The tired soul is dying Leaving a void within, The Humane-ness is lying In silence, again, we begin; In Freedom & bondage Where deception runs deep, They pass to their advantage – The kingdoms are for keep.
And gaze while they’re sleeping By reaching for height, They rest in your feeling An amazing bright light. When doubt fills our glories Of layers unfold, It is then that the stories Of our history are told.
Outnumbered I spoke with them Recalling memories of delight, But who could decipher them When we’re living in fright. Beyond all refusal The doubts in our glories, The wind is a dismal, And Are part of these stories.
The waving of tall grasses, The song of the hidden sinner, That croons as it passes You do so with a little quiver. The heavy-heart is a fool The summoning of jealousy, The confusing schedule Must blend until you see.
Without these, indeed, you Would discover before too long, Just like I would read to you The words of a beautiful song That exhaustion would linger When flowers don’t bloom, The melodies of a singer, Of The hypnotic tune.
And, melding with each For far too long There, sadly humane-ness is dying We are in need of a happy song.
⁃ fine-lines with Black fine-nib pens on white paper
⁃ the human physique by playing with Dumbells, energy inputs, processes and imagination
⁃ Lifestyle variables to DESIGN TAILORED LIFE & LIFESTYLE SOLUTIONS for individuals
⁃ Consciousness to “see” what many do not in the current & future
First and foremost, I AM AN ARTIST 👨🎨…
I may need a different mix of chaos & order … a more challenging mix of comfort & discomfort … a varying mix of stability & flow compared to more “normal “ people.
People may find it weird, but …
I see life as an very large experiment made up of many smaller experiments. I refer to these experiments as experiences.
And I Am … the Scientist at heart… with an artistic soul.
WHAT WORKS For ME.
I remind myself that I must experiment with WHAT WORKS FOR ME.
As an Artist 👨🎨, money does not validate my credibility.
As an Artist, my credibility lies WITH ME, GOD & My WORK. In other words, if I write a Blog … a poem … if I sketch ✍️ a fine-like picture of beautiful building architecture … then, I write or draw – whether it will sell or not.
As an Artist, my sense of self respect comes from my belief that I am created in the image of God, my internal reflection and from DOING THE WORK.
My work …
One fine-line-sketch -at-a-time, one set of exercise at a time, one poem at-a-time, one blog-at-a-time … one dream at-a-time. Five years working on a lifestyle proto-type, 10 years working on an entrepreneurial adventure, a lifetime pursuing a dream that takes a lifetime.
As an Artist, making money is not what drives me. I do not need to be extremely wealthy & rich but I do need to be RICHLY SUPPORTED by those who love & BELIEVE in me.
My CURIOSITY NEEDS to be fueled for my intellectual, spiritual & philosophical needs. These needs as well as my insatiable physical & emotional needs have to be continually fed to continuously EVOLVE.
I must …
Never allow these needs to be stagnant, for this will show in my work. If will show In my life. It will show In my temperament. …
… In my aura, my vitality.. my life force.
It is very important that I keep moving …. As this allows me to CREATE.
I need to CREATE to express my love for life … of life . If I fail to create, I get moody.
Nobody likes a moody – me.
In order to CREATE I must stretch the boundaries … making new laws … encouraging novel ways of looking at things … and not necessarily following the existing laws and staying within the current boundaries.
First, I must BREAK ALL THE RULES.
As an Creative Artist, I need to continually FEED and NURTURE my ARTIST CHILD… for the more I nurture this INNER CHILD, the more ADULT i am able to appear.
There is a CONNECTION between SELF-NUTURE & SELF-RESPECT.
When I allow myself to be bullied (very seldom), and somewhat allow to be forced by other peoples’ need for me to conform … to be more normal or more nice, I lose myself.
Sometimes I do. I lose my – Self.
I allow myself to succumb to the whims of the ordinary man, to be ordinary like the ordinary. Something My inner fibre of being just does not agree with.
I sabotage my CHILD ARTIST.
For when I am not creating, I am not a very nice person to be around. I am certainly not “normal” or very nice – go myself or to others. Many say I am “weird”.
So be it.
In my experience, There is a connection between self-nurture and self-respect.
Every time I create something from nothing, I feel the creativity is a spiritual journey. For me, doing the ART WORK is a SPIRITUAL PRACTISE.
To me, there is never a “finishing line” or point where I can say that “I have made it!”
It seems that when I feel I “got there” … “there” vanishes. Vanishes into thin air. Just like that . In sculpting the physique for example, I have been working towards the elusive holy grail of bodybuilding: balance & symmetry.
Haven’t found it for almost 30 years now.
Every time I create … I have a piritual journey.
I NEED to keep moving … like a Spiritual Shark 🦈… if I stop improving, I will sink to the bottom of the Ocean of life and …
MY WAY like LIFE’S WAY is not the “straight & narrow path” as the majority take … but one instead which is literally “my way”
MY WAY is a SPIRAL PATH… not the straight & narrow. My way is a spiral path because I AM an ARTIST, but more importantly, I am created in the image of God.
It is a simple and as complex as that.
As an artist, I am a traveller. In body and in spirit & imagination. I yield to my SPIRITUAL LEADING.
The Creator bestows on us the gift of creative thinking & doing. Our recognition & use of our gifts, given by God, is, in turn, our gift 💝 to God.
When you Accept this DEAL OF A LIFETIME… I believe it is the beginning of TRUE SELF-ACCEPTANCE.
Give thanks and praise the Lord.
FIRST: MOVE INTO THE BODY, HEART ❤️ & SOUL.
To move into the body, heart & soul, one must first resolve to ACCEPT that one MUST MOVE OUT OF THE HEAD/MIND.
This is not easy.
Especially in a “busy” world with a lot of external & internal noise.
I make exercise a key part of my life because I am and have been seeking a form of MOVING or MOBILE MEDITATION. The execution of well-chosen exercises allows me to practise this … what I call – moving meditation.
This meditation experience puts me squarely IN THE MOMENT… in the NOW.
If I don’t respect the weight and/or don’t focus, I will get injured. I have not gotten injured lifting weights since I began almost 30 years ago.
My goal has always been to seek BALANCE & SYMMETRY in body… which translates to balance & symmetry in mind, heart & soul.
Like I said, earlier, many of us (like me), we DO learn by doing. Exercise, for example, is often the impetus that moves us … moves us from stagnation to inspiration… from seeing problems to opportunities for find solutions … from self-pity to self-respect & living with dignity.
One of the things we learn is that – I AM Stronger … WE ARE … STRONGER THAN WE THOUGHT. From my experience, we learn to have a different worldview… we learn to look at things with a new Perspective.
And a lot of times, this different perspective is the KEY to experiencing life a little differently … a little bit better …
He died when I was 19. Six years after his wife, my grandmother died.
I spent a big part of early childhood with my grandfather. He didn’t say much but he had many little “coaching conversations” when appropriate (I later realised what he was doing after he died in my late teens).
At University (almost 30 years ago now whilst doing my second degree in Accounting/Business Management ), I read a book by the author Ken Blanchard called “the one minute manager”. I realised then, that the management style my grandfather was using in relation to raising me and the family household, was the same as what the author was espousing in the book.
A Man’s Man.
The best manager I have ever worked for was the CEO/Managing Partner of a Top 20 Accounting & Business Advisory. I was there for about 3 years and was some of the BEST years working as an “employee “.
This man, was a Man’s Man … a Clint Eastwood demeanour with a Tom Hanks (heart .. when appropriate). His physical presence was intimidating. He was a former Australian ranked boxer and his reputation for results preceded him.
Everyone was scared shitless of him. They trembled in their seats when they heard him coming down the passages and everyone avoided him.
I found him fascinating and I loved him and his management style. I thought about why (after I left) and it was because he reminded me of my grandfather.
I didn’t buy into the fear and the water-cooler stories about him that became part of the Firm’s Legendary stories. So, I decided to “get to know him”.
No need for Sir, call me Bob …
As he walked by the cubicles in the morning, I would yell out – “Good morning Mr E…!” The other staff couldn’t believe it… I actually spoke out snd greeted him.
The first time … I would hear his footsteps pause and … then continue. The following morning, I did the same. He did the same.
On the third day .. he stopped and then said –
“Who is that?”
I stood up from my cubicle and replied –
“Paul ❤️alentine, sir!”
He laughed and said –
“No need for Sir, call me Bob... snd a good morning to you, too.”
From then on, each time he walked passed by Cubicle, he would call out my name and we would end up having chats. Matter of fact, he preferred me to handle many of his clients and over time, we would become very good friends.
It got to stage where, he would only allow me to interrupt him in any meeting he was in. No one else in the Firm could do that. There was a level of TRUST that he had in me that no one else got.
When he had to “Sign off” on Reports and Files … he would go through others’ files with a fine-tuned comb, asking many questions. With mine, he just wanted me to give him the “gist” or executive summary (usually one page of the Risks and my personal assessment)
He would always ask me one question –
“Are you happy with me signing Paul?”
I would say yes or no.
He would act accordingly.
The One-Minute Manager.
The “one-minute managed” approach is to be very FIRM in your values & principles snd DO NOT compromise on INTEGRITY. EVER.
This is communicated EFFECTIVELY. There is no ambiguity. … ALWAYS communicated CONSISTENTLY, CLEARLY and CONCISELY.
Integrity is what most Good Leaders have. But, RE-INFORCED integrity is what GREAT Leaders have. They NEVER sacrifice their MORALS & ETHICS in ALL that they do & say and say they do.
That is the One-Minute Manager…. On Enthusiasm Turbo-Boost. That is what the world needs right now … more GREAT LEADERS in all KEY areas of life.
“What is your message ?” I ask.
What is the message you leave to the world, when you … leave this world?
The one-minute manager approach primarily relates to the FEEDBACK being TIMELY and SPECIFIC. For example, when I fuck up with something on a client, I would hear his footsteps come towards my seat. I would feel his presence snd his hand rest on my shoulder (as I looked at my computer screen). I could sense his frustration snd he would say –
“Paul, you fucked up. Learn from it. Don’t do that again”
And then he was off. He was the first to reprimand me and “pull me in line” as soon as the incident occurred.
The reverse is also true. When I did a great job and exceeded clients expectations, I would hear those same footsteps again …
His hand on my shoulder, looking in my eyes and saying –
“Great job Paul, well done. Keep it up, son! Take the afternoon off!”
My salary increases in 6-monthly reviews were in the top and I had one of the best corner cubicles in the Firm. Many other staff were jealous but … I learned that TRUST is one of the foundation stones of any relationship.
I’ve almost always adopted this Management style in almost all my dealings with people, as an employee, managing groups/teams .. and as an Employer, managing egos.
Do you trust – YOU?
Out of interest, what are your top 3 to these :
1. What 3 words describe your Vision for your business?
2. Do you believe in YOU? 3 strengths you have as a Leader?
3. Do you TRUST “you?”
4. Do have a need to be “liked” by everyone? Do you have a need to be “agreeable “ with everyone?
What is YOUR MESSAGE?
This is one of the KEYS to almost ALL successful communication to any audience: know your message.
Is there anything we read, hear or see ‘the truth’ anymore? THere are so many lies propagated in the media in today’s world. There is one truth – if a lie is being told and repeated enough .. the lie will eventually be believed to be a truth.
What is the truth when it comes to the covid-19 virus? There are many questions that should be asked and no question should be left out and put in an “out-of-the-question “ basket. With so much information at our fingertips, and most contradicting one another, one of our biggest risks is is our inability to sieve through the bullshit to …. Find the Truth.
I just don’t know what to believe anymore. One minute, one ‘expert’ says one thing … another minute, another expert says something else. Even the so-called experts and professional analysts cannot agree on the truth. They usually speak from their own self-interest and try to sell their ‘version of the truth’.
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
A question I ask is – why has the containment of this virus 🦠 done already … like six months ago? Why has it taken so long?
What have we learned in the aftermath of this pandemic?
What has each individual country learned and what have we learned as human beings? One obvious thing is that the biggest threat to our existence is not something huge like a war or terrorist acts… it is the very very small (viral or bacterial) that we should be more fearful of. We should be more scared of the INVISIBLES … of what we CANNOT SEE with our naked eyes than … what we CAN SEE.
If you look at probabilities, there is a high probability (greater than 90%) that the virus originated from the Wuhann Lab, in China. The likelihood that the virus originated from “a Lab” is high. Then, it follows that, the likelihood that it originated from the Wuhann Lab is very high.
A question we should be asking is – was there a prior epidemic of this virus … that has allowed this current viral strain to be very effective in spreading? If it came from the Wuhann Lab, what were the protocols/internal controls used at the time? Why was this allowed to happen? On the other hand, if it wasn’t the Wuhann lab, we should be told that it wasn’t. If it was from nature, we deserve to be told. If it was from another lab, we need to know that , too. Why aren’t the governments giving us answers to these questions?
In other fields, say, in manufacturing, if a machine worker narrowly misses death when using a Machine or only loses a limb or his/her life, most businesses would do everything possible to NOT LET that happen again. In a factory setting, they would put up clear signs, get employees further training, counselling, boundaries indicated, protective gear and so forth…
And why? It was a “lucky break “ and control measures put in to mitigate the worst situation (losing a life) does not happen again in the future.
Why weren’t the voices that were raised in concern or this virus back in 2015 not listened to and taken seriously? What protocols were overlooked leading up to this pandemic? Why was the process off-shored to China? Did our current systems allow this? Who was responsible for this system at that time? Why hasn’t people brought to justice yet? Who is responsible for this pandemic? Governments collectively?
Is this going to be another case of INFLUENZA?
… and we will not find a cure and eliminate it but will just have to live with it.
Will it become part of our new “normal “ like the influenza virus has become? Living with the FLU virus has been a huge cost to governments and nations. Imagine the cost of living with the Covid forever? The cost to people’s well-being and the economy will be astronomical…& possibly incalculable.
** Here’s the thing:the ABILITY to ELIMINATE the disease goes down the longer we delay to have EFFECTIVE RESPONSES… to take control of its spread. It will be too late when large numbers of people catch this disease and their mutations and selections will result in adaptations that we just could not possibly manage.
Then we’ve got a HUGE PROBLEM!!
Medicine has come a long way. Yes, it has. The pertinent question is … is this going to be another case of influenza? I feel it will be.
If you look back in history, you will find that hospitals were dangerous places in the 18th century. One eminent Victorian surgeon commented that –
“a patient laid on an operating table … is exposed to more chances of death than the English soldier on the field of Waterloo.”
18th century medicine was not very effective. With all our advances in technology and medicine, can we say that 21st century medicine is ‘effective’ in it’s management of covid?
In the 19th century, Mary Wortley Montagu went back home with the smallpox inoculation/vaccine from Turkey but had a difficult time finding Doctors who would share this with people, given many were not willing to destroy a significant stream of their revenue. Even if it was for the good of mankind. Doctors were looking out for their own self-interests.
After the French Revolution, patients with similar symptoms were grouped together in wards. Doctors started to recognise and treat illnesses as ENTITIES in themselves rather than regarding complaints as being inseparable from individuals.
Is this happening in today’s world? Are beds and access to medical treatment going to be a “bidding war?” will the beds And medical professionals only be given to those with money as it was back in the 19th century?
Medicine … using vocabulary of the Military.
Also, in the late 19th century, medicine started using the vocabulary of the military, referring to diseases and germs similar in concept to enemy invasion.
Words like breakthroughs, defeats, and destruction and “let’s fight this”. Nowadays, they use phrases like ‘we’re in this together’. Like many other scientific metaphors used in the past, these images operated both ways:
Reflecting how illness was conceived
Affecting how foreigners should be treated
Back then, wealthy nations tried to defend themselves against infectious immigrants just as bodies had to be protected against viruses or microbes. This analogy was used. Question is – is it still being used today?
You see, diseases had usually been blamed on foreigners and this case of covid is no different. It also provides new grounds for rationally explaining old fears.
And what are these “old fears?”
Prejudices against race and cleanliness could now be given a “scientific label”. This was utilised by many wealthy nations back in history. Is it still being used now?
Is this one way of the government setting up a screening program to assess citizens health? Are our DNA (through swabs) just another way of science and governments finding out more about each individual? How can this be used against us?
Could the increased awareness through advertising, as “medical security “ really patchy vetting procedures … say, to allow rich immigrants easier process into more wealthy nations? Is this simply a tool to help curb unwanted immigrants?
Governments have had a history of controlling diseases by curtailing individual freedom… which is the same objection given by anti-vaccination supporters.
In science, often what seems straightforward in the labs proves quite complex outside the labs.
Over a century ago, Robert Koch, the German bacteriologist, shot to fame for identifying the organism responsible for Industrial Europe’s biggest killer – tuberculosis (TB).
Even though Koch proved that nobody could catch TB without first, being exposed to the TB, he was unable to explain why only about 10 % of people became infected. What sort of rates exist for the covid? Apart from age, are certain races more at risk?
During Koch’s time, it was found that the “Cure rate” for TB, proved lower than had been hoped. The enemy agent (similar to the covid strain identified today), had been identified but it seemed to leave many potential victims unscathed. Back then, many concluded that many individuals were somehow tainted in advance or had pre-existing conditions that made them more susceptible to getting covid.
Over one hundred years later, society has learned to “live with the disease “ – TB, that is. TB was, only recently, given an identity as a contagious disease that circulates in squalid city slums. A mark of inferiority rather than aesthetic vulnerability.
At one time, to contract TB, was to invite scorn… it was a matter of shame… making it out to be that patients had been picked out rather than innocent victims of neural microbes.
TB was as bad a stigma as contracting syphilis, blamed on prostitutes. Society attitudes stayed this way until towards the end of the 20 th century. Cancer became the new TB…. The big C that could not be mentioned by name.
Given how long it has been for us to respond to the covid strain and managing it, it is highly likely that, we won’t find a cure … but instead, just learn to live with disease, like we did with TB, over the last one hundred years.
A lot of deaths.
A quick reference on Google on world-stats indicates that as of 9th July 2021, there were a little over 4,000,000 covid-related deaths, with the USA heading the tally with > 623,000, followed closely behind by Brazil at 530,000 and then India at > 400,00 and so on. Australia has just under 1,000 deaths. So, there has been over 4 million deaths in just over a year since it began.
A lot of deaths.
In 1999, the American Institute of Medicine published a landmark investigation called “To Err is Human”. It reported that between 44,000 and 98,000 Americans die each year as a result of preventable medical errors.
Lucian Leape, a Harvard professor put it higher (at 120,000 in America alone) estimated that a million patients are injured by errors during hospital treatment.
In 2013, a study done & published in the journal of patient safety put the number of premature deaths associated with “preventable harm “ at more than 400,000 per year (in America, alone). Compare this to the number of deaths caused attributed to Covid and it is comparable. But, no one is alarmed at this knowledge because not much is said about it and so not much is known about it, by the majority of people.
Preventable harm included –
Dispensing wrong drugs
Injuring patient during surgery
Operating on the wrong part of the body
Peter J. Pronovost, professor at Johns Hopkins school of medicine testified at senate pointing out that the deaths was equivalent of two jumbo jets falling out of the sky every day for an entire year! Comparing and saying –
“Every two months, 9-11 is occurring.”
Can you imagine, news headlines repeating information of deaths caused by the crashing of two jumbo jets EVERY DAY! It would cause utter chaos .. that could lead to an up-rising. Possibly. The public has lost a lot of trust in the medical systems and are turning to alternative medicines in droves. Question is why has it got to this point?
Why do we tolerate these numbers …. These stats in preventable harm in this area of life when we would not tolerate it in any other sector? We don’t tolerate the covid-related death toll numbers, so, why has the medical profession knowingly or unknowingly, hid this information from the public … year after year?
Upon further study, you will find that the numbers put preventable error in hospitals as the biggest killer in the United States – behind only heart disease and cancer. Can you imagine that?! Third highest!!
And these are just numbers for the USA, what about when we add all the other numbers from other countries? What sort of numbers would that total to? Highly likely be greater than the 4,000,000 reported deaths relating to covid.
This Affects ALL OF US.
But those numbers are incomplete and definitely higher now.
However, it is not just the number of deaths that should alarm us, there is also the non-lethal harm caused by preventable error. Back in that 2013 study, this equated to about 1000 preventable deaths AND 10,000 preventable serious complications per day …
The problem is not a small group of crazy, homicidal incompetent doctors going around causing havoc. Medical errors follow a normal, bell-shaped distribution.
They occur most often not when clinicians get bored or lazy or malign, but when they are going about their business with diligence and concern … but these mistakes STILL happen!
Imagine the flow-on negative effect it had on the patient, their family and friends, their community and wider.
The Biggest Risk right now, as I see it…
Strong Social connections allow for a better and longer life. There are decades of evidence from communities suffering the reverse phenomenon: the gradual loss of social ties.
A study by James House, published in the journal SCIENCE concluded that social isolation is as dangerous for health as obesity’s, inactivity and smoking. The evidence was as strong as in the landmark US government report that in 1964 officially linking smoking with lung cancer.
The House report says that social isolation is actually more dangerous than lack of exercise and obesity. This is the biggest risk right now, as I see it … in most western societies- deaths exacerbated by social isolation due to covid restrictions.
This is probably the single most powerful behavioural finding in the world.
Social isolation is indeed a death sentence!, I believe, as much a threat to iur survival as hunger, thirst or pain. If individuals are deprived or it – “human contact” (as imposed by covid restrictions), the extreme case is we can start to become attached to innanjmate objects. This is demonstrated by Tom Hank’s character on the movie CASTAWAY, who has a meaningful relationship with a volleyball he calls Wilson.
Will this pandemic lead to increased purchases or innanimate objects for companionship? More sales for the IT industry?
Lesson: this AFFECTS ALL of us.
Why do so many mistakes still happen?
Well, I will leave that for a future blog.
So many questions still left unanswered, about our past … our present …. And our future.
But, as they say …. That is JUST LIFE.
You can choose to enjoy your ‘one life’ and worry about what YOU CAN CONTROL … and NOT WORRY about what YOU CANNOT CONTROL.
May God continue to shower his blessing on you and your family and loved ones,
My gritty Viking Pirate Prince – Zachary, is never too far from me. My role as his dad and father in shaping him in to the Man I imagine him to be be is the most important project I will ever undertake. The same applies to my daughter.
A Few Good Men
I loved the Rob Reiner directed movie – “A Few Good Men”, released in 1992. It starred some of Hollywood’s A-Listers like – Tom Cruise, Jack Nicholson, Kevin Bacon, Cuba Gooding Junior, Demi Moore and so forth. Daniel Kaffee (Tom Cruise), a US military lawyer, defends two US marines charged with murdering a fellow marine at the Guantanamo Bay Naval Base in Cuba. The needle of suspicion, thus, points to a colonel (Jack Nicholson).
Throughout history, long before the marines or SAS or FBI or special forces … God had always been looking for a Few Good Men:
“For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him” (2 Chronicles 16:9a).
“I looked for a man among them who would build up the wall and stand before me in the gap” (Ezekiel 22:30a).
God, give us Men. Real Men.
God give us Noahs: Someone to whom you can trust your mighty plans;
God give us Abrahams: Men who are willing to leave home and homeland to follow your call;
God give us Josephs: Men who would rather endure prison than violate one of your commands;
God give us Moseses: Men who are willing to stand as your mouthpiece against the most powerful leaders in all the world;
God give us Daniels: Men who would rather face a lions’ den than compromise their faith;
Learning and absorbing our habits every single day of their initial phase of their lives is what our young Princes do. Teach them well.
Who are the Real Men?
Have you seen them around?
Let’s name a few that have come forward and ‘spoke out’ and been chastised and ridiculed and effectively ‘tried by media’ before even having a fair trial. To me, they are Men who stand up for what it right … who stand up against Injustice in any shape or form. They are men who stand their ground, even if it means they stand alone. It is for unselfish and most loving men.
Here are a few Men that could be modern-day Noahs, Abrahams, Josephs, Moseses and Daniels: Colin Kapernick; Israel Folau; Quaid Cooper; Russell Brand; Jordan Peterson; Mike Tyson; Mohammad Ali; Malcolm X; Martin Luther King; William Wallace; Luke Sky Walker; Han Solo; The Lord of the Rings; Aragorn; Frodo; Marty McFly from Back to the Future; Bruce Wayne.
Can you name some?
Time spent with your young man is NEVER bad use of your time.
Boys To Men
Do you remember that smooth Men Group called “Boyz 2 Men” that was around in the 90s? I loved a few of their songs, they were very talented singers.
There name gives us a clue to what God gives us. He does not give us Men, he gives us boys …. sons.
The reality is that God DOES NOT give us men – he gives us boys.
To us, as parents, he gives us the task of forging these boys into men.
To help equip us for that task, God has provided the book of Proverbs, which is largely the advice of a father to his son …
Father’s Day is just around the corner for us here in Australia. I look forward to it every year for many reasons. One is seeing the creativity my children demonstrate on that day. I having an overwhelming feeling of gratitude that I have children and have the opportunity to play my role as their dad/father and love them unconditionally.
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.
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.
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.
Question is does school still work or prepare you for work?
Here’s what more schooling does & continuesto teach people –
Take good notes
Cram for tests and dong miss deadlines
Don’t ask questions
Don’t challenge authority
Have a good resume’
Don’t say anything that might embarrass you
Don’t answer back
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 –
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.
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 :
how to THINK 🤔 & find solutions to interesting problems/challenges. We should also be learning how to Think extensively, not intensively.
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 makethe world a better place .. & live a life of significance.
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.
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 –
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
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,
(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.
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.
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
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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