“We must put aside more time to think – not with our head but with our heart,” says Anne Lise Kjaer, director of Kjaer Global. Read about why she believes it is becoming more important to make space not to do, but to think.
Stop Running – Start Enjoying Life
Anne Lise Kjaer says a new global spirit is emerging. She believes in a more humane world that is better for all – and where the goal is not more money, but greater happiness. “We are on the way to seeing ourselves as projects. We pursue our dreams, hopes and ambitions, and see our progress as an ongoing goal in life,” she says. Kjaer herself woke up one day and said, “Stop!” This happened after it had become a personal goal for her to see how fast she could work and how much more she could achieve each day. She no longer tries to break impossible records: “I want to enjoy my life,” she says.Spaces and Places to Think
Time has never been more essential. The ability to innovate requires breathing room and by setting aside time to think, you step out of the busy daily work routine into a calm ‘room’ where the clock stops for a moment. When you enter a space outside the flow of targets and deadlines, you can start to focus on what is happening in your life right now. The seeds of the future lie in the present, and it is hard to think creatively and “out of the box” if you are constantly under time pressure or can only measure your effort and objectives against time. “If we want to successfully train ourselves to exercise our minds, we must value time to sit back and reflect,” says Kjaer.
More and more companies today understand that they need to create room to think about the future. Kjaer’s hope is that companies will also let employees achieve their personal goals. “The job of companies is to help facilitate the true needs of people and ‘empower’ them, both as employees and citizens,” says Kjaer. She emphasises that money is not the path to happiness, and that companies won’t achieve great things simply by focusing on selling products. Instead, they should focus more on their relationship and interaction with stakeholders and customers.
You and Your Future
Kjaer says she wonders how many of us have asked ourselves what we really want from our future. She believes that more of us will seek quiet periods to forget work and explore what is the greatest art of all: to do nothing and simply be. Many people are trying to find their true selves and get away from the constant cycle where speed manipulates the course of our lives. Kjaer’s challenge to us is to take time out to think. “To quickly make life more pleasant, we only need to slow down,” she says.
Adapted from an interview by Gitte Larsen for FO now SCENARIO Mgazine for the 2006 ‘Time To Think Conference’, jointly led by Kjaer Global and Copenhagen Institute for Future Studies.
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