Blog

 

The story of a golf ball

 

Not long ago, I was listening to a song by Vinicio Capossela “Il paradiso dei calzini” (or “The Socks’ Paradise”), and by some strange mental association I began thinking of lost golf balls.

 

This thought brings to mind a whole jumble of curious feelings and behaviour… and in this case the question probably has little to do with our experience of playing golf, and a lot more to do with how we relate to the idea of being abandoned or to the idea of possession. In any case, it’s something that has its origins in our childhood, in something that we felt was missing, and which now we unconsciously project onto those little white spheres that accompany us on our golf outings.

 

When you buy one, a golf ball is virgin perfect, white and shiny. Maybe the first time we buy some we don’t really know which kind to buy, or else we follow the advice of friends, family or the shop assistant… but before long we get attached to one particular brand name, attracted perhaps by irrelevant or futile motives, like the font used in the ball’s logo.

 

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My first game of golf…

 

My first game of golf was above all a major mental obstacle to be overcome.

 

Given my perfectionist tendencies, for a long time I’d been tempted not to play competitive golf until I felt myself “fully ready”. But as I said in the first article (“Why to play golf”), no one is ever really “fully ready” for anything… So at a certain point I decided tackle the matter head on, and signed up for three consecutive games.

 

The preparations were pretty intense (and in retrospect pretty ridiculous): every Sunday morning I’d set my alarm-clock for six-thirty and go out “to get to know” the golf course. I’d taken a series of lessons on the rules of the game quite a while before and I’d forgotten just about everything, so I could imagine how many times I was going to come up against the various complicated rules about unplayable balls, penalties and drops. Still, my worst worry was “will I be able to have a pee if I feel the urge coming on?”

 

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Why take up playing golf?

 

I began playing golf six years ago. The first thing I remember about the day I registered as a member is the sensation of entering a different world, full of peace, harmony and beauty. And to this day, even when I’m exhausted and stressed out, as soon as I pass the gateway into the club I leave all that behind me: I start breathing more deeply, relaxing myself and feeling my energy return.

 

I find golf somehow very zen, because it allows you to reach an interior state of “relaxed concentration” whose end result is that your mind empties itself and rediscovers its inner balance. It’s no easy thing, though, to attain this state of grace, and especially at the beginning I personally found it almost impossible: I’m a very demanding person, a perfectionist, so I don’t easily accept mistakes, above all when they’re made by me.

 

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Creative ignorance and the perfect swing

 

On the 25th of October I had the pleasure of taking part in the TEDx event in Bologna.

 

It felt to me like a burst of fresh air and sunlight after being trapped in a traffic jam inside a tunnel for an hour.
A celebration of “ideas worth spreading”, offering illumination, refreshing enthusiasm and a cascade of positive human and professional stimulation.

 

The first speech was by Professor Piero Formica, and its title was “In praise of ignorance”. To condense his reflections: we ought to push ourselves more often to break away from the schemes and rules which we generally use for approaching professional problems or situations, in order to leave space for creativity, for observation freed of habit and limit, to open the door to fresh ideas, new possibilities and improved solutions.

 

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The importance of saying thank you

 

I know this may sound a bit banal, verging on the naive, but expressing recognition of the work and commitment of a colleague or a collaborator is vitally important.

 

We live under constant stress, with breathless work schedules scrambling to respect permanently impending deadlines, many of them quite unrealistic. We frequently gulp down a sandwich while working, or skip lunch altogether (making the excuse that we’ll fit into our jeans a bit better), and by the evening we’re ready to crumple weakly onto the sofa.

 

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Performance anxiety…

“Performance anxiety…”

 

1) A client wants a job done by tomorrow and we have no one free to do it: what can we do?

 

2) We have to organise a meeting in two weeks’ time and we neither have contents to propose nor the time or personnel to prepare them… but the decision has been made that we must attend the meeting anyway: what can we do?

 

3) A client has requested the creation of a programme with an extremely tight consignment schedule and a significant lack of specific information: what can we do?

 

How many times have we found ourselves in this situation?

 

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Help Desk: pleasure or pain?

Help Desk: pleasure or pain?

Just recently I found myself needing to call the technical assistance service of a supplier, due to a problem I was having with a programme.

 

It made me think about how complex the how-to-relate-with-a-Help-Desk situation is.

 

The user who asks for help expects instant total comprehension of their problem and an immediate solution.

 

But frequently the information they supply is insufficient or even incorrect.

 

Because of this, the Help Desk’s attitude often betrays an ingrained distrust in the user’s ability to explain their problem.

 

This can easily lead to an impasse.

 

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Workplace Ethics

Workplace Ethics

Does it seem complicated and awkward to talk about ethics in the workplace? I think that this feeling stems from the fact that “Corporate Ethics” are often seen as being something imposed by employers on employees.
I believe that this is not only a very limiting outlook, it is also profoundly mistaken.

 

The ethical aspect of company teamwork is a two-way process with a highly complex structure, comparable to a neural network.

 

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Sustainability

Sustainability

Sharing Awareness is an approach with multiple applications, based on an ethical approach to people and relationships, and therefore to the conditions and atmosphere of their workplace.

In this context, it is entirely natural to propose the creation of a sustainable development plan to the group of which one is part.

 

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Training

Training

I have been involved in training for more than 4 years now.

 

I find it a wonderful personal and professional experience. My responsibility is to teach people how to use quite complicated and elaborated programmes (CAT translation programmes), which require different approaches according to the different types of people using them. This is actually an activity that I have been engaged in for much longer, when explaining procedures and methods to people collaborating with me on specific projects.

 

The most challenging aspects in a training situation are establishing a shared language and creating a shared emotional context.

 

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