J’ai testé le step pour toi

Tu sais que tu n’es plus fait pour le « step gym » quand :
-Les échauffements du prof te semblent aussi durs que le cours qui va suivre, et que t’as envie de quitter la salle quand il dit « Ready ? Let’s go !! »;
-Tu crois te baisser à 90 degrés sur le signal du prof quand en réalité tu en es à peine à max. 12,5 et encore, c’est le miroir en face qui est généreux !!
-La coordination entre ce que le prof te montre et ce que tu exécutes réellement n’a strictement rien à voir… et que malgré tous tes efforts et toute ta concentration, tu n’arrives pas à reproduire ses pas ;
-Les signes de fatigue n’apparaissent plus sous forme de points de côté, mais plutôt au niveau des tempes qui cognent et du cœur qui menace de quitter son poste de travail, tes jambes qui soudain se désolidarisent du reste du corps;
-Quand enfin le cours est terminé, et que le prof passe au stretching, sans que tu aies pu récupérer ton souffle, qui traine encore en chemin tu souffres le martyre pour étirer tes pauvres muscles, alors que les pétasses à côté papotent sans même haleter en s’exécutant… (Muriel et Julie, si vous me lisez…).

Bref, à un moment, faut vraiment arrêter, quoi… et ce n’est pas plus mal!! La marche, toussa, c’est aussi bien…


The Huge Step Back

I’ve been complaining these past years about how my religion and the core values it spreads has been distorted, noticing how much violence is taking place in the name of Islam, as a result of radical movements infiltrating all moderate countries and reaching its roots.
It’s noticeable that since the Afghan wars (Russian & US invasions) and the Bosnian war, all the volunteers that went to fight in the name of Islam, especially in Afghanistan, were enrolled and trained by extremist and/ or radical groups, and sent back to their countries to « serve » and « infiltrate ». The most painful is that these radicalized and over trained youth are far from having the slightest idea on their beliefs, their religion, and the values it carries.
We therefore have to deal today with very specific interpretations of Islam that relate to the first ages of our faith, one that is hardly bearable nor acceptable in this modern world we live in. As a comparison, imagine Mormon preachers spreading in communities, financed by some wealthy powerful and violent hidden ally, convincing neighborhoods by the sword and the gun, the dynamite and the bomb, to adopt Mormon traditions and values in their daily lives..

One of these « Muslim » preachers’ teaching pillars is that Islam was spread by our Prophet (PPBUH) by invading the « unfaithful and atheist lands », by war and by blood…

Every reasonable mind acknowledges that ours is a religion of peace, of tolerance, kindness, love, and respect.

To my huge amazement, I learned just days ago, in a #Coursera lecture by professor Dr. #Afsah, that Indonesia and Malaysia, the most biggest Muslim countries in population (AND lately in economic growth also!!), have never been invaded by Muslim crusaders, but have adopted Islam as their dominant religion centuries ago peacefully, by the favor of Sufi traders and migrants, who disseminated Muslim values, traditions, and beliefs. Islam was rooted in both these countries despite British and Dutch occupation that lasted from the 18th to the 20 centuries. (Indonesia was known as the « Dutch West Indies »).

In conclusion, my only wish is that we re-introduce our basic teachings to our children, to avoid letting this pseudo religion infiltrate all levels of population, and exerting this untruthful interpretation of Islam on our children’s brains.

In today’s economical constraints, all our focus should be put on growth, labor effort, human and economical investment and dedication, and certainly not on who wears what or on forcing archaic behaviors and manners on our societies, depriving us from half of our thinking, working, and managing powers by preventing women to take part in our economies,for example.
Modernity has always been encouraged by Islam throughout the ages, since it’s beginning, through « Ijtihad » (not to be mistaken with « jihad »). And this is exactly the giant step we need to take to keep the pace.

#religion #values #ijtihad #economic_growth #archaic #education

Respect yourself

I’ll never say this enough: I love this song.
(Lyrics begin at 1:20 of the video.)

It reminds me of the early and instinctive choices I made for myself.

Hard work and heartfelt emotions was what I wanted my life to encompass. As suggested in the song, I chose to « leave the wave » before it led me to my early grave:
At age 8, when offered a fastuous life and a bright future, my instinct made me prefer living with my parents;
At age 18, when offered to study in the States in a prestigious university, I preferred also having a little fun by going to study in Canada;
At age 23, when offered a promising and polished carreer in the banking system, I preferred the noise of the factories, the machines, and the working class,
At age 27, I exchanged the business trips, the stable life and the comfort for the hard working life of a farming manager to help my dad out.

I never stopped digging new holes, hardly resting in between, willing to earn each cent I received and each step I took to improve my condition. I did this because earning your ticket through life is the best way to know, love and respect yourself. And I learned exactly that, and I realize that any other life wouldn’t have allowed me to do so. Period.

Bull’s Eye

I’m not here to soften your burden or lie to you. I’m here to tell you what’s wrong with your business, or rather in your way of conducting your business, and suggest patterns for you to get rid of what’s holding you back.

I don’t care if you’re not able to carry out your deliveries / production/ service as you intended because of my conclusions. If these show you should stop immediately, then no truck / machine/ should be allowed out /to work, and your organzation / factory needs to be re-organized as I recommend, no matter what the course of events following that decision. Period. Because this is best for you.

Going on with wrong attitudes and negative proceedings can only lead to shallow results and poor operating patterns. And eventually to shut down or bankruptcy.

I observe, I analyze, and share my findings with you.
And you will appreciate these not only because they are relevant and accurate, but also and above all because they go to the heart of your problem, and go beyond the harshness of a conclusion many others could come up with.

Consultants will often try to please you, and soften their conclusions for many reasons, and will carry out their improvements and implementations through a long and tedious period of time. I cut through the raw, and go directly to where it hurts, and apply the remedy. However, at the end of the day, you’re better off with my medicine.

I was taught to detect, point out, and address the malfunction no matter what or where.


Emotional intelligence

I have been tortured by this concept for years.

For me, it goes beyond any management theory, or teaching. It’s more important than a firm’s results, financial OR technical.
This is about emotional intelligence, about human values, and about the future of any organization or company. I doubt any company can reach sustainability without social intelligence.

But on the other hand, you can’t manage a company without rules, discipline, sanction, and we often have claims about abuse on our working places, and cases of incompetent managers that drive the company very high… thus lack any human or social value.

I gave this subject thorough thoughts, and it was part of my most furious frustrations for a long period. And I’m talking years.

Untill I read an article on the Harvard  Business Review site, from a neuro-scientist with 15 years experience that was obsessed with the matter, and who published his analysis.

I was actually trying to figure out something that was not only beyond my sphere of intelligence and competence, but a subject that was turning nuts more than one specialist!!

One of his conclusions?

Read this:

« These two (brain hemisphere) networks function like a neural seesaw. In countless neuroimaging studies, the more one of these networks got more active, the more the other one got quieter.  Although there are some exceptions, in general, engaging in one of the kinds of thinking makes it harder to engage in the other kind.  Its safe to say that in business, analytical thinking has historically been the coin of the realm — making it harder to recognize the social issues that significantly affect productivity and profits.  Moreover, employees are much more likely to be promoted to leadership positions because of their technical prowess.  We are thus promoting people who may lack the social skills to make the most of their teams and not giving them the training they need to thrive once promoted. »

Matthew Lieberman, PhD, in « Should Leaders Focus on Results, or on People? »

Being promoted for your technical prowess doesn’t mean you’ll be successful leading your teams. Moreover, it may be harder to have your colleagues follow you if you lack « social richness ».

And that’s the point that always bothered me.

Although you cannot imagine  leaders that lack technical skills for a given field succeed in their missions, it’s hard to expect people to follow you without bringing along social values, empathy, and more general notions of team behavior. And it is even more doubtful to expect your success.

Reading this article is an enlightment. I can now rest my case.

Thank you, Doctor Lieberman.

Follow the video on TedX:

Let’s get things straight!

Ok, what do you mean, I’m not experienced enough? How do you think I can tell when you s**w up with your employees?

When you harm your own business?

How do you think I reached my conclusions on your leading habits? Made my own diagnosis?

Managed to cope with all the sh*t  I went through during all these past years??

Wanna impress me?

Here you go:

Take an endangered company. 80 to 130 staff. Unionized. One third of these between 55 and 60 years old, looking at retirement. Minimum cash flow available, and no investment foreseen. Important debt levels towards your vendors and bankers to finance your annual inputs. No market opportunities anywhere close to your production area. Logistics? Yeah, of course!!

Now throw away all your umbrellas, your parachutes, your bonuses, -your salary for some months?- .

ALL your advantages.

Fix your own goals, your own strategy to reach them, take whole responsibility for your decisions, and manage that entity.

For 15 long years.

And stay alive.

And make money.

Not big money, just enough to stay alive.

Then you’ll impress me.

I even lately took an online course in Organizational Analysis to understand what I had done, and how I’d done it, and still couldn’t find out how I managed to keep this company alive for so long before I decided to throw in the towel.

Wanna impress me again?


Once you’ve lost everything, EVERYTHING, from work, house, and family, to savings (18 years of hard work!!),  try to keep your head high, your smile on your face, and go back to work again and serve people. Make their life easier. With class. And humility. And service. Work for 12, 13, 15 hours for 2 more years, every 2 days, beginning at 3:30 and ending your day between 5 and 6 pm. The other days, your usual 9-10 hours dayload of work.

And serve people with the same  smile every day.

Then you’ll impress me.

And only then will I allow you to judge me.

And look me in the eye with that wrongly pedantic  arrogant disdainful superior  look.

You think you can? If you don’t, learn to look at people with more humility.

But cheer up!

For me, you’re still interesting. And unique.

Everyone can be stupid and ignorant at least once in a lifetime, I suppose.

After all, I thought life was easy and took it for granted too, at some point.

I just learned my lessons.

Will you?

Poème 6

Un autre poème parmi ceux que j’ai retrouvés au fond d’un dossier, et qui m’ont accompagné depuis mon adolescence…

Me voilà assis dans mon coin

Te regardant, mon verre à la main

Accrochée à son sourire, à ses mensonges

Criant ton bonheur du fonds de tes yeux

Ces yeux que j’ai tant aimés, tant chéris

Tu te lèves pour aller danser

Pour mieux t’approcher de son regard qui te voile,

T’abuse pour plus tard t’abuser

Soudain, il n’y a plus que vous deux

Vivant les premiers étonnements d’une idylle naissante

Une idylle que vous ne croyiez jamais pouvoir

Car il y a trop longtemps… oui, trop longtemps.

Mais voilà ! y repensant, il a tout pour te plaire,

Te satisfaire. Il l’avait alors, mais tu ne pouvais guère

Car tu m’aimais. Ou croyais m’aimer.

Mais tu ne m’aimais guère !

Toutes ces étreintes,  tous ces baisers, ces aveux,

Se perdent  ce soir au fonds de ton regard, de ton cœur

Pour être plus tard traités d’erreur, ou au mieux de souvenirs

Ton regard qui ce soir plus que tous les autres,

S’aperçoit autant  que ton sourire que désormais tu peux

Car tu es libre, et il est là !

Et moi, pourquoi le suis-je ?

Sans doute parce que dans mon coin, en te regardant,

Je pense que si je te vois, alors je revivrai

Ces souvenirs que tu as relégués au fonds de ton regard,

Au fonds de ton cœur.

Le noeud qui pousse

Non, mesdames et messieurs, il ne s’agit pas ici d’un vieux lourdaud qui vous aiderait à pousser votre voiture en panne,

mais plutôt de l’accumulation de frustrations et de colère qui se forme pendant votre journée au bureau, au niveau de votre plexus et en venant de vos tripes. Et il pousse. Il pousse vraiment. A vous faire faire des conneries. Vous essayez donc tant bien que mal de vous contrôler tout le long de la sacro-sainte journée…

Vous êtes donc rentrés à la maison. Enfilez votre tenue de sport préférée. Montez sur votre vélo (elliptique).

Echauffez vous tranquillement en pédalant doucement.

Pédalez. Plus fort. Encore. N’arrêtez pas.


Recommencez 3 fois. Fort. Sans retenue. Mais si, vous pouvez le faire!
Vous sentirez la boule remonter vers votre gorge. On y est presque.

En pédalant assez fort, et en alternant les rythmes et les pentes, vous ne pourrez plus contenir ce cri guttural qui viendra extirper du fonds de vos tripes cette boule, ce noeud qui vous comprimait depuis ce matin.

Vous serez étonnés d’entendre ce cri rauque envahir la pièce, en vous demandant si cela venait vraiment de votre gorge.

Mais en attendant, vous serez libérés du poids de cette oppression qui gâchait votre vie.

Voilà. C’est pas mieux que de rester frustré et opprimé? 🙂

Bonne soirée.