The Calgary Folk Festival this year was absolutely amazing – for many reasons. The music was great, people were amazing, and atmosphere was so energizing. My favorite thing about attending music festivals is finding artists that I have never heard of before, and this year’s folk fest was full of them. One band in particular, Painting with Ella, captivated me beyond words. Their music reminds me of angels standing at the gateway of death welcoming you in a solemn, angelic, and almost, haunting way.

They are a young band from Edmonton, just getting their foot into the door. This song, “Daughters”, was what actually got them into the folk festival because they won  the Calgary Folk Festival Songwriting Contest in the Youth category.

Anyways, check them out – and support local Albertan talent by picking up their EP (or two:))

Everyone sees and perceives things in different ways. I tend to focus my energy on ideas, stories and various happenings that are full of light and positivity. But from time to time, I seem to stumble across things that are so completely backwards in the world we live, breathe, and “be” in. So I’ve decided to branch this blog out, yet again, in hopes to hear your opinions on these stories that I can’t seem to understand.

Example 1:

Catholic Charities of the diocese of Rockford, Ill., will cease providing adoption and foster care services because the state will not exempt it from serving gay couples when the civil unions law goes into effect.

“We believe in the natural order of marriage and the sacrament of matrimony between one man and one woman. We also believe and promote the optimal God-given privilege of every child to be reared in a safe and loving family with a committed and loving male father and female mother whenever possible,” diocesan spokeswoman Penny Wiegert

Short summary:

So because the state is granting civil union between same sex couples, and won’t grant this church the right to be able to refuse same sex couples from fostering children, they are completely abandoning their foster care program which will have huge negative and harmful effects for a lot of children.

Where is the “love” in that? And how does that make any sense?

Are they aware that if one looks behind the surface of EVERY human being, beyond what seems to be sexual barriers, we are all exactly the same? Who one  loves, does not decipher what type of person they are. But rather, the choices they make, the feelings they express, the life they create, and the love they have to share,  are far better dictators of what type of person has the room and capacity to share their love with children.

Sexual orientation has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not one has the ability to provide and support a child with all of the love that is humanly possible to give in this world.

This will be my first year volunteering at the Calgary Folk Festival. To say the least, I’m pretty excited. No, I’m not doing one of the more perceived glamorous jobs like being an artist liaison or media and promotions – I’ll be out on local farm land, bucking my plaid shirt, covered in head to toe in dirt, and getting the vegetables and fruit prepared for the week. Although I painted a picture few people would like to endure, I’m actually pretty pumped about that too (outdoorsy type, what can I say). Anyways, one of the reasons why I wanted to volunteer, other than the fact I went to the festival last year and LOVED it, is because of the sick line up that is going to be there.

Here is one of my new favorite finds that will be coming to the festival. The Head and the Heart: River and Roads

The part that really got me liking this song is at 1:55 – absolutely amazing.

You can try to run from it, hide from it, or even deny that it’s a reality, but lets face it, if you are online there is no way to escape the fact that you are being marketed to. Scratch that. If you are ANYWHERE, whether it be driving in your car, walking down town or in a mall, on a bus, or people watching, you are CONSTANTLY being marketed to.

It’s kind of creepy when you think about it.

But it doesn’t have to be.

I recently had a small epiphany that I actually enjoyed some of the Facebook ads that were specifically directed to my profile wall because of my Facebook settings. And I can now feel myself slowly transitioning from being one of those people who didn’t fill out their likes, interests, music, movies, books, and activities section because of not caring to share that information about myself, to actually wanting to fill out as much information as I could do in ten minutes (I’m at work and only have so much time to spare!), so that I can be kept up to date on some of the things I find cool. It’s kind of like that cliche expression, “If you can’t escape the game, you might as well try to play it better” – okay, maybe I made that one up.

So essentially, I’m starting to market to the marketers.

Kind of a neat concept:)

I often find that I tend to surround myself with people  and situations that are constantly inspiring me in various different ways. Which got me thinking, “Where do ideas come from?” “Where does this so called inspiration derive from?” “How can I ensure that I continue to find this inspiration around me?”

And, which often occurs, the answer magically appeared right in front of me.

The other day I was in Chapters — a dangerous thing, because I love books, and love to read, which is a “love” that doesn’t help my pocket book — and I happened to find myself, like usual, in the philosophy / business / marketing section. I was busy doing my usual “thang”, i.e Scurrying through books and accidentally running into innocent passersby that only came to my attention and realization after hearing someone mumble a sly “urgggh watcchhhh where yourrr goinggggg gawddd” – My bad.

After much scurrying, I looked up, and a book POPPED out to me.

“Where Good Ideas Come From” – by Steven Johnson

I’m only 80 pages deep, but I thought I would share something that really made sense – to me, anyways.

“Recall the question we began with: What kind of environment creates good ideas? The simplest way to answer it is this: innovative environments are better at helping their inhabitants explore the adjacent possible, because they expose a wise and diverse sample of spare parts – mechanical or conceptual – and they encourage novel ways of recombining those parts. Environments that block or limit those new combinations – by punishing experimentation, by obscuring certain branches of possibility, by making the current state so satisfying that no one bothers to explore the edges – will, on average, generate and circulate fewer innovations than environments that encourage exploration.” (page 41)

Surely you have many questions. One for example is probably that your curious to understand what exactly the “adjacent possible” is. And to paraphrase, and simplify, the adjacent possible is when different doors open throughout human evolution which opens doors for new ideas to pop into someone’s, or many people’s, mind(s). When another door opens, a new possibility exists. So as we continue to push ourselves to learn and understand more and more, we create new possibilities at an increasing rate. Each new door that opens, is actually a spark in the neurons in one’s mind (we have over 100 trillion neurons in our brain) which connects thoughts, memories, and experiences and forms a solution to an answer, a new idea, and/or a new realization.

The book goes into detail about carbon molecules, neurons, amino acids, and the primordial soup of chemicals – but I won’t go into much detail about that, so that I can spare you from confusion, and also because I for one, am not an expert or highly educated in the matter – I just enjoy reading books.

Anyways, what I have taken from this so far, is that innovative environments are important when it comes to creating good ideas.

The advice I’d give – take it or leave it – is that I’d think twice before you attempt to restrict and confine someone from doing something/anything.

Unless of course, you’d rather conform, than create.

Whether it is because this represents reality in which the antagonist and protagonist meet, or the pro androgynous debate, or because they have such a beautiful and unique sound, or because of my “Be who you want to be, and work it” mentality, I love this song. And video.

Oh, and because she is rocking #movember 🙂

Do you have any music suggestions?

(shout out to @backyardlemons for introducing them to me)

This is a follow up to my last blog post on “Drunk Facebook Photos Killing Your Job Prospects? – Ridiculous.

I have finally articulated the argument that I was trying to convey.

It seems that we are now living in an era where we are taught how to make the perfect resume, how to rock the perfect interview, and how to have the perfect online persona. – And I think this is ludicrous. For several reasons.

1) If you pretend to be someone you are not, you’ll end up getting hired at the wrong organization and be completely miserable.

2) The wrong person will get hired at an organization and completely ruin the team dynamic.

3) People aren’t getting hired for “standing out” – they are getting hired for “fitting in”.

I think the solution to this is that instead of advocating that people should fit into a cookie cutter image of what they think they should be,  we should be advocating people to be completely authentic. Especially online. So that they can truly show who they are, which will ultimately help people find organizations they should be working at, and it will also help organizations find the people they want to work for them.

Thoughts?

I saw this headline and immediately got triggered.

Yes, everyone should be aware of what they post online.

Yes, everyone should know that what goes online, stays.

Yes, it would be wise to not use a picture of you passed out under the kitchen sink with large (insert blank) written all over your face.

But, no, it’s ridiculous to think that a couple of Facebook photos would keep people from getting jobs – for a few reasons.

1) Almost any picture that is posted on Facebook could potentially be viewed in a way that makes one look as though they are belligerently drunk. For example, the “Fish Pose” (usually people posing by themselves sucking in their cheeks to appear more model-esque – I think). Who would do that sober?

2) It’s now harder to find people who don’t have atleast one photo that has some reminisce of alcohol – what a forbidden thought, since you know people have been consuming alcoholic beverages since 10,00 B.C and all…

3) If I was an employer looking for people to hire, and I happened to stumble across a few drunken photo’s I wouldn’t think “OMG, who is this horrible human being and how could they think of consuming such an ungodly substance!!!!!!” (Insert evil, terrified, I just saw a zombie raise from the ground face)

But rather….

“I am glad they know how to loosen up and have some fun. I bet they would be a great addition to the office space, because by looking at their photos and wall posts, they look like a rather intelligent, and social being. Cool.”

(Yes I’m over exaggerating and coating it with sarcasm – if you haven’t noticed)
Bottom line. Can we please stop all of this paranoia. Be authentic online, because that’s what you want to get hired for. Wouldn’t you rather work for a company that accepts who you are and what you do, then work for a company that makes you pretend to be someone your not?

To be completely blunt, if your authentic presence is someone who is wild, crazy, belligerent, obnoxious,  and inappropriate – then please don’t hide who you are online, because maybe you shouldn’t be getting hired (right now) anyways.

Disagree with me?- Love to hear your perspective through the comment section below.

As some of you already know, I am a HUGE Seth Godin fan and I’m almost done one of his books, Linchpin. I had promised to blog once a week about the book, and I hate when people use excuses, but I have to say that sometimes my A.D.D + multi tasking + reading too many books at once – sometimes gets the best of me. I know that one of my tweeps to peops #tweepstopeops (Someone you meet on Twitter first, than meet offline), BethanyAWall has been blogging about this book as well. So check it out (and while your at it, read her other posts, too. She is a great writer).

Anyways, one of my most recent thoughts from Linchpin that has been strumming along in my head (Of course to it’s own beat because that’s how I roll) is what Godin writes and advocates about goal setting.

First, I must quote.

“The resistance is happy to set up unachievalbe goals as a way of dissuading you from doing the work. After all, if it’s impossible to achieve something and it’s going to be painful to try, why bother?” (page 147)

What thoughts came to you while reading that?

For me, the first question that came to mind was, “How do we know what ball park our goals should be in, if we have never even swung a d*amn bat?” Yes, I took Godin’s idea and directly related it to the situation I’m currently in. And more specifically what I mean is, “How can you know what goals are attainable and unattainable in the startup world? Especially when you are new to the game, and have nothing else to compare to, so how do we know if we are letting the resitance take over, or are actually setting goals that can be achieved?”

I’ve been thinking about this for the last couple of days. And have finally come to a conclusion I am happy with.

In a startup, you never know if your goals are set too high, unless you roll up your cuffs, put all excuses to the side, and put as much blood, sweat, and tears you possibly can into every little thing that you do. Using the get-it-done-in-the-best-possible-f*cking-way-I-can tenacity. At the end of all of that – after you have filled a metaphorical bucket up with the mixture of your blood, sweat, and tears (gross, I know) and you still haven’t met your goals, then you know that they need to be adjusted the next time around. The cliche expression, “Practice makes perfect” – is cliche for a reason. Because it’s true. And especially true when it comes to knowing your organization, knowing what needs to be done, and knowing how to continually push yourself in order to achieve mind-blowing-earth-shattering-oprah-loving-results.

It’s inevitable that your going to hit road blocks along the way, but the liberating thing is how you choose to persevere through them. That my friends, is a key distinguisher between someone who gives into resistance, and someone who is, indeed, a Linchpin.

Love to hear your feedback.

Cheers,

Chett

Instead of “history”… it’s “herstory”. Instead of “mankind”….it’s “womankind”. And instead of “humanity” its….

Lol. I love this. This is one of the only traditional forms of advertising that has stood out to me in a very long time.

Can anyone guess where it’s from?