Smile like a Tunisian

It is no secret that Tunisia is a dear country/city to me, it has a wonderful nature, exceptionally nice people, superb spirit and a long history of intellectual culture, and of course its people are always smiling :). But that is not the reason why I’m writing this week’s tip.

You see, since 2007, while I work across the Middle East and Africa, my travel schedule is usually very filled, and traveling across east and west is not exactly a bus trip, so you can imagine hours of travel with all the complexity of getting visas on short notice and even the absence of daily flights depending on the country boarding from and many more…

However, in about 20 countries I covered, there’s always something that has been a bit different about Tunisia; No matter how things went wrongtires-300x200, they eventually work out at the last minute. I can name many MANY examples, of when I thought I will miss speaking at events because flights were delayed, or that there was a 90% chance that I WON’T be able to get Visa on time or simply because a combination of all of the above made me feel like pushing my luck to the extreme to succeed.

You would really laugh when you read the details of most of my travel plans, how I needed to speak in 3 countries in 4 days, while there’s like only one chance for me to make it on time and it would be if I take one exact flight and I could make it to the airport on time with no traffic and there was no delays at customs and no delays on the flights and and and… so Chances of Success was like 1 in 75… And it was a huge risk… But yet things ALWAYS worked out… Only in that specific country…

So then I learned this wonderful trick to make me overcome the complexity of everything… SMILING… Yes I used to Smile :), and know that despite all the VIVID complexities and risks, things will work out. I was smiling like a Tunisian. 

And I still remember talking with a friend/colleague there (Selma) who was normally panicking x 100 because she’s the one organizing a training or workshop where I need to speak in…

“Don’t Worry Selma, Things will work out, they always do… It’s Tunisia, and GOD Loves Tunisia…”

Now in our life, there are so much complexities that arise while we are trying to accomplish something, and most would seem like very tiny details that could mess up everything, remember to keep your spirit high, and to smile, cause then the universe will smile back at you, and things will just work out. Smile like those wonderful people! Remember: Keep your Spirit High, Look up to the Skies and Smile like a Tunisian.

Have a great week!

Cheers,
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

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Be like a baby… Then Grow up!

If you ever had the opportunity to study Psychology, one of the foundation of this magnificent study will be about learning, and how do we learn. And to be able to understand the evolution of the Brain & Mind in this, they normally start with studying babies.

There’s a fascinating small game that parents play with their infant child, that is almost universally known as “PEEK-A-POO”, where the parent (adult) hide his or her face from the child and then show it again with the work “PEEK-A-Poooooo” (Where I come from the word was “BAA’OOUSSI”) and the look on the child’s face at that moment, is priceless :).

For those of us who are not too technical on this, The Game is nice, brings positive vibes and simply fun and easy to play with a child; In Psychology, the explanation of that, is simple… The Infant’s Brain at that stage of Learning, REALLY THINKS THAT THE OTHER PERSON DISAPPEARED! and throughout time, the game will start being less interesting as the child develop the understanding of how it works.

Now moving on to another very nice thing about babies, when they start to walk or talk… Their first attempts are always the most important and most desired to witness by their parents… It doesn’t have to be perfect… in fact, NOONE ever is expecting a child’s first words would be “To Be or Not to Be… That is the Question” :P; but instead they might start speaking in a very alienated form of speech until one day they say something that sounds like “DA DA”, or the day when the child will try to stand up by themselves and then fall down in a cute and adorable way.

Now what would be the role of the parents at that stage… in simple terms:

Protecting > Encouraging > Motivating > Correcting > Raising the Bar
(and then starting this all over again)

You see a child saying “DA DA” is different than a 10 years old speaking like that… So first there’s a safe environment to actually innovate and do whatever you like, then you get the encouragement to do so, then you get a cheerful motivation, and a correction but then the parent is no longer impressed by that attempt, and then they require more efforts 🙂

This week’s tip, is pointing out that each one of us, learn in different ways, but most importantly gets motivated in different ways, and therefor, by applying the simple rules of parenting… An employee can be encouraged to start learning something new, to excel in their field and become innovative…

And Although you may think that this Tip is dedicated for Managers… You are right… But you are your own MANAGER… and You need to start motivating yourself using those rules… And you Will succeed…

Start small, Encourage yourself to try, Reward your self for the small improvement, correct yourself, raise the bar and then REPEAT.

Enjoy your Week!

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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

Be ready to make mistakes, don’t take things too seriously

By the end of 2015, I got asked a simple question, it was more of a concern than it was a question… “What if I failed?” combined with “What if taking this step was a mistake?”

I normally smile when I hear such concerns, because they reflect a lot about the person who is asking the question… And My answer would be that simple… “It’s Ok! So What?”

“Sometimes the questions are complicated and the answers are simple.” ~Dr. Seuss

We normally fail to achieve so many goals, because of the chance that we will fail in doing them, because of the chance that we may be wrong in the first place, or unsure about our capacity, and most importantly, because we are too AFRAID of Failure.

In the practice of Creativity and Innovation, one needs to be willing to make mistakes, and start all over, or even divert to a different direction as part of the process and repeat that over and over and over! and believe it or not, that’s the way you would be able to come up with great ideas.

This week’s tip, is not about being afraid, or about failure… It’s about the attitude, YES, the attitude. 

You need to start your project, with the attitude that you might fail, and it’s OK;
You need to start your project, with the attitude that you will embrace your mistakes;

You need to start your project knowing that the ending point, might not be the same as you expect it to be and it’s Still OK!

Do you want to succeed? then be ready to make mistakes and don’t take things too seriously… It’s not the end of the world, the more you do mistakes, the less your mistakes will have a major impact, and slowly, you will start having less and less… until you have very few.. It’s called Experience!

Cheers,
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

It Only Takes One Small Change… To Change Everything!

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Richard Douglas “Dick” Fosbury (born March 6, 1947) is one of the most influential athletes in the history of track and field. He revolutionized the high jump event, inventing a unique “back-first” technique, now known as the Fosbury Flop, adopted by almost all high jumpers today. His method was to sprint diagonally towards the bar, then curve and leap backwards over the bar.

You see at one point in time, some Olympic records (in this case, the High Jump record) were already set and with very few progress on breaking them. Until one day Dick Fosbury did something unexpected and tried to Jump Backward or with His Back first, he did a FLOP, that made him break the high score record… And ever since that day, High Jumps are all using this FLOP method…

Same Thing in Life, we sometimes need to do a change, maybe something small, but that change will Change everything!

And that my friend, is the essence of innovation! we would be limited with our boundaries, until we would try to do something different with what we have!

Enjoy your Week!
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Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project

The Secret to Innovation: Dance Like Nobody’s Watching!

“Sing like no one is listening,
Love like you’ve never been hurt,
Dance like nobody’s watching,
and live like it’s heaven on earth.”

~Mark Twain

In my pursuit of Finding Innovation, I’ve studied the trends and the essences of what made the great innovators of our times INNOVATIVE, what were the patterns, and how can they be replicated, and then I went deep down to analyse their dynamic behavior to the hope that I would find the secret…  

I also traveled around the Middle East & Africa, and worked closely with hundreds of Educators on the topics of Innovation in Learning & Teaching and noticed the same conclusion of what would constitute the secret of being “Innovative”.

Steve Jobs, didn’t believe in focus groups. Actually, he avoided them like the plague. Jobs believed in building great products that he would want to use himself.

Once you want to free your mind about a concept of harmony and music being correct, you can do whatever you want. So nobody told me what to do and there was no preconception of what to do.

~Giovanni Giorgio

So The Secret & Common Pattern that I Found in the heart of the great innovators of our times, is that they did things that they would want for themselves, music they would like to listen to, books they wanted to read, technology that would excite them… Without caring if the rest of the world will actually like it or not.

Our Tip for this week, is to find the essence of Innovation within you. So you can do the following 3 simple steps and repeat them as necessary 🙂

  1. Ask yourself this question: “If I was the Last person on Earth, and I wanted to use this product, What should it be like?” Think that you’re the last person on earth and there’s literally no one to judge your product, and no one else to use it.
  2. Think of it as a Legacy: if you’re going to leave this product for your children to use it after you do, what would you want them to think about it? don’t think too much, JUST MAKE IT AS GOOD AS IT CAN POSSIBLY BE!
  3. Frankenstein it 🙂 : Make your product ALIVE, in a way that it will continue being great without you being involved, whether it was an article, a book, a software, a technology or whatever it was… Bring your stroke of innovation to awaken it to change the world.

I Still remember the discussion I’ve had with my Editor when I was in the process of Publishing my first national Best selling book, when she was telling me that my writing style was too casual for a non-fiction book and there’s a risk that the audience not liking it… I smiled and told her that I’ve simply written it in the Style I would’ve loved to Read :); She did a great job afterwards preserving that touch .

Have a great week & Cheers,
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If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said faster horses.”
–Henry Ford

Samer Chidiac

Samer Chidiac is a Sr. Strategist, Author & an International Innovation Expert.

The Monday Tip Weekly blog is part of the “Influencing the Life of Others” project