EQ Emotional intelligence

Watching your emotions and making decisions.

Emotional intelligence
Fear is just a thought

Emotional intelligence is the ability to recognize and understand your emotions, in yourself and others. It’s also your ability to use this to manage your behavior and relationships. We have to learn to observe our emotions as they are part of our decision making process. Trying to make rational decisions without being emotional is the best way, but rationality is determined by emotions, if your being rational, your emotions still play a part in the thought process. In fact it’s impossible to make decisions without emotions attached to them. Therefore it means being intelligent with those emotions.

Being emotional, has negative connotations in the decision making process. Emotions are seen as weak and childlike, making them counter intuitive in the decision making process. If we were able to compare two people who earn the same money and the same family background and are in fact identical in everyway, their emotional intelligence would decide their ultimate success. Emotional intelligence is being able to moderate yourself, control your impulses, regulate your mood and keep stress in place. These qualities often don’t arrive as part of a high IQ. They are in fact part of a higher emotional intelligence.

Knowing your emotions

Pinpoint your emotions and how they are effecting you. Try to see beyond your perceptions and identify the truth in your own situation. How you feel, not how other people expect you to feel. Also not how your manipulated into feeling, you have to monitor your feelings as they come. Ultimately, each of us are responsible for our emotions. There may be people who we can legitimately blame. But it’s still up to us to learn to manage and not suppress our emotions. As emotions generate everything we do in life, it’s important to identify them and talk about how we feel. Don’t get stuck in behavior loops and be unconscious to the part emotions play in your life. Extraverts or confidence people are no better at emotional intelligence than introverts, who can have high EQ as well, it’s not synonymous with either polarity.

Emotional intelligence is highly developable.

It’s one thing to know your emotions and label them, but it’s another to manage and discipline yourself to control them. To have the ability to read emotions in other people and to understand how they feel is empathy. It’s also the ability to manage your intimate relationships and how well you communicate with other people. Obviously we can be strong in some emotions and weak in others, the object, is to take 100% responsibility for all of our emotions.

Although the middle ground, would be a fantastic achievement for the majority of us. IQ is easier to learn than EQ, people with high IQ’s tend to live in their heads more. They find emotions harder to deal with, it’s hard to know where each of us fits into this framework. Possibly nowhere, because our emotions are constantly coming and going. The intelligence quotient test, measures short term memory, analytical thinking, mathematical ability and spatial recognition, but not your capacity to learn. The Emotional quotient test, measures an individuals ability to identify, evaluate, control and express emotions. IQ tests can’t measure your capacity to learn. Which means we all have the capacity to learn and to control our emotions.

Depression, anger and fear > Chartering a course to > Peace, acceptance and wholeness

Emotional intelligence
Positive thoughts help

Elderly Curmudgeon ahead.

As I’m getting older I understand the phrase “elderly curmudgeon” It’s a late symptom of the terminal disease called life.

Humanity is of little or no interest to a curmudgeon, what he most desires from others is that they leave him alone. He’s not trying to offend people, he just sees no point in pleasing them either. It doesn’t matter if people don’t understand you, they ought to, but if they don’t it’s their fault. There young and foolish, so there’s no point in talking about their ideas, until they grow up. We’re crusty, ill tempered and USUALLY old men, so ladies, I have to include you in this as well.

Elderly curmudgeon ahead
Ninety the new seventy

We need to combat the symptom just as aggressively as we do a knee degeneration. If we want to live a long and happy life, into our “grey hiking” years. As older hikers we do face special challenges, our youth can’t naturally protect us anymore. We can’t just show up with a pearly white smile and expect that to be enough.

Sixty isn’t the new forty

This is another narcissistic mindset so often associated with us curmudgeons. We think we’re ageless with a free pass to the fountain of youth. If we work out at all, most of us aren’t focused on climbing over boulders, powering up hills, or recovering from falls. In particular controlling the down hill on uneven ground where knee problems, and tendonitis love to live. Like most baby boomers I have an accumulation of injuries as well as many of the standard age related problems.

These are offset with experience, motivation and a healthy case of attitude. I’ve turned 65 on the trail and still have a competitive mindset. I want to do everything I can to be fit and ready, and be able to hike on. If I throw in the towel, I need to know that I left it out on the trail and there was nothing more that I could have done.

Many times in our life we see our dreams shattered and our desires frustrated, but we have to continue to dream. The”good fightis the one we fight because our heart asks it of us. When we are young and our dreams first explode we are very courageous, but we haven’t learned how to fight for them properly. With age, we’ve learned how to fight, but sometimes we lose the courage to do combat for our dreams. We turn within and start doing battle with ourselves and in doing so become our own worst enemy. Killing our dreams because we become afraid to fight the “good fight” on the external battlefields.

Grey hiker reality check

I’m proud of being part curmudgeon there is still strength in my legs and a spring in my step. As I make my way beside a meandering stream, I still have an endless enthusiasm in my heart for all things outdoors and wild. Most of all I’m a realist, hiking can=pain, unless we ground our dreams in our external reality.

Elderly curmudgeon ahead
Still got plenty of heart

I don’t mind huffing and puffing for hours, I just want to be out there for the fun of it” Lee “easy one” Barry. “That hike was pure joy, with the focus no longer on whether or not we could finish. Just enjoy how much fun it was to spend months in the wilderness” Ray Jardine “I’m not on vacation, I’m not here for the weekend, this is where I live” said George “Billy goat” Woodward. Who spends six months of every year hiking  the “pacific crest trail” in his late seventies. As Emma “Grandma” Gatewood said to Ray Jardine after becoming the first woman to complete a through hike of the Appalachian trail at 67 years of age. “Most people are pantywaists” a very appropriate feminine comment.

The younger generation have good ideas.

The younger generation nowadays are setting examples that us curmudgeons find hard to follow. Some negative incidents hamper lots of good intention. We can learn a lot about being creative and thinking out of the box and being innovative with our thinking. They are an arrogant lot and yes arrogance is required nowadays. They give no consideration to what others might think and in this post truth era, they do what “they” think is right. Belief in ourselves, is the best thing we can learn from the younger generation. As society is failing to value and harness older peoples skills, knowledge and experience.

Older people are seen as a “drain” in a society infatuated by the cult of youth. While this division remains, there will always be words for symptoms that don’t need to exist. On the trail, there is a “bringing together”of young and old in a mutual shared experience. My knee degeneration has improved, with less pack weight and the use of hiking poles for difficult down hill sections. I now wish I had listened to some of the younger hikers earlier in the game. As they do have good ideas, but as a curmudgeon I could never admit to that.

Crabs in a bucket

Crabs In a bucket, “If I can’t have it, neither can you”.

The crab in a bucket theory, refers to the behavior of crabs, when placed inside a bucket.  While a single crab can escape if several are in the bucket, none will escape.  As one crab claws it’s way to the top, the others pull it back down.  The other crabs will kill the one trying to get out, if it continues to pull itself to the edge of the bucket, while not staying down with the other crabs.  This is a true phenomenon.  The crab mentality is a metaphor for the human response to self improvement in others.  So often when people see others advancing, they subconsciously or consciously reach out to hold them back.

Also with negative talk, gossiping and biting at each other, and not achieving anything in life.  While never trying to get out of the bucket.  Members of the group, will attempt to negate and diminish any member, who achieves success beyond the excepted normality of the group. Hence they will use envy, spite, conspiracy or competitiveness and other methods.

Do you have the crab mentality ?

Do you have the crab mentality or are you surrounded by others with this mentality?  There are so many reasons we don’t want to lose people in our lives.  Since we don’t want to be lonely, be excluded, feel disappointed, or upset people.  Therefore we are in fact being people pleasers.  We have to be willing to lose people in our lives who are not supporting us, or who have the crab mentality.  They want to drag us back down, kicking us in the “guts” passively or aggressively. While talking to us in a way that makes us feel unworthy, we end up selling ourselves short.  While missing out on the dreams we may have been capable of achieving.

1. Request support.

When I go after my dreams, I would love you to be supportive of my efforts, it’s not going to be easy for me to attempt these new things.  Because it’s important to me that I have your backing in this endeavor. With your help, I would like us both, to benefit from any positive feelings we can share together.

2 Set boundaries.

Don’t allow yourself to get caught in a trap.  We may not be ready to let go of this person, but if their unwilling to support us, or help us to realize our dreams.  We have to advise them it’s not going to be as comfortable spending time with them.

3 Cut back your time with these people.

Reduce your time with these people, spend more time with people who believe in an “abundance” mindset not a “crab” mentality.  Most of all spend more time with people who want everyone around them to win in their endeavors.  “You’re the average of the five people you spend the most time with” Jim Roan

The crab mentality has to go.  If people are saying negative things, or have a bad attitude, running off at the mouth about what’s not possible.  Or are, opposed to taking action and showing others what is possible, then you don’t want to spend time with these individuals.  You can continue to love them from a distance, but not allow your energy to be pulled down, with this negative crab mentality.  It’s time to be true to yourself and eliminate the crabs from your life, our calling belongs to us and us alone.  If we continue to hide behind beliefs we were raised with, people pleasing to make others feel comfortable, we’re never going to grow into the person we’re meant to be.  More importantly, we’re never going to do the work we’re here to do.

Don’t be afraid of losing people, be more afraid of losing yourself.                                                                                                                                                                                                          

Crabs in a bucket
I’m free at last

                                                                     

Craftsmanship

Craftsmanship.

The boy who had made his own jackknife from the ore which he had dug and smelted, or the boy who had received a Rodgers penknife from his father ? Who would be the most likely to cut his fingers? Thoreau

“TO BE OF USE” a poem by Marge Piercy

Craftsmanship “The people I love the best, jump into work headfirst without dallying in the shallows and swim off with sure strokes almost out of sight. They seem to become natives of that element, the black sleek heads of seals, bouncing like half-submerged balls.  I love people who harness themselves, an ox to a heavy cart, who pull like water buffalo, with massive patience, who strain in the mud and the muck to move things forward, who do what has to be done, again and again.

I want to be with people who submerge in the task, who go into the fields to harvest and work in a row and pass the bags along, who are not parlor generals and field deserters, but move in a common rhythm when the food must come in or the fire be put out. The work of the world is common as mud, botched, it smears the hands, crumbles to dust, but the thing worth doing well done has a shape that satisfies, clean and evident. Greek amphora’s for wine or oil, Hopi vases that held corn, are put in museums but you know they were made to be used.  The pitcher cries for water to carry and a person for work that is real”.

Craftsmanship.

When people imagine the craftsman, they have a romantic image of an industrious independent man in his workshop. Usually with a beard, probably with a leather apron, rolled up sleeves, a salt of the earth type of guy. A skilled tradesman, secure in the knowledge of his hand and the strength of his character, pursuing a simple, quiet life in idyllic surroundings.  Craftsmanship can be seen as an opportunity to be self employed, self expressive, self sufficient and self actualized.

You’re engaging your physical capabilities, your imagination, your ability for cognitive problem solving and engaging your creativity.  Throughout human history, to be a blacksmith or a creator of wooden objects wasn’t glamorous. But that didn’t matter, the specifics of the work were irrelevant. The materials being used weren’t noble but the shaping of them could be.  This is caring about what you do, commitment to quality and deeply understanding one’s materials. These are the elements of craftsmanship in general.

Daydreams.

Craftsmanship allows a practical way of experiencing the phenomenon of “flow” where you disappear into your work. Any sense of “self” disappears as you concentrate on the task at hand.  The work at hand should take you to your edge, working on that edge and just beyond. Where your not overwhelmed, neither are you remaining in an imposed comfort zone within the work. There is often a suspension of time involved, what seemed like minutes, becomes hours. This turns out to be an immensely pleasurable and wonderful feeling.

I’ve been a carpenter for most of my adult life, I have experienced “flow” many times. I would explain it as, “waking up from a day dream” but there is something tangible to show for that day dream. Now amongst other things, I write words, which isn’t natural for me. But the act of putting words together and suggesting new ideas can take me off into something quite seductive. The words could be nonsense, or be interpreted another way.

When I’m working with wood and chisels, there isn’t a question about whether a chisel is sharp. There is also, never a question of whether a joint between two pieces of wood is tight.  When I make a piece of furniture, the functionality will be decided by the user.  My ideas, suppositions and efforts are checked by the “real” and that can be a very healthy feeling.  The item exists in the physical world to be enjoyed and shared with others.  Unlike “words” which disappear off the computer screen into the archives and I’m left wondering, if it was nonsense after all.

 

Craftsmanship
A healthy feeling

 

To Much Comfort

How our climate controlled comfort is killing us.

Modern Technology has provided us with an inordinate amount of comfort. With the turn of a dial our homes are set at a perpetually comfortable temperature, has this made us physically and mentally weaker.?  What if our bodies need discomfort to truly thrive and flourish. Those thoughts were passing through my mind today as I was shopping in the local supermarket. Wearing shorts a tee-shirt and open shoes, I went down the dairy and frozen food section. Maybe it didn’t help that someone had already driven their shopping trolley into my heel, my patience and reasoning skills were already fraught.

I kept searching for my elusive product, it seemed to take ages, but sure enough there it was. Shivering, I was glad to get into the warmer zones around the bakery section. I turned around and in my haste stubbed my toe on the shopping trolley.  There was a young boy beside me wearing a pair of shorts, with no tee-shirt or shoes. Obviously, being young, he didn’t feel the cold. Next time I walk down the freezer section, I will be wearing my puffer jacket, trousers and hiking shoes.

Temperature changes.

The young boy didn’t make any impression at that moment. But later I thought, something seems to happen as we age, do we feel the cold more or is something else happening. Are we becoming weaker and sicker. In our evolutionary past we experienced wild temperature changes, in some parts of the world, the temperature swing between night and day can be over fifty degrees. Our ancestors explored the world in fur skins and sailing boats and with very basic equipment. They had to rely on human biology to resist the elements and all the variations.

Now we live in a cocoon of technological comfort. Our bodies don’t have to meet any of the conditions that our ancestors had to experience. We almost live in a perpetual summer with temperatures controlled at the flick of a switch. We live in antiseptic environments where we have killed the harmful and good bacteria. Weakening our immune systems, this leads to diseases of the 21st century, obesity, diabetes osteoporosis and many others. This period of comfort is very short on the relative time line of civilization. Our bodies have had to adapt very quickly, more so, than at any other period of our evolution.

Comfort Zone.

To much comfort
Living a false life

It’s not that we need to be “hunter gatherers” and forage for our food. But we are designed to be more than “bystanders” of our lives. The comfort crutch locks out engaged participation and locks in an impediment to an extraordinary life. What our brains and bodies really want isn’t comfort, it’s engagement in novelty, challenges and learning. When was the last time you ventured beyond the familiar face of habituation.? Not on a luxury vacation where everything is taken care of except your brain and your wallet. Rather something that challenges you to plan and figure things out for yourself.

“Neglect of intense learning leads plasticity systems to waste away” says Norman Doidge in “The brain that changes itself”  Michael Merzenich, a pioneer of plasticity research, adds “that going beyond the familiar is essential to brain health. “Keeping the brain new” is being willing to leave your comfort zone. Not becoming so attached to the idea of how you currently are, that you ignore a blatant truth.  The world is vast, the probability that you have already found all your favorite things in life is very small.  You can be one hesitant step away from meeting a new best friend. Also discovering a favorite dish, or a bigger purpose in your life.

Getting out of comfort.

I was contemplating this question, can there be a way to fast track out of my comfort zone. Without spending money or taxing myself too much physically. Or altering my brain chemistry without drugs. Still creating my own fear though and allow this to push me through my comfort zone. Also in the comfort of my own home. It came to me, listening to a pod cast on one of my morning hikes. So simple but so difficult, no mess no preparation a rapid fire way to get out of my comfort zone.

Tomorrow, I’ll go to the bathroom and set the alarm for five minutes. Before I activate it, strip off and get into the shower.  Start to run the water how I usually like it, warm and comfortable.  Then activate the alarm, turn the shower to completely cold and scream in discomfort for five minutes. It’s the closest I will ever get to jumping out of a plane without a parachute apparently. Repeating  this for 30 days was part of the message. It seems like it could be an incredible experience.  I wish I could tell you how it felt, but my logical mind wants to gather a bit more information.  So I’ve decided to hang out in the freezer section of the supermarket for an extended period next week. Also I won’t be wearing my hiking gear either.

Be willing to pay the price.

Decide how badly you want it, everything has a price, decide if your willing to pay the price.

Be willing to pay the price
I would do anything not to be me

Aline your actions with your goals. People say they want to lose weight, but their unwilling to change the foods they eat.  Some people want to gain weight, but they don’t want to lift weights or make sure they are eating enough. Also they want to run a marathon, but they don’t want to train. Most people want glory without the hard work.  Decide how badly you want it, figure out what the cost will be to achieve it and then if you still want it, commit to it. But if you don’t want it, that’s fine “BUT” stop pretending that you do. If you want it bad enough, work like hell to make it happen. Everything has a price, decide if you want to pay that price. Then if your willing to pay the price, be at peace with your decision.

Stop waiting for someone to give you what you want.

All courses of action are risky, so prudence is not in avoiding danger but calculating risk and acting decisively. Make mistakes of ambition not mistakes of laziness. Develop the strength to do bold things, not the strength to suffer. If your worried about death and your own demise, don’t, it’s coming whether you like it or not. You will either arrive at the end of your life, satisfied with the things you have achieved. Or you will arrive broken and beaten, but whichever way you choose, have no doubt that you will arrive.

Never be embarrassed to admit mistakes

Just because you’re embarrassed to admit that you’re still living with the consequences of bad decisions. Some of them made 5, 10, or 20 years ago, this shouldn’t stop you from making decisions now. If you let pride stop you, you will hate life 5,10, or 20 years from now for the same reasons. This transformation is painful, but your not falling apart, you’re falling into something different, with a new capacity for growth as a person.

Big and scary

The mind makes all future tasks big and scary, so we procrastinate, even the little things, when we imagine doing them in the future, get distorted and take on frightening proportions.  Objects in the mirror of the future appear larger than they really are. Because the imagination, when it ventures into the future, always imagines the worst case scenario. No wonder we procrastinate, thinking and imagining the worst case scenarios, scare us into putting everything off.

Pay the price

Perfectionism can be a trigger for procrastination, you can delay doing a task simply because you find that the conditions are not perfect. Ultimately, in order to achieve any goal, you will have to believe that you have the strength and self discipline to do whatever you set your mind to.  You can easily become a self help junkie, you can have a whole library of books that give you intellectual knowledge. But unless you take decisive action on that knowledge, it remains a hobby of reading and collecting books.  The only true security in life comes from knowing that every single day you are improving yourself  in some way.  I don’t worry about maintaining my quality of  life, because everyday I work on improving it.  Strive to learn and add value.

Be willing to pay the price
Every little helps

 

Living in Wonder

Wonder is a feeling of amazement and admiration, caused by something beautiful, remarkable, or unfamiliar.

Wonder is sometimes said to be a childish emotion, one that we may grow out of. Unfortunately, as many of us grow older we stop wondering. Stop questioning and stop attempting to look at things in new or untraditional ways. We’re inclined to accept what others tell us and we must except, to be excepted ourselves. My hikes in nature have helped me realize how many things we believe, need to be examined, or viewed differently than the”one”way, or as the truth.

We needed to master our environment enough, to exceed the basic necessities of survival before we could make much use of this feeling. It’s a tricky emotion, it’s not easily triggered in a studied environment. It requires that you catch someone unexpectedly and surpass their ability to understand. Unlike anger, guilt and laughter that are far easier to understand and measure. Wonder is a passive emotion when we confront something vivid, large or beautiful, there is momentary contemplation. A perplexed curiosity that doesn’t lead to immediate physical action.

It’s not essential.

It’s not essential for survival, which could mean that the emotion didn’t evolve as a direct result of  a survival mechanism. Emerging with other softer emotions as needed. It tends to make us feel physically smaller when we are in awe of something. Cathedrals with high vaulted ceilings and vast stained glass windows. Intricately decorated surfaces all engage our senses in ways that are bewildering and transcendent.

But there is no greater feeling than being in the ultimate cathedral of “nature.” Staring up at a clear night sky looking at tiny specks of twinkling light. Distances from earth cannot be measured as we normally would, because the numbers are too large. The stars I’m looking at, don’t exist as they appear to my naked eye, all I’m seeing is an illusion. Now that’s wonder on a cosmic level, no real truth and mostly inspired guesswork.

Bucket lists.

Wonder has found a home in nature, there were the classic seven wonders of the world. The great pyramid of Giza, the hanging gardens of Babylon and the statue of Zeus at Olympia. As well as the temple of Artemis at Ephesus and the Mausoleum at Halicarnassus. Finally the Colossus of Rhodes and The lighthouse of Alexandria. Apart from a new seven, there are the ten, the twenty and the wonder of wonders. What’s on your Bucket list? Adventure, travel, volunteerism, crazy fun, connecting with nature.? One thousand plus wonderful ideas to do before you die. I have no doubt that many of these ideas will evoke wonder in the people that visit them. Wonder often requires that you catch someone unexpectedly or surpass their ability to understand. When I hike through the forests around my home town, I often have to take the same trails over and over.

This seems to dampen my sense of wonder because of familiarity. The sunlight came through the trees in a certain way this morning reflecting onto a lone Kangaroo, that seemed to be enjoying the warmth of the early morning sun. Usually they hop quickly away before my track takes me too close. Only this time a combination of factors happened, a lack of concentration on the kangaroos part, or familiarity with my hikes. This allowed me to feel wonder, as I also realized that this moment may never happen again. It’s these unexpected experiences that create wonder, if we are constantly shown images that may evoke wonder, are we taking the wonder out of wonder ?

Living in wonder
The ultimate wonder

 

Adventure Gap

There is an adventure gap between our purchases and the activities they may be able to perform. These products allow us to feel like we are living an adventurous life. While remaining comfortable and safe.                                                                                                                                                                 

Adventure gap
Destruction of nature

The new Toyota Highlander blurb highlights some of these anomalies. While already assuming that we can be driving in the highlands of Scotland. Now we don’t just sit around we go out and discover nature, the new aggressive front grill, says you have an attitude, for adventure. It does go on to mention 5 ports to charge up your mobile devices, enhancing convenience, but still suggesting that they are mobile like their users.  The “highlander” branding connotation, struck me as quite odd when I was in Scotland at the start of the West Highland Way hike.

The small town of Milngavie is the gateway to the Highlands for hikers. Walking across the Tesco car park, I could not believe how many four wheel drive vehicles there were.  I’m used to that living in a small country town in Australia. Here a woman in a normal car, was trying to reverse out of a car space between two of these high sided monsters. I acted as a car park attendant and guided her out into the flow of other monsters.

An advertisement in Australia came to mind, it felt strange there, but here it felt ridiculous. The”highlander”driving in nature, to the top of a beautiful hill, the vegetation being flattened.  As the “highlander” carries it’s passengers into a comfortable adventure. Multiply that outwards and we quickly have an ecological disaster to deal with.  The edginess of the advertisement implied, that you are getting away from it all, on your own adventure. Yet not explaining that you would be surrounded by other adventurers. Like the four wheel drive park at Tesco’s.   

Adventure brands.                                                                                     

As the economic market seeks consumption, it’s looking to the edges to involve the”wild”of nature. To tame it with comfort, for economic advantage.  Hybrid branding is everywhere, as we become separated from simple adventure, we naturally crave more. The branding can be all that’s needed, leaving only a word association to the freedom of nature. Utility vehicles once carried the tools and equipment of working men in a functional way.

Now their being branded to apply to a younger man. Certain utility vehicles are becoming edgy, suggesting one use but supporting another. A sports car look with striking metallic colors, canopies enclose the back, but lower to the ground. Nature can’t be left out in this branding of a free spirit, Breeze and thunder are two names that feature on the livery, but I’m sure there are others.

The high costs.

The relatively high purchase cost of all these recreational vehicles compared to most normal vehicles. Suggests, that many individuals are taking out loans, to fund this sense of freedom. Get away from it all, but make sure you work hard enough to service the loan.  For a while I noticed a small sprig of colored flowers as a decal on small sedan cars.  This was intended towards the feminine market, but I haven’t seen these around for awhile. To win the hearts of women, they needed  to create an emotional response, which I’m not sure a car can do.

Four wheel drive vehicles can evoke a feeling of safety for women and their children. Surrounded by various heavy duty components and also being higher above the road.  “Highlander” has a different feature with women in mind, a microphone system that makes talking to passengers in the back seats easier.  Telling the kids to pipe down and behave is a breeze, but neglects to say if they’ll listen.

The gap.

There is an adventure gap in our clothing as well, the things that we own were designed for more dangerous activities, than they actually perform. A Patagonia puffer jacket, designed to withstand freezing temperatures on the side of a mountain, is traversing the freezer section in the local supermarket. Hiking boots designed for the Himalayas are scaling the terrain of the local farmers market. There is an anomaly as well, as the outdoor equipment stores adopt clever disguises. The local outdoor shop is selling socks that picture hikers on the lower slopes of Everest. There  pretending to sell adventure equipment, but they are actually selling boring stuff like normal clothing.

Don’t buy this jacket” Patagonia to give away all retail revenues on black Friday”                          

Adventure gap
Putting nature back

While not the biggest supplier of outdoor equipment. Patagonia made a grand gesture when it gave away 10 million in Black Friday sales. The American Presidents lack of support to the global warming debate supposedly caused this action.  Registered in California as a benefit corporation donating 1% of annual gross revenues. So far it’s given around  74 million through this initiative. It’s still a small player in the American market and with only a tiny slice of the 4 billion a year European market.

The black Friday gesture was a move to eschew capitalist values on Americas busiest shopping day.  Despite telling customers not to buy its jacket, Patagonia’s sales on black Friday actually increased. The companies grand gesture didn’t include discounted items, but drew thousands of first time customers.  Thoughtful consumption, the idea is that enlightened consumers don’t buy what companies do, they buy the reasons why companies do what they do.  Intelligent consumers, or another branding trick?