Tuesday, June 1, 2021

Practice Mindfulness (an audio podcast)

Focus:  This audio podcast includes inspirational quotations, war stories, examples, a little philosophy and some practical challenges to help individuals and teams expand upon their inherent power of mindfulness — the practice of bringing your full awareness into the present moment.

(Use the control bar below to download or play the podcast. Or scroll down and simply read the transcript. Enjoy!)

Transcript of this audio originally published on April 26, 2009 [some links referred to below may no longer be valid]:

Acknowledgement:  The main inspiration for this post comes from various interviews and articles featuring Jon Kabat-Zinn, Professor of Medicine Emeritus and founding director of the Stress Reduction Clinic and the Center for Mindfulness in Medicine, Health Care, and Society at the University of Massachusetts Medical School.  Kabat-Zinn started his career as a scientist at MIT and it is with this scientific perspective (along with his clinical research to support many of his positions) that he shares his thoughts on the power of mindfulness. He teaches mindfulness meditation as a technique to help people cope with stress, anxiety, pain and illness. You can check out the links below for more about Jon and his work.]

In this post I hope to convince you of the power of mindfulness -- the practice of bringing your full awareness into the present moment. This is very different from that "kinda sorta" awareness that you have while you are attending a meeting, firing off a text message, and eating lunch all at the same time. And it is different from the awareness you experience within a conversation while you are trying to stifle clever or fearful or angry or resentful thoughts that are clamoring for your attention. And it is different from the awareness you experience when sitting alone at your desk, working to solve a problem while thoughts of past difficulties and future fears challenge your concentration. Instead, it is a cleaner, simpler kind of awareness. It is simply being fully present, with all your attention. It is, in the words of Jon Kabat-Zinn, "paying attention, on purpose, to the present moment, without judgment." This is mindfulness.

Monday, May 24, 2021

Do What You Fear and Grow Stronger (an audio podcast)


Focus:  This audio podcast includes inspirational quotations, war stories, examples, a little philosophy and some practical challenges to help individuals and teams push through fear and grow stronger.

(Use the control bar below to download or play the podcast. Or scroll down and simply read the transcript. Enjoy!)



Transcript of this audio, originally published on March 22, 2009:  

Do one thing every day that scares you.” - Eleanor Roosevelt

“Always, always, always, always, always do what you are afraid to do... Do the thing you fear and the death of fear is certain... Do the thing and you will have the power.” - Ralph Waldo Emerson

When I was 15 years old, I loved to sing. I sang mostly in the shower, really belting out the lyrics to rock and roll songs. The bigger the shower, the better the echo, and the louder I sang. One night after basketball practice, I was alone in the school's shower and really wailing. As I finished my shower and my song, I grabbed my towel and turned to leave and saw one of the seniors standing there smiling at me. I knew this guy. Everybody knew this guy. He was the lead guitar player in a popular local band. And he informed me that he really liked my voice and wanted to know if I'd consider singing with his band. Consider?! Well I jumped at the chance. Nervous, but enthusiastic, I attended a few rehearsals at his house and discovered that I really loved singing amplified and surrounded by all that rock & roll thunder. Eventually, during one of those rehearsals, it dawned on me. This was the real deal! Someday soon I'd have to do this in front of a crowd! If I stopped to think about this for long, my heart would start racing and I'd feel like running away and hiding. But I loved the music and I kept on rehearsing and pushed those thoughts out of my mind.

Inevitably, a couple of weeks passed and I found myself walking on stage in front of my first big crowd. I had sweaty, cold palms and I was terrified. My heart was in my throat and I could feel all the lyrics just leaving my brain entirely. And again, I felt like running and hiding! But, ready or not, the band started playing, people started dancing, and I somehow started singing on cue and the energy of it all just began to flow. For the next several years my singing skills grew, I learned to play bass guitar, the band played a wide variety of venues where we met all sorts of people, and I became completely comfortable in front of crowds. Whole new worlds were opened up to me... and I wasn't even out of high school!

As the years pass and I face even more frightening challenges, I realize that I've come to regard fear as a doorway. You can't really see everything that's on the other side, but if you ignore your sweaty palms, gather your courage and step through, you almost always enter another dimension in your life. A dimension in which you are stronger than you were in the one you left behind.

Monday, April 26, 2021

Some New Graffitti on the Wall of the Universe: All My Stuff at Internet Archive


In my preceding article, Internet Archive: To Capture & Store & Share All Human Knowledge (Seriously!!), I introduced the Internet Archive as that incredibly ambious effort to make certain that humanity's digital heritage is captured and preserved. In the intervening weeks I have acquired my own free Internet Archive account and have uploaded bunches of my own publications that I want to make sure are preserved. So now, should Google (this website's current host) or YouTube or Vimeo decide that they no longer want to host these materials on the web, they will still be available for anyone to find and download, absolutely free, from Internet Archive. 

A Complete List of My Internet Archive Publications


Specifically, I have uploaded 5 complete books in PDF form, as well as many individual essays, worksheets and other tools. In addition, you'll find complete videos and audios available to play or download. And it's all absolutely free! Click on the image of the Internet Archive document below to find a complete, categorized list of all this stuff. NOTE: Scroll down/left to the "Description" of this document in its Archive listing to find active links to individual items.



To browse through the entire collection of my (so far..) 86 Internet Archive items, a bit jumbled and not categorized, go to:  https://archive.org/details/@michael_greer  

Note that when you are at this collection you can scroll down to find a set of Filters and other menu items that will allow you to focus only on videos, only on text documents, etc. (See below.)


As you can see from this filtered list, I have thus far uploaded 48 text items (books, PDF articles, tools), 25 movies (videos), and a dozen audios. In addition, you can locate specific types of items based on tags, such as project management, team building, etc. by using these filters.

Looking for All The PM Minimalist Stuff?



For your convenience, I have assembled everything you need to teach yourself about (or create a two-day workshop on) Project Management Minimalism here in my "Favorites" collection. So if you are just interested in the PM Minimalist stuff, check this out!

Conclusion


So that's it! If I should depart the planet tomorrow and Google or Vimeo or YouTube decides to ditch my labored-over publications, I am comforted to know that future scholars of project management, instructional design, team building, personal growth, etc. will be able to follow my digital audit trail at the Internet Archive and use some of my stuff as a springboard for their own creations. And if my grandkids (or my grandkids' grandkids!) are able to get something useful out of any of this material then that would be a real plus as well.  Thank you, Internet Archive!