SHiFT 2016 - Day 5 | Eastman Innovation Lab

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SHiFT design camp

SHiFT 2016 - Day 5

16 June 2016


One word describes today. HOT! I’ve seen thermometers burst from the heat in those old Looney Tune cartoons but until now, I’ve never actually seen one in real life. Go Figure.

Today we got to experience a few more empathic team building exercises and got a briefing on our final project. I’ll talk more about that in tomorrow’s post because what I really want to focus on was today's Campfire Conversation.

Jeevak Badve is an Industrial Designer, father, husband, ferocious reader, a fan of astronomy and mythology. (rumor has it he can bust out some really good Bollywood moves as well). Tonight he was all these as well as just the regular person whom I sat across from at dinner. He has brought his son with him to Shift. I watch him play with him, teach him and encourage his son’s level of curiosity.  I’m strongly reminded of my own son whom I miss greatly but will see soon.

To try and summarize Jeevak’s campfire conversation is like trying to do an impersonation of Robin Williams, you may get the words across but the spark just isn't the same. Here we go anyway.

Be Tenacious!

Jeevak recalls the story of a Hungarian champion right-handed pistol shooter looking to compete in the 1940 Olympics. In a freak army training exercise, a grenade exploded, destroying his right hand. He was faced with two options. 1)
Lay down and die or 2) Continue on with the hand that he had and be the best shooter he can still be. There was no other choice for him but to continue on. Continue on he did. It may have taken longer than it would have if he still had
his right hand but he did attain his goals.  You always hear that you can’t see the world in the terms of black & white, and for the most part, I think this is true. However, I think that in the terms of life & death, in “to do” or “do not,” maybe there isn’t much room for grays. (aka doubt in one’s self and one’s goals).

Find your own constellation.

All these million points of stars represent all that’s in front of you, the good, the bad, the evil things, the better things. the distractions. Try and Pick those stars that align and balance with you. Make a mindful effort to choose your goals and then use that tenacity to go and achieve them. Choose your own beliefs, goals and go follow them. Don’t hitch you star to another

Base your life goals on your own strengths.

Jeevak goes into a parable (based on the book Soaring with your strengths by Don Clifton & Paula Nelson. The story is based around a baby rabbit who goes to school and excels at running. For a while, this pleases the bunny until he tries swimming and flying, which he doesn’t do well at. To try and improve at these sports, his parents refuse to let him run so he can focus on swimming and flying. This, in turn, makes the little bunny depressed. So the moral Jeevak is making is that there will always
be weakness somewhere. If you have strengths and you know them, you must keep a
student mentality and always build on your strengths.

Whatever you do, make sure it will be it’s own original idea.

What makes you unique? What makes you an original thinker? What every you do, infuse as much of yourself into it as you can. There are no other people who are just like you. Also, don’t get hung up on the destination but be mindful of
the journey.

The Ordinariness of Goodness

If you have a good strong, authentic, original idea or goal and you work towards it a little every day, you can move mountains. You don’t need a super rock star type person to help you, you can do it yourself. We have all been taught through mythology, movies and society to wait around for some superhero to come save the day. We don’t need that. If you want to be a great sketch artist, then start sketching everyday. It doesn’t have to be all day. Start out small and build upon that. It may be uncomfortable but that’s how your grow. Step out of your comfort zone. You may surprise yourself

Routine is not a bad word

If you are doing day in and day out what you love to do.Then that's who you are. It could be your family, your job or whatever. It is possible to have a happy routine. It many ways it’s not even a routine, it’s just you living a
great life that happens to have structure. Just roll with it.

Lastly, you have an insatiable curiosity…for everything…even math.

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