Achim Nowak talks with ease and elegance about human interaction and how energy is infectious. His 2013 book, “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within” is all about that. His new book, “The Moment: 4 Keys to a Momentous Life” goes even deeper to help us appreciate that the choices we make moment to moment can lead us to make a huge difference in the world.
A Momentous Life – Episode Overview
Achim Nowak, speaker, coach and author talks with ease and elegance about human interaction and how energy is infectious. His 2013 book, “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within” is all about that. His new book, “The Moment: 4 Keys to a Momentous Life” goes even deeper to help us appreciate that the choices we make moment to moment can lead us to make a huge difference in the world.
Achim Nowak has a gift with words and speaking. As you listen in to this episode, you will be entranced. You will agree, he is deeply qualified to have written a book, entitled, “Infectious: How to Connect Deeply and Unleash the Energetic Leader Within.” Early in the conversation with Positivity Strategist host, Robyn Stratton-Berkessel, they chat about about what it means to connect deeply, and what the sources of energy are. Achim’s third book, “The Moment – 4 Keys to a Momentous Life” will be out soon, and he provides us a privileged preview.
Connection happens at many levels. Deep connections are those that stir us at an unspoken level. Achim shares with us an example of how certain intangibles are predictors of how well we can deeply connect with others, whether in a formal or informal setting. When we can access that place where communication becomes a beautiful dance of co-construction, we realize that while we are separate individuals, resonant connection and meaning-making happens in relationship with others. We experience that at the deepest level we are all one.
I mention to Achim during our recording, that I was savouring the conversation we were co-creating, and as I write up the show notes now, I believe we were embodying that which Achim was sharing about deep connection and energy. Together, in relationship, we created a beautiful deep connection that has lingered and I would very much like to continue. Deep connections are heart-felt and touch us at the soul level.
It’s beautiful to listen to Achim speak about personal energy and how it can be unleashed. He talks about the intangibles, the unspoken elements that attract human beings to each other to deepen the relationship. He shares a description of personal energy that was offered up by one of his students some time ago. The student suggested good personal energy is a state of “being alive”. That lit me up, and this quote by Theodore Isaac Rubin comes to mind:
“Have you considered that if you “don't make waves,” nobody including yourself will know that you are alive?”
Personal energy, Achim shares, is a life-force described to us in all spiritual traditions. In essence, personal energy is being at one with the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual parts of ourselves. When we cultivate a heightened awareness of our whole self, we open ourselves up to offering our more intimate and therefore our more real, also known as, vulnerable self.
The Pleasurable Ride
I love the way Achim talks about accepting who we are, valuing all that we have done, appreciating our efforts, our relationships, trusting our best selves to arrive at a point where we say “I don’t have to struggle.” ‘I am not alone.” We embrace the reality that there are resources and people who are experiencing a similar journey; as humankind we are in this together. When we come to such insights about our best choices, the pleasurable ride begins. With this mindset, life becomes easier. We recognize, it doesn't have to be a struggle.
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Being Open to Possibilities
Reflecting on the career thread of his own life, Achim talks about his work as a theater director in New York City, his two year surfing adventure in Tobago and then coming back to New York city to teach mediation skills to youth. This was indeed a wonderful career transition for Achim as it highlighted for him the value of being empowered to shape conversations in ways that serve and are not about inserting your own point of view. These kids learnt early how to create meaning together. Achim, too was making greater meaning in his own life, as the trajectory of his own life experiences – theater, adventure, mediation, teaching – were taking a wonderful form that has resulted in the pleasurable ride he enjoys today.
A lovely piece in our conversation touched on our appreciation of language. Achim delights in sharing with us how language serves in expressing our energy. Language that is bold, colorful, provocative delights the senses. Such language keeps us connected with the spice of life. In a world of emails and tweets, and in an increasingly virtual world, carefully crafted language is far more energizing and serves to connect in ways that transactional writing, devoid of color doesn’t. Being brief is not an equivalent to being drab and colorless.
A Gentler Path Forward
Talking about language opened up the conversation to talk about story-telling as a way to connect deeply and engage with others, especially in group settings. Listen in as we exchange some of our own stories about Appreciative Inquiry and Open Space Technology as “a gentler path forward.”
These methodologies, or forms, as Achim warmly describes, open us all up to co-create conversations and share personal stories that help us embrace what is and collaboratively carve a way forward that helps us all succeed without having to fight so hard. It’s in the conversation and story-telling where understanding and kindness emerges.
When we embrace the form, magic happens. When we say what’s true for us, we find a willingness to explore and share what works for us.
“What do you value about yourself?”
Achim had no hesitation in identifying “risk taking” as a strength. Risk takers go to the edge. When we are at the edge, we face our fears and that’s where real learning happens.
Listen in to how Achim tells his story of risk taking. It’s illustrative of his gift of story-telling, deep connection and energy. He will put a smile on your face.
It’s very excting to hear Achim talk about his new book, “The Moment – 4 Keys to a Momentous Life.” The book will be available soon.
To illustrate the tone and intent of this new work, Achim shares a most beautiful, poignant story of a moment that came and went. Such awareness awakens us to the reality that moments happen, moments slip away; yet, in the moment, we know there is something special about an encounter.
He invites us to experience the moment more richly and more fully. Imagine if we didn’t just let moments slip away. What if we were to recognize and embrace the life-force of the moment?
Four Keys To A Momentous Life
Achim shares the four principles in his latest book. His intention is to offer us a practical and joyous reading experience that’s is positioned between teaching meditation and the deep contemplative traditions of seeking enlightenment
- Fully engage with all the senses. I can know my world more deeply; I can engage with it through all my senses
- Crave meaning. There is instant meaning (not the kind of meaning that comes from hindsight). Meaning, of course, also includes silly meaning that is fun in the moment. When I crave meaning, I enhance my experience moment to moment.
- Ride the energy wave. Energy presents itself in some form, whether through another person or some other way and I can chose to ride it or block it. Life connoisseurs are those who chose to ride the energy wave.
- Ability to slow down time. This means being in the flow state, where time and the activity are mingled and time is immaterial. This flow state allows me to know my senses more.
Play on those moments
Achim offers us ways to step off the treadmill to embrace a richer quality of life. He invites us to be present to the moment and notice what happens when we are. We are always co-creators in the moment.
He urges us to not just observe, but ride the energy wave and be surprised!
In wrapping up our rich conversation, Achim shared that “peace” is a topic that stirs him. When we know what peace is for ourselves in our social lives, in our communities – where we work and play – that is a great start.
We seemed to have come full circle, as, when we can show up fully as our whole self and connect deeply, we energize the leader within us to take responsibility to be present in the moment and be at peace because we can express ourselves and know also we have been heard.
Links Mentioned In This Episode
- Achim's Website
- Achim's Twitter Page
- Achim's LinkedIn Page
- Achim's Google Plus Page
- Achim's Influens YouTube Channel
- MIT Human Dynamics Laboratory
- Achim's Article: Your Intentions at Work
- Achim's Article: Lessons from the Paula Deen Drama
- Achim's Article: 5 TIPS FOR SURVIVING THE DREADED BUSINESS DINNER
Books Mentioned In This Episode