Archive for the ‘Musings’ Category

As I’ve mentioned earlier in this blog – this year is all about completing my personal transformation.  In taking the journey, I’m finding that the World has turned into a village of mentors and teachers – from all walks and corners of life.

Today, I’ve been hit with an article from the blogosphere that poses the question:  Am I a hummingbird or an Eagle, when it comes to pursing the so called “American Dream.”

Honestly, the question has never crossed my mind, but as an entrepreneur and self-made human in the making, it’s an important one.

The following, is an excerpt from Will Marre, former President of the Covey Leadership Center.  It appears he, like many of us is on a quest as well.  Check it out…

I see it all the time now.  The hummingbird effect.  Hummingbirds flap their wings up to 70 times per second to stay in the air.  70 times a second.  Whew!

Eagles on the other hand don’t flap much at all, yet they can fly up to 80 miles in an hour.  Their secret is they surf the wind.  They catch currents and thermals and just zoom.  We’ve become a nation of hummingbirds.  It’s what happens when stress overwhelms us.

We now know a lot about the physical, emotional, mental circus that noisily plays inside us when we are under constant, unrelenting stress.  We either start flapping our wings frantically like a humming bird trapped in a glass room smashing ourselves against windows that look like a way out but aren’t, or hide in our nest.  Unending stress makes us feel powerless.  At first this makes us angry, then sad, and ultimately hopeless.  Desolate.

This is what I see in America’s workplace.  Frantic wing-flapping or hopeless disengagement.  This recession has, to use a phrase of my mother’s, knocked the stuffing out of us.  Let’s face it.  The last ten years have been a whopper.  8 million of us lost our jobs and many of those jobs are permanently gone.  We’ve been rocked by the dot-com bust, Enron, World Com, subprime defaults, foreclosures, Wall Street casino games and oil spills.  The suffering of 9/11 has become a never-ending ache of Iraq and Afghanistan.  And all of this is being narrated by an apocalyptic media who merchandise fear, anger and despair like 31 flavors of imminent personal catastrophe.

All of this might be livable if we simply shut off the noise, but the biggest stress has seeped under our doors like toxic smoke.  It’s the sinking fear of economic starvation that drives our work life.  All of us know people who have lost their jobs and haven’t found a new one.  All of us know people who have been forced to move in with others.  Most of us still juggle debt we thought we could handle.  And many of us work for companies, even good companies, that have laid off too many people and pushed the extra work around the way a farmer spreads manure over a garden patch.

Layoffs and trying to bloom through a new layer of fertilizer has happened many times before.  But not like this.  The economists who track the numbers say the past two year’s rise in worker productivity is the greatest in history.  But worker productivity is basically a measure of revenue divided by worker pay.  Thus if managers can fire workers faster than sales decline, productivity magically goes up.  Profits too, at least temporarily.   But real life is not found in spreadsheets.  And in real life all I see is hummingbirds.  People flapping their wings to the point of exhaustion.  Literally.

Last month, a sweet woman who recently found a new job told me that in her previous job at a large company a close colleague was so stressed out over wave after wave of layoffs that she began to suffer form fainting spells and heart palpitations.  This is what happens when our hormones trigger biological responses that constrict our blood vessels.  She refused to take time off or go to the doctor because she feared she would be singled out as a weakling or worse a health care risk.  Her husband had already been laid off so her fear was not unwarranted.  One morning she started to have a panic attack.  She refused to let her friend call 911, said she would be fine and would go lay down in an empty office.  Her friend called the sick woman’s husband and then went down to the darkened office.  She was dead.  A heart attack had stolen her life.  Sadly, I am not making this up.  Are we really working ourselves to death?

This is more than sad.  It’s tragic.  And it’s driven by, as Einstein said, counting the wrong things and not counting the things that should be counted.  Firing people and forcing the survivors to do more work is not leadership.  It doesn’t create more value.  Value is created when we innovate and invent.  These are creative acts that arise in positive work environments where the rhythm of human life is respected.  The invisible air currents that help us soar at unthinkable heights are not sensed when we are madly flapping.  Those opportunities only come when people have the calm to see what was previously invisible.  Work environments that create conditions for human innovation or extraordinary value are drying up, so we must create them ourselves.

The original American Dream was driven by the ideal of self-sufficiency.  Brave nation builders came to our country willing to clear a field of rocks and stumps so they could plant.  Today our farms are our minds.  It is over-time to take the rocks out of our heads and plant for a more secure, self-determined personal economic life.  We must learn how to become extraordinary at what we are passionate for.  We must learn to be economically literate and create a sustainable lifestyle.  We must find time to rest our wings and find ways to soar.  It’s possible.

Last evening we were walking through our neighborhood and ran into Jake.  He’s a young-in-his-30’s, constantly smiling, life-loving, neighbor who we originally met when he was waiting tables at a local pizza place.  He learned to use a video camera making movies of local skateboarders.  He talked himself into a local skateboard manufacturer as their performance team manager and videographer.  The company has exploded with growth (Who would have thought?) and Jake told us he was on his way to Europe for a month, Austria, Germany, Switzerland and Italy, to compete as a member of their high-speed downhill demonstration team.  I know…Jake is an example of a guy who lives near the beach in one of the most ideal communities in the world getting paid to ride and film skateboarding around the world.  It may not be your dream.  But it is his.  Jake will not die in an empty office.  And neither should you.

What’s the best thing you can do?  Don’t leap.  Wisely plan to take control of your economic future.  Choose, adapt, live.  Really live.  This week we celebrate our independence.  Be  sure to celebrate yours!


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This past weekend I gave myself the gift of death. For a few days, I gave up the future, all notions of a “future” – faced with working on a “life plan” I found that I just couldn’t (or wouldn’t) scribe any notion of the future, even a year out. I discovered something – having a future is to live in a mild state of sadness.

I’ve never had a future that manifested as envisioned – it was always different, and sometimes presented pleasures previously unimagined – and pain previously never experienced. But it’s always the same: What time is it? Now Where are you? Here.

And the past? – Like tags in a blog, recalling the past is 100% inaccurate to what was actually lived, experienced. The past and the future are used by the conscious mind to maintain firm, absolute control over our Identity. And it doesn’t matter if our identity was built by chance (situations, circumstances, opinions of others) or on purpose. There is a code, a master program that is running our life and dictating the experiences we are having and that determines the meanings we place on those experiences.

So, I gave myself a gift this weekend – I decided to forget about the future and instead focused on one question: “If I can be anyone, anything, who would I be?” I’m still working on this answer, but in asking the question I gained a sense of freedom I haven’t ever experienced as an adult. With no future, I’m forced to really see and live in the present. And believe me when I tell you there are things in the present which are less than desirable-no surprise there.

The surprise was seeing quite a few things that are actually pretty amazing – These things have been around me all this time, but in seeing the present vs living in imagination, it was like a fog lifted and the things in my life that give me joy pleasure suddenly “popped” into my awareness. I rediscovered the beauty of the persian art I have on my walls – paintings I haven’t really looked at – or even acknowledge for 5 years now; photo books from trips I’ve made to Africa, Canada and St. Thomas; a pretty substantial library filled with books on healing, psychology, personal development and believe it or not poetry.

It was like a blindfold was ripped off my eyes and I could see all of this great “wealth” that surrounds me.

It’s clear that as I gain clarity in my life and face and embrace the present moment, the Universe in return is determined to reveal the abundance that already surrounds me…

My life plan will reveal itself to me, when I finish answering the question: If I can be anyone, anything, who would I be?

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“Seize the day, trusting as little as possible in the future”

Can you really seize the day? Seems a bit big to me. I like Dan Millman’s idea: “Seize the moment” – “Carpe momentum”

The 2011 Intention
This year, I am focused on applying what I know – about personal development, human psychology, LOA, prosperity consciousness and myself. As someone who admits being addicted to learning, I’m now focused on building an addiction to growth. I recently figured out that learning doesn’t always lead to growth – knowing more doesn’t necessarily mean “being more”. So this year, I’m straight-jacketing myself, drinking a new cocktail of 3 parts application/growth to 1 part learning/discovery.

The Strategy
So I’m actively seeking to attract resources that show the application of knowledge and wisdom. Part of this mission of mine involves re-reading some of the dozen’s of books I read with which I had only “absorb and understand” as a goal versus evaluating the book based on the key question: “Can and should I apply this in my life?” Well, there is over 100 books I need to do this with and finite time, so I’ve paired it down to 12 for this year:

“Three Magic Words” Uell S. Andersen

“Power of Now” – Eckart Tolle

“Spiritual Liberation” – Michael Beckwith

“Psycho Cybernetics” – Maxwell Maltz

“The On-Purpose Person: Making Your Life Make Sense: A Modern Parable” – Kevin McCarthy

“Siddharta” – Herman Hesse

“The Alchemist” – Paulo Coelo

“The Game of Life and How to Play It” – Florence Scoval Shinn

“Question Your Thinking: Change Your World” – Byron Katie

There are 3 other books to go and I haven’t determined what those will be; instead I’m going to just keep myself open and trust that the remaining books will come to mind/present itself when and as I need them.

And the other 88?
I’m re-reading years worth of journals and I’m listening to podcasts (Hay House Radio for example) of various authors to get their take on their writings (for those that are living of course!). I’m also for the first time, investing time listening to reviews. I generally don’ t like relying on reviews/opinions since they are filtered based on the reviewer. However, this year I’m allowing myself to consider reviews given by people I believe are applying what they’ve read in their lives.

One resource I’m digging is Brian Johnson’s “Philosophers Notes TV.”

He publishes 6-page reviews of over 100 books related to
personal development, and the TV site is an offshoot.
Little 10 minute video segments of some of the key ideas
presented in the work.
I’ve been listening to 1 or 2 a day for a week now and it’s been valuable.
Check it out of you’re short on time…

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