Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Profound Gap between Obsession and Indifference

Tweet It!
Have you ever met a an ambivalent success story? Have you ever admired someone or aspired to to achieve their state of nonchalance?

The polar opposite of indifference is obsession. Is this a more favorable disposition? if someone described you as pathologically compulsive, would you feel flattered?

Somewhere between these two states lies our default zone, and as a direct consequence, our capacity to shape our destiny.

Ambivalent people are mostly bit players, and extras in the comedy of life. Life indeed, is something that happens to them, rather than something they direct. Motivation is the fuel that allows one person to run through a brick wall in the pursuit of a goal, indifference provides barely enough fuel to get out of bed.

On the continuum of emotions from indifference up to obsession there are a myriad of complex stimulators and inhibitors that aid or hinder our quests. The problem with obsession is that the narrow focus and lack of peripheral insight repels rather than attracts the object of the obsession. It is an addictive and often self centered pursuit of self gratification.

If you could choose your emotional state (which of course you can), which emotional state would be most conducive to your pursuit of your dreams, goals and aspirations?

This is a simple scale of states you could choose from.

Vague Interest.
Strong Desire

Very few changes in the conditions of our life will ever occur, unless we can find the inspiration and hot button to move us into the state between Strong Desire and Passion. That is the zone in which common folks find the energy to accomplish uncommon goals.

Sadly most people live in the zone between Hope and Vague Desire, which provides neither the energy or motivation to set goals, take action and move out of the comfort zone.

All of us have unimaginable potential to achieve great things, but a combination of lack of belief and unempowering mindsets, inhibit our ability to achieve fulfillment.

Try being a tad obsessed about achieving a significant goal this year, and if you lose traction perhaps you'll slip back into the zone labeled passion!

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Quantum Physics and The Law of Attraction

Tweet It!
It has become popular in recent years to blend the intellectually unfathomable concepts of quantum physics with pop-psychology precepts such as The Law of Attraction.

Can science prove the theories of the philosophers who since time immemorial have built huge and loyal adherents espousing this seemingly mystical observation?
How would you explain the science of Quantum Physics to a 6 year old? It’s like explaining that the world of Lewis Carroll’s ‘Alice in Wonderland’ is the real world and that we live in a parallel world where nothing makes sense.

If I had a world of my own, everything would be nonsense. Nothing would be what it is, because everything would be what it isn’t

Quantum Physics examines matter and energy at an infinitesimally small size, and at this particle level, all the Newtonian Laws of science appear to break down. Even Einstein needed some convincing to accept the empirical evidence.

The essence of this phenomenon is that it confronts our certainties. If you can’t entirely rely on logic and rationality a whole new horizon of possibility thinking emerges.

The Law of Attraction has been the central tenet of personal development authors such as Napoleon Hill and more recently Rhonda Byrne and many are now using the principles of Quantum Physics to support their theories.

As there are perhaps only a handful of scientists capable of coherently expressing or indeed understanding this nebulous concept any attempts by mere mortals to weave philosophy, spirituality, logic and particle physics into something meaningful is destined to be labelled hocus-pocus.

Some concepts that are expressed are as follows:

Thoughts are things.
We attract like-minded people to us.
Everything is energy and in a constant vibratory state.
Visualization manifests actualization.

The lesson here is that the boundaries of the possible and the impossible are becoming blurred. Perhaps nothing is as it appears.

The mistake is probably akin to that of wave-particle observation. Observation changes the nature of what is being observed.

We live in a world of infinite possibility that simultaneously vacillates between elegant order and utter chaos.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Saturday, October 17, 2009

80/20 Book Review

Tweet It!
From time immemorial our elders have preached the merits of working long and hard to succeed. The motto that hard work equates to success is a rational concept, yet upon closer analysis, the empirical evidence doesn’t actually stack up.

Over a 100 years ago an Italian Economist Vilfredo Pareto produced some counter intuitive evidence that seemed to suggest that 80% of Europe’s wealth was controlled by 20% of the population, and this pattern of skewed effort and reward manifested itself in all manner of societal observation.

80% of Crime appeared to be committed by 20% of criminals. 80% of carpet receives 20% of the wear! 20% of Insurance Sales Reps earn 80% of total commissions. You get the point.

Richard Koch examines Pareto’s Principle from both an economics and business management perspective and is unequivocal in his endorsement and the lessons and advantages that can be gleaned from acting in accordance.

Unlike many authors who talk the talk but often fail in the walking department, Koch achieved significant financial success in his private equity investments business, which he attributes to the application of this strange theorem.

Many successful business entrepreneurs attribute much of their success to the application of Koch’s lessons, and this book is frequently quoted as being the most influential and favourite book in many a library.

Some of the lessons that Kock espouses:

“Leverage your own time so that you focus on the things where you add five times more value than elsewhere.”

“Choose a niche that you enjoy and in which you can excel”

“Identify where 20% of effort gives 80% of returns”

“Figure out the 20% of what you do that will contribute the most to your success in the future, then concentrate your time and energy on that 20%”

Anyone who’s ever played golf can probably appreciate the quirky contradiction that the harder you try to hit the ball the less likely it will travel far. The more you relax the better you will perform.

This is a lesson that very few amateur ‘hackers’ will ever truly accept, and therefore continue in their futile attempt to defeat the law of effort and reward. Less effort, concentrated in the pivotal area will always produce the highest degree of reward.

This is a book that takes a little patience to reach its conclusions. The first half reads like an economics manifesto, full of graphs and charts, with statistical analysis that will not be to every one’s palette. The second half however is worth waiting for. There are at least a dozen lessons that if applied can produce some profound changes in your results.

At the risk of sounding banal, you’ll probably find that 80% of the benefits you’ll gain from reading this book will come from a mere 20% of the content!

Thursday, October 15, 2009

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Life Scripts and Metaphors

Tweet It!
Philosophers from all walks of life have burned out innumerable brain cells pondering over the riddle; ‘what is the meaning of Life?’

Since the dawn of civilization emperors kings and queens have built ingenious structures from the blood sweat and tears of their minions in the hope of gleaning some insight into the mystery of our existence.

In a modern day society of empowered freethinking individualism, we have greater reign to express our individuality and posit our beliefs to the teeming masses that jostle and compete for recognition, than ever.

In order to navigate through life without a brain explosion, it is simpler to reduce our search for meaning into basic scripts and metaphors.

Body adornment, including piercings, tattoos and painted faces, have been a symbol of self-expression since we vacated the trees and set forth on two legs chasing some answers.

There is some irony in the fact that consumerism has helped reduce our Individuality to the bland slogans of our clothing brand and bumper stickers on our cars. Inevitably puerile and banal, yet evidence to some degree of what we stand for.

It has become trendy recently to tattoo slogans across bodies. “Such is Life” for example. These labels become self-fulfilling prophecies that can come to define our life experiences. The above example, while outwardly, a devil may care attitude, does perpetuate and reinforce the belief that life is something that happens to us, rather than something that we shape and bend to our will.

The question I am prompting is this. Do we choose our life scripts and labels or are they woven into our lives as a by-product of our peer group influence?
What’s it all about? Life that jigsaw puzzled mystery that consumes so much of our waking hours contemplating and deciphering?

The thought for the day this scribbler is throwing into the melting pot is this:
The metaphor that we use to describe our life defines the meaning of our life. The degree to which we align ourselves to this image determines how much sense and meaning we perceive.

If Love is a battlefield, if you’re an accident waiting to happen, if life is a bed of roses, or a journey, or a gift, or a purgatory, then our sense of fulfillment will be related to how faithfully we adhere to these scripts.

If you could choose a metaphor to express your attitude to life, that would describe what you stand for, what would you choose? Just a thought!