Category Archives: Experiences

Every diamond has its flaws

everyDiamondHasItsFlaws
Over the years I’ve become a bit of an amateur gem collector. I don’t know why I became so interested in gemstones, but its might have something to do with my interest for chemistry, their unique physical properties, the advanced mathematics formulas that are used to calculate how each stone should be cut to get it to shine brightest or simply their beauty.
Above all other gemstones diamonds fascinates me the most. Diamonds consists of the same chemical element as your pencil. Diamonds as all other gemstones are created by extreme amounts of pressure and temperature, and humans have managed to mimic those conditions, and to make synthetic gemstones, but these synthetic gemstones have a lot of differences to the reel ones.
Every natural diamond, no matter how brilliant and clean, has microscopic “impurities” that distinguishes it from the lab created diamond, despite of these “impurities” real diamonds has a hardness of 10 on moll’s scale, and are the hardest material known to man.
This has become the origin of one of my life-rules: everything that has no flaws is fake, or counterfeit. It might sound a bit depressing, but I’ll have to disagree. If nothing in this world is perfect, that means that it’s acceptable for me to be imperfect too.
I had a period a while back where I thought I had to be perfect at everything, and frankly it was exhausting! I was exhausted and unhappy all the time, because everything I did was about pleasing someone else. Mates, don’t try to be perfect, be yourself, you’ll be a lot happier!
“Every diamond has its flaws” doesn’t just apply to humans, but it applies to items, business transactions and so forth. In these areas of life “Every diamond has its flaws” have pretty much the same applications as “If it’s too good to be true, it probably is.” Always double check things that sounds too good to be true and it can save you a lot of time and money.
I want to end with a thought for you to think about. Natural diamonds have a higher value than lab created diamonds, even though it is possible to create much more beautiful diamonds in a lab. Why?
I think it’s because forgeries or imitations will never become as great or beautiful as the original, even though they are more perfect.

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Creativity

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We often forget how important creativity is. Every child is creative, but somewhere in live we lose our creative abilities. I think our creativity gets crushed under the massive pile of books that we have to learn by heart in various educational institutions, and after a while we are so focused on learning things by heart and to do everything the right way, and suddenly there’s no room for creativity.
While we have the gift of life, it seems to me the only tragedy is to allow part of us to die – whether it is our spirit, our creativity or our glorious uniqueness.
Gilda Radner
I don’t think we realise how valuable creativity is in our personal lives and in business. Let’s start with taking a look at the importance of creativity in the business world.  Creativity is vital in the creation of new products, new ideas, advertisement and problem solving. If you look at it creativity is vital in every process of most businesses, because most businesses follow this pattern. You first have to create the product or come up with an idea of a service you want to sell. Then you have to advertise the product, and you always have to solve problems, and many of these problems won’t have a straight forward solution, and therefore you have to be creative.
Creativity involves breaking out of established patterns in order to look at things in a different way.
Edward de Bono

The personal benefits of creativity are different. While you in business use creativity as a tool to succeed, the personal benefits of creativity are joy and peace. Creativity is a great way to express your emotions, and think we all have experienced how good it’s to express what we fell. This isn’t about how you express your emotions, but that you do it. Another good thing about being creative is that you use the right part of your brain. The left side of the brain is the side you use the most in the daily life, and it’s main tasks is logic, facts, math and language, and after a long day at work this part of the brain will most likely be tired, and therefore being creative and access emotions and imagination will rest the left part of the brain, and use the right side instead. This will be relaxing and give you new energy.
Personally I try to paint as often I can. I’m not a great painter, but I enjoy it, and it’s a great emotional release. What creative spare time activities do you have?

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Leadership part I: Type of motivation…

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Different types of leaders use different methods of motivation, to motivate the employees. The two classical motivational methods are known as the carrot and the stick. The carrot is that if you work well, you get benefits, and therefore the employees will work as hard as they can to achieve these benefits. The stick on the other hand takes advantage of the employees fear to make them work as hard as they can, so they don’t lose their jobs.

Personally I prefer using another motivations method. Instead of motivating people by giving them money or threatening to fire them, I prefer to make the work a purpose in itself. I believe that people who enjoy the work they are doing they will do it well, and be effective. To make this work there you have to hire people who are passionate about their work. This is easily seen in a job interview. Personally I would rather hire someone who is passionate about their work, than someone that has excellent credentials and is indifferent, because a person that is passionate will yearn to learn more about their field of expertise, and therefore they will improve over time. Passionate people also improved the work environment. Have you ever worked with someone that was indifferent? It is a pain! They don’t carry their share of the work, and become a burden for the rest.

To just hire people who are passionate isn’t enough. Step two is to make the work environment pleasant. There are many studies that prove that breaks, plants, good lighting and social encounters outside work actually makes people work faster. The short version is, make the office interior nice and pleasant, but not cozy, give them long enough breaks so they have time to eat, chat a bit with coworkers or just relax a couple of minutes, but not so long that they lose focus, encourage coworkers to socialize outside work hours, and last but not least as a CEO, VP or any type of leader, be accessible for questions, and be friendly, but even though your main goal is to be friendly be direct and crystal clear about what you tolerate and what you don’t tolerate.

This is just my preferred method. If you do it differently I would love to hear how you run your company!

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The start of something new

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When you start doing something new it’s both exciting and terrifying at the same time. A new world is reviled to you, and you absorb everything, every feeling, every sound and every new bit of information.

This was how it felt for me when I started blogging two weeks ago, and it continued when I made my own website williamcharlesblackwell.net a few days ago. Before I started I thought that I had everything under control, and that it would go smoothly, but it has been an uphill battle, not in a bad way, but in a challenging and good way.

I think it’s the same way with other things too, you can think you have everything under control when you start, but when you actually stand there you have no idea what you are supposed to do, and you just have to take a leap.

Don’t be afraid to do new things. You have to be willing to fail to succeed. No one are able to do something perfect the first time. Thomas Edison tried almost 10 000 times before he managed to make the light bulb, and he isn’t remembered for all the times he failed, but he’s remembered for succeeding.

I have not failed. I’ve just found 10,000 ways that won’t work. – Thomas A. Edison

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Build yourself up

buildyourself

Both in business life and in personal life we encounter obstacles and though times. In these times it is great to have friends and associates who is there to support you, but there is times when even those you believed would always be there for you leave you. I have experienced this myself in times of sickness or extreme tribulation. You suddenly stand alone with no one to keep you from crumbling into dust. It is in those times when you have no one believing in you, no one supporting you and no one standing by your side that you have to show everyone what you are made of.  You have to build yourself up.

This is how I do it:

I find quotes that I memorise and hold on to when I feel like I can’t manage to take another step. One of my favorite quotes is “When you’re going through hell, keep going.” – Winston Churchill. I also do the same with bible verses.

I also take a couple of minutes in the morning to stand in front of the mirror and say to myself; “You can do this. You’re a smart strong man that can do anything if you just try hard enough.  Today is going to be a great day.” I encourage myself until I believe what I am saying to myself.

I set aside some time to do whatever I want. It doesn’t matter how much I have to do, or how busy I am, I do it for myself. Sometimes I watch a movie, other times I go shopping, other times I just lay in bed and listen to music, but my favorite thing to do is to shoot with bow and arrow.  In this period of time I have no agenda other than having fun and relax.

These things are not only useful in times of tribulation, but also in everyday life. There is always useful to build oneself up, whether you have an army at your side or stand alone in the battlefield.

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First rule of business

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This may not be a well-known as the first rule of business, but this is my first rule of business. I learned this rule from my father, who single handed provided for our family. He was and still is a great entrepreneur and businessman. I have learned a lot about business from him, but the most important thing I learned was this rule:
“Do what you love, and you will succeed!”
This doesn’t imply that if you do something you love, everything will magically work out. The world doesn’t work like that, but if you love what you do, you have a reason to persevere even when things seems impossible.
Another way to say this is “it’s all about motivation”. When you are motivated to do something it’s because you have found a porpoise of the things you do that is greater than the action itself. This motivation can be anything, but I believe the greatest motivation is love, whether that love is for the activity itself or for one or several people that you want to give the best life possible. My father was motivated by both the love of his job, and his love for our family, and he became great.
So when you do something don’t ask what is needed, but ask yourself what you’re passionate about, what motivates you and what makes you come alive. Sometimes we have to do things we don’t have to do things we don’t want to do, but that’s not what this post is about. This post is about you following your hearth. Take my father’s advice, my first rule of business: “Do what you love, and you will succeed!”

This post is dedicated to my father.
– Dad I love you with all my heart even though I don’t say it.

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Be confident

 

confidence

Believe in yourself! Have faith in your abilities! Without a humble but reasonable confidence in your own powers you cannot be successful or happy.

Norman Vincent Peale 

Life is not easy for any of us. But what of that? We must have perseverance and above all confidence in ourselves. We must believe that we are gifted for something and that this thing must be attained.
Marie Curie 

 

We all have insecurities and shortcomings, but we can’t let them define us. We need to believe that we can do whatever we want to do, and if we fail, we try and try again until we succeed. To be confident is not the same as believing that one’s self is perfect, but it’s to believe that you will succeed in spite of one’s shortcomings.

I had a period in my life where I was questioning my strength and abilities in everything, and I thought that my shortcomings in the past proved that I couldn’t do the same things in the present. I decided that I would try at least to do some things, and I experienced that every time I failed, I managed to come a little closer to the goal. That experience gave me the confidence to try other things that I had failed at in the past, and after a while I realised that I could do almost anything if I just tried, and tried until I succeed.

There are some things that I still can’t do, one of them is singing. I have a horrible voice, and some people have even asked me if I’m tone-deaf, but even thou I still have shortcomings I won’t let them make me insecure. I believe that to be confident is a choice, and I have chosen to be confidence and meet every challenge with a smile.

None of us are perfect, but to be confident all we need is to believe in ourselves, and not let past mistakes and shortcomings hold us back in the present.

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