Bratwurst, urbanism, sunrise…
What are your three words for this week?
Recently I watched the 90s movie “Before Sunrise” for the first time. Wow! It’s AWESOME! It’s about two people who meet on a train and spend a day wandering around Vienna. It’s romantic. It’s beautiful. I absolutely loved it.
(Spoiler alert) in the movie there is a short scene where they meet a street poet who writes them a poem. It seems to capture the feeling, the moment, the possibilities.
Wandering around Mauerpark in Berlin yesterday I came across Dan Sigurd, a real-life street poet. Of course I had to give him three words.
“Sunrise” because it reminded me of the movie. “Urbanism” because I was with my good friend Regina Schröter Head of Community at All Things Urban. “Bratwurst” because it was market day and there was the smell of sausage stalls everywhere.
This is what he came up with:
I think it’s pretty cool! It captured perfectly a moment, a friendship, and a feeling of Berlin. I told him how much I loved it.
“They’re your words” he replied. “You write your own story”.
This stuck with me. We write our own stories. There is a whole bunch of science on the “Tetris Effect”. It’s when we train our brains to look for patterns. If we’re looking for tetris blocks that’s what we find everywhere. We write our own story based on what we focus on. If you’ve ever tried keeping gratitude journals, this is why they are so powerful. They train us to seek out the positives in our lives.
When we think about our work, choosing a word or three to focus on for the week can train our minds to look out for those things. For example, I chose the word “playful” back in January. It reminded me to try to hold situations, challenges, and problems a little more lightly. When I felt myself getting worked up about a situation or when my perfectionism kicked in, coming back to the word “playful” helped me to step back, and see if I could experiment with situations. After a week or so it started becoming a habit, I was taking playful approaches to most situations, and I was suddenly seeing possibilities open up. I suddenly had options.
So many of our thoughts are occupied by our work. What we choose to think about, and how we choose to think about it determine the story we write for ourselves.
Why don’t you try it? What are your three words today?
PS public service warning: if you choose “bratwurst” as one of your words and you’re in Berlin, you will eat a lot of sausages!