Rafael C. Santos left this really excellent comment on "Whose on Your War Counsel?" -
This is very interesting to me. I also like to have counselers around me, specially now I am building my start-up (as a lone founder) and I also have a diverse set of goals, ideas and interests. A big coincidence is that I would have pretty much the same counsels as you, even the martial arts counsel, as I am also a fighter. Anyway, a few thoughts though:
1) I cannot imagine having a person that wouldn’t be at least in 2 or 3 counsels, because most of my problems involves multiple subjects at the same time;
2) Sometimes you cannot discuss individually with a counseler, you need others involved, and it is very hard to engage different people in the same discussion, specially if a counseler doesn’t know the other, being this relevant when the discussion involves multiple areas. It is even harder as some people use phones, others use email and others just visiting them, in order to comunicate;
3) Sometimes I just need someone to chat about random thoughts and ideas, but most people I know tend to not talk much when I share with them. This happens because usually the idea is too broad and involve other areas that aren’t of their expertise, and then their insecurity blocks them, failing to share any thoughts or ideas that might give me insights, new ideas or an improved one. This is also a very high blocking wall when I am trying to keep these close people updated in my projects, usually they tend to lose interest.
4) Though the internet is a good place to find people with the same interests and potential counselers, it is also harder to get their attention to even read your thoughts and ideas. It takes lots of time to build a relationship and the trust needed through it.
Still, I am trying to find solutions to these issues. One success I had is that counseling others is a good way to get future counselers. That is particularly easier through the internet, as things like age, social class and others tend to not matter in a discussion.
This mirrors my thoughts quite a bit - it's still something I think about, am working to refine. I'm not so precise with it... I think that's a misconception a lot of people have, when they read about someone's planning or goals or tracking - often it's kind of messy. Usually it's a work in progress. I thought this comment by Rafael captured the essence of trying to put together a counsel well. Cheers, Rafael.
Wow, thank you Sebastian for reposting it here! I got surprised =)
I've been thinking on how technology might help us manage these kind of counsels, and this presentation on social networks inspired me: http://www.slideshare.net/padday/the-real-life-social-network-v2
Maybe in a close future we might be able to use some social network (who knows Diaspora or Appleseed Project) with those features (basicaly, intimacy management tools) that might make the job of maintaining such counsels much easier than it is today. Perhaps that is also something we should keep in mind when building a counsel as well =)
About three years ago, I read the excellent book Never Eat Alone by Keith Ferrazzi. At that time, I made a list of the top 5-10 people in my life that I was to and had similar goals with. I sent out emails to them every once a month with what I was working on.
Eventually, I fell off from this habit. Not sure why - I'd had gotten good advice, stayed in touch with people I like, and it was a positive experience. I started re-thinking building my counsel a little over a year ago.
The challenge is, I've got a diverse set of goals and ideas. I write, I do business, I travel, I create art, I adventure, I'm looking to establish a strong family, and so on. I have friends who are writers or artists that aren't interested in business. I've got friends in business that pretty much always stick to their one city. I know guys who are pretty simple, work a normal job, don't make any art or do any entrepreneurship, but have very strong and good families. I know very successful businessmen who travel and adventure, but aren't interested in having kids.
So I was thinking - how do I balance this all on my counsel?
And eventually, the idea hits me. I need multiple, relevant counsels.
I think about religion a lot. Usually my thoughts take the form of debates with specific people about their religious thoughts and attitudes. Those debates take place only in my mind. I am one of the most liberal members of my congregation, so there is a lot to debate. It would not be productive to have those debates for real. Neither of us would be spiritually uplifted, and neither of us would convert the other. I have been thinking lately that a weblog might be a good place for me to share my thoughts in a non-confrontational way. If you disagree with me, you can comment or walk away – the choice is yours.
I am a Christian. I try to follow the teachings of Jesus, as I understand them. When I hear other people talk about His teachings, I sometimes think we are following two different people. I follow a man who preached love. Jesus told the rich to give up their wealth; He did not preach the Gospel of Prosperity. Jesus told his followers to practice nonresistance; He did not preach the conquest of His enemies. Jesus told his followers to love their neighbors; He did not preach hatred for those that were different. Jesus made it clear that it is not our place to judge others. We are to love like He loved.
I am not perfect, and I think that is okay. I strive to do what is right, and I consistently fail. That just means that I am human, not divine. I believe that we will be judged based on our desires and efforts, not our accomplishments. I also believe that we will be judged as individuals. I will be judged based on my situation, which may be very different from my neighbor's situation. Maybe that is why we are not to judge each other; we do not truly know each other's situations.
My views of sin differ greatly from those of the conservative majority with whom I worship, particularly in the areas of sex and violence. I would rather my daughters see two men kiss than two men kill each other. I disagree with those that will play violent video games but are greatly offended that a movie contains a scene with a topless woman. I am not advocating promiscuity, though many of my fellow worshippers would disagree. I think that sexual activity is a sacred event and should be treated as such. I do not think that fornication is worse than violence, though I am often reminded on Sunday mornings that sexual immorality is second only to murder. Those who say that are wrong. I know that is a bold statement.
The prevalence of violence in my society bothers me a great deal. Even in my congregation, violence is treated lightly, even glorified. There is an elderly woman that carries a gun on Sunday mornings. Those that know about it think it is funny. There is currently a debate in my county about zoning ordinances. One of the congregational leaders was lamenting that it was a crime to kill those that favored the ordinances. He said that his only consolation was that he knew they would burn during the Second Coming.