ABOUT THE AUTHOR
"You'll master every change:
if you feel, think and work with the change."
C.P. Seibt is an artist with diverse experience in many amazing projects.
He has studied several fields, lived and worked in various cultures, with nomads in a desert, with zen monks in a monastery, with academics of one or
the other campus, with leaders of top 100 companies and owners of very small ones, worked with blue collar workers and so called ordinary people, was surviving within refugees, liberating modern
digital slaves, survived in different extreme situations,
is mentoring adults and children.
Currently located on the island of Paros, Greece. His workshops, coaching and mentoring services are rare, stupendously unique and useful, in high demand; helping, motivating, and inspiring people on how to live the way they desire.
He is the founder of the Nomadic Academy.
Among his published works are Stoics for Managers, Management and Machiavelli, The Artist?Artist! Papers and many columns.
THE BLOG Interview with C.P.Seibt
What unique experiences do you bring to the table?
The fact that I worked unlike anybody else on the phenomenon change for the past 50 years.
On one hand, I did it practically, by working diverse jobs, on several projects, in many countries, in the most diverse cultures. And I also did it theoretically with extensive researches in Anthropology, Philosophy, Sociology, and Psychology.
50 years-how did it begin?
It began with my anew fascination for intriguing circumstances each year. That it challenged me. Everywhere, whether it was in any of the occupations, institutions, or situations of the every-day life, many people made mistakes (as did I), didn’t react intelligently, thought overeagerly, did over and over again what wasn’t good for them and their tasks, founded systems that were flawed, decided on short-term solutions.
And that despite the fact that most of them were educated, intelligent and benevolent. A world, that corresponded to Murphys law: If something can go wrong, it will go wrong.
I persistently stayed on the phenomenon and originally found the usual questions that were useless. However, in the meantime I also found out that, especially when people were experiencing and going through some sort of change, they did only mediocre or even failed completely.
And all of the sudden I had my topic: Change. And I found out, that “Change” was the root of all our badly solved, unpleasant and threatening problems. We just call them differently.
Suppose you are being fired. You could also call it something else, such as terrible or unfair. But really, only something changes. Up until now you were working for the editorial department of this magazine, for which you are interviewing me. And later not anymore.
But by tomorrow many will have heard of it and perhaps in the afternoon already you will get the offer of a lifetime.
Or another example. As a mother you experience it as a shock, when your daughter leaves your shared nest. Worries, worries, even desperation. Really there is only one natural change. Years ago I have been watching a birds nest, in which three young birds hatched and were continuously being fed. And then, all of the sudden, the baby birds flew away. The mother came back with a worm, searched the nest to no avail and - ate the worm herself.
So how should we live with change?
That was my question of the next phase: When did people naturally and successfully live with change?
Once again I was confronted with an obstacle, simply because we want to view and sort out everything that happened in the past, into our current understanding. It says a lot about us, but barely anything about the people from the past.
Then I dreamt of an image that led me to the right question. It was the image of a never ending savannah; never ending wide leading to a far horizon, through which only a very few people traveled. And when I woke up in the morning, the appropriate question suddenly appeared: What did the early people do and know that they survived millions of years, even though they were so vulnerable in a world filled with dangerous enemies?
And what was the answer?
That, in order to survive, they did exactly the right thing. Much of it was inappropriate. They learned that quickly, once and for all. And only a few methods, habits, trials were necessary on a daily basis.
Where they now! find nourishment. They always had to decide where to, since they didn’t have houses and their nourishment wasn’t standing still. They constantly had to start for whichever horizon provided nourishment for the morrow. The wrong horizon; the wrong direction was their undoing. That was the first and most essential tool.
I then adapted this and all other tools for our present. And with a lot of people in many extremely different situations tested and further developed it. I believe I published the term and image of “The New Nomads” for the first time in 1974 in Switzerland.
Because of the continuous work on it I constantly discovered something new, such as how the tools could become even more simple and faster.
One or two practical examples?
Change is the root to all our problems. Heal the root and everything will become healthy again. Or if we look at our everyday life functionally: Every day we have quantities of specific tasks, purposes, problems and activities.
Every day we have a thousand and one of them. And for all of them we are supposed to know and apply the best possible solution, the most sensible procedure, the smartest method. That really holds us in suspense. And you know of all the mistakes that are unavoidable in the process.
But if I look deep enough at these thousand and one challenges, then I find the phenomenon change. And now, if you want to try them, also the seven tools. With those I accomplish – and you will accomplish - the smallest, biggest and most diverse challenges. Even in a simple, relaxed and often even amused state of mind.
My first example are relationship problems. When you look at it on Google, then you are drowning in the flood of advice of what to do and not to do, in order to at least get along.
This they never accomplish, similar to the Ten Commandments, which are rarely not broken by holy people. On the root you find that two people possibly make an effort; like to see each other. But the problem is: they don’t look into the same direction anymore.
So therefore they cant go there together. So they go anywhere.
I have worked on the tool “Horizon” with numerous people and the solution happens like magic.
And the second example?
My second example is the famous key word “Leadership”. The same result when you google it – about 500 million hits.
If someone only uses two of the tools of change, then she or he becomes unstoppable. I speak of “Horizon” and “Big Story”.
Someone who leads has to show exactly where it goes and why, what for and how. Take Moses for example. Or Alexander the Great. Or Richard Branson. Or Henry Ford. Or George Washington. They didn’t hold on to desperate suggestions, but instead got up in the morning and led.
50 years you invested – and where is your ideology?
None. That always leads to a person assuming to know what all others should do. That leads to nonsense and disaster.
No, I pass on seven tools of the change and show how you can put them to best use. For that there is a book. Maybe in the near future even an online course. Here and there we have a workshop or individual mentoring, either on our island or via online.
Occasionally I train people, teachers, coaches. But without ideology.
My main occupation is artist. Through that I can perceive challenges differently – as chances to work creatively.
What is your next project?
My wife Heidi and I are working on getting the English edition of the book “The New Nomads and 7 Tools of Change” published. And we are realizing the second, big global “social sculpture” called “Hope&Give”.
In addition to that we are testing a project in our online Art Shop against the superstition, that the value of art can be determined by a price tag. Instead we have a version of a bazaar, at which you can suggest what you want to pay.
That is it.
The life in change.
Thanks for the talk!
What we call "change" challenged me so much
that I put half my life into it.
And why you’ll benefit from it - immediately.
Because no one can win against change.
But you can gain anything with it.
This is how it all started
It started at the end of the 60s. (Of the last century. I’m 80 now.) Back then I was thirty.
When I was two years old I started to paint. Creating - working creatively - is to this day the center of my being and the source of my energy.
But to avoid becoming an unworldly, isolated artist
I learned several things in those days. Some of them were theoretical, others practical; I tried everything until I had understood it. And naturally I made mistakes in doing so, but not exclusively.
Why it started
I noticed more and more how much was going wrong, how little was good or stable, even how foolish, prone to misunderstandings, failure, mistakes - especially in fields where something was changing or should have been changing, where the past ruled the present, causing one crisis after another. And it was almost always competent people who acted.
And, amazingly, everywhere: In science, in business, in management, research and teaching.
And in private life (individual life in particular), often with painful consequences.
More and more this challenged me. This waste of intelligence, intuition, of changes, of innovations, of more favorable successes, less wear and tear and, yes, more taking pleasure in challenges.
And no fruitful argument. And too rarely competition for the best solutions. And where there new solutions, tools, systems at all? Smarter methods? More friendly?
Of course not. The sciences were ruled by tenacious paradigms, meaning: Think like this. End of story. Education, psychology and other social fields were dominated by the ideas and experiments of bygone times. In management newer and newer costly trends came and went.
First the challenge, then the questions
The more astonishing the challenges became for me, the sharper my questions became: Can the answers be found somewhere else entirely? Maybe deeper? What is actually the best way to shape individual life and everyone’s common life? Especially if everything changes? Becomes critical? New? Dangerously new?
What ideas or methods or tools really work? How is it done: Surviving effectively, shaping common life as it should be?
I grappled with these and other questions for quite a while. And almost everything was blocked by the same old answers.
Typically I didn’t find the solution in the theory, but from a picture: An endless savanna, like a movie in time. Here and there, a few beings drifted farther and farther to a very distant horizon, thousands of generations long.
And that was it
With the right image I found the right questions:
How had we, humankind, even managed to survive millions of years? And so successfully?
Because it was definitely not a given. We were pretty small; our brains still needed to grow. We didn’t have a spoken language yet and no tools in the beginning.
And the world was full of superior, deadly foes. No one would have bet on us - except for one: evolution.
Good questions, creative answers
A scientist usually stands to the side and tries to understand. That didn’t work for me because it results in us interpreting what used to be from today’s perspective.
But an artist goes inside, he is inside, he lives, in a manner of speaking, in the here and now. I did just that at great length.
And began to understand the successful survival of the 90 billion people before us in the many millions of years: Which was crucial. How our ancestors survived from day to day. What their fatal mistakes were. Their triumphs.
What their legacy is - for us today.
Answers became tools
From everything that was important, I achieved the be-all and end-all - little by little, through trial and error. This included
I tried out these tools on a great deal of people for some years after. As a result, the tools became faster, more secure, simpler, easy to understand and easy to apply.
Practical, simple tools
The things you can inherit
I’m so certain for the following reason:
If you apply these tools, you will master every change.
And always get what you really want in life.