Writing to learn, learning to write. With practice comes clarity of purpose. #100days
56,131 words
www.enablehuman.com @mali_finally

Tell your friends

Hey folks, I'm going to start doing something. It's an experiment. If it succeeds, you won't hear about it from me.

The rational is, that I realized a pattern I've been stuck in. Generate ideas, share them all, sit back, achieve none.

What I'll do differently is invite a small group to partake in this experiment. If it provides value to them, you'll hear about it. If it doesn't, I try it differently with another small group.

Rinse and repeat.

A dreadfully simple process, that I commit to now following.

That is all.

Thank you for being here.

Global Jam Feedback

What went well today is
- Interaction, meaningful conversations, direction and organization of the Jam
- Feeling Connected to people even remotely
- Constraints make u more creative
- different levels of experience and points of view brings in new points of view
- Exposure to different ideation approaches
- The agenda the collective online co-hosting / co-facilitation
- Jamming with the Jam, but also jamming with music! :D
- Getting in the creative process and stepping out of fear! Discovering awesome features in Zoom Having some laughs and learning new things
- Lots of laughter
- Creative volunteers
- Team engagment
- Everyone engaged in the process, however experimental it was :)
- Breakout rooms (divide the Join) & Joint slideshow
-people who showed. stayed. they are committed. they are part of the tribe. i want to see more of them.
- not being stuck alone
- being with friends

It would be better next time if
- get the agenda ahead of time.
- if we had guest Jam speakers outside our community to co-facilitate segments and host some parts ... just a new flavor ... like how Markus came in and supported
- We have the schedule in advance
- being online is not the same as in-person.. so possibly sharing the themes bit earlier can allow for more deliberations :) and development of concepts
- Session to explain the design process in detail
- We have less connection issues to do some cool musical jamming interludes! Internet please move faster!!!
- physical proxies
- more prototypes
- More music!
- Non-digital Jam ! ;)

What stood out to you?

- all of you people
- people from different industries participating. we need more non-designers :)
- the enthusiasm of the group :)
- Connection!
- Easy and hassle free exchange of ideas
- Laughter
-We were a small group but really involved! Time flew by really fast as well…
- We were able to keep meaningful interaction online
-The use of zoom technology and how its features enable collaboration ... we just need to practice some more
- Easy and hassle free exchange of ideas
- Jammers' creativity and collaboration within the constraints
- positivity
- mo's dj skills
- The theme lol

Testing a mini bio

Hi, you found me, like you, I'm searching, but not for anything in particular. So I'd love to learn about you, and what you're searching for, I might know someone who is searching for that thing too, or maybe a book that can come along for your search. either way, know that I'll happily make the time for you, don't worry, it's not a bother, in fact, you'll be helping me feel more human.

Mini bio

A human, forgetful, loving, at times present, mostly curious, always positive.

Buying a board game

I was helping a friend purchase a gift for his 12 year old nephew. Since I like boardgames, I started rattling off the names of games I thought would fit.

My friend was not convinced, so he kept looking for boardgames that aligned with what he resonated with, interesting looking illustrations on the box cover.

There was a gentleman a few feet away who was also looking at the wall of games, and I could sense he wanted to help. When we acknowledged his presence, he offered his assistance.

Here's what he did differently.

He highlighted games that are known as 'gateways' to the board gaming hobby.

What's a gateway game? They're games that once you've had a taste of their unique game mechanics, you were more likely to appreciate the possibilities inherent in board games.

For example, Monopoly and risk, aren't great gateway games because an experienced player, can run away with the game, the game mechanics (or types of actions you take) are limited, and they can run long and you can feel hostage while waiting for the dominating player to complete their rounds leading to certain victory.

I completely ignored the gateway games, and skipped ahead to games I enjoyed, that had replay value in my opinion. But gateway games are necessary, just like learning common concepts when you're familiarizing yourself with a new language, or the basic motions of a new sport.

Why is this important.

A friend had shared a link that I started reading, and they were trying to clarify why what they do is great. However, like me, they made assumptions, that whoever is reading their text, will have been familiarized with their 'gateway'. I was curious enough to try to better understand what they were trying to say. Which reminded me that I probably do this (ignoring the beginner's mindset) a lot. 

So I've come up with a poem to remind myself, to reduce my reliance on assumptions. 

You are not me, nor am I you. 

You've learned much, as have I too.

What is yours, may not be for me. 

What is mine, may not be for you. 

Bridging that gap, will always take two. 

Your value

What is your value?

Is it your three thousand five hundred and fifty five dollars per month?

Is it your two hundred thirty thousand a year; after tax? after expenses?

How do you contribute to intangible outcomes in your society?

Why aren't they on your LinkedIN page? Why are they hidden away? Why do you choose to perpetuate the story of salary?
What story would you prefer to perpetuate?

Day 177 - Unexpected Sources

The argument is that most problems can be addressed in one of two ways. Either it's "Let's get this done" or "Ok, it's time to give up"

Imagine you're back in high school and you're standing at the start line for the 100 Meter run. Either you'll think "Ok, let's do this", or you'll look around, size up your competition, and think "What's an excuse for walking away".

Starting affords you the chance to realize what the essence of the problem you're trying to tackle is.

This in turn, allows you to course correct, and work on the right problem.

I think this goes for personal projects as well. Just try it, what else will you lose besides the time you'll likely waste considering your options.

Day 176 - The mantra of dreams

Let me know what this stirs within you

How to live your life like a waking dream.


are typically melodic, mathematically structured meters, believed to be resonant with numinous qualities

In more sophisticated forms, mantras are melodic phrases with spiritual interpretations such as a human longing for truth, reality, light, immortality, peace, love, knowledge, and action.[3][11] Some mantras without literal meaning are musically uplifting and spiritually meaningful.[6]

The Sanskrit word mantra- (m.; also n. mantram in Tamil) is derived from the root man- "to think".[14][15][16][17][18]

The Chinese translation is 眞言, 真言; zhenyan; 'true words', the Japanese on'yomi reading of the Chinese being shingon (which is also used as the proper name for the prominent esoteric Shingon sect).

According to Bernfried Schlerath, the concept of sātyas mantras is found in Indo-Iranian Yasna 31.6 and the Rigveda, where it is considered structured thought in conformity with the reality or poetic (religious) formulas associated with inherent fulfillment.[19]

Mantras, suggests Frits Staal, may be older than language.

There is no generally accepted definition of mantra.[20]

Renou has defined mantra as a thought.[21] Mantras are structured formulae of thoughts, claims Silburn.[22] 

Farquhar concludes that mantras are a religious thought, prayer, sacred utterance, but also believed to be a spell or weapon of supernatural power.[23] 

Zimmer defines mantra as a verbal instrument to produce something in one’s mind.[24] 

Bharati defines mantra, in the context of the Tantric school of Hinduism, to be a combination of mixed genuine and quasi-morphemes arranged in conventional patterns, based on codified esoteric traditions, passed on from a guru to a disciple through prescribed initiation.[25]

Day 175 - The great Salloum Qoutes

If you own the vision, there's nothing you can't do.

Day 174 - the future of work

What is the future of work? What does that even mean? 

Buzz word, fad, trends….(indifferent eye roll) yet more snake oil, now turned snake lotion kickstarter.

Whatever your take may be, it's going to impact you a lot sooner than climate change..and in some ways, it already has.  

Think of the present…

Are you a part of a large organization? 

Are any of the following familiar? 

Engagement surveys

Annual performance appraisals

Team building exercises

Voluntolding (mandatory volunteering).  

Congratulations, you've had the misfortune of experiencing tools from an era where productivity was measured by the individual output of 'workers'. These tools I mentioned are sometimes commonly referred to as "Best Practices". 

If you've had to implement them, then you've simply followed a rubber stamped process by way of policy based on legalese that few understand (read: dehumanising). If you've experienced bad policies....you're either enforcing them and still have a job, or you've been made to suffer until you exit, or you’d built up enough courage and savings to leave on your own terms.

So what does the future hold?

TLDR: Problem solving even over repetitive tasks

TLDR: Creative contributor even over corporate consumer

TLDR: Empathy and Collaboration even over siloed frustration 

  We believe the following to be true:

Workplaces and tasks are by definition going to change changing, and there won't be excuses allowing for repetitive tasks to terrorize a person's day.  - The age old question of "What came first the chicken or the egg?" (Read: what comes first? Job experience? or an experience on a job?) will be answered by a generation that has grown up handling it's own social media marketing, automated banking/accounting, etc.

What it means to design is rapidly evolving, conversations espousing Agile and Human centred design have democratized tools necessary for innovation.  This will impact what leadership is, isn't and what it needs to be for organizations (read: teams) to be successful.

Day 171 - The boy Pt.1

created_at: 2019-11-17 19:08:05

Merchant, widower, went away on a business trip, while he was away bandits attached and burned his whole village. When he returned he couldn't find his house, here saw the charred body of a child near by. He cried and cried, he beat his chest and pulled his hair. The next day he cremated the body and made a little velvet pouch so he could keep his child next to him. Wherever he went he had that bag of ash with him, eating, sleeping, working he always carried it with him.

In fact, his child was kidnapped, and three months later he escaped and found his way back to the village. He knocked on the door of the new house his father had built. The poor father was crying his heart out on the floor holding the bag of ashes.

He asked who is there
It's me Daddy your son
That's not possible my son is dead, I cremated his body and I carry his ashes with me. You must be some naughty boy who is trying to fool me, go away don't disturb me. He refused to open the door and there was no way for his son to come in. The boy had to go away and the father lost his son forever.

Story from The Art of Power

Day 170 - IS: Your Impact


created_at: 2019-11-15 19:08:05


Here’s today’s reflection: If money and time were no object, what in the world would you most want to impact? What steps would you take to pursue this passion or interest?

oh ma lord, I’d like to ramble using a voice note, SO. MANY. THINGS!

But if it’s one thing. Systemic change management for a nascent government by subsidizing targeted educational opportunities linked to apprenticeships for public services related to health, and education.

Can you explain this more? Sounds interesting!

When I was working for an NGO in England, about a decade ago, I had a habit of taking a different path to my desk each morning. I tended to wander around the book shelves in the open air office, and on one of these mornings, I came across Paulo Freire’s book, the Pedagogy of the Oppressed. I started an hour later than expected, the book had pulled me in to an extent that I, in a way, experienced a sort of unsheathing of the mind.

The idea I mentioned briefly, is premised on the assumption that people seek to better their condition, be that physical, psychological, or otherwise. If the right conditions are created, the possibility for a larger number of people to access a “limit situation”.

In Somaliland, an unrecognized nation with a fairly peaceful democratic society, there are young people growing up with access to mobile banking, and high speed internet. With the understanding that, the pillars of education and healthcare are necessary for the growth of a young nation. Access to easily accessible financial services and the internet has allowed for unprecedented access to education, that has outstripped the ability to access health services.

The government is young, seeks investment, and expertise. Imagine being able to apply systems design within a pockets of a willing government alongside a young population eager for opportunities. There are some traditional operators like the World Bank and the UN, but to effect change amongst the younger generation, you need to involve, attract and retain entities with goals similar to Mest as well as support, train and guide entities like SPN, to create interconnections between peoples and systems that are parallel in purpose.

The blank canvas is attractive, because the possibilities are endless.

Day 173 - Destination therapist

A full service therapy vacation for a month, in a destination that is affordable.

Forget silent retreats that leave you feeling more confused and lonely than you were before.

You acknowledge that you need help, and you seek privacy, you seek trusted capable therapists, You want relaxation by day, therapy by night, you want no names, no records, no phones, no tracking, just to be picked up, delivered, taken care of, the only people allowed to ask you questions, are the therapist, and the people requesting your meal options for the day.

People will pay, says introverted, private person.

People will pay, says person from collectivist shame heavy culture.

People will pay, says human experience conscious designer.

Will you pay?

Day 172 - What Leadership development isn't

I used to describe what I do for teams in ways I thought would get my message across accurately. I was prioritizing harmony, belonging, Relatability.

When other training or development professionals respond with "oh, we do the same thing" I noticed that I grimace internally, and respond with a flat, "yea, I guess..." immediately feeling a sense of dissatisfaction, almost self-betrayal.

I don't care to provide teams with a Tony Robbins experience. I want them to acknowledge their flaws, their strengths, and the tensions they stuff into their organization's closet.

I told a friend, they should call out those who do others who care about their craft a disservice, by selling their snake oil. That the impact of staying silent, is the probability of people, teams, department, and organizations, being misled by the loudest voices who seek to profit through perversion.

A friend then reminded me of this saying: "Omnia mea mecum sunt!” an iteration of the meaning can be "I carry all I need with me"

Day 169 - To breathe

I went on a long walk, and it was the first time in somewhile, that I didn't feel lonely. Two things happened. I had a goal, I was walking to pick something up from someone, and I was listening to an audio book, that kept reminding me to breathe. It encouraged me to breathe in over 3 to 4 steps and breathe out over 3 to 4 steps.

Practicing this while walking allowed me to notice things like the petals of jasmine on the floor, and the child whose mom I asked about the toy she was using. I think my lightened state made me feel more cognizant of others, and they related to me as a result, and took a few moments of their time to converse.

I played with my son, and kept consciously snapping back to his reality, with each moment of awareness, reducing the seconds I spent on things that didn't belong in that moment.

I folded my laptop screen closed, and turned my phone over when my wife approached me with a request to be heard.

I acknowledged my body and it's need to be hydrated, noting the dryness of my lips, and the tension in my jaw.

Tomorrow, I will note the feeling in my body, and exercise. Inshallah

Day 168 - My foray in to service design pt1

It's Dubai Design week, I attended a session on the future of Design careers hosted by a local design college. At the end of the talk, a member of the audience came up to one of the speakers and asked them about graduate education options for service design, for context, they had experience in architecture and wanted to gain enough exposure to practice service design, something that is difficult.

Their question had me thinking about the rough seas, islands, and icebergs I needed to traverse for a chance at a career in service design.

Doodle - rough seas

“Therefore do not deceive yourself! Of all deceivers fear most yourself!”
― Søren Kierkegaard

When I was recovering from my time in "H.R.", I only knew that I should apply for H.R. roles; after all these roles are what defined me, it made me who I was, and my value was inextricably linked to me being able to perform in these roles for someone, in some company. I'd invested years of my life in this, what else could I do?

Those thoughts had me stuck in a loop of interviews, rejections, mindless applications and eventual depression. These are the rough seas my friend, where the nights will be dark and leave you feeling cold, thrashing violently between waves of despair, apathy, and rejection. This is going to be 80% of your journey, because the validation I sought, is the one that was least useful.

It took me sometime to look past the waves, and see the guiding star, which led me to an island.