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.


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.

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 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

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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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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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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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The Sweet Spot

competing forces.001
I was inspired to put together this diagram to highlight the competing forces of risk and return (also known as reward). As I sat on the couch one evening a thought came to me about what separates successful leaders from everyone else.

Successful leaders aren’t smarter. They certainly aren’t more conservative. They do seem to take a lot of risks and for the most part emerge unscathed. Once in a while you will see a leader crash and burn only to rise from the ashes. Unless it is incapacitating or life threatening… most disasters won’t keep a true leader down.

Lots of people have visions of a future they would like to create or see others create, however most of these visionaries never manifest their vision into reality. You could say its easy to dream and quite another thing to take it all the way to realizing it.

The best leaders not only inspire others to follow but also acquire missing knowledge and apply it through successful execution on the route to mastery. This takes balancing risk and return.

The same is true of investing and entrepreneurship. Ask any successful investor or entrepreneur and they will tell you that maximizing returns comes with high risk and that minimizing risk also limits potential returns. The Sweet Spot (The Zone) is found by seeking a balance between these two competing forces. In order to stay in the Sweet Spot takes constant learning, execution and application of the knowledge gained.

When you stop learning, stop applying and stop executing you drop out of The Zone and become either over conservative or take unwise risks that are akin to gambling.

Most people fixate on one end of the spectrum or the other and often wildly swing between the two.

Consider for a moment, what would happen to your FLOW if you followed this simple 4 step strategy:

  1. Locate the Sweet Spot by asking “what does OPTIMUM look like?”
  2. Move into the Sweet Spot
  3. Make ongoing adjustments to stay in the Sweet Spot
  4. Assess the downside risks and develop a strategy to mitigate them
  5. Inventory the potential upside and implement a strategy to capitalize on it

The key is to not fight competing forces… work with them!

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Screen Shot 2014-11-24 at 5.59.40 PM

MASTERY in one’s career and consciousness growth simply requires that we constantly produce results beyond and out of the ordinary.  Mastery is a product of consistently going beyond our limits.  For most people, it starts with technical excellence in a chosen field and a commitment to that excellence.  If you are willing to commit yourself to excellence, to surround yourself with things that represent this and miracles, your life will change.  (When we speak of miracles, we speak of events or experiences in the real world which are beyond the ordinary).

It’s remarkable how much mediocrity we live with, surrounding ourselves with daily reminders that the average is the acceptable.  Our world suffers from terminal normality.  Take a moment to assess all of the things around you that promote your being “average”.  These are the things that keep you powerless to go beyond a “limit” you arbitrarily set for yourself.  The first step to mastery is the removal of everything in your environment that represents mediocrity, removing those things that are limiting.  One way is to surround yourself with friends who ask more of you than you do.  Didn’t some of your best teachers, coaches, parents, etc.?

Another step on the path to mastery is the removal of resentment toward masters.  Develop compassion for yourself so that you can be in the presence of masters and grow from the experience.  Rather than comparing yourself and resenting people who have mastery, remain open and receptive;  let the experience be like the planting of a seed within you that, with nourishment, will grow into your own individual mastery.

You see, we are all ordinary.  But a master, rather than condemning himself for his “ordinariness”, will embrace it and use it as a foundation for building the extraordinary.  Rather than using it as an excuse for inactivity, he will use it as a vehicle for correcting, which is essential in the process of attaining mastery.  You must be able to correct yourself without invalidating or condemning yourself, to accept results and improve upon them.  Correct, don¹t protect.  Correction is essential to power and mastery.

– Stewart Emery

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The Dark Side of Follow the LEADER

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Choose your leaders carefully.

Wise words that we would all agree with and yet how many of us get to know the obvious and not so obvious aspects of a leader – BEFORE we jump in and follow them?

Obvious aspects are those we can all see. Examples are their likeability, dressing, body language and grooming. Also their tone of voice, leadership style and their past performance.

Not so obvious aspects would mean those qualities and attributes that we cannot see without getting to know them personally or investigating with more discerning eyes. Usually these aspects include their values, operating model, typical emotional state, beliefs, honesty, candor, ethics and integrity.

Why are these not so obvious aspects so important? Because these are the qualities that are better predictors of future performance, behavior under stress and most important of all… these are the aspects that we take on and duplicate from our leaders without evening realizing it!

If that doesn’t scare you – it should.

Lets say you are an ethical person and you pride yourself on your honesty, straightforwardness and openness. You want to improve your relationship to money so you look for a teacher to follow who appears to be world-renowned, well respected and successful. If you take this on face value you would conclude that this teacher is a good person to learn from and you decide to follow them.

Unbeknownst to you this teacher has a flexible relationship with the truth and believes that money is to be prized and valued over all else. If they suggested you do outright unethical things this would trigger your doubt and you would see it right away. The thing is, their true nature is masked by their public persona and they have such a good act that most well meaning people would not be able to see them easily or accurately.

In fact, many of these people have well crafted strategies to keep their real nature and intention a secret. They often engage in charity projects and donate publicly to needy causes. They will talk about doing the right thing and being a good person, while behind the scenes are doing exactly the opposite! We call this “public relations”.

Why does this matter to you so much? Because you are going to take on what they say, do and believe unconsciously. These unconscious memes will become a part of your makeup and you may find yourself compromising your standards little by little. You may also find that when you do what they say they have done, your results are different from theirs. Assuming you implement and execute exactly… it may not work for you because they didn’t do what they said they did!

This gap between what they say they did and reality can cause you to lose confidence in yourself and to doubt your own abilities… when in fact you should be doubting them and their advice!

Train yourself to look for the obvious and not so obvious aspects of a leader. Tune into their feeling. Look for “bodies on the side of the road.” Ask questions and look for telltale signs of incongruence. The more slick they are, the deeper you have to look to determine fact from fiction.

Choose a worthy leader and be a worthy follower!

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The Dynamic Tension of Goals & Visions

Dynamic Tension Skiing.001

Most people drift through life without a meaningful vision of what they want to create. This lack of vision results in a lack of goals, which causes a lack of motivation. The common wisdom is that people avoid goals because they are afraid of failure, however this is only part of the reason. There are three primary reasons for avoiding goals:

  1. Failed goals from the past
  2. Lack of a compelling vision
  3. Inability to handle the tension created by the gap between the goal or vision and their present reality

This tension is known as “Dynamic Tension” because it is fluid and represents the ever-moving relationship between where you are today and the goal or vision that you are moving towards.

The bigger the vision and the more challenging the goal – the more tension you will feel. As you close the gap, the tension reduces.

Lifeforce exists in this Dynamic Tension. The basic goal of life is survival, however once you have handled your basic needs your attention turns to higher value needs like achievement, success, status, community, self-expression, creativity and contribution.

If you want more joy and fulfillment from life, set bigger goals and dream grander visions for yourself, your community and the world. This will give you a reason to live, engage all of yourself and will create tension that will propel you to new levels.

Click on the below diagram for an illustration…

Dynamic Tension.001

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Do Something For Someone Else: 100% of Your Clients Are People

Gotta love this video about fulfillment and doing things for others… 100% of your clients are people… 100% of your colleagues are people… 100% of your friends are people… sounds obvious but most people forget! How is that possible?

Fulfillment | from Electrik on Vimeo.

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MOVIE > Before Midnight

This movie is about a couple in their forties, married with two daughters and a son (from a previous marriage). While in Greece on vacation they are looking for a night of passion and romance… instead they find themselves engaged in a tense debate about the past, present, future; family, romance, love and infidelity.

This story clearly depicts many peoples common experience. In their fighting there are a lot of hurtful, rude and inconsiderate things said to each other – which adds to the feeling of distance and disconnection.

How differently this story would be if this couple had some basic relationship and communications skills that would facilitate some real sharing, listening and understanding.

Many couples break up over some of the most basic and easy to fix things… consider an alternative scenario where the couple actually talk and share their feelings and reach a new level of connection and intimacy all while enjoying the romantic environment of the southern Peloponnese?

The result? Lasting happiness!

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Our World Is Changing: Think Like A Leader

We are living through one of the most profound periods of transformation in recent human history.  Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate.  The way we live, the way we work and the way we do business are changing dramatically.

No longer is it an option to maintain our position by doing today, what we did yesterday.  We are no longer competing with the professional or the firm down the road, but rather the highly skilled, more motivated, and lower cost individual or firm on the other side of the planet.

In order to do well in the future, we must begin to think more like leaders than managers, more like entrepreneurs than employees, take responsibility for our quality of life, upgrade our skills and become more aware of the value we add to our teams, our projects, and our organizations.

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We Are All Leaders

Remember that all of us are leaders, whether we want to be or not.  Leading is a part of life.  Being a good leader means greater satisfaction in your personal and business life…  Since you must lead, why not be good at it?  It can make a big difference to your results and overall quality of life.

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Set Your Expectations High

One technique many people use to get what they want is to set their expectations so low – that they are guaranteed to meet them. This way they avoid disappointment and over time settle for less and less.

The key to having an inspiring and fulfilling life is exactly the opposite… To set expectations HIGH and to change what is in the way of realizing the highest ideal scenario. Having high expectations requires work… It requires learning… It requires letting go of the past… However the benefits are well worth it – I promise!

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Felix the Flying Frog

(Original source unknown)

A Parable About Schedules, Cycle Times, and Shaping New Behaviors: Once upon a time there lived a man named Clarence who had a pet frog named Felix.

Clarence lived a modestly comfortable existence on what he earned working at the local Wal-Mart, but he always dreamed of being rich. “Felix!” he exclaimed one day “We’re going to be rich! I’m going to teach you how to fly!” Felix, of course, was terrified at the prospect. “I can’t fly, you idiot! I’m a frog, not a canary!” Clarence, disappointed at the initial reaction, told Felix “That negative attitude of yours could be a real problem. I’m sending you to class.”

So Felix went to a three day class and learned all about problem solving, time management, and effective communication. . . but nothing about flying.

On the first day of lessons, Clarence could barely control his excitement. He explained that their apartment building had 15 floors, and each day Felix would jump out of a window starting with the first floor, eventually getting to the top floor. After each jump, Felix would analyze how well he flew, isolate on the most effective flying techniques, and implement the improved process for the next flight. By the time they reached the top floor, Felix would surely be able to fly.

Felix pleaded for his life, but it fell on deaf ears. He just doesn’t understand how important this is, thought Clarence, but I won’t let nay-sayers get in the way.

So with that, Clarence opened the window and threw Felix out [who landed with a thud].

Next day, poised for his second flying lesson, Felix again begged not to be thrown out the window. With that Clarence opened his pocket guide to Managing More Effectively and showed Felix the part about how one must always expect resistance when implementing new programs. And with that, he threw Felix out the window. (THUD)

On the third day (at the third floor window) Felix tried a different ploy: stalling. He asked for a delay in the project until better weather would make flying conditions more favorable. But Clarence was ready for him: he produced a project time line and pointed to the third milestone and asked “You don’t want to slip the schedule, do you?” From his training Felix knew that not jumping today would mean that he would have to jump TWICE tomorrow. . . so he just said “OK. Let’s go.” And out the window he went. (THUD)

Now this is not to say that Felix wasn’t trying his best. On the fifth day he flapped his feet madly in a vain attempt to fly.

On the sixth day he tied a small red cape around his neck and tried to think Superman thoughts. But try as he may, he couldn’t fly.

By the seventh day, Felix, accepting his fate, no longer begged for mercy … he simply looked at Clarence and said “You know you’re killing me, don’t you?” Clarence pointed out that Felix’s performance so far had been less than exemplary, failing to meet any of the milestone goals he had set for him.

With that, Felix said quietly “Shut up and open the window.” And he leaped out, taking careful aim on the large jagged rock by the corner of the building. And Felix went to that great lily pad in the sky.

Clarence was extremely upset, as his project had failed to meet a single goal that he set out to accomplish. Felix had not only failed to fly, he didn’t even learn to steer his flight as he fell like a sack of cement … nor did he improve his productivity when Clarence told him to fall smarter, not harder.

The only thing left for Clarence to do was to analyze the process and try to determine where it had gone wrong. After much thought, Clarence smiled and said “Next time … I’m getting a smarter frog!”

Does Clarence sound like anyone you know?

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Audacious Goals

We all know about setting goals and creating visions, however despite our knowledge of the subject many leaders fall short of legendary and land on mediocre.

The below is an excerpt (paraphrased) from the book titled “Beyond Entrepreneurship” — Turning Your Business into an Enduring Great Company by James C. Collins and Willian C. Lazier.

…you set a goal not by pure analysis, but by analysis plus intuition.  You’ll never be able to prove ahead of time that an audacious goal is going to be 100% achievable.

You have to know in your gut that it can be done, recognizing this simple truth: once committed to a bold challenge, the probabilities of success change.

When President Kennedy first proposed the Moon mission, he was advised that there was only a 50/50 chance of success.  He believed in America’s ability to achieve the mission, to somehow turn the odds.  He knew that if the country committed to the mission, they would somehow find a way to make it happen.

Think of it this way.  If someone puts you on a difficult mountain climb and leaves you an easy avenue of retreat, the probabilities of success would be at a certain level, say for the sake of illustration 50%.  Now suppose you are on the same mountain and the avenue of escape is removed; if you don’t succeed you die.

The probabilities of success change closer to 100%.  Why?

Because you are committed.  You’ll fight, scratch, invent, or somehow figure out a way to the top because you have no other choice…

What would happen if you committed to an audacious goal or vision and removed the possibility of not achieving it?

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Unprecedented Change

We are living through one of the most profound periods of transformation in recent human history.  Our world is changing at an unprecedented rate.  The way we live, the way we work and the way we do business are changing dramatically.

No longer is it an option to maintain our position by doing today what we did yesterday.  We are no longer competing with the professional or the firm down the road, but rather, the highly skilled, more motivated, and lower cost individual or firm on the other side of the planet.  In order to do well in the future, we must begin to think more like entrepreneurs than employees, take responsibility for our quality of life, upgrade our skills and become more aware of the value we add to our teams, our projects, and our organizations.

Whether you are from Cape Town, Adelaide, Wellington, Hong Kong, Glasgow, Singapore, Milan or Albuquerque, the changes that are occurring affect us all.  Sure, you can decide to ignore what is happening, to live and work the same way today as you have in the past.  However, you could be missing out on the biggest opportunity of this generation and be rendered obsolete, redundant and find yourself standing on the sidelines.

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

The Wise Man, the Goddess and the Fragment

An adult bedtime story…

Once upon a time there was a wise man.  This wise man travelled the world exploring new places and learning the mysteries of life.  One day without warning, and as if by magic, the wise man forgot who he was.  He forgot that there is more to life than power, money, sex and the relentless pursuit of success.  He forgot his wisdom.  He forgot his teachers.  He forgot the examples he had seen.  He forgot the lessons he had learned.  He forgot where he had come from.  This once wise man disowned himself.  He left his seat at the table, the table of the gods.

After a while the wise man tried to rediscover himself.  But, how would he do it?  So he tested everything he knew to be true.  He tried it all out on himself.  He lied, he cheated, he stole.  He doubted himself.  He doubted others.  And in the process, he began to rediscover himself.  Progress was slow and he wanted to be fast…  “Give me the fast-track,” he demanded.  But to whom was he making these demands?  From whom and from where did he expect the answers to come?

And then one day he ran into a fragment of himself.

This fragment was a broke-ass, unethical blamer.  This fragment was a nobody trying to be somebody.  People rejected him.  Money rejected him.  And the wise man felt sorry for him.  The wise man decided to help him.  But the unethical blamer said one thing, and did another.

In his quest to render assistance, the wise man began to fight with the unethical blamer.  He tried to convince him.  He was right, no matter what.  And the wise man (not so wise now) tried to prove that he was right and the fragment was wrong.

If only he could refute one more point.  Surely then.  Surely he would see reason? After all, was it not completely logical?  This fragment was so precocious, so irrational, so emotional, so fixated on being right.  But he was so wrong.  The wise man was sure of himself.

How dare he! The wise man raged…  does he not know WHO I AM? After all, he was the wise man.

No, the fragment could only see another fragment.  He could not see the wise man.  For the wise man could not see himself.  All the wise man could see was the fragment within him.

Then the goddess whispered to the wise man, “Transform the fragments into the whole.” For the goddess could see the wise man, and the fragments and the fragment reflection.  For his part, the wise man could not see the goddess, he could only see fragments.  This is because he had forgotten himself.

The wise man thought to himself, “I am nothing but a fragment, like all the other fragments,” and he gave up on himself and accepted his royal fragmentedness.

But the goddess did not give up.

The goddess knew all the fragments where beautiful and incomplete pieces of the wonderful, magnificent and awesome whole.  The goddess refused to give up and reminded the wise man that he was not a fragment.  But the wise man insisted on pretending he was a fragment.  And whenever the goddess demanded more from him, he wished the goddess dead.  He hated the goddess.  He wanted to run away from her.  After all, she reminded him of everything he had forgotten.

But the goddess was like nothing else.  She was like no one else.  She was…  spellbinding.  In her presence the wise man felt feelings he had long forgotten that were intoxicating.  He loved her.  He hated her.  He loathed himself.

He had, after all, forgotten himself.  He was not only a fragment, but was working night and day tirelessly to be the king of all the fragments.  Surely then.  Surely then.

You don’t become a god by killing a goddess.  The mere thought itself creates more fragments, let alone actually trying to do it.

The words of the goddess haunted the wise man.  “Own thyself.  You are not a fragment.  You are a wise man.  You are only seeing a fragment of yourself when you fight with the other fragments.”

And the wise man began to remember.  “I, too, can help other fragments become whole, but I can’t do this as a fragment.”

“Every fragment I fight with is a reflection of my own fragmentedness.”

“I cannot help other fragments, unless I, too, become whole and remember that I am a wise man, a whole, a fragmented god.”

“I remember. I was born in the stars.”

“I am made up of the same materials as all the stars.”

And then the wise man became wiser.  He transformed his fragments.  He sought out his fragments wherever he could find them…  and transformed all the pieces into a whole.

Then he became a great teacher.  A teacher of men.  An example to all the other fragments.

The wise man returned to his seat at the table with all the other gods.  Then he could finally see the goddess and his eyes opened to all the other gods sitting at the same table…

— The End —

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

The Leadership Challenge

Most people think that there is a lot of competition for leadership roles. Despite the competition, there are more people who are not willing to lead than there are people willing to step up to the leadership challenge.

Taking the lead means you put your reputation and your ego on the line. You take the risk that things may go wrong and you may end up with a learning experience… a public one!

Avoidance of the risks associated with leadership has a lot of potential leaders taking a back seat and waiting for someone else to step up. The people and companies who succeed and end up dominating businesses and markets are those who have taken more calculated risks than others.

Is it time for you to step up and take more risks?

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Global Peace Index 2010

According to the Institute for Economics and Peace, the world became LESS peaceful in 2010 for the second year in a row. It is interesting to note which countries are more peaceful than others.  According to the research, violence costs the world economy more than $7 Trillion… surely making the world a safer place would do a lot for the entire world!

How long will it take for the consciousness of peace (you can’t fight violence with violence) to win?

[click on the image below for a larger version]

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There is a graduated scale from ultimate truth to ultimate untruth. Most people think that a little untruth is OK and tell little lies to others and to themselves. The worst lies are the ones we tell to ourselves – and believe. Why? Because if you believe your own lies – then your perception becomes inaccurate to the same degree.  This is often why many people struggle and work hard only to find that success eludes them…

Think of ultimate truth as being the ultimate accuracy, and the ultimate untruth being the ultimate inaccuracy. The more accuracy – the more flow; so if you want more flow in your life, career or business… go for more truth.

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Assets & Liabilities

We are used to thinking of financial assets and liabilities, and yet there are so many other areas of life that this concept applies to (or adds to or takes away from). This is especially true of people. The key is to surround yourself with people who are assets – not liabilities. We all know who the liabilities are… the people who take all the attention… the people who cost more than they produce… the people who complain about the same things and never do anything about it…

We are not suggesting that you think of all the people in your organization in purely financial terms.  That would be cold and possibly callous.  People do have value that is more than money alone. Having said that, an organization exists to add value, and people have roles within that organization to add value to the stakeholders. How do you add value if you are a liability?

Adding value is all about being an asset. In every interaction you want to be an asset – not a liability.

© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.

Movie: Extraordinary Measures

This is an awesome movie and an excellent example of leadership in action.  Inspired by true events…

The story starts with John Crowley (Brendan Fraser) whose two young kids have a deadly disease called Pompa. They are not expected to live longer than a year or two at the most. Heartbreaking… But John decides to do something about it.  He goes to see a doctor and scientist named Robert Stonehill (Harrison Ford) whose research about the disease could be helpful.

In the end, John helps Stonehill finance his research, in hopes of making a cure…

The question of leadership is that often times it is real life situations that demand that we step up to take the lead on something – rather than wait for someone else to do something about it.