you really go too far, such as making sexist or racist comments? You never do of course. But just in case, should it ever happen, use the following formula:

 

  1. Recognize and own your blunder

  2. AND good news (i.e. something positive that repairs the damage)

  3. AND good news...

  4. AND good news...

 

Babula Gaur, Indian Minister of Madhya Pradesh, made an enormous blunder when he spoke about rape: « Rape is a social crime that depends on men and women. Sometimes it is wrong, sometimes it is right.” (Yes I know, equality still has a long way to go). Here is how he could have recovered from it using the above formula:

 

« What I said was totally unacceptable AND there is no doubt whatsoever that rape is never right AND I remind everyone never to think otherwise AND I solemnly commit to support unconditionally all the victims of rape!” (Obviously, the tone of voice, facial expression and body language must be totally congruent with the message.)

 

So next time you make a dreadful blunder, before throwing yourself out of the window, remind yourself that you are human and fallible: others forgive you more easily if you humbly admit that you are not perfect. And apply the formula. But good luck anyway!

 

 
 
 
 
 

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