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Category Archives for "Conscious Leadership"

corporate well-being today
Apr 14

Corporate Well-Being Is the New Secret to Success

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

What is it about work that the majority of people would not show up the next day unless they were being paid? Is it all about external motivation, the ability to work hard for 40 hours and play in style during their evenings and weekends?

When I was learning to be a recruiter to go into companies and offer existing employees alternatives, I found out that 40% actually like their jobs and are not in the market, 40% truly hate their jobs, but can’t leave and 20% dislike their jobs and CAN leave. These are the undecided employees, much like the undecided voters that politicians target.

Is there another factor that can make a huge difference in the quality of your work life and mine?

Who Cares About Corporate Well-Being?

You do! You are giving anywhere between 40 to 80 hours a week to a company you may not even care about doing a job you would only do for the money. What kind of life is this? Is this how it must be for all the days of your life up to retirement?

Your employer does! Your employer has already invested tens of thousands on you. Every evening, the entire company vanishes and only continues as people show up the next day. Ignoring your well-being endangers her productivity goals, which impacts topline revenues and ultimately the all-important bottom-line profitability.

Your customers do! If you are unhappy, it shows up in subtle ways that diminish the customer experience, increasingly the benchmark of a company’s competitiveness. If you bought a sexy Tesla, only to read disturbing news and watch retail stores dry up, you are the loser on what was intended to be your dream car.

You make a difference! It is just that you and your employer can all too easily lose sight of that.

corporate wellness ideas

What Has Corporate Well-Being to Do with Making Money?

You may have grown up thinking about greedy capitalists in megacorporations exploiting their labor force to offer the cheapest price on increasingly shoddy goods. This is actually against sound management principles. Shareholders of such companies should carefully take notice, as community good will, an essential element of corporate valuation, can erode.

You are not productive when you are resentful and frustrated, when you feel forced to do meaningless tasks. You are not at your best when you sit in cubicles or open areas where people spy on you all day. I have a good friend who works for a major fashion company that has no respect for privacy. Their employees actually take breaks by going out to their cars and hanging out in the parking lot just to get away from the surveillance camera.

The companies that are flourishing, such as Apple and Google, are renowned, not only for being highly selective in their hiring practices, but taking care of their employees. People are made to feel that they can make a difference in the world, are always contributing to something larger than themselves and praised for their creative initiative.

How A.I. Is Making Corporate Well-Being a Real Possibility

While artificial intelligence is increasingly feared as dehumanizing, threatening our job security and dumbing everything down, almost the exact opposite is true. A.I. is automating the routine aspects of your job so that you can increasingly think, collaborate, imagine and do cool things.

America’s ability to compete powerfully in the world market against ever lower wages is its ability to be uniquely creative, constantly innovating, as we see in Silicon Valley. It is very hard for other countries, such as India and China, to duplicate this no matter how hard they try. Unique social and cultural elements favor America, especially its high level of diversity.

The more effective we are with imagination; the more our work resembles play. Most extraordinary scientists, inventors and artists play at it. They would continue their work even if they weren’t paid. As has been quipped about advertising agencies: “It is the most fun you can have without taking off your clothes!”

well-being example

How to Make Corporate Well-Being a Priority

Since this is what you really want out of your job, why not promote corporate well-being in your company? You may feel your top management is hard-assed and set in their ways. They might even be aging baby boomers about to retire. They only play it safe to secure their bonuses. In reality, corporate leaders who fail to inspire their troops are the most liable to get “fired.” Yes, C-level officers increasingly get fired by their board these days.

It is amazing to learn that C-level executives in Fortune 500 companies are doing meditation, yoga and Sanskrit chants as a way to be more present. Mindfulness is all the rage today. Conscious business and conscious capitalism are increasingly respectful as investment funds begin to label themselves accordingly. Being socially conscious, despite the ravings of certain Republicans, is in. Having an inner life is increasingly appealing, even to management no longer into financial survival.

You can align yourself with management and begin to trace the relationship between being mindful and being productive. You can also look at how increased attention contributes to greater revenues. It stands to reason that if you actually find profound satisfaction and fulfillment in your job that you are going to give a lot more than otherwise. Watch out for a company where everybody leaves at 5:00 o’clock sharp!

How to Initiate Corporate Well-Being Right Where You Work

Soren Gordhamer is a world traveler who got the idea that our digital devices should serve us, and not us serve our digital devices. He realized nothing was more important than our ability to be in present time. He was convinced that this standard was possible even in large corporations. Soren befriended key people at Google, including Gopi Kallayil, who was in charge of Google+, their social network.

Soren started a conference, Wisdom 2.0, where hundreds of people attend. He endeavored to build a community around conscious business and conscious entrepreneurship. He attracted Jack Kornfield of Spirit Rock Meditation Center, a world-renowned mindfulness guru. Together, they established a movement that grew into thousands all around the world who insist upon bringing wakefulness into their work life.

Today, if you advocate a conscious life, you differentiate yourself from the pack and put yourself in line for leadership in corporations, universities, churches, even the military! Nobody really wants to be unconscious. It is just that most of us have not put a value on being fully alive, totally present, relishing each and every moment.

Now you can. You have little to lose and a world of love, joy and peace to gain!

Silicon Valley Possibility
Nov 30

Silicon Valley Breathes Possibility

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

There are no limitations to the Mind except those we acknowledge.

-Napoleon Hill

It seems that every day we hear news of Silicon Valley. The global economy is now fueled by its technology. Every single industry and human endeavor has been impacted by its multiple waves of innovation.

Everyone who visits Silicon Valley asks themselves “What is the secret of Silicon Valley?”. Is it the beautiful scenery, the welcoming climate, the abundance of universities and institutes or the technical talent that streams here from all over the world?

Or is it perhaps an inner quality, a state of consciousness, that makes Silicon Valley the supreme standout?

What Is Possibility?

Werner Erhard, who pioneered transformation in San Francisco introduced first “space,” then “context” and finally “possibility.” Possibility is typically thought of as a pleasant, but improbable occurrence somewhere in the future. It is never now, but always far off. At best, you cross your fingers and work toward it.

Werner saw possibility as something much more real and immediate. Possibility is a present reality that you can step into and live. It is generated by language, how we conceptualize. It transcends time and space as another order of being. When you keep focusing on possibility, it has a tendency to materialize.

John F. Kennedy created the “New Frontier,” and committed to the possibility of a human landing on the moon. Martin Luther King had a dream of America as a universal brotherhood. Martin did not waiver in this dream, even though it cost him his life. We see abundant evidence that neither man died in vain.

Silicon Valley Breathes Possibility

Silicon Valley emerges wherever people LIVE possibility. It is as much a space as a possibility. Like Broadway and Hollywood, no dream is too wild. Rules are meant to be mastered, and then transcended. You stop walking around with “Why?” and start asking “Why not?”

Maybe it began with the Gold Rush in 1949. People came from all over the world to get rich and ended up falling in love with California. Hippies in 1967 created the Summer of Love with San Francisco as ground zero for alternative lifestyle. During the Dotcom Boom of the 1990’s, it became a center for digital innovation.

Silicon Valley has spawned wave after wave of technology, from chips to systems to platforms to Internet to mobile to cloud to A.I. Even though it has suffered multiple recessions, it always snaps back more powerful than before. Think of Netscape leading to Google and Google to Facebook and Facebook to Tesla.

Crash and Burn? No Problem!

In Silicon Valley, it is no shame to initiate a startup and bomb. Only one in ten venture-funded startups does really well, and VC’s only choose one business plan in a thousand. Even the banner startups may fail. Microsoft literally drove Netscape out of business, but not without Netscape permanently altering the landscape.

Steve Jobs is the perfect example, becoming a millionaire in his early 20’s only to get thrown out of the very company he had started. From there, he created an alternative to the Macintosh without having his NeXT computers even run a credible challenge to Apple. Then came Pixar winning an Academy Award. Steve finally came back to Apple and took it to the stars as the world’s most valuable company.

Crash and burn is the best educator. In Silicon Valley, you learn by doing with experimentation the methodology. You look at an ultimate success, such as iPhone, and ask yourself, “What’s next?.” In Apple’s case, it was a very smart Watch.

Better, Faster, Cheaper Leads to Excellence

Moore’s Law has been in effect for well over a generation where chips are continually being made better, faster and cheaper. They double in power in less than two years. This law has been in operation for decades to the point where the iPhone can now do trillions of operations PER SECOND.

Better, Faster and Cheaper means that you can leverage technology to accomplish seeming miracles. As has been often hinted in Sci Fi, “Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic.”

Apple added design and a passion for aesthetics. Even their boxes are souvenirs you never want to throw out. In Apple’s case, nothing less than Steve Jobs’ “insanely great” will do. It has done a stunning job of living up to that daring standard.

Silicon Valley talent

Stand Out AND Collaborate

Steve Job did an ad so powerful that it changed the financial course of Apple, moving it from red to black. He devoted his work to “the Crazy Ones,” people with the courage to stand out and be different. His motto was “Think Different.” He got a whole corporation to think different, while closely collaborating.

The secret is to stand out with a whole new possibility while building agreement. You see it, and then sell it. No matter that you are profoundly misunderstood and ridiculed. Regis McKenna, Apple’s first P.R. man, exclaimed, “Apple is not a computer, but a religion!”.

Most of the great startups were founded by just two people. With Hewlett Packard, with Apple, with Netscape, with Google. One of the partners is a technical visionary, the other is a master at how to sell that vision. One usually takes on the title of “CTO,” the other “CEO.” Neither could do without the other. Together, they are irresistible.

Your Ultimate Payoff? Change the World

When Jesus Christ promised the Apostle Peter, “Follow me, and I will make you a fisher of men,” He was taking a simple merchant and making him the head of His budding church. If you think back to Buddha and forward to Mohammad, you witness people with universal vision. They saw beyond their immediate circumstances to articulate a possibility for all humanity.

When Bill Gates left Harvard after his Freshman year for Albuquerque, New Mexico, he saw in the hobbyist electronics shop, not a primitive beast with programmable lights, but the worldwide emergence of personal computing. Like Steve Jobs, he envisioned a PC on every desk and in every home.

silicon valley startups

When Elon Musk started Space X, Solar City and moved over to Tesla, he was willing to sink his entire fortune in a single turn of the wheel. When Tesla was reeling in debt, he saved the company with his own bank account. Like Bill Gates and Steve Jobs, getting superrich was not the driver, it was a shot at “putting a ding in the Universe.”

Bring Silicon Valley Back with You

Delegations of nations, provinces, cities and industries keep coming to Silicon Valley year after year to discover what makes it tick. They are seeking jobs for their people, but even more, the very ecosystem that creates employment. Time after time, they bump up against passion, vision and courage.

What is inescapable is what was referred to as Steve Jobs’ “reality distortion field.” Everyone near his gravitational field got totally swept up in his vision and accepted it as a sure thing. He had the knack of sensing what people want, and presenting it to them in a way beyond their wildest expectation.

You can live in the South or the Midwest, perhaps in a town or city that bores you to tears. It doesn’t matter. You can create a whole new possibility within yourself, systematically sharing it with others. That is what Conscious Owl, recently hatched in Silicon Valley, is all about. We maintain that consciousness, itself, may be just beyond the horizon as the final wave.

We look forward to your thoughts and stories.

mother earth meaning
Aug 10

Will You Walk Away While Our Mother Earth Screams for Mercy?

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

"Do not come any closer," God said.
"Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground."

Moses Faces the Burning Bush in Exodus

Tokyo recently escaped a head-on typhoon, multiple firestorms hit Northern California and lethal heat has been plaguing Northern Europe. A couple decades ago, conditions like these would have hit all the headlines. Today, they scarcely make the news. While some people still deny Global Warming, Climate Change is an inescapable reality.

If you are like most of us, you have shielded yourself with comfortable lies, and severely repressed your emotions. It’s all out there. You are only one person. There is nothing you can do. Leave it to the experts. Perhaps it is not so serious after all.

Even better, you may be an overheated liberal blaming this, that and the other politician and corporate executive for destroying our Planet. If it weren’t for them, we wouldn’t have to deal with this mess. If we could simply get rid of them, all our problems would be over.

You know, however, that it is never all that simple. What about the constituencies of the office holders, the folks in the Mid-West who consistently vote Republican, no matter who runs for office? What about all the stockholders insisting upon prompt payment of their quarterly earnings. Sometimes an executive has no choice.

Ultimately, you will realize that it is all up to you.

What You Cherish Most Is Dying

Our Planet is dying, and only massive, concerted effort can save her. After James Lovelock introduced the Gaia theory, it became increasingly apparent that, like the global Internet, Planet Earth is a system of systems.

mother earth living

Quantum theory has made it increasingly apparently that even the very rocks enjoy a primal consciousness. The feelings of plants, let alone mammals and people, can actually be measured by electrical equipment.

Our weather is erratic, because our Planet is overheated and the infrastructure is being stressed close to the breaking point. This has been the case for decades. During the 20th Anniversary of Earth Day, it was acknowledged that Mother Earth is under life-support. Al Gore made it even more apparent with An Inconvenient Truth in 2006. He won a Nobel Prize for this effort, but the public shrank from facing the implications.

Normal life is becoming increasingly problematic as our daily routines are disrupted by droughts, floods and storms of every type. The Earth is undergoing transformation. But is that transformation leading to Paradise or the Inferno?

Planet Earth Is the Most Sacred Thing You Stand On

To lose our sense of the sacred is to lose, not only our divinity, but also our humanity. Most of us believe in some sort of a Creator. Why not His Creation?

If God is inherently holy, why not the Universe that He set in motion? When we think about the Garden of Eden, we realize that, without the inherent beauty of this planet, Eden would have no meaning. The Earth, Herself, inspired such stories.

You pretend none of this is a big deal. Things will go on. You don’t have to wear your heart on your sleeve. Too bad all this is happening, but it is not my problem! This denial is strangling you. It is just like you witnessing your mother, your wife or your daughter murdered in cold blood. You don’t have to justify their lives. Of course they are sacred… to YOU. Then why not hold sacred the very Planet that makes their lives possible?

planet earth

Even today, from outer space, Planet Earth is spectacularly beautiful. Have you seen all the NASA photos? When we think about setting up a colony in Mars over the next 100 years, it is not even a distant second. Mars would have no meaning for us without our Mother Earth. Earth is home. Earth is, in a very real sense, paradise. It took an incredibly improbable set of circumstances for our Planet to give birth to life. Astronomers call this the Anthropic Principle.

The Answer You Seek Can Only Be Found Within

When you look at taking responsibility for this mess, it can be a little scary. The more conscious you become, the more apparent that violence is never the answer. Violence only gives rise to still more violence in an ever-expanding spiral. Blaming someone else is actually an evasion of responsibility.

We are all responsible, but none of us is to blame. When you give up blame, you can move into positive action, speaking the truth in love. Love is not weak. Love is the most powerful force in all the Universe. As the Medieval poet Dante describes it, “the love that fires the sun and other stars.”

The mystics and the quantum physicists reveal that the Universe lies within us.

protecting earth

We are not simply what Werner Erhard once characterized as “a speck of protoplasm on a dirt ball hurtling through space.” We are the context out of which the galaxies spin. This is what was meant by Bill Clinton’s New Paradigm. This will have far more impact than the Copernican Revolution.

Our Planet’s Voice is YOU

While the Green Goddess has moaned and pled, screamed and shouted for decades, She doesn’t speak English. You have to decipher the signals, much like the ancient Shaman. However, if you can connect the dots, you begin to realize that Al Gore, Leonard Di Caprio, Elon Musk and Sir Richard Branson are not a pack of fools. They are out to make a total difference. They are more than willing to risk their professional reputations.

Why don’t you join them? Why don’t you speak up and out? In your own way, using your own words. On social media. In calls to the White House. In public demonstrations. It is not up to your neighbor, your colleagues at work or your classmates. It is up to YOU! You are the Chosen One. You have a unique way of expressing yourself that will make a difference.

All great men and women who were called to inspired lives felt inadequate. For example, Mother Theresa of Calcutta, honored throughout India and around the world, despite the fact that Theresa was Catholic, and most of India Hindu. It simply didn’t matter. Both Hindu and Christian saw God in her. Theresa’s call began when she picked up a dying untouchable. Theresa carried her to a hospital, but the lady was turned down on account of her caste. Theresa couldn’t live with herself after that without taking massive action. The rest was history.

Commit to Your True Love TODAY

If you are moved to go beyond denial and tell the truth, you will find any number of forums that will support your efforts. The most interesting one is the creation of a 70-something postdenominational priest, Dr. Matthew Fox, a 30-something wilderness adventure guide, Skylar Wilson, and a 20-something Unity social media guru, Jennifer Listug. These three initiated the Order of the Sacred Earth on Winter Solstice, 2017.

Dr. Fox is a master at working with provocative symbols that grab the attention of the power structure. For the 500th Anniversary of the Reformation, he posted his own Theses on the door of the Wittenberg Cathedral. Dr. Fox realizes that Christians are almost never taught to consider the earth sacred, even though that is implicit in the Gospel. By honoring the Divine Feminine, he is preparing the way for a spiritual revolution.

You can join them and network. You can even start your own group. Just make a meaningful vow or commitment, much like you would to a marriage partner, with someone special. You will be delightfully surprised how quickly your life will take on new meaning and mission. When you know what is truly sacred to you, you become a powerhouse. Compromise goes out the window.

The Vow:    I vow to love our Planet with every fiber of my being.

If you take this vow, you will tread lightly on this earth, realizing you are always walking upon holy ground. You are a precious strand in the web of life. You will give your all to preserve that strand, and that web.

Humankind has not woven the web of life.
We are but one thread within it.
Whatever we do to the web, we do to ourselves.

-Chief Seattle

Jun 01

Presencing: Living Out of Possibility

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

Transformation as a concept has been with us for well over a generation, pioneered by such innovators as Werner Erhard with his est, and the Landmark Forum. It developed from traditions within Hinduism and Buddhism, and was applied in a social context. Group processes can catalyze satori, or a sudden flash of insight on the nature of reality.

This transformation was thought to be primarily on an individual level. People would become enlightened one by one. Eventually, you might arrive at an enlightened organization, much like the Buddhist Sangha or Hindu Ashram. However, it was rarely applied to an entire group, to enlighten the group as a group, all at the same time.

Social transformation has emerged as a driving force in addressing the disruptive changes everywhere evident as we transition out of the modern age into a planetary era, where all major problems are experienced on a global scale.

Why We End Up with Results Nobody Really Wants

Despite these brilliant innovations, we still find ourselves living in a world characterized by results none of us really want. We face floods, fires, hurricanes, random acts of terrorism and financial instability. The traditional bonds of global society that have held us all together until now seem to have come unraveled.

At the core, we face major disconnects in the pivotal areas of global society: Ecological, where we perpetuate an unsustainable system that is slowly eroding our infrastructure, Social, where 1% of people control 50% of the wealth and Spiritual, where our little self is unable to arrive at our Big Self, our Highest Possibility.

presencing meaning

Every institution you can think of is undergoing rapid change, such that no one can keep up. This ranges from government agencies to the military to public education to corporations to non-profit organizations. All the rules we learned growing up no longer apply; the newer ones have yet to be written down.

Erasing Your Past, Designing Your Future

The latest stage of transformation, social, is intuitive, action-focused and participatory. Dr. Otto Scharmer, a former German activist before the fall of the Berlin Wall, committed himself to creating a world where institutions actually serve people, rather than systematically disempower them. He went into the academic world to discover new ways of being, and ended up synthesizing such disparate perspectives as Zen Buddhism, Systems Theory and Change Management.

Dr. Scharmer discovered a principle that has the most profound implications for our future survival as a species: To live your dream, rather than your nightmare, take the past out of the present, and bring the present into the future. We need not rely on our memory. We can transcend our rational mind to make it our servant, not our master. We can learn to let go and let come, to master a process of going inward in a group context and touch the present moment.

This process Dr. Scharmer calls Theory U. We go in as a group, opening up our mind, our heart and our will. We touch the present moment and ask, “What wants to be born?” As we get in touch with the emerging future, we share our vision with our teammates, and prototype a model, which we eventually take out into the “real world” as a pilot project.

Isn’t Presencing Too Academic?

You might wonder, “How can a process designed in a university change the world?” Better yet, “How can an engineering school, known worldwide for molding hardcore technicians, ignite a spiritual revolution?” If we look at MIT, we can see that it has pioneered the Media Lab, which, with Wired Magazine, spawned the digital generation, with President Clinton an active follower.

MIT also offers the Sloan Business School that inspired a revolution in the corporate arena by applying learning theory to management issues. Every company can be a learning organization. Dr. Peter Senge, who pioneered this vision, mentored Dr. Scharmer when the German professor first came aboard.

Theory U takes advantage of the hands-on, practical orientation of MIT to take it out into the real world. Dr. Scharmer was compelled, in creating his Presencing Institute, to solicit corporate clients. In the process, he got to reality test his cherished ideas in a no-nonsense atmosphere.

Isn’t Presencing Only for the Educated Elite?

You might then ask, “What have I have in common with an MIT student?” They are all rich people who have access to the best minds of their generation. They can simply walk over to Harvard University for the humanities. They have abundant leisure time to study.

While the Presencing Institute has a sophisticated theoretical framework to capture its processes, its orientation is to take its breakthroughs out into the street and leverage digital media as much as possible. If the directors find a methodology has revolutionary potential, they build upon it.

At the core of Theory U you is a meditative process of going inward. Dr. Scharmer picked it up from Zen, but any number of enlightenment traditions can be employed, including TM, mindfulness, prayer and contemplation. A team undergoing this transformation together spends a day by the forest or the sea to get in tune with their deepest self, their highest possibility.

Doesn’t Presencing Apply Only to Really Smart People?

Finally, you may feel that you really aren’t all that bright when compared to the world’s best minds. You may not be a Stanford, Cal or MIT alumnus. You may have never even gone to college. You are an average reader and write as little as you can. In what way can you consider yourself smart?

Actually, we have multiple intelligences, including cognitive, emotional, social, spiritual and kinesthetic. You can be a total Brainiac, but without street smarts, you may never get rich. You could be a daring entrepreneur, but if you fail with emotional and social intelligence, you will alienate your entire staff.

presencing theory u

With the mastermind principal, a group of stake holders intent on social transformation pool their intelligence to arrive at a Third Mind, Divine Mind. Ideas coming from no single participant emerge from nowhere.

How Presencing Will Change Our World

Thanks to Dr. Scharmer’s passionate commitment to change the world, Presencing is already out in the world on every continent, backed by his U.Lab, which provides the resources and methodology for transformation in all kinds of institutions, from city government to hospitals to corporate board rooms.

The Presencing Institute has mobilized MOOC’s (Massive Open Online Courses), offered to the public at no cost. This combines coordination with participants around the world in local, improvised hubs where people share their experience in person, while being networked with white boarding and discussion via online video.

So far, this institute has enjoyed 100,000 participants in 168 countries with extensive follow-up. Results have been immensely encouraging, as the demand has surged such that they are now offered on a recurrent basis. If you have always nursed the impulse to change the world, here is your chance. The price is right. Just a little of your time and no money. Just access to the Internet and a mobile device.

presencing practice

May we always remember President Obama’s original campaign slogan, “YES WE CAN.

self doubt examples
May 04

How to Overcome Self-Doubt

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

Your life is not about you.
Your life is about everyone else whose life you touch.

Neale Donald Walsch

If you have ever doubted yourself, welcome to the club. To be human is to doubt yourself. It feels totally natural to keep comparing ourselves with others and adopt one set of standards or another in which you always fall short.

You don’t match other people’s standards. You don’t match your own standards. Whatever your age, whether 19 or 69, you imagined you would be a lot further along than you actually are.

Why are you so unforgiving to yourself? You would never be that way to your own family, or even your pet, so why keep beating up on yourself?

If Only I Hadn’t Totally Messed Up…

We lock into self-doubt through well-timed, clever excuses that conveniently explain why we aren’t up to par. While these excuses are often based on legitimate concerns, they have little or nothing to do with our future. We all have messed up in various ways, some more than others. None of us are where we thought we would be as a child.

Messing up can take the form of blowing a relationship, failing a class, losing a job or even reversing a career. Sometimes it might entail serious bodily injury or harm and damage to other people. It might even result in our being temporarily incarcerated.

Even more insidious, messing up can take the form of hard-to-kick habits, such as illegal drugs, alcohol, indiscrete sex and the like. Because you have such a hard time smoking, it certainly proves you are a loser. Or does it?

what causes self-doubt

If Only I Had the Time and the Money…

The most popular forms of victimization are a lack of time or money. Who doesn’t feel constraints on their income and investments, the amount of years left in their life, the percentage of time in their day that is truly discretionary?

While we all have 24 hours in a day, some of us are not only broke, we are deeply in debt. Our financial worth has cratered. Many of us with mortgages feel like slaves, working harder than drug pushers to break even. Many of us just live from paycheck to paycheck. God help us should there be any kind of disruption in the pipeline!

However, who you are is outside of time. The way you handle time and money says a lot about how skillful you are in the world, as well as lucky. Whether you have all the time in the world or no time to smell the roses has nothing to do with Who You Really Are.

If Only I Knew What I Wanted…

The most legitimate excuse you can ever come up with is that you don’t really know what you want. Even if you have finally figured it out, you didn’t know what you were doing in your formative years. Welcome to the club. Few of us are like Steven Spielberg who knew at 12 years old that all he ever wanted to do was be a famous film director. Few of us at 33 can join Alexander the Great in claiming that we’ve conquered the known world.

You don’t know what you want, because you are trying to live someone else’s life. You have bought into all the images, not only in Hollywood, but in the social networks and media. Almost everyone would like a glass house on a hill in a forest by the sea with a brand new Tesla, a private Lear Jet and a convenient helicopter… just for mischief.

doubt at work

You want a trophy husband or wife, not because they are so loving, but because they make you look good in your advancing years. Have you ever figured this out? You always want what you don’t have, or can’t have. If you really did get it, how long would it do it for you? You might like to live in a mansion, but do you really want to maintain it? Not just the time and the money, but the hassle?

Know Who You Are: Fully Human, Fully Divine

If only you knew who you really are, you would never again doubt yourself! Yes, you are human, fully human, but you are also divine, fully divine. This defies common sense! We might imagine that we could be half-human and half-divine, but certainly not fully both! Strangely enough, this is exactly what theologians concluded about Jesus Christ. The religion erected around Him is all about becoming sons and daughters of our Creator, isn’t it?

As a son or daughter of God, you are fully human and fully divine at one and the same time. As Dr. Deepak Chopra likes to point out in his classic, How to Know God, the divine nature is literally hardwired into your nervous system, associated with the seven chakras. Your Divine Self is literally built into you.

Being human places limits on almost everything. Being divine means no limits whatsoever. Being human, you can do a few things well. Being divine, you can accomplish whatever you truly want, because you are infinite. Everyone and everything is part of your Big Self, Who and What we call “God” and the “Universe.” You are Source individuated as a uniquely precious incarnation. You are spirit having a bodily experience for a time.

self doubt psychology

Know What You Really Want: To Make a Difference

When you grow sick of accumulating status symbols, when you are tired of proving yourself to people who don’t really care for you, anyway, you will realize what you truly want in life. Yes, you do want to have your basic needs met, so that you are no longer preoccupied with them. You want far more to go beyond them to contribute to the world and society in massive ways.

How many world tours would you take before you became weary of the whole act, especially if you only hit the five-star hotels and the tropical beaches? After a certain number of toys, you would want to start doing something truly worthwhile. Once you found your dream partner, you would want to do something with the relationship. Even an idyllic relationship is but a launching pad.

Why do you think so many billionaires have turned into philanthropists, such as Richard Branson and Bill Gates? Even if you think of Donald Trump, why did he give up a life of ease hopping from one gorgeous hotel to another to do something as crazy as try to save the American economy? Because having all the time and money in the world won’t fill your soul. You want to change the world, and you want to change it now (for better or worse).

Create a New Possibility and Live Out of It

How then can you make a difference? How can you shift over from preoccupation with your small self to your Big Self? When you start to throw your attention off yourself onto others to actually serve them, you will begin to discover a form of happiness that no one and nothing can ever take away. You will stumble on divine love. Just think of Albert Schweitzer, a great theologian and a concert organist who chose to leave Europe to become a missionary in Africa.

You create a new possibility from within you by declaration alone. You look out at the world and see how things can be different, whether it is in the U.S. normalizing relationships with both North Korea and Russia, saving the ice caps or establishing animal rights. You are no longer deterred by how impossible these goals may seem. You declare it as a possibility and begin to live it. You invite others to join you. Eventually, the Universe aligns with our vision.

crush doubt

If you think of all the great people who have blessed the earth, from Buddha to Jesus Christ to Mahatma Gandhi, to even Steve Jobs, they have all had moments of doubt, every one of them. But they refused to wallow in their doubts. They had a higher vision that they were utterly committed to see realized on this planet, regardless of the consequences.

And the rest is history.

conscious business
Feb 02

How to Start a Conscious Business

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

Have you ever thought of starting your own business, and then concluded that it is hard, dicey and not all that professional? You might think entrepreneurs are only in it for the money. Isn’t anyone who has spent time in a business cynical and cut-throat? Aren’t there easier ways to make a buck?

Contrary to appearances, starting a business is one of the most creative things you can do. A conscious business, whether Whole Foods or Apple, Inc., can actually change the world. It can also be a lot of fun and a matchless way to meet people and form lasting friendships.

If you are thinking short-term--take a dive, make a bundle and then quickly get out--think again. The businesses that make it are passionate. These kinds of entrepreneurs have vision, want to make a difference and find their greatest satisfaction in serving people. A conscious business is the only business to think about today.

Why Conscious Business?

Conscious business looks at commercial activity from a spiritual standpoint, as a way to wake up and serve people, thereby finding God. It looks at ALL the stakeholders, not just your customers, but your suppliers, investors and surrounding community. It has a very long-term orientation. Native Americans spoke of making all decisions with the Seventh Generation in mind. Seven Generations! Can you get with that?

Conscious business comes from the viewpoint that life, itself, is sacred, a precious gift… even miraculous! It is a great privilege to serve people, to see them as unique expressions of the Creator. “Love your neighbor,” and “Love your enemy,” are no longer remote ideals, but vital principles of action

Love even your competitors, as they keep you on your toes and bring out the best in you.

Conscious business is intimately connected with the environment, the plants and animals that surround us, the web of life, the ecosystem. True wealth comes out of the earth and the spirit. Money is simply a convenient medium of exchange. Certainly not the end all and be all of business. Saving the Planet is job number one.

conscious business ideas

Think Big

When you have a vision that keeps you up at night, that you can’t resist sharing with others, you are on the right track to creating a business. It is never trivial. Bill Gates, Co-Founder of Microsoft, left Harvard before graduating to go to Albuquerque, New Mexico to go work for $2.00 an hour. Why? To put a computer on every desktop. Steve Jobs, Co-Founder of Apple, dreamed of creating an “insanely great” computer, a computer “even your mother would love.”

Ask yourself, if there is one thing you could change about the world, what would it be? If you could play God for a day, and you were given the crown and regal scepter, what one thing would you decree? For me, it has been to see the end of rainforest destruction. What is it for you?

Today, all markets are global. If your business is to scale way beyond your neighborhood, you must go online, with mobile, as well as desktop, computing. Ecommerce is such that credit cards can process orders from over 100 countries, and international shipping has never been easier. With digital products and services, your customers can access them instantly.

Start Small

If you are thinking of quitting your job and dropping out, DON’T. Start a business in your spare time. Much of it can be done online. Your personal and professional network is one of your greatest assets. Put your idea out there and get feedback. Invite people who like it to play with you.

Quick money early is most often wasted. The whole process needs to be organic. If you raise money from friends and families, most often, expectations are attached, and you quickly lose control. Mark Zuckerberg had a brilliant idea with his Harvard University “Facebook.” Mark proved its viability with several universities, and then came out to Silicon Valley where the action is. He resisted early money until he had to take it. Mark then resisted going public until he had a green light. As a consequence, Mark became the world’s richest man for his young age.

Achieving business milestones takes typically four times longer than you estimate. If you think you can easily get it off in three months, give yourself a year. EBay, which made a profit in its second month of operation, is a huge exception. It took Amazon almost 20 years to rake in the profits!

building business

Build Community

Every profession or occupation has an association or interest group. Plug into the right one. Attend the national conference. Get the directory. Start connecting on LinkedIn and Facebook. Begin to solicit ideas, support, feedback and referrals. Whatever you do, DON’T try to do it all alone. The job is way too big without having people root for you. Be an evangelist.

Today, people are members, not buyers. When they have a great experience with a business, they want to join in with the other customers. Social media and networks have made this mandatory. Your customers will invite others to join them. Before you know it, your business will snowball.

Create a mastermind, and aim high. Find people in your professional network, and solicit them for guidance. Discover your own “Universal Selling Point.” What makes your company or business way different from anything out there? Whole Foods became a supermarket with organic foods and a proliferation of options found nowhere else. Maybe this is why Amazon just bought them.

See Everyone as Divine

In ancient cultures, travelers were greeted with exceptional hospitality. In some cases, they were treated as virtually gods and goddesses. India’s ultimate salutation, said with a bow, is “Namaste!” (I salute the divine within you.) In Japan, you bow down to your waist several times. You can actually start competing to see who bows the most!

If you have a conscious business, you will resonate to the possibility that everyone you meet is your mirror, along with being a unique expression of God. You will begin to sense that there is ONLY Supreme Being, beneath all appearances. Even in traditional business, the customer can do no wrong. Then why not go all the way?

Nothing sells like love. When you truly love your customers, they will never forget you. This is why the baker usually gave 13 muffins for the price of 12, the “baker’s dozen.” Something from the oven to keep reminding the customer of outstanding appreciation and service. Rather than compete on price, sell value. Give the greatest value of anyone in your space, no matter what that space may be.

Go for Customer Experience

In the last 15 to 20 years, marketing has changed forever. It has gone from a preoccupation with bells and whistles to the total effect your product or service has on the customer. You could buy your shoes at Macy’s or Nordstrom. At which store do you never have to worry about your right of return? Better yet, Zappos. Zappos learned to sell shoes on the Internet by accepting returns with no questions asked. They even made it fun for their employees.

Apple invented relationship marketing, and then with iTunes and Apple Stores, they perfected the customer experience beyond anything America has ever done. Have you bought an Apple notebook or digital device lately? What about the packaging? It is so beautiful that you never want to throw the box away. It is a work of art.

customer experience

If you want to see a movie, what can be easier or more enjoyable than watching it on Amazon or Netflix. I watch first-run TV series and feature films on my iPad, while putting on a pair of Beat’s earphones. The experience is comparable to that of a large theater. With my tablet and Wi-Fi, I have a proliferation of electrifying films to choose from.

Leave the Results to God

When you go out on a limb to start your own business, it is all too easy to get terribly attached to the financial results. This customer, this account or this deal simply MUST come in. When it doesn’t, you feel devastated. Pious Christians admonish, “Let go and let God.” Hindus remind us in the Bhagavad Gita, “Leave the fruit of your action to Me.”

We only learn by making “mistakes.” The faster we make mistakes, the faster we learn. When we start small, we systematically learn the business with a manageable amount of risk. We learn that it is almost impossible to second guess the market, as to who will buy, and who will pass. We start with educated guesses, and then test the market.

I have literally prayed for deals, and saw them go through. Having worked in sales for decades, I know it is far more than clever words and smooth manners. Much of it is heartfelt love for my prospects. When I represent a product or service that can make it a better world, I have confidence that my efforts will eventually yield results.

Emerging Fields

Here are some career paths worthy of investigation. Maybe one of them will speak to you.

  • Cyber Currencies:  Bitcoin and Beyond. Currency is dwindling in use. Even credit cards are being replaced by Apple Pay.
  • Cyber Security:  Keeping us together. Online security is such a mission critical issue that CEO’s are routinely fired for a major breach.
  • Cyber Diplomacy:  Waging Peace Ahead of the Government. Increasingly, politicians just don’t get it. We think of Jesse Jackson, who decades ago brought political prisoners back from Syria. Now with the Internet and mobile media, we can go well beyond that.
  • key
    HealthTech: Medical Marijuana. This market is about to explode, now that it has been legalized. What are the upsides and downsides of hemp?
  • key
    EnviroTech:  Sustainable Economics. With superstorms, floods and fires, going green is no longer an option.
  • key
    MediaTech:  Transmedia Storytelling. People can create and share stories all around the world incorporating all the media.
  • key
    EdTech:  Mobile Interactive Instruction. The traditional classroom is on life support. Kids need state-of-the-art digital media to fill in the gap.
  • key
    SpiritualTech:  Virtual Community and Communion. Spiritual but not religious people are the fastest growing denomination. They go begging for alternative channels.
evangelistic leader
Jul 21

Evangelism: The Art Of Selling Your Dream

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

You may have tried your hand selling something trivial, but challenging. It might have been Girl Scout Cookies, Time-Life Subscriptions or Sierra Club Donations. You were only half-sold on the product, service, cause or idea, but you gave it your best.

Chances are you fell into one of two traps: One: You tried cramming the product down the prospect’s throat, usually over increasingly vociferous objections. Two: You tried to win the prospect by being a nice guy or gal, but forgot to show how the product can actually serve the person.

In either case, you failed to make the sale. What if there was a better way? What if the best way to “sell” someone is to not sell him at all, but make him want to buy, and then convince him it was all his idea.

Master salespeople are like samurai warriors, blending with the background, yet ready to spring into action at any moment.​

What Is Evangelism?

Evangelism means “Good News” in Greek. It was initially used by the early Christians, starting with Jesus Christ, Himself. When Jesus first met Saint Peter, he was a mere fisherman. Jesus invited Peter to follow Him, and Christ would make him “a fisher of men.” A recent Gospel movie modified His invitation to, “Come with me and change the world.” For Christ, it was all about preaching a new humanity driven by the power of divine Love.

Evangelism can be personal or mass, done by individuals to other individuals, or to whole groups of people. At the day of Pentecost, Saint Peter spoke, divinely inspired, to a huge group of Jewish people gathered in Jerusalem, and 3,000 were converted that very day. Yet even with mass evangelism, it is always “won by one.” There is always a one-to-one element in a total life transformation.

importance of evangelism

Evangelism has recently expanded beyond religion to include any Idea, Cause, Product or Service. It can be direct or indirect. The greatest evangelist after the Apostle Paul was Billy Graham, who pioneered global evangelism using contemporary media, such as radio, TV, Film and Direct Mail. A later generation had a more commercial focus, and could draw on social networks and mobile media.

Evangelism technically lies between sales and marketing, while including elements of both. It is an art, and it always entails sharing a dream that enchants and captures the audience. The audience buys into the dream, and in turn, shares the story with others. A viral community can emerge, going beyond town or city to wrap around the world in seconds, minutes or days.​

What It Takes to Go Global

The great secret to going global is to have a big enough dream, a dream worthy of both life and death. The men and women who changed the world for not a decade or two, but for hundreds and thousands of years, were all transformed. Buddha birthed the possibility of enlightenment for all humanity, not just for a privileged few. Jesus gave humanity a vision of divine love with both His life and His death that defied all human standards. Muhammad gave humanity a vision of absolute unity and the abiding peace that comes from surrendering to the perfect will of our Creator.

Chances are you already have a dream that you have been cherishing, a book that has never been written or a message to be shared at the Super Bowl, the Academy Awards or the United Nations.​

types of evangelism

That dream must be nursed and cultivated until it takes on a life of its own and begins to direct and guide your every thought, word and action. Coming up with a truly compelling dream that others can make their own is half the battle.

1. Your Dream Must Be Insanely Great

When Steve Jobs created the Apple II, the Macintosh, the iMac, the iPhone and the iPad, his self-imposed criterion was always, “Is this product insanely great?” Not just OK, good, cool or even excellent. It must be so great that it blows away everything before it. You must up the competition 10x.

We might think of Thomas Edison, who after literally 10,000 attempts, perfected the incandescent light bulb. Imagine what that meant to humanity, which could do precious little after dark, depending upon candles and kerosene lanterns. This held true for thousands of years. Suddenly, everything changed.

Today, we need look only at Elon Musk, who perfected a gorgeous, powerful car--luxury, sport or utility--far sexier than any gas-guzzling car with zero carbon emission. Furthermore, Elon is preparing to lead humanity into successfully colonizing Mars by building a rocket reusable on a daily basis.​

2. Your Dream Must Change the World

If you look at the pioneers, visionaries and inventors that fundamentally changed life, you can see Johannes Gutenberg with his printing press, Martin Luther with his freedom of consciousness, the Freemasons with their freedom of thought and Thomas Jefferson with his freedom to choose your own government.

The trend continued with people like Alexander Graham Bell, who created the telephone, Orville and Wilber Wright, who took us into the sky, Guglielmo Marconi, who introduced radio and Henry Ford, who succeeded in belting the earth with dependable automobiles.

On the humane side of life, we can think of Mahatma Gandhi bringing down the British Empire, the Dalai Lama, who nursed Tibetan civilization back to life, becoming the leading spokesman for humanity, and Mother Theresa of Calcutta, who showed what could be done to rehabilitate the utterly destitute.​

3. Your Dream Must Speak to Everybody

We can go from Abraham Lincoln’s “Gettysburg Address” to John F. Kennedy’s “New Frontier” to Martin Luther King’s “I have a dream” speech. The most sacred literature is often supremely simple. Think of David’s Psalm, “The Lord is my shepherd,” or Christ’s Sermon on the Mount, “Blessed are the poor in spirit.

Most religious and political movements start with a book. The three Abrahamic Faiths started with the Hebrew Bible. Classical China started with The Analects of Confucius and the Tao Te Ching. Modern Hinduism started with The Bhagavad Gita. The American Revolution started with Thomas Paine’s Common Sense and Thomas Jefferson’s Declaration of Independence. Need we forget Mao’s Little Red Book, of dubious merit, but which had a huge impact on China?

Perhaps the dream is most effective when expressed in a song, play or movie. Think of John Lennon’s “Imagine” or George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord.” Think of Shakespeare’s “Romeo and Juliet” or “Hamlet.” Think of Richard Attenborough’s Gandhi, or Al Gore in An Inconvenient Truth.​

evangelistic community

4. Your Dream Must Create Community

Barack Obama did not become the first Black American President by accident. His slogan “Yes, we can!” resonated with millions of people no longer willing to judge a Presidential candidate by the color of his skin. All dreams require a community where people can share and pass on the dream.

Buddha started with his Sangha, Jesus Christ with His inner circle and apostles, Muhammad with his Ummah. These eventually grew into temples, cathedrals and mosques. The heart of community, however, is always with people. As Jesus put it, “Where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

If we go into modern times, we can think of Mahatma Gandhi with his ashram, the abolitionists and feminists in their Congregational Churches, and Martin Luther King with his Freedom Riders. Never underestimate the gathering power of a high school auditorium, a Unitarian Church or a Masonic Hall. It is sobering to realize that once upon a time, all the Communists in the world could fit into a high school gymnasium with room to spare!​

5. Your Dream Must Survive the Test of Time

Great ideas never die. Just think of three core ideas: Faith, education and revolution.

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The great religions: Hinduism, Buddhism, Judaism, Christianity and Islam show no signs of going away. Yes, they are being reinvented, and in some sense they are merging with each other. Women are moving into leadership positions, and increasingly, all races, nations and classes are welcome, even among contemporary Jews, such as The Kabbalah Centre in Los Angeles.

Writing and education are here to stay. Writing began on stone, clay and metal. It then moved on to papyrus and silk until it found its way to paper and the printing press. Now writing is digital, and you can compose anytime, anywhere on your smart phone or table. The university started with Plato’s Academy, was developed in India at Nalanda, a Buddhist institution, was picked up in Cairo as a Muslim institution, was appropriated by the Christians in Oxford, Notre Dame and Chartres and eventually morphed into the grand secular university, thanks to the Germans.

Political freedom is never really going away. It was pioneered in the direct democracy of Athens, developed in the Roman Republic, picked up in Venice and Geneva and introduced in America as the United States. Eventually, the ideal of democracy found its way into every single form of government, even fascism and Communism, perverted as they may have become. Today, it continues on with such phenomena as Arab Spring and the Occupy Movement.​

great ideas never die

Five Ultimate Evangelists Who Changed the World Forever

If we think of very positive people who changed life on a global scale, we can get helpful insights into how we might either continue their work, or discover a whole new possibility. We could point to hundreds and thousands of people, some whose influence has survived millennia.

1. Jesus Christ: The Prince of Peace and Lord of Love began His early life under the most unfavorable circumstances, being born among cattle and chased by a crazed, despotic king. Whether or not Jesus ever went to India, He chose to start His ministry with simple village workers of high integrity. He healed the sick and raised the dead wherever they happened to be. Jesus spoke in the open as much as in synagogues and the Temple. When Christ died, He was utterly abandoned by His terrified confidants. That they would then rally together with invincible faith just two months later is the greatest testament to the reality of His resurrection.

2. Werner Erhard: Werner abandoned his first wife and kids and left town with another woman, whom he later married. He sold cars and books until he got into self-improvement. Werner never had the chance to go to college. So he reinvented himself. Under the influence of the great Anglo-American Zen evangelist, Alan Watts, Werner had an enlightenment experience that utterly transformed him. He then realized that enlightenment was an incomparable experience that can be transmitted within a modern institution. Enlightenment should be our birthright. He directly or indirectly trained several million people, the majority of whom “got it.” Werner also cleaned up his early life with his first wife, and gradually transformed into a shining inspiration. Werner made “transformation” a household word.​

3. President Ronald Reagan: Reagan was an aging actor who became governor of California. He developed conservative, hawkish views while maintaining a high personal integrity. Reagan had a charming personality, as he was never mad at anyone, and even his enemies couldn’t help but like him. Reagan launched the “Star Wars” campaign to scare the Soviets out of their wits. He felt the Cold War was stupid and useless, and that America could establish lasting peace through strength, not weakness. Reagan met his match in General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev, and learned the power of relationship, and a deep friendship beyond ideological barriers. Together, they forged a new world order, ending the stubborn 40-year Cold War.​

4. Steve Jobs: Steve was an orphan who only met his birth parents in adult life. His adoptive parents were good-hearted with modest means who loved technology. Steve was a perfectionistic who had a tough time adapting to high school. Then he met Steve Wozniac, dropped acid with a high school sweetheart, and then went to India after a brief stint at Reed College in Oregon. When Steve came back, he had a vision of an electronic apple, and of building a computer that even his mother would love. Before he died, Steve had made “Apple” the most beloved brand in the world and totally transformed no less than six industries.​

5. Pope Francis I: Cardinal Jorge Bergoglio of Argentina was an extremely popular priest who sided with the poor, conspicuously riding buses when he could have been escorted in limousines. He was about to retire when Pope Benedict unexpectedly decided to quit his office, feeling temperamentally unsuited to the position. The Church was embroiled in charges of financial misappropriation and pedophilia claims going back decades. Rarely had it been in a weaker position. The cardinals decided Jorge Bergoglio was their man. When elected, he decided not to become another “Peter,” “Paul” or “John.” Rather, the new pope chose to be called by Saint Francis of Assisi, the Church’s greatest saint who most embodied Christ. The Pope then insisted he be called only “the Bishop of Rome.” He kissed poor people’s feet, refused to reside in the papal palace, and began to give away the Church’s misappropriated money. He refused to judge Lesbians and Gays. Pope Francis brought to life the original ideal: Love, Joy and Peace. Recently, Pope Francis addressed a joint session of the U.S. Congress, as well as the United Nations. While he has no illusions about the implications of global warming, he maintains an abiding faith in humanity. It has been a long time since the Church has confronted a true saint in its highest office.​

How “Little Old You” Can Save the Planet

A hero is nothing but a common man or woman in uncommon circumstances. If you consider yourself “common,” you have a real chance of becoming a hero. It begins with a truly worthy dream or vision 10 times greater than anything before it. If we look at the overwhelming crises humanity faces, the greatest is a spiritual emptiness. The fastest growing religion in America is “None.” “Spiritual but not religious” characterizes many of our best youth. Why couldn’t we create a noninstitutional, all-inclusive “religion” via the Internet or mobile devices?

If Gandhi was here today, chances are that he would use very different tactics. He would no longer depend upon rallies, marches and sit-ins. He would look to the tools of today. What can hackers do? What can viral “memes” do? How can social media and networks be mobilized? Gandhi would definitely hold to loving his enemies, while staying true to his core principles, which he called “Satyagraha.

Once you come up with the insanely great idea, cause, vision or dream, you can then scale it in a fashion never before dreamed. It no longer takes months or years. It can take seconds, minutes or hours. The potential of many-to-many communication has barely been tapped. It is awaiting a few people who love the world and want to enlighten humanity in time. That person just might be you.

Master the Craft from the Evangelist’s Evangelist

Guy Kawasaki apprenticed with the late Steve Jobs, making Macintosh the most popular computer in the world. He was hired as Apple’s second evangelist to promote a daring new platform to PC developers with hardly any software to show. Guy was a Hawaiian boy with an “Aloha” personality selling jewelry before Apple recruited him. Guy did his job so well that when numerous corporate upsets threatened the very life of the company, the fan base he created refused to let the Mac die.

Guy has gone on to evangelize all kinds of products, services, causes and ideas, but the dearest one to him is evangelism itself. Guy would like to see all humanity become evangelists. He is witty, passionate, refreshing and totally fun. He has the art of evangelism down to the point where he can impart his principles to even think-headed people like me. I have been personally acquainted with Guy for a couple of decades, and I can truthfully say that Guy is one of the very brightest, shining stars that keep Silicon Valley vibrant, no matter what happens in the larger world.

You couldn’t ask for a better teacher at a more affordable price. In fact, it was Guy who made “evangelism” a household word. Without Guy, an article like this would have never even occurred to me. Why don’t you join our community? You may be a far greater evangelist than you ever imagined!​

Learn How To Promote Your Idea In a Crowded Market

Master evangelism as an effective method to promote your product or cause!

great achievers of all time
May 31

What Makes a Super-Achiever Break Down All Walls

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

You will find two kinds of super-achievers:

1) Those who become world-class in a particular field, breaking all records, doing what no one else has ever done,

2) Those who succeed at every objective they set out to achieve, including being an awesome human being.

You may have dreamt at one time or another of being one kind, or the other: A Steve Jobs who invented the iMac and the iPhone and irreversibly transformed six industries, as dysfunctional as he might have been, or a Richard Branson, who created 300 companies, has his own private island, is out to make a difference in the world, while making life a blast for everyone he touches.

You never imagined you could be like either of them.  Yes, you can!  In your own way, in your own world.

Are You the Next Super-Achiever?

A super-achiever is in the Top 1%, of every size, shape and color. Gandhi was a shy, awkward young Indian who studied law in London only to get thrown out of a train in South Africa. Fifty years later, Gandhi brought down the British Empire. Helen Keller became deaf and blind shortly after her birth, only to end up humanity’s greatest spokesperson.


Super-Achievers are color blind. When I was born, Black people “knew their place” in American society. Now Black people lead in sports and in all the performing arts, as well as taking the highest office in the land. Malcolm X was thrown in jail for robbery, and through his insolence went into Solitary Confinement. In such a condition, Elijah Muhammad reached out to him, transforming him into a modern-day prophet who made the Black Muslims a household word.

Age is no problem. Colonel Sanders began his global chain of chicken stores with a simple recipe after he passed 65 as a retirement activity. Swami A.C. Bhakti Vedanta came to America in his 60’s with less than $100 in his pocket. He made the Krishna People stars of a whole new generation of Americans, and went on to build dozens of temples throughout the world.​

Do Achievers Believe In Walls?

The primary difference between you and me and the greatest super-achievers is that they know that walls are never really “out there,” they lie only in our heads. They consider walls a self-defeating concept which they refuse to entertain, whereas you and me all too often believe in the walls, that they are in any way real.

Walls are unexamined, unconscious beliefs. I don’t have what it takes to succeed. I don’t deserve to be totally happy. I am not enough to make a difference in the real world. There isn’t enough love to go around in the world. I better look out there for approval. If someone continually doles out heavy criticism, then they must surely care about me and wish me the best.

Louis Gossett, Jr. played against Richard Gere in An Officer and a Gentleman, winning an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor. When interviewed by the press, Louis, speaking for people of color, remarked that when he read the screenplay, he didn’t think of a Black drill sergeant, just a drill sergeant. Louis happened to be a Black actor, and committed to morphing into the best drill sergeant the public ever saw.

Achiever Personality: Choose to Be YOU!

What super-achievers have in common is the inclination to be their own best friend, to make the most of what they have. They are far too busy to spend time bemoaning their fate or agonizing over their limitations. Grandma Moses was widely acknowledged as a great painter at 100 years of age!

super achiever meaning

Super-achievers root shamelessly for themselves. When the Presidential race comes, they will vote for themselves, even if not a single other person joins them. When Muhammad Ali prepped to be the greatest heavyweight boxer the world has ever known, he psyched out his competition and the press by constantly maintaining that he was the greatest. It all seemed so vain… until he won!

The inspirational movie classic, The Right Stuff, had Scott Carpenter as the wannabe among the original team of Mercury astronauts. Scott had a silly joke that he would tell his wife and drinking buddies: “Who is the greatest pilot you ever did see? ...You’re looking at him.”  By the end of the movie, long after Alan Shepard and John Glenn’s highly publicized flights, Scott actually became the last Mercury astronaut, flying further and faster than any pilot who ever lived.​

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Befriend Your Mind

Super-achievers appreciate their minds as powerful instruments that they can master. Their minds are a survival tool whose function is to keep them in the game. They recognize the mind is quite literal and thinks only in pictures. They respect their minds and refuse to dump garbage on them.

As the infamous computer saying puts it, “Garbage in… garbage out.”

The Law of Command reminds us, “Say only what you want. If you don’t want it, don’t say it.” You may say to yourself, “I hate my job. I can’t stand it. If I go in one more day, I think I will die.” This is an open invitation to your mind to make you desperately sick with the latest flu epidemic. That way, you may die in bed, but not at work!

Super-achievers continually choose between comfort and power. High-performance requires a willingness to think and act outside the box, to go way beyond your comfort zone. You can rewire your brain to associate pleasure with breakthrough success and pain with monotonous regularity. Tony Robbins pioneered the way with Neuro-Linguistic Programming, and the recent science of neuroplasticity has sanctioned it scientifically.

achievers mindset

Mobilize Your Mind

While super-achievers genuinely like themselves and others, they never become self-satisfied. They are highly disciplined and totally committed to continuous and never-ending improvement. No less than George Lucas of Star War’s fame was chosen to give a Special Academy Award to Akira Kurosawa, who opened the entire world to Samurai movies with Rashomon. Lucas acknowledged Kurosawa, then in his last years, for never resting in his laurels, but continuously advancing the craft of filmmaking.

Knowing that the mind will always give you what you say you want, super-achievers put their brains to work by programming them, by continuously conditioning them. They will do whatever it takes to develop the mindset of a winner. They will not only continually exercise to keep physically in shape, they will also maintain an inner practice of observing their thoughts to gradually calm down the monkey mind.

achieving goals

Super-achievers make it their business to put passion and purpose together. They realize that we all have a mission, a vision and a message to offer the world, and they place a premium on discovering what that is. For many people, it may mean taking a year off after college and traveling around the world. They don’t take their talents and fascinations for granted. They are no strangers to books like Richard Bolles’ What Color Is Your Parachute?

Be a Super-Achiever in Your Own World

A great rabbi once advised his disciple, “You are not called to be Moses. You are called to be David. So be the best David you possibly can.”  Your goal in the fall of your life can be to triumphantly say to yourself and your loved ones, “I am the man / woman I have always wanted to be.”  Perhaps that is what Frank Sinatra meant when he sang, “I did it my way!”

Open yourself to endless possibilities by reminding yourself daily - “I am the man / woman I have always wanted to be.”

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You can be a super-achiever in your own world. That may or may not be THE BIG WORLD “out there.” We all drop stones into the pond and create ripples. Before long, they reach the other side. You can be in any condition in life, from a beautiful coed in a prestigious school to an aging exec temporarily laid up in a hospital bed. It doesn’t matter. You still have a job to do… to be 100%, even 1000%, YOU!

You are inherently divine, even when you vehemently deny it. This is what all those mystical traditions have been telling us since the dawn of history. Yes, you’re an animal, you’re a human, but you are also divine. As Dr. Deepak Chopra put it, divinity is hardwired into our brains.​

You know that you can be mean, selfish and petty. So what? God can be mean, selfish and petty… when He is expressing Himself through you. Yet nothing you think, say or do can erase His glory in you. So get to work forgiving yourself and lighting up your own world, the world He gave you to transform.​

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To Be An Achiever Compromise No More!

Sometimes we all need someone to handhold us or spank us in order to switch gears. Marissa Peer is Great Britain’s greatest therapist, treating royalty, billionaires, Olympic athletes and movie stars. Out of this experience, she developed astounding insights and a rapid means of transformation and profound inner change. Marissa decided to distill her best insights, and put it all in an easily digestible form.

For example, Marissa found that what drives the 1% who don’t succeed in every area of their life, for example, a rock star who is wretched with his relationships, is the feeling “I am not enough… I better continually prove myself to the public, or they will see through my act and discover I am a total sham.”

Marissa helps these talented people to discover that they really are beautiful inside, but they have been haunted by a vast store of negative energy and images from childhood. She makes the therapeutic injunction at the right time and place, reminding them, “YOU ARE ENOUGH.” You are magnificent just as you are.

When everyone actually gets this, their lives start coming together in magical ways. Check her out and see for yourself… by clicking on the image below.

Uncompromised Life
charismatic personality mean
Apr 14

What Does Personal Charisma Really Mean? Do You Have It?

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

If you toughed it out monitoring the progress of the 2016 American Presidential election, watching all the debates and following the entire cast of characters, you may wonder where all the powerful inspiration has gone. What has happened to such dashing candidates as John F. Kennedy or Ronald Reagan?

Is this the best we can do?​

In that election, the only standouts were maverick candidates, Donald Trump and Bernie Sanders, who were willing to defy convention and craft powerful visions. Yet it would be a stretch to see either of them becoming true world leaders.

What happened?​

What Is Personal Charisma?

Personal charisma is almost a religious quality, something characterizing saints and spiritual masters of rare vintage. It traditionally tied into the divine anointing of kings, such as Israel’s King David, or the Baptism of Jesus Christ in the River Jordan. It literally means “gift” or “grace,” and grace refers to divine favor apart from merit.

One only need think of Morph and Neo in The Matrix Trilogy, where Neo is recognized by Morph to be “The Chosen One.” Neo follows the cycle of the reluctant hero, where he discovers a whole new reality and a stunning new destiny. The Universe has finally recognized his true genius in the digital world, and he has a personal mentor to walk him through all the essential steps to mastery.​

charismatic celebrities

Personal charisma is that which makes a person a total standout from everyone around him or her. A charismatic leader, artist or performer is seen as being extraordinarily attractive and compelling, regardless of her actual appearance.

Like great actresses who made a name for themselves in Hollywood, they had everything going for themselves, youth, appearance, talent and intelligence. Yet all that was not enough. There was something else, a “star quality,” that the top agents saw in them from the very beginning.​

Why Is Personal Charisma So Essential?

Without personal charisma, you may hold a position of power and influence, and yet be regarded as a mere functionary, a competent manager who is anything but inspiring. Your employees would not even dream of dying for you or following you to the ends of the earth. For them, you are an unavoidable part of their job, someone to appease or outwit, depending on their mood.

With charisma, the world opens its doors to you.​

charisma opens doors

You become Queen for a Day, or Man of the Year, or even Person of the Century. Think of Steve Jobs, coming back to his first company, which was then six months from bankruptcy, inventing the “Think Different” campaign and coming up with the iMac and iPod. In less than 15 years, Steve turned Apple into the world’s most valuable company, and had successfully reinvented six industries. Every time Steve did a product rollout, the public would watch with avid attention his ultimate cool as a stage magician.

Personal charisma is indispensable if you want to make a lasting difference.

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The great world teachers, Buddha, Christ and Mohammad, reached out for centuries, touching every single generation since their time. They are truly immortal, no matter what you believe or disbelieve about the afterlife. If you want your influence to survive your brief tour here, then you are going to want to tune into your own charisma.

How Do You Identify Personal Charisma in Others?

True charismatics have an indefinable presence that is utterly transformative. I stepped into a grand symphonic hall awaiting the acclaimed Sri Chinmoy. As soon as the great guru appeared before the audience, I immediately started tearing up. I couldn’t help it!

I also remember seeing Dr. Deepak Chopra at Grace Cathedral speaking in person for a couple of hours. I realized that I had been truly “stoned” for about four hours afterward. What these remarkable men said was far less important than their impact upon my own consciousness.​

I remember President Reagan coming back from Geneva in 1985 when he negotiated an end to the Cold War with General Secretary Mikhail Gorbachev. Everyone in both parties and both houses of Congress spontaneously stood up and gave him a standing ovation before he even began speaking that seemed interminable. You could not watch this, even on TV, without tears in your eyes.​

charismatic leaders

I have watched the Dalai Lama in a large gymnasium on the campus of Stanford University addressing thousands of people with his broken English. Even though language was a major hurdle for him, the Dalai Lama was perfectly natural and unpretentious, like your next-door neighbor. He has a reputation of treating everyone he meets, including the janitor, like the most important person in the entire world.

Are You Simply Born with Personal Charisma?

It is far too easy to cop out and say, “I wasn’t born with a drop of charisma. So why even try?” 

People keep forgetting that Mahatma Gandhi, considered by many as the most powerful man in all the world, without even a suit of clothes on his back, took 50 years to realize his dream of bringing down the British Empire.

Two of the most talented musicians to ever walk a stage, Prince and Michael Jackson, constantly worked on their craft. When they were giving a live performance, they were like floodlights, 10,000 watts going off at once. They were more powerful than even the firecrackers arching over their heads. Their preparation never stopped. Their commitment was nothing less than total.​

They might not seem charismatic in every area of their life, but they shine in their field of expertise.

Why is it that all the Olympic winners have their own private coach? Even though they prepare eight or more hours a day for years, they constantly assess and correct their performance. Many of the great transformational leaders, such as Werner Erhard, literally studied acting and closely imitated acknowledged masters in the performing arts.

Can Personal Charisma Be Developed to a High Degree?

Charisma is of two types: Personal and Public. You can have extraordinary charisma without a public-facing role. Charisma has a lot to do with Vision, Presence and Mastery of a Craft, any craft.

Charismatic people never seriously entertain that life is meaningless or that they don’t have what it takes to fulfill their destiny. These people have discovered their Higher Self, and have a profound respect for Its power.

They have a spiritual practice that continuously cultivates a deep sense of presence, such that they can be totally there for anyone. They are also committed to their craft, to being world-class. World-class execution requires 10,000 or more hours until you can do it immaculately.

Each of us is born with a unique talent, and a capability of being charismatic.

develop charisma

Most of us as children and adolescents got profoundly discouraged by adults, and typically lost faith in ourselves, in others and often in life, itself. Those of us who remember, who reconnect with Higher Power, can make rapid progress in our adult life.

We can become charismatic in our own sphere, in our own particular calling.

What Steps Can You Take to Become More Charismatic?

Here are eight steps you can take to make you a vastly more charismatic person, someone who can move, touch and inspire everyone you meet.

  • Become more present. As you calm down your “monkey mind,” you will start to effortlessly be here and now. Life will become vastly richer and more enjoyable.
  • Give up blame. Be willing to look at everything that happens from the perspective that you have something to do with it, even to the point where you see your role in what another does to another.
  • Give thanks every day. List daily on a journal page specific things to be grateful for, even if just the shirt on your back. The cumulative effect will stun you.
  • Bless everyone you encounter. You can silently say as you meet people, “God bless you.” You will be amazed as your own attitude toward them starts to transform.
  • Discover your unique talent. Read Richard Bolles’ What Color Is Your Parachute? and start doing the exercises. You will finally have words to describe what you suspected was always there.
  • Open your heart and mind to truly love people… even if just a little. There is something lovable about everyone, even President Trump! There is no one on this planet today who could not use more love, even the greatest musicians and movie stars.
  • Decide to believe in what Higher Power can, and will, do for and through you. It is good to reflect on the Christian admonition: “Please be patient with me. God is not finished with me yet!”
  • Elect to become a World Citizen, and a Child of the Universe. If all of us decided to drop out and become world citizens, ever mindful of our, and everyone else’s, inherent divinity, we could realize world peace in a single generation.

What Can You Do Today to Become Charismatic in Your Own World?

You need only think of the most famous and popular figure in contemporary spirituality, Eckhart Tolle. Eckhart is one of the most unassuming and plain people you will ever meet. He is shy and totally unpretentious. He has nothing to prove, and yet he has written phenomenal bestsellers. People practically fight each other to be around him.

Eckhart presences everything. He is an excellent listener. His endless mental dialog crashed years ago, and it has never returned. He feels that enlightenment is no big deal. Enlightenment is everyone’s birthright. All we have to do is shut up, and start listening.

Become more interested in others than yourself. Make each person you meet feel like the only person who matters in the whole wide world. Allow only magnificent people to surround you, by acknowledging the magnificence of everyone who crosses your path.

You might just become wildly popular, and far more charismatic than you ever imagined possible!

Let us know if you think otherwise... in the comments area below.

fearless enough
Feb 27

Am I Big Enough To Save The Planet?

By Conscious Owl | Conscious Leadership

The earth does not belong to man, man belongs to the earth.

All things are connected like the blood that unites us all.

Man did not weave the web of life, he is merely a strand in it.

Whatever he does to the web, he does to himself.

Chief Seattle

Have you ever felt that if you hear one more newscast on climate change and global warming, you are going to scream? If you see one more program around an act of terrorism as an act of God from some radical paramilitary organization, you are going to shut off your TV forever?

You are just one little man or woman with enough problems of your own to fill an Olympic-sized swimming pool. What can you possibly do about the Big Picture?​

You Are “The Chosen One”

You may just happen to be Neo being interviewed by Morph in The Matrix. Morph has called you out from all humanity to be initiated into the mysteries about the way it really is. He is kind enough to offer you the blue pill, or the red pill.

big enough to contribute

If you take the blue pill, you can go on deluding yourself forever. You can go back to life as “usual.” If you take the red pill, you will never see things again in quite the same way. You are flattered that Morph chose you from all the other mortals. Morph confidently assures you that YOU ARE THE ONE. Since you find your current life a bit monotonous, you opt for the red pill.

Suddenly, much like when Eve plucked the Golden Apple of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, you realize that YOU ARE THE UNIVERSE. There is nowhere to go, since everything you see and everyone you meet is YOU. The only problem is that almost no one will believe you, unless they also bite into the Golden Apple.​

From Individualized Self to Universal Self

We are on the verge of the great turning point in history that the prophetic archaeologist / theologian, Pierre de Chardin dubbed The Omega Point. The whole world is about to become conscious of itself, not as world, but as consciousness, itself.

Until now, until the red pill, there was you against the world. Your “skin-encapsulated ego” formed the boundary of who you are, and everyone else lies outside of you as possible competitors. You learned the game of survival, and you learned it well.

Now it dawns on you what a glorious delusion it all was, being a separate self. What a perfect posture to play victim! How can you be responsible for anything? Did you in any way choose to be born? As the philosopher Jose Ortega y Gasset put it, “Life is fired at us point blank.”

The New Paradigm: A Crisis in Perception

Back in 1990, the avant-garde physicist, Dr. Fritjof Capra, author of the best-selling, The Tao of Physics, released an eye-opening film that could serve as media guide to world revolution: MindWalk.

In the movie, while walking around the gorgeous French island, Mont Saint Michel, a German physicist reveals that we are living in “a crisis of perception.” We just don’t see things the way they are.

MindWalk reveals that both “reality” and “life” are defined by interrelationship. Relationship, itself, lies at the heart of existence. Everything is a pattern within infinite being and consciousness.

Matter is merely a play on form, and life is an intricate web that can’t be understood until you step back and see the whole.

President Clinton just happened to see that film, and called Dr. Capra in to spend a day at the White House. Shortly, he announced “The New Paradigm” as the theme of his first administration.

A paradigm is simply a model for the way it is. When experimental facts no longer accord with previous beliefs, a whole new model emerges to explain the expanded picture.​

From Evolution to Revolution

Many leading New Age thinkers, such as Barbara Marx Hubbard, insist that we are co-evolving, and are about to undergo an evolutionary leap. The problem is that “evolution” is far too slow to help us much in the face of melting ice sheets in Antarctica, and rising ocean levels around the planet.

Revolution is much more appropriate for what needs to happen. Revolution implies sudden and rapid change, where those who were on top, are now on the bottom, and those who are on the bottom, are now on top. We can undergo a worldwide revolution in less than a decade.​

If you have read and digested the news in the last couple years, you may recall that both Bernie Sanders and Donald Trump ran on a platform of revolution. Neither candidate shrunk from openly using that term. Neither of them were interested in politics as usual. One of them won. President Trump is wholly committed to massive change. The only question is what wisdom shall guide his efforts.​

From Revolution to Revelation

When we look at the revolution that will make an ultimate difference, it is not simply putting more money in the pockets of a shrinking middle class. The only revolution that will have the impact necessary to save the planet is a revolution in consciousness. You might think of it as a revelation.

personal revelation

Revelation may be seen as a sudden insight into an underlying design that you could never before discern. It has all the force of being “the Word of God.” When you hear it, you know it’s true, because it resonates within your innermost being.

While Christianity established ideas of divine love and that we could be sons and daughters of God, it never officially took those ideas to their ultimate conclusion, WE ARE LOVE, and WE ARE INHERENTLY DIVINE. Our individualized self lets us play in the game. Yet the game, itself, is all about us individually and collectively awakening to our Universal Self.​

Transformation as Possibility: The Future Is Today

Werner Erhard, back in the 1970’s, defined transformation as a shift in consciousness, from identifying that which is NOT Self, to that which IS Self. You are the Source of ALL your experience, including other people, the world, the Cosmos, even God. God within you is truly the light of the world.

Werner’s work went on in the Landmark Forum to show that human beings were gifted with the ability to live from possibility, and that possibility lived in language. When you declare WHO YOU ARE, while standing upon nothing, you allow that which you say to come into being.

The future is unborn. For example, I declare Absolute Unity, Absolute Love and Absolute Perfection. I hold that this is the way it all ultimately is.​

Most of us most of the time live from our past, from our unexamined beliefs and assumptions. We are reasonable about everything.​

We take our perceptions, judgments, decisions and conclusion at face value. We take them as binding, never bothering to question them.

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Thus, we drain all the magic out of life!

From Caterpillar to Butterfly

When you look at how a caterpillar sprouts wings and becomes a butterfly, you find out that the form of the caterpillar has to die to appearances, and become a living entity far more glorious than its previous identity.

identity transformation

The “imaginal” cells overcome the cells that keep on insisting it is still a caterpillar until what finally emerges is a glorious insect that can flutter about anyway she chooses. At that moment, she knows herself only as a butterfly.

In the same way, you may be Neo, knowing yourself only as a problematic character in a very ordinary life, even if you are a computer hacker. To meet a Morph is truly a life-changing experience. Not too many people walk around telling you that you are God. Jesus Christ did a long time ago, but He paid the ultimate price for being so daring.

You are more than just the strand of humanity in the web of life. You are both the strand and the web. You are life, itself. Yes, you have the power within you to save the planet, because the planet, itself, is an extension of your being. The planet, and all the stars with it, spin within the context of your Universal Self.

Why not, in the coming week, share with someone new, each day, this revolution, revelation and transformation? Why don’t you let them in on the secret in a most gracious way, much like Neo?

You can now see our global crisis as the greatest opportunity of your incarnation. You can show the world who YOU REALLY ARE, while awakening all of us in the process.