My recent post declared my love affair with the Moleskine and how I felt that I had to excuse myself to the ‘technoscenti’ out there who read blogs. I suppose one of the reasons why I appreciate the blogging world (the so-called ‘blogosphere’) is the delightful discovery of like minds.
Here’s what I’ve discovered. Like me, there are people:
- who love technology and gadgets. From respect, we get a buzz out of living in the 21st century.
- who appreciate the creative ‘note-making’ potential of Mind Mapping and give tools like MindManager kudos and use them as prime tools;
- who tap into their creativity by the discipline of writing and find the blog a brilliantly liberating vehicle for doing this;
- who order their thinking by speaking and find podcasting is beginning to open up radio to self-expression;
- who value the pen as an expression tool and have discovered the Tablet PC as a long-awaited freedom;
- who appreciate the importance of self-organisation using structures such as David Allen’s Getting Things Done (GTD);
- who appreciate the importance of team organisation in projects and realise projects are the main means of significant creativity;
- who, nevertheless, have a dis-ease in a working solely through computers and rediscover ‘The Sound of Paper’ (to use a phrase from one of Julia Cameron’s books) and try to live in the tension of this with 1 and 3.
It is encouraging to discover like-minded souls this way. It helps me persuade myself that I’m not too eccentric (even for a Brit), or even some kind of geek-y freak.
Yet there is something more to it than that. Coming from the West and having built up a small professional services company from being solo, I have become aware of something of the strength of individualism in my culture and thus in myself. At times this individualism informs my personal, day-to-day choices more than I am ready to admit. At a deep level, though, this is not really satisfying. It is not enough to live as a technical hermit. The human soul has a universal pull towards community, to meet with the like-minded. I’ve come to realise that much of my sense of fulfilment in life comes from relationships that energise me by affirming, accepting, and encouraging me. As trust levels grow there is the added fulfilment is when these people, with whom I feel safe, can challenge and stretch me. I really have learned to value it when a trusted friend corrects me.
In the case of my own organisation, Pearce Mayfield, perhaps the main source of satisfaction for me has been to surround myself with such people; sometimes I have to pinch myself to make sure I’m not dreaming. And these colleagues are like-minded, but have quite different strengths, personalities and giftedness. Such are the deeper rewards of community in business.
I’ve been an active participant in the blogosphere now for about a year and a half. During that time it has been good to make and connect with friends who cover one or more of the above bullet list. It’s interesting to reflect that it has defined me somewhat as well as the blog community of which I have come to feel a part.