look-up-at-stars

Look up at the stars...

I was super-fortunate recently because I had the opportunity to work at a client conference up at the stunning Kielder Water and Forest Park, right in the very north of England. I say super-fortunate for the following reasons:

  • Fabulous people who were really creative, engaging and great team players.
  • Absolutely amazing setting – good for the heart, head and soul.
  • Stimulating conference content that was enjoyable and insightful.
  • Negligible phone signal – hurray!

The theme of the conference was space, and one of the extracurricular evening items was a brilliant opportunity to do some ‘Stargazing Live’ outside by the water, thanks to the incredibly knowledgeable and engaging Gary, from the Kielder Observatory  under the finest dark skies in England.

I looked at Venus through a fabulous telescope, and then the surface of the moon. The experience was incredible. It literally looked like I was seeing it in Super High Definition, close up.

It really made me think.

Firstly, I am embarrassed to admit that I thought that the bright ‘star’ I was looking at was actually Venus. I didn’t know that Venus shone like that and that we could see it. We have such natural beauty all around us, and it reminded me that sometimes, as Stephen Hawking said:

“Remember to look up at the stars and not down at your feet. Try to make sense of what you see and wonder about what makes the universe exist. Be curious. And however difficult life may seem, there is always something you can do and succeed at.” 

Looking up and out is so important for our sense of perspective and appreciation of what is around us.

It also made me think about how much of our brains many of us underuse. At the conference we had all attempted the nine-dot puzzle, introduced by management expert John Adair in 1969, to practise out-of-the-box thinking. I have done this many times before, but always forget the solution in between! But our ancestors around the world used advanced mathematics (without spreadsheets or calculators!) and intimately understood the movements in the visible skies, the changing seasons and direction from their deep understanding and detailed observation of the world around them.

What I am going to take away from this wonderful opportunity is this:

  • Look upwards and outwards, and be inspired by the natural beauty that is around us.
  • Cultivate a deeper appreciation for what we all have the potential to do and become.
  • Keep challenging and developing whole-brain thinking for better creative solutions.

And last but my no means least, I will be returning to the beautiful Kielder Water and Forest Park with my family. If you’ve never been,  it’s worth having a look here.

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