The Artisan and the Plagist

Christophe Berg
Oct 21 · 6 min read

Write your Manifesto, cultivate Mindsets at work and in your personal life

It has been a meaningful exercise to write down my manifesto to clarify what contributes to make me feel alive, what are my core values and a few guiding principles to live by.

Writing your personal manifesto is pragmatic way to initiate a process of self-knowledge. More on Self-Knowledge (and learning through practice) on the Blue Lotus Café Podcast. My personal manifesto turned to layout a « Plagist » mindset, where my professional manifesto tends more toward an Artisan / Craftsman mindset. More on Writing your Personal Manifesto on the Blue Lotus Café Podcast.

Why Cultivating Mindsets?

Writing your own set of rules to live by, doesn’t mean that you can not get inspired by others, to the contrary. I like to observe people’s attitude, extract the best of it and visualize it globally as a mindset. A mindset is a way to face a given context, it’s a simplified operating system. I found useful to adopt the relevant mindset for managing challenging project. Mindsets are a comprehensive set of simple rules to guide you, to outline a positive attitude and to facilitate the decision making process. A Mindset includes a consistent and relevant set of principles, habits and activities. I visualize a mindset model as a useful series of attitude patterns.

Listen to Blue Lotus Café Podcast on Cultivating Mindsets. You can also tune in on the episode about the Instructor Mindset… Now to illustrate this concept, see bellow the Craftsman and the Plagist mindsets:

The craftsman, a Mindset at work!

  • Take one day at a time. Minimize your work in progress that day. Focus your attention on deep work. Remove any distraction. Make sure you are hard to reach.
  • Do what you care about, care about what you do. Set your own standards. Focus on quality. Deliver quality in time. Look to provide real solutions. See problems as opportunities or gaps to fill.
  • Creating, making is becoming. Doing a good work is enough. Do it intentionally. Be in the moment. Dedicated to your craft. Enjoy the process. Keep it simple.
  • Keep experimenting, evolving. Embrace change. Try, fail and repeat to improve. Edit, fix, repair, adjust… Find beauty in the acceptance of imperfection.
  • The quest of perfection should never delay action… Perfection is a byproduct of deep work and iterations. It happens eventually, just don’t wait for it. Deliberately practice and iterate as much as possible. Focus on the process and your progression.
  • Plan the next four days, visualize the next two weeks and have an idea of the next 90 days… not further than that.
Working from Tazacorte and Puerto de Tazacorte in La Palma (Canary Islands)

Set your own rules so that you can experience what taking decisions really implies and feels like. When you screw up, no one else is to blame for it, fix it or move on. More details on the Artisan Mindset on the Blue Lotus podcast.

Revealing my true « Plagist Soul »

  • Uniqueness is a super power. We just need to accept our personality and reveal what makes it special. I am full of contradictions, which happens to be just fine. It’s ok to not exactly understand the kind of world that we are living in. There is always another way to perceive and do things. I keep looking for alternatives.
  • Coaching, exploring and experimenting happen to be my way of learning. Inspiration is everywhere. I am a sponge, I see patterns and new ideas in anything. In exchange I am cool with people stealing my ideas, especially when in return they share their insights and dare to express their personal touch.
  • A very French sounding « Non! » (loud « No ») remains my first answer to most requests.
  • There is no such thing as « Time Management » as it is not a resource that you can exchange or create. I can only try to avoid wasting too much of the time I have. Life is terribly short. Postponing just doesn’t work. Each day is a life. No matter how I struggle, I try to enjoy life as something terribly ephemeral. I don’t plan to retire. I anticipated by taking sabbatical periods and by choosing not to work continuously dreaming about a hypothetical retirement.
  • I like to work in places, where most people pay not to work. This way, I don’t need to take holidays. I simply like to work and live in different environment.
  • I decided to focus my attention on what I can control and what truly matters the most for me. I don’t care about external expectations. Sadly I don’t exactly commit to inner expectations either. It’s called having a rebel tendency. All you need is learning to deal with it. I am now in peace with adopting an unorthodox way of life… so Yes! in no order of relevance, I don’t smoke, I don’t have children, I don’t drive, I don’t eat animals…

The Tao of the Plagist, a lifestyle Mindset!

« Le Plagiste » (aka The Plagist) in French is someone living close to the sea and working during the good season on a beach… My very personal interpretation of this nice sounding word is a Lifestyle Mindset:

  • Each day is a life. Enjoy it. Everyday can be as easy as a Sunday morning. Don’t take anything too seriously. Listen, observe and learn from nature. Climate is changing, always. Go with the flow. Rest when it rains.
  • Life is like Nature… it can be tough, dark and turbulent. Be prepared.
  • Find your spot, feeling good is always easier while in the right context.
  • Sunlight is your natural clock. Show up to surf the wave at the right time.
  • Live your life humbly like a local. Don’t make waves. Blend in. Learn the language. Meet people. Enjoy long conversations. Take your time.
  • « Vivons heureux, vivons cachés » roughly meaning « Live happily, live discreetly » if it makes any sense in English.
  • In doubt, take it easy. Keep it simple. Simplify, do less, do things smarter.
  • Live cheap. The less you need, the more free you become. Meaning try to live below your means. Health is your Wealth. Less is more, your mantra. Know when it is enough.
  • Auto-discipline. Show-up daily. Do the work. Improve a little each day. Kaizen in action. Like an Autodidact, stay curious and learn by doing. Expect to fall. Get back on your feet. Rest and Repeat till you master.
  • Cultivate understanding and empathy for others, you never know that they are going through. Judging others would take too much of your precious time. Refrain from judging. Listen, support and inspire good people. Skip bad energy or influence.
  • Stay pragmatic. You can be a good and positive mind, just don’t show it too much. Badly intentioned people would use you.
  • If you don’t have a passion. don’t worry. Dive deeply in what seems interesting at that moment in time. Follow your curiosity.
La Vida Bonita on La Palma (la Isla Bonita)

As you may have notice this topic has been largely covered on the Blue Lotus Café podcast, you can find it on Apple Podcast or on Spotify. If you have any question, feel free to contact me, Christophe Berg. Or catch me if you can on social media (look for kristofberg). You can find some more on my webpage: https://www.kristofberg.com

Christophe Berg

Written by

Director of Education at Blue Lotus 🌱 Project Manager & Agile Coach #digitalnomad #minimalism #trailrunning #agile #plantbased

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