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Storytelling for Tinkering

Do you tinker? Do you always have projects in various stages of completion? Is the world your workshop or lab?


Our last story focused on gift transfers between archetypes. Today, our story shares how we might act or show up as different archetypes over time. This may depend on a situation or the overall journey we are traveling with our gifts. Acorders is following the work of Ned Herrmann's, Whole Brain Thinking as it pertains to innovation. If engaging the multiple regions of our brain is essential for invention and design, what are the barriers holding us back? Acorders believes that by identifying our archetypes and working with the gifts they bring, we might be able to achieve more balanced thinking together.


The Myth

We are born with all the intelligence and talent we will ever achieve in adulthood; this is the fixed mindset. A growth mindset views intelligence and talent as natural products of labor, in service with our gifts. Can we change our mindsets? Psychology and neuroscience suggest that we are capable of changing how our brain functions. Acorders uses storytelling to help people recalibrate their operating systems using whole-brain thinking and growth mindsets.


The Story

I grew up keenly observing my grandmothers and great-grandmothers. They were larger-than-life figures, like guardian angels. I believed their abilities and wisdom were otherworldly. I was fascinated when they knew how to cause or prevent something from happening. Bertha, "Birdie", was my maternal great-grandma. I was charmed by her grace and elegance because I saw it, even with her comfort in the outdoors. She belonged in both natural and refined settings. Birdie grew up on a farm in East Texas and after WWII, migrated to a working-class neighborhood in South Houston. She raised two children as a single mother, employed by the Champion Paper Mill.

Birdie met her second husband at the paper mill but refused to date until after her daughter was a senior in high school. By the time I came along, they were both retired and lived in a fashionable ranch-style home near the Nasa Space Center. They both had rural backgrounds, his coming from Kentucky. She decorated their home with artifacts from their past and the contemporary style from the period. Visiting them was like walking into a Southern Living catalog. Birdie was the creator in the space. She hand-made all of the decor. She gardened and kept roses, herbs, peppers, and vegetables. Another example of her creative talent was her sewing. She altered everything she wore. She made most of her children's clothes. My treasured birthday gifts were her creations. One of my favorite stories was about Birdie designing and sewing a wedding dress for her daughter in less than 3-days. To me, she was like an alchemist. I believed she could create almost anything from nothing.

I would quiz my great-grandma about her talents. I seemed to believe that if I asked her the right sequence of questions, she might slip up and reveal the source of her magic. She had a way of perceiving my enchantment and always responded by downplaying the power I observed in her. Birdie's sentiment was, "I am just tinkering with what God provides." Spoken like a Baptist, Great Grandma believed it was a virtue to be "at home in the wilderness". She felt for instance that learning how to walk gracefully and confidently over rough terrain was as essential as anything else in my upbringing. They had an A-frame cabin on a few acres we called Star Hill. The property had a creek that ran through it and my training ground was its banks. One afternoon, we sat down while taking a break from our walking. I began with more of my questions. She responded,


"Hada you know my name is Bertha, but my friends call me Birdie. I love birds. We should all live like them. They work with whatever is provided and make little corrections whenever needed."

Birdie gave me examples of their precision in nest building and fast pivoting while in flight. But, no matter how many times she insisted her gifts were that of a tinkerer, I could never shake the feeling there was more. Perhaps it was the strength of her faith. For me, Birdie transcended tinkering and moved into alchemy by utilizing both her skills and her confidence in readily available provisions.

What we Do

Acorders imagines how we might use our understanding of personal archetypes to access a better understanding of our gifts. We ask, what do you show up with? How do you engage? Has your persona been constant or evolving? And more importantly, with whom are you allying and traversing? Acorders wants to help you find your people and use your story to align. We believe that whole-brain thinking and growth mindsets are more achievable when working in service alongside others.

Join our community and participate in the design process with us. Acorders is building a digital experience for storytellers of impact. We invite you to discover your archetype and place it on a path with us. Much like the "Choose Your Own Adventure" books of the 1990s, Acorders will prompt an individual as they use their light, to give form and color to a blank canvas.


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