💎 Friday Gems #1 (Visual Thinking Strategies, Freudenfreude, Mortality)
Three ideas to help you unleash your potential.
I am starting a new series in which I will share ideas that have caught my interest during the week; these ideas, or gems, as I like to call them, have leveled up my thinking, made me think differently, and helped me grow as a result. I want to share these gems with you because they can help you grow and power your potential.
It's time to break free from all the noise and boost the signal with these Friday Gems to help unleash your creative potential.
Let's do it!
💎 Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS)
I recently attended a workshop on Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS). VTS is a research-based methodology for leading and participating in discussions around complex and ambiguous topics.
In the workshop, we looked at a piece of art, and then the facilitator lead the discussion to explore the art and what the art meant to the participants. What I thought was going to be an exercise in improving my observation skills instead helped me:
Gain self-awareness: I checked my biases as I heard everyone else share their understanding of the artwork.
Value multiple perspectives: It helped me slow down to listen and value the diversity of thought that each of us brought to the discussion.
Become comfortable with ambiguity: We were working towards no right ending. We were sharing our thoughts and ideas, that's it. Being comfortable with not knowing and moving forward was a valuable practice.
VTS is a way to promote visual literacy, which has been described as:
“…the ability to find meaning in imagery. It involves a set of skills ranging from simple identification (naming what one sees) to complex interpretation on contextual, metaphoric and philosophical levels. Many aspects of cognition are called upon, such as personal association, questioning, speculating, analyzing, fact-finding, and categorizing. Objective understanding is the premise of much of this literacy, but subjective and affective aspects of knowing are equally important.” - Philip Yenawine
To say VTS completely changed the way I look at conversations now would be an understatement. Now I have the tools to communicate effectively and improve my listening skills, which will help me improve my communication skills in all parts of life.
VTS is designed to help you cultivate:
Critical thinking skills
Comfort with ambiguity
Stay tuned for more as I dive into Visual Thinking Strategies and learn more about this fascinating methodology.
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💎 Freudenfreude (Word of the day)
How have I not heard about Freudenfreude before? I love that in German, there is a word for everything. Freudenfreude is taking joy in other people's success. It's great to see when people succeed and achieve the goals they have set out for themselves. Even small victories are great to celebrate.
Admittedly, Freudenfreude can be challenging if we're not in the right headspace. Adopting an abundance mindset can help us move past feelings of "why not me?" that may arise when hearing about other people's success.
So next time you hear of someone doing a great job, lean into the feeling of freudenfreude. Celebrate their wins and really feel the good vibes for them deep within you.
💎 Love is All There Is!
"Mortality turns 20/20 vision into infinity/infinity vision."
As I read this beautiful line in's post How Cancer Changed My Relationship to My Gender, I was reminded of how little time we have left to spend with our loved ones and that we can appreciate them for who they are and want to be instead of trying to mold them into who we think they should be.
Andrea says, "The judgments we cling to now are not ones we cling to when things get real. And there’s nothing more real than our final hours––the windows of the heart thrown open to the truth that love is all there is."
Their beautiful words help us realize that thinking about our mortality can free us from the facades we have been living with. We are able to see what truly matters at the end of the day and in our lives.
Love is all there is. 💜
Thanks for reading, and have a wonderful weekend.
Your Gem Collector,
P.S Do you have an insightful gem you would like to share with the readers? Send it my way!
“freudenfreude” is my new favorite word--thanks! And I’m looking forward to more Friday gems!