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Write every day: The future’s up to us

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Rose Eveleth

“I have a healthy relationship w/ the future. The future hasn’t been written yet…Remember we can do something. People need to show up. You feel terrible about climate change? Then do something about climate change.”

Have anxiety about the future? I’ve got something for you that will help. Listen to this Ologies Podcast episode about futurology with Rose Eveleth of the Flash Forward podcast. She is realistic and optimistic, and I love her message of empowerment and action. You will feel better after listening to this episode. Given the state of the world right now, we have to do everything we can to pick up ourselves and pick up others so we can all keep working together toward a brighter future.

Link to the podcast episode: https://www.alieward.com/ologies/futurology

 

Write every day: Are you in the messy middle?

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John Bucher

Are you in the messy middle, at the gateway of contemplation (which is my tattoo!), in the space between “no more” and “not yet”? Then listen to my brilliant and inspiring friend and writing mentor, John Bucher, on the Story Gatherings podcast. Link to podcast episode here: http://storygathering.libsyn.com/a-conversation-with-john-bucher-on-liminal-space

Joy today: Happy Fall

This summer wasn’t the one I expected or wanted, though it was absolutely the one I needed. The adversity and disappointments made me stronger and more compassionate, and for that I’m very grateful. Welcome, Fall. I’m so happy to see you. I’m ready for whatever you bring.

A Year of Yes: The most personal interview I’ve ever given is now live on the How Humans Change podcast

Screen Shot 2018-11-14 at 10.19.44 PMIf you want to really know me, listen to this interview. The big question for me in this lifetime is, “Does everything matter or does nothing matter?” A few months ago, I gave the most personal interview I’ve ever done. My friend, mentor, and storytelling hero, John Bucher, introduced me to Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton, hosts and producer of the podcast, How Humans Change. My interview is now live. our wide-ranging conversation includes career, science, sustainability, the health of the planet, biomimicry, dinosaurs, product development, therapy, curiosity, change, the economy and capitalism, time, technology, work, culture, implicit bias, life-changing moments, storytelling, writing, poverty, trauma, writing, my book, mental health, strength, resilience, therapy, fear, courage, my apartment building fire, how my plane got struck by lightning, and so much more. Despite these dark topics, there is a lot of light, fun, laughter, and healing in this interview. It’s the most personal interview I’ve ever given, and some of the details I reveal about my personal path and past I have never discussed publicly before now. I hope you enjoy the podcast episode and that it inspires you to live the best life you can imagine.

A Year of Yes: If Mister Rogers ran the world today

“Love, or the lack of it, is the root of everything.” ~Mister Rogers, Won’t You Be My Neighbor

Fred Rogers was a life-long Republican. He saved PBS by testifying before Congress. He accepted all people. He cared about the arts, education, and feelings. Imagine the world today if he ran the GOP.

A Year of Yes: Why I gave up perfect

“I wanted a perfect ending. Now I’ve learned, the hard way, that some poems don’t rhyme, and some stories don’t have a clear beginning, middle, and end. Life is about not knowing, having to change, taking the moment and making the best of it, without knowing what’s going to happen next. Delicious Ambiguity.” ~Gilda Rader

The older I get, the more I’ve learned to love the imperfections of life and of people. The crooked path, the flaws, the messiness. Those things are what I remember. Those are the things that taught me what I needed to learn. Perfect hasn’t given me anything except anxiety and fear. Imperfect has given me possibility, opportunity, empathy, and compassion. Which would you prefer?

A Year of Yes: Getting personal about time on a podcast about change

Yesterday, I did an interview for a podcast called How Humans Change. I spoke with hosts Josh Chambers and Leiv Parton about change, transformation, death, trauma, writing, mental health, choices, poverty, technology, career, the passage of time, therapy, science, dinosaurs, biomimicry, super powers, and how healing, while difficult, is the best motivator of all. It’s my most personal interview to-date.

Some people who hear it will be surprised, and others will have answers to some long outstanding questions that I have rarely discussed in the past. I’m making a more concerted effort to address these topics thoughtfully, authentically, and often.

I always love meeting members of my tribe and these guys are definitely part of it. Thank you to my amazing friend and mentor, John Bucher, for connecting me to them. I’ll share the episode link when it’s live. Until then, give their first season a listen by clicking here.

A Year of Yes: My SXSW proposal, The Dramatic Structure of Change, is now available for voting

I submitted a proposal to speak at SXSW in March. The session is called The Dramatic Structure of Change, and is now available for your vote at http://panelpicker.sxsw.com/vote/82875

The dramatic structure of literature is well-laid track that has proven time and time again to be a valuable way to think of about storytelling in a wide variety of mediums. It’s also a priceless and underutilized tool in the workplace, particularly when we think about leadership from every chair and change management from every vantage point and every level of an organization. As an author, business leader, journalist, and storyteller, I’ll walk the audience members through this valuable paradigm so that you finish this session ready to immediately use it in your work life and with your teams.

Questions that will be answered by this session:
  1. What is dramatic structure and why is it so intuitive to our understanding of how a story unfolds in every medium?
  2. How does dramatic structure provide a blueprint for successful change management in an organization?
  3. How does anyone in any organization at any level use dramatic structure in a company to become successful and make their teams successful?

 

A Year of Yes: Shoot the moon

The only upside I can see to terrible times is that they can open the door for good people to make big ideas for positive change a reality. I sent some big ideas to potential partners yesterday. I shot the moon. Let’s see if I land in the stars. My hope for better days for all persists. I hope you’re hanging in there, and finding the light where and when you can. If you need help, let me know.

A Year of Yes: The power of our stories

I’m thinking a lot about how stories we tell ourselves affect our paths. What we say are our strengths and weaknesses, gifts and shortcomings, triumphs and regrets. If we change our stories, we can change our minds. And if we change our minds, we change our hearts. And if we change our hearts, then we can change everything.

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A friend sent me this beautiful card of encouragement about women of fire. Ironically, I had just read this story by one of our favorite artists, @brianandreas, a few nights before as I was scrolling through inspirational quotes, a meditative pastime in these times of quarantine. Over a decade ago, my apartment building caught fire and I almost got trapped inside. That fire literally and figuratively forged me the way a blacksmith forges iron. I developed intense PTSD as a result, and went into weekly therapy with a wizard of a therapist. I sat with him every week for 3+ years and looked at every dark corner of my mind and past. It was a brutal, painful initiation. I had to do that heavy work on myself. I had no choice. I ran out of places to hide. I ran out of coping mechanisms. The fire burned them all away. All that was left was me. Not what I do or who my friends are or where I went to school or any of my accomplishments. Just the iron core of who I am. It was messy, dirty work, and I'm so grateful for it. I didn't do it because I wanted to. I did it because I had to. I'd never wish it on anyone; I also wouldn't change it for myself. I've been into the darkness of my own mind, heart, and past. I lived there with a powerful flashlight in-hand, shining it into every hidden place. There, I found my own light. There isn't anything I don't know about myself. I know exactly what I'm made of, and how I'm put together. It's powerful knowledge. It made me courageous. That courage informs my biomimicry research around plastic. That courage also informs my reaction to coronavirus now. NYC is in a dire state, and the circumstances of our essential workers is horrific. Just as I came through my fire a far better person than I was before, we have the chance to come out of this dark time a better community that helps many more people, especially our healthcare workers on the frontlines. To do that, we have to do the hard work of transformation. Together, we have to be committed to finally fix and heal and reinvent the many broken systems that have been broken for decades. We have to be committed to make all this difficulty mean something. I’m committed.

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