Kindled Meme

– exploring the purpose of connection


Bring your truer self


Amy Cuddy


I work with a guy who is super intelligent, sharp and clinically logical – but when he communicates it’s not real – the smile is not coming from the heart – it’s stuck on his chops because it’s was ‘needed’ not because it was felt. It’s all a bit Gordon Brown.

I’m thinking of him because I’ve just been watching Ted Talks and watching Amy Cuddy – a social psychologist – talking about body language.

She says we need ‘Presence’ – a physical and mental suggestion of power. We need presence to influence.

Confident – Passionate – Enthusiastic – Authentic – Comfortable – Captivating. These are the words that she uses to explore presence.

These are big, full words. If this is the feedback you are getting during your own exchanges consider yourself in the zone. But it’s not a check list to tick off – these are outcomes – all are grounded in our body language. Presence is not some mental to-do list.

Own it.

Amy’s position is that presence is not about presentation skills. Presence is signaling that we deserve to be here. It’s about posture and how that posture promotes belief. The posture even chemically changes us – we release testosterone from the power our stance exudes. We don’t just influence others we influence ourselves.

To have presence you can never be an imposter – you need to truly see it, feel it and you need to become it. (Less like Gordon Brown and more like Tony Blair on WMD…).

But you can fake it  (the Presence, the posture). Until you become it – because you want it. (Again, I’m thinking ‘like Blair on WMD’.. meh)

Tiny tweaks lead to big changes. Life is a series of “One shots”- never leave without showing who you are. Try a power pose – change the outcome of your life.

Checkout her talk – it might just nudge your choices, boost your presence… And above all else enjoy her personal storytelling – there is a treat there for you in her talk – she is quite the master.

It’s a 20 minute TED talk – are you going to give yourself a tweak and show a bigger, truer self?


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Do it now


I saw Mike this morning at the school gate. Its been a while – we both live in the same village but our lives follow different orbits.

Its been a while but this morning he tells me he has resigned – he hated his job and he wants better. I shake his hand and Im genuinely pleased for him. He is often so miserable that its kind of sad. He has been miserable working for a Systems Integrator at a Banking client. Before that he was miserable working for a Systems Integrator at a government client. And before that he was miserable working at a Systems Integrator at another government client.

He is hunting and dreaming for a Systems Integrator that makes him happy… but on the story I see unfolding its not really what he needs.

We all deserve to do something that makes us happy. We none of us should envy other people that we perceive to have found something that we can’t. I met a guy called Joroen last week and he talked about how his old job was a 90-10 balance. 90% doing routine and 10% inspiration and mischief. He lived for the 10% moments and so now he is “exploring” – looking to start something – but working with others because – to him – the human connection feeds his soul.

We all deserve that inspiration and sense of connected purpose.  Sometimes I feel that spark, the rush of energy, my eyes kind of well up and if I didn’t hold on to something I know I would start to fly. These moments are equally uplifting and exhausting. When I’ve had a good day I sleep very well at night (Though my brain rarely switches off – it just “heals in motion” – dreaming)

When those energy moments happen I try to appreciate why.

What just happened? What did they just do? Why did that matter to me? What does it mean?

Scrabble around fast and grab the clues – this is this shit that really matters. What just touched you is what you should be creating and be part of every day.

There are always excuses and reasons we believe that stop us from doing more of what matters to us – but here’s the gig:

“Whatever you’re meant to do – do it now. The conditions are always impossible”

What excuses are you making?

(Thanks Doris)