My Writing

My Writing

I get my best ideas from listening to people. Fortunately, that’s my job.

I like to say that people are my library, and my daily writing practice is a way to discover what’s in it: new ideas, inspiration, wisdom, and a little whimsy for good measure.  As your humble librarian I invite you to check out a new idea every day. No late fees ever.

Enjoy…

Smashing Paradigms – Drink before you are thirsty

Latest in the series on Smashing Paradigms. For my story-telling explanation of the definition of a Paradigm, see “What is a Paradigm“. One way of defining a paradigm is “we’ve always done it this way”

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(c) smasherofficial.com

This week I am feeling more privileged than ever as I am in Baja as a participant at the beta of the Modern Elder Academy.

Chip Conley is beginning a movement to change the way we look at ageing and the value our “Modern Elders” do, can and so will have for humanity at all ages and stages.

Inspired by the environment (see yesterday’s post on “Change your environment, change your outcomes”) today I give you my riff on and exercise on “five things you, as a Modern Elder, would like to share with Millennials that they could do that would make a big difference for their future lives”.

I thought particularly here of of young adults in their early 20s and the paradigms of our society. Get an education, choose a profession, choose an industry, narrow things down, get on the career track.

Consider that societal guidance, and also please consider my advice from my own experience. It is heartfelt. I title my guidance :

Drink before you are thirsty

drink-before-you-are-thirsty

In cycling in hot climates, cyclists all carry water bottles, but it takes experience to learn to drink before you are thirsty. You can carry on riding at high speed and high effort and be dehydrated and so lose performance long before your body tells your brain you are thirsty.

So, don’t wait until you recognise you need to do these five things, do them now, or at least soon, Trust me, you’ll benefit immensely.

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Change your environment, change your outcomes

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Nice view, wouldn’t you say ?

How about this eight second video to give you a fuller sense, including the sound of the surf on the beach.

This stunning location is where this week I have had the awesome privilege to be part of the beta test of the Modern Elder Academy, the brainchild of Chip Conley, who regular readers know is a leader who truly inspires me.

Chip and the team have created an amazing environment designed at all levels to create a space for transformative change for participants.

The home page of this site talks about elevating, about seeing our potential and bravely creating and achieving brave and transformative change.

This week, through the programme, the facilitators, the “compadres” in the cohort supporting each other, I have again and again been witness to profound and powerful changes in participants that will see them go back to their lives and make even deeper impact for themselves and others.

I am a participant this week too, and this has absolutely applied to me too, and I am so grateful to Chip and absolutely everyone here for that too !

So, back to environment, which is one element to the secret sauce of the “MEA” experience.

The physical environment is the start, it is absolutely stunning and world class. The next layer is a cohort aligned around the powerful message and vision in the book Wisdom at Work. Cohort members in the beta read an advanced version of the book, you can buy your copy now as a pre-order (published September 2018). Also, stay tuned to this site for more news on when the Modern Elder Academy opens applications to the public for education programmes in the autumn and winter of 2018.

wisdom ar work

Beyond the physical environment, the cohort themed around the Modern Elder book (and the movement this will create), the curriculum has been patiently fine tuned over the five month long beta test by the amazing faculty, However, beyond ALL of that, I wont give away specifics, but the Culture of the MEA is astonishing and truly abundant in being of service to participants and a broader and expansive vision for humanity.

In such a carefully and lovingly created environment, I and the other cohort members have all had incredible experiences, and again I am deeply grateful.

Change your environment, change your outcomes.

Please consider what changes you can make in your own environment to change your own outcomes.

You may not go to Baja, but a few ideas :

  • Who do you spend time with ? Be around a tribe that inspire you to aspire to more
  • Are you happy with your work environment ? If not, what can you do to change that ? Do you need to develop where you are to create change or perhaps have the bravery to leave and go to your next challenge ?
  • What about your physical body ? Happy with your energy, your shape ? strength ? resilience ? All too often we ignore that and it impacts our performance ? How intentional are you around what you eat, your exercise, sleep ?

So much more you can consider, these are a start for you.

Movies with Meaning – Trust and Consistency

Weekly series. Do please send suggestions via email, twitter etc. You can send a theme and/or specific movies. Each week we feature three movies with meaning, so send in a movie with a sentence or two on the core meaning you take from it and a clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning.

Recently I was at a talk given by Rachel Botsman, author of “who can you trust” who I found last year (thank you google search) is pretty much the only other person using the term “distributed trust” to describe the trust revolution ahead of us (and I’ve written about this in multiple posts on this site).

Anyway, inspiring talk and one piece she talked about was to ask who the most trusted person in the UK is. A survey has been done on this, and the answer was David Attenborough, who has been making TV documentaries on nature for many decades, and is still doing so in his 90s.

To me, the key reason we trust him is his consistency. He has never varied in what he is about, what he does, why he does it.

There are many elements around what makes us trust others, today I focus on consistency. Yes, the work of Joseph Campbell means that so many movie characters live the dramatic steps of the hero’s journey, yet some of our heroes we trust as they have a powerful consistency of intention and purpose under pressure throughout.
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Writing I Love – We flatten the topography of their lives

topography

I post every Tuesday on “Writing I Love” and every Wednesday on “Movies with Meaning”. Why do I do this on a site with writings themed around leadership ?

As I wrote recently when reworking my home page :

“I write daily posts highlighting various leaders, doers, dreamers, leadership methodologies and related themes that inspire me.

Writing allows me to share thoughts, ideas, insights and wisdom from people I admire, also adding my own ideas and musings synthesized from such inspirations.”

The key phrase there for me is “that inspire me”, and reading and movies often inspire me.

In our busy lives, it is important to leave room for inspiration, whether than be reading, movies, being in nature, being active, talking to friends, listening to brilliant people share their wisdom. Whatever inspires you, do you do as much of it as you wish ? If not, what is lost ?

A key part of leadership is inspiring others, and to do so we must also keep “topping up our tank” ourselves with what inspires us.

So, recently I woke up one lazy Saturday morning , lay in bed and scrolled twitter, then saw a tweet from a thinker, speaker, writer who has inspired me for years, Nilofer Merchant.

(Do watch her TED talk on walking meetings and read “The Power of Onlyness“).

Nilofer had shared an article on Shondaland on “The Sanitized Words of Complicated Women” by Dianca London, talking about how we have reduced the richness of work and human story of the likes of Maya Angelou, Toni Morrison, Audre Lorde to inspirational memes.

In the article, this stunning line leapt off the page at me :

“We flatten the topography of their lives”

I nearly leapt out of bed at the resonant brilliance of that line.

How often do we flatten the topography of our own lives, live a flat life, look to simplify, give the answer “fine” when people ask how we are, etc etc.

Our lives are meant to be lived to the full, letting our light shine, and also being brave enough to look at our shadow, at the fullness and wholeness of life ! Don’t flatten your topography.

As you can see, I am inspired by this one line, this beautiful writing.

I then flow into thinking “what an amazing opening line for a book that would make !”, and then to considering great opening lines.

I’ll give you just one, and it is from one of my absolute favourite books, a masterpiece of magical realism, where one gradually lets go of the need to understand plot, timelines, narrative flow, and simply surrenders to the fantastical magic that flows from the pen of one of the greatest authors we have ever known.

“Many years later, as he faced the firing squad, Colonel Aureliano Buendía was to remember that distant afternoon when his father took him to discover ice.”

Gabriel Garcia Marquez – One Hundred Years of Solitude

Do more of what inspires you !

 

Power of positive language – Hamba Kahle

hamba-kahle2

As I prepared to go on a trip recently, a friend said to me “Hamba Kahle”.

I had no idea what it meant. It is Zulu for “go well” and you say back “Sala Kahle” or stay well.

I love it.

I can only imagine the resonance when Mandela died of “Hamba Kahle, Madiba”.

Language is so powerful, and positive language too.

In my work with leaders I am very conscious of language, mine and theirs, and always encouraging people to frame language positively. Energy management is so vital as leaders, and the choice to use positive language is a simple one to make to support energy across a business, organisation, movement.

Whether or not one is a believer in or proponent of NLP (Neuro-Linguistic Programming), it does bring strong awareness of the power of language, and for that alone I encourage you to gain at least some grounding in NLP. I was fortunate to sit at the feet of a master of NLP and of language, Ed Percival, and have picked up many learnings from him.

Oh, and back to me going on that trip. Have you noticed how people automatically say to you “have a safe flight” ? The sentiment is positive, yet the language tends to make me think “funny, I had no intention of having an unsafe one”. I much prefer “go well”, and love the term for flying and for life’s journey in general.

So, Hamba Kahle to you now and always.

Be ruthless with your time

Warren Buffett is one of the wealthiest men in the world, and also a friend and mentor for many years to another, Bill Gates.

In this short video (yes, it will take less than two minutes of your time, please invest in that!), Bill talks about the blank pages in Warren’s diary and how this amazed him when he first found how ruthless Warren is with NOT being busy.

“I can buy anything I want.. but I can’t buy time:

Much of my work is spent with leaders, helping them elevate, and one paradigm shift is around VALUE and TIME.

Plenty of paradoxes here.

Here’s one. I don’t work with clients based on TIME, on a “power by the hour” basis, I work based on VALUE. Sometimes takes a while for them to understand they can contact me anytime as I am not “on the clock” (professional firm partners are particularly connected to the TIME trap!). I vividly remember a client once calling me to work through something before a key meeting. We had been working together for years at this point, and it took only a few minutes to work through something powerful, simply because we had a shorthand of understanding developed over the relationship. Later, they remarked “a few years ago that would have taken well over an hour. Perhaps I should be paying you more when it takes less time to get what I need”. Paradoxical thinking, huh ?

Another Paradox is that time is free, yet it is our most valuable resource, and Warren Buffett says you can’t buy it, but can you ? In some ways you can. Adam Smith worked this out hundreds of years ago with “division of labour”. I have an Executive Assistant who manages my diary. I pay her for something I could do myself, but I pay for the fact that is saves me time (and energy, a whole other related topic). What do you do for yourself that you could pay or otherwise delegate to someone else to do ? I see so many business leaders who keep involving themselves in so many day to day activities that take their time and energy away from what truly matters.

My dear friend and mentor Suki Laniado Smith signs off every email with :

“Awareness is the greatest agent for change”

Every client I have ever worked with, every person I have ever known (and yes, very much including myself) could always benefit from bringing what I would call “ruthless awareness” to where we spend our time.

This does NOT mean being scarce with our time. To the contrary, using myself as an example, I practice “radical abundance” with my time (as does Professor Adam Grant), but it is really important therefore to a) have boundaries, and b) make sure you don’t spend time doing stuff that doesn’t matter.

(BTW, I just thought about NOT taking time to add links to past posts that relate to the above thoughts, but to me sharing my writing and my thoughts DOES matter, so I have taken the time to do so.)

One of the most meaningful quotes in any movie for me comes from the movie Lucy “the whole purpose of life is to pass on what was learned. There is no higher purpose”, watch a clip in this post, the very first in my weekly series of “Movies with Meaning”

I leave you with two quotes from Steve Jobs :

“Your time is precious, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”

(Visit the post with video of the speech in which he said this, along with other thoughts on “Memento Mori” (remember you will die))

and

“My favorite things in life don’t cost any money. It is really clear that the most precious resource we all have is time.

~ Steve Jobs

steve jobs time

 

Too much information, too little knowledge

Data information knowledge insight wisdom

Thanks to my friend Jacob Aldridge for sharing this with me. Jacob is a brilliant Brisbane-based global business coach, Guinness World Record Holder and all around wonderful human !

Recently we were chatting about different levels of work with clients, and this image came to his mind.

So much data and information in the world, so little knowledge. As leaders, the key is to work out first what knowledge is important, then to focus on the insights we can gain from that, and hopefully sometimes we glean wisdom and lead from that place.

In a recent 81 second “Pinkcast” from Dan Pink, he shares wisdom from the “Sage of Omaha”, Warren Buffett :

Pinkcast 2.17: Life advice from Warren Buffett | Daniel H. Pink

Teh short video has a great story and lesson for achieving what matters to you. Do take the 81 seconds, and I also highly recommend following Dan and his site and emails, I gain much from the knowledge he shares abundantly.

At the end of it, an additional distilled piece of wisdom from Buffett :

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 00.38.09

So much data, information, less knowledge, far fewer insights, and wisdom ? That is rare, but as I often say :

“Wisdom is something concise that, once you hear it, you feel you always knew it”.

As you finish reading this, consider this question that springs from the Dan Pink video above.

What one thing above all else do you wish to achieve in life, and what one thing could you say no to today that will create space to help you move to closer to that goal ?

 

Smashing Paradigms – Procrastination as a Good Thing

Latest in the series on Smashing Paradigms. For my story-telling explanation of the definition of a Paradigm, see “What is a Paradigm“. One way of defining a paradigm is “we’ve always done it this way”

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(c) smasherofficial.com

As a writer, occasionally I face the “blank page”.

This blog is inspired by my friend and brilliant business coach Jacob Aldridge, who I chatted with at one such “blank page” moment, including noting to him the power of the book “The War of Art” by Stephen Pressfield, a book that David Kirkaldy introduced to me and that I’ve since recommended to countless people as a great support in how to address procrastination.

Jacob then gently guided me to a 2005 essay by Y Combinator founder Paul Graham titled “Good and Bad Procrastination“, in which Paul smashes the paradigm that procrastination is a “bad” thing.

He opens his essay with :

“The most impressive people I know are all terrible procrastinators. So could it be that procrastination isn’t always bad?

Most people who write about procrastination write about how to cure it. But this is, strictly speaking, impossible. There are an infinite number of things you could be doing. No matter what you work on, you’re not working on everything else. So the question is not how to avoid procrastination, but how to procrastinate well.

There are three variants of procrastination, depending on what you do instead of working on something: you could work on (a) nothing, (b) something less important, or (c) something more important. That last type, I’d argue, is good procrastination.

That’s the “absent-minded professor,” who forgets to shave, or eat, or even perhaps look where he’s going while he’s thinking about some interesting question. His mind is absent from the everyday world because it’s hard at work in another.

That’s the sense in which the most impressive people I know are all procrastinators. They’re type-C procrastinators: they put off working on small stuff to work on big stuff.”

He closes the essay (and please do read the whole thing) with these words :

“I think the way to “solve” the problem of procrastination is to let delight pull you instead of making a to-do list push you. Work on an ambitious project you really enjoy, and sail as close to the wind as you can, and you’ll leave the right things undone.”

Beautiful and masterful !

I look to model Paul Graham’s words in my life and work, and to inspire others to do the same. One of the joys of writing daily is that, over time, I’m creating a trove of thoughts on related and recurring themes, so search away on terms, tags, key phrases (flow, ikigai, presence, innsae and others come to mind).

I’m with Paul Graham. I support others in focussing on what’s important, As I identified in “Matter, Anti-Matter, Doesn’t Matter“, reflecting on chatting with fellow Physics students in my last year of high school :

“we were amused and baffled at so much of the stuff they had us learn, when some of it mattered, and some of it simply didn’t. We felt super pleased with ourselves to come up with the idea that not only was the universe made up of both “matter” and “antimatter”, but also that there was a third type that we had discovered through our inventive reasoning. We called it “doesn’t matter”.

So, a thought to ponder. Are you busy ? If so, what about considering how much of your universe is filled with “doesn’t matter” ?”

Good procrastination then, is about being clear with yourself on what is the “doesn’t matter” in your universe, then being ruthlessly laser-like in eliminating as much of it as you can.

doesn't matter

 

Leap and the net will appear

leap and the net will appear

“I have often said “Leap and the net will appear”, though the net doesn’t always look like a net” 

Maeve Gillies, brave, inspiring and creative Cultural Entrepreneur

I was inspired to write by this line from Maeve once before in : “How do you know if you could be an Entrepreneur ?“, but today I will focus on taking leaps to make a big career change, as inspired by a message from someone today feeling totally stuck where they are, yet my insight is that they simply need to follow Maeve’s advice and “leap and the net will appear”.

A story to make the point.

One of my very first coaching clients many years ago was the amazing Virginia Czarnocki, who literally walked into my office and said “help me quit my job”.

As a coach, I simply listened deeply to her, asked the right questions, and helped her see what was really true to her and what was the b*****t she was telling herself. In V’s own words from her Linked In recommendation.

Screen Shot 2018-04-11 at 00.00.36

Now, Virginia did quit her job as a top lawyer and embarked on a journey with no idea what the “net” would look like, yet now she is absolutely thriving.

Her brand “Moozlers” (see FB page) started out as an idea to create healthy food around the world, and has morphed and changed. Now “Coach V” is inspiring others in Cayman and around the world to be healthy and fit in so many ways, including nutrition, exercise and general wellness. She has multiple strands both on and off line through which she lives this, and here is an example video.

 

Movies with Meaning – Focussing on what matters

Weekly series. Do please send suggestions via email, twitter etc. You can send a theme and/or specific movies. Each week we feature three movies with meaning, so send in a movie with a sentence or two on the core meaning you take from it and a clip from the movie that speaks to that meaning.

a river runs through it

Of late I have been musing and writing on focussing on the present and on what matters.

This week three movies on these themes.
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Writing I Love – No Ordinary Moments

Gold coast pool

I took this photo a few days ago at the amazing aquatic centre in Gold Coast, Australia, as one of my sons competed at the Commonwealth Games. A 10,000 seat arena and an amazing lifetime experience for my son. Due to ticketing vagaries I sat on my own in a “nosebleed” seat, quietly absorbing the atmosphere, including the moment when the Australian crowd sang their anthem in unison and from the first note as one of their swimmers was presented a gold medal. #goosebumps.

So, sometimes for my Tuesday “Writing I Love” posts I simply reflect on a line, and at that moment in time it was a phrase from my friend Morgan Da Costa ”

No Ordinary Moments

Now, recently I wrote “No such thing as an original idea” in which I reflected that, although I believe there is indeed no such thing as an original idea, “we are always listening, learning, developing new ideas to develop, extend, evolve ideas.”

With that in mind, several months ago I wrote one of my favourite posts on this site, “Life is Wild and Precious, Be Present“, in which I reference that phrase from Morgan, as well as the beautiful poem “The Summer Day”, which finishes with :

Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?

I wrote that post around six months ago, reflecting in it: “what is it I plan to do with my one wild and precious life ? I have no plan, yet I have an intention to hold every moment as Wild and Precious”.

Where am I six months later ? A lot has evolved, yet one thing does remain constant, and that is a focus on being present, on recognising that there are “No Ordinary Moments”.

I’ve also written a lot around tags such as Presence, Ikigai, Open Leadership around themes in that prior blog, such as reducing busyness, being more present, tuning into our Ikigai, along with writing on presence from amazing humans such as Marina Abramovic, Scilla Elworthy, Gandhi, Mandela and more.

For today, then, let me simply focus on the power of “No Ordinary Moments”.

In our lives, in our businesses, in our leadership, let us always recognise that there are no ordinary moments, every moment we can choose to be present and to imbue with that presence to appreciate where we are.

With that, I give you this view taken around 6am this morning as  I walked at random from my host’s home to listen to the bird song and feel and smell the air just after sunrise.

We then walked to a coffee spot and had the best coffee I think I’ve ever tasted.

First time I’ve seen my friend in at least five years, and may be a while before we see each other again, so we are making the most of it.

There are no ordinary moments.

Brisbane sunrise

 

 

 

How is your heart ?

how is your heart

In English when we meet we ask “how are you ?”

As Omid Safi writes in “The Disease of being Busy“* :

In many Muslim cultures, when you want to ask them how they’re doing, you ask: in Arabic, Kayf haal-ik? or, in Persian, Haal-e shomaa chetoreh? How is your haal?

What is this haal that you inquire about? It is the transient state of one’s heart. In reality, we ask, “How is your heart doing at this very moment, at this breath?” When I ask, “How are you?” that is really what I want to know.

In Leadership there are few things more powerful than giving people your full attention and truly seeing them. It can be as simple and fleeting as giving a flight attendant eye contact as you say goodbye as you disembark, or addressing a barista by the name on their name tag as you thank them for your morning coffee.

As a coach, sounding board, facilitator, I believe in and practice “Deep Listening” truly being absolutely present at all levels for others.

I therefore adore this term “haal” and Omid’s expression of it as a greeting of real care.

Omid writes beautifully, and continues :

I am not asking how many items are on your to-do list, nor asking how many items are in your inbox. I want to know how your heart is doing, at this very moment. Tell me. Tell me your heart is joyous, tell me your heart is aching, tell me your heart is sad, tell me your heart craves a human touch. Examine your own heart, explore your soul, and then tell me something about your heart and your soul.

Tell me you remember you are still a human being, not just a human doing. Tell me you’re more than just a machine, checking off items from your to-do list. Have that conversation, that glance, that touch. Be a healing conversation, one filled with grace and presence.

Put your hand on my arm, look me in the eye, and connect with me for one second. Tell me something about your heart, and awaken my heart. Help me remember that I too am a full and complete human being, a human being who also craves a human touch.

Beautiful.

My own articles on this site on related themes are too numerous now to list here, but do search on this page around themes such as “Being, not Doing”, “Stop the Busyness” “Being without agenda” and tags such as Silence, Ikigai, Presence.

*Many thanks to Christine Sperber of the Modern Elder Academy for sharing this article. More on “MEA” to come on this site, as I am excited to be part of the “Beta”. For now, to find more about Modern Elder, search articles on this site for “Chip Conley”

On being without agenda

where the magic happens

Recently I was introduced to someone through business and we had a call to talk about potential synergies and collaboration. We then met up a few weeks later in person to go for a walk and talk about collaboration, but somehow never seemed to get around to anything too specific. A few weeks after that, a similar meet up to walk and talk, and again only loosely moved towards collaboration.

There is definitely a theme there of “feels like we might find something to collaborate on”, yet beyond that when we have met there has been no agenda other than to walk, talk and see what emerges from conversation.

One thing we did ponder from these walks, though, was the value of being without agenda, simply seeing what emerges from being completely unplanned. Put another way, having zero “planned utility”.

You see, my new friend is highly qualified in numerous fields including psychology, and I’ve a fascination with economics and leadership, so we both find common interests in human behaviour. We therefore talked about being “utilitarian” and the value of being the opposite, of taking time, energy and focus to simply #flow.

In business and in leadership, we all spend SO much of our time planned out, outcome oriented, structured, with little time to see what flows.

A while ago I wrote “Stop the Busy-ness” and noticed how some leaders use a “five hour rule”, reserving five hours each week for unplanned time.

I certainly found real value in creating unplanned time with a new friend to walk and talk with no “planned utility”.

As I write this, I am contemplating what to do today. The planner in me is saying “organised everything hour by hour”, but I might just leave space to see what emerges. Am I always comfortable being unplanned and unstructured ? No. Is it always the right thing to do ? No. Sometimes we must be planned, structured, have an agenda. Sometimes though, as the drawing above notes, we can get out of our comfort zone, be without agenda. After all, that’s where the magic can happen.

No such thing as an original idea

Original-Ideas

Today I recognised that yesterday’s post was, to use a musician’s analogy, a riff on a recurring theme, in this case “less is more”.

A favourite phrase of mine is “there is no such thing as an original idea”.

I believe, though, that we are always listening, learning, developing new ideas to develop, extend, evolve ideas.

One such idea for me is that of “Less is More”, and in keeping with that theme, I’ll simply link to some prior posts riffing on the theme of less is more :

I’ll stop here. Less is more.

 

Smashing Paradigms – Less is More

{latest in a developing series on Smashing Paradigms}

For my story-telling explanation of the definition of a Paradigm, see “What is a Paradigm“. 

One way of defining a paradigm is “an unconsciously held belief that limits us from fresh thinking” or “we’ve always done it this way”

Smasher_logo_cracked+black

(c) smasherofficial.com

Our modern world is overwhelmed with data. We have unfathomable amounts of data, which we must parse for information. We have so much data, yet so little knowledge. Where we do find knowledge of value, we seek and crave for that even rarer of things, that of wisdom.

I define wisdom as being something concise that, “as soon as you hear it, you feel like you always knew it”.

To this, I say to you, less is more.

Less-is-more

In being with another person, speak less, listen more. In playing music, the virtuoso plays less, expresses more.

Yesterday, in “Listening, your Superpower”, I wrote :

As we practice listening, we can go deeper and deeper in listening and learn more, be of service more. The french composer Debussy said : “La musique, c’est ce qu’il y a entre les notes”.  The poetically translated English version is “Music is the space between the notes”. The French more literally translates to “Music, it is what is between the notes

Ask any music fan for their list of all time guitar greats, and Stevie Ray Vaughn will be on there. Spend time listening to him and he can play staggeringly fast and complex guitar solos… and yet.. sometimes less is more.

Also on the list of the greatest composer and producers of pop songs ever is Nile Rodgers, who produced one of the greatest pop albums of all time, “Let’s Dance” by David Bowie. Stevie Ray Vaughn is no longer with us, but Nile is still touring and grooving. Nile recently tweeted :

A moment that will stay with me forever is sitting outside Murrayfield Stadium with friends in mid summer 1983 (aged 17, no less!) waiting excitedly for a few hours before the David Bowie “Serious Moonlight” Tour concert that evening.

The band came on for their soundcheck and the amazing arrangements Nile Rodgers had written came out. The bass line of Cat People, the rhythm guitar throughout, and the lead guitar part in Let’s Dance. Gives me #goosebumps to this day.

I give you the rehearsal tape of Let’s Dance featuring “the sparsest most brilliant few notes ever”. Nile Rodgers on rhythm, SRV on lead.

Less is more.

 

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