In Who Do We Trust #5 #cong20

Synopsis:

A personal perspective on what I see as access to thriving in Society 3.0.

Total Words

1,102

Reading Time in Minutes

4

Key Takeaways:

  1. We are social creatures.
  2. Society is where we socialise – and generate purpose in our lives.
  3. Society evolves as we do.
  4. What will be desirable Society 3.0 – and who’s responsibility is it to create that?

About Eileen Forrestal

Retired from a 32 yr Medical Career – with 20 years as an Anaesthetist ‘putting people to sleep’ – I am now refired as a publishing entrepreneur – ‘waking people up’ – with ‘words of wisdom for times of transformation’ in the form of the Get Up and Go Diaries, Journals and Planners. !
Author, speaker, Mentor, Coach I am fully immersed in the world of words – and using words to change the world.

Contacting Eileen Forrestal:

 You can contact Eileen by email or connect with her on LinkedIn, follow her on Twitter, and Facebook

By Eileen Forrestal.

Society 3.0

Here’s my take on it

In Society is where we get to play as earthlings.
We form societies so we don’t have to be on our own. We are social creatures and we recognise the existential need to belong in society.
We have little societies called families, and we cluster in larger societies making up communities. We get to socialise within these societies – we play golf, we watch birds, study the bible, save the whale, prevent cruelty to animals; we provide care for the sick, and food for the homeless. Where ever there is a need – we form a society to address it and deliver. We need these societies to function, as a society, so we make rules and regulations. We may have entry criteria – to make sure YOU belong in OUR society. You might have to apply to join and pay money to belong. Google ‘weirdest societies’, or ‘most bizarre societies ever’ and you will find that whatever your peculiarity, there is a society to which you can belong. Happy days.

Which brings me to Three things I believe are necessary for any society to flourish, and if we want our ‘global’ society to flourish in the future these are 3 T’s to pay attention to.

  • Truth
  • Trust
  • Trappings

The Truth has practically disappeared in a tsunami of Fake News. What is true? Who says it’s true? How do we know it’s true? What if it is true? What if it isn’t true?
We’re ‘meithered’ by needing to know the truth – it’s as if our life depends on it. We are terrified we might be lied to , or be caught out believing something that isn’t true. What a calamity that would be!! That would be like believing in Santa Clause!!

Which brings me to Trust ..
Who do you trust to tell you the truth? Who can you trust? How do you know who to trust? What if they are not trustworthy? What if they betray your trust? Can you trust yourself to know who to trust? Maybe you can’t trust anybody? Where is the evidence that you can trust them? Show me that I can trust you. What can I trust you for? Can I trust you to do that? Remember, your parents lied about Santa Clause. And everyone colluded… Can you trust anyone …?

Trappings
Yes, we’re trapped in the trappings of society – the messages we get from society telling us we have succeeded – we have arrived. We have been accepted into the ‘upper echelons’. We are driving the right car, we are living in the right neighbourhood, we are mingling with the right society .. no riff raff here! We have been to the best schools and colleges, we are eligible – and then there’s the Royal Society …. now we’ve surely made it when they let us in there!! Society endorsed by Royalty …
Yes, we are trapped in the trappings of our humanity.
We are trapped in our biology , in our identities – carefully crafted to help us navigate the trial and tribulations of our existence in society.
We are trapped in the chronology of birth to death
We are trapped in the eternal moment of now …

And yet we resist the trap – we want to get off. We don’t trust it. Space looks good. The scientists are telling us the truth. I wonder could we live there … Could we join the Society for International Space Exploration … or is that just for Astronauts?

Where can we go to find peace.
We want to ‘get out of our heads’ – we try alcohol, drugs …
We want to get out of our town , our country, where we feel trapped!! We want to escape.
Would another society be better? What about Australia ..

What if we were simply happy to be home?

My point is ..
As a society we seem to have lost our bearings – our North Star was the truth – what God or the Bible said, or Daddy .. or the Teacher, the Priest, the Scientist .. the Policeman, the Doctor, the Judge .. .. Now it’s the Twitterati with the blue tick or is it Dr Google …. or perhaps your best friend who knows someone who knows someone who said … Who can you trust? Who’s telling the truth?
Trapped in needing to know!
Trapped in the need for certainty.

Without trust in the truth of ourselves … our societal and hierarchical structures, and institutions … our fellow man .. what guides our thinking, what gathers our thoughts, what focuses our intentions, what stops us from going mad?

O

  • Nothing
  • Nothing stops us.
  • We stop ourselves.
  • We can choose to trust.
  • We can choose our truth.
  • We can accept what others say as truth – for them.
  • We can decide what’s true – for us.
  • We can be ok with finding out there is no Santa Clause or heaven up there or hell down there.
  • We can play, in the eternal moment of now, creating our heaven on earth

Society 3.0 is here
Right now
Maybe there is nothing to trust, really.
Maybe, there is no truth, really.
There is only now, and what we say about now.
Now is all there is.
And we’re here.
I say be here now.
For me .. I’m truthful, trusting and happy to be trapped in my trappings – alive in my particular corner of heaven on earth.
Society 3.0 is fine.
It’s true.
Trust me.
Come on in.

Reflections on Community #57 #cong19

Synopsis:

A community takes a long time to build, and a short time to destroy.  Investing into a community requires patience, time, trust and longer-term commitment that is harder to find with each generation. Is our relationship with the internet, and our enchantment with on line communities, compromising our evolutionary dependence on trusted communities?

Key Takeaways:

  1. Are we in danger of ‘throwing the baby out with the bathwater’ as we turn our eyes from local to global communities?
  2. Is this really the ‘end of innocence’? Is the internet exposing our dark side as we are exposed to a new awareness of extreme choices and special interest communities? Where can we find our tribe? Where can we hide?
  3. Trust as a prerequisite for community …. The privilege of trust – and the betrayal. Where does secrecy / loyalty / ritual belong in generating ‘trusted’ community? Trusted to what – protect? Who?

About Eileen Forrestal::

Having recently retired from the position of Consultant Anaesthetist, after a 32 year career as a Medical Doctor, Eileen is now engaged full time in the business at Get Up and Go Publications Ltd, producing a range of inspirational and motivational diaries, journals and events, for adults and teens. The diaries embody a philosophy and wisdom – Forgive the past – Live the present – Create the future, with an intention to empower educate, inspire and encourage people to be aware of their choices, and to be responsible for their own health, self expression, wellbeing, and happiness.

Eileen believes the accelerating rate of change in the world today is overwhelming the capacity of many people to ‘keep up’. “Mental heath and wellbeing issues of stress and burnout are becoming increasingly prevalent. Our Get Up and Go diaries use words and ideas to positively impact the lives of many people, providing a source of timeless wisdom from a ‘pre-information age’ to guide us through the challenges of modern life and help shine a light in the darkness of despair”.

Eileen suffered with a ‘stammer’ for most of her young life and ‘gave up’ on her voice at 13, frustrated by her inability to ‘be understood’ and decided to retire from ‘public communication’ preferring the safety of silence and having ‘nothing important to say’. She chose the specialty of Anaesthesia for 20 years, remaining hidden and silent. That changed in 2001 when she discovered the negative impact this decision had on her life and wellbeing. Since then she has been a strong advocate of courageous self expression, travel, education, self-discovery through personal development and stepping beyond your comfort zone. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. In 2014, Eileen retired from her medical career believing she could serve her purpose better by using her voice and words than her hands and drugs. After a career spent ‘putting people to sleep’ she is now in the business of ‘waking people up’ to all the possibilities of being alive, right here, right now! Having overcome he fear of public speaking she has since spoken on Radio, TV, schools and stages around the world and has not looked back.

The Get Up and Go Events bring together ordinary people living extraordinary lives, courageous individuals from many walks of life, who have stepped outside their own ‘comfort zone’ to share their experience of living life ‘with passion and purpose’ and are now inspiring their audience to do the same.

Eileen lives in Sligo.

Contacting Eileen Forrestal:

You can contact Eileen by email, follow her on Twitter and Facebook  or connect with her on LinkedIn.

By Eileen Forrestal

Let’s start with a dictionary definition: (somewhat vague and possibly outdated)

a group of people living in the same place or having a particular characteristic in common; the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common.

I think we need to upgrade what “community” means in today’s world.

Leaving aside any ‘spiritual’ realm, human beings are now required to live in two co-existing and rapidly changing worlds  – a ‘real’ world and a ‘virtual’ or ‘technological / technologically enhanced’ world. For many of us the virtual world is as real, or even more real, than the real world, and we now face an evolutionary challenge. Human ‘enhancement’ combined with Artificial Intelligence rapidly outstrips Homo Sapiens intelligence as we play in a new field of Cyborg Anthropology!!

Poor old Homo Sapiens still experiences feelings and emotional upsets, and while this ‘emotional intelligence’ is familiar and a developmental response to, and requirement for the intricacies of emotional relationships within intimate communities, it may not be required in a cyber community or a globalised world of smart homes, autonomous cars, on line shopping and internet dating.

For now, our challenge is to find out how to comfortably exist and co-exist in / with both worlds, as we spend as much or more time and resources with, and in, our on- line, as our offline, communities. Do we shun the ‘challenge’ of being visible in a local community for the relative ease, and invisibility, in cyber space? Is it easier to hide out in space? Do we sacrifice the benefits of connection in our local community for the appearance (pretence) of belonging to a ‘global community’. Is it admiration (and likes) we seek now, more than true acceptance?

What of the dark web? Secret societies? Prison? Drug cartels? honour among thieves? Subversives? These are all ‘successful communities’ attracting people with similar interests and shared values.

What is attractive and available in one  (on line) that is not available in the other and how can we have the best of both worlds?

Some would like to shun the digital / on-line / virtual world altogether but this is becoming increasingly difficult as our entire experience of the world is now shaped by, and enmeshed in, the interconnected Internet of Things. We can’t not swim in the water we are swimming in. We are attached to our smartphones and fast Netflix download speeds and lots of likes on our posts. We ‘join’ groups and communities without the slightest hesitation – we can delete them later – …. in fact, we are so subconsciously ‘addicted’ to our modern playthings, and the illusion of control – we spend countless hours getting our fix … and experience  unprecedented upset and frustration when our ‘supply’ is threatened. The two-year-old temper tantrum is so easily provoked… at every age! Gimme what I want … Now!!!  No one tells ME what to do!!

Perhaps our new ‘toy’ distracts us from experiencing our quiet (unquiet) ‘disconnected’ moments – when we are ‘alone’ …with ‘nothing to do’ … when those eternal existential questions might arise: Why am I here? What am I doing? Where am I going? What’s it all for? Where do I belong? When it is clear we are not , in that moment, in community. When we are present to the ‘aloneness’ of our human condition.

We know we can’t go back to the familiar, comfortable, ‘safe’ past .. ‘the good old days’ … the safe familiar communities of our childhoods, the illusion of ‘happy families,’ and helpful neighbours. Meithil. In our adult moments, as we creep towards death, the unknown, uncertain future beckons, and seems too terrifying to contemplate trying to navigate it alone …

What do we do ? We do what we have always done … we seek others like ourselves, with the same angst, the shared uncertainty… safety in numbers… we can face the future together.  We have always survived in community, so we seek refuge there. It may not be a church but in the same way it will save us.

So, without our ‘church’, what community do we align with – we have a myriad of choices …..

What’s the ‘best’ one?

Who can we trust?

Like religion, we seek the ‘right’ one. We may have already rejected ‘the wrong one’ the one we knew, the one that betrayed us. We check out who’s already there…  are they the kind of people we want to be associated with ? Do we share their values and beliefs? Will we be safe here?

True ‘community’ requires that people trust and care for one another. This then requires ‘evidence’ that the community can be trusted … and this takes time. It takes time to build community. Putting people together with shared goals, purpose, attitudes and interests such as project teams, companies, political movements, suburban housing estates; high rise flats; these maybe groups of people that care about the same goal, but they are not necessarily ‘communities’.

I particularly like to go to the origin of a word – to break it down into its components.

Co=company / with together joint jointly; one that is associated in an action with another fellow partner

Old Irish com – with

Munity =: a privilege that is granted

Is community a privilege? Who grants it? And do we risk taking it for granted ?  What if it’s a cover for other privileges?

We have all have our origins in some community – our family, our ancestors, our neighbourhood, our villages and towns, our nation, places where we are known and accepted.

From small rural communities, to complex urban communities, from special interest communities, to global communities, from communities within communities, we pass seamlessly across invisible boundaries … the boundary only becoming ‘visible’ from the other side. Now you are ‘in’ or ‘out’. Now you have a label: ‘one of us’ or ‘one of them’. Now you belong or you don’t’. Who made the decision? What happened? What unwritten ‘law’ did you break? Included or rejected? Rewarded or punished?

The relentless migration to cities has altered the face and feel of community. People naturally want to congregate …and gravitate towards a community that feels familiar, where they feel safe, where they will be accepted, where they can belong. Cities build ‘community centres’ where groups can meet but these do not necessarily provide a foundation for strong, connected or resilient communities. ‘Members’ come and go, staying as long as they feel welcome, accepted, valued and can participate in meaningful activities, or until they become bored or are made to feel unwelcome, rejected and excluded.

Perhaps the strength and resilience of a community is determined by its need to defend itself against a common ‘enemy’ – a perceived threat to its integrity or beliefs – or a shared desire or challenge to which it needs to rise, that requires collaboration. This happens fast when disaster strikes; when time is of the essence and lives are at stake, to save crops from weather disaster, or to save property from fire and flood. People therefore seek refuge in community – and thus have a responsibility to sustain the health and wellbeing of that community – they are not passive bystanders – they have a vested interest. Now trust is essential, that they share concerns and have a mutual desire to benefit the greater good – or protect an even greater evil!!

Intuitively, we know cannot survive outside of community. Conversely, we discover that we thrive in a community that we trust to make our own. To lose a limb is described as a ‘dismemberment. The body will survive the loss of an arm. An arm will not survive an amputation. Full self-expression and self-actualisation depends on being a ‘member’ of the community, like the arm contributes to the full function of the the body, and the body is effective and powerful with the unrestricted movements of the arm. The body does not need the arm as much as the arm needs the body, but the contribution of the arm is necessary for full power of the body. The integrity of the community depends on the contribution of each of the members contributing to the strength of the whole. Community thrives with active, participating ‘members’, each pulling their own weight, and helping other members to pull theirs. Even homeless alcoholics will congregate and form tight communities, to protect them against a common enemy, sobriety!

Our online communities, while seeming to provide a solution to our existential loneliness, are also exacerbating  the ‘problem’ – the problem being we seem to want to belong ‘somewhere else’, with that community of ‘like-minded people’ ‘over there’, ‘with those people’, who ‘understand me’, and not over here, with these people, the people ‘we know’. These are the people we can actually ‘be with’, sit with, spend time with, listen to, get to know, share a cup of coffee with, build relationships with; people within arm’s reach, people we can comfort and support  and lend a helping hand to …  and to be comforted and supported by in return. But people are dangerous. They are unpredictable They misunderstand. They judge.  Isn’t it less threatening to stay this side of the screen?

Proximity is our access to belonging. This is our access to connection – to meet, greet, be with and relate. We might be surprised what we discover about the people in our lives, when we actually engage with them, close up, authentically, without any preconceived judgements, assumptions, biases or other barriers.

Ah, but who do we to trust? Who do we feel we can be ‘authentic’ with? How do we decide? Do we ‘trust’ those already in a ‘trusted’ community? What comes first – the community already there or the trust we bring? We are all looking to find a community that we can trust … and everywhere we look we have evidence that we cannot trust – our family let us down, our teachers, our priests, our Government, ..  our Institutions … our Banks.  … and when we look closely, we even let down ourselves. We cannot trust ourselves not to lie to get ourselves of the hook now and again. Santa Claus isn’t real … and yet we can’t bear to let him go.

The world is seeking authenticity. Everyone now wants the ‘story’ of your life, so we know who you are, and then we can trust you?? Can we?

Yes, human beings are flawed. And flawed human beings are everywhere.

How can flawed human beings build trusted communities?

Only by accepting we are all flawed human beings and as such we need to be accepted by other flawed human beings in a community where we support each other in our frailties …

I belong to the Irish community – when I am abroad I believe I can trust another Irish person to help me if I am in trouble. Would I look for his help when I am at home?? Would I automatically consign him to ‘some other community – not mine’. Maybe he’s from Cork!

I belong to the Medical community. I feel privileged. When I am a patient, I quickly become part of the patient community … and need help. Can I trust the Medical Profession to treat me as a colleague … or a patient? Is there a difference?

I belong to an online Global Entrepreneur community … and we meet occasionally. I do not expect them to come to my aid when I am in trouble. Yes, I access their knowledge and services and support to enhance my own entrepreneurial endeavours but this is not where I go when I am in trouble.

I appear in many on line and off line communities … some I choose them, some by default. I have something ‘in common’ with all of them – a shared experience, a shared conversation. There are some Communities I will never belong to … I’m not black, I’m not blind, deaf or disabled, I’m not gay, I’m not a golfer or an Olympic athlete, I’m not an alcoholic, and yet I fully acknowledge, accept and appreciate these communities, and the support they provide for their members. I am not upset because I don’t belong. I have no experience of being rejected.

These intimate communities in which we want to be known and valued for who we are, are where important relationships can be nurtured and strengthened, with people who share our worldview, and with whom we can share our problems, and celebrate our good news. The people who matter are those who ‘see us’ as we are, in our daily lives, exposed, unprotected by a ‘screen’, and accept us, flaws and all. The people we can hug, and shake hands with, and smile with, and touch, and truly connect with – immediately, with body language, no place to hide. Our communities are where we have permission to ‘be ourselves’.

Communities that provide this space fulfil a deep human need that mere ‘gatherings’ cannot. They foster a spirit of reliable, deepening and ongoing relationships, to build trusted friendships, to get to know each other on a deeper, personal level, safe to let ourselves be seen, to care, to learn from each other, to act collectively for the benefit of all. When this trust is established, so much more of the communities collective potential can be fulfilled, in the form of personal support, learning, collaboration, contribution and cooperation. Thus community is a mutually beneficial relationship where everyone in the community thrives. When the focus shifts from ‘me’ to ‘we’ – from suspicion to trust, from competition to co-operation, this is the catalyst for powerful communities. Communities are for the benefit of the collective and depend on the collective for this benefit.

The communities we really fear rejection by, are our family, our friends, our neighbours, and any group to which we believe we belong and where we can make, and have made, a valuable contribution. When that contribution has been denied, misconstrued,  deemed as malicious or damaging, the punishment is severe – expulsion. Being misunderstood or judged unfairly feeds a fundamental fear of being rejected by the trusted community, but once expelled the retribution is fierce. Compassion and forgiveness are withheld … forever. There may be no going back.

The safety, and danger, in online communities is we can pretend to be something were not, for longer. We may never be exposed. We can simply be a passive consumer vs an active participant or co-creator. This is our default mode, a much safer choice. We can remain hidden, voyeurs, watching and waiting, not sure who else is lurking in the shadows … … we first need to sniff it out and see if this environment will make us feel safe and if we fit in. Co-creation and participation is a risk: we might offend or alienate people with our ideas and opinions; we might break rules; we might be misunderstood and face criticism; we might expose ourselves. It seems smarter to start out by observing and seeing what’s happening …. And pretending we belong. But where is our ‘skin in the game’? Where is the accountability? What are we responsible for?  Are all on line communities by their very nature,  inauthentic and places to hide our flaws?

What is the future for community  in this globalised high tech ‘artificially real’ world we are creating? How will we define ‘our’? How will we define community? Will it be off-line or on-line? Will we wait to be invited or will we request to join? Will there be acceptance criteria or terms and conditions? Will there be rules we cannot break? Will there be a joining fee? How will we define the health of the community? How will we know we can trust it? How will we prove we are trustworthy? Will there be an entrance exam? Will we still revert to ‘us and them’, ‘over here vs over there’; this community is better than that community; this community is ‘right’ and that community is ‘wrong’; trust us, don’t trust them; are we doomed to be forever trapped in our evolutionary ‘biology’ that keeps us fighting for survival, craving community but too scared (or unwilling) to be seen as vulnerable and needing what it provides.

Who can you trust?   Where do we learn to trust? Is it wise?

The power of community, lies in the collective identity: that the group thinks of itself as a group that belongs together and that the individual members trust each other more than the average – even the people who have never met before. Yes, we can trust total strangers!!! Trust is the basis of the collective, and that trust can be betrayed as in any collective of human beings …… so when that trust is broken, the community fractures. In fact we feel we can trust strangers more than we can trust those we love, as the fear of betrayal is not so great. Who cares if a stranger betrays us … how could we have known? But what if we are betrayed by a loved one, ‘one of our own’? How could we not have known? How foolish do we appear? And in front of our community ….  the shame .. it’s unforgiveable … isn’t it? And expulsion? Public humiliation? Who could bear it? On line anonymity in multiple ‘faceless’ communities is definitely the safer option.

Humanity, as a community of human beings, as we know it, is now itself perhaps under threat – but the enemy is ‘invisible’, as, like the Trojan Horse, we have invited him unrecognised into our midst and it is eating away at our community from the inside. We are being ‘disconnected’ by the very ‘screens’ that claim to connect us, The 5G technology that promises to ‘connect’ us faster and further to our family and friends, may well be ‘disconnecting’ our neurons from one another. As we peer into our screens, hour after hour, in an effort to connect our on line personas with other online personas, we are becoming even more disconnected from ourselves, let alone from our community. The virtual world IS just that, virtual. We are screened from the reality by the very screen we are watching ‘reality’ through, enchanted by the shiny new objects, (and likes – our little Dopamine hits) and blinded to consequences of this ‘enemy’ in our midst – the wolf in sheep’s clothing ….Perhaps our time is done …  …. Homo Deus here we come. The ‘enhanced human’ may have no more need of community, than the car has need for a blacksmith.

We live in interesting times.

Ideas – 10 a penny …. or are they worth their weight in gold ? #6 #cong18

Synopsis:

What makes a good idea – something good happening in the world.

What makes a bad idea – something bad happening in the world.

Is World peace is good idea? Nor for those who’s livelihood depends on the business of war.

The idea of home schooling your children may be great until some new realities set in in its delivery.

The idea of an intervention free labour may disappear in the reality of the first contraction and a scream for an epidural!

The idea of writing a great book may disappear when faced with the reality of actually doing the writing ..

Spreading ‘great ideas’ is one thing … the reality may be entirely different. Are we looking for ideas to solve the worlds biggest challenges or for ideas to solve the problems closer to home – like how to get a good night’s sleep!

Speaking of location, who says an idea is limited by the walls of your skull?

Just because we cannot see light waves or sound waves does not mean these do not exist. We know they do, we believe they do, we have evidence they do. There was light and sound long before we had the ‘scientific proof’

4 Key Takeaways:

  1. Where do our ideas come from and where do they go if we don’t act on them? Perhaps they drift in the universe until they find fertile ground in someone’s curious thinking and fearless self expression. … all those ideas that just pop into our heads … when we least expect .. when we’re idle, when we are dwelling in a problem .. when we are taking a shower … when someone says something … when we are dropping off to sleep … when the the brain antennae is already tuning in to make a connection? Does collaborative human intelligence already have the answer to all our challenges?
  2. The more connections, the more like minded people, the more we share our ideas, the more chance the good ones and the great ones have of becoming more than idea but actually real in the world … like a car .. or an aeroplane … or an electric light bulb … or the internet … or the latest fashion … or a book … or a musical score … or a an architectural wonder … or a popular movement … or a political party
  3. Most challenges are we facing today require urgent solutions. Personal challenges require personal solutions. Societal challenges need societal solutions. Global challenges need global solutions. When we share ideas on a global platform, this allows collaborative effort and discovery, realising the ideas we need today are not the ideas we needed yesterday.
  4. Are we looking for ideas to serve ourselves or ideas to serve the greater good. That is where the generosity is required – be grateful that ‘your’ idea is alive in the world and people are benefiting.

About Eileen Forrestal:

Having recently retired from the position of Consultant Anaesthetist, after a 32 year career as a Medical Doctor, Eileen is now engaged full time in the business at Get Up and Go Publications Ltd, producing a range of inspirational and motivational diaries, journals and events, for adults and teens. The diaries embody a philosophy and wisdom – Forgive the past – Live the present – Create the future, with an intention to empower educate, inspire and encourage people to be aware of their choices, and to be responsible for their own health, self expression, wellbeing, and happiness.

Eileen believes the accelerating rate of change in the world today is overwhelming the capacity of many people to ‘keep up’. “Mental heath and wellbeing issues of stress and burnout are becoming increasingly prevalent. Our Get Up and Go diaries use words and ideas to positively impact the lives of many people, providing a source of timeless wisdom from a ‘pre-information age’ to guide us through the challenges of modern life and help shine a light in the darkness of despair”.

Eileen suffered with a ‘stammer’ for most of her young life and ‘gave up’ on her voice at 13, frustrated by her inability to ‘be understood’ and decided to retire from ‘public communication’ preferring the safety of silence and having ‘nothing important to say’. She chose the specialty of Anaesthesia for 20 years, remaining hidden and silent. That changed in 2001 when she discovered the negative impact this decision had on her life and wellbeing. Since then she has been a strong advocate of courageous self expression, travel, education, self-discovery through personal development and stepping beyond your comfort zone. “The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek”. In 2014, Eileen retired from her medical career believing she could serve her purpose better by using her voice and words than her hands and drugs. After a career spent ‘putting people to sleep’ she is now in the business of ‘waking people up’ to all the possibilities of being alive, right here, right now! Having overcome he fear of public speaking she has since spoken on Radio, TV, schools and stages around the world and has not looked back.

The Get Up and Go Events bring together ordinary people living extraordinary lives, courageous individuals from many walks of life, who have stepped outside their own ‘comfort zone’ to share their experience of living life ‘with passion and purpose’ and are now inspiring their audience to do the same.

Eileen lives in Sligo.

Contacting Eileen Forrestal:

You can contact Eileen by email, follow her on Twitter and Facebook  or connect with her on LinkedIn.

By Eileen Forrestal

An idea is it is just an idea, existing in human thought, inside a human head,  until it becomes a real in the world. Then it becomes something that exits. It must first come out of your mouth …

Ideas come from a space of enquiry – of not knowing – and only when we dwell in the question and listen for ‘the answer’. Ideas need to form, germinate, gestate, then be formulated or transformed into thoughts and words. Thinking about them is relatively safe. It is in the uttering of them that we are most tested. This is where our thoughts and our fears get in the way of our ideas coming to life in the world.  Speaking them is their access to the outside world. That is where they risk being ‘out there’, open to criticism or ridicule or debate. Some ideas we just find impossible to express or explain adequately, others once spoken are instantly connected with and understood.

Today we need ideas more than ever …. there is an urgent need to find solutions to the escalating problems generated by an exponentially expanding economy … the problem solution cycle – every solution becoming the next problem …

We are living in an epistem called ‘progress’ – that tomorrow will be better than today – but the problems caused by ‘progress’ may overwhelm us before our human consciousness elevates sufficiently to permit collaboration over competition. While we  are still in personal survival / competitive mode  – we are not contributing and collaborating in generating big ideas that will contribute  to the betterment of all.

The quest for ideas in the world today is like the American gold rush – “there is more gold to be mined from the minds of men than ever existed in the earth”.  What the world is looking for now are bright ideas for rapid solutions to the problems challenging us globally. The need for new ideas will never be exhausted.

Everything that exists in the world today began as an idea – that became a solution to a problem –  a unique idea that fell on fertile ground, that inspired a team effort, to explore, develop and work on to bring to fruition.

But new ideas are not always welcome. Great ideas can be quashed by the smallest of doubts and terrible ideas brought to fruition  fuelled by the greatest of confidence. Timing, confidence and persistence is everything. Who decides what’s a good or bad idea – from who’s perspective do we judge it?

As long as an idea resides in our own head, its safe there, but nothing much will come of it.  Intention is critical. Ideas must be acted on in order to materialise. The first action is to be spoken and shared. We must speak it out – now we are in dangerous territory! This is where our idea will live or die.  If we don’t speak it … what are we going to do with it…? Nothing? If we do speak it, what are ‘they’ going to do with it, steal it, laugh at it, judge it, criticise it?  “that’s a stupid idea” ”that’s crazy thinking” “that will never work”  “we tried that before”, and it retreats back to the safety of the herd,  the old thoughts – the world of agreement – the silence.  Pity!

What if it’s a really good idea ? Where else can you share it? Who else is interested in looking for ideas for finding a solution to the problem you are experiencing – it can’t only be you with the problem but it may only be you with the idea ….  Or the courage to express it! “Little ideas that tickle and nag and refuse to go away should never be ignored, for in themlie the seeds of destiny.Now there is an opportunity for exploration, for collaboration, for discovery, for creativity, for the possibility of that idea being realised.

To survive the idea must land in an open field, on the ‘fertile soil’, of another’s generous listening, where it can germinate and grow and become an ‘idea worth spreading’! The internet has provided a vast platform to share and distribute ideas – and we need this collaboration to deal with the magnitude of the worlds problems which escalate commensurate with ‘progress’. When we fear others ‘stealing our ideas’ or criticising them or belittling them   – we lose huge opportunities to create the necessary ‘mastermind’ that can bring that idea to life.

Human evolution to date has been slow and painstaking as it took time to bring intelligent ideas to reality. Human beings are subject to ‘doubt’ .That is no longer the case. Artificial Intelligence does not doubt itself, nor question itself, nor show reluctance or fear that its ideas is ‘stupid’ or ‘not good  enough’ or ‘silly’ or ‘bad’ or ‘mad’. A machine will not have to retreat from failure, curl up with a sense of hurt and rejection. It would not have taken AI as long as Edison to develop the working lightbub – 10,000 attempts could now happen at the speed of light!

So, It’s really not about the ‘merit’ of the idea. It’s whether the idea is perceived to have value or not. And the originator of the idea is the most critical ‘evaluator’ in terms of the idea being realized.

While the earth’s resources may be limited, there is no limit to human ingenuity – the creativity and imagination of the human mind. More gold has been mined from the minds of men than has ever been mined from the earth. How deep is the mind’s mine and is our natural intelligence reliable to mine it – or will artificial intelligence get the better of us? The future of mankind is as dependent as ever on  ideas to find solutions to the problems of our own making.

So, whatever about developing the idea – AI is unlikely to come up with new ideas

So ideas still need to be expressed, nurtured, shared. The source of ideas will still be the human mind. And these ‘secrets’ can only be given up willingly, voluntarily. We cannot extract ideas from the human mind – we can only offer them, share them and listen for them, hear them, if they are uttered. Ideas only thrive in speaking and listening.

Human being will still need to courage to express and share and discuss their ideas and risk the usual cynicism when something new is being created.

So put your thinking caps on.

What ideas are you ‘holding on to’ … for fear someone will run away with them?

What idea do you have that you think is good but are afraid to express for fear of criticism?

What idea do you have that you feel is no good, simply because someone ridiculed an idea you had in the past?

What ideas do you have that you are burning to share and you think no one is listening?

What ideas did you have that’ died’ in you because you gave up because you felt no one was listening?

What idea is still burning in your brain that refuses to leave you alone?

Risk it – share it – discover what happens when you let it have a life outside your own head.