For as long as humans have existed on this Earth our species has been studying the stars, planets, galaxies, and other astrological bodies, as well as their (and our) home - the universe. It is so immense that no one actually knows where it begins or ends. In fact...there isn't a person alive who can be certain that it has a beginning or an end, or...if there aren't other universes. Perhaps we live in a cosmos of multiverses.
Yet, there is one thing that I am sure of - you, my blog reading friend, are most certainly the center of your universe. Okay, you may not be the center of MY universe, but...I can tell you this - without you, your universe wouldn't exist.
You see, everything is relative. No one knows what another person's view of reality is. Nor can we be able to fully understand what goes on in another human's (or for that matter, any other living thing's) mind. So, without you, your universe wouldn't exist. It would cease to be. Or, as Monty Python might (also) say..."It is no more."
Just as the age old question asks, "If a tree falls in the forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?" the same holds true for everything else, including our "universal concepts." In other words...the universe exists for you only because you are in it, can observe or detect it, use your senses to identify it, and call on your (and others') knowledge to "verify" that it is an actual entity.
However, what happens when you're gone? Once YOU'VE ceased to be...does the universe, as you now know it, continue to be "real." A philosophical conundrum? Indeed! But - one that will never be fully answered because of who must answer it.
As we go through life, we are constantly swimming through a sea of concepts and constructs. Many of which are believed by most, some of them believed by many, and a few of them believed by a small number - perhaps just one. So...before you make absolute statements, think about the dilemma each of us faces on a continuous basis, and even then - you may only be right for yourself.
Have fun dissecting things my friends...it certainly is an invigorating exercise - at least it is for one person I know...me!
For the entrepreneur, business is more than just the promise of making money, it's the realization of one's goals. Most entrepreneurs I know, including myself, are goal driven - as opposed to money driven. Any entrepreneur worth his or her salt will tell you that their businesses are a reflection of their dreams. And...if they're lucky enough to make those dreams into reality, and that reality becomes a success (in whatever form that takes), then...the money follows.
As many of you know, I've had some wonderful experiences and successes in my business life. I've also had some endeavors that taught me what not to do. Yet...I still consider myself a serial entrepreneur. Entrepreneurs are risk takers. Some have a higher risk tolerance than others, however, as we've all recently learned - even working for someone else brings with it enormous risks.
When I look at my classrooms full of students, or sit on the stage at commencement, viewing hundreds of graduates as they get ready to go out into the business world, I wonder. Will they be able to find jobs? Will those jobs make them happy? Will their desires be fulfilled?
Today, more and more people have to think about going into business for themselves. Everyone I know...and that includes you, has brilliant ideas - things that could change the world in small or big ways. All it takes is direction, focus, knowing one's strengths and weaknesses, being able to realize when to partner with others and when it can be done alone, and having the tenacity to stick with an idea, set a plan, gather resources, and forge ahead.
I've coached and trained more entrepreneurs than I can count. I've helped them "get on their feet," given them advice, coached them through problems, and guided them so that they could avoid pitfalls and seize opportunities. It's part of what I love to do and is integral to my own entrepreneurial dream.
Sometimes, being business brave can be one of the most invigorating endeavors of a person's life. In today's environment it may be the best choice one can make. So...think about your desires, your plans, your wishes, what motivates you, what inspires you, what makes you (or would make you) want to "get up and go" each morning, and start conceptualizing your future endeavor(s). Life is finite...one's business journey should make a person happy and as contented as possible.
In the societies in which we live, economic survival is based (whether one agrees with it or not) on business and money - yes...they are both mental constructs, but - as with so many mental constructs, we make them real. Therefore, with that reality in mind - think, grow, innovate, and work on building your business dream. There is a sea of opportunities out there. And...you can acheive your business objectives while still being kind, compassionate, sustainable, and also by putting people before profits. Because when people come first...profits usually follow (especially if you understand what it takes to have the margins you need to be successful).
If you can handle the risk...it just might be worth it - in so many ways!
Life coaching has become a catch-all phrase used by all sorts of people and organizations to promote a better, happier, more productive, and successful life. Some people opt for schools (a relatively new phenomenon) that certify folks to be a coach. Of course...who certifies the schools and, more importantly...who certifies and monitors the certifying agency and the certifiers? It's a question, I, and many others have asked. And, just like any other schools and those who attended them, your teacher could have graduated at the top of his or her class or the bottom - yet no one ever asks. In fact - when was the last time you asked your doctor his or her rank in their graduating class? My guess is...never. That notwithstanding, I tip my hat to the thousands of qualified coaches who help millions of people everyday!
I've been coaching people for many, many, years. So long in fact, that I actually had hair on my head when I started and my beard was all dark! I love helping people and thoroughly enjoy it when I, and they, see real progress in their lives. Getting people to understand who they are and why and how they do things, opens up doors for them that they may never have realized. Finding new success in their lives, whether from a business perspective, materialistically, emotionally, or spiritually, never ceases to make me feel wonderful.
One of the greatest things a life coach can experience is when his or her client moves away from fear, insecurity, low self-esteem, jealousy, anger, hate, and self-sabotaging and self-defeating behaviors, and begins to find the person they were hoping to be their entire life.
I began formally coaching in 1972 when I worked with my employees to help them grow and live a happier, more successful life. Now...I coach and train groups, both large (amphitheaters, huge hotel meeting rooms, and banquet halls), and small (corporate conference rooms, classrooms, and individuals' homes and offices). We're, both my clients and myself, always learning. That's why I see my capacity as a university professor as an extension of my coaching and training. I also love the fact that I continue to, through the magic of computers and teleconferencing, coach people all over this amazing planet.
If you are a life coach or have, or will, use the services of a life coach...I salute you. If you're stuck, feel "down," are looking to reach the potential you've always thought you could, want to be more content, happier, more enlightened, have better relationships, or just want to experience that "balance" so many people seem to have lost...perhaps the guidance of a coach can help. But - ultimately, it's up to you to make sure your journey is fruitful.
"You can't tell a book by its cover," has been a mantra against preconceived ideas and prejudice since I can remember. In the materialist societies of today it's as true as it has ever been...if not more. The "book" may be beautiful on the outside, but once a person begins to read it - a very different truth is revealed.
I remember an acquaintance of mine telling me why he dressed like (in his words) "a bum." He was, in fact, a very wealthy businessman whose company's clientele were in (as he put it) "the worst and most dangerous" parts of the city. He himself would often visit his customers and supervise the work. This millionaire, who looked like a sloppy version of the television character "Columbo," drove to his work in an old car and gave the impression that the next words out of his mouth would be, "Do you have any spare change?"
My encounter with him is as clear today as it was when I met him years and years ago. He was a living example of "The Book, The Cover, The Judgment."
How often do people judge others without any knowledge or insight about them? Far too often. Wars, and the killing they bring, are based upon creating an image of the "enemy" as to judge them as less than human. To cause a person to demonize them, and to make it easier to kill them.
About 10 years ago I was speaking with a real estate agent who relayed a story about a couple who bought a house at the top of their budget. So much so, that they couldn't afford furniture to grace their new abode. The wife insisted upon purchasing the home and the husband acquiesced. The agent confided that the pair of new homeowners were not uncommon. She also said that the people who go out of their way to look prosperous were often the folks who aren't. As another friend of mine likes to say, "Big hat...no cattle." The furnitureless couple were the opposite of my "Columbo" friend.
Where does that leave us? Well...it sets us in a place where we must realize that the person you think is "beneath you" is actually your equal (if not..."above you" - if you care to make a judgmental statement like that). The homeless man or woman may have been the boss of a hundred people before they ran into a stretch of "very bad luck." The beggar (as I mentioned on my facebook page) may, in fact, be a prophet. And the wealthy looking individual may actually be wealthy. But how would we ever know unless we get to speak with them, listen to them, and know them as individuals.
Judging people on their looks, their religion, their nationality, their ethnic group, the color of their skin, or any other criteria one may choose, is about as valid as believing that you can exist without breathing. Remember...you are also the subject of someone's preconception. And - until we realize the fallacies of that thought process, we - as individuals and societies - will be caught in a stunted growth cycle.
So remember...while the cover of "the book" may not be immediately attractive to you - you may find, after investigating further, that you are "blown away" by its contents.
We hear the word enlightenment tossed around quite often, but...how does a person become enlightened? What does it really mean? And - "How will we know it when we see it?"
In the this short video I discuss some of the different means used to "achieve" enlightenment and what parts self-separation, rising above one's self, and the capacity of the human mind plays in becoming enlightened. In addition, I cover some of the contents of my new book, "Soaring To Enlightenment - The Secret to Living a Contented Life."
We all know that we live in a universe much greater than ourselves. Yet, understanding the magnitude of our surroundings and the enormous role that energy plays in our environment, our lives, and our individual existence, is not usually discussed in everyday conversations and our educational systems.
I look forward to your comments about this video, your own experiences (relative to enlightenment and the topics discussed), and any other relevant information you would enjoy passing along.
Life is incredible. And...even though we are part of it, embody it, thrive in it, and leave it (in the form we call a person), we rarely think about how astonishing it is.
I recently wrote this post on my Facebook Community Page: "When was the last time you looked at a leaf? Really looked at it...the beauty, the intricacy, the complexity, and the fact that it's alive. Now - think about doing that more often and with more things...including yourself. How amazing this life is - how amazing!"
Do ever stop and thing about you? You...that life force who walks around, breathes, eats, sings, dances, speaks, sees, smells, feels, emotes, and disposes of waste. Wow, you - we...and all the other living things on Earth are...when you ponder it, really incredible machines. We are constantly doing. Even when we "sleep" the molecules within us are moving. Our organs pump and create, cells grow, die, and are born. So many things are happening within us that the number of cells, neurons, synapses, and other life force entities, are so enormous that reading about it boggles the mind. The same mind that's processing that information, allowing us to think, desire, relax, and on and on.
Life is not to be taken lightly. It's constantly moving. Look at your hands, your face, or any other part of your (or any other being's) body and think about the things that are happening on and in you (or them). Many of the organisms that are on our surfaces and in our bodies aren't even what make us a person (dog, cat, cockroach, tree, clam, mouse, etc.) they're aliens. Bacteria, viruses, and other "things" that, without them, we wouldn't be able to exist. They alleviate infections, process our food, and help with our overall metabolism.
We, every one of us, are to be marveled at, embraced, coveted, and admired. We are specimens of life. What more fantastic thing is there in this universe? A universe whose elements are part of us. And - while trillions of activities are happening within us in mere seconds - stop and think how absolutely fantastic life is. It truly is awe inspiring...treat it with respect.
What is this thing we call wisdom and how do we use it?
Growing up I was always aware that some people could be very intelligent but not wise at all. They could be ignorant yet have all sorts of letters behind their name, money in their bank accounts, and have all the trappings of a "successful" lifestyle. How is it possible to be so materially wealthy and so bankrupt of wisdom?
The answer lies within our society. We don't revere wisdom, we revere materialism. It seems that mediocrity is seen as fine, even strived for, as long as it's wrapped in gold. We speak about those we consider wise as though we are looking for Shangri-la or some mystical being who cannot survive in our world today. Wisdom is for the wise and, since our society does not embrace that sort of insight and knowledge...it has become the stuff of myth.
However, it is wisdom that may save us from ourselves. Those who know history, science, and the other "stuff of life," and have accumulated the insight and "good sense" to help guide our societies in order to keep our species alive are certainly needed now more than ever.
If we can pull the curtains back from all the "white noise" and ridiculousness that has accumulated in our culture and stop to look at what we're doing to ourselves, then perhaps...we will be able to cease our self-sabotaging behavior. But - the only way we can do that is if we are able to become wise. Which is not easy when we are fed the meaningless in order to fill the void left by our lack of wisdom.
Wisdom is the pinnacle of mental fulfillment. It is the stuff of enlightenment in the truest sense of the word...to understand and be informed - really informed. If we can reach the stage of being wise, revere wisdom like we do "rock stars" and "reality show "celebrities," then maybe...just maybe, we will be able to survive and thrive as a species. Let's hope we will be guided by wisdom so that we don't collapse through our own ignorance.