Zen & The Art of Work

One of the key takeaways of Paulo Coelho’s “The Alchemist” is that we often look for things everywhere but where they have always been … with us. I had a quite similar experience recently. Here’s that story …

Hearing from Kourosh …

Kourosh Dini contacted me a couple of weeks ago. Getting an email from Kourosh feels a bit like having the ice cream man driving by … you just know that whatever he is proposing, it’s going to be really enjoyable. And, other than the ice cream man, you will learn a lot.

We encountered each other online a couple of years ago, and I had the pleasure of reviewing the first edition of “Workflow Mastery”, which was both extremely enriching and a bit of a struggle to read through. Kourosh writes beautifully, but each sentence is considered and weighted and deserves to be treated as such. Had “Infinite Jest” been non-fiction, Kourosh might have written it. So it needs to be treated as such. Long stort short, it took some time to read the book. But the book, in terms of ideas and approaches, enriched the way I work to no end.

Well, unlike the ice cream man, Kourosh does not mail on a daily, weekly, or even monthly basis. So when the mail came in with the request to review his newest endeavour, I did not hesitate. Because I wanted to learn. But behind the link, this time not a book. I found sixteen video fragments … and I planned to watch them as soon as possible. I really did.


Then reality hit, as it always does. The “now” took over, and the past caught up and I tumbled down the long, steep slope of urgent work. Work that pays the bills. Work that often stresses and frustrates. Work that leads to more work that leads to appointments crossed out and rescheduled and children that don’t get enough attention and a spouse whose patience, unlimited as it is, seemed to falter a bit with my lack of attention for things other than work. And I did not get to do what I promised to do, to way too many people.

But at least we have a draft law on governmental development aid now which should count for something, no? Let’s see where it goes during political negotiations.

Relaxed listening

Last Tuesday was a day where I was working out of my home office, brainstorming and writing snippets of text for a couple of royal decrees, which requires concentration but allows for things in the back to be going on. So I put on Kourosh’s videos. And my ears, and eyes, opened. I should have listened to these weeks ago. It would have changed my experience of that period of utter turmoil and made it better in every way.

Deeply immersive experience

Let’s explain what Kourosh developed here … sixteen video’s, the shortest just shy of ten minutes and the longest almost twenty minutes long, which provide a deeply immersive experience of learning and really understanding what is being offered.

Let me clarify. The videos are both understated and gorgeous. The wording in the videos as well as the subtle, almost tender drawings which are shown, support, carry the almost hypnotic voice of Kourosh as he explains the concepts which align with what he has been working on for years: how we can immerse ourselves in a focused execution, by creating the perfect conditions for it both in our environment and in our mind.

And the interesting thing which I noted and referred to above: these videos are in and by themselves a very, very immersive experience. I’ve read Kourosh’ earlier work with great interest, and reviewed it at length in this blog. But “experiencing” these videos was a very different, and to be honest, an even more rewarding experience. Whereas the reading of the books – perhaps because I am not a native speaker – took some effort and some focus, this video narration went straight into my brain. Kourosh, who is in real life a psychiatrist, most be a very, very good one.

More information?

If you want to read about the content provided, I would like to refer you to Joe Bulhig’s article on the series which you can find here. I will be reviewing the individual modules in the coming days and weeks more in-depth, but trust me on this one … this is a very worthwhile investment.