This question is often asked by two different types of people:
- People who are aggressively pursuing their goals and are focused on bottom line returns.
- People who are doing the minimum, are disinterested and taking what life gives them.
For the rest of us, it seems obvious that by investing in ourselves, our skills, our knowledge and our abilities, that we will advance in life and get more of what we want.
But this is not so obvious to most people.
Many people are disconnected from the fact that an investment in oneself will give a return on investment that continues throughout one’s entire life.
Here are some of the tangible benefits:
- Enhanced quality of life
- Increased income
- Greater career opportunities
- Enhanced health
- Greater self-expression
What does investing in oneself look like?
Here are some examples:
- Buying new clothes
- Developing new knowledge through books, seminars, etc.
- Enhancing one’s skills
- Enjoying experiences that are memorable
© Goldzone Education. All rights reserved.
One of the key components to getting into “The Zone” and staying there is understanding and mastering Cause & Effect.
There is a lot to this subject and it is a bit technical. However, master this and you are sure to experience a transformation in your results!
What is Cause & Effect? 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.
If you want lasting change in any area, identify the TRUE CAUSES and change them. What is the TRUE CAUSE of the financial crisis? 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 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. Being at Cause 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 be at Cause, you must be able to be at Cause and at Effect. Sounds confusing, but in fact 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.
The Master Game
By Robert S. De Ropp
Seek, above all, for a game worth playing. Such is the advice of the oracle to modern man. Having found the game, play it with intensity – play as though your life and sanity depended upon it. (They do depend on it.) Follow the example of the French existentialists and flourish a banner bearing the word “engagement.” Though nothing means anything and all roads are marked “no exit,” move as if your movements had some purpose. If life does not seem to offer a game worth playing, then invent one. For it must be clear, even to the most clouded intelligence, that any game is better than no game. But although it is safe to play the Master Game, this has not served to make it popular. It still remains the most demanding and difficult of games, and in our society, there are few who play. Contemporary man, hypnotized by the glitter of its own gadgets, has little contact with his inner world, concerns himself with outer, not inner, space. But the Master Game is played entirely in the inner world, a vast and complex territory about which men know very little. The aim of the game is true awakening, full development of the powers latent in man. This game can be played only by people whose observations of themselves and others have led them to certain conclusions, namely, that man’s ordinary state of consciousness, his so-called waking state, is not the highest level of consciousness of which he is capable. In fact, this state is so far from real awakening that it could appropriately be called a form of somnambulism, a condition of “waking sleep.”Once a person has reached this conclusion, he is no longer able to sleep comfortably. A new appetite develops within him, the hunger for real awakening, for real consciousness. He realizes that he sees, hears, and knows only a tiny fraction of what he could see, hear, and know; that he lives in the poorest, shabbiest of the rooms in his inner dwelling, but that he can enter into other rooms, beautiful and filled with treasures, the windows of which look out on eternity and infinity.Here it is sufficient to say that the Master Game can NEVER be made easy to play. It demands that a man has all his feelings, all his thoughts and his entire resources, physical and spiritual. If he tries to play it in a halfhearted way or tries to get results by unlawful means, he runs the risk of destroying his own potential. For this reason it is better not to embark on the game at all, than to play it halfheartedly.
The solitary player lives today in a culture that is more or less totally opposed to the aims he has set himself, that does not recognize the existence of the Master Game, and regards players of this game as queer or slightly mad. The player thus confronts great opposition from the culture in which he lives and must strive with forces which tend to bring his game to a halt before it has even started. Only by finding a teacher and becoming part of the group of pupils that that teacher has collected about him can the player find encouragement and support. Otherwise he simply forgets his aim, or wonders off down some side road and looses himself.
I was going through my travel photographs and saw this picture of a poster at the Dubai Airport advertising the world’s tallest building, which was under construction at the time. The Burj Dubai is very impressive and I was inspired to write more about the towers of glass.
I love beautiful, expansive and extraordinary things and am a patron of the arts. Architecture is particularly captivating because of its ability to inspire and uplift. My title is only an analogy and not meant in any way to be critical of any building.
My personal observation about many banks, hotels, and companies that own these towers is that the public areas are grand, beautiful and spacious, whereas the back of the house where the employees work tend to be relatively ordinary and in many cases dingy and unattractive.
Let’s continue the conversation about Towers Of Glass, Feet Of Clay — particularly our response to external circumstances, as the waves of impact wash over us.
Many people are being tested to the core and have a rare opportunity to re-evaluate what is real and what is an illusion. We have to decide, “What is important to us?” and “What we are willing to let go?” “Which relationships are here for the long haul?” and “Which ones are superficial?”
It is time to reflect so that the inside can be as beautiful and tall as the outside.
Nearly everyone will agree to this in concept, yet not everyone is willing to invest the time, energy and money that beautifying the inside requires. Don’t get me wrong. I am not referring to a religion or any particular philosophy, but rather a journey that all leaders take in the process of leading. Those who know, know… as we share a common experience.
We call this common experience the Quest:
The essence of the Quest is where you leave your comfort zone, known reality, sense of security, and attachments and step into the unknown to discover your true nature, destiny, unique gifts, qualities, and virtues. It is only when you leave your comfort zone that you run into your limits.
During your journey to discover your true self, you encounter the limiting parts of yourself, weaknesses, limiting beliefs, blocks, self-suppression, unexpressed feelings, insecurities, jealousies, and doubts. In other words, you encounter your dark side. You also discover and encounter any opposition to your visions, goals, and dreams.
In the process of your journey, you overcome and master your dark side and gain attributes, qualities, and virtues and develop your overall character as a meaningful, worthwhile, contributing, conscious, compassionate, humble and honorable human being.
This is perhaps the most difficult part of the journey and is the point where most people quit, give up and throw in the towel! It is easy to look at what is good, what is beautiful and the aspects of ourselves that are great. On the other hand, looking at the ugly, nasty and self-interested parts of ourselves is not easy. And yet, honesty requires it. Why is this so hard? Because our egos are as fragile as a house of cards.
Should you continue, you become very clear who you are and what you stand for. Your vision, values, beliefs and most importantly — actions, are in total alignment with your spiritual-self.
Returning from your Quest, you then integrate all you have become and learned in order to be a contributing member of society.
The nature of your Quest is that it is a life-long journey with no specific destination. While there are milestones along the way, the real and meaningful result is WHO YOU BECOME IN THE PROCESS.
© Goldzone Foundation. All rights reserved.
In a conversation about this with my colleagues I happened to say towers of glass, and perhaps 27 years later, Glass is more descriptive. In 1982, I was working in the oil and gas industry in Canada and this book was written about the Banking Industry, the mortgage crisis and the oil prices. These themes are again relevant in 2009.
In Towers of Gold, the title was based on the Royal Bank in Canada with a gold colored glass tower in Toronto. Gold had more relevance then as some of the money (not much even then) was actually backed by gold bars. Many eons ago, most of it was either made of gold/silver and later backed by it. Now most of our money is floating around electronically in bits and bytes, and the cash is made of plastic, paper and mostly cheaper metals. I have a special account (premier customer – which means more money deposited) with a major international bank, and the interest on this was very low and now has dropped to 0%.
I used to have judgements about people who keep their money in or under the mattress. Now I can laugh at myself because there is not much difference. Judgements are often like that, what goes around comes around. I wish I had some gold bars.
I feel this title reflects what is happening very accurately. Now there are even more towers of glass. There is competition between top cities about who can build the tallest tower, one about half a mile into the sky. Now most of these projects are compromised, and construction financing has been choked almost to death. Containers of steel and glass which were in such short supply (some orders 3 years ahead) were turned around from China and returned to their origin. Each one of these events has an impact on multiple people, industries, and countries. These really are the waves of impact. The waves move around the world faster than the earth spins.
These towers are built to be earthquake proof, tidal wave resistant, fire resistant and all these events are insured. This is where the foundations (the feet of clay) are being stretched beyond anything imaginable. And most will fall short in the test over time… I am refering to the financial foundations and also that of people, relationships, organizations, communities, and countries.
Like the banks, we all have glass towers that we build (what we show the world: the act, the ego, the stuff) and feet of clay (what we are at the core of our being: the real self, the essence, the ordinary humble person). Glass towers are fragile, and someone can always build a taller one.
I see all this as an opportunity to lead where it matters. When the waves of impact hit us, we cannot control the wave, only our response. By building personal foundations that are deep, strong, resilient and mostly invisible to everyone else, we can withstand the waves and even become better human beings. We can choose right action no matter what prevails.