When we find ourselves on the edge of a precipice, looking down at the depths of the chasm below, it’s easy to think that this time we went too far, that our plan is far too risky, that our product is way too bizarre, that our behavior is just too weird…

The funny thing about perspective is that most bystanders don’t see you standing on a precipice at all. They see someone doing something a little edgy, but by no means nuts.

Just about all commercial behavior is banal. Even in movies that deal with businesspeople, the characters don’t dream nearly big enough about one’s ability to change the culture or the enterprise.

You’re far more likely to go not-far-enough than you are to go too far.

Internal monologue amplifies personal drama. To the outsider, neither exists. That’s why our ledge-walking rarely attracts a crowd. What’s in your head is real, no doubt about it, but that doesn’t mean the rest of us can see the resistance you are battling (or care about it).

Found on: http://sethgodin.typepad.com

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happy_placeBy Penelope Whitson,

November 11, 2013

Having moved to a new city this year I have been forced to meet new people and create polite chit chat about Things and Whatnots as we attempt to find particulars in common and/or things that warn us away from each other, like halitosis and a fondness for feijoas, the most evil of all the fruit.

One new acquaintance asked me what my purpose was in life. I don’t really like these sorts of questions: they demand flippancy and eye rolling. But I was caught off guard and answered both honestly and more than just a little nauseatingly with: I like being happy.

No, stop your vomiting. I like being happy. You probably do too, unless you’re an Eeyore type and secretly get off on being a bit of a grump, in which case, being grumpy makes you happy. Personally, I tend to find happiness in wordery (not actually a word, I know) but possibly yours is in debauchery, or even in cleaning your teeth to a favourably high standard of dental hygiene.

However, regardless of how you find the happy outside of work, sometimes finding happiness in the workplace can be a tough assignment that has seemingly been invented to try the hardiest of souls.

Perhaps you work for local government. There are so many aspects that can affect how you feel about your job happiness levels. Important things like the workmates, the role itself, whether there’s ever any milk in the fridge and is there wine on Fridays.

There are those who will tell you we’re not supposed to particularly enjoy being at work. Because it’s called ‘work’. They say things like ‘well, the money’s great or ‘it’s not for very long’ and ‘it’ll look good on my CV’. They also wear t-shirts stating ‘Life is pain’ and ‘Eeyore for Pope‘. Clearly these people do not follow the school of thought that if you’re happy at work, you tend to do a better job.

I think the key to finding your happy place in the workplace is to start small. Your place of employment supplies toilet paper free of charge? Excellent beginning. What’s next? Agitate for a better class of tea bags or that addictive stuff known as real coffee.

If glee in the office hasn’t come to you, you have to go and find it yourself. Start the happiness revolution. Less ‘iron fist in velvet glove’, more ‘listening to Whitney on your headphones while subduing the spreadsheets’.

Be sneaky – let the good times of high fives start to infiltrate and see how it affects people and the office environment.

There’s a gentle art to taking your happiness where you can find it. You don’t need to announce it to the world but gracefully embrace it, smirking inwardly at your gosh darn good luck to have found your happy place, even if it’s just for a minute, as you steal all the jelly beans from the office lolly jar.

Happiness is like the domino theory and STDs – it’s infectious and catching. Start spreading it today.

Originally published in Idealog #47, page 71

After seeing poverty at its most intense during their overseas travelling, married couple Jason And Jess both knew that they wanted to be involved with something in their life that helped others who were “doing it tough”.

After discovering the Buy-One-Give-One model, where for-profit companies gave away the same item every one sold, Jason and Jess were sold on the idea that businesses can make a lasting and consistent impact by providing for people in need.
When they viewed a documentary on child poverty in NZ, Jason and Jess went to visit some low decile schools to see if the documentary’s claims of children going without, was true. Never believing that children in NZ would go without the basic school resources’ like a school backpack and exercise
books, they met the principal of a primary school in Auckland where approximately half of the 400 juniors would show up to school every day with no bag on their back and no school book to write in.

They found that when children showed up with no books, they were instead given a piece of paper to work on. These bits of paper would often get lost or thrown away, making it difficult for teachers to track student work and for students to retain information and be invested in their education. A lack

of stationery means they cannot record and revise information, resulting in that child falling behind the other children in their class.

Jason and Jess found that a lack of school resources was just one of the trials that many children were experiencing. Those living in extreme poverty come to school with no or little food, live in damp and crowded homes and often miss out on extra-curricular activities like school trips as they could
not afford the extra costs. The reason stationery was chosen was it matched the skills that Jason
and Jess possess. Syncing Jason’s passion for business and Jess’s love for all things creative, they knew that they could combine their skills to make a difference. They both believe in the power of education and how it can change a childs future.
FRANK. is a solution to a small part of a multi faceted issue that is poverty. Jason and Jess hope to not only provide stationery to children in need, but to encourage other businesses in a range of fields to adopt a similar model, whereby collectively the business community can make a sustainable flow
of resources to the people who need it most.
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