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Making Design Circular Podcast – Season 4 – Exploring Shake off the “Should”s – Release

Welcome to season four of Making Design Circular with Katie Treggiden, in which we’re exploring what it takes to cultivate a creative practice in which you, your business and the planet ALL get to thrive. We’ll be diving deep into the nuances, complexities and mindset shifts that we need to embrace to bring about a just transition to a more circular economy.

Shake off the shoulds – Release

In this episode, Katie explores “Release” – the first pillar of the Making Design Circular framework which is all about:

  • Absolving yourself from guilt, because the climate crisis is not your fault
  • Releasing yourself from perfectionism so that you can actually make progress
  • Letting go of the idea that there is one “right” way to do environmentalism and instead making informed decisions that align with your values

This episode will help you define your values and learn how to apply them to do day-to-day sustainability decisions, and articulate those decisions with confidence.

Workbook link: Shake off the Shoulds Workbook.pdf (

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The membership is open from 22nd November – 3rd December 2023 so if you are listening before 03 December, you can find all the details here:

If you’re listening after 03 December, you can join the membership waitlist here to be the first to hear the next time we open doors to the membership.

Broken: Mending and repair in a throwaway worldKatie’s sixth book celebrates 25 artists, curators, menders and re-makers who have rejected the allure of the fast, disposable and easy in favour of the patina of use, the stories of age and the longevity of care and repair. Accompanying these profiles, six in-depth essays explore the societal, cultural and environmental roles of mending in a throwaway world.

Cultivating Hope, 3 part mini course: Are you ready to cultivate hope in the face of the climate crisis? Sign up to Katie’s three-part free mini course that will help you move through feelings of helplessness, reconnect with nature and take aligned action.

The Seed, Self-paced 4 part course: Sign up to Katie’s self-paced course to help you find your unique contribution to environmentalism – have fun, play to your strengths, work in alignment with your values and make a big impact in the process.

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About Katie:
Katie Treggiden is the founder and director of Making Design Circular – an international membership community and online learning platform for environmentally conscious designers, makers artists and craftspeople. She is also an author, journalist and podcaster championing a hopeful approach to environmentalism. With more than 20 years’ experience in the creative industries, she regularly contributes to publications such as The Guardian, The Observer, Crafts Magazine and Dezeen. She is currently exploring the question ‘Can craft save the world?’ through her sixth book, Broken: Mending & Repair in a Throwaway World (Ludion, 2023), this very podcast.

Below is a transcript of our conversation. Find the full episode available to listen on Spotify here.

This transcript is generated in – please excuse any spelling and grammatical errors. 


Welcome to season four of Making Design Circular with Katie Treggiden, in which we’re exploring what it takes to cultivate a creative practice in which you, your business and the planet ALL get to thrive. We’ll be diving deep into the nuances, complexities and mindset shifts that we need to embrace to bring about a just transition to a more circular economy.


Hey, it is the week commencing the 20th of November 2023 as I record this, and all of this week, I’m running a series of free lunchtime workshops called Shake off the “Should”s. So the idea is that we let go of all the ways we’ve been told we’re supposed to show up and find a way to do environmentalism that works for us that aligns with our values that lights us up that makes us excited, that reconnects us with the reasons we got interested in Craft and Design and making in the first place. So I thought it might be quite an interesting thing to do is just to share the audio replays of those as part of the podcast. So if you’re signed up to those already, you will be getting the visual replays into your inbox. If you are more of a podcast listener, you’re just gonna get the audio versions over the next three days.

There is a link to the worksheets in the shownotes, so if you want to kind of sit down and follow along and do all the exercises along with us, then feel free to do so. You might have to hit pause because I think we probably will have edited some of the silent gaps where everybody was working hard out of the podcast, but please feel free to do that. Equally, if you just want to listen while you’re walking the dog, folding laundry or in the bath and let it all wash over you then do that too.

If you’re listening before midnight on Sunday, the 3rd of December, the doors to the making design circular membership are currently open. And if you love this podcast, you’re gonna love the membership. So check out the link to that in the show notes. I would absolutely love to have you as part of the membership. If you’re listening after that date. We will also pop a link to the waitlist in the show notes so that you’ll be the first to hear next time we open the doors. Alright, enjoy the replay and give me a shout out via Insta DM if you’ve got any questions.


Katie Treggiden 

So welcome to Shake Off the Shoulds and do environmentalism your Way. We are here all week and I am very excited to have you all here with me. I love the way, the way Canva exposes my little scribbled out bits. I’m Katie Truden, for those of you who don’t know me, I’m a journalist, author, podcaster, keynote speaker, Cornish Lass and Diet Coke drinker. So that means that I’ve been writing about craft design and sustainability for about 12 years. For titles such as The Guardian, the Observer, Al Decoration, crafts Magazine, whole and Corner, all of those sorts of titles. I’ve written six books about craft and design and making the most recent two were specifically focused on sustainability. So the last one, but one was called Wasted and was all about using waste as a raw material. And the most recent one was called Broken and was about repair. And this idea of keeping materials and objects in in use. I have a podcast called Making Design Circular with Cater to Giden. And talking about yourself in the third person never sounds less weird. It’s one of those names that I slightly regret every time I have to say it myself. I’m also very lucky to be invited to speak to audiences all over the world about U lots.

Essentially I talk to people who don’t know about craft, about how sustainable craft already is and this idea of craft thinking. And if we all thought a bit more like craftspeople, I think we’d be in a, in a much better place. So first thing to say is you’re already doing this sustainability lark a lot better than all the other industries out there.

I grew up in Cornwall in a place called Lisgar, which is not particularly exciting, but it’s near lots of lovely places. Now I live in West Cornwall. If you tell anybody off from Lisgar, they’ll say Go practically England, because it’s just over the border from Devon. I now live not far from St. Ives, so proper Cornwall and I drink Diet Coke.

And I share this because I’m not a perfect environmentalist. I’m a very, very imperfect environmentalist. I am doing my best on some days. I’m not even doing my best if, and I think it’s important to acknowledge that we’re not after perfection. The planet doesn’t need a few of us doing this perfectly and being all holier than thou about it. The planet needs all of us trying and failing and trying again.

And that’s what my approach is very much about. So I’ve had a couple of questions going, oh, I’m not sure if I’m sustainable enough to join your membership or to come to shake off the shoulds. And my answer is always, yeah, you are. If you, if you care. And if you’re interested, then we’re very much about imperfect progress,

not about seeking perfectionism. And we’ll dig into that in a bit more in a moment. For some reason, my slides have just gone all the way to the end. So you’re gonna get the whole four days at high speed in reverse. Now what are you doing to me? Canva? Spoiler alerts all the way through. Come on slide two, there we go.

And slide three. Beautiful. So I shared some journaling prompts with you in the emails that you will have received when you signed up. So you may or may not have had chance to look at these already, but I would love you to pop into the chat the sort of second half of these sentences. So I do my best creative work when, and just let me know what that first half of a sentence prompts for you in terms of a second half of a sentence.

Don’t overthink it, just pop it in the chat. If you don’t wanna pop it in the chat, that’s absolutely fine. You can just pop it in your, in your notebook or in your workbook. Sonya says, I do my best creative work when I’m not distracted by my phone. Same Sonya, same lar says I do my best creative work when I have a plan.

Toby says, when I’m in flow, Issa says, when I’m inspired rather than forced, Jane says, when I’m planning a new vision or a new course, yeah, that newness is interesting, isn’t it? Hannah says, when I’m learning something new and problem solving, Alison says, I do my best creative work when I’m fully engaged with what I’m doing.

Grain, tell me if I’m saying that wrong, says when I don’t overthink it, when all my admin is done. Oh Abigail, I feel you on that one. Bada says, when I can get into the zone, Jen says, when I’m working with a team that’s interesting, ESE says, when I’m not stressed by paying the bills work. Yeah, absolutely. Samson says, my creative compost keeper’s full and I’m in flow. Oh, I love the idea of a creative compost heap. It has been tamsin. I always talk about this idea of breathing in to breathe out. So we kind of have to fill our brains with good things and then we can create. But I love the idea of a creative compost heap.

Sam says, when the budget allows, awesome. So then finish this sentence. The thing I love most about craft and design is let me know what it is you enjoy about this work or what drew it to you and drew you to it in the first place. And again, pop that in the chat last says It’s possibilities. Jackie says, it’s let me heal myself.

I love that Alison says, making something unique that only I could have created. Issa says making. Hannah says the possibility to make life better. Yes, Emma is thinking outside the box in freedom. Great, I’m sure I’m saying your name wrong. He’s tell me how to say it. Doing something tangible. Sonia says, I love being able to use my hands and skills to make something.

Toby says, when other people interact happily with something you’ve created, Claire says, creating color and texture. Virgin, he says it translates feelings. Abigail says Time-based process. Nice. And then let me know, oh, Jen says beauty and interaction with a wide range of techniques and materials. Yes, craft is amazing for that. And then let me know the second half of this sentence.

I get to show up most fully as myself when, so one of the the circumstances or the environments in which you can fully show up as yourself without feeling you’ve got to hide or squish parts of yourself. Jane says to discover that teaching it provides therapeutic benefits for other others. Tamsin says, exploring ideas and learning through making. Toby says, I believe passionately in what I’m doing.

Gro ya. Okay, got it. Thank you. When I forget about judgment, when I’ve had a full eight hour sleep. Oh yes. Running workshops when I feel challenged and confident. So Sonya says in the workshop, designing and then seeing what I’ve made. Hannah says, when I feel trusted and listened to and I’ve had the chance to prepare,

Allison says, when I’ve had enough time in nature to recharge my batteries, love that anymore for anymore Jesus. When that happens, I can’t really control it. I love that. So now we’ve got some more first half of sentences or Jane says, when I’m under the pressure of a deadline, which I want to change, me too, Jane. Me too.

I love that thing when people are like, oh no deadline. And you’re like, no, no, really give me a deadline. So how about these environmentalism makes me feel. Lar says whole. Roya says self-conscious. Jen says connected. Sonya says, nervous and overwhelmed. Toby says, purposeful ese says both hopeful and anxious. That’s interesting. Jane says reassured.

Abigail says grounded. Ainsley says interconnected. Issa says frustrated. Jackie says trustworthy. Hannah says, frustrated, angry, hopeful. Hopeless. Lonely. Part of a gang. Yeah. Mixed feelings. Let’s say Hannah, how about this one? When I’m making dec decisions about sustainability, I worry that Alison, I’m not doing enough. We’re gonna talk about that Alison, when I’m making decisions about sustainability, I worry that Grya, I’ll get it all wrong. Yeah, we’ll talk about that too. Promise Abigail. It starts to define the work That’s interesting. So it’s kind of taking over from your creativity, Jackie, that I’ve been con into doing the wrong thing. Virgin says that it’s not enough and I’ll get called out for it Emma, that the cost and the client gets in the way. Marissa knock on elsewhere. Yeah. The knock on effects of other things. Hannah says, I’m restricted by a capitalist, backward looking, imperfect society. Yep. Jane says it will be perceived as too costly. Sam says, the information I have is incorrect. Tams Tamsin. I don’t know what I don’t know Claire.

My research is lacking Sonya, I’m not correctly informed. Is the, is my use of the word sustainable even, right? Yeah, we’ll talk about that. Toby says, I don’t actually worry as it feels happy and positive to care. I love that Toby. And then Viv says the big companies are not doing enough. Yeah, absolutely. And then when I hear,

and this is a quote from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation or a, a stat that originates from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. When I hear that 80% of the environmental impact of a product is determined at design stage, I feel, how does that stat make you feel as a designer or a maker or a crafts person? Ese says empowered Alison says reassured that I can make a difference.

Toby says responsible. Roberta says, I have the power to create big change. Gro says encourage. Issa says responsible. Vivian says true. Lar says stuck. Hannah says, I have some control but I need to get my clients on board. They’re beginning to, yeah, absolutely. Jackie says that I might have already got it wrong. It’s interesting that quote,

’cause I think it does one of two things. It either makes you go, oh shit, or it makes you go, wow, that’s exciting. And it’s that kind of that two-sided thing, isn’t it? Of, of the amount of power to make a difference, but also the, the amount of responsibility. Jane says frustrated that not enough emphasis is placed on the role of the designer and organizations.

Ahuh even says humble. Nice. This is the average designer of Poundland doesn’t give a shit. Awesome. Cool. So I think what is quite interesting about those kind of two sets of sentences is the things that we need to do our best work are not necessarily present when we’re thinking about environmentalism, right? Those things about having the space and the freedom and the trust and the, you know, we start to get some, some worry in when we’re thinking about environmentalism, which I’m hoping today will start to change and get you back into that space that you need to do your best work. Some of the things I hear from my members and from my one-to-one clients are, I’m doing my best to be sustainable. But it sometimes feels isolating, confusing and overwhelming. I want to do the right thing, but I’m not always sure what that is. And I’m scared of getting called out on the internet if I get it wrong. That one comes up a lot. I feel guilty about putting yet more stuff out into the world. I hear that one a lot. Which kind of breaks my heart.

’cause I don’t think it’s, it’s not the stuff you lot are making, that’s the problem. Let’s say somebody said to me, I missed the curiosity, playfulness and creativity that drew me to craft in the first place. It’s all got so heavy. Somebody else said, honestly I already struggled to find time for my creative practice, the business side of my business and my friends and my family.

I know this stuff is important, but it often falls to the bottom of an already too long to-do list. And I’m here to tell you that it doesn’t have to be this way. We can do this differently. So this is the methodology that underpins everything I do in making design circular in the membership in all of my short courses and in my one-to-one work with clients and makers and also the consultancy I do for bigger businesses.

And it’s about rewilding your creative practice so that you, your business and the planet can thrive. And then we’ve got these three. At some point I’m gonna come up with a really beautiful nature-based metaphor for this diagram. But at the moment we’re gonna call them pillars called released release, plant and grow. And then each of those has three sections within it, which we’re gonna dig into. So we’ve gotta absolve, liberate, and align and release is all about letting go of the stuff that’s no longer serving you. And then within plant we’ve got believe, define and play, which is all about planting the seeds. And then within grow we’ve got learn, walk, and nurture, which is all about creating the compost to help you thrive.

So those things that enable you to do your best work and this idea of rewilding your creative practice so that you, your business and the planet can thrive has been very carefully kind of constructed and worded. I’m a writer so you know, I’ve chosen these words very carefully and I love the world. The word rewild, it’s obviously got an ecological meaning. So for anybody who has read, oh God the word name’s gone out of my head. Isabella Tree’s book, which is called wilding I think will know about this idea of letting spaces kind of go back to nature rather than trying to control them or manage them, kind of letting top predators come back in, letting natural systems take care of spaces. It’s a slightly controversial ecological environmental practice, but what I like about it is the other meaning of this world word.

So most craftspeople make us designers. An awful lot of us have been raised as women have been socialized as female. There’s also an awful lot of us who have another historically marginalized identity. So there’s a lot of us with chronic illness, people of color, members of the L-G-B-T-Q-I-A community and we’ve all grown up with a lot of shoulds, right? This idea that you should show up in a certain way, you should look a certain way, you should run your business a certain way. Even those who, those of us who’ve grown up with the starving artist myth, right? There’s this idea that if you’re gonna do a job you love, you don’t get to make very much money from it. You can have just enough, but no more than that. So there’s all this social conditioning that we are existing within as people making a living from using our hands.

And I want to get rid of some of that, right? Shake it off, hence shake off the shoulds and enable you to reconnect with the joy that you found in craft and making in the first place. The reason you got into this stuff. So hence this idea of rewilding your creative practice, right? Connecting back to what it was that got you into this stuff in the first place.

And by doing that and by following this methodology, I believe that you, your business and the planet can all thrive. So I found this image on the internet and I was absolutely delighted because it summed up something I’ve been trying to explain in these sessions for ages because I think we have this sense that we have to choose between whether we prioritize ourselves and look after ourselves.

If you’ve got caring responsibilities, whether you care for, you know, spend time and effort caring for the people around you, whether you focus on, you know, somebody mentioned this idea of the sustainability can take over the design. So whether you are focusing on kind of fully expressing your creative self or whether you are making sensible business decisions. And then we throw in sustainability and that’s another thing pulling you in a different direction.

So do I make it profitable or do I make it sustainable? And actually what I believe is that we can get these watering cans all pouring into each other so that if you follow this methodology and you adopt this way of thinking about sustainability, you pour water or time or energy or investment or whatever you wanna call it, into any one of those buckets and it automatically fills the other one up.

So that’s what we’re looking for. We’re looking for a way in which you, your creative practice, your business and and the planet all get to thrive together because everything is aligned in this way that by pouring into any one of those watering cans, you’re also filling the others up rather than this idea of being pulled in a hundred different directions. So that’s what we’re aiming for at least an an introduction to that this week.

So it’s a slightly different way of thinking about doing things. I showed you that Venn diagram, it’s actually a genius model for those who are nerdy about Venn diagrams. And today we’re gonna cover off this idea of release. So we’re gonna be letting go of the stuff that is no longer serving you, letting go a lot of that social conditioning, almost like weeding the garden.

And then tomorrow we’re gonna plant some seeds and then Thursday we’re gonna look at the compost that those seeds need to thrive. And then as I said on Thursday, it’s nothing but your questions. I really wanna make sure that you all get what you came here to get. So I’ve left plenty of space on Thursday for you to ask any questions and make sure all of this stuff has kind of fully landed.

So the first thing we’re gonna look at is release and this idea of letting go of the stuff that isn’t serving you and that is made up of three parts, absolve, liberate, and align. So this is what we’re gonna cover today. So first of all, absolve. And this is about letting go of the guilt, letting go of the duty.

And if you take nothing else from today other than this message, we will have made a pretty good start. The climate crisis is not your fault, categorically, fundamentally it’s not your fault for most of you, it was brought about before you were even born. Countless governments have had the opportunity to sort this out and have kicked the can down road. We talk about putting yet more stuff out into the world.

You all are not the people putting out too much stuff into the world. We can have some thoughts, we can point some fingers about whose fault this might be, but it sure as hell is not yours. If you are a designer, an artist, a crafts person or a maker, which is kind of the list of job titles I always put out when I’m advertising these things,

it’s just not your fault. It’s not categorically. So you can let go of the guilt, you can let go of the duty, just let it go. However, I love a but, and it is your our responsibility. We are probably the last set of humans on earth who can fix this. The can has been kicked down the road so many times that it’s kind of reached the end of the road and there is no big single technology that’s gonna come along and save us.

So it is our responsibility if we decide we want to do something about this and we want human life to be viable on this planet for more than the next couple of, or probably more than the next decades, hundreds of years. We need to step up and do something about it. But I would encourage you to see that as a creative opportunity and something exciting rather than something you are duty bound to do.

Because as I said, not your fault. So there’s no need for guilt. So we’re gonna liberate and let go of that guilt and duty and all those heavy feelings. And we’re also going to liberate ourselves from perfectionism. Chuck into the chat, what the word perfect or perfectionist makes you feel or makes you think of kind of word association vibes. Sonia says neat, Hazel says impossible. Marissa says shudder. Samson says restricted. Lar says something that’s unobtainable. Clarence is tired, pressured and inadequate. Jackie says, high achieving. R says unrealistic. Sam says, unachievable by me. Unachievable by anybody. Sam Jane says it’s the only way. Oh interesting Jane, let’s chat about that. Abigail says pressure. Karen says, not me. Awesome. So it’s interesting isn’t it? Because I think, I think we sometimes mix up perfectionism with excellence. And I think in in craft and in making, we are tend to be more comfortable than most with the idea of embracing imperfections, right? Anybody who works with natural materials knows they are not completely consistent. They have these imperfections, which we often encourage clients and customers to celebrate. Anything that’s made with the human hand has imperfections. And that’s what’s lovely about it, right? If you think of something that’s perfect, we often think of slick and shiny and mass produced and that’s not what we’re aiming for usually as craftspeople. But we tend to still think we have to show up in our environmentalism work perfectly.

So we’re not giving ourselves the same grace. We’re not bringing that craft thinking across into our sustainability work. So what I want to encourage you all to be is imperf perfectionists. Let’s chase imperfection. Let’s do it. Because the thing is perfect doesn’t exist, it’s not a thing. And I’ve got a whole podcast episode on this. Toby says, perfect as a human condition, no natures. Yeah, absolutely. It doesn’t exist in nature, right? And it doesn’t really exist in humans either. It’s just this ideal that we all chase On the podcast I interviewed a guy who’s done a TED talk about the effect of perfectionism on mental health and it’s really quite frightening. And also it’s interesting that they did a, an experiment where they gave two groups of people, one who identified as perfectionists and one who didn’t. The same task to do well, they didn’t tell either of them was that it was impossible, you could not complete this task. But interestingly, the perfectionists gave up first because it was hurting them that they weren’t making progress. So every time they failed, it kind of clashed with their identity as a perfectionist and it hurt them.

Whereas the people who didn’t identify as perfectionists, the imper perfectionists as I like to call them, had a much less personal approach. They’d go, huh, that didn’t work. Okay, let’s try something else. Okay, that didn’t work either, let’s try something else. And so they were actually making more progress than the people who were aiming for perfectionism.

So I would really encourage you to embrace imperfection in your environmentalism work and your sustainability as well as in your craft practice. And then the other part of this section, and this is the one we’re gonna spend the most time on today, is this idea of a line. So I think there is an idea, and it came up a lot in those prompts at the beginning, that there’s a right way to do environmentalism. So a lot of you said, you know, I’m scared of getting it wrong or I’m worried I’ve got the wrong information, or I’m worried I’m gonna get called out on the internet because there’s this myth that there is a correct way to do environmentalism and there isn’t. There are hundreds of different correct ways to do environmentalism loads and loads of different ways of getting it right.

And so what really matters is that you are making decisions that align with your values. So for example, you will hear a lot of debate about veganism in the design industry should craft and design be vegan? And some people would say, yeah, absolutely. You know, the exploitation of animals is part of what’s caused the biodiversity crash. Other folks will say, actually there are farmers who are doing brilliant work in regenerative agriculture who are moving towards a better way and we should be supporting them and using their leather. So that’s an example where two people will make a very different decision based on their values. And I would argue both of those decisions are valid. Plastic is another one. Some people will say, plastic’s evil, I’m never gonna touch it, I don’t want it in my work. And other people will say, well actually there’s so much plastic already out in the world. I want to go and collect plastic from beaches and use that in my work. Work as a way of capturing it and taking it out of the natural environment. And again, I would say both of those are valid, but they’ve been reached with different values. Yeah, and Jackie says, I work with wool. Absolutely. And it’s another one, isn’t it? Where some people will say, absolutely not. And other people will say, yeah, this is really important. So it’s about making decisions that align with your values. The thing about making decisions that align with your values is that you need to know what your values are.

And that is easier said than done. Often we have been handed down values. So the first hundred times I did values exercises, my values always came out the same. They’d come out as things like hard work, courage, integrity. And I’m not saying I don’t think those things are important, but they felt like a stick to beat myself with. And once I did a values exercise the way I’m gonna show you, I came up with values that were about connection, curiosity, spaciousness, creativity, and those feel expansive to me. Those feel like all those things we were talking about at the beginning, the space in which I can do my best work. So we’re gonna do an exercise in defining your values with a view to shaking off the shoulds, letting go of some of those values that might have been handed down to us by parents or caregivers or schools or society or whatever it is.

And try to find those values that open us up to creativity and to bringing about positive change in the world. So in your workbook, you’ve got a bunch of questions, you’ve got this list. So if you are thinking, I’m not really sure what a value is, I’m not really sure what sort of words I’m looking for, this list is also in your workbook and I can come back to it if that’s helpful for anybody as well.

I’m gonna ask you some questions and there’s space within your workbook to journal on this or feel free to pop ’em in the chat if you’d like to share, share. But the first question is, when have you felt happy, fulfilled, and proud of yourself? Think of a time eses at work at the moment, she’s just said, I have people I can’t do this bit.

Think of a time you felt happy, fulfilled, and proud of yourself. Again, don’t overthink it. Whatever pops into your head first is good. It’s that kind of like best day ever vibes. So think back to that sort of time and then if you can put yourself back into that kind of space as much as possible. Think about what was going on and,

and perhaps what some of the sounds were, what you could see who was there. And then think about what in particular on that day made you feel happy, fulfilled, or proud. What was it about? What was going on that day that made you feel that way? And then once you’ve identified those things, think about what values were present. So for example, when I did this for myself, one of my book launches came to mind in particular. And one of the things in particular that made me feel happy, fulfilled, and proud was all the people who were there and the the specific people who were there. And so the value that I drew out of that was connection. So does that make sense in terms of a, there’s an event, what was it that made you feel happy or proud and what values were present? And I’ll give you a few minutes just to, to journal on that either in the workbook or just in a notebook. And if you get done fairly quickly, feel, feel free to think of a second event or circumstance and then go through that process again, we’re looking for a big list of values, words as an outcome of this exercise. I’m watching the body language of those of you who’ve got your cameras on. If you haven’t got your cameras on and you’re done, just pop done in the chat. Otherwise I should keep an eye on folks to see how you’re getting on and how much time we need.

Karen says, can I put the words back up? Of course I can. There you go. They’re also in your workbook. Jen is done. You can see a few folks still writing away. So I’ll give you a couple more minutes and you can always come back to these as well of course and dig in in a bit more detail. Baby’s done.

And I should say this is not an exhaustive list of words. So if a, if there’s a word that’s not on here, that’s completely fine. These are just intended to to trigger thoughts, they’re not, because obviously there’s values inherent inherent in the values I choose to put on this slide, right? Depending on who you do this with, you’ll get quite a different set of words.

So please feel free to ignore these all together. Victoria’s done as well. Cool, right? We might move on to the next set of questions then. So the next is the opposite. When have you felt most regretful disconnected or unhappy? And make a note of caution. If this was a super traumatic time, don’t perhaps pick something gentler. Don’t put yourself right back into something that’s gonna trigger anything LA that’s absolutely fine.

The replay will be coming out tomorrow morning so you can always catch up. So think of a time when you felt regretful, disconnected or unhappy and as I said, take care of yourselves. Don’t put yourself back into a really traumatic time and what in particular about that situation made you feel regretful or disconnected or unhappy? What was it about that situation or that event that was prompting those feelings?

And then what values were absent? So if you’re feeling disconnected, it might be that connection was absent, if that makes sense. So we’re looking for the the kind of positively stated values that were absent in this circumstance. And again, when you’ve got a few, a few values words out of this exercise just popped on in the chat. So I know that we are ready to move on.

I’m feeling like I might have to do this again myself over the holidays. I’ve got a particular circumstance that’s making me feel this way at the moment so I need to dig into it and work out why. Okay, Abigail’s done. Good job Abigail. So when have you felt most regretful disconnected or unhappy? What in particular made you feel that way and what values were absent?

A couple of the folks who’ve got their cameras on look like they’re still going. A couple of folks look like they’re pretty much done. So if you haven’t got your camera on again, just let me know how you’re getting on so I can read the room as it were. Tam’s done. Jane’s done. Awesome. Marissa’s done. Toby’s done. Cool.

And as I said, you can always come back. You’ve got Debbie gone on for a long time, right? Exactly Jackie, you really could, as could I. So yeah, you can always come back. You’ve got the workbooks, you can always dig into this in a bit more depth afterwards once you’ve kind of got the gist of what we’re doing today.

So, so Toby I think said at the beginning one of the, one of the important things for him to be creative was to be in a flow state or in the zone. So make note of, think of a time when you’ve been in that flow state or in the zone. So if anyone’s not familiar with this, this is the sort of magical state that you can get into where you don’t notice time passing, you’re completely absorbed in a task you might forget to eat or drink because you’re having such a lovely time doing what you’re doing and you are kind of completely absorbed What activities or situations or environments allow you to get into that flow state and what values are present when you are in that flow state. And this again is about working out that that kind of compost in which you can thrive and do your best creative work.

So what values do you need to be present to get into that state of flow? And I love this question ’cause I think it really disrupts that idea of values being kind of sticks to beat ourselves with and things we’re judged by. It’s more about the the soil in which your creativity can thrive. And again, just pop done in the chat when you’ve got some, some values in your right hand column. Abigail’s done awesome, few things are done. Amazing, we will move on. And again, please feel free to dig back in. So the next question is, what activities make you feel frustrated, unfulfilled, or annoyed? Why do they make you feel that way? And what are the values that are absent in those activities?

I mean we all have bits of our jobs and our business and our creative practice that are not as much fun as the bit we got into it for, right? We’ve all gotta do our tax returns. But it’s interesting to understand what is it about those bits that you struggle with and what values are absent from those bits? And it could just be those days when you just can’t find that flow state what’s stopping you.

So again, just make a note of what those activities are, why they make you feel frustrated, unfulfilled or annoyed, and what are the values that are absent to make that the case. And when you’ve got some values in your right hand column, just let me know that you are done. Jackie says, I’m finding it harder to identify values absent in this case if it helps.

Some things that make me feel frustrated, unfulfilled, or annoyed are admin. Absolutely hate admin. And I think the thing that’s absent for me there is any sense of creativity. It’s just gotta be done the way it’s gotta be done within the rules and that’s not something I find fun. So perhaps try and contrast it with those things you had in flow state and think about what’s present in flow state and what’s absent in in this kind of sticky bit where you can’t seem to get things moving.

Cool. It looks like a few folks are done, Jackie. Let me know if that helped. Vivian said that’s exactly what I wrote. Yeah. Hey, admin two, leave it to last minute, which impacts creativity. Cool, a few folks have done on this one, so we’ll move on. And again, please feel free to dive back in and if you’re getting stuck with any of these, just drop me a a DMM on Instagram this week and we can always chat it through a little bit there. If you want to have a bit of support outside of this call, call and bring questions on Thursday. So this one folks often struggle with what are you, what are you good at? What are your natural gifts and talents? What do people compliment you on or ask for your help with?

What comes easily? What’s that thing you feel a bit guilty charging money for? ’cause you find it so damn easy And what values need to be in place for you to access those gifts? So I sometimes find writing easy, sometimes I find it incredibly difficult, but writing comes more easily to me than it does to most folks, but not if I’m constantly being distracted.

So I need a good run of time, I need some space, I need some boundaries. I need everyone to leave me alone for a little bit in order to be able to access that gift. So this is about kind of identifying your, your gifts and talents. There’s a a book called the Big Leap by a guy called Gay Hendricks and he talks about the difference between your zone of incompetence, which most of us outsource very quickly, your zone of competence, which is probably stuff like the admin, we can do it, we don’t really enjoy it. Your zone of excellence and your zone of genius. And many of us spend too much time in our zone of excellence and not enough time in our zone of genius. So what’s your zone of genius?

What are the things that are just your natural gifts you don’t have to work particularly hard at? And that’s not to say you haven’t learned and studied and honed a craft or you know done your 10,000 hours, but what’s the stuff that just comes easily to you and what values need to be in place? Where do you need to build boundaries to protect the values that need to be in place for you to access those gifts or those talents?

And again, just pop down in the chat when you’ve got some values in the right hand column of this one. Sam is done. Good job Sam. Sorry Sam, that sounded really patronizing. I remember I was doing a five K run once and I ran past one of the stewards and she went good running and I was like, I’m not five Issa is done.

Jane’s done. Toby’s done amazing. Jen’s done. And again, you can always come back to these and you can always save any questions for Thursday or shoot me an Instagram DMM in the meantime. So by now you should have across 1, 2, 3, 4, 4, 5 pages in the values column. You should have a bunch of words. And then on your next page in your workbook, you’ve got a page that looks a bit like this, this. And what I would love you to do is transfer all those words, all those values onto this sheet, but try and group them. So if you’ve got connection, collaboration, and working together, they might all go in the same circle. If you’ve got spaciousness, do not disturb, leave me alone, play more. It might all go in the same circle. So what you’re trying to do is get this long list of values down to five maybe. So it’s about grouping them into themes. If you’ve got something about curiosity or wonder learning, those might all get grouped or they might not. You might mean different things by those words. So it’s about kind of grouping them in a way that makes sense to you, not in a way that a thesaurus would necessarily agree with. And you don’t have to fill all these circles, I’ve just given you plenty. And then once you’ve got them into groups, pick one of those words that best represents all of the others or perhaps pick another word that best represents that group of words. And again, this stuff can take a little bit of time,

so please feel free to come back to this. And if you’re done and saying, come on Katie and just popped done in the chat, I’ve become somewhat of an expert at reading people’s body language on Zoom over the past few years. But not everybody’s got their cameras on R slate. You’re gonna have to tell me what your name is. R Slate is done.

How is everybody else doing? Jane is done. Sam’s done. Abigail’s done. Toby’s done. Amazing. So then the next thing to do, you’ve got a section in your workbook which has space for you to write your top five or six values. Ideally you want few enough that if someone says what are your values, you can rattle ’em off without having to refer to the thing up on your board.

But it’s hard, especially on your first go. So if you’ve still got, if you’ve got more, if you’ve got three, that’s perfect. You don’t need five or six. I would say you probably want three to five, six. Some people would say seven, I’ve had that many. I find it slightly too many for me. Five is the sweet spot, but it might not be for you. So if you’ve got fewer than that, awesome, just rank them and pop them on that last sheet. If you’ve got more than that, put them in order and then pick the top five or six. If anybody would like to share those values in the chat, please feel free to do so. If anyone would like to share any reflections on how this is feeling or how this might feel different from previous values exercises you’ve done, please feel free to share that in the chat as well. And then the outcome we’re looking for is you’ve got three or five or seven or four or six values that you can run your environmental decisions past in the future. So rather than worrying about whether it’s rights or whether it’s wrong, all you are worrying about is whether it aligns with your values. Jackie says community curiosity,

sharing presence and space. I love those, Jackie. And I think it’s so much more of a powerful conversation that you can have with people. If someone says, oi, why have you got plastic in your work? You can say, well actually according to my values, I’ve decided the X. Nobody can really argue with that might not align with their values,

but it aligns with yours. And what’s beautiful is if you start communicating that stuff and communicating these values, you will start to attract customers and clients whose values align with your values, which makes your job a lot easier. Lots of people have talked about this idea of I’ve gotta get my clients on board, I’ve gotta get my community on board. Actually, if you start talking about these values, you will naturally attract the right sort of people. Jane says Beauty craftsmanship ethically, right? I’m gonna challenge you Ja Jane, to say ethically aligned with your values and self-expression. Karen says Connection, playfulness, playfulness and peace. Beautiful. Anyone else want to and don’t feel obliged to share. If you don’t feel comfortable to, that’s absolutely fine as well. Abigail says, time, patience, collaboration, empathy and care. Love those, Abigail. And I love how these all feel, you know, similar to the experience I had. They feel so much more gentle and expansive than a lot of the values you hear. And they also feel unique to each of you, right?

I think a lot of big companies have the sort of courage, hard work, integrity, and they just feel a bit meaningless. Whereas these all feel really, really unique to each of you, which is beautiful. Issa says, clarity, creativity, respect, authentic community and storytelling. Sam says Solidarity, we’re all in it together. Our slight whose name I still dunno, come on, says timelessness, quality, co-design, material, respect or care and local. Lovely. Rachel. Hi Rachel. Ainsley says, spacious complexity, all interesting relationship and perspective. Toby says, empathy, creativity, smiles, focus, and ragg. Radicalism. I love that Toby. And those feel very you. Nice, beautiful. Thank you folks.

So tomorrow, same time, same place. We are gonna dig into the plant side of this little Venn diagram. So hopefully we’ve released some guilt and we’ve released some duty and we’ve released some perfectionism and we’ve released this idea of getting it quote unquote right in order to move towards a sense of doing things that are in alignment with these values that we’ve just identified.

And then tomorrow, having let go of that stuff, having weeded our garden, we’re gonna plant some seeds and we’re gonna look at the idea of believe, define and play. So we will dig into that tomorrow I’m gonna stop sharing so I can see all your lovely faces a bit better. Awesome. Does anybody have any questions before we shoot off today?

As I said, we’ve got plenty of time on Thursday, but if anybody has a quick question today that would help them to move forward tomorrow, let me know in the chat. Any reflections, you all look a little bit bamboozled. I’m trying to see who looks like they’re typing. Awesome. Well it’s been really lovely to hang out with you for an hour, this lunch hour. And as I said, same time tomorrow we will be digging into the plant part of the making design circular methodology or framework. I’m gonna come up with a good plant-based metaphor for it at some point says brilliant session. I’ve never looked at my values quite like that before. Thank you Katie. Awesome. I’d love to hear it. Classes, I’ve enjoyed this. Thank you. Sonia says, thank you. Abigail says thank you. Amazing. Anna says, lots to digest. Beautiful. Yeah, take some time to kind of let it all sink in and give it some thought. There is an episode on the podcast specifically about values and working in alignment with your values that if you have time to listen to tonight might be a nice bit of listening.

It is the episode that I did with Laura Egel. I’ve normally got her book kicking around somewhere on my desk. This is a book that an amazing human called Laura Egel wrote. It’s mostly about kind of values within a corporate setting, but I think a lot of it translates. And part of what I did when I interviewed her for the podcast was to translate her learning to to our world.

So that’s a decent episode to dig into tonight if you want a little bit of further thinking. Otherwise, I’ll see you this time tomorrow. Amazing. Thank you very much all. Thank you. Bye.


Thank you for listening to this slightly different episode of the podcast which was a replay of one of the free lunchtime sessions I’m doing every day we commencing 20th of November 2023. If you enjoyed it, I would love to connect with you on Instagram. The making design circular Instagram is linked to in the show notes. And you might also want to follow my newsletter, the link to that is also in the show notes. If you’re listening before midnight on Sunday, the third of December the doors to the making design circular membership are open. And if you’ve enjoyed this episode, you are going to love the membership. So go and check that out, I would very much love to see you in there. If you’re listening after midnight on Sunday, the third of December then the link to the waiting list is in the show notes. And you can sign up to be the first to hear next time those doors open. I want to say a huge thank you to everybody who joined the workshops live, to everybody who’s listened on the podcast and also to the brilliant Kirsty Spain who edits these podcasts so that they make it into your ears. Thank you.


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