how to make it fit into your life
Your heart is burning and your hands itch to do something. Do more.
Your values are not aligned with your actions.
Your values are what matters most to you so not acting on them creates inner conflict.
Yet you don’t see how to resolve it, how to be of (more) use to the various crises of our day.
Some jobs and skills are of obvious use when an aggressor invades a befriended country. Like journalism or jobs that revolve around military or historic knowledge. Some lives are translatable into going off to Ukraine to help or take in refugees in their home. Some minds are well fit for some of the jobs at hand like fighting the information war online or going into politics. Some people have given their lives over to activism or protecting or creating a better world.
And some jobs, lives and minds need more work being translated into how they can contribute best.
Beside that there are various structural elements at play in our society that invite non-action. That these causes are structural mean that they are not personal. It also means that we can move out of the structure that cause us to not act while we do want to, and step into a structure that supports the action we actually want to take on behalf of the outcomes we want to create.
This guide is for the people who's actions are not yet fully aligned with their values. And who want them to be.
You are not clear on how to be of (more) use in protecting what we got and create a better world.
Or you are not clear on how to generate the time and energy and other resources.
Not clear enough to act.
Yet you want to. And you feel conflicted by not doing so.
You watch the various crises of our day. Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the rise of dangerous populists, polarisation in our own circles, deliberate manipulation of information, social and gender inequality on the rise instead of becoming history, not to mention a planet heating up to unlivable conditions. You see what’s building, what it can lead to and and you yearn to be part of creating a future where freedom is still possible on a planet that people and nature can thrive on.
This guide is designed to do 2 things:
- help you organise your life so that your values will be aligned with your actions,
- while making this as easy as possible.
Prizes are scaled so everyone can afford it. All income goes to Ukraine’s fight for freedom.
As a bonus at least two things will happen because of this:
- you will strengthen the combined creative force of human beings to change things for the better
- you will step out of your inner conflict and as a result will be a person who stands on firm ground. This means you will have increased capacity to deal with misinformation, with the information war that is going on which is actually a battlefield in the war for people’s soul
I will go into more detail of both of these things.
strengthen our human capacity to change things
- this is not a small thing. And you are not just one person. Other people will see what you do and their ideas and actions will change because of it, just like your ideas and actions have been changed by other people. We are a herd species, not one of us has ever thought up our ideas and actions in isolation.
- Beginning is a very powerful thing. Philosopher Hannah Arendt said “Beginning, is the supreme capacity of man, politically it is identical with man’s freedom.”
- And to begin something, you have to be willing to not know where it will end. You have to be willing to begin this thing because you care enough about it to want to see it exist.
- Big events in history have often been started by one person, by one small act. The Maidan revolution in 2014 in Ukraine by which people going to the Maidan street, protesting, for many months, led to the dictator wanna be Yanukovych to step down. He had said no to starting the process of Ukraine joining the EU. The people of Ukraine said yes to joining the EU. They wanted democracy, they wanted a better future. One persons social media post started this chain of consequences. This person was a journalist and the thing he did was posting something on Facebook. In Russian. But this small act would have counted for nothing if many more people hadn’t responded to it by protesting on the streets. or by doing one of the many, many invisible things that are needed in support of the visible things that make the history books. By supplying food for the protester, and medical aid, a place to sleep, clothes (it was winter), legal aid, education.
- There is a word for this and it is civil society. Historian Timothy Snyder defines civil society as ‘people leaning forward into forms of cooperation that have political consequences’ and as ‘people leaning forward to do the things they can do’.
- Many parts of bombed cities in Ukraine have already been repaired. They have been repaired in the middle of the war with every chance that another bomb might destroy the freshly repaired parts. How did this happen? This happened because neighbours came and did what they knew how to do. And why did they do this? Because of the outcome they want to see both in Ukraine as a whole as in their street, a better tomorrow.
end your inner conflict
your values + as easy as possible
The combination of something being value based and as easy as possible means that whatever it is you are going to do, you will be able to sustain it, keep doing it. Within the limitations of your life and body and adjusting to change as you go.
How does this work?
Values are those things that are most important to you.
‘YOUR’ stresses the fact that they must be yours truly. Other people’s ideas of what is most important tend to motivate us only for a short while. Our own values can keep us going a lifetime.
Doing something based on your values means you want to. You want to do this more than anything else. And this is the single best motivator there is because of the ‘more than anything else’ part. You know your heart. You might or you might not necessarily like that this matters to you, but nevertheless you got your priorities straight. And priorities coming from within are like an engine that is very hard to stop working.
And this is a crucial if.
easy as possible
If we manage to make it as easy as possible, meaning we organise this TOGETHER WITH with the other things that are important to us as well so they won’t start conflicting. This is so relevant that without it we won’t be able to sustain our efforts. Easy as possible does not mean it will be easy. It means we can prevent it from being harder than necessary.
This is also were things can seem to get difficult and impossible. This is, as I have found in facilitating this process to people, where we easily mess up. Wanting some things by default means we can’t have some other things. That is part of being human and is a phenomenon called conflicting tension resolution systems. Did you ever pursue a goal and gave it up because you couldn’t keep it up given the circumstances of your life? This guide will teach you how to manage conflicting tension resolution systems. This is a skill set that allows you to create outcomes you want. You will be able to use it in all aspects of your life where you are pursuing a certain outcome.
So, our various global challenges need people who’s hard work is driven by their own values and is organised to be as easy as possible. Obviously, because the protection of freedom and a better future needs people for the long run.
Democracy is not a thing but a doing
Democracy and freedom are extremely rare in human history. And without it our chances of having social equality become much less. Social inequality means we are dooming large groups of society into putting their energy into fighting for equally in the best of times and fighting for safety and survival in the worst of times. So without freedom, without social equality, who are left to create a better world, who are left to fix the climate crisis? And will they?
Democracy means that we have a set of institutions aimed to prevent humanity’s dark side to take over. It is not perfect. It is never without conflict. Even more so, conflict is an inherent part of it because of it is organised around its main value which is freedom. Where people are free they are free to not agree. To speak truth to power.
Democracy is not a done thing and history tells us it is very much not unbreakable. It is a bunch of ideas and rules that guide and bind people’s actions within institutions in order to keep our human desires for power in check. Democracy is a structure that allows for freedom, allows for social equality, for sharing, it allows for taking good care of our surroundings, ourselves and each other. Allows for. It does not do all these things by itself nor have we already created all of this to perfection. But by having created democracy we have created the possibility to create these other things.
Autocracy is a structure that does not allow for freedom and social equality and taking good care of each other and the world we live in. Which is not to say that these things cannot exist at all under a totalitarian system but their existence is actively hindered. (In the same way various forms of unfreedom can exist under democracy but their existence is actively hindered.) The structure of autocracy instead invites for distrust amongst people, for greed, for shortage, for huge inequality, fear.
These institutions are nothing without people acting on behalf of them, valuing them, protecting them. Paradoxically enough this goes for the structure of autocracy as well as for the structure of democracy. The people acting on behalf of them are you and me, even when we are not in politics.
History teaches us how vulnerable democracies are. As a human species we ares still in kindergarten of figuring out how to do this freedom thing. How to be free as a group in a way that can continue generation after generation after generation. How to keep our destructive tendencies in check while inviting our creative tendencies to flourish. But the two post war generations have forgotten how easily everything can change. How all the privileges of our western world can collapse.
Many hands and minds and a long breath are needed to protect and keep freedom. Many have been working on it for a long time already, many more are needed.
Quotes from lecture TS ‘Future of Democracy’
Democracy is not a thing that has a future or doesn’t have a future
Democracy is a set of human relationships that only exist as far as humans name them and value them.
Does democracy have a future?
The odds are against it at the moment
Do we as a species have a future without democracy?
The people who tend to be in favour of global warming also tend to be the people who are against democracy.
Of we were more democratic we would be handling global warming better. Nationally and internationally
Structures that invite non-action xxxxxxx
This guide helps you to deliberately refocus from the short term to the middle and long term. And from vagueness to clarity.
Both are needed to go from wanting to doing.
In the short term focus we can only see the trees and so will only act
vagueness in the future bad stuff paralyses
Maybe you can foresee all kinds of vague bad possibilities in our future and
It assumes that you want good things to happen and want to work for those good things to happen.
It also assumes that there might be structural reasons at play why we don’t fully manage to align our doing with our wanting.
There are structural reasons in play that keep us in short term and in vagueness.
By the way, many things that I learned about structure and the dynamics of structure I learned from Robert Fritz, whose work I highly recommend. The way I write about it here is my own interpretation.
So there are all kinds of structural reasons in play which keep our minds on the short term. Here are 4 of them.
When bombs fall on your city you will move to protect. Maybe yourself, maybe others, maybe your country. The structure of being in war NOW moves you into action.
When bombs fall in another country, the structure of that situation can still move you into protecting but it also still allows for the opposite of action. Going on with our lives, living in the short term, even though with hurting hearts.
When a wanna-be dictator is chosen into your government system you might be more prone to move to protect democrcay if he is the president then if he is one of the opposition parties.
Having threats be relatively far away from you is a privilege. Being not under direct threat right now is a privilige and it allows for going on with our lives simply because of the fact that our daily lives lives right now are not turned upside down by it.
Another element of this is that the old parts of our brains are wired for reacting to immediate threat, the tiger, the lion. Long term thinking is not an instinct as our immediate reaction to danger is. Instead it is a discipline. A discipline is something ‘unnatural’, something that we need to actively train in, engage in, master. The parts of our brain who are able to do long term thinking are only fully developped when we reach adulthood. Furthermore, it is not trained in our educational systems or as an established skill that we raise our kids with like riding a bicycle.
It doesn’t help either that our society is structured for being crazy busy and moving fast. You must have friends as well as I do who can only only see you in 6 weeks time when you schedule to meet them. And just for diner and a short walk. I am that friend as well sometime.
Burn-out is a very ‘popular’ disease these days and it is caused by an imbalance between stress and recovery. Just now on a walk I saw a man driving a pony cart. Recreational of course. We are very high tech here in the Netherlands 😉 But just consider for a minute what it would be like if your life went at the speed of a pony cart instead of at the speed of instant delivery of messages, of movies on your laptop, trinkets from China. You would probably have more brain space to notice what is happening
And we are not just busy with real things like making money, paying the bills and taking care of our families. We have an endless supply of distractions from reality available to us via our phones. Wonderful ones as well as deliberatly designed to be addictive ones. And some are both.
This structure of busyness and speed is not unavoidable. You can escape it. For sure. The thing is, you have to work to escape it and when you don’t work at it it sweeps you up. Being busy and doing life fast is the path of least resistance within the structure of our western society. Knowing this is structural, not personal, can help a person step into another structure where they do spend all their time on what matters most to them.
sowing the seeds of doubt xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx
Whether we like it or not we are all subject to propaganda. You will need to do
conflict manipulation. false information like separatist in east ukraine, nato having tempted putin. fear mongering
If you ever come online and spend some time on one of the social platforms you will have encountered social blackmail. It comes from people actively supporting a certain cause. Some of them let it be known that if you don’t spend time, energy or money on the same cause you are ‘willingly allowing this wrong to continue’.
I have seen people say this who I consider really good people doing really good work for really good causes. What I think the overlook is the fact that people have values of their own. they seem to assume good behaviour needs to be forced
And I have seen this fallacy used as a strategy by trols and people who are delibeartely trying to manipulate people into their narrative.
And it is true. You just have to image ‘alll of the German people’ and what would have happened if they all would have stood up to Hitler.
And then there’s reality. And in reality we have to choose.
And hopefully we are chosing well and will choose well when push comes to shove.
If you are susceptible to these forced value choices then you will quickly find your self spread thin, confused or overwhelmed into passivity.
And there is another structural element at play. Moral policing being done online, you’d think that there is something wrong with you for not sticking up for what they think you should stick up to.
Propaganda. information was designed to confuse and paralyse.
structures in our mind xxxxxx
Above I mentioned structures that generate a path of least resistance towards non-action that play outside of ourselves. Structures in the way our society is set up. Let’s call them external structures.
Now I will describe a few structures which can play out inside people’s minds which set up the path of least resistance to non-action. Internal structures. This is a section which you can easily skip if you don’t think you need it and come back to at need (when clarity seems to slip away from you). I will explain shortly the ideal-belief-reality conflict. The structure of the social ideal, the existential ideal, of mysteries explained and of fear of imaginary negative consequences and point to where you can learn more about them.
So, given that I have studied, practised and facilitated how to organise life and business around what matters most to people, for the last 5 years, I decided to create a helping hand to get people moving where they already want to go anyway.
How does it work?
I have designed this little guide to be flexible to your needs and wants.
It is available as an e-book.
As an online process to move through at your own pace and choosing your own bread crumb trail to the goal: having your actions be aligned with your values.
And maybe some day also as audio and live or recorded workshops.
It does that in way that makes you understand the forces in play, both in the scenario of having and not having your actions aligned with your values. It is designed as teaching a skillset that I hope will some day be taught in every school, the principles of creating.
After each part you can choose whether to continue along the standard tour or take shortcuts or detours.
You can always go back to sections you have skipped.
The end goal is for you to take up your role as active protector of freedom or another aspect of a better future.
You will have to do all of the thinking yourself. What matters most to you, what you have as a basis for creating it. How to make the most out of those resources and limitations. How to shape the path from where you are to where you want to end up.
These questions might be too big to answer right now but you will have answered them, and satisfyingly so, at the end of this process. This guide will help you think through all of it. And if you do the work you will be amazed at how much clarity you can generate and how much effective action can come out of that clear space. This is a guarantee I can give you. I have seen and experienced it happening many times.
As a bonus you will now consciously understand the mechanics of a process of creation, where before you might have been capable of creating outcomes in your life but possibly without fully understanding how you did it. You can use this knowledge for all other areas in your life, business and work in which you’d like to create certain outcomes.
Everything will be in English so a broader group of people can use this tool. I am not fully fluent in English but it will have to do. If there is demand for a Dutch version I might consider creating it.
Send me an email if you want to be kept posted of new postings.