Friday, April 08, 2016

back in 1990, i was a support engineer and manager (1 person dept) for Unify Corp (Sacramento, CA)

when i came in, no customer calls arrived. i thought this could mean only one of two things: one - the software is great; two - the support is not so great.

then i started calling customer and found out which one of two was true. guess what?

so i encouraged customers to start calling again. soon enough i had a lot of work to do. it kind of swamped me. these were like 150 support contracts.

i also noticed a habit: customers would call when they had a problem. so whenever my secretary passed a phone call, i knew this was a customer trying to solve a problem. 

i remember my collegue in presales suggested that i should change the sentiment in any phone call from reactive to proactive (she would help from time to time in customer service). so while i continued to accept problems, sometimes being able to solve them, sometimes putting them through to the tech team, at the same time i started a counter-initiative.

i asked my customers: call me also when you are proud of something you did with our software. call me when you found out a solution to a problem on your own. call me when you plan to migrate from one version to another. because i knew, when the planning would start, over the next few weeks calls would come in.

i also suggested that, instead of searching their own software for three days, they might as well first call me. and if i confirmed that i knew not of such problem, they could still search their three days. but if i knew, i would save them three days.

magic started to happen. one customer calls in, saying he found a problem, told me the solution. then another customer calls in, same problem. depending on if it was in our software, i could relay the first customer's solution, or saying this other customer found a solution - would you want me to connect them to you?

my last move was that there were a lot of phone calls, but most of them were from happy customers, knowing i was on their team, wanting them to be successfull with our product, providing them with all the help from me in Europe and the tech team in Sacramento, as much as we could.

Friday, October 10, 2014

What is a Food Community?

Imagine you love organic food. Imagine you own a local organic store, where you can find all the products you love. You know where the food came from, who produced it, how it was produced, etcetera.

Imagine the store is so big, that there are perhaps 4,000 products. From goat cheese to butter, from bread to wine, from fresh lettuce to Lovechock. You know you can't eat it all. Also, other people might know about products you would love if you knew about them.

Now imagine there are 500+ of you. Together you co-own this local organic store. There is no need to go to the bank, paying high interest rates to finance the products on stock. There is no need to make a profit, because the profit would go directly back to the 500+ of you, the co-owners.

One step further, and also the producers are involved. And the staff in the store are involved. All of you are joined in a cooperative, co-owning the local organic store.

Imagine for one moment, that the 500+ of you are having a dialogue: producers, consumers, and staff. All of you have equal say, because you are members of a food community. There are shared values, the store is becoming more of a marketplace, with the staff as market supervisors. How cool is that?

The findings of our first two pilots, Lazuur in the city of Wageningen, and Rio de Bio in the city of Utrecht, both in the Netherlands, are quite extraordinary. People introduce themselves to the staff, saying "I am a member of this food community". They know that staff is also a member. They also go meet and greet other people in the store: "Are you also a member?"

People can join in for a minimum of 100 Euros. Many go for more. Instead of interest in money, they are entitled to a coupon with which they can buy food in their own shop. Values of these coupons may differ from store to store, anywhere from 6 to 7.5 percent of the total amount invested.

Many members feel that they steal from their own money if they would go shopping elsewhere. They also convince family and friends to join in.

Another example of a food community is LocoTuinen in the most southern city of the Netherlands, Maastricht. Here, 140+ people formed a cooperative. Their goal: to contract a horticulturist who will grow their favourite products. For the horticulturist this means a (partial) guaranteed income, for the community a guarantee that they know where and how the food is produced. The harvest, good or bad, is what they will get.

There is much more to say about food communities. It is a very effective way of crowdfunding; perhaps 95% of the participants live in the same town. Some members refuse to accept their coupons, they want to support the movement and not profit.

To me, as a student of attention, it is a wonderful feeling to be part of this grass roots movement. The combination of very experienced retailers within the Lazuur foundation, best practices statutes, round table conversations conducted by an experienced facilitator, the many requests throughout the country for more information and guidance in the process of creating one's own local food community, this all is heart-warming.

Perhaps more at some later time.

Best regards,

Monday, February 03, 2014

The economics of being authentic


In today's world, terms like "Personal Brand" and "Authentic Self" seem to be "hot". The question is: why?
My hypothesis is that there is a structural scarcity of attention worldwide, and therefore dealing with an authentic person costs the least amount of attention.


Materials and Methods



Monday, January 06, 2014

Is normal ideal?

In the film Yo Tambien there is a scene where the main character, someone with Down syndrome, is presented with the question: "Why do you want to be normal?" Then he bursts into tears.

In my life, I recognize that I am trying to be "normal. " It would be perfect. I just do not know why .

Since 2004 I am on a quest for " What is attention? " I define the term "attention" as my overall energy system, not just "focus (as a cognitive process)". If I get a call while walking, I notice that I'm going slower. Apparently there is a total amount of attention in my system that I can spend, be it on walking, or on being on the phone, but not both at the same time.

I began to regard man as an attention processing piece of nature. The term "resistance" took on new meaning. After all, resistance is the light bulb converting electricity into light (the main product) and heat (the byproduct). Would it be possible that resistance is also in humans, in me?

I searched for definitions. "What is normal?" I read about geese, who save 71% energy through their V-shaped collaboration. Is "normal" somehow related to "resistance", something to do with preservation of energy? I set up a preliminary conclusion: "normal" is what costs the least amount of energy for the group. The goose who flies out of formation not only consumes extra energy for herself, but she also withholds from the group a fair amount of energy savings. Would the group want to invest  extra energy to get the advantage back? Should I understand the request "Act normal!" to be an appeal to both the individual and the group for mutual energy gain?

Back to the movie. I was hit real hard by the insight that I thought "normal" was the same as "ideal". I wondered if I had mixed up the two terms, "normal" and "ideal". Is normal the same as ideal? Maybe I had always hoped that normal people experienced less resistance in their lives.

In 2004 fellow Mensa member Alexandra asked me the question: " How much surface below the line of the normal distribution do you believe is normal?" I thought 67% or perhaps 98% . She thought 100% .

Today I understand: from the ideal perspective every human being is "normal".
I "am" normal, because I am seeking the ideal of less resistance.

The penny dropped.
Thank you, Alex !

Enschede , January 6, 2014
Ronald Wopereis

Saturday, January 28, 2012

The impossibility to share an experience

After my mother died, december 2003,
i spent at least one night per week with my father.

Week after week,
he would tell me the same story,
over and over again.

I had been practicing my belief system,
and the latest belief i experimented with was:
"i want what i get".

No longer would an opinion about this repetition suffice,
no longer could i get away with my wish to be spared from this same story.
it happened in my reality, so i needed ask my self: "why does this happen in my life?"

and, after some weeks,
i began to understand.

i sat with my father,
and said to him:
"you know, i think i understand.
you want to share an experience!
but, you know what?
until i have had this experience that you speak of,
i will not know what you are talking about.
and when i have had this experience,
i will already know what you tell me."

my father, at that point,
said nothing, he just smiled,
and never again told me that specific story.

Saturday, October 22, 2011

Is humanity responsible for the earth?

while we are alive we should do what we can
but the idea that humanity is responsible for the earth is like saying a child is responsible for their mother.

no one on earth has travelled deeper than 6 km into the earth's center
we can not know her, as we can not know our parents

the way out imho is to accept that we ARE our parents, that we are made up from them, that we carry their thoughts, their genes, their beliefs
in the same sense the way out is imho to accept that we ARE the earth and that we ARE the sun
i think this is what is happening to us today

the human mind is slowly recovering from a long term malnutrition in terms of attention
guilt has no place in this - instead we should consider that we can not be in control while we are sick

initiatives such as WeForest show that we want to become healthy again
so my belief is that it is not the trees themselves who will rescue us, but our attitude towards our parents

humility, gratitude, and playfullness once we're feeling better, are the way forward

warmest regards Ron
(fellow human being)

Thursday, September 09, 2010

Wat is eenzaamheid en kun je er iets aan doen?

iemand die uit de aandacht stroom stapt, dat wil zeggen hij of zij stopt, om wat voor reden dan ook, met het geven van aandacht aan anderen en het ontvangen van aandacht van anderen.

net als bij inademen en uitademen, of willekeurig welke "beweging" dan ook
(Krishnamurti: beweging is dat wat geen begin heeft, geen einde)
kun je het aandacht ontvangen niet los zien van het aandacht geven, het is een (1) "beweging"

bij eenzaamheid is het dus zaak om zowel het geven als het ontvangen te beschouwen als een geheel, als een "beweging". Dan zie je dus dat de beweging van aandacht in de persoon zelf is gekeerd, van een open systeem is de persoon een gesloten systeem geworden, krijgt geen verse voeding (=aandacht) meer van buiten en sterft dus langzaam af.

hoe kan iemand die eenzaam is, weer een opening vinden en in de aandacht stroom stappen?

zoals uit de bovenstaande omschrijving blijkt, kan het een niet los van het ander. andersom: zodra die persoon hetzij aan de ontvangende kant, hetzij aan de gevende kant, de verbinding met zichzelf loslaat en haar of zijn aandacht richt op de ander, dan is het niet langer mogelijk om eenzaam te zijn - al is het maar voor een seconde.

je aandacht richten tot God (bidden), je aandacht richten op je medemens, zodra iemand aandacht geeft aan "de ander", op dat moment stapt die persoon weer in de aandacht stroom.

nog een heel andere manier is om met je aandacht te gaan naar het geheel van "in zichzelf zijn". bijvoorbeeld als je met je aandacht bij je herinneringen bent, dan ben je "in jezelf". Bert Hellinger noemt dat "ins Heimkino gehen" (naar de thuisbioscoop gaan).
wanneer je met je - bewuste - aandacht gaat naar daar waar je - onbewuste - aandacht op dat moment is, in dit voorbeeld bij je herinneringen, dan gaat die onbewuste aandacht weg. Die onbewuste aandacht zoekt dan een andere weg, net als water in een rivier zoekt ook je onbewuste aandacht het pad van de minste weerstand. En door steeds opnieuw met je bewuste aandacht te zoeken naar waar je onbewuste aandacht is, kom je steeds meer in de aandachtstroom terecht.
Deze laatste manier brengt je op het pad van de Law of Attraction: ineens krijg je allerlei cadeautjes van het universum; je komt weer terug in de synchroniciteit.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Over relaties

mijn gedachten zijn als volgt:
- het lijkt erop dat ik heel veel energie verbruik
- het denken in mij vraagt heel veel energie
- die energie moet ergens vandaan komen
- ergens vandaan komen wil zeggen: samen voelen wat er is
- in de wereld daarbuiten komt die energie naar me toe als ik mensen ontmoet, als ik lezingen geef, als ik reacties krijg op mijn verhalen en weblogs
- in de wereld hierbinnen komt die energie naar me toe als ik jouw aanwezigheid kan voelen, als je mij een knipoog geeft wanneer ik weer eens in mijn praatstoel zit, als onze lichamen blij aanvoelen wanneer ze bij elkaar zijn, als je uitspreekt dat je afstand van mij aan het nemen bent en dat je dat niet wil en dan weer terugkeert bij je gevoel en spontaan begint te lachen

verdere gedachten:
- in al mijn relaties tot nu toe lijkt zich een zelfde patroon te onthullen, een cyclus van vier seizoenen, waarna er weer een nieuwe cyclus volgt.

winter: ik heb het helemaal gehad met relaties en accepteer nu eindelijk dat ik alleen ben en niet geschikt voor een relatie
lente: iemand voelt zich aangetrokken door mijn zogenaamde zelfstandigheid / eerlijkheid / authenticiteit. mijn winter smelt want diep daarbinnen heb ik helemaal niks geaccepteerd, als een roker die gestopt is en de geur van sigaretten doet het verlangen weer opleven
zomer: er is niets meer over van de winter, er is een relatie, ik voel me blij, opgenomen, gevoed, ik kan de wereld aan. over en weer zorgen we goed voor elkaar, versterken we elkaar, zijn we samen blij
herfst: ergens is er iets omgeslagen in mij: waar ik vroeger de energie haalde uit mij zelf, is mijn aandacht nu volledig gericht op de relatie. mijn vroegere autonomie is opgelost in de relatie, er lijkt geen andere bron van energie meer te kunnen bestaan. ik heb behoefte aan een voortdurende boodschap van de ander: "je bent belangrijk voor mij".
de ander heeft misschien niet zoveel energie als dat ik verbruik (zie denken 1e alinea), zij voelt de balans omslaan van elkaar versterken naar "ik loop leeg". ze merkt dat mijn doen wordt ook minder, verdwijnt helemaal, alles waar ze vroeger op viel lijkt te verdwijnen en wat overblijft kost alleen maar energie. ergens is er een punt waarop zij het niet langer volhoudt en de relatie wordt verbroken.

en dan is het weer winter.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Interview with my mind

Two days ago i received an email from my friend Steve, who wrote:

"Ron, I have the feeling you may be one of the few who understands this: -- are you calling in in October?"

Steve's article is called "The end of beautiful dreaming", and it discusses the paradox of a mind that does its work.
So i decided to interview my mind, to celebrate my friendship with Steve.

Ron: dear Mind, i am doing this interview with You to celebrate our friendship with Steve. i hope You don't mind that i use You to formulate my questions?
I: not at all! it's Part of what I do for a living.

Ron: before we start, is there anything on You right now that needs to be expressed first?
I: you know, Ron, I have meant to tell you this earlier, but... (pauzes) ... well, letting Steve's article sink in, triggered a thought. I mean, I am so grateful for living in the penthouse of your body. It has such a nice View !

Ron: You are very welcome ! isn't that a Feeling that You describe? i didn't know minds had Feelings ?
I: yes that is quite often the case. people don't realize that Minds have Feelings too.

Heart: can i say something?
Ron: please go ahead.

(a short silence. an emotion of deep sorrow emerges. tears come out. then again silence)

Ron: thank you !

(Ron is still silent)

I: that was wonderful !
I: why do You say that?
I: it's Part of what I do !

( while Mind is having a conversation with itself, Ron is still impressed with the silence of the Heart )

I: Ron are you there?
Ron: yes, i am back. excuse me for leaving.
I: glad to have you back, Ron !
Ron: is this what happens when i disconnect from You? that you start talking to Your self ?
I: well ... yes ... I mean ...

( Mind seems to be a bit confused now. Ron pays attention only. Time ceases to exist. Heart is smiling. This is Her language. )

I: Ron, I think the interview is over.
I: who gave You that thought?
Ron: ok, ok, I get the message !
I: welcome back, Ron !

( Ron feels the patience, and the faithfulness, the loyalty of his Mind. A deep sense of gratitude comes from within. )

I: we need to talk.
Ron: yes
I: I'll do the talking.
Ron: yes

I: I want to talk about the things Steve writes about in his article. About Step 1, the dominance of the mind. and about Step 2, the regeneration of feeling. And I also want to discuss the issue of what reality is.
Ron: yes, excellent. anything else You want to talk about?
I: No, I think I am fully satisfied now. thank you Ron !
Ron: it was our pleasure !