Friday, September 25, 2009

' I Could Have Been a Contender!"

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It was one of the truly memorable great quotes, uttered by Marlon Brando over half a century ago.


"You don't understand! I could've had class. I could've been a contender. I could've been somebody, instead of a bum, which is what I am, Charley, let's face it." Terry Malloy-On the Waterfront (1954)


It resonates, because so many can identify with the plaintive message. We all know people who live in the past and regale us with their stories of what they could’ve done, what they could’ve been, what they could’ve had, if only…


There lies the rub. No one really cares. Lost perceived opportunities exist in the realm of science fiction parallel universes. If you had asked that girl out, if you had got that dream job, if you had given up smoking, if you had started your own business, and any number of alternate choices had been taken, are fodder merely for idle day dreaming and the sustenance of frustration.


The only thing that will ever impact our current reality is that which we actually do in the moment.


We can all be contenders. There is however one very significant hurdle to be cleared, one that very few people will ever scale. Virtually every conceivable and measurable achievement we ever attain will be defined by the limits of our comfort zone.
If ever there was a mislabeled term or misnomer, it has to be ‘the comfort zone’
The gap between our potential fulfillment and the reality of our experience is mostly a factor of fear. Not only fear, but more accurately, perceived fear.
Fear of public speaking, fear of failure, fear of intimacy, fear of success, and fear of any number of illusory shadows in the dark, that are in fact rarely based on actual evidentiary fact.


The ability to extend our comfort zone, will, more than just about any other activity, redefine our future achievements.


Imagine, if you had a momentary insight in to that parallel universe in which you lived the alternate life you were capable of living. Imagine glimpsing the person you could be. Successful, happy, respected by your peers, with an awesome family life, healthy, wealthy and wise.


I would imagine that would be a thoroughly depressing insight to have on your deathbed.
The message therefore is as follows: expand your comfort zone, even incrementally, on a daily basis. Take little risks. Ask for a pay rise. Ask your next-door neighbor, the supermodel, out for coffee. Set some real tangible hardcore goals for yourself that you want to achieve in the next 12 months, and start acting ‘as if’ you can’t fail.


You are a contender, every instant of your life, and the shackles around your neck are imaginary, as is the comfort zone that you inhabit.
Just a thought!



Monday, September 21, 2009

The Most Famous Person You've Never Heard Of!

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I’m going to make an assumption, so please bear with me. I’m guessing you may be familiar with the names of some of the winners of any number of reality shows, such as ‘Idol’, ‘Biggest Loser’, ‘Dancing with the Stars’ and perhaps even the winner of Miss World. If for no other reason than by osmosis, from seeing the magazine headlines that abound.


My second assumption is that you’re not up to speed on the works of Norman Borlaug. Me neither. I spotted a small obituary recently hidden in the depths of a celebrity gossip filled newspaper, that caught my eye, and made me question, why I’d never heard of this chap.


Agronomists, humanitarians and Nobel Laureates are generally not too well known, unless they simultaneously have rock icon status or adopt third world children to parade on the red carpets of the world.


So who is Dr. Norman Borlaug? Well as C.V’s go, I doubt you can ever hope to better his. He is credited with having saved more lives, an estimated Billion, than any other person in history! That’s not a typo! Incidentally that equates to almost as many people that were alive when he was born nearly 100 years ago.


For a sneak preview of this remarkable person’s achievement I’d recommend taking a few minutes to check out some Wikipedia citations. Suffice to summarize: Gorlaub spent most of his life in the pursuit of eliminating global starvation, by means of dramatically increasing crop yields. He was responsible for developing wheat strains that were semi-dwarf, high yield and disease resistant.


In the mid 1960’s there was a very real fear that crop yield would not support a population of more than 4 billion. Yet between 1965 and 1970, Borlaug’s intervention, helped avert an unprecedented famine scenario in Mexico, India, Pakistan and China. It is estimated that his discoveries have contributed to a quadrupling of food production.
Remarkably, this trend in global food production has expanded faster than population growth. The new estimates for population sustainability are now in the vicinity of 10 billion.


Sometimes the work of scientists can seem drab and uninspiring, and yet if some of these unseen heroes were feted with just a fraction of the idolatry that the latest manufactured celebrity receives, then I believe many of us uninformed consumers of the mass media production line would be genuinely inspired.


I’m not sure if Mr Gorlaub had matinee looks or dated a model or two, but I believe society would be well served by at least being aware of his impact.


Who’s inspired you lately?


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Coming Soon-My Pet Monkey Online.....

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There's something afoot. I will be introducing a unique character to the Information Marketing World who will revolutionize how how you view this terrain and utterly change the landscape as you know it. He is currently working on his totally unique 'whois' page whilst simultaneously launching his personal brand that he likes to call "Gorilla Marketing". His name is Nigel and I promise his impact will astonish! On that cryptic note I'll depart for now. Tune in or pop over to Kiaranfinn.com for my Free Report and sneak preview

Monday, September 7, 2009

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

The Two Key Factors that will Determine your Success in every area of your Life

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On a daily basis I observe stressed out puffed out, morbidly obese, frustrated,underpaid emotional bankrupts stumbling blindly through the daily monotony that defines their mortality and bereft of any enthusiasm, joy or hope.

So who these people are that I’m hanging out with! I’d guess they’re the same poor souls you notice everyday vacuous with funereal expressions in cubicles, factories, shops or commuting in cars, buses and trains.

We don't live in some Dickensian world of poverty, rather in a modern golden age surrounded by abundance. In a world of unparalleled opportunity,where the barriers of social standing no longer inhibit upward mobility, how is it that the barometer of health and happiness, often labeled 'Life balance' seems to be so out of kilter?

Stress, obesity, frustration, and empty relationships are mostly a manifestation, not of unfortunate luck or inherent genetic flaw but something profoundly simpler. I'll call it 'sclerosis of the attitudes'. This is obviously a play on words, referring to that other devastating health issue: the hardening of the arteries.

I have studied the subject of self concept, belief, value systems, and the degree to which it is a predictor of general well-being. yet whilst feeling good about ourselves undoubtedly is of huge benefit in attracting positive energy of people and circumstances in to our lives, it doesn’t answer the question; How to you acquire this magical state of being?

The two magic ingredients that will propel you to untold heights of attainment in any area of your life are the following. Wait for the drum roll! Inspiration and Aspiration.

Aspiration is the visualization or goal that you desire to achieve. Much frustration in life is a factor, not of unfulfilled dreams, but rather the emptiness left in the absence of a precise measurable target. The comfort zone of familiarity is often a bleak place, and alas often a prison of our own making, This failure to spot the horizon and the possibilities that lie just beyond, tie us to our worlds of quiet desperation.

Inspiration is the ingredient that enables obese people to lose 60KG’s in six months after a lifetime of misery. That motivates a blind person to scale Everest, a mother to work three jobs to send her kids to private school and factory workers to become over night self-made millionaires in their spare time.

Curiously, these chains that bind us to the status quo are often a eureka insight instant away from being lost forever. There is often a moment of clarity that precedes all great success.

It might be a word of encouragement or a television documentary that inspires us to make decisions and take new actions. Occasionally it can be that moment when we reach rock bottom. That moment of darkness before the dawn when we finally become sick and tired of being sick and tired and truly decide that something must change, and it must change now.

For some people this moment happens at a young age, for some in middle age and alas for the majority it never happens. The beauty of this insight however is how simple it is to implement, and thus utterly change your life experiences.

30 minutes invested in brainstorming and committing to paper your dreams hopes and aspirations is the first step.

The second step is marginally more difficult. Find a role model. Or two or three. If you want to lose weight, then simply Google the topic, jump on to YouTube and find someone that you can relate to, connect and get inspired. The inspiration will motivate you to take action.

If you are in an unhappy relationship, then decide what you want. Either take the steps to make the relationship work or ‘get the hell out!’ At the risk of upsetting some people “this ain’t no dress rehearsal”

If you underwhelmed by your job, or are financially embarrassed, then look for mentor or role model whose been down that road and achieved success. There are people achieving outstanding success online everyday with relatively little investment in time and money. Take some action steps. Make some connections and get out of that less than comfortable default zone, fast.

Inspiration and aspiration will ultimately define your future success in every area of life. Enjoy your journey!

Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Doomsdayers, Geniuses and the Nonsense of Scarsity Economics

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I am always amused when I hear an opinion prefaced with the statement; "I'm no rocket scientist but..." The implication being that you don't need to be a genius to debate a subject. It's amusing because the passing of time often renders yesterday's "rocket scientists" as naive in the extreme, and more often than not, patently wrong in their predictions. no doubt the original flat Earth Society were highly regarded for their insight at the time.

You may never have heard of Paul Ehlrich, or Thomas Malthus unless you have an interest in the economic principles of scarcity. In fact Malthus died back in 1834. His Principle 'The Malthusian Catastrophe' however lives on.

Mr Ehlrich published a couple of best selling books between 1968 and 1971, including ‘Population Explosion', ‘Eco-Catastrophe', (that word again!), and ‘The End of Affluence’,. At the time they were the best selling environmental books to date, selling millions of copies. These were the epitome of doomsday thinking.

So well regarded was his work that he received the ‘prestigious’ Macarthur Foundation Genius Award in acknowledgment of his ‘wisdom’. Why the parentheses you ask? Well, remember the aforementioned Malthus? He was the chap that declared in volumes of scientific rhetoric, that the price of societal improvement and welfare was impending doom, manifested as epidemic, pestilence, plague and starvation. You see the principle of scarcity states that in a world of limited resources there can be no place for aspiration to achieve.

Presumably we should live in huts and embrace a life of privation and subsistence. Happy times! Paul Ehlrich inhabits the same doomsday world as Malthus. His best selling books that garnered him his reputation including his ‘genius’ award, predicted apocalyptic disasters on a scale never before seen. Hundreds of millions would starve to death. Famine, plague and societal disintegration would become the norm. Indeed the world as we know it would collapse like a house of cards. When will this happen, you might ask? Ehlrich was remarkably specific. During the 1970’s!

I must admit to being perplexed as to the predictions his vanquished competitors came up with in the ‘genius’ award category, if he won! In a previous article I asked ‘Is Truth a Myth?’ and facetiously postulated that truth is entirely contextual and biased by our subconscious belief and value systems, which are largely a factor of our cultural up-bringing. Hindsight is a great ally when predicting and forecasting outcomes.

At the other end of the Truth spectrum is Julian Simon, who won a famous bet with Ehlrich, that resources actually drop in price over time and therefore are not scarce, and by predicting that contrary to the assertion that we live in a world of scarcity, we actually live in a world of untold abundance. The air is cleaner. We use less land to produce more food, thanks to the ubiquitous Corn Economy, that accounts for so much of our food and packaging.

The point here is not to gloat over the misguided predictions of past scholars, but it is interesting that negative doom and gloom catastrophe and impending apocalypse is easier to sell than the more likely script, which is that the power of innovation to replace and refine our technologies is inevitably more likely.

All innovation starts with the seed of a ‘what can we improve?’ question. Doomsayers prefer to build their audience on the Principles of Malthus and Ehlrich. Maybe the doomsdayers are right but their timing is out. It seems to me however that given a choice,I'd prefer living a life of optimism, aspiration and enthusiasm, which is profoundly more fulfilling than that proposed by the aforementioned 'rocket scientists'.