Wednesday, August 22, 2007

unplug and reset...

"if the 20th century was the century of bloodshed, then the 21st century must be the century of dialogue." Dalai Lama
from his book "How to See Yourself As You Really Are"

to put this statement in context, His Holiness was speaking about the fact that since the world is becoming so much smaller now and all nations are intertwined as one and so inflicting pain on one is like inflicting pain on ourselves. i'd like to think that also he was suggesting that with the invention of new technologies such as the ones i'm using at this very moment, we have a grand opportunity to reach out and communicate to all humankind about peace and happiness rather than engaging in war.

living in personal harmony cannot be established if one is overly focused on business or work, forgetting to take time to recharge their spirit and soul. by the same token we all must make a living so for me business is a method of doing this with the added benefit that i really enjoy it and it supports my life goals and endeavors. a question i have for many clients is does their business do the same or does it "own" them.

the Dalai Lama goes onto say that world peace may be achieved if every nation was willing to approach the idea of cooperation with a serious commitment to "giving" to their fellow human being. unfortunately the realist in me suggests that this is a pipe dream albeit a really great dream. now should that stop people like the Dalai Lama, you and i from promoting such an idea? of course not. i agree that we are so interconnected now that one nation of people simply cannot lift a finger without directly effecting many others and so the level of geopolitical complexity has risen considerably in recent years. yet, what the Dalai Lama speaks of is so simple a concept that it may be able to cut through this complexity like a hot knife through butter.

so how do these issues and ideas affect the small business owner? simple, first you're a human being and can choose to be a giving one or greedy self-centered one. choose "giving".

in addition, the world is small or if you're thomas friedman you would call it "flat" this is a massive advantage for the savvy business owner and so if you can for example leverage technology to reach a larger audience/market and do it in such a way so as to make yourself more effective that's a good thing in my mind.

however, simply leveraging technology to increase effectiveness isn't a direct answer to a happier life or more successful business results. strong behavioral changes must also take place when using technology to address the increase in knowledge transfer or "digital noise". for example, we're addicted to checking emails every few minutes, voicemail, taking meetings like crazy when out of control is a recipe for wasted time and inefficiency. With this in mind, i've witnessed that some people are operating under a falsehood which is "if i always look busy others will think that i must be important, successful and relevant" WRONG. so if my cell is always ringing, email pinging, meetings stacked up I'm a cool wheeler dealer (technical term). if this is you (and it's ok to be honest here as you're among friends) then you need to buy this book immediately. "the 4-hour work week" by timothy ferriss it's time to "unplug and reset". this is something i'm doing and so blogging daily isn't going to happen anymore. (it hasn't for awhile anyway).

i've incorporated what i'm calling "zen days" into my schedule, this is essentially time i take to reflect and define my life. i'm reducing the digital noise and ridding myself of the compulsion to check emails like a crazed lunatic...

then once those changes are in full effect and i am more at peace, i/we can all spend more time, effort and dialogue on more meaningful wholesome global pursuits such as world peace, the elimination of poverty, increased access to education and prosperity for all concerned. at home we can spend more time with family, friends, health, hobbies and our life long learning pursuits...for example, i'm learning the spanish language, walking more, eating better, taking more photographs and playing with my daughter daily along with regular date nights with my wife.

remember i'm not saying not to use email or tech, just use tech more wisely, outsource your life and spend more time focused on your ideal life purpose rather than simply waiting or driving the need for the next email, phone call, meeting or deal.

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