Soft Power vs Hard Power


If You Want To Increase Your Power And Effectiveness, Consider Adopting More Soft Power! This Article explains WHY and HOW.

The rise of Western Authoritarianism has given a lot of people virtual heart attacks. Over the past few decades, massive social change has been driven by changes in demographics combined with globalization.

The middle class has been decimated and less educated, economically marginalized, predominately middle-aged white men increasingly see their prospects for upwards economic mobility as limited. Free trade, immigration, and liberalization are seen as causes of their economic and social malaise.

Social services, universal healthcare, and higher taxes are seen as wasteful and economic inequality as unavoidable.

How does this apply to Asia, Latin America, the Middle East, and Africa? More importantly, how does this apply to our everyday leadership within small and large corporations?

At the core of this struggle for power is a massive shift from Hard Power to Soft Power. Hard Power was personified by world wars the likes that had never before been seen in human history. Lessons were not learned in World War I, and we had a do-over with World War II, and death, destruction, and horror on an unprecedented scale.

These wars (and the smaller ones since) have personified the use of hard power. Brute force was used by killing machines spawned from the industrial, scientific and nuclear ages.

The World Is Safer Than Ever

Despite the headlines promoting fear, insecurity, and violence, the word is safer today than it has ever been in recorded human history.

Don’t just take my word for it, check out the below graph by Max Roser. This data shows the Global Deaths in conflict from the year 1400. You will notice that post-1945 (the end of World War II) we have been living in extraordinarily peaceful times. At the same time, the global population has exploded.


Throughout human evolution, Hard Power and Soft Power have coexisted. Kings, rulers, and authoritarian emperors have used Hard Power to enforce compliance. Soft Power was wielded by the priests, prophets, and goddesses.

Men have dominated positions of power and privilege and used Hard Power as their primary weapon. Known as Yang to the Chinese, this masculine energy is counterposed by Yin the power of the feminine.


This is not about right and wrong. It is all about balance and tapping the qualities of both Yin and Yang.

Since the end of World War II in 1945, we have seen a rise in globalization, equality, longevity, wellness, and standards of living for the world as a whole. The middle class in the developed countries has been shrinking since the beginning of the 1990’s, while at the same time the middle class in developing countries have been booming with hundreds of millions of people lifted out of poverty.

An Unprecedented Power Shift

We are witnessing a power shift on a global scale that is unlike any other seen throughout human history. The world is interconnected with news, information, and knowledge traveling the world and available to everyone in microseconds. What used to take years and was unreliable at best now takes less than a second and is 100% accurate (the information is accurate, however, like anything it is subject to interpretation).

Abuse by people in positions of power is less tolerated than ever. The power really has moved from the people at the top to the people at the bottom, who vote with their feet and their wallets.

Three Steps Forward, One Step Back

Since leadership by force no longer works as well as it used to, leaders are compelled to adapt and use Soft Power, persuasion, engagement, empowerment, influence, passion, and vision to communicate and affect behavior.

Like any progress, we may see some forward movement and then experience some lurches backward, some regression, or returning to the old ways. The people in positions of power who have seen their influence diminish may wish to return to the glory of the old days. They dream of the heyday of pure Hard Power.

If you watch the long-term trends, you will see that the world is evolving and that you cannot stop the march of progress. Yes, we have global problems of epic proportions. Our food supply is tainted by industrial farming, however, at the same time, millions of people have been pulled from the brink of starvation and death by the very same industrial food supply. Our quality of life has improved, and the planet is warming at an unprecedented rate. We have to fix these problems, and rest assured, we will! Perhaps at the last moment, on the brink of disaster, we will make it from the emergence of emergency (as coined by R. Buckminster Fuller).

Soft Power is here to stay, and it is built on top of and in balance with Hard Power. It does not replace it. Consider, Yin and Yang, if you removed or block either, you would have no flow, disease, imbalance. Same with leadership. Soft Power augments Hard Power. In politics, a strong military (Hard Power) is the foundation of strong diplomacy (Soft Power).

As a leader, if you cannot get and keep respect, lead from a position of command and control, there is no way you can lead from Soft Power of influence and persuasion.

Don’t Be Average

Average people are easily manipulated to give power to Authoritarian Leaders by terrorizing them, by fear-mongering and pandering to their scapegoats as the primary cause of their problems. These people feel powerless and are looking for someone to shake up the status quo. Today’s instant media is a perfect weapon to fan the flames of prejudice, racial intolerance, and division.

If you are already successful and looking for the next wave of development for yourself as a leader and your organization, then consider adopting more Yin, feminine qualities, and Soft Power. Creativity, innovation, cooperation, loyalty are all in unlimited supply.

The Age of Fulfillment

When you have reached the limits of physical success, the next stage is to develop more fulfillment, passion, and purpose. Many people who sell their souls for money, in heartless, soul-sucking workplaces, doing work they hate with people they can barely tolerate end up wanting to throw it all in, join a nunnery, become a monk or work for a non-profit in order to do something with purpose and meaning that nourishes their soul.

Rather than wait for an existential crisis, make decisions that move you up the value ladder, up the OPTIMA Zones, embrace Hard Power and work diligently on the skills and core competency of Soft Power. Some say we are leaving the Sacrificial Age and are entering the Age of Aquarius.

Short-term there may be some setbacks, however, the future looks bright. Welcome to the new Renaissance for Leaders!

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Cause and Effect

In this article, we explore the primary reason so many people fail to make lasting changes. How to apply the principles of Physics to solve problems and identify the TRUE CAUSE of why things happen.

cause-and-effect-001A lot of people confuse causes with effects. This prevents them from taking ownership of their lives, careers, and relationships.

To get a different result (WHAT) all you have to do is identify the cause (WHY) make an appropriate change in the cause and the effect (RESULT) will change accordingly.

If you are experiencing any undesirable outcomes or effects in your life, these effects are caused by something or someone. If you want to change your outcome, identify what is the action or force that is the cause, change it, and your outcome will change.

This may seem like a very simple concept, however, most people mix up causes with effects and end up changing the wrong things and wondering why they fail to get the results they are after!

Sounds oh so simple and yet it is very difficult to do without a basic understanding of physics.

Consider Newton’s Third Law:

For every action, there is an equal and opposite reaction. This means that in every interaction, there is a pair of forces. The forces are equal. Thus for every force behind an effect, there is an equal and opposite force that is the cause.

Based on the physics outlined above, the key to lasting change is to use the force of the outcome or effect to identify the opposite force that is the cause. Once the force of the cause is understood, the cause and its force can be changed, thus transforming the outcome.

Another way to think about this is in terms of Causes and Symptoms. Consider the below Ishikawa Diagram of Peter, his headache and his problems at work:

cause-and-effect-002Let’s take a more in-depth look at Peter’s story:

Peter was experiencing regular headaches. These headaches where almost every day and seriously interfered with Peter’s work. Over time his performance suffered and he was at risk of being demoted or fired. Peter became irritable and moody. Much of his work was performed on a personal computer and he often found himself squinting at the screen trying to make out the text on the screen.

In order to perform his work duties, Peter became more and more frustrated and eventually resorted to stronger and stronger painkillers to minimize the headaches. The medication had side-effects and his body retained more and more water, which caused his face to puff up. So not only did Peter have headaches, he treated the pain with painkillers which made him look puffy and overweight! Some days the painkillers barely even worked and he struggled through the pain.

Peter shared his work problems with Sophie his wife. She worried about the potential lost income if Peter were demoted or fired and gave him career advice to put in more effort, work longer hours and not upset his boss.

Meeting a group of friends on Friday evening for drinks, Peter confided in an old classmate who happened to be a nutritionist. She suggested that headaches may be caused by his diet, and recommended that Peter eliminates certain foods to identify the culprit. Weeks later, nothing seemed to be working!

Clearly, neither Peter, his wife Sophie, nor his nutritionist friend had identified the real cause of his underperformance. If nothing changed, things would progressively worsen.

Turns out that the cause of Peter’s low performance wasn’t his moodiness, nor his headaches. These both turned out to be effects or symptoms. The real cause was two-fold: 1) His chair was old and set too low and leaning too far back. This caused neck strain which contributed to headaches and 2) Peter had neglected to have his eyes tested for several years and his prescription glasses were out of focus!

Once Peter got a new chair and a new pair of glasses his headaches disappeared overnight, his mood improved, and his work performance skyrocketed resulting in a promotion with a 30% increase in his salary!

You may be thinking this is a simple example. As you can see there is a lot to learn here that can be applied to any problem area once you clearly understand the difference between CAUSE and EFFECT.

Primary & Secondary Causes:

Everything that happens is an EFFECT that was CAUSED by something. Nothing occurs without something else causing it to happen.  For example, a glass that was sitting on the table does not fall onto the floor by itself. A person walking by may bump the table, causing the glass to fall off the table, onto the floor, and breaking into pieces.

In this example, the EFFECT was the broken glass. The CAUSE was the person who placed the glass too close to the edge of the table, which then combined with the person walking by. Often times, we get upset and angry at the EFFECT — and never really identify the CAUSE. Blaming the person who walked by and bumped the glass doesn’t solve the problem. Yelling at them, punishing them, getting them back later… all achieve nothing as the TRUE CAUSE has not been identified. Since the CAUSE in this example was the person when they placed the glass on the edge of the table, the person walking by only played into it and therefore was the SECONDARY CAUSE.

Without the true Cause being identified, no lasting change is possible. For most of us, when something happens that we don’t want, don’t like, or detest, we blame the SECONDARY CAUSE rather than the TRUE CAUSE. And we can make all the changes to Secondary Causes we like – only to discover that our results remain unchanged.

Want Lasting Change?

If you want lasting change in any area, identify the TRUE CAUSES and change them. What is the TRUE CAUSE of a lack of leadership? or the lack of money? If you are experiencing financial difficulties or investment losses, what is the TRUE CAUSE? Think about it. Have you identified Primary Causes or are you focusing on Secondary Causes?

The Invisible Forces:

Most people are at the effect of other forces. These forces can be unresolved relationships, emotions, past decisions or other people. Whenever we engage in blaming other people or circumstances for our results, we are postulating that we are at the effect of something outside our control. This prevents us from making any changes. In other words, we are BEING AT EFFECT.

We all know people who are perpetual victims. No matter what they do, someone or something else is always the cause of their problems. These people are denying any CAUSE, which creates a powerful force to perpetually place them at EFFECT. In order to get out of being a victim, they would have to remove the energy of denial and see the truth that they can make a small adjustment and move perspectives to identify where they are CAUSING their own problems. From this new perspective they can own the CAUSE, make changes and transform their results.

To take responsibility for your results means that you are BEING AT CAUSE by looking for where you can apply conscious and deliberate force to the cause in order to alter the cause, which in turn alters the outcome or result.

The fastest way to determine if a person is operating AT CAUSE or AT EFFECT is to listen to their language. People who take responsibility or ownership of both problems and solutions are operating AT CAUSE, versus people who avoid ownership by blaming are pretending to be AT EFFECT.

When you are recruiting team members, partners or suppliers, listen to their language. Choose people who are AT CAUSE or at least willing and open to exploring where they might become more AT CAUSE.

How Does This Apply To Designing An Ideal Outcome?

The challenge for most people is that they spend a good deal of time being AT EFFECT and not often being AT CAUSE of their life, career, relationships, health, etc. Designing and living your ideal life requires you to be AT CAUSE. This simply means making decisions and operating from the perspective of causing or SOURCING what you want, versus accepting the effects of others.

In order to cause or source what you want, you must be able to be AT CAUSE and AT EFFECT. Sounds confusing, but it is quite simple:

  • When you avoid being AT CAUSE, you automatically put yourself AT EFFECT. If you run away from something, you are at the effect of the thing you are running away from.
  • When you are AT EFFECT, it causes you to be in REACTION to what is happening to you. Reacting to things that happen to you is very different from RESPONDING. Responding has you being AT CAUSE.
  • If you just want to be CAUSE and avoid effect, you automatically put yourself at EFFECT.
  • As a leader you are AT CAUSE, on the other hand, as a follower, you are AT EFFECT. This is why a lot of people don’t want to follow others — they don’t want to be AT EFFECT of them. Choosing who you follow puts you AT CAUSE over the effect of the person you are following! (now that is a dichotomy!)

The bottom line is that in order to be in The Zone, we need to master being CAUSE, and being EFFECT.  Being Effect means being able and willing to experience anything. Sounds tough, but that is where true freedom is.

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.


Who Do You Trust?

  1. A belief in the reliability, safety, truth, or ability of someone or something.
  2. To believe that someone is honest, good and will not harm you.

We have all had our trust betrayed and our hearts broken. It hurts! If we decide no one is trustworthy, we build a wall or shell around our hearts and refuse to let people in. This makes us skeptical, hard, miserable. Alternatively, when we feel our hurt, let it go and realize that some people are worthy of trust and some are not, we then can remain open and flexible.

Yes, we will get hurt again. If we learn from the experience, we become better judges of character.

In this video, Anya and Gael, two acrobats from Cirque du Soleil physically demonstrate TRUST. This is mesmerizing!

Here is the transcript:


Alya and Gael have to trust each other. As acrobats in Cirque du Soleil, they sometimes literally put their lives in someone else’s hands.

Trust is a confusing thing. It seems so simple, but when you try and pin it down, it can be illusive. I think of the way that my body sits on a surface that’s new to me, unknown, and how my muscles remain tight, anticipating anything and I’m constantly aware of that surface. Over time, with familiarity, I can relax and start to lean back. For many of us, that initial tension exists so much of the time. We expend so much energy watching and calculating, trying to predict, reading signals in people, ready for anything to change suddenly, preparing to be disappointed – so much energy spent.

For many of us, that initial tension exists so much of the time. We expend so much energy watching and calculating, trying to predict, reading signals in people, ready for anything to change suddenly, preparing to be disappointed – so much energy spent.

We talk about trust as something we build as if it’s a structure or a thing, but in that building, there seems to be something about letting go.

And what it affords us is a luxury. It allows us to stop thinking, to stop worrying that someone won’t catch us if we fall, to stop constantly scanning for inconsistencies, to stop wondering how other people act when they’re not in our presence. It allows us to relax a part of our minds so that we can focus on what’s in front of us, and that’s why it’s such a tragedy when it’s broken.

A betrayal can make you think of all the other betrayals that are waiting for you and things you haven’t thought of and people you rely on. And you can feel yourself tightening up, bracing; and in the worst cases, you might resolve to trust no one.

But that doesn’t really work.

Trust is your relationship to the unknown, what you can’t control. And you can’t control everything.

And it’s not all or none. It’s a slow and steady practice of learning about the capacity of the world. And it’s worth it to keep trying. And it’s not easy.

Alya says that trust is like a fork – not one way, but many ways: physical, emotional, and maybe something else.

I almost imagine trust as these invisible hands that we stretch out into the world, looking for something to hold onto as we walk into the unknown future.

Alya and Gael began practicing together as friends and now they are a couple. It took time.

So, who do you trust and how can you grow it?

* * *

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

33 Winning Attitudes

How Your Body Rewards You for Success, 
and Punishes You for Failure. 

Winning leads to winning and losing leads to losing.

This statement seems so obvious that most people overlook the power of a few simple words to state an evident truth. If you want to win more, then win more and lose less. If you enjoy losing, then lose more which will lead to losing more.

The reason for this simple and yet profound logic is because of our hormones. Our bodies punish us for losing and reward us when we win. These hormones plus the conclusions we draw from the experience determine our attitude towards the next engagement.

When our attitude is confident and we are sure of ourselves, the chances of overcoming minor setbacks and succeeding long term are much greater. On the other hand, when we are less confident, unsure and doubtful, the probability of being stopped by minor setbacks is higher, and the likelihood of failure almost assured!

After a loss, we feel depressed, less aggressive, lower mood level and are more skeptical towards our chances of succeeding in the future.

After a win we feel high, are more aggressive, have a higher mood level are more optimistic towards the future and are encouraged about our chances of winning again in the future.

It doesn’t seem to matter if the win/loss scenario is small or large. Really? The best strategy is to take on small challenges were the stakes are low, and the risk of failure is little, apply yourself and win! Once you get used to winning, take on larger and larger challenges with confidence and win at them too! Your body will reward you with a rush of feel good hormones.

If you take on too large a challenge and fail, you are more and more likely to fail with each subsequent loss.

Small wins lead to BIG WINS. Small
losses lead to BIG LOSSES.

If you suffer too many losses in a row, even the very best, most resilient person will start to doubt themselves and make up things that may not be true, causing your entire operating paradigm to crash!

Over time the feeling of losing sets in and hardens into an attitude or set of attitudes that make long-term success tough. These people tend to be more negative in disposition and find it difficult to see the positive or bright side in anything.

Over the past thirty years, I have observed many good people fail, and even more, bad people succeed.

I concluded that being good or bad seems to have little bearing on short-term success. Having said that, I have seen many people succeed in the area they were obsessed with only to fail in the fields of life that matter most.

Does that mean we have a free license to do what we want and to be as bad as we want to be? No! There are many benefits of choosing right action over wrong action.

Back in the late 2000’s we were working with a handful of business leaders and entrepreneurs who had been struggling to gain traction for their newly launched companies and projects. We got together in a group and debriefed what was going on. Often there are two reasons why things are not working:

    1.    The reason we tell ourselves.

    2.    The real reason.

Due to personal biases and self-protecting mechanisms, most people prefer to protect their fragile ego’s and to lie to themselves.

After what seemed like forever, we identified a list of 33 Losing Attitudes and their corresponding Winning Attitudes.

The best way to use this list is to determine a Losing Attitude you have, and consciously over time focus on shifting this attitude to the Winning Attitude. Often, this involves flashbacks to the original incident or incidents where we failed, which led to the chain of events that resulted in the losing attitude.

Once you have mastered one attitude, move on to the next one. You will be amazed at how your results will transform in no time!

Here is the list of 33 Attitudes: 

1 Resentment and jealousy towards successful people > Honor and respect towards successful people
2 Lone Ranger attitude (to prove oneself) > Collaborate and cooperate with others
3 Thinking and playing small > Thinking and playing big
4 Not listening to feedback > Listening to all feedback
5 Resistant to other peoples ideas > Open and receptive to other peoples’ ideas
6 Resistant and slow to change > Enthusiastic and fast to change
7 Feigning agreement > Agreeing or not agreeing openly
8 Not speaking up > Speaking up at the first available opportunity
9 Misplaced feelings/emotions > Accurate perception of and assigning the right feeling/emotion to the right area
10 Procrastination > Taking action as soon as possible
11 Blaming others for results > Ownership of results without blame, justification or denial
12 Making excuses > Ownership without excuses
13 Low ethics > High ethical standards
14 Agreeing to rules and breaking them > Making agreements and keeping them
15 Unreliable (low or negative trust) > Establishing trust and reliability
16 No plan or not following the plan > Planning and following through with the plan
17 Competition with teammates > Cooperation with teammates
18 Not asking for help when needed > Asking for and accepting help as needed
19 Cheap and stingy > Focus on value and generosity
20 Fear of mistakes > Accepting that mistakes do happen
21 Fear of success > Embracing success
22 Fear of failure > Embracing and learning from failure
23 Playing not to lose > Playing to win
24 Gambling and taking unnecessary risks > Taking calculated risks
25 Hoping things will work out > Believing things will work out and taking positive action
26 Listening to other peoples’ opinions about what cannot be done > Keeping ones own counsel and following through on ones own beliefs
27 Fear of commitment > Making commitments and following through on them
28 Waiting for other people to make the first move > Taking the first step to initiate and follow up
29 Delegating to others and relying on them to produce results > Empowering others and following up and following through
30 Taking the first no for an answer > Continuing to ask until someone says yes
31 Blaming our parents for not doing it right > Forgiving our parents and choosing differently
32 Sacrifice one area of life for another > Seeing success holistically – including all areas of life
33 Focus on money or relationships > Focus on money and relationships

* * *

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

The Magic Mantra

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad

This is the story of the Ek Ong Kar Mantra and how it became my much loved and favorite Magic Mantra for connecting, releasing and transforming negativity into positivity and optimism.

Screenshot 2015-10-06 22.36.00

First a little history, a couple of love stories and a little culture.

Anjou was born in the city of Ludhiana, located in the Indian state of Punjab. According to her parents, Anjou was conceived at the foothills of the Himalaya on their honeymoon.

How you get your start in the world is everything.

Due to its location in the north of India, the Punjab region has been influenced by both east and west. The Persians, Greeks, Scythians, Turks and Afghan invasions resulted in centuries of bitter bloodshed with today’s Punjab culture combining influences from Hindu, Buddhist, Islamic, Afghan, British, and Sikh.

Most of the 27.7 million people in Punjab are Sikh. The roots of Sikhism began at the time of the conquest of northern India by the 1st Mughal Emperor. His grandson was Akbar the 3rd Emperor. You may recognize him from the Jodhaa Akbar movie. In contrast to the other Mughal Emperors, Akbar supported religious freedom, tripled the Empire in size and wealth, cooperated with and sought the goodwill of his multicultural subjects and was a patron of the arts and culture. No wonder they called him Akbar the Great!

Anjou was fond of watching Indian movies, and Jodhaa Akbar was a favorite that we watched together multiple times. We were inspired by the tolerance, leadership, romance, sensuality, culture and beautiful aesthetics of the period. We infused our work with tolerance, inclusion, and compassion, and used the aesthetic elements to decorate our home – particularly the master bedroom, domed ceiling and walls in vibrant colors and exotic fabrics.

We acquired objects of art and beauty as well as inspirational and devotional decor to create an environment of sacred beauty that was part, temple, part art gallery. In all main rooms of the house, we installed audio systems and created a playlist of mantras to play in the background 24/7.

Iran at the time of the Shah

Anjou spent her formative years in India, moving to Iran before the overthrow of the Shah and while her father waited for approval to immigrate to Canada, she went to school in London, England. The family moved to a very small town in rural Christian Canada where they were the only Sikh family, her Dad’s Turban caused a commotion on top of no one ever seeing an Indian before! Extreme prejudice…

Looking back on this story, I think it is easy to understand why her mother had a hard time adjusting and why Anjou would be embarrassed by her culture and become westernized in order to fit in and be accepted. It took years for Anjou to re-embrace her heritage.

We talked for hours and hours over many years about Sikh beliefs and how different they are from the Hindu majority of India. Sikhism is relatively new with just over 500 years of history vs 5,000 for Hinduism.

While not a practicing Sikh, Anjou was always proud of her Sikh heritage and at the same time embracing elements from many diverse practices including American Indian, Christian, Hindu, Islamic and Buddhism. You could say she was very open-minded and inclusive.

The Two Swords of Sikhism

Anjou was proud of the Sikh symbol of two crossed swords that represent the balance of spiritual and material. In other words, both are inclusive of the other and you cannot have one without the other. Anjou and I talked extensively about how many philosophies encouraged the abandonment of material pursuits in order to achieve spiritual fulfillment and how Sikhism embraced both.

These discussions influenced our holistic ideas of balancing ego with spirit that became the foundation concepts behind GOLDZONE.

In Hinduism, there is one supreme God and according to popular belief, 33 crore deities (330 million). Contrast this with Sikhism where there is only one God.

Going Through the Motions

All religions have beliefs and spiritual practices that are designed to support the practitioner to become a better person, to deal with day to day challenges of life, to explain life’s meaning and purpose and to reach enlightenment or salvation. When performed on a regular basis, these practices become rituals with meaning and if not performed deliberately become rituals devoid of meaning as if the practice itself will automatically “do the job”.

After lengthy discussions over many years, Anjou and I concluded that intentional and deliberate practice of a ritual is where the magic is. In other words, it is in understanding the meaning and contemplating the application where the practice comes alive and produces the most value.

Inclusive vs Exclusive

Some people are of the belief that there is only one true path and that all others are lost and on the wrong path. This form of belief is exclusive, meaning that you are either in the club or excluded from the club. Contrast this with the inclusive attitude that all paths will eventually lead to the same place and it does not matter which path you choose as this is a merely personal preference.

The reason people often fixate on positions of being right is because a fixed view does not allow the viewer to see that things look different from the other person’s position. Meaning that both parties can be both right, both wrong or one right and the other wrong. Typically the person who is the most attached to being right is often the “most wrong.”

It is the inclusive viewpoint that allows for both right and wrong and multiple viewpoints where all parties can be right. From here it is easy to see that multiple paths can lead to the same place.

This perspective will allow you to transcend the singular religion and embrace peoples of all religions and all practices that don’t infringe on the rights of others.

The Magic of the Mantra

Most spiritual practices include some form of repetitive chants, sacred words, prayers, and music. These are sung or chanted as an incantation or prayer.

Many people repeat phrases, statements of belief or truisms that are also mantras. Some are positive and others are counter productive.

“The mantra, taking us into the present moment and beyond the ego, slips through the narrow gate into the city of God.” – John Main, Benedictine Monk.

Some well-known mantras include; Hinduism’s Gayatri mantra, Buddhism’s Om Mani Padme Hum, Christianity’s the Jesus Prayer, and Islam’s the Sufi dhikr.

There are conflicting opinions about how mantras work and if they work at all. One school of thought suggests that mantras are mostly meaningless melodic sound constructs whereas the other point of view insists that they are meaningful linguistic instruments of the mind. At the very least I think everyone would agree that they have a minimum effect similar to listening to your favorite music and possibly much more.

Some mantras have literal meanings and others do not. Many people believe that the universe began with a word or sound from God. Everything in the universe can be related to a vibration or frequency. Mantras are a way of tuning into and focusing this vibration, or sound, in ourselves so that we begin to vibrate at the same frequency of the words or mantra.

By repeating a mantra you are literally tuning yourself to resonate at the same vibrational frequency as the energy or intention associated with that mantra. Eventually, as you resonate more and more at the same frequency as the mantra, the mantra gains its own momentum and as they say in Sufism, “you stop doing the mantra, and the mantra starts doing you”.

At first Skeptical, then Acceptance, then Amazement…

Prior to meeting Anjou mantras seemed confusing and a little woo-woo to me. After lengthy conversations, a little education and some translation I opened my mind to more possibilities and fell in love with mantras as a sacred meditative practice.

What I discovered was a plethora of different types, styles, purposes and methods of mantras. To name a few, Hindu mantras tune you into a specific deity for healing, success or protection whereas Sikh mantras tend to focus on the supreme being, creation, and oneness.

When combined with meditation, education, clean slate, taking positive actions, surrounding oneself with creative and uplifting environments, beauty and aesthetics, healthy diet and exercise, mantras add an extra dimension.

If you don’t solve your problems, or at least, the ones you can do something about and accept that which you cannot change — no amount of positive thinking, affirmations, visualizations, meditations or mantras will alleviate your discomfort for anything more than temporary relief — only to recur again as soon as the effects of the mantra have worn off.

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad

My favorite mantra is Ek Ong Kar. This is reputed to be the most powerful Sikh mantra in at least three variations; Ek Ong Kar, Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad, and Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru.

Here is the translation and meaning:

Ek Ong Kar: “The creator and creation are one.”

Ek Ong Kar Sat Gur Prasad: “The creator and the creation are one.  All is a blessing of the one creator.  This realization comes through Guru’s Grace.”

Ek Ong Kar Sat Nam Siri Wahe Guru: “The creator and the creation are one. This is our true identity. The ecstasy of the experience of this wisdom is beyond all words and brings indescribable bliss.”

This mantra takes a negative thought and reverses it to positive. It is said to contain the essence of the entire Siri Guru Granth Sahib (the holy scriptures and living Guru of the Sikhs).

It is said that this mantra brings about Kundalini awakening, the opening of the chakras, a sense of bliss and is the mantra of the Aquarian Age.

Warning! This is the only kundalini mantra that comes with a warning… it is said to be so powerful that you have to watch your thoughts and actions after your chant it. You will be in such a state of manifestation, that your thoughts will accelerate into being. A good reason to chant it deliberately and with intention.

Lightness of Being

Over the thirteen years that Anjou and I were together we actively sought out and acquired music, videos, mantras and visualizations to use on our own journey as well as to share with others.

Some of the very best pieces we found included music, mantras, and visuals. My all time favorite is the album Lightness of Being by SatKirin Kaur Khalsa, a Los Angeles-born American who converted to Sikhism. She is a beautiful musician, teacher, and yogi. I love her message of unity, love, and compassion. Leaving aside the religious aspects, the mantras, chants and music are incredible!

Here is SatKirin Kaur Khalsa chanting Ek Ong Kar:

In preparation for playing this mantra, I suggest that you create a sacred environment, play the music intentionally, chant along with the words (doesn’t matter if you get them all or not) and focus your attention on a meditative state.

One of my other favorites is Om Mani Padme Hum and Gregorian Chants by the Benedictine Monks of Santo Domingo…

Check it out:

Here is a Sufi Hu Mantra:

Om Mani Padme Hum:

Go on your own personal quest to find chants, music, and mantras that uplift and inspire you and by all means, share your best picks!

Whatever you do — do it with passion and purpose!


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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Why We Need More Women in Leadership

Most men are attached to a certain style of leadership that has served them for generations. When a formula works, it is very difficult to imagine that a better way could exist. We call this way of thinking Old Paradigm. New Paradigm is about embracing new models that are proven to be superior in today’s environment.

This diagram demonstrates why we need more women in leadership roles and why most men could benefit from adopting more feminine qualities in addition to their typical masculine ones.

[click the image to enlarge]


How Much Did They Pay You to Give Up on Your DREAMS?

Dreams. We all have them. When we were children our heads were full of possibility, dreams and fantasies. Most of us knew no limits, other than what we were told we could or could not do.

As we got older our conditioning from family, friends, society and school brought us down to reality, to what was practical and reasonable. Many of us embarked on careers, expecting them to last a lifetime only to discover that times had changed and we had to change too or become obsolete.

We sold out on our dreams. The fantasy died and along with it, our imagination, hope, and excitement about the future.

Most people spend so much time earning a living that they are too tired and exhausted to think about what they really want in their heart-of-hearts. We accept quiet lives of desperation, boredom and drudgery.

Enough! Go back to the dreams you had as a child and set them on fire. Chase them with vigour. Dream of things impossible and in the process, you will find others moved by the same passion to share the journey with.

Make your passion your life’s work. Build your source of income around what you love. Include the people you love to spend time with. Spend less time with assholes who only drive you crazy. Design a life that is worth living.

This short clip is from the 2009 movie “Up in the Air” starring George Clooney. George’s character is delivering bad news about a layoff…

Do the DREAM: Give Your
Career a Quantum Leap!

If you are looking for an immediate updraft, an infusion of passion and enthusiasm, where awe-inspiring environment meets the latest, freshest information, delivered in a fun and engaging, custom crafted learning environment… consider joining us at a 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about dreaming, learning and working and engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more successful and effective leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

How to Feel More Beautiful

True Beauty

What would happen to your life if you surrounded
yourself with all things beautiful?

What does it mean to be beautiful? Beauty is something that we all recognize instinctively. Even three month old babies smile longer at faces that appear more attractive.

Most of us would agree that beauty is pleasing to the senses and to be beautiful means to possess qualities that give great pleasure to see, hear, touch, feel or to think about. In other words these qualities delight our senses.

So seductive are the charms of beauty that we spend huge amounts of money with reckless abandon at the slightest hope of looking younger, fresher, more attractive. This has spawned a huge industry that is often criticized as shallow, self-indulgent and materialistic. Increased mental health issues are blamed on massive advertising spending that encourages obsession with looks, youth and attractiveness. Most religions promote a more austere, conservative outlook more focused on the life after death than the pursuit of beauty, seduction and aesthetic.

Nature has engineered us this way. We are vulnerable to its charms and this isn’t going to change anytime soon. The global beauty industry is forecast to grow to $217 Billion by 2017 and this doesn’t include the personal care, fitness, aesthetic surgery or fashion industries. This massive industry is driven by people’s desire to look and feel good combined with rising incomes, aging populations and changing lifestyles.

Consider this: Americans spend more per year on beauty than they do on education. In other words to most people, looking good is more important than knowledge and social skills. Improving one’s capability is considered slow when compared to the quick fix possible in the cosmetic looks department.

Are we overlooking the positive benefits of investing in beauty? Of looking our best? Of surrounding ourselves with more beauty? Perhaps if we avoid the pitfalls of the extreme ends of the spectrum and find a middle road we can arrive at an optimal balance that is just right.

This would enable us to benefit from nature’s engineered payoffs including:

  • Increased social standing
  • Increased ability to earn more money
  • Help us appear more confident
  • Help us appear more intelligent
  • Help us succeed more at work
  • Increased ability to attract a beautiful or wealthy partner
  • Increased perception that one is better in bed
  • Communicates health, vitality and fertility
  • Increased attention
  • Increased mood level
  • Feeling happier, healthier, younger and more vital
  • Increased creativity
  • Feeling more self-expressed and real

Perhaps love should be added to the list… With all the benefits of beauty, is it any wonder why people lust after it so much? Beauty provides us with influence over our own pleasure senses as well as those of other people. This is pure competitive advantage.

In other words beauty = influence and influence = power.

Given the stimulating effects of beauty, why then do so many people settle for functional, plain and boring? Perhaps they don’t feel worthy or a religious authority encouraged austerity.

Nature is abundant with beauty.

Consider other areas of beauty; nature, architecture, furniture, decor, cars, roads, streets, cities, buildings, offices, technology, work, food, cuisine, service, art, poetry, sculpture, photography, film, performing arts, etc.

We are surrounded by expressions of beauty and yet so many aspects of our lives are functional, mundane, ordinary. We think in boxes, we live in a box, sleep on a box, watch tv on a box, eat out of a box, drive to work in a box, work in a box building, in a box office, at a box desk, on a box computer, talking on a box phone.

Most of these functional boxes contain no passion. No juice. No inspiration. No joy. No pleasure inducing qualities to delight our senses.

What would happen to your life if you raised the bar on yourself? If you expected more than a functional box, more than a functional existence? What would happen to your life if you surrounded yourself with all things beautiful?

Whatever you appreciate rises in value!

In order to do that requires a new appreciation for the value of beauty. We have to admit to ourselves that beauty is important. What this will do is provide an updraft effect that spirals up and up leading to more and more beauty and less and less ugly. This will improve your results in life and will have you feeling more beautiful.

Ten tips to feeling more beautiful:

  1. Make beauty important, include your personal appearance and your work, living environment, working environment, self-expression, lifestyle, etc.
  2. Surround yourself with more and more beauty. Look for areas to add more beauty to, or to enhance.
  3. Eliminate as many ugly elements as you can including music, smells, clothes, furniture, conversations, language, environments, cars, traffic, long lines, etc. The most important elements to eliminate are ugly thoughts and feelings.
  4. Invest more in quality craftsmanship, products and services. These tend to be more beautiful and have that something, something. You will feel more beautiful using them.
  5. Eliminate cheap and tacky products and services. This requires a shift from price shopping to value shopping. Usually the lowest price isn’t the best value when you consider a wider view. Cheap and tacky is usually ugly.
  6. Surround yourself with authentic people who value beauty and aesthetic and who value beautiful manners and conduct! Most important ensure that they encourage and acknowledge the beauty inside of you.
  7. Eliminate ugly language from your vocabulary and ugly behavior from your repertoire of actions. You will feel more beautiful.
  8. Transform ugly thoughts, feelings and negativity into more positive expectation, uplifting feelings and look for the good purpose in unpleasant situations. Everything can be transformed into a useful experience.
  9. Commit to always look and feel your best, even when no one is looking. Do it for yourself. Be authentic. Fake is always ugly.
  10. Immerse yourself in uplifting experiences, filled with beauty. Explore environments that are uncomfortable and a little confronting. This is how we grow and expand our sense of beauty.

Authenticity is the most beautiful of all. When we are authentic we are attractive. We are real. The inside is reflected on the outside and the outside is reflected on the inside.

If we are inauthentic, then whatever we attract from that place will bring with it fear of loss. We will be afraid that they will discover “who we really are” and will leave. So we cover up and become more fake. This is no way to live!

Be real. Be authentic. Be FREE!

Good luck and be beautiful!

Give Yourself a Quantum Leap!

If you are looking for an immediate updraft, an infusion of beauty and aesthetic, where awe-inspiring environment meets the latest, freshest information, delivered in a fun and engaging, custom crafted learning environment… consider joining us at a 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more successful and effective leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Thirteen Tips to Be a Net Energy Generator

emotionally bankrupt means you put out less

In this article, you will discover thirteen tips
to be a Net Energy Generator!

Imagine a battery that increases in power when you use it and decreases when you don’t. Wouldn’t that be amazing? Well, the incredible news is that you have such a battery… an emotional one!

This is how emotions work. The more you express or use them – the more they grow and the more energy you have. When you withhold, contain or suppress them the less energy you have.

This is why some people end up being emotionally bankrupt. They stop putting out or giving and end up taking. They say little which forces the other people around them to give by way of saying more to fill the empty space. Their emotional battery is empty. In other words they are emotionally bankrupt.

Emotionally bankrupt means you put out less than you receive. The key to success in life is to be a net generator of energy…

Whenever you give more than you receive, you are communicating to yourself, the world around you and other people that you believe in abundance. Regardless of your financial status or position in society, it is possible to generate more energy than you receive. Eventually the excess giving creates a vacuum that can’t help but flow back to you.

This positive flow back can be in the form of good luck, energy or good old CASH. Personally I have experienced all three. I find myself easily being in the right place at the right time… people respond positively to me and make huge efforts to give me what I am asking for. Sometimes without me even saying anything. Yup, sounds hokey, but it is true.

I was at my favorite restaurant in Beverly Hills the other day and ordered my usual organic chicken soup for lunch. The restaurant is also in Paris and when there, I like to order what they call a chicken Pot-au-feu and it comes automatically with Harissa (Tunisian hot chili pepper paste). So this day in Beverly Hills I thought of Harissa but didn’t say anything, in fact I didn’t even know if they had Harissa! Can you guess what happened? The waiter brought my usual chicken soup and without saying a word brought a jar of Harissa! Wow. Coincidence? I don’t think so.

If you are wondering if that is an isolated incident, I can assure you I have had too many experiences like this to count…

Most people think that emotions are like any other scarce resource that must be held back, saved and conserved. This is so wrong! Emotions are nothing like scarce resources, in fact they operate by different rules.

These rules can be learnt. Applied and if you do, you will experience an almost immediate increase in energy and wellbeing. Little by little you will become more and more lucky. How does that sound?

Thirteen tips to be a net energy generator:

  1. Tell people what you like about them or what they did.
  2. Greet people with enthusiasm.
  3. Smile.
  4. Give heartfelt appreciation whenever people give you something or do something for you.
  5. Use people’s names – they love it!
  6. Offer sincere and heartfelt compliments when they do something special or look exceptionally great.
  7. Show an interest in people’s lives and notice when they are not happy or are having a bad day.
  8. Ask how people are doing and listen when they tell you.
  9. Pay larger than normal tips to service staff.
  10. Always give more than you receive.
  11. Minimize complaining, and if you do complain, offer a solution.
  12. Leave every conversation or environment better off than when you found it.
  13. Look for the good purpose in every situation, regardless of how negative it may appear.

Good luck and here is to more energy! XOXO

If you are looking for help along the way, are committed to change and are ready for the most fun you can have as an adult in a crafted learning environment… check out the 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more flowing and lucky leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Struggle vs FLOW

Struggle vs Flow

In this article, you will discover four simple
steps to create your own luck!

Have you ever wondered why some people seem to be “more lucky” than others? Maybe you feel lucky. Congratulations! Or on the other hand, perhaps you feel that lady luck never comes knocking on your door.

I have often wondered what luck is and if there were a way to change my luck. I have spent a lot of time and energy in pursuit of answers to that question.

I grew up in a good, hard working family that never seemed to have much luck. Life was difficult and a constant battle for survival. Money was hard to come by and outside forces were always wreaking havoc on our dairy farm, our animals, and our finances. There were diseases, bugs, floods, and droughts. All outside forces having a very real effect on our quality of life.

Due to thrift, our own garden, a few fruit trees, the cows and chickens we had enough food. At least that is the way I remember it. Birthdays and Christmas were not a time for luxuries or gifts — but practical things like clothes and working boots. Or perhaps a new school uniform. Oh, and by the way the school didn’t have a uniform — it was just cheaper to wear the same clothes every day.

Money was always hard to come by and I learned that in order to get ahead in life I would have to work hard, sacrifice, live with pain and suffering and exert massive effort.

But who says this is true?

There is a huge difference between applying effort to a goal or purpose and struggling to make ends meet. So why are we told so often that it is noble to sacrifice and struggle only to barely make it?

The underlying belief is that life, resources, and even love are scarce and in short supply. That we have to compete with other people for them, to win at all costs and that we have to earn love, respect, and acceptance.

What if this is a lie?

What if life, resources, and love are abundant? Free and all around us? What if we don’t have to struggle at all, but to accept that there is a lack of knowledge about how to live a life of effortless FLOW.

Knowledge seems to be the missing element.

We do have to make choices, sometimes very difficult ones. At the same time is there an alternative to sacrifice, endless hard work and barely getting by?

Could it in fact, be easy? Could we create our own luck? I say YES!

The absence of luck could be referred to as struggle. Struggle is effort infused with negative emotion, desperation and attachment. If we replace the negative association and attachment with positive expectation, certainty, and detachment from outcomes we may experience more ease, peace and FLOW. We will still apply hard work and effort, however, the outcome will be, flow and not struggle.

Most people don’t realize that our life is a reflection of our innermost feelings, beliefs, and attitudes. That means when we change on the inside, our outside results change. This is how what we think and feel in the present moment… determines the outcomes in our future.

Think about it this way: Accepting responsibility for your life means accepting that your destiny is created by you. This means that the struggle you experience is created by you and how you feel about your circumstances. Switch your feelings and you will switch from struggle, to flow. Such a simple concept and yet very profound.

In other words, it is your feelings that make the difference! Your feelings are the key drivers of your actions and your actions are what creates your outcomes in life.

Because we are trained, programmed and conditioned to struggle we often accept this as normal and don’t realize that an alternative way of life is possible. A reality of abundance and effortless flow is not even considered because our conditioning doesn’t even allow us to recognize it.

There is a way out of constant struggle where we create our own luck… Here are the steps:

The first step is to consider that struggle isn’t fait accompli and to identify all the areas where you are struggling. This takes courage and the willingness to accept responsibility, that you are causing the struggle and you have the power to choose something different to move into more flow. Once you accept that, you know with absolute certainty that over time, all struggle can be eliminated from your life.

The second step is to write a list of all the areas of life where you are struggling. Don’t be shy or modest. List them all, even the ones tucked away in the secret corners of your life.

The third step is to prioritize your list to arrive at an order of importance to focus on one area at a time. The best approach is to resolve one area at a time before beginning on the next one. If you try to do too much at once it is easy to become overwhelmed and then give up. Sadly, most people give up before they even really begin. Don’t be one of those people and complete what you begin!

The fourth step is to consider what your underlying emotions are and what your thoughts, innermost feelings, beliefs, and attitudes are towards this one area of struggle. Make a conscious decision to let go of the struggle and to embrace more effortless flow in this area. Take note of any “inner voice” that retorts with fears and doubts if this can even be done. You can do it!

Meditate on it and affirm your choice to become lucky in this area and to let go of any payoffs for the past struggle.

You will find that your feelings shift from agitation, negativity and attachment to peace and serenity. Calm and positive expectation attracts a new, fresh energy that attracts more similar energy into your life.

Once you have transformed this first area from, struggle to flow, move onto the next item on your priority list and repeat the same process. Take responsibility for your feelings and transform them.

Starting today, make a commitment to let go and transform one aspect of struggle per day and be sure to record your progress from scarcity to abundance.

Good luck! Bon chance! Let us know how you get on… XOXO

If you are looking for help along the way, are committed to change and are ready for the most fun you can have as an adult in a crafted learning environment… check out the 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more flowing and lucky leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Hyper-Speed Experiential Learning

GOLDZONE Experiential Learning Table-8-13-15 copy.001

You Will Learn So Fast
It Will Blow Your Mind!

We all have at least one thing in common: we started life as a baby and grew into an adult!

Consider for a moment how we learnt as children. We touched everything, tasted everything, played with everything, asked questions about everything. All our senses were engaged in a process of discovering the world around us.

Then we went through formal education and learnt to sit still for hours. We learnt that the teacher expected certain answers, even if our experience of the world was different from the answer they were asking for. We learnt to fit in, be good and do as we were told.

Well some of us learnt these things!

Hyper-Speed Experiential Learning is all about including the whole person in the process and discovering the answers vs being told what is a right answer and what is a wrong answer. Its about including all the senses in the experience and inspiring the student to think, feel and operate holistically and to include their; spiritual, mental, emotional and physical selves.

The above diagram demonstrates what is possible in terms of retention of information based on the mode of learning. It is obvious to most people that the more actively engaged a student is and the more of themselves that are included in the experience the more they learn and the less they forget.

Let’s bring back the joy of learning!

At Goldzone Education, we believe that the world has changed so fast that traditional ways of teaching and learning are too slow and ineffective. People of all ages are immersed in high-definition movies, television, video games, giant monitors, instant messaging, smartphones and smart watches.

Our methods of teaching, delivering content and
learning have got to change with the times.

We need exciting content and teachers who inspire us to make changes, be the best we can be and to realize our full potential.

Every Goldzone program we deliver uses small group discussions, massive video screens, nightclub quality surround sound, laser lights, image reinforcement, captivating images, inspiring videos, the most beautiful smells and most important of all dynamic facilitation.

It is never boring!

Large corporations have the budgets to invest in one off learning environments for their corporate training, however few of them build purpose built classrooms on this scale. As for small and medium businesses, they are mostly out of reach. Our vision is to change that. We need better quality programs and learning environments for the hundreds of millions of small businesses around the world. think of the possible impact…

We also need to unlearn old ideas, thoughts and information that is no longer relevant. Read more about unlearning and “clean slate” > here.

If you are looking for a change and are ready for the most fun you can have as an adult in a crafted learning environment… check out the 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

8 Primary Motivations for Leading

8 Primary Motivations to lead

Leadership choices are made every day and yet very little thought is really put into considering the worthiness of the leader.

Too often a leader is chosen by default because no one else wants the responsibility.

The most suitable leader should have the right combination of desire to make a difference, experience, skill, attitude and ability.

If someone is motivated by power, status, control or greed their decisions, actions and thought processes will be based on their own ego and what’s in it for them – and not necessarily what is right for their stakeholders.

Who wants to follow a leader who is motivated primarily by self-interest? Unless of course your interest is aligned with theirs. We call that mutual self-interest.

The best leaders know when to lead and when to follow.  If a leader is motivated by not wanting to follow, then they will insist on leading – even when they are clearly not the best suited for the role.  The end result is suboptimal compared to the right person leading.

Next time you are choosing a leader, consider these eight motivations and don’t listen to what they say.  Consider their past actions and results as good indicators of future results.

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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

5 Keys to LOVEBACK


A lot of well meaning people end up frustrated when attempting to give people feedback… that is because they don’t have the person’s agreement or attention.

Most people view feedback as negative, so don’t do it!

Perhaps you have been on the receiving end of feedback that is thinly masked criticism intended to minimize and dominate. This is more common than we would like to believe.

As a CEO, coach and seminar leader I have had lots of practice delivering messages to fragile egos. In fact there seems to be a correlation between the size of the ego and its fragility. Anything that challenges the egos view of the world is resisted, often vehemently.

It takes humility to be open to input from the outside,  so anytime you run into a large ego – you can expect resistance.

Working with fragile egos is like walking through a minefield… you never know when you will step on a mine -ka-boom!

Regardless of the situation within which you are offering suggestions for improvement, it always goes down better when you warm the recipient up by getting their permission first, then starting with the positive. We call this approach LOVEBACK and have found it to be dramatically more effective than traditional feedback.

These 5 Keys to Loveback are like a magic elixir that when consumed allow you to say almost anything to anyone…

Give Yourself a Quantum Leap!

If you are looking for an immediate updraft, an infusion of beauty and aesthetic, where awe-inspiring environment meets the latest, freshest information, delivered in a fun and engaging, custom crafted learning environment… consider joining us at a 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more successful and effective leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

UNLEARNING > Letting Go of the Old


Most education, coaching, and training focus on adding more information on top of what we already know. Much of this new information conflicts with old assumptions, thought forms, ideas, and feelings. As a result, much of the value of the new information is lost.

This is one of the reasons why some of the smartest and best-educated people take some of the dumbest actions. It is also why we age so much. Have you ever seen a youngish person who looks, feels and acts old? How about an old person who looks, feels and acts really old?

Evolution is an amazing process of replacing the old with the new. If our ideas and ways of being are not kept relevant we end up extinct. Like you know… the dinosaurs.

Today’s world is highly competitive and with new technologies the pace of change is so fast it isn’t easy to keep up.

The solution to this problem is to constantly engage in a process of UNLEARNING where old “stuff” is challenged, upgraded or thrown out. We call this unlearning process “Clean Slate” because it is like wiping a slate clean and starting all over again.

Who couldn’t do with a fresh start once in a while?

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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

CHANGE > How Do You Respond?

Response to Change-6-19-15.001

One of the most uncomfortable aspects of life is that it involves constant and never ending change. And the pace of change isn’t slowing down anytime soon, in fact we live in an era of accelerating acceleration.

How you respond to change determines your level of stress, happiness and success.

if you are like most people change brings fear and uncertainty. We like things to stay the same. Often it feels like we are just getting used to and comfortable with things as they are… and bam… something or someone pulls the rug out from under us.

It takes a lot of self confidence to know that no matter what happens, no matter what changes – everything will be alright.

Our research has shown that people respond to change in one of 7 different ways. The least effective strategies are to deny, resist and accept change slowly. Higher up (meaning more effective) is to embrace change aggressively. Even more effective is to be enthusiastic and ultimately proactive which is where you preempt what is soon to happen by understanding and foreseeing the future.

By far the best is to adopt an attitude of “knowing” that change is constant and to respond to it in advance without even thinking about it. To live day by day with a balance of mind and heart. Secure in the knowledge that all change serves a higher purpose, we just have to trust and figure out what it is.

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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Visionary Leadership

Visionary Leadership-7-6-15.001

There are seven different levels of leadership. Level 7: Visionary Leadership is the most effective. Level 4: Command and control is how most people lead. Consider two things, one is what level of leadership you use when you are feeling confident and sure of yourself and the other is what level of leadership you default to when you are under pressure?

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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

The Workplace of the Future

The Workplace of the Future.001

If the place where you spend most of your time does not cater to your spiritual needs, then it is time to make some changes and switch it up! The Workplace of the Future is where Profit, Passion, Meaning and Purpose meet.

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© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Reaction FREE

Reaction FREE

A Reaction is a term used to describe an adverse situation where we lose our composure, equanimity or calmness in response to a situation or event that involves unwanted feelings hijacking us. These emotions can include intense feelings of pain, sadness, fear, anger or indignation that manifests as a fixation on being “right”, can be either conscious or unconscious and are accompanied by a physiological response that can be felt most intensely in our chest or stomach.

Reactions are usually instant, uncontrollable and overwhelming to our rational response causing us to say or do things that are not well thought out, hurtful or harmful to others or ourselves. Typically the core emotion or package of emotions relates to unresolved issues from the past that the current situation or event has triggered.

Trigger vs Reaction

Despite the overwhelming feeling that the trigger of the reaction is the cause of the unwanted emotions they are separate and distinct. Consider a firearm. The trigger sets off the firing mechanism that launches a pin into the back of the cartridge setting off the explosive, which propels the bullet. The trigger merely actuates the mechanism that results in the explosion (reaction).

Don’t Blame the Trigger

In order to resolve unwanted reactions and prevent future reoccurrences one must correctly separate the trigger from the cause of the reaction and resolve the cause. That means being willing to look into our past experiences. Incorrectly assigning blame to the trigger person, event or situation is a surefire way to avoid the cause and the responsibility, therefore ensuring no change and a repeat of the reaction in the future. This would ensure that we are at the effect of the triggers around us!

Over time a pattern of incorrectly assigning the cause (blame) of our reactions leads to avoiding the people, events or circumstances that we think are doing it to us. This mechanism is the primary cause of boom and bust cycles, long term avoidance or inability to engage in satisfying primary relationships, playing small in life and a general state of fear and contraction. Imagine for a moment one assigned the blame to losing, having or otherwise dealing with money… clearly this would cause an inability to make, keep or be responsible for money.

Responsibility means that we own our reactions are our reactions and while people, events or circumstances may trigger our reactions, we are responsible for the reaction itself including the past experience that contains the unwanted emotions.

Unfortunately most people spend a considerable amount of time either avoiding situations that trigger reactions or dealing with the unpleasant aftereffects of a reaction and the resultant undesirable behavior. Since we know that our results in life are driven by our behaviors and that a large part of our behaviors are caused by our reactions, we can say with certainty that this is one of the primary ways that past negative experiences influence our current results.

Transformation of Reactions = Transformation of Results

By taking responsibility for our reactions and committing to a life-long journey to become Reaction Free we are able to transform our results in ways that we could not previously predict or even contemplate as possible.

Some of the areas one can expect to transform include improved ability to: communicate, ask for what you want, speak in public, maintain harmony in relationships, feel joy and happiness, sustain focus, resolve upsets, negotiate contracts, handle rejection, develop new relationships, handle difficult people and challenging situations, avoid conflict, increase income, retain more of what you make, lead people, inspire people to action, and much, much more!

We Become Numb or Over-Sensitive

Repeated, recurring reactions cause us to desensitize to the reaction and over time we become either numb to our emotions or highly sensitive and over-reactive. This means that we cannot afford to ignore our reactions because the longer we leave them and “live with them” the more numb or over-sensitive we become. It also means that the bigger game we commit to playing in life the more reactions we will run into…

Chain Reactions

A Chain Reaction is where two or more people experience a reaction to another person who in turn reacts to them and so on so forth. We call this “going to hell in a hand basket” and can be very difficult to get out of because neither person is able to think clearly and therefore communicates from their reaction to make the other person’s reaction worse.

When a person is “communicating from their reaction” they believe that the person in front of them that triggered their reaction is the cause of their unwanted feelings, is hostile towards them and does not realize that their perceptions are skewed by the intensity of their reactions. This means that they are not seeing or hearing what is said accurately and literally see and hear things that are not done or said. You could say that they are “making up s..t”.

People who engage in tit-for-tat actions from perceived slights or offenses are often doing so from reaction and are only making matters worse which leads to an escalating “cycle of violence”.

Perceived Threats to Survival

If a person perceives that their physical survival, reputation, money, job, business, or relationship is under threat (real or imagined) they can become so triggered by the circumstances that they succumb to a “single person chain reaction” that can be very difficult to get out of. Out of desperation they take counterproductive actions that lead to an even greater threat to their survival, which leads to even more desperate actions. This is a “death spiral”.

It’s a Minefield

Have you ever been in a relationship with a person who was so sensitive to small nuances that they go into reaction at the slightest provocation? This is like walking through a minefield, you never know when you are going to step on a mine and blow yourself up. These people force everyone around them to deal with their reactions and take zero responsibility for them while at the same time make a huge deal out of your once-in-a-while reaction. In some cases these people are so reactive they can’t help themselves. In other cases they are using their reactions to control and dominate the people around them…

12 Rules of Reaction

The following are a set of guidelines to support with the journey to become Reaction Free:

  1. Commit to being Reaction Free and take responsibility for your reactions.
  2. See every reaction as an opportunity to learn, grow and to develop more capability.
  3. Know when you or others are in a reactive state.
  4. Recognize triggers from reactions from causes.
  5. Don’t believe everything you think or feel when you or others are clearly in a reactive state.
  6. Don’t make major decisions when you are in reaction.
  7. Learn and apply the best way to disengage yourself from reaction.
  8. Master the skills to avoid other peoples reactions and to effectively get them out of reaction in the most speedy and graceful way possible.
  9. If possible, communicate with the other person or people that you are in reaction and just need a little time to get out of it.
  10. Use every time you have a reaction as an opportunity to gain clarity about yourself and to master getting out of it faster and resolving more of your unresolved past.
  11. Don’t use your reactions as an excuse for low performance or to justify taking your negative feelings out on them.
  12. Understand your limits and don’t aggressively put yourself into overwhelm by setting off too many reactions that you can’t cope with.

What is the Fastest Way to Become Reaction Free?

The fastest way to resolve ones reactions and to become Reaction Free is via a relationship where both partners share a common context and utilize communication tools to identify the original cause of their reactions so as to resolve them so they don’t repeat.

If you surround yourself with people at work and home whom share the same context and desire to become Reaction Free, the result is over time feelings of freedom, being in control of ones life, peace and genuine serenity increase. This leads to higher levels of satisfaction with life, relationships and enhanced performance in all areas.

More tools, support and educational programs are available:

Sometimes one-on-one coaching can help:

Good luck and here is to more freedom from unwanted emotions, reactions and blame!


Give Yourself a Quantum Leap!

If you are looking for an immediate updraft, an infusion of beauty and aesthetic, where awe-inspiring environment meets the latest, freshest information, delivered in a fun and engaging, custom crafted learning environment… consider joining us at a 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience. It will change your mind about learning, engage all your senses and most of all make you a better, more successful and effective leader!

To learn more about the exciting 3-Day GOLDZONE Experience click > here

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What Are You Chasing?

whatever you chase.001

To chase means to pursue in order to catch or catch up with. Unfortunately, many people chase their tail, looking busy and yet going nowhere.

Where does the idea of chasing what you want come from? What if there is a faster and more effective approach that is counter-intuitive?

Here’s the thing, whatever you chase says a lot about you. It speaks louder than what your words say. It communicates your true intentions, your lack, and limitations. Typically we don’t chase what we have in abundance. We chase what we don’t have and by doing so, we telegraph to everyone that we are lacking in the thing that we are chasing. This creates a feeling of neediness, which is repulsive!

So if chasing isn’t the way to do it, then what is?

The key is to align your actions, beliefs and feelings from the end result of the vision as if it were here now. This point of view collapses time and draws the future into the present. Then from this perspective, there is no chasing. Your vision is drawn to you.

Does that mean you don’t have to do anything? Of course, you have to do something! The difference is that the actions you take will be from a position of confidence, certainty and clarity and your results will go up exponentially!

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May 2015 Bring You MAGICAL Musical Notes

GLC-Happy Holidays.001

As I sat down to write you this holiday and year end message I found myself staring at the flashing cursor on a blank screen… after days of mulling it over I finally began to type…

No doubt your inbox is similar to mine – flooded with xmas and holiday messages. Most of them are cookie cutter, standard messages of well wishes.

I want to share something more personal.

2014 never worked out as I planned. In fact I can’t recall a year that did. Having said that, I am a proponent of envisioning the future, creating plans and then following through on them. What I have found is that no matter how much envisioning and planning I do – the unexpected – surprising – out of the blue – is where the magic is.

If 2014 were set to musical notes, my year was filled with magic punctuated with some rather large challenges. The magic was the sweet reward while the challenges are what brought me the most personal growth.

If I don’t grow from one year to the next, then my future will resemble my past. I don’t like that! This is why personal growth is so important… its how we create different futures for ourselves. And that requires some challenges.

When 2015 brings you challenges (and it will) rather than complain about your lousy luck, try focusing on what you will gain from the experience.

So on that note: may the music of your 2015 be filled with challenges (personal growth) as well as magic that makes life worth living.

May 2015 bring you MAGICAL musical notes!

Warm Regards…
Andrew John Harrison

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VIDEO > Honesty

For some people this video would be confronting. For others it is cathartic… Film by Mark Pellington – David Whyte essay – Music by Jeff Rona.

Mark Pellington’s words say it best:

“This film was made by me as an exercise in process, to explore my own progress and personal feelings towards loss, grief, and healing. Via this text. My instinct was to be very simple and direct and to understand these words, via catharsis. The conduit was human, the face. The unlying veneer, the carrier of instinct. The face. It evokes the range of emotional expression and human truth of strangers. They all listened to it one time and brought their own inner stories to you the viewer. For you to feel your own. David’s Whyte words inspired this all. Kudos to the cast, Michael Sanford casting, Jeff Rona’s music and Matt Roe’s wonderful images.”

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