Wednesday 15 May 2013

Author Interview – Michael Nir

What is your favorite quote, by whom, and why? Watch your thoughts; they become words. Watch your words; they become actions. Watch your actions; they become habits. Watch your habits; they become character. Watch your character; it becomes your destiny.

The origin of this quote is mostly unknown it is probably Chinese. I really like this quote, incidentally it appears in the book, it also goes hand-in-hand with my gestalt background and beliefs. The reason I find this quote so appealing or so accurate is that it shows how behavior comes to be and how we create our own paths. In the book this is the quote related to chapter 2 which is about hand gestures, it’s amazing to see how much hand gestures reflect the feelings and moods. It is also quite extraordinary the way in which our thoughts manifest themselves at the end of the day into our character and destiny. What’s so interesting is that it’s not the grand thoughts rather it is the small daily thoughts that make the difference, becoming into habits and framing our character.

What are you most proud of accomplishing so far in your life? For me that would be being able to integrate many things which I like into my life and achieving the balance between work and life in that sense. Writing for example was something that I never thought doing at a business choice and now I’ve been able to integrate that is part of my career. Training is another example, I really like to conduct seminars and workshops, previously I was not so sure how to build that into my consulting career however now it is part of what I’m doing. So constantly integrating and opting-in of things which interest me and opting-out elements that I feel don’t support or don’t contribute to my life and work, is something I’m proud of accomplishing.

What is your favorite color? A favorite color – does it only have to be one? It changes according to the time of the year and the time in the day. Mostly my favorite color is green – it has to be a rich green like an emerald green that is full, lushes and vibrant, I also like scarlet – specifically the one that shows when the sun sets and also shades of blue, namely the ones you see on the sea early in the morning or before a storm.

What is your favorite food? This has to be Indian. I mean real Indian food that you find in the UK. Not the look alike Indian food that one finds in India… Seriously, and there is one place that Indian food tastes good is London and across Indian communities in UK.

What’s your favorite place in the entire world? Wow that’s a difficult question, I used to love the desert, I live not far away from two distinct deserts in Israel though at present I live in a hilly temperate climate and environment. We resided for a while in the desert in a kibbutz. That’s right, a communal sort of community in the middle of the extreme hot desert. We lasted seven months and then moved back to a more green country. Up until then I yearned for the desert, ever since I prefer more mountainous green regions with flowing rivers and snowcapped mountains – how kitschy… Lately I have been frequenting the desert for hiking and mountain biking once again and I think that’s my old love for the desert is rekindled.

How has your upbringing influenced your writing? I was exposed to Gestalt thinking at a very young age and that has been since an integral part of how I think, act, and make decisions. My writing, which has been mostly self-help and business writing, reflects Gestalt principles. For example, my latest title: Bear in Mind, which is about communication and influence without authority is very much a ‘here and now’ guide. Also, the way I perceive Gestalt therapy is that it has a certain sense of lightness, fluidity and a good sense of humor – meaning that we shouldn’t take things too seriously.

This is the reason why against the feedback from some of my serious friends I requested the assistance of an abled cartoonist to add humorous sketches and graphics to silent influencing. I find them adding a lighter side to the book. In Bear in Mind You can definitely see this half serious half amusing or fun side through my personal experience of the grizzly bear story in Alaska and also by the way I present my humorous view of Karma Wilsons’ children books at the beginning of two chapters.

When did you first know you could be a writer? I’m still not so sure about that. I mean I’m still not so sure if I can be a writer, I’m also unsure as to what that means. I’ve authored a few books, does that make me a writer? If the question is about my livelihood, I dare say that I don’t see that in the future I would earn my bread and butter solely from writing books. The other day I had a call from the bank they required my assistance in updating a certain form. One of the things they asked was regarding my occupation. I hesitated for a minute, was looking at my wife, and then I said to the lady from the bank – “you know what put down: author”.

My wife and I had a good laugh afterwards…

What inspires you to write and why? When I read about a topic and I see that there is much confusion and misunderstanding it motivates me to learn more, analyze and synthesize my understanding in a book. The last project management business book that I’ve written was about the project management office. I noticed a lot of issues, challenges and problems in implementations and rollouts of a project management office; this motivated me to capture my experiences and understandings from consulting engagements into a book. I did that to assist people who were struggling with the daily grind and being unable to see the big picture of what they’re doing. I received many thank yous from people who had read that specific business book, saying that it literarily opened their eyes. For me that was the greatest feedback and sense of accomplishment.

What genre are you most comfortable writing? Business, motivation, leadership, organizational change, and self-help. I like to add some short novel like paragraphs into the books; however I don’t feel ready yet to go for a full-fledged novel. Maybe that would come in the future.

What inspired you to write your first book? I just felt ready, I can’t really explain it. It was more like: I’ve been doing a lot of coaching and mentoring around the concepts of silent influencing that I felt it’s time to combine them into a guide. I also felt that I wanted to reach more people with these messages; I think they’re really life-changing ideas. What I have also seen is that while there are many self-help books, good exercises are hard to find. It was really important for me to add the exercise into the book.

I find that people would read a self-help or a motivation book, but then are left clueless on how to implement the ideas and concepts. I had this Aha moment during a therapy session with a young adult as we were practicing a Gestalt exercise; it came to me that if I write a self-help guide I would add exercises inside.

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Genre – Self-Help

Rating – G

More details about the author & the book

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