Storytelling at Work
October 10, 2019
Learning to Face Your Opponent

oh sensei.jpg

Sometimes, in life, a single word or a single sentence can make a huge difference -- an unexpected communication that penetrates to the core of your being and then radiates from the inside out for the rest of your life. I had one such moment 35 years ago when I was a novice Aikido student in Los Angeles.

Here's what happened: In the dojo, while practicing a new technique with my partner, my teacher walks over to me, observes briefly, looks at me, and utters these eight words: "You have to learn to face your opponent."

I had no idea what she was talking about and just looked at her blankly. Then she stepped forward and gently rearranged the way I was standing, noting that I was standing a bit too obliquely from my partner -- a posture I had taken that was eventually going to require me to OVERCOMPENSATE in order to complete the move, an action that had the potential, she explained, to injure my partner and myself due to all of the unnecessary twisting and turning likely to happen.

Continue reading "Learning to Face Your Opponent"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:30 PM | Comments (0)

September 22, 2019
Every Song Is a Story

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:00 PM | Comments (0)

September 21, 2019
Woodstock Wisdom Circles

Speak up3.jpg

Woodstock, New York is famous for a lot of things -- the 1969 music festival, it's creative community, spirit of freedom, laid back lifestyle, mountain views, Tibetan monastery, Halloween parade, and Santa's Christmas appearance on the town green, just to name a few. One thing it is NOT famous for, at least not yet, is its Wisdom Circles.

Continue reading "Woodstock Wisdom Circles "

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:28 AM | Comments (0)

September 19, 2019
A Small Bag of Red Berries

abuela.jpg

Every day, each and every one of us has at least one memorable experience worth sharing with others, but we usually don't, assuming our moment wasn't extraordinary enough.

Click here for a 5 minute audio of one such moment from my own life -- an exchange I had with a Mexican abuela in a San Miguel de Allende cafe.

What simple story of yours might you share today? And what impact do you think it might have on others?

Excerpted from this book
Mitch Ditkoff

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:50 PM | Comments (0)

September 07, 2019
Truly Tapping Into Potential

Big thanks to Dave Vinegrad, of Behaviour Matters, for the heads up!

Idea Champions

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 04:57 AM | Comments (0)

August 28, 2019
The Art & Soul of Evelyne Pouget

Evbio2.jpg

Artist, Evelyne Pouget, has always followed her heart and intuition when it comes to life decisions, with serendipity playing a recurring role.

Originally from Paris, she lived in Italy, India (for a year at an ashram) and New York, before succumbing to the often referred to magic of San Miguel almost 18 years ago where she found a new direction and purpose. How she came to a life of art has its origins in the spiritual.

A self-taught artist, Pouget made her first painting in mid-life. She recalls that when she lived in Rome, she was surrounded by art and felt its influence strongly, but at the time it didnt translate to becoming an artist herself. As it turned out, that idea fell into her capable hands like a dream.

Continue reading "The Art & Soul of Evelyne Pouget"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 03:05 AM | Comments (0)

August 27, 2019
The Rightful Heir to the Throne

ruel-calitis-gZb86hIu3ZA-unsplash.jpg

Once upon a time there was a powerful, wise, and benevolent King who knew his time was coming to an end. Wanting to ensure that his Kingdom continued to thrive after his death, he called his three sons to his side.

"Blood of my blood," he began, "I know my loyal subjects are expecting me to pass my crown on to my first born -- and that is perfectly understandable, but I do not want my legacy ruled by assumptions and so I am inviting the three of you to enter into a contest to determine who will inherit my throne. I have designed the contest not to test your strength because I already know you are strong. Nor have I designed it to test your loyalty. I already know that, too. I have designed the contest to test your ability to see that which is not immediately apparent, since seeing clearly will be one of the most important skills you will need to rule wisely."

Continue reading "The Rightful Heir to the Throne"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:43 AM | Comments (0)

August 25, 2019
The Whirlpool of Life's Play

izzie-r-VKPLOCtxJRs-unsplash-1.jpg

A few month's ago, my finances were kind of in the toilet. No matter how much effort I made to get gigs, nothing was happening. This was the time I was heading back to Woodstock, from San Miguel, to get my house ready to sell. Anyway, after much effort being made and no results showing up, I realized I needed to totally let go. So I did. I entered the "What Will Be Will Be" space -- not just as a ploy for the universe to come around to my way of thinking, but as a deep recognition that my well-being did not depend on money or work or any of that stuff.

Four days passed. Then the phone rang.

It was someone from the Whirlpool Corporation, who had found my name in a google search and was calling to see if I was available to do an innovation-sparking workshop for them. Usually, these kinds of requests take at least 3-6 months to turn into anything, so, although I was glad I had a potential gig, I didn't get all that excited. Then, the client told me they wanted the session in TWO weeks (in just enough time to pay my daughter's final month's college tuition).

Standing in the kitchen as I was, and increasingly curious, I walked over to the dishwasher to see what brand it was. Surprise, surprise, it was a WHIRLPOOL -- and I happily told my new client that, right then and there. That's when she asked me what MODEL it was. So I bent down, looked again, and told her.

"MY TEAM DESIGNED THAT MODEL" she told me. "The dishwasher in your kitchen was made by my team."

Once again, I was humbled (and amazed) at how perfect this whole play of life is.

Mitch Ditkoff
Storytelling for the Revolution
Idea Champions

PHOTO: unsplash-logoIzzie R

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:28 PM | Comments (0)

August 14, 2019
Storytelling for the Revolution Making a Big Splash in England

67760355_2036398336461506_2030233720878792704_n.jpg

First there was Germany, now jolly old England. Seems like Storytelling for the Revolution's reach is going global, though two data points may be insufficient to reach that conclusion.

What you are looking at is the very noble, festive, creative, relaxed, kind-hearted, intrinsically motivated, poetic Juliet Whittaker reading my most recently published book -- which, apparently, is being enjoyed by lots of people here, there and everywhere, including these notables. If you haven't read it yet, click here to order from Amazon, either the downloadable Kindle version or the old school actual BOOK-IN-THE-HANDS version.


Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling at Work
The author

PS: Feel free to email me a photo of yourself reading my book. Who knows? Maybe YOU will be featured in a future blog post -- something to forward to someone you love OR someone who might benefit from reading my book. (mitch@ideachampions.com)

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:46 PM | Comments (0)

August 13, 2019
Kurt Vonnegut on Story

Big shout out to South Bend Slim for the heads up

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 06:17 PM | Comments (0)

August 10, 2019
He's Got Speed, Determination, Moves, Guts, and Balls

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:58 AM | Comments (0)

August 07, 2019
What People Are Saying About the Impact of Wisdom Circles

Gibran6.jpg

Wisdom Circles are enjoyable, lightly-facilitated, two-hour gatherings of 6-12 people sharing meaningful, personal stories with each other -- stories that convey insight, humanity, lessons learned, and memorable moments of truth. What follows are a sampling of testimonials from some of the people who have recently attended Wisdom Circles in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico and Woodstock, NY.

"Wisdom Circles are a microcosm of how I hope society, at large, might one day function -- truly seeing those around us, valuing them, and recognizing we are on a journey together in our shared humanity." -- Karen Kinney

"I always leave a Wisdom Circle full of new perspective, insight, and feeling -- a deeper connection to my fellow storytellers and story listeners, but most importantly, a refreshed relationship to my own life path and deeper connection to my values, voice and truth." -- Akka B.

"At the closing of the Wisdom circle, I felt I had been given the opportunity to glance at the human soul." -- Carole Clement

Continue reading "What People Are Saying About the Impact of Wisdom Circles"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:54 AM | Comments (0)

August 02, 2019
The Sagwa Zibi Dance

Here's a brief video that features an extraordinary, original composition by Paul Kwicienski about the river across his house in South Bend, Indiana. Paul told the story of how this piece of music came to be in last night's Woodstock Wisdom Circle. Hat's off to Paul for not only sharing his inspiring story, but making it come even more alive by playing us the soundtrack.

Co-composers: Paul Duffy and Jodie Sleed
Dance and choreography: Kate McGowan and Matt Smith

What people are saying about Wisdom Circles.
Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 05:39 PM | Comments (0)

August 01, 2019
Songs Are Stories, Too

Joan Baez telling it like it is.

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 01:28 PM | Comments (0)

July 31, 2019
The Power of Storytelling to Change Our Future

Thanks to Evelyne Pouget for the heads up

Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:27 PM | Comments (0)

July 29, 2019
A Tidal Wave of Storytelling in Germany Has Begun!

Rainer.jpg

Ta da! Proof that Storytelling for the Revolution has an international audience! Here is the very wise, talented, multi-lingual, creative, brilliant, contemplative, self-aware, humble Rainer Poulet reading it in Koblenz, Germany! Might this be the beginning of a tidal wave of interest in Germany and all of Europe?

And Rainer isn't the only one who likes my book. Here's what other people are saying about it -- some of whom you might know.

Available on Amazon and in my garage. Soon to be available as an audio book.


My other book on storytelling
MitchDitkoff.com

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 02:01 PM | Comments (0)

July 28, 2019
The Power of Story in Politics

About George Monbiot
Storytelling for the Revolution

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:48 AM | Comments (0)

Bedbound 11 Years, He Invents His Own Surgery

If you have a big challenge, problem, or seemingly insurmountable task, here is a homeopathic dose of exactly what you need. Nothing is impossible. Where there is a will, there is a way. Wow!

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 12:40 AM | Comments (0)

July 26, 2019
Why Do People Want to Listen?

PicassoHeads2.jpg

Everyone I know wants to be listened to when they speak. And everyone SAYS that listening is an important thing to do and there is way too little of it going on these days. As a facilitator of Wisdom Circles, I am very interested in this topic -- especially since there is no storytelling without story listening.

And so... I polled a whole bunch of people and asked them what motivates them to listen to another person. 79 people responded. On a scale of 1-5 (with "5" being the highest rating), here are their reasons for listening:

Continue reading "Why Do People Want to Listen?"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 10:35 AM | Comments (0)

July 24, 2019
30 Cool Quotes on Aging

Lady elder.jpg

"Anyone who keeps the ability to see beauty never grows old." - Franz Kafka

"There is a fountain of youth: it is your mind, your talents, the creativity you bring to your life and the lives of people you love. When you learn to tap this source, you will truly have defeated age." - Sophia Loren

"My face carries all my memories. Why would I erase them?" - Diane Von Furstenberg

"If you are pining for youth I think it produces a stereotypical old man because you only live in memory, you live in a place that doesn't exist. Aging is an extraordinary process where you become the person you always should have been." - David Bowie

Continue reading "30 Cool Quotes on Aging"

Posted by Mitch Ditkoff at 11:23 PM | Comments (0)

Want more? Read our Archives:
October 2019, September 2019, August 2019, July 2019, June 2019, May 2019, April 2019, March 2019, February 2019, January 2019, December 2018, November 2018, October 2018, September 2018, August 2018, July 2018, June 2018, May 2018, April 2018, March 2018, February 2018, January 2018, December 2017, November 2017, October 2017, September 2017, August 2017, July 2017, June 2017, May 2017, April 2017, March 2017, February 2017, January 2017, October 2016, September 2016, August 2016, July 2016, May 2016, April 2016, March 2016, February 2016, January 2016, December 2015, November 2015,
ABOUT THE BLOG

Storytelling at Work is a blog about the power of personal storytelling – why it matters and what you can do to more effectively communicate your stories – on or off the job. Inspired by the book of the same name, the blog features "moment of truth" stories by the author, Mitch Ditkoff, plus inspired rants, quotes, and guest submissions by readers.

Order the book:

Storytelling for the Revolution
Storytelling for the Revolution is Mitch Ditkoff's newly published book about the power of personal storytelling to elevate the conversation on planet Earth. Provocative. Evocative. And fun. YOU have stories to tell. This book will help you tell them.
Storytelling at Work
"The world is not made of atoms," wrote the poet, Muriel Rukeyser. "It's made of stories." Learn how to discover, honor, and unpack the stories of yours that show up "on the job" in Mitch Ditkoff's award-winning 2015 book, Storytelling at Work.
FAQ
Do you want to know more about the book before buying it? Click here for Mitch's response to frequently asked questions about Storytelling at Work – the perfect book for people who think they have no time to read.
The Workshop
Storytelling is an "unconscious competency" – an ability we all have that all too often remains inaccessible to us. Enter the Storytelling at Work workshop – a simple way to activate this powerful, innate skill.
Wisdom Circles
Want to establish a culture of storytelling in your organization or community? Looking for a simple way to help people to share their meaningful, memorable stories with each other? Here's how.
Podcasts & Videos
Click here to view and listen to a series of interviews with the author of this blog. Go beyond the written word. Listen. Feel. Elevate the conversation. Understand what the big deal is about personal storytelling.
Blogs 'R Us
If you like this blog, you might also like Mitch's other two blogs: The Heart of Innovation and The Heart of the Matter. Mitch is also a regular contributor to the Huffington Post.
Idea Champions
When Mitch isn't writing, he's captaining the good ship Idea Champions, a leading edge innovation consulting and training company based in Woodstock, NY. What their clients say.
© IDEA CHAMPIONS