Monthly Archives: December 2012

If we don’t learn to fail, we fail to learn.

Hi,

fail

The favorite game of my three years old daughter is catch me. This means that she will run away and I have to catch her. Full of energy and with laughter she will start running. Looking over her shoulder regularly to see if I’m following. Sometimes she deliberately slows down, so I can catch her, and she will scream with delight. It’s much more fun to ‘loose’ and get caught, than win all the time and never be caught.

When I teach managers playful learning, a lot of them are trying very hard to get it right and feel like they have failed when the outcome of the game is different than expected. They focus on winning (or not losing) so much, that they get tense and stressed while playing. But in playfulness there is no desired best answer. Every outcome is valuable, depending on the meaning you are willing to give to it. Once they get that and give themselves permission to play and ‘fail’, a lot of positive energy is generated. And that’s when the real learning starts…because

“If we don’t learn to fail, we fail to learn”

So where, when and why did we loose our natural playfulness?

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen

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Create a personal planner for your loved ones (and for yourself).

Hi,

Last week I received the most sweet email ever. It came from my dad, who is 70 years old and rarely uses a computer. My father is a man who doesn’t talk easily about emotional stuff. Every year for his birthday he asks for very practical stuff, like a new set of tennisballs, soap on a string or an agenda/planner for next year (his birthday is at the end of december). So last year, I bought him his agenda for 2012. A very plain/ boring one. But I decided to make it personal by writing the birthday’s of his children and grandchildren in it. Then I added some nice quotes I find inspiring. And I put in some questions, like “What inspired you this week?” or “What are the things that make you happy?” or “What are your personal most important values?” and even instructions, like 13-2: although Valentines Day is a commercial inititative, mum would appreciate a small gift or some flowers anyway” or “Call Mike (my partner) to remind him it’s Valentines Day tomorrow”. Also I reminded him on some day’s that I love him and am grateful to have him as my dad. 

The email I received was sending in his ‘homework’ of last year. He had taken the questions very seriously and appreciated it very much. He ended his email by saying “I know this will take some effort/time from you, but I would very much like to have such a planner for next year”. 

Apparently I have found a way to connect to my father in a personal way, by using his planner as a tool. 

Idea:

1) Do you have a good friend or relative that you feel close to, but don’t see or speak to that often. You can give them this present of a personal planner.

2) You can make such a personal planner for yourself, and remind yourself during the following year about things that matter to you.

 

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen

What’s on your Bucket List?

bucket listHi,

Last week I saw the movie The Bucket List (2007), starring Jack Nicholson and Morgan Freeman. It is about two guys who meet at a hospital. Both are diagnosed terminally ill. They are going on a journey together to do things that are on their Bucket List (things you want to do before you die). It made me think what I would put on my Bucket List.

The essence of any good bucket list consists of overcoming fears, achieving goals, realizing dreams and even simple pleasures. Whether it’s an exotic adventure half-way around the world or something simpler, like spending more time with your family or friends. What matters is that you experience all the good and phenomenal things Earth offers.

Here are some things that come to my mind for my bucket list:

Meet some people that inspire me;
Deepak Chopra
Daniel Pink
Brene Brown

To learn how to;
Play one masterpiece on the piano
do Capoeira
Sail a hobbycat catamaran

To do;
A TED talk
Write a book
Make a trip with Mike & Luna in Asia and/or Australia
Yoga/ meditation retreat in a warm country
Gallup on a horse along a beach
Swim with dolphins

And while I’m writing down the things that I would like to do, I realize that I allready have completed many other things that were on my Bucket List, before I knew you could call your personal goals and desires a bucket list, like;

Travel to India
Learn how to play the violin
Play in a band
Act in a movie
Work for myself
Try drugs
Learn spanish
Travel on top of a bus
Travel on top of a camel
Own and rent a house
Have a kid
Inspire people
Get a coverphoto on a magazine annemarie cover

And summing up this second completed list, I feel very thankful and rich.

I would like to invite you to make up your own bucket list, and also take notice of your allready completed things.

Suppose the World will end on December 21st, What will you choose from your Bucket List to do this week?

Let’s do it. And please share in a comment, so we can read about it after it turns out the world keeps spinning round after December 21st. 😉

With enthusiasm,

Annemarie Steen

My favorite quotes…

The moment you start seeing life as non-serious, a playfulness, all the burden on your heart disappears. All the fear of death, of life, of love – everything disappears. One starts living with a very light weight or almost no weight. So weightless one becomes, one can fly in the open sky. (Osho)

Link

Just for FUN.

I love the fun and playful Jibjab E-cards. 🙂 Check out the link to see me in Gangnam Style.

http://www.jibjab.com/view/9G9Ew-XbSI-8H9R59ykHVg?utm_campaign=My+Timeline+Not+Connected&utm_medium=Share&utm_source=Facebook&cmpid=fb_nc

With Playful Greetings,

Annemarie Steen

I’m afraid, but I’m gonna do it anyway…UHM!

Hi,

In my work as a facilitator of playful learning(*), I meet a lot of different people. The ones that are enthusiastic from the start and willing to try everything immediately. The ones that are a little shy and hesitant, but after some reassurance they will try, and the ones that say NO from the start. I notice a lot of limiting believes about being playful that’s holding them back. Recognize any of these? Playfulness is childish, ít’s crazy, it’s ok in sports, but not in business, etc.

Getting the benefits and learninginsights from Playful Learning is not something you can learn from a book. It’s an experience. So therefore it’s vital that I get my participants to leave their comfortzone and join the exercises. And from my experience, 99% of my participants do…and respond with high energy and powerful learninginsights.

So how do I do it? Here are some strategies I use.

First it is important that the participants get the WHY of Playfulness.

So, I often start with explaining the difference between left and right brain functions. I show them that succesful businesses nowadays are using their creative right brain capacities to innovate, to use design, storytelling, play, empathy and meaning.  Then I ask them to leave their logical, analytical left brain quiet for a while and invite them on an experiential journey to experience their right brain.

right left brain

If the group is very leftbrain orientated (technical people), I sometimes use Steve Jobs’ “Stay Hungry, stay Foolish” or quotes from Einstein.

After the introduction of the WHY Playfulness is important, I tell them that it’s natural to feel fear. Doing something out of the ordinary is ‘out of comfortzone’. Sometimes I share a story from my personal experience with an experiment that I conducted on a busstation at 7.00 am in the morning. I handed out 80 free blowing bubble sets to waiting travellers. A lot of them reacted with fear.

In order to deal with the fear, I often show my participants this video. In this clip you see that fear is causing you to take a step back. The way how to deal with the fear, is to reverse this initial tendency and take a step forward.

Finally, I teach the participants a mantra: I’m afraid, but I’m gonna do it anyway…UHM (with the UHM we all take the necesary step forward). It creates fun and commitment, and as soon as someone is holding back, I can refer to the ‘I’m afraid’ mantra and invite them to do it anyway.

frog

And then we start seriously playing and learning 🙂

With Playful greetings,

Annemarie Steen

(*) In the Netherlands www.steentrain.nl, International with www.ha-p.com