Author Archive

Positively Playful

June 26, 2009

‘Play me I’m yours’ were the words stenciled on the side of the well worn upright piano leaning against a tree on a grassy patch in Moorgate.  So we rolled up and gave it a go.  And just like that, we got a little boost. Playing the piano under a tree in the centre of London is certainly not something you experience every day, but it is certainly something that makes you smile and think, ‘What a great city! Life is good.’ This is just another example of random happenings in London designed to bring happiness and spontaneity into our lives. The pianos are brought to us by www.streetpianos.co.uk and can be seen and played all over London until July 13th when the well worn ivories will be donated to schools and community groups. Want to give it a go – click here for a map of where to find the street pianos.

It is positive initiatives like this and ilikeucoz – and countless other activities – that are making the world a happier place one click (or plink) at a time.

Dave playing streetpianos.co.uk

Dave playing streetpianos.co.uk

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The Power of the Possiblity

May 13, 2009
Benjamin Zander - radiating possibility

Benjamin Zander - radiating possibility

I’m inspired. I was optimistic before, but now I’m really optimistic.

I went to an amazing event last night: Deutche Bank’s Women in European Business conference, a gathering of some 2,000 women (and a few men). One of the speakers was Boston Philharmonic Orchestra Conductor Benjamin Zander. He is one of the most sought after speakers on the subject of leadership in the world, appearing recently at the World Economic Forum in Davos, TED and, several years ago, he received the UN’s ‘Caring Citizen of the Humanities Award’. At first I was a bit confused as to why the closing speaker at an event celebrating European business women was a man…but once he started talking I knew why…

Ben is a sprightly, older gentleman. British. Tufty white hair. He has a boundless energy and gift for storytelling and motivation. He and his wife Rosamund have recently authored a book called ‘The Art of Possibility’. Ben talked excitedly last night about awakening possibility in other people. He spoke of how many people are caught in a downward spiral rather than radiating possibility – especially today. All it takes is a slight change in outlook and attitude, he said, to change everything. “My job is to remind people what the rhythm of transformation is,” Ben said. He described to us the grading system for the classes he teaches. Most unusually, he gives each student an ‘A’ grade on day one of class, provided they write him a letter describing the person they will be at the end of the term who is deserving of these top marks. He says, “When you give an ‘A’, the relationship is transformed. We treat the person we give an ‘A’ to totally different than the person we give a ‘C minus‘ to.” How true this is! If we just give people encouragement, a boost, a bit of confidence… it goes such a long way.

To underscore this point, I’ll also share a quote Fabio posted on Twitter the other day from Voltaire: “Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.” Seems the world’s leading thinkers have really figured it out! We could all learn a few things from them for sure.

The illustrious conductor in closing, quoted his wife Ros, saying, “Possibility is always only one sentence away.”

So what are you waiting for… appreciate someone today! www.ilikeucoz.com

One of a Kind-ival

April 27, 2009

In the words of Dave from The Kindness Offensive, “We are stuck in a positive upward spiral.” What a cool concept. I like it. This is really what Kindival was all about on Saturday – spreading positivity and simply just being kind. kindivalposters3

And ilikeucoz was there, along with some amazing students from the Chelsea College of Art & Design who were painting bananas pink, creating indoor-outdoor daydreaming spaces and generally entertaining the crowds, as well as Christian Steel, comedian and actor, Louise Burfitt-Dons of The World Kindness Movement and others who came along to ‘fight’ the corner of kindness.

Here are some photos from the event:

Kindness is Contagious

April 24, 2009

The sun is shining. It’s Friday. Kindness is running rampant in London.

Since ilikeucoz was founded, we’ve had our eyes peeled for other ‘feel-good’ initiatives going on out there. And what we’ve found lately is that there is clearly a kindness movement afoot in Britain. Yes, it’s true! This week alone, kindness runneth over.

First, there’s the Absolut Kindness initiative sponsored by Absolut Vodka – where they’ve been promoting their vision that cash can be replaced by acts of kindness in an ‘Absolut World’. So all around London this week, cinema tickets, coffee, fruit and veg and — you guessed it — vodka drinks (in some Shorditch and Soho bars last night), were sold for energetic whoops and kind greetings instead of cash. Great idea! And who doesn’t like free stuff? Makes me smile.

Then, on Saturday (tomorrow, don’t miss it!), Kindival is the event to go to if you want to continue the good vibes. It’s a first-time event sponsored by Channel 4s Battlefront initiative, and it’s dedicated to promoting Random Acts of Kindness, championed by student campaigner Tom Robbins. kindival londonAnd the best part is that Kindival organisers love ilikeucoz and have invited us to exhibit at the event and introduce people to what we’re doing to make Britain (and the world) a place where people feel free to give spontaneous compliments to one another. Exciting isn’t it? Fabio and I will be down at Chelsea School of Art and Design at Kindival all day showing off ilikeucoz and spreading the love. If you’re milling around town, stop in and say hello (it’s free to attend).

Also – if you come across other ‘kind’ initiatives happening in London or around the world, please let us know at info[AT]ilikeucoz[DOT]com

With the great weather this week putting huge smiles on people’s faces, you can practically feel the kindness spreading across London. We definitely think there’s a trend developing here and ilikeucoz is loving being at the forefront of it. It is definitely contagious.

To close, enjoy the slick video from Absolut to promote their Absolut Kindness campaign.

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ilikeucoz, OpenSoho & men eating cakes

April 17, 2009

Last night ilikeucoz sponsored OpenSoho and had a great night of networking, talking incessantly about ilikeucoz and eating fabulous ilikeucoz branded cupcakes.

If enjoyment of the cakes (kindly provided by Shoreditch-based bakery www.tshirtpatisserie.co.uk – Thank You!) is an indication of how much everyone enjoys ilikeucoz – then we are definitely onto something sweet!

There was networking. There was cake eating. There were great ideas. There were ilikeucoz evangelists… (hooray to Swanny, BobFromHuddle, TikiChris, danwtmoon and others). And… there were photos:

ilikeucoz cakes compliments of tshirtpatisserie.co.uk

ilikeucoz cakes compliments of tshirtpatisserie.co.uk

To see more photos from OpenSoho ilikeucoz fest click here and here (courtesy of tikichris).

If you need great cakes or t-shirts, please visit tshirtpatisserie.co.uk
If you need to send a compliment, please visit ilikeucoz.com

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Creating a Compliment Culture

April 8, 2009

I was inspired to write this blog post after an enlightening conversation with Bernie Muir, co-editor of FeminineZone about how important – and often scarce – compliments are amongst families, especially during stressful times.

It’s a tough time in households with kids of 13-18 at the moment, Bernie told me. “A lot of parents are very vocal when [children] do something wrong, but not as vocal if they do something right,” she said. It is “also important to teach your kids to make compliments.” This is an important observation from a woman who has spent the past 9 years editing an online magazine dedicated to discussing the ‘real’ issues of what is going on between men and women, especially as they age.

Bernie’s view on the importance of compliments: “If you’ve got teenagers who are full of hormones and awash with self esteem…often what you do is tell them off…parents should find a way to compliment the youngsters especially during exam season and mock season. Add to that, it is likely that the parents are losing their jobs or have retained their jobs but are doing more…so the likelihood of having at the top of your mind to give out compliments is not there.” Additionally, they are probably not getting the recognition they need at work, making the importance of receiving compliments at home even more acute. So it seems that creating a compliment culture needs to begin at home.

She also told me a bit about the differences in complimenting behaviour and needs for men vs. women. “Men need appreciation for the things they do. It’s anthropological. A woman doesn’t need praise every time she fills the dishwasher, but a man does,” Bernie said. “He is doing something useful and wants to be noticed for it. Women need praise in different areas…such as kind gestures.” Because men and women need different types of compliments, one or the other may always be falling short Bernie told me.

“It’s one of the biggest bugbears of most relationships,” Bernie says, “because people don’t say things that relate to what the other partner needs. With so much negative stuff in the air – there’s no hope of it happening.”

This is why the idea behind ilikeucoz is so powerful and yet so simple. “You could be the only site thinking about this!” Bernie told me. Well, we hope that as word gets out about our appreciation engine, ilikeucoz, it will catch on and create a compliment culture just when we need it the most. And its half term, so why not take a pause and compliment the important people in your life – especially your children and your partner.

Author:  Diane Perlman (twitter | ilikeucoz)

Can you take a compliment?

March 16, 2009

I’ve been reading up on giving and receiving compliments and have been learning some interesting things. Ok – so it’s understandable that giving AND receiving compliments are both closely connected with one’s self esteem.  I get that.  But what I didn’t realise is that for many people, especially women, accepting compliments is very difficult. One article in Loveyish.com which garnered 80 comments from women who all said they had trouble accepting compliments, suggested that people don’t like getting compliments because of two reasons: insecurity (they don’t believe it’s true) and insincerity (they don’t believe the compliment is genuine).

Clearly compliments – giving and receiving them – is totally intertwined with how we view ourselves. According to an article in WildHealthFood.com, how we receive a compliment can tell us a lot about our self worth.  In fact we actually gain more benefits by graciously receiving a compliment rather than rejecting or refusing it. Apparently the most successful people receive compliments more gracefully than others, which stands to reason – if your successful, you know you must be good at what you do.

Experts advise that when you receive a compliment, the best response is ‘Thank you’, rather than rejecting a compliment or questioning it.  For some people it takes years to be able to say these two simple words, because of self doubt and disbelief. But there’s no getting around it, when we receive a compliment it feels good. And feeling good promotes good health and strengthens self esteem. What could be better? It seem so simple really.

So the next time you get a compliment – in person or via ilikeucoz.com, take note of how it feels. And just say  ‘thank you’.  If you like it, why not return the favour and make someone else’s day?

Author:  Diane Perlman (twitter | ilikeucoz)