Posts in Category: Update

Update #5: The joy of finding things out

Welcome to Vast Experiences, the place where you can be yourself and can expand your horizons. I’m Eike Zeller. I just started a new routine around building Vast Experiences. You can read more about it here. 

Playful Ideas

I have been meditating for a while now and recently started to meditate for an hour first thing in the morning. It’s nice to give yourself permission to let your mind drift off into all sort of directions and when you open your eyes again everything seems to be a bit clearer. This morning I was thinking a lot about the joy of finding things out. I was thinking of an interview with Richard Feynman I watched many years ago there are a lot of gems in it. Have a watch here.

Growing Methods

I’m currently reading Sand Talk by Tyson Yunkaporta. It’s a book about how indigenous knowledge can save the world. It’s a fascinating read. There is a beautiful part of the book about the joy of discovering new things.

The burst of pleasure we feel when genuine knowledge transmission takes place occurs from of new neural pathways. These are connections between two points that were previously unconnected. Jokes are one most pure examples of this neural creation event; In humour is based on two ideas coming together in a new way — puns, rhymes, double meanings, unusual circumstances, accidents, exposed delusions and contextually inappropriate content are examples of this. The chemical rush we get from sudden neural connections in jokes is so intense and pleasurable that we laugh out loud. This kind of humour and joy in learning is a huge part of Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander cultures. If people are laughing, they are learning. True learning is a joy because it is an act of creation.

It is an amazing way to thinking about how learning, creating and play are connected. Part of what I am doing with Vast Experience is to explore new ways how we can get joy out understanding and learning about ourselves and our environment. Improv theatre is a classic example to learn about yourself and people in a safe and joyous environment.

Creative Experiments

Every Tuesday night, my friend Tim and I are facilitating a virtual improv class on Zoom. Last Tuesday we played a game you get endowed with a topic, let’s say ‘tissues’ and then you play to an expert on tissues present a talk at the International Tissue Symposium and the other players get to ask you questions. It’s nice to be in a controlled environment where you can explore your mind and interact with others and it trains you to have more engaging conversations. If you like to join the virtual improv group get in touch at eike@vastexperiences.com

Connected Discussions

It’s the 4th week we have been running the Early Work Crew. This week we started as a little segment in it called “Know How To Share”, where we share little tips and tricks and tutorials about how we work and about the tools we are using, like you to design banners with Canva or how to display data in meaningful ways. After 19 sessions of the Early Work Crew, I feel like I’m starting form a habit. I am very grateful for all the inspiring people joining in for 90 min of undistracted work in the morning. If you are interested to get an inspiring headstart to the day you can sign up here.

Curious Conclusions

Keep creating all of these wonderful things in your head and turn the most beautiful thoughts in reality. If you can imagine things, they exist in your mind. Talk to others about them then they exist in their minds. Write them down then they exist on paper. Play with them, then they develop. Put them into action and let your ideas explore the world, let merge other ideas and form new ideas. One day they will return to you and make you proud. If you like to play around your ideas in a supportive environment come along to Ideas Anonymous. Every fortnight, we get together and explore our ideas and find ways to turn them into reality. 

Have a lovely weekend. See you next week.

Only if we can see the world in different ways, we will see how it really is.
Only if we can see ourselves in different ways, we will see who we really are.

Places to Belong

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Update #4 What’s the purpose?

Welcome to Vast Experiences, the place where you can be yourself and can expand your horizons. I’m Eike Zeller. I just started a new routine around building Vast Experiences. You can read more about it here.

Playful Ideas

What makes an experience memorable? I went back to do some research on that. I was curious what a google search would yield. Don Enright describes memorable experiences as a combination of Agenda fulfilment (you have some expectations that are fulfilled), Novelty (you discover something unexpected), Affect (you are feeling emotional), Rehearsal (you are reminded of the experience). Jennifer Clinehens quotes Daniel Kahneman’s ‘Peak-end rule’ which states that mainly the highlights (and lowlights) and the ending of an experience will be remembered. The highlights in experiences that I have enjoyed often involved participation. I guess I’m an explorer at heart.

Growing Methods

I started on the first chapter of Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking. Douglas Hofstadter explains how deriving categories or concepts out of a long series of spontaneous analogies, like toddlers observing different mothers that become analogies to form the abstract the concept of a mother.

Over the course of our lives, we build up concept after concept after concept. This process continues incessantly until we die.

It made me think of the importance of exploration to make more concepts accessible.

Creative Experiments

During my time for creative experiments, I spent some time setting up a subscription service for my friend Sally’s local organic deodorant business, Pits of Joy yesterday. The subscription options will go live tonight, so you won’t have to ever worry about running out of deodorant!

Connected Discussions

Yesterday afternoon I called up the people who have registered for Ideas Anonymous tonight night. I figured we can create a richer experience if everybody knows what they are getting into. It’s also so nice to get a personal call when you sign up for something. I remember a few months ago I received a call after I signed up for Humanitix. It was such a great experience to know that there are actual people behind the service you are using. Anyway, It was nice to talk we all the participants prior to Ideas Anonymous, and get a better understanding of why they are attending. If you are interested in Ideas Anonymous, you can still sign up for it here.

Curious Conclusions

Have you ever asked yourself what your purpose is? I have a been pondering about it a bit over the last few weeks. Now that everything is slowing down, it’s a good time to reflect. After a while, I thought my purpose is something like: Explore the world, others, and myself and make discoveries accessible to others. I have a notebook a dear friend gave me about 5 years ago in that I write down insights. I felt the thoughts about my purpose should go in there. I opened the book and on the first page, it said “The purpose of every life is to explore and experience” Wow. I wrote 5 years ago. I think a lot of us know deep down what our purpose is. We just have forgotten. Do you know what your purpose is? Let me know.

I hope you have a wonderful day. See you soon.

Places to Belong

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Only if we can see the world in different ways, we will see how it really is.

Only if we can see ourselves in different ways, we will see who we really are.

Update #3 New Horizons

Welcome to Vast Experiences, the place where you can be yourself and can expand your horizons. I’m Eike Zeller. I just started new routine around building Vast Experiences. You can read more about it here.

Playful Ideas

What makes an experience memorable? Is it good company, the right atmosphere, the ability to participate that is unexpected? I was toying around with this question. I think it will be one on central quality criteria for the events at Vast Experiences. In short, if you can remember the event it probably was of value.

Growing Methods

I started recording for a video podcast called the Shared Perspective. It’s basically an interview series where humans of diverse backgrounds can share their perspective on themselves, others and the world to inspire us to be more kind to ourselves and others, discover new opportunities and walk out with a new and fresh perspective. If you like to share your perspective here or know someone else who would get touch by sending an email to sharedperspective@vastexperiences.com

Creative Experiments

Next Wednesday, Ideas Anonymous is on again. I hope you can come along. We will talk about your ideas in a supportive environment, bounce them around, give and get feedback and help you to work out plans to implement them. You can sign up here: https://events.humanitix.com.au/ideasanonymous/

Connected Discussions

I had lots of interesting conversations this week at the Early Work Crew, ranging from opening up bookshops, building climbing gyms and special gift deliveries to storytelling events. If you are looking to find a supportive environment to encourages you to get a head start to the day, join the crew.

If you like to have a chat with me I usually have meetings from 1:30 to 3 pm. Just drop me an email at eike@vastexperiences.com

Curious Conclusions

What a week. I feel learned a lot about myself this week. I started implementing a structure to build Vast Experiences and have a bit more focussed time to work and post daily updates. A pretty ambitious plan. At least we published 3 this week. On Wednesday it became clear that I lost my job because of COVID. This threw me a bit off the rails. Funnily, this lead to some interesting discoveries for Vast Experiences. I was writing an article where I outlined the mindset and attitudes that helped me to get more fulfilment out of my life when I realised that a lot of the experiences that I’m running are frameworks that support these mindsets. This gave me more clarity as to what Vast Experiences is about; the creation and provision of frameworks to empower people to flourish, gain a new perspective and therefore live a more fulfilled life.

I hope you have a wonderful weekend. See you next week

Places to Belong

  • Tuesday night Improv Session from 7 pm: Contact Eike

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Only if we can see the world in different ways, we will see how it really is.

Only if we can see ourselves in different ways, we will see who we really are.

Update #2 Non Sequitur

Welcome to Vast Experiences, the place where you can be yourself and expand your horizons. I’m Eike Zeller. I just started a new routine around building Vast Experiences. You can read more about it here.

 

Playful Ideas

Together with my friend Tim, I’m facilitating a virtual improv class tonight. We usually get together on Zoom and play silly games for about 2 hours. One of the core aspects of improv is the idea of accepting. If a player starts a scene the other players accept her offer and start building on top of it. For today’s improv session I spend some time looking up improv games and exercises to train acceptance of ideas of others. Let me know if you are interested in improve and would like to join our 7 pm sessions on Tuesday.

Growing Methods

I started reading Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking by Douglas Hofstadter and made my way through the 30-page prologue. The main idea of the book that all of our concepts and thoughts are based on analogies.

“Indeed, the central thesis of our book — a simple yet nonstandard idea — is that the spotting of analogies pervades every moment of our thought, thus constituting thought’s core. To put it more explicitly, analogies do not happen in our minds just once a week or once a day or once an hour or even once a minute; no, analogies spring up inside our minds numerous times every second. We swim nonstop in an ocean of small, medium-sized, and large analogies, ranging from mundane trivialities to brilliant insights.”

It’s a pretty fascinating insight, in particular in the context of Vast Experiences’ mission. If we have more different analogies we can construct thoughts from, we should be able to draw a more colourful world view. Oh wow, there are so many analogies in the last sentence 🙂

Creative Experiments

It’s has been a week now that we are running our Early Work Crew deep work sessions. I have to say I feel more energised and inspired than before. It’s awesome to get a head start into the day and at the same time getting inspired by the rest of the Crew. If you like to join the Early Work Crew follow this link and join the Zoom call from 7 am.

Connected Discussions

Today I spoke with Simone Maus from Collective Insight. Simone runs facilitation courses. In particular, online facilitation skills are more and more important, especially during times of isolation. Simone is running the next Zenergy facilitation course in Melbourne from May 11th. Zenergy is a group of professional facilitators originally from New Zealand. I read their book The Art of Facilitation by Dale Hunter at the start of the year after my friend Jono was raving about the course. I really enjoyed the book. One of the main insights for me was that you first need to facilitate yourself before you can facilitate others. If you are interested in finding out more Simone is running a Facilitation Q&A every Wednesday on in this Zoom Link.

Curious Conclusions

I learned a new word today Non-Sequitur. It was mentioned on Surface and Essences and there was also a related improv game I stumbled upon this morning. A Non-Sequitur is a conclusion or reply that doesn’t follow logically from the previous statement. I hope you enjoyed reading today’s update, especially since I found a praying mantis on the street today.

Places to Belong

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Only if we can see the world in different ways, we will see how it really is.

Only if we can see ourselves in different ways, we will see who we really are.

Vast Experiences Update #1

Welcome to Vast Experiences, the place where you can be yourself and can expand your horizons.  I’m Eike Zeller. I just started a new routine around building Vast Experiences. You can read more about it here. I would like to share my progress in a daily post.   

Playful Ideas

This morning I brainstormed a list of things you can to gain more perspective and get ultimately more out of your life. I wrote about some of these mantras already a few years ago here. I will put together a new post about it soon. Here is the list I have a come up with so far:  

Be curious, Seek to understand, Be childlike, Surround yourself with different people, Live in different places, Explore your ideas, Explore your environment, Meditate, Read broadly, Surprise yourself, Improvise, Be generous, Be kind, Ask why, Explore your body, Learn to detach, Create art, Be grateful, Embarrass yourself, Have deep conversations, Challenge yourself, Play, Be active and take responsibility, Be vulnerable, Participate, Include others, Empower others, Be open, Bring joy, Live in the now, Join and create communities and places to belong

Growing Methods

I’m reading quite a lot but sometimes I have trouble retaining a lot of information from the books. I just read this article on Farnam Street that outlines techniques to improve your understanding of the books you read. I’m going to try out some of them with the next book on my reading list: Surfaces and Essences: Analogy as the Fuel and Fire of Thinking by Douglas Hofstadter. Speaking of books, Springer Nature is currently offering over 400 textbooks of several disciplines as free eBooks

Creative Experiments

I’d love to use Vast Experiences to showcase world views of diverse people in the form of Zoom interviews. The aim of the interview series is to highlight the uniqueness of the human condition and explore if we all want the same deep down. Let me know if you like to be interviewed or know someone with an interesting perspective by emailing eike@vastexperiences.com

Connected Discussions

This afternoon I had a meeting with Olga Dziemidowicz from Art by Olga who painted the beautiful background of Vast Experiences’ social media profiles. The painting is called expand your horizons which is fitting very well to Vast Experiences’ mission. Olga walked me through her artistic process when she paints.

Curious Conclusions

We are in isolation for 4 weeks here in Australia and the impact on people seems to grow. The Early Work Crew got pretty emotional this morning. It was pretty moving to see how we all look out for each other. I’m incredibly grateful that we create places where we don’t have to be afraid to be vulnerable and where we can empower each other through this challenging time. If you are facing challenges because of COVID-19, remember none of this is your fault. All of us are in this together and we will come out of this together. I hope you enjoyed what you read here. See you tomorrow.  

Places to Belong

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Only if we can see the world in different ways, we will see how it really is. 
Only if we can see ourselves in different ways, we will see who we really
are.