Posts Tagged ‘Dreams’

As the Paradigm Shifts #H: Hope and Hogwash

by Rosie Kuhn on June 1, 2011

Many years ago, before I had any sense of spirituality, a friend of mine, a practicing Buddhist shared with me that most of us are constantly immersed in thoughts that are driven by hopes and fears. Think about that for a moment … My thoughts coalesce around either fear-based monologs or I’m hoping for good stuff and not bad stuff. There is a lot of energy going in that direction, eh?

As I mentioned a couple of weeks ago, 70% of the time we are thinking negative thoughts. When I’m being fearful or being hopeful I’m not open to being here, in this moment. I’m not allowing new opportunities and ideas to emerge with which to engage. I’m not being with what is, I’m being with what could be that’s either going to turn out the way I hope or the way I fear it to be. What is unavailable while consumed in these unending internal conversations?

Our current paradigm has us feel as though we are trapped and victims to our current circumstances. This is absolute HOGWASH!

If and when we get totally honest with ourselves we come to discover how incredibly powerful we are to manifest limitations beyond our wildest dreams. Yes, you read that correctly. We brilliantly empower ourselves to disempower ourselves. Remaining within this current paradigm will forever more require you to live within your hopes and fears and nothing more.

Abandoning Hope

Hope springs eternal and is so essential to our sense of well-being.

On the other hand, I’ve found that when used as a strategy to avoid the truth of our current circumstances, hope interferes with possibility. Hoping is actually not a very empowering strategy. The strategy of hoping leaves the power in the hands of the Universe. As we hope that the will of God or our Higher Power in on our side, are we relinquishing power and courage to change the things we can? We have to look at our own relationship to hope if we are going to participate in this paradigm shift. How am I being while I’m hoping? Am I being hopeless, helpless and powerless while I’m hoping? Or, am I engaged with actions that will bring about a more likely and favorable outcome?

My friend and colleague Michael Sky died yesterday of cancer, here on Orcas Island. Not only was Michael a friend but he was a support person for me and my business.

Michael had been ill for some time, yet no matter what his circumstances, we never gave up hope that Michael would remain with us in physical form. It wasn’t until he actually died did hope die too. It’s a terrible thing to be with – the loss of hope. Promised miracles and magic that continually inspire us to live one day to the next, vanish. We are left with nothing and no thing to believe in. We struggle to understand why. There are no answers forthcoming.

I believe that to surrender hope takes us outside the domain of our humanity, back to the Source of all that is. For most of us, this moment of transcendence is far too uncomfortable. Our mind struggles to make sense – in hopes of finding concrete rationalization for what cannot be understood; only accepted.

Sometimes abandoning hope is actually the miracle. It may be what is required in order to shift what is currently impossible to be possible.

“Grant me the Serenity to accept the things I cannot change, the courage to change the things I can and the wisdom to know the difference.”

Letting go of hope frees us to look at life and our circumstances differently. It is not easy and effortless to take this leap of faith. Opening of our hearts, flooding ourselves with innovation, surrendering attachments; the result of which is to soar beyond our limited thinking – isn’t this what we are all wanting? Isn’t this why organizations hire executive coaches and consultants to create think tanks, so as to produce results through simulated means? Yes, they work to a degree, yet too often the facilitators of change guard against their participants actually leaping the full measure, of which we have no comprehension. How does one steward an individual through a leap of faith?

I have no doubt that this is where spirituality in business will be taking our organizations. Corporations are desperate to discover ways to shift their business. Eventually they will reveal that the seat of every employee contains the wisdom and the brilliance they are looking for. Let’s hope that realization comes soon!

Flexible Focus #50: The Art of Idea Capture

by William Reed on April 21, 2011

Capture Your Ideas, Capture Your Dreams

The quest to capture ideas is ancient and universal to all cultures. It is part of our DNA. The Native American Dreamcatcher bears a synchronistic resemblance to the Mandala in this illustration even down to the 8 sections. In Asian cultures the Mandala is often rendered in circular form. It’s meaning and beauty are evident to us in the physical form, and in the name, Dreamcatcher. We may need to be reminded that to capture your ideas is also to capture your dreams.

Until you start capturing your ideas on paper, or rendering them in some physical form, you may never realize what an astonishing amount of your experience floats by and is lost in the disconnected drift of time.

We need to notice, and to help others become aware of the significance of our insights, because each of us can offer another perspective on life, another degree of flexible focus. Artists, writers, and teachers cultivate the sills to take the raw material of experience and shape it into forms which enchant, entertain, and enlighten the people who engage with their works.

This is nourishment for the mind and food for the senses. Yet you need not be entirely a passive consumer of other people’s creations. You can cultivate the habit of creating your own forms of expression, if you just capture your ideas, dreams, and experiences.

Make a Wish and Write it Down

The best way to do this is to write down your ideas as they occur. We have introduced various tools for capturing your ideas, both digital and analog methods for capturing and organizing your ideas in a Mandala Chart. But even if you know how, you may not be motivated to start until you understand why.

If you start with your dreams it is easier to kindle your motivation to capture them and make them come true. Why not start with a Wish list?

You can organize it into 8 categories, as Takezawa Nobuyuki has done in a Japanese publication called the Mandala Chart Wish List, designed as an insert for the Mandala Chart Day Planner. It contains sample Wish ideas in each of the 8 categories of life, as well as space to write down up to 300 wishes of your own. This was inspired by the Barbara Ann Kipfer’s book, The Wish List, which contains close to 6,000 wishes as an inspiration, a virtual to do list for life.

The very process of keeping track of wishes is valuable, both our own and those of the people we care about. Reading a list of this length can stimulate your own imagination, but ultimately it is the process of creating and cultivating your own Wish List which will set your dreams in motion. The process of adding to and reviewing your Wish List has power.

All too often we succumb to inertia, shorten our sights and our insights, and compromise our dreams by giving up too easily on that which calls to us, that which could be had with a little imaginative effort. As Charlie Chaplin said in his classic film LIMELIGHT (1952), “Life can be wonderful if you’re not afraid of it. All it takes is courage, imagination, and a little dough.”

Revive an Old Tradition

The idea of capturing your ideas into a notebook is a old tradition which seemed to fall out of favor as published books of other people’s ideas became commonly available. I wrote about this tradition, the custom of keeping a Commonplace Book, begun in the Italian Renaissance, in an article called Make Your Mark, and how we can revive it today. Notebooks have been kept by the great geniuses in the arts, sciences, and invention, and it is no coincidence that those who kept the most copious illustrated notes were also those who were most prolific in their chosen field of endeavor.

Ideas in their early stages are like shapeless lumps of clay. They do not take shape until you knead them, stretch them, mold them into shapes that you see in your imagination, and bring them to life.

Michelangelo (1475~1564) described the process in this way: “In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away the rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to other eyes as mine see it.” It is hard to imagine a more perfect description of dream capture.

So capture your ideas on paper in a notebook or wish list, organize them on a Mandala Chart, and share your dreams with those who can help you, and whom you can help in return. In our highly connected world, in a world where we can literally collaborate in the clouds, where we can cross barriers of language, culture, and geography in an instant, this should be easier than ever before.

Don’t simply admire the Dreamcatcher, become one/

Flexible Focus #49: The eight frames of life: Personal

by William Reed on April 14, 2011

The Mandala Mirror

In the Mandala view, it is in the Personal frame of life that you meet yourself and address your personal issues. This is a space for reflection, but of a particular kind, and this is where the Mandala Chart provides a unique perspective.

We spend a lot of time interacting with the things and people outside of us. We need to spend some time as well exploring the world within.

Reflection is deep thinking. Looking deep into the reflection, rather than just at the surface of the mirror. This is a space for clarity and insight, not for melancholy or self-importance. You meet yourself in the mirror, the person that has been with you from the beginning and will be with you until the end.

You may think you know yourself pretty well by now, but ask yourself deeper questions concerning your mission and core message, and you will understand the need for deeper reflection to discover your living legacy. Your personal happiness is related in part to the time you spend in front of this Mandala Mirror, and what you do about it as a result.

The Mandala Mirror is quite different from the mirror of Narcissus, the proud and self-admiring hunter of Greek mythology, who died for being unable to leave his own reflection in the water. The Greek roots of the word Narcissus mean sleep or numbness, a far cry from the clarity of self-knowledge.

Personal Growth

Personal is an adjective. It works best when it modifies a noun, such as personal growth, personal development, personal happiness.

Personal development is about helping yourself to change in positive ways. Many books have been written in the self-help genre, but one author, Tom Butler-Bowdon, has undertaken a remarkable project which took ten years to complete, in which he read, reviewed, and summarized the essence of 50 classic books, from ancient to modern, in each of five categories. He published these in a series: 50 Self-Help Classics, 50 Success Classics, 50 Spiritual Classics, 50 Psychology Classics, and 50 Prosperity Classics.

What kind of a perspective does such a massive project give you? His selection spans world religions, cultures, philosophies, and even centuries of time. Each classic book is summarized, culling out the key points, including comments to put the author and the book in the context of why it was written. Each review includes a list of books which were influenced by that classic or share a similar view. Certainly a great deal of reflection went into the 50 classics project, and the author takes you on a reflective journey through the books of its leading lights.

Tom Butler-Bowdon spoke at the Speakers for Business Showcase 2011, at which he discussed the perspective this project gave him on such important topics as motivation and personal growth. In this talk he says he learned through this project that real personal transformation and lasting change is far more likely to come through the disciplined application of the strategies revealed in these works, rather than the emotional enthusiasm espoused by many motivational speakers in this field.

You can download a 50 Classsics PDF Mandala Chart showing the covers of his books and website which I created as an overview of his work.

Make a Wish List

The Personal frame of the Mandala Chart does not need to be used exclusively for deep reflection. It can also be used for constructive daydreaming, positive thinking, and image training to improve your condition or performance.

This is perhaps one of the most enjoyable uses of the Mandala Chart, because you get to use your imagination in the service of making yourself a better person, and living a better life. This is best achieved of course by helping and improving the lives of others. There is no happiness in hedonistic self-absorption.

But rather than drifting in fantasy, it is best to capture your wishes on a list. The Mandala Chart helps you organize your list into categories, and focus on implementation as well. Your wishes might be related to improvements in your character, behavior, or performance. The discipline of gradual improvement and repetition is also important. You don’t just wave a magic wand and expect your wish to come true.

Because presumably you will wish for things that you want, the element of pleasure and anticipation can lend just enough to incubate your wishes until they hatch. Then you can cultivate and nurture them as they grow. This is where dreams come true.

Flexible Focus #28: The Principle of Innovation

by William Reed on November 18, 2010

When it comes to innovation, for the vast majority hindsight is 20/20. “Why didn’t I think of that?” These are the famous last words of those who wonder why someone else always beats them to it with a new innovative product or solution. The reason is simple. Innovation is an intuitive process, and unless you tap into intuitive thinking, it is most likely to escape you.

Intuitive thinkers are comfortable in the world of ambiguity and possibilities, and tend to be quite good at connecting the dots which others never seem to notice. Intuitive thinkers are constantly discovering and creating new constellations, while non-intuitive thinkers stick with the familiar constellations. This changes of course, when a previously unknown constellation becomes known. After a new product, such as the iPad comes on the scene, it isn’t long before a host of imitators follow in hot pursuit.

You don’t have to look back too many years to see that at any period of history, even among experts what passed for common sense was completely overturned by new insights and innovations. Read a few quotes of the things people said when making Bad Predictions. Particularly in the area of telecommunications, computers, and transportation, where innovative technology has transformed our world, time and again expertise comes with an expiration date.

Innovation is about foresight, not hindsight. How then can we develop the ability to see clearly through the clouds, and use flexible focus to master the Principle of Innovation?

Desire to discover

The motive power of the innovative mind is curiosity, the desire to discover what is beyond the obvious. Heraclitus, the pre-Socratic Greek philosopher whose thesis was that change was a central principle of the universe, spoke as a true innovator in saying that, “Hidden connections are stronger than obvious ones.”

This applies even when there is no obvious tangible treasure to be gained. Leonardo da Vinci, one of the greatest innovative geniuses of all time, was so fascinated with cloud patterns, moving water, and even the patterns of stains on a wall, that he recorded them in sketches and wrote extensively about the patterns of nature in his notebooks.

Progress in learning a foreign language or musical instrument depends on intense curiosity to explore deeper, without which the process of practice would be tedious and tiresome. When a Japanese calligrapher was asked what motivated him to keep on practicing, seemingly surprised by the question, he responded that it was a continuous process of surprise and discovery. To a curious mind, practice is its own reward.

Inside, outside, and beyond the box

In Japan, the process of innovation actually begins with mastering an established pattern. This is true in all of the traditional arts and crafts, and each school starts by teaching the well-established master patterns. However, at some point students are expected to break from the pattern and explore variations on the master theme. Ultimately, the process of mastery involves freedom to improvise. Known as 守破離 (shū ha ri), the literal translation of the characters is defend-break-leave, as in defend the pattern, break free, leave behind.

This approach to innovation involves thinking inside, outside, and beyond the box. The Mandala Chart is practically designed for this purpose, which is excellent training for flexible focus.

Wealth Dynamics Square

Learning from the Wealth Dynamics Square

The Wealth Dynamics Square shown here was developed by Roger J. Hamilton, to graphically represent how the 8 personality profiles are positioned on the vertical axis of Intuition vs Timing, and the horizontal axis of Extrovert vs Introvert. These are terms originally developed by Swiss Psychologist Carl Jung, the founder of Analytical Psychology.

The Wealth Dynamics Square in effect is a Mandala divided into four triangles and eight profile points. As a navigational compass for entrepreneurs it is unsurpassed.

In this diagram the intuitive process of Innovation takes place in the green triangle at the top of the square. This is DYNAMO energy, represented in Chinese philosophy by the element of Wood, with growth in the Spring season. The three profiles across the top of the square are MECHANIC (山 mountain ), CREATOR (天 heaven ), and STAR (雷 lightning ), all of which represent mystery and high places, the dwelling place of innovation.

The Wealth Dynamics profile is not a point, but rather a shape crossing each of the four triangles in a radar graph. The profile of each person contains a percentage of each of the four energies, DYNAMO, BLAZE, TEMPO, and STEEL, and the person’s profile type is determined by the one that has the largest area in the graph. For more information on how to interpret the Wealth Dynamics Square, visit the Find Your Flow page on my website.

Learn from the Masters of Innovation

Though quite different in style, each of the profiles in the DYNAMO energy range has a special talent when it comes to the process of innovation.

CREATOR is the purest form of this energy, and famous Creators include Leonardo da Vinci, Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Bill Gates, and Steve Jobs.

The Innovation Secrets of Steve Jobs, by Carmine Gallo, is an excellent resource available for people in any profile to learn from one of the undisputed masters of innovation. Carmine Gallo has been interviewed extensively about this book, as well as the preceding volume, The Presentation Secrets of Steve Jobs.

Innovators lead, imitators follow. Jobs himself described imitators as being like “Someone who’s not cool trying to be cool. Painful to watch.”

According to Gallo, the Seven Principles of Innovation are:

  1. Do what You Love
  2. Put a Dent in the Universe
  3. Kick-Start Your Brain
  4. Sell Dreams, Not Products
  5. Say No to 1,000 Things
  6. Create Insanely Great Experiences
  7. Master the Message

And he illustrates these not just with the achievements of Steve Jobs, but with other companies which have also mastered the process. Gallo gives us seven principles. Why not eight? Use your imagination to fill in the eighth principle as your own creative motto, whatever phrase triggers the creative process for you. You can download an INNOVATE LIKE STEVE JOBS Mandala to get started, but get the book to keep going.

Take a master for your mentor. Just remember to emulate, not imitate