Think Vastly, Act Narrowly.  (LONG) (The World of Creativity.  Episode 46.)

Think Vastly, Act Narrowly. (LONG) (The World of Creativity. Episode 46.)


(intense music) – My name is Kevin Cottam
and I’m a global nomad from Canada, but I live in a variety of outposts around the world. Singapore is one of them. (intense music) The nomadic mindset is
the movement of the mind. People may think that it means
to move from place to place to find new pastures, it could
mean that geographically. However, the nomadic mindset is really about the movement of the mind. It could be your ideas flowing,
becoming agile, flexible, adaptable, and finding creative ideas, finding new path roads. Like for example, this
building is very nomadic in that you see the creativity
that’s gone into it. And that creativity is part
of the nomadic mindset. As a creator, you have to
constantly find new thoughts, new ideas, and by being able
to do that, you need to go into your mind and allow it
to explode with thoughts. The whole sense of not just your mind, but also your senses
have to become piqued. And by doing that, you become open, expansive to whatever might flow in. – [Fredrik] You wrote a book called “The Nomadic Mindset”. What is the book about
and why did you write it? – First of all it is
about ancient wisdom meets contemporary leadership today,
to find a new path forward. The premise for the book is
that we’ve lost the plot. That we have become too
narrow in our thinking and we need to expand. And the nomadic mindset
is about expansion. – [Fredrik] You did a lot of nomadic traveling for this book. Where did you go and
who did you interview? – I think that one of the
things that was exciting was that I went to Mongolia
to spend some time in a yurt with some nomads, and
Fredrick, you came along and said it was really an amazing time. But also, I went to Kenya and
spent time with the Maasai in the sun in the Maasai
Mara in Southern Kenya. And I also went to Southern
Morocco in the Sahara where Berbers and other
nomadic tribes live. I can tell you, just
learning about what it is, the purity of nomadic thinking and beliefs is really what I think is
extremely invaluable for us today. What are those behaviors? And that’s what I’ve taken from there. And how to be adapted
to today in our living. And then I also experienced
a lot of conversations and interviews with executives. And putting together was a
little bit of a challenge, putting it together, I have to say. It was a lot of work in writing that and how do you combine ancient wisdom and contemporary thought. One of the life lessons that
I learned from the Maasai, for example, is “We are migrating, “where we are is not where
we are, we are evolving.” And I think that’s a wonderful statement that was told to me by Benson, who was one of my Maasai brothers now, and he also said that as a
warrior, to become a warrior, is that “It’s very important
that we all come together. “You cannot kill a lion alone.” In Morocco, it was also
very interesting because I found some beautiful statements there. And one of them is, “The first cup of tea “is as bitter as death, the
second is as mild as life, “and the third is as light as love.” And so, if you take that as a
metaphor, what does it mean? It can mean simply, things
are very difficult at first. They get a bit easier, and then
becomes natural afterwards. It could mean that, it
could mean a variety of different things for each person. But these are life lessons. – [Fredrik] Some might
argue that a nomad is like behind the times,
or it’s old-fashioned, or too traditional, and we’ve moved on. What’s your reply to that? – Yeah, many people think
that, why would you think about nomads and think
emulating nomadic culture? I’m not saying that we go back and live in the desert, however,
I think it’s a great idea. But I’m saying that there
are lessons to be learned. We have gotten so far offtrack of humanity and how we deal with humanity,
that they understand humanity because they are close,
they are close to the Earth. And I would like to say also, that I think that they are the most
interconnected beings that I have ever experienced, why? Because they’re interconnected
to the sky, to the universe, to the people, to their
emotions, to the ground, to the animals, to the
climate, everything. And they realize if they
do wrong to one thing, it’s going to have a
repercussion in something else. It is that whole interconnection which we talk about connection, but
I think that’s too small. That’s too narrow. We need, as I learned
in the wonderful quote that I learned in Mongolia
from a wonderful urbanite, a young student, that nomads
“Think vastly, act narrowly,” and I went whoa, this is a
beautiful, beautiful thought. And what does it mean? I mean, it means a variety
of things, but for nomads it means we have to look very expansively at all the possibilities
that can happen to us. We need to listen to the environment if we’re going to save our lives. We need to be very
expansive, cannot just be hunkered down in one thing and not see something else in the bigger picture. What does it mean to be creativity? For example, if you live in
a very sort of narrow world, this is thinking narrowly,
there’s not much space for you in your mind or your body, your soul, to see other possibilities
or opportunities. And what I like to also think about that is signposts of opportunities. Is that creativity is all about signposts. Is for example, seeing something and going, ah, what is that? How can I see it from multiple
angles and possibilities? That’s thinking vastly. That is what creativity is all about. – [Fredrik] And that is very much also, about taking your step back, right? Or looking further, the vastness of it. So how would you define, or
how would they define vastness? – They relate most of
it to their environment because their environment is vast. They’re able to hold that space
of the width and expansion and being able to rapidly make a decision, and go into a narrow place. They’re view of expansiveness is internal, as well as external. Act narrowly, what does that mean? Well for the nomads, it
means that they’re able to, with all of this information
on the expansion, they talked about it
as rapidly focusing in, and making a decision. So they don’t meander and
walk around, you know, that’s all done in that expansion, but then when they make
a decision, it’s fast. Because, if you think
about it in many ways, is that when they have to move, there’s not a lot of
time to think about it. The animals will tell them
when to move, as they say, and then they have to be ready. And so, then they have to
make a decision in one time because that means that the
animals are on the move. They see the sense of
the change in season. They then are also, there’s
not enough food on the ground for them anymore, they need to eat. And that is the mirror of what we are. – [Instructor] What’s the message for me when I’m trying to develop
my creativity then? How can I think about this from
a creativity point of view? – For example, if you
wake up in the morning and you start looking at your phone. And you’re looking through Facebook, and you look through all
of the different aspects, what you’re doing is not
necessarily widening your mindset. You’re actually narrowing it
down into this small phone and you’re actually getting
a little bit more shaky, maybe inside, more nervous, more… A variety of emotions
are starting to come up because they start
digging up inside of you. The point is, is to leave that technology for at least an hour in the morning. Go wide, think about either meditating or reading something of
inspirational, or journaling. Having a conversation,
just having a coffee, whichever it is, just taking
some time for yourself. That will expand you before
you have to start moving in. So that is one way that
you can look at this in a very practical manner. I think the big message here
is, is for the nomadic mindset, is you must think vastly and act narrowly. That’s it, think vastly, act narrowly. Think vastly, act narrowly. – Think vastly, act narrowly. (intense music)

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  1. Very good, ´´expansion´´ ´´nomadic thinking and beliefs´´ ´´We are evolving´´ ´´Humanity´´ I am a human first. ´´The whole interconnection´´ All six directions. ´´Think vastly, act narrowly´´ mind, body, emotions and energy. Act narrowly = focus. Our family walks in nature for 3.5 hours each day, 6 days a week.
    ´´Nomadic Mindset is about the movement of the mind´´
    ´´Creativity is all about signposts´´

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