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Be the oddly-shaped cornerstone of your own Masterpiece than just another brick in the wall of someone else’s Mansion

I seems we are in the midst of a revolution ..
A revolution of sorts … information, perceived freedom, mystical and empowerment … amongst many others

It’s not natural, afterall

Schooling, we were told gets you a job. But, to me, an education – self education, builds wealth.

We’ve bought into a model that taught us to embrace the system, to consume insatiably … to spend for pleasure and to separate ourselves from work. We’ve been taught that this approach works… but it DOES NOT (not anymore).

This GAP keeps us from succeeding, cripples the growth of our society, & makes us really stressed. We are all racing towards something, praising each other for being ‘busy’. What is that something? It seems “natural” to live the life so many of us live, but in fact, it’s quite recent and totally man-made.

It is not so natural, afterall.

Having a ‘growth mind-set’ is far better than having a closed one.
Be curious, Stay curious.

Big Business Controls Us

The BIG BUSINESS control us.

Most who are caught up in this ‘system’ understand this. Our schooling taught us through years of study to be the perfect worker, the perfect employee. We exist in a corporate manufacturing mindset, one so complete that anyone off the grid seems like an oddity. In the last few years, though, it’s becoming clear that people who reject the worst of the current system are actually MORE likely to succeed.

There are many examples of these quirky, weirdos who never finished college – two of which are – Bill Gates and Steve Jobs. They were mavericks in their thinking and not only dared to dream but … they dared to dream real big. They pursued what they loved and became very good at simplifying the complex. The magic was in the intelligence behind the thinking in taking complexity to simplicity. This is far more difficult than cramming for exams or remembering facts. 

As Steve Jobs said –

Simple can be harder than complex: you have to work hard to get your thinking clean to make it simple. But it’s worth it in the end because once you get there, you can move mountains.”

Classrooms have been teaching the wrong stuff. It has been reinforcing the wrong stuff for years. School teaches us Fear and it has been very good at it. Decades of school have drilled that into us …& still doing to our children – fear, fear and more fear. Fear of getting a D-minus, fear of not getting a job right out of school. Fear of not fitting in.

Don’t let that fear engulf your thinking and cloud it. Clean up your thinking, as Steve Jobs said and take a page out of his book … to work hard at simplifying the complex, whatever complexity it is that you are facing. 

Then … find your magic and … 

Move your mountain.

Good people cannot stand by and let injustice happen … which removes the key element of Freedom – dignity.

Question is does school still work or prepare you for work?

What do you remember from your school years … your university years … and/or are you still studying? I remember there being some very good teachers and some ordinary teachers. At university, I can count less than a handful of lecturers that were great teachers. Two of them, I am still friends with and in communication to this day.

What is one of our worst fears?

Yes, apparently, apart from snakes and public speaking, we hate being seen as ‘different‘. This fear is propagated in school, in the whole education system.

Here’s what more schooling does & continues  to teach people –

  • Fit in
  • Follow instructions
  • Take good notes
  • Cram for tests and dong miss deadlines
  • Don’t ask questions
  • Don’t challenge authority
  • Have a good resume’
  • Don’t fail
  • Don’t say anything that might embarrass you
  • Don’t answer back

Etc…

Question is, does school still work or prepare you for work in today’s fast changing world. I think the education system needs a big overhaul as the existing paradigm simply does not work and does very little for the individual in a fast-changing world. 

We have seen hints of alternative methods of schooling during this period of covid lock-down, but is it enough? Or, are we just going to go back to ‘how things were?” 

For me, anyway … I respect the system that we had (and still have) as it was the best system that was available but personally, I never let schooling get in the way of my education. 

Be YOU.
As YOU are.
Accept the uniqueness … and weirdness that you know you are.
Embrace YOU.
Never imitate.

Being a mis-fit, the outsider, the rebel and weirdo is a strength

Being you, and no one else but you, takes courage. Especially in a world that is continuously trying to make you someone else. Courage is the foundation of everything you can do with significance. As stated by philosopher Osho – 

“You cannot be truthful, if you are not courageous. You cannot be loving, if you are not courageous. You cannot be trusting if you are not courageous. You cannot enquire into reality if you are not courageous. Hence, courage comes first and everything else follows.”

Many imitate because of fear of being ostracised or being ridiculed. Seek first, to know yourself and love yourself. Self-love is a positive and productive force as it drives us to test our limits, impels us to do our best and compels us not to settle for anything less.

Be conscious of your unique-ness or weirdness and understand how you can serve the world better, with the unique strengths that you possess. I believe, being a misfit, an outsider, the rebel and weirdo is a strength in this day and age. It is less superficial and I think the world deserves and is hungry for authenticity.

Remember this: “consciousness of our strength increases it.” – Vauvenaregues (1715 – 1747).

Be you, have courage.

Those who dream … to be different … and aim to share their unique selves with the world, to help … get the love back in return.

We are what we think

Each of us a searching for beauty, for our truth, but each of us need to discover the truth for ourselves. What keeps us in the ‘dark’ is all up inside our heads:

We are what we think.

The mind is like a gushing spring and at any and every moment, we’re thinking about dozens of different things. To a large extent, we inevitably live inside our heads. This constant ebb and flow consciousness can take us to places we do not want to go and … should not allow ourselves to go.

I believe schools/colleges/universities… should teach ONLY TWO things :

  1. how to THINK 🤔 & find solutions to interesting problems/challenges. We should also be learning how to Think extensively, not intensively.
  2. Lead (this skill of leading needs to be taught … like the system has taught compliance. The world not only needs more Leaders … but also Champion Leaders. Leaders who are socially smart & responsible purpose, ability to connect & have a positive impact on society).

And I believe we need good QUALITY teachers/educators. As Malcolm Gladwell mentions in his book “Tipping Point”, the quality of the teachers have a bigger bearing on the performance of the students than the number of students per teacher. Great teachers in all areas of life are precious. Bad & lousy teachers/lecturers cause damage that last forever.

Bad & lousy teachers are dangerous but don’t blame them … get rid of them. Blame the Corporate system that still requires complaint workers who do well at Tests.

Here’s what I imagine :

I imagine a teaching facility that has sign something like this –

We teach people to THINK 💭 for themselves, to take initiative and to create their beauty … their truths, to question the status quo and to do everything with more care, more trust and more compassion. We teach our graduates 🎓 to interact with transparency and understand that more consumption is Not the Answer to social problems. We teach people to have courage in their convictions and be Leaders. To take a stand for what they believe in“

I imagine schools/colleges/higher education organised around teaching people to BELIEVE.

In themselves & realising their dreams to make  the world a better place .. & live a life of significance.

Believe.
Even if you don’t believe in anything … Believe in belief, itself.

Believe in yourself

The real foundation is to treat your ‘uniqueness’, your difference as the cornerstone to building your Mansion … not be just another brick in someone else’s building/mansion/dreams.

Keep seeking until you find what you’re looking for. When you find what you’ve been looking for, you will most probably find pain and suffering but it is in this pain and suffering that you will discover your treasures. For it is the everyday challenges that are in itself, heroic: the little battles we all fight to stay focused and do our best, to overcome doubts and fears, to keep our cool when all about us may be losing theirs. 

To truly master the art of worldly wisdom, you must win a more inward struggle, as Baltasar Gracia’n (1601-58) states – 


“First be master over yourself if you would be master over others.”

Above all else, believe in YOU … believe in yourself.

Create your own Bible and be the best your can be, always, as Ludwig Wittgenstein (1889-1951) said –

just improve yourself; that is the only thing you can do to better the world.”

I agree.

Do the right thing, always and keep your mind pure. Everyone knows this, even a five year old child. However, very few truly understands and practices it.

Schooling gets you a job but self-education, I believe, builds true wealth.

Your choice.

Cheers & Ahoy!

Yours in iron, heart, mind and muscles,

Believe or not believe.
Get your ass off the pole of the fence (stop sitting on the fence!)
Choose.

We all need to dream but have our feet firmly on the ground.
A strong foundation of support, unconditional love and good Life Education is critical to having a successful life.

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Inspiration is the Catalyst of Change

The Tree of Life is special. Grow with it.

Unsought is … most valuable

The Scientist and Philosopher FRANCIS BACON said –

“Write down the thoughts of the moment. Those that come unsought for are commonly the most valuable.’

INSPIRATION IS THE CATALYST … that lights the fire or sets the journey of creativity in our ships as we sail & navigate the Seas of Life.

Without it, every Pirate and genuine Voyager … knows there would be no work of art or scientific discovery. In fact, very little that is New and Creative and Innovative would come into the world. Imagine not having your i-phone? What world would that be like? (actually, a lot of you from my generation would know what that was like .. ha ha ).

Like a kiss, inspiration opens the heart in each of us to receive … it gives us the means of reaching the mystery beyond our worldly identities.

I find that surrendering to inspiration brings about a greatness that is the glory of existence (every Pirate and Viking knows this). We all suffer from lack of inspiration at some point or points in our lives, there is no avoiding it.

Question is, what do you do when you’re experiencing it? 

There is inner and outer beauty. Appreciate both.

The only requirement is that Love

Romantic poets believed that inspiration came to them because their soul was able to receive such visions. In modern psychology, inspiration is seen as an entirely internal process, like Sigmund Freud believed it came from your inner psyche, directly from the subconscious.

Inspiration to me, has nothing to do with the skill or capability of you, the individual and therefore, anyone and every single person can get inspired. We can find it anywhere – in a book, a speech, a movie … a person .. a symbol … a hope. 

To me, the only requirement is that of love. That for you to be inspired, you need to allow the flow (of inspiration) to come from the heart … your heart. It is a Power from Within, necessary for all creation and innovation, which is the way of the future.

It is energy, so you cannot either create nor destroy it .. just become a better conduit of energy .. of what I call ‘un-mind energy’. It is but a brief moment in time … where that un-mind energy flows through your heart … allowing you to transmute that energy … into creating something beautiful.

‘That moment’ is like what the great thinker, Khalil Gibran described   when –

 “the earth delights to feel your bare feet and the wind longs to play with your hair.”

There is courage within each person, There is inspiration available to all souls … just allow your courage to help it speak to your heart … to release that energy … that light … to light others who are in darkness

Inspiration helps light that catalyst

We’ve all faced many problems and challenges in our lives so far (and many of us are struggling with ones now) and … sometimes people, feel incapable of solving, realising and accepting their own limitations. But, it is in those ‘moments’ of challenges/problems/obstacles lay embedded in them, the hidden solutions.

Every situation and every individual stores a potential and strength that is yet to be discovered.

INSPIRATION helps light that catalyst to tap the source of power within … to face whatever obstacle we face. When our purpose is to give birth to our TRUE IDEAL SELF, inspiration allows us to see ourselves in a New way every time.

When you’re inspired, we glow on the outside from the light within and this radiance shines out from us .. and lights the way for others in the dark. Even the great RUMI explains how we can nurture the power of inspiration by transcending our perceived limitations (from whatever fear we are facing), he said –

” The sound of the bow provokes fear for the arrow wounds its mark. What is sense beyond the unseen is inspired by perception. Increase your necessity to increase your perception.”

Let inspiration be the catalyst to light your inner-world … to brighten up your external world and… those you come in contact with

Education

I love many genres of music and one of them is Raggae and I think Bob Marley was a genius. He sang about freedom and justice and was a great Leader and Thinker and Poet, saying –

“I have no education. I have inspiration. If I were educated, I would be a damn fool.”

But don’t confuse inspiration with motivation, they are not the same. Many make this mistake. There is a major difference and the difference is a “matter of heart’. Inspiration connects with the heart .. and motivation connects the mind and is often ego driven. The ego, may in the short-term give to you … but in the long term, will take ..and continually take from you until you don’t know what or who you are.

As Socrates said –

” I decided that it was not wisdom that enabled poets to write their poetry, but a kind of instinct or inspiration, such as you find in seers and prophets who deliver all their sublime messages without knowing in the least what they mean.”

Find the “Giant” within you … within each person … of which inspiration is the catalyst.

Separate inspiration from motivation

“So, what should we do then? How should we live?”, you may ask. 

Here’s the thing, I believe that , one of the ways to separate inspiration from motivation is to be aware that at every moment we have a choice about how to live. With increased awareness, we can observe how those choices affect us. Now, keep it simple … if we allow inspiration to be our guide, then each day can possibly welcome a new and exciting opportunity. When we feel the heart engaging and singing … with and in what is happening ‘in the moment’ to us, we know that we are connected with a hidden source of joy!

Individuals, groups, communities, states and countries all around the world is crying out for inspiration (and for some, for a very long time). Let’s pray for all those in need of inspiration… of more inspiration … to summon the courage to face their fears … to find the solution(s) that may lay within the obstacles/challenges they are facing right now. 

I tell my kids, there is no such thing as a problem/mistake,… just opportunities to find a solution(s). 

The world needs many things right now … but now, more than ever, it needs – more love … more care … more compassion and … more trust. Please play your part in making this world a better place by giving this to whoever interacts with you on a daily basis. 

Inspiration has the Power to Empower. Inspiration has the Power to Change for the Better …. ONE LIFE AT A TIME.

It is a choice. Don’t sit on the fence. Inspiration without ACTION becomes a wasted opportunity.

Embrace inspiration. Embrace Change. Embrace your Heart. It leads to the ultimate Freedom… but you must ACT on that inspiration.

We are all inspired by many things to … Live. Die. With Dignity.

Yours in iron, heart, mind & muscles, 

 

Paul

(some people call me – “The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate Muscled Monk”

Find the inspiration within you … to help motivate you to making a choice … the Right Choice … for LIfe… in your life.

Release the Hulk in you .. when appropriate
There is a time to be placid and do nothing … then, there is a time to act … and stand for something.

 

 

 

 

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Justice

Was crucifying Jesus Christ ‘Justice’ at that time?

Crucifying Jesus Christ … was Justice?

What is your definition of “Justice?”

When do you see it? What do you read that justifies the ‘justice’ that you perceive it to be? What about when you hear about it, are you convinced?

I think Justice is like a snake that has many skins or rather, Justice wears many styles of clothing, that springs forth in different circumstances. Robin Hood understood this and so did Raylen Givvens of the current TV series I am watching at the moment called “Justified”. The Latter is about an State Deputy Marshall with a 20th Century sense of Justice in modern-day policing. I see Timothy Olyphant who plays the US Deputy Marshall as a modern-day Clint Eastwood, fighting crime with ‘old-school’ methods and sense of justice.

Do you have certainty of your definition of Justice? Isn’t it the case that when you think you’ve figured it out, that there is always another definition, another side of the coin? Our concept of Justice today is a far cry from what society considered in the Eighteenth Century or back in the Tenth Century.

Heck, let’s go all the way back to Biblical times and assess whether crucifying Jesus Christ, God‘s only son – is appropriate Justice.

Yes, it is Justifiable but is it justice?

One way to know YOU is to understand God.
God is in you.
God is you.

Giving everyone what they need …. 

The sub-title of this paragraph (above) seems right and proper doesn’t it? But we’ve also heard the other definition –

giving everyone what they deserve” .

This also makes sense, doesn’t it? In the first definition, those in NEED are the first priority but in the second, those who work the hardest and best take the lead.

The question is – is there a possible third definition of justice, one where it is proven that giving someone (or a group) a bit more than everyone else, benefits everyone. Like for example, giving resources to the handicapped helps them to contribute to society or giving great leaders of countries, industries and societies a bigger carrot may benefit all of us.

Is that justice?

The “Factory Model” – the system created hundreds of years ago seducing the majority to fit in, follow instructions, and exchange a day’s work for a day’s pay. That was the deal our parents and grandparents signed us up for and our schools and our systems and our governments supported the deal.

But, is that system fair and more importantly, is that old system still relevant? In many countries, job growth is flat at best and wages in many industries are negative. The middle-class is at siege like never before, and the future appears dismal.

Is there justice when the educated, hard-working masses are still doing what they’re told, but they’re no longer getting what they deserve?

Find your light and colours. Be authentic, be YOU.
Have FAITH that being naked & vulnerable will get you closer to happiness.
If religion comprises rules you follow, FAITH is demonstrated by the actions you take.
Of course it is difficult. Be the Leader that you are. In your life.
but more importantly …
be the light for someone who sees only darkness.

Don’t count on the Markets for Justice

Is there Justice in the Market Place? With service and the drive to sell at the lowest price?

Markets, as they say, will tell you the price of anything …. And the value of nothing. I don’t think you can count on the markets for justice, that’s for sure. I mean are you one of the lucky people who actually paid ‘what they are really worth?” If you are, congratulations.

They say the market will tell us what the going rate is for any service? We could trust that ‘market’, couldn’t we? Does the market really measure what is deserved? It is one of the definitions of justice, isn’t it?

But, what’s the one thing we know about markets? For those of you that have done Economics 101, you will recall that all markets are temporary and ALL a quirky or imperfect.

So, what do we do then? How do we find that Justice?

What Justice would a Pirate dish out? Is it fair justice at that time? What about Robin Hood’s sense of justice, was it justified?

What is “Fair Pay?”

What is a fair day’s pay … what is fair pay? What is fair play?

Is it fair that someone gets paid twenty, thirty … hey, a hundred times more than another?

“yes,” I hear some of you say … “if he produces twenty, thirty … a hundred times as much.”

“No,” say some .. “because nobody needs twenty, thirty … hundred times as much as another.”

Another group would then say –

“Yes, if that is what other people like him/her, in the same job are getting.

I can see these three sides of the coin and totally understand each viewpoint. Is there a forth consideration? It seems that the phrase – “Fair’s Fair” begs an awful lot of questions.

One such questions is that we cannot leave it (idea of Justice) to the market.

Fair enough?

There is a Hulk in each and every one of us ….. this greater uncertainty in the world, in the ‘age of disruption’ we are living in … there is always opportunities (like all good Pirates and Vikings know and understand).
I believe there is an opportunity to actually enjoy what you do and to make a difference to your business friends and colleagues and your customers like never before.
I believe, allowing the “Hulk” in you to Un-Lock the genius within you and have been hiding all these years.
There is an opportunity to show “YOU” to the world.
What are you waiting for ?

But, the Fortune 500 companies will save us

Will they?

Well, they have taken care of many industries and it’s obedient workers for a long time now, but I’m afraid, not any more. Times are changing and many companies are failing miserably to ADAPT.

In the Age of Disruption the ONLY viable strategy is to ADAPT. (Always consider the importance of “feedback” … and most importantly, doing something about it).

Research shows that most employees today will have longer work spans than their organisation’s expected lifespan (Innosight 2016). S&P 500 company lifespan has decreased by 40 per cent since the 1980s. At the forecasted churn rate, only half of the current S&P 500 organisations will exist in the next 10 years.

This is due to rapidly changing environments, where classical or analytical approaches to management are increasingly inefficient, whereby global organisations are like slow, lumbering dinosaurs. Instead they should be employing a more agile and effective adaptive strategy to survive.

So, is this justice?

The bigger you grow, the faster you fall ( to the applause of smaller competitors?)

In the ‘age of disruption’ (which we are in now), the only viable strategy (for the individual, businesses and nations) is to ADAPT.
We must constantly adopt an “Adaptive Strategy” and improve our “Agility Ability” … just like nature has for 4 billion years now … to ultimately, survive

Where to from here?

Where to from here?

One thing is certain – our ‘sense’ of what justice is now will be very different to what it will be one hundred years from now.

I hope, that people, organisations, communities and nations of the world have leaders that inspire hope by empowering it’s people, through clear and concise messages.

Justice, like, Great Leadership … needs to be clear, concise and consistent … and have enormous agility ability or in other words – great propensity to adapt.

To increase adaptiveness, whether as a person, a business, a community, a country … you don’t need to make drastic changes. Start small, making small changes … and ‘failing forward’. Continously monitor feedback loops and mutate quickly when appropriate.

Simply stated by the great Charles Darwin –

“It is not the strongest of the species that survive, nor the most intelligent, but the ones most responsive to change.”

Very good advice indeed.

All the very best in your application of your ‘sense’ of justice in your life,

 

Cheers & Ahoy!

The Old Cap’n Viking Pirate Evangelist Muscled Monk

 

Is there a happy ending for all – us individuals, businesses, countries .. and the world?
I don’t know … but I sure hope so

 

 

 

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