Innovation: the introduction of something new: a new idea, method, or device.
I’ve never been a huge supporter of the gigantic Titan of energy Shell, but when James worked on this content film for them he told me about some really interesting alternative energy solutions they were working on, featured above.
The law for conservation of energy states that energy can never be created or destroyed, it can only be transformed from one thing to another. Renewed.
I have been reading about a psychological phenomenon called – Post Traumatic Growth. It is the idea that, post trauma, one can be transformed or renewed to something else, something stronger. Studies show that post trauma, many people seem to have a new found ability or strength. This occurred after the 9/11 attacks where many who survived did a 180 on their life and changed direction in a hugely significant way. Post attack teaching applications tripled in the U.S. Applications to Fire Departments and medical professions soared too- psychologists refer to this as – seeing new possibilities, new meaning. It’s a unique sort of meaning because it doesn’t just give our life purpose but it gives our suffering purpose. Suffering ceases to be suffering at the moment it finds meaning– says Viktor Frankl.
The rub is that trauma makes it often hard to pursue new possibilities. Some people find they are stuck. As Helen Keller put it, “When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look for so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened up for us.”
This phenomena is explored at great length in Sheryl Sandberg’s book about finding joy post trauma. She publicly announced after the death of her husband, that she knew that one day she’d be happy again but she also knew she would never find true joy. This terrified me at the time and I’m afraid I couldn’t relate. A year later she wrote the book to prove why this was not, and could never be correct. She takes on the challenge of examining trauma and growth from it, by meeting and discussing the idea with many who have suffered greatly. One man she meets who has lost his son, explains that his breakthrough occurred when he realised that his actions could become part of his son’s legacy. “Joe created a therapeutic process called ‘co-destiny’, which encourages bereaved parents to view their child’s life in a larger framework so that death does not become the end of they story. Parents who seek purpose and meaning from their tragedy can go on to do good, which then becomes part of their child’s impact on the world”. He says ” I realised that my destiny was to live my life in a way that would make my son proud. The awareness that I could add goodness to my son’s life by doing good in his name motivates me to this day.” It also reminds us that we are not at the centre of the universe.