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The American Presidents – A Contrapuntal Soliloquy

Post Date: February 14, 2019

Monday, February 18, is Presidents’ Day. A day to honor our leaders, those who have assumed the executive responsibility for our democracy and our freedom. The burden for them, all of them, has been and remains enormous.

abraham-lincoln-when-I-do-good

Collectively, our Presidents have been almost as awesome as the concept of America itself. Even if we take their average, they are an extraordinarily gifted group of human beings.

Their wisdom has come down to us in their actions and in their most salient quotes. It seems fitting to reflect on some of the thoughts that they lived by.

Let’s start with the father of all Presidents.

’Tis better to be alone than to be in bad company.
     —George Washington

The guiding principles put into words by our best Presidents sound like the natural language of speaking to a beloved child. In the pre-Revolutionary period, Washington had to choose carefully with whom to align. History vindicates his choices.

This quote sums up the American Agenda:

To be good, and to do good, is all we have to do.
     —John Adams

This is also the Perennial Philosophy and the root of all religion. You see right away what I mean about this group of people.

Nothing can stop the man with the right mental attitude from achieving his goal; nothing on earth can help the man with the wrong mental attitude.
     —Thomas Jefferson

Mental focus and attitude is the core of Buddhism and my own work and a lot of other great work being done around the planet more and more each day. A lot of the innovations that roll out, start right here in America, even today, even in our time of self-doubt. The mental climate in America remains right for innovation despite any temporary inner turbulence. The mental attitude of pessimism says that every great nation declines, like a law of physics. That’s not exactly the mental attitude Thomas Jefferson was recommending to us.

If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader.
     —John Quincy Adams

“Judge them by their fruits,” Jesus said. Truly the fruit of inspiration is an enthusiastic, hopeful populace. We are not always in that blessed state, but we have always returned to it.

It takes a slightly better man to acknowledge instantly and without reservation that he is in error.
     —Andrew Jackson

The gratitude … should be commensurate with the boundless blessings which we enjoy.
     —James K. Polk

Surely over time we have taken for granted the rare privileges we receive here in the land of the future, The Noble Experiment launched by our Founding Fathers.

I don’t like that man. I must get to know him better.
     —Abraham Lincoln

God crowned our Good with Brotherhood, as the song goes.

If you could kick the person in the pants responsible for most of your trouble, you wouldn’t sit for a month.
     —Theodore Roosevelt

The object of love is to serve, not to win.
     —Woodrow Wilson

These leaders, elected by the American system, often brought us to the highest principles of existence. 

Men are not prisoners of fate, but only prisoners of their own minds.
     —FDR

It is amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.
     —Harry S. Truman

 Pessimism never won any battle.
     —Dwight D. Eisenhower

Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.
—John F. Kennedy

 You can do what you have to do, and sometimes you can do it even better than you think you can.
     —Jimmy Carter

As a beacon of freedom and opportunity, that draws the people of the world, no other country on Earth comes close.
     —Ronald Reagan (see video below)

No problem of human making is too great to be overcome by human ingenuity, human energy, and the untiring hope of the human spirit.
     —George H.W. Bush

 If you live long enough, you’ll make mistakes. But if you learn from them, you’ll be a better person. It’s how you handle adversity, not how it affects you. The main thing is never quit, never quit, never quit.
     —Bill Clinton

 Change will not come if we wait for some other person or some other time. We are the ones we’ve been waiting for. We are the change that we seek.
     —Barack Obama

 Without passion you don’t have energy, without energy you have nothing.
     —Donald Trump

You may not respect all of these people quoted. But looking at the group as a whole, I’d say it attests to the inspired design of the American system that elected these men. Improbably, the system has worked better than any other political system in history.

I encourage you to have a listen to this precious gem, Ronald Reagan’s last speech, in the video below, in which he reminds us how lucky we are to be Americans, and how the attraction of bold and courageous immigrants continuously revitalizes our nation, and validates to the rest of the world the value of our way of life.

A big round of big-hearted, inclusive, unifying applause, folks, for the 45 elected leaders that have taken us through 243 years of growing pains as a nascent Democracy. We have been miraculously blessed, and we have much to be grateful for. We know what we have. And we are each responsible for our part as engaged citizens. Each day we can strive to make it better. And guess what—we will.

Happy Valentines’ Day to Every One!

Bill

My thanks to Bob DeSena and The Human Effectiveness Team for their inspiration.

Thanks also to Psychology Today whose curation of Presidential sayings is where the quotes above come from. Here’s the link. https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/better-perfect/201702/inspirational-quotes-the-45-us-presidents

I chose a different quote for Ronald Reagan, a quote from his last speech (see video above).

Read my latest post at my media blog “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers.  

If You Aren’t Enjoying Your Self, Something’s Wrong

Originally posted February 3, 2015

Assume that if you are in a bad mood or feel a negative physical symptom, this is a direct internal communication to you. Your subconscious is trying to tell you something! This is an autonomic alarm system we all have.

If for example your current activities are not in alignment with your goals, or if you have set a goal that is not in alignment with your core values, parts of your mind will try to bring this to your conscious attention any way they can, and often the signaling will involve feelings of distress or something not quite right.

Maybe it starts out one day as a bad mood you don’t even realize you are in, and then escalate as the signal strength is gradually increased in an attempt to finally get your attention. If this persists long enough it can turn into physical symptoms. It is all about communication — in this case, internal communication.

Act as if you deserve to be happy

The highest priority then is to decode the message and thereby reverse the emotional or physical quandary. Don’t get lost in the suffering and forget to decipher first, ahead of anything else. Act as if you deserve to be happy at all times, whatever the circumstances.

Getting lost in the suffering is what most of us do at most times, and this is a life-threatening waste of time. It also blocks your quality. There’s no point in soldiering on in a bad mood because whatever you do in that state will not be in the range of high quality / high effectiveness. Better to let the work fall even farther behind while you figure out what is bugging you and dispel it by taking the action required.

How can you find your way into Flow State?

One of the primary characteristics of Flow state (aka the Zone) is that the individual is doing something s/he loves to do, fully immersed in the playing of that game as a game, without over-motivation to win or over-concern of failure — and above all that, free of attachment. This mood is a clue that you are in the process of moving into higher effectiveness, you just go with the flow, enjoying it — and if you don’t distract yourself by subtly gloating over it, you go all the way into the Zone.

If something is bringing you down, that is going to block the Zone. Set aside your work, get yourself somewhere where you are uninterruptible, and see inside yourself to detect the source of the bad mood or sick feeling.

Are you attached to something that you fear not getting? Or are you attached to something not happening that some part of you expects will be happening anyway? What could it be?

You might find that taking notes helps, especially if you let the pen just write, without editing, because different neuron clusters become engaged when you go from just pondering to also writing notes. Shifting modalities like this is like sweeping a searchlight around inside your psyche.

Another way to shift modalities and bring different neurons into play is to turn aside from actively thinking about the question and instead just cultivate emptiness inside while paying sharp attention. This is a powerful shift of neurons, known to many writers. For example, adman James Webb Young’s 1960 classic A Technique For Producing Ideas speaks about a need to set aside all thought about a project after studying and thinking deeply about it, and sure enough flashes of inspiration will appear out of nowhere (usually within three days in this writer’s experience, frequently within hours nowadays after decades of practice).

A more common experience we’ve all had is when trying to think of a word or name. It is on the tip of our tongue and we keep trying the same file drawer in our mind, certain that with enough effort we will remember it. But we don’t remember it until we give up and then it easily pops into our head a short while later. Same principle.

You deserve to be happy.

Remain open to the existence of all possibilities where you have not proven — with evidence that would stand up in court and to scientific public scrutiny — that some possibility does not in fact exist. Do not tolerate bad moods or sickly symptoms in oneself without seeking out the root causes and taking effective action to remove those causes.

Banish negativity as ineffective time-wasting! Rechannel your energy into a stimulus to discern the root sources — and then plan and implement effective actions to remove those root causes of the negativity. And remember to respect yourself and everyone and everything else. Disrespect blocks solutions and creates new problems.

Our purpose steadfastly remains to improve the creative effectiveness of our readers thus improving decision making. Test this method over the next week or lifetime and see if it works for you. There is no downside risk in the test — it can only help you, or at the worst change nothing.

Best to all,

Bill

Read my media blog “In Terms of ROI“ at MediaVillage.com under MediaBizBloggers.  Read my latest media post.

Originally posted 2015-02-03 15:23:37. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You Are a World Changer — Part Three

Originally posted January 27, 2015

In the last two weeks you have begun committed work on a problem/challenge condition in your current situation. You started using the techniques and tools we presented beginning with trigger notes, then you created a table with problems and approach directions toward the solutions of each problem or challenge. Then you began to apply solutions from your plan to your situation, evolving the plan with changing circumstances and new information. And you began to practice being unpredictable. All with the overarching goal of transforming your current situation into one that affords you more power to do good.

Let’s face it, the world needs changing.

World problems need changing

We see world-class threats at all levels — military, economic, emotional, spiritual, intellectual, environmental… In my 9-5 life, I see the first solution in 50 years to make companies more profitable — yet it can only in the most brilliantly-led companies make it quickly through the thicket of confusion and lack of communication. This is all due to Acceleritis™. Changing the world means tackling Acceleritis, the pandemic shock reaction to unprecedented information overload that has most of us in its grips.

Tools for Clearer Thinking

Getting people to think more clearly and to reach the right decisions more quickly, scraping aside the emotional historical perceptual baggage, requires releasing people from Emergency Oversimplification Procedure (EOP) so they can spend more time in the Observer state, where they can slip through into Flow.

Perhaps you want to change the world in ways that seemingly have nothing to do with changing people’s effectiveness levels, but I submit that your desired change will occur all the more easily if your audience of co-workers is at a higher level. If they are in EOP, scared to come out of the meeting having lost something, good luck getting the best decisions.

How do you get your colleagues out of EOP? One on one. Take them to lunch or coffee or drinks and just talk — but mostly listen. You’ll find out what they really want and what you have that can help them. You’ll also see how certain of your ideas are not yet covered on some particular flank, which is pivotally helpful. Are you doing enough reconnaissance? Are you doing it in the right spirit — nurturing, guiding, mentoring, listening, being a friend and/or ally?

The number one thing everyone is feeling is fear.

One of the biggest fears is that the game is going too fast to keep up effectively. This is a rational fear, because it is true that the game is going too fast. That’s Acceleritis for you.

However it is not rational to hold onto that fear. Fear is an alarm clock, and you turn off the alarm clock once you get its message. Move on from fear to dealing with the challenge slope such as it is. Fear only degrades your performance on that slope. Rationality therefore dictates removing the fear as a preliminary step to functioning at all.

A contemplation for burning out fear is to dwell on it until you hit bottom. Since this doesn’t usually happen overnight, schedule times for this contemplation over the course of days, preferably when you are alone. Visualize the worst possible outcome in the most complete detail possible, actually feel it as if it is happening. When the “so what?” feeling comes over you, you know you have burned out that circuit. If the feared scenario ever happens that way, you won’t seem to care as you simply deal with it, and you will have a great chance of turning the whole thing around just by your state of being in that moment.

You won’t be able to talk to all of your associates about the inner life, as some will not be ready. Follow your intuition. You don’t have to address these subjects directly to communicate the essence of attitude adjustment — people see it in you. Just hanging out and being a friend is more than enough to get the entire process to work perfectly.

You certainly don’t want to become manipulative and try to brainwash people. That’s what got us here. We’re trying to go the other way now.

Ultimately you want everyone to make up their own mind. You just want them to do it in the Flow State.

As we all work together to change the world, one situation at a time.

Best to all,

Bill

Read more. Read more about Acceleritis™.

Watch the video Watch a video on Acceleritis™ on my YouTube Channel.

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Originally posted 2015-01-27 13:09:03. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You Are a World Changer — Part Two

Originally posted January 20, 2015

Getting out of your current situation into one that affords you more power to do good is as you know an uphill battle. Where you are is where you are. You start with changing things there. Make it better there. Then it can roll out as a sphere of integration, all the 3D iron filings working together in harmony around a magnetic intention, a plan, a feedback loop, through moment-to-moment Flow State actions. Get that to work in your company — or even your team — this is where you begin.

iron filings

Last week you began the process by jotting down thoughts and notes about problem/challenge conditions you’re out to fix. Then you created a table with the smallest cluster of problems organized to the left and large spaces to the right to fill in approach directions toward the solutions of each challenge cluster.

Now we are ready to move on to the next steps toward creating the changes you want to see come to life.

  1. When the time is right, contemplate the filled-in table. Be alone and uninterruptible. Critique the solution approaches and note their weaknesses and strengths because this is a springboard to fresh ideation. Add more ideas as they come. Start a new clean table and fill it in with the high points of the new ideas that come to you at this step in the process. Let the old ideas fall away — you can add them back later if merited.
  2. While on the private front you are undergoing this process with notes and ideas, in your public self, you will become unpredictable.

What does being unpredictable mean? And why be unpredictable?

Within your organization you have found a certain footing, a certain platform. It is your basis for leverage and it limits your leverage, which is held in place, i.e. limited, by the perceptions others have of you.

If they can predict what you are going to say next, it has limited throw weight. If you’re going to change the world you have to become unpredictable. You have to look past the answer you always give. Include those ideas in what you finally do say, but go to the next level. What other factors are relevant that you could include in your response to a situation?

As you become unpredictable, your perceived biases will stop being your driver, and so people will notice that and think more carefully about what you said. Right now they apply Kentucky Windage to what you say based on what they think your bias is in the situation. Remove the Kentucky Windage factor and you can move people and the world further each day.

Becoming unpredictable is only one principle, which has to be balanced with all the other principles on a situation-by-situation basis. There are no black-and-white rules. Every principle has situations that are exceptions to the rule. You can’t let your company make a wrong move, for example, just because you’re changing your image.

Then, follow your plan, and evolve it with changing circumstances and new information. Don’t get stuck in the first plan. Let it be the plan du jour until there is such solidity to the success trend that you know it’s the right plan.

If the success trend is not there, you have to keep varying the inputs — try new stuff, start the ideation process described above, all over again from scratch.

Begin here now, apply the plan du jour until you know it’s the right plan.

Work the process. Start here. More next week…

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog, In Terms of ROI on Media Village, in the MediaBizBloggers section. Read my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-01-20 09:33:41. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

You Are a World Changer — Part One

Originally posted January 13, 2015

What’s my evidence that you’re a world changer? You read my stuff. That’s my evidence.

changing the world

I get an interesting if fuzzy picture of who reads this blog from the people who thank me for it. And from some indirect measures, such as how rarely people leave public comments, instead emailing me; what does this tell us: private types who read in this blog information that is also kind of private. It’s about the inner life. Inner, not outer, means that it isn’t something people talk about. If they’re going to talk to me about it, they don’t want to do it publicly.

Aristotle considered the inner life the most important thing to Humanity. If he saw what AcceleritisTM has done to shrink the inner life down to the smallest part of one’s existence, he would become depressed.

But somehow in my readers that inner life is strong. Why else read about it?

Another indirect measure is how I picked the list I started with when I launched this blog. Out of some 8000+ people in the contact list I culled about 1600 whom I see as game-changing people. People who have already visibly changed the industries I touch. People I resonate with because they too are on another plane, looking in at life from angles that are open to change every instant, to triangulate all the hidden corners. This is what the Flow State is like. People like us who flash through the Flow State spend a lot of time getting back there from the lower states that capture us, usually through distraction and attachment coming at us both at once. One of the universe’s trickier sparring partner moves.

So, given that you’re a world changer, what to do about it? It’s not as if you haven’t been asking yourself this continuously all your life. Therefore my answer may not be new, as you may have already said it yourself. Wherever you are now, whatever job you are doing or trying to get, that’s where to change the world first.

Start activating change where you are now

Pretty much the only way to do it anyway. Getting out of your current situation into one that affords you more power to do good is as you know an uphill battle. Where you are is where you are. Change things there. Make it better there.

Are you ready to dig in? Here’s the technique I recommend to begin to create change.

Begin by writing trigger notes. For the first notes — focus on a problem/challenge condition you’re out to fix. Don’t attach the usual negative emotions. All will flow naturally, no need to push, just wait and be ready to jot— you’re the consultant here, the cure, not part of the bad weather.

How do you do that?

  1. Start to take notes as if you’re seriously going to do this thing. You are serious.
  2. The first notes — all will flow naturally, no need to push, just wait and be ready to jot — will be the problem/challenge conditions you’re out to fix. Just write trigger phrases — a small number of words, often just one or two — that will remind you of a whole train of thought and the feelings and images that go with it.
  3. Later make a clean table with the smallest cluster of problems organized to the left and large spaces to the right to fill in approach directions toward the solutions of each challenge cluster. You don’t have to rush to jot down the approaches; just let them come naturally and write them in.

Is that all there is in the way of technique? No, there’s a rich body of technique to convey; the universe — life — is the most complex game ever invented. But this is where we start. Today, tomorrow, this week — start here.

We will continue on to next steps in the next week’s post.

Best to all,

Bill

Follow my regular media blog, In Terms of ROI on Media Village, in the MediaBizBloggers section. Read my latest post.

Originally posted 2015-01-13 12:10:51. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Overcoming Negativity and Sticking with your Resolutions

Originally posted January 12, 2016

Are you finding it difficult to stick with the intentions or resolutions you made just over a week ago? Have you perhaps already once or twice considered breaking your resolve or have maybe even given up on it already?

The Very Thing We Need Most When the Negativity Alarm Goes Off

Our motivations are the original rock that starts an avalanche. Motivations turn into goals. When events or people (especially when the person is our self) are perceived to interfere with reaching our goals, our emotions can easily cascade and flare into negativity.

How we approach even a momentary lack of resolve makes a difference. If we fall into a state of negative emotion our capabilities are reduced. Brainpower is being distracted away from taking clear and effective action. Indulging or wallowing in negativity for more than an instant is totally ineffective.

The very thing we need most when the negativity alarm goes off, perhaps when we are telling ourselves we’ll never be able to stick with our resolutions and achieve our goals, is to turn off the alarm and use all our brainpower constructively in service of our goals.

Believing that we have no control over negative emotions is a self-fulfilling prophecy. If we refuse to give up control of our own habituated thought processes and choose instead to disarm the very thoughts working against us, eventually we will win and gain control of our emotions. Once we have that control back, we can get clear again on our motivations. The motivations-goals-emotions-ideas-actions system will then come into alignment to support us.

When we falter, it’s a good use of time and brain power to reconsider what our motivation was in making the resolution or setting the intention or goal. Peeling back another layer, why do we have this motivation? What are the goals that serve these motivations? What will help us to reach those goals? What impeded us in the moment when we slipped? Once we have a better understanding, what do these insights imply in terms of action decisions?

In the absence of protracted negativity — using it just as a useful alarm warning system — we are best able to get back on track, with the resolve to continue to strive toward the goals that we set.

Begin again today and take at least one step each day
toward carrying out your resolutions.

Best to all,
Bill

Follow my regular media blog, In Terms of ROI at Media Village. Here is the link to my latest post.

Originally posted 2016-01-12 06:24:52. Republished by Blog Post Promoter