§20 – Three words

(Part 32 of 33 in Study inspired by Pakour & Art du Déplacement by V. Thibault)

The idea of selecting three words is an amazing tool. A few years back, Yann Hnautra spent significant time traveling in the United States teaching, but also trying to get a sense of what Art du Déplacement meant there, to those people practicing. Off to the side, at most of the events, someone (who was not Yann) took little cell phone videos where people were asked a series of questions. The idea was that he would be able to watch the videos to get a different viewpoint than he would when running events and training with people; Little moments of private candor as it were.

I was standing, being recorded, when I was introduced to this question. Something like, “how would you describe your practice in three words?” Honestly, I have no idea what I said—sometimes I think I should ask Yann to find my video, but I’m terrified to hear what I said even just those few years ago.

When I started the Movers Mindset podcast I wanted a way to give each episode a specific ending which would be recognizable to the listener, but which would give the guest a framework to wrap up what they had said in their own way. Many podcasts have a rapid-fire section of questions they go to at the end. But I felt that would completely change the pacing; Whatever the pace of the interview was by the end, shifting to a preset, rapid-fire pace would be a jarring change. At some point it occurred to me to ask them for three words to describe their practice.

As the podcast grew, and the guests’ backgrounds began to vary widely, the question proved to be even more powerful than I was at first aware. Ask someone who self-identifies as doing Parkour, FreeRunning or Art du Déplacement for “three words to describe your practice” and exactly what you expect to happen happens. But I soon learned that the word “practice” is itself a powerful tool. Ask someone who self-identifies first as operating a school, as a mother, or as a community leader, and the power of the question is multiplied by their having to select words and unpack “practice.”

In case you’re wondering, I do have three words these days, and of course they are Vincent’s…

force | dignite | partage

They are in French to remind me of the global scale, (of the practice, of people in general, all of it.) I have a wrist band with these words on it. It’s black and the words are black so they are difficult to notice; It’s a reminder for me, not a blaring advertisement.

Two final points: The other side of my wrist band reads, “maximum effort.” My favorite answer given by a podcast guest is, “break all the rules.”

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Spontaneity, creativity and the ability to connect

https://art19.com/shows/clear-vivid-with-alan-alda/episodes/4a35b668-2adc-4aa3-83b0-25ef831568d2

… A lot of it is relaxation. I ran into, the acting guru from the actors studio once, in an airport, and we just chatted. And he said, “you know what the actors in the movies in the 40s had, that was helpful to them? They knew how to make themselves relax on camera.” Because most of them were not experienced or trained actors, and they had to be comfortable. That’s why you constantly saw them lighting a cigarette or sitting on the edge of a desk. Anything to help them relax. And in that relaxation, which you can get other ways if you learn, comes spontaneity, creativity, the ability to connect with the other person, because you’re not worried about yourself. You’re not thinking ‘how am I doing, am I too fat…’

~ Alan Alda

Theirs was a wide-ranging and very interesting conversation about the healing power of music. Around this part, they were talking about how some people seem to be natural-born communicators. In particular, how some people just seem to “fill up a space”—in a good way.

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Imposter syndrome… for the win!

https://howtobeastoic.wordpress.com/2018/03/15/stoic-advice-impostor-syndrome/

while it is always a good idea to question one’s own work, and to be open to outside criticism, if you are a professional in a given field there probably are good reasons to think you know what you are doing, especially when your work gets repeatedly validated externally.

~ Massimo Pigliucci

One of the things I particularly LIKE is the imposter syndrome aspect of my podcast.

“…wait. wat?”

Yes.

You see, there’s an entire universe of “perform interview” skills that I don’t have, and I’m loving learning something entirely new. It’s also pretty much orthogonal to my previous life experience — “listen,” had to learn that. “empathize,” had to learn that. Even this weird thing you have to do to imagine everyone who is listening and try to read the minds of people you are imagining… it’s bonkers. I love it.

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