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Integrate Magazine

Raise your perspective. Wake up your ideals.

Considerations #08 – Time

In a world of relatively swift outcomes, you cannot ignore the rule of time. Whether recovering from surgery, mending a relationship, overcoming anxiety or the birth of a child, time is the critical element. A mystery of life, is that situations do not resolve quickly, they take an evolutionary path towards conclusions. And even the conclusions are not instant, but take their own time to ponder and understand. Each circumstance has its own gestation period. It is something you cannot rush. I believe it requires experiencing the moments along the path to resolutions. Hurrying past the difficulties will not sustain the outcomes.

Heat treat is a manufacturing process, of controlled heating and cooling of material to alter their physical and mechanical properties. Surviving the heat treat process the components are stronger. If there are imperfections the components will be destroyed by the process. I feel this applies to human behavior as well. The strength of the part, like a gear, withstands the pressure of its mating gear under heavy loads. Heat treat is both temperatures and time. So too with us the temperatures of circumstances must evolve thru their time to succeed.

I am convinced that labor precedes all new life, whether the birth of a child or a new venture. When you understand and accept this mystery of life, it will ease your anxiety. Even more so it will deliver a more profound effect.

Considerations #07 – Ron

This week I lost my brother and my friend. We reconnected in the past decade. When life brings family, work, and responsibilities, it is easy to drift apart. This is especially true in this global environment when we live in different states and travel to other places. We were close growing up and fortunate to restore our brotherly relationship. Ron was a kind and caring soul. Our chess games, had me focusing while Ron read a book, watched TV, and talked to others – and he always won! His sudden and unexpected death leaves a hole.

My wish for you dear reader, is not to chance missing out because of busy schedules. No matter how long it has been, there is still time to reconnect. Friends and family offer the opportunity to live a better life. Ron like a candle, when the fire goes out there remains the lingering smoke – the essence left behind, that will always be a part of all he encountered. This is our legacy – to add something to others. That our essence leaves a fragrance that becomes a part of us. Thank you Ronnie for being my brother and friend.

Considerations #06 – Misdirection

Magic succeed using the art of misdirection. The art of misdirection goes way beyond magicians! It is a skill practiced by both entertainers and those seeking to deceive. In writing on different subjects, it is not my intention to “sell” you my ideas. Celebrating a variety of views, present different landscapes that offer new horizons. The challenge is seeing both the forest and the trees. And most importantly distinguishing how the elements flora and fauna impact the health of the forest itself. My intent is to offer crap detecting techniques to augment your navigating through the woods. It is like the lighthouse illuminating the path to the harbor. The purpose of the lighthouse (GPS) is to identify the dangers. You are responsible for steering the ship to safety.

The threats to your navigating life come from many sources. The 24/7 digital dissemination of data has hidden agendas. Misdirection is the means for pressing self-serving objectives. You are responsible for deciphering the wheat from the chaff. Consider the methods for creating misdirection. When an agenda intends to disadvantage for their profit them there are subtle clues.

The first step is to package their intention via attractive labels. Instead of identifying a proposal as a tax increase, they call it tax reform. The next step is to overload the proposal with numerous explanations that offer and confuse the issue. Statements about the benefits, that under the light are not plausible. The next step is to find others who will benefit from this. Frequently modifying the proposal to secure support. Then they create a chorus of voices, that overwhelm the message. Sheer use of force makes something happen that hurts you.

Start with the label. Look at the proposal. Does it square with the label? If something does not seem right, it most probably is not right. If it quacks like a duck, walks like a duct, then it is a duck!

Considerations #05 – Services

There is a need for public and private services to supply the needs of the community. Public services are governmental responsibilities. Whereas, private services allow you the time to research the best economic options.

When your house is on fire, you do not have the time to negotiate. Thus, government is the proper solution for this type of service. The urgency and neighborhood risk are the paramount determination. Other times like looking for food, household appliances you are afforded the opportunity to shop for the best solution. Thus, you use common sense and economic factors because you have the time to decide.

The irony is that the most critical voices are those of politicians. The individuals responsible for these decisions complain the most, especially at election time. It is time for government servants to use common sense and reality to determine the best means for ensuring effective services. The purpose of this consideration is to acknowledge that services have both a public and private domain.

Considerations #04 – Mishaps

One of the mysteries of life is that you will encounter bumps in the road. Sometimes these are annoying potholes and then there are sinkholes. These mishaps or tragedies happen regardless of any planning or cautions. When this happens, you are left with two choices. Focusing on the event or situation itself; you become the victim. And yes, you were victimized! When you live with this mindset, you remain as the victim. The only recourse that will overcome the negativity of the situation is to redirect your energy to how you deal with what happened. Easier said than done.

To help with moving beyond the mishap there are several ideas that will help. First, eliminate the guilt thing. Stuff happens! Looking back, you may see something you would do different. Dwelling on this will not change your situation. Second, recovery takes time. Leverage the consequences of the event to see new horizons. You acknowledge the reality of your situation, Then, take steps to move beyond it. Be patient, but be aggressive in looking forward.

Guilt, anger, and feeling sorry for yourself is natural, you just want to live there!

Considerations #03 – Anxiety

The physiological reaction to fear and anxiety is designed to prepare you for flight or fight. The difference is that in fear there is a physical object threating you. In anxiety, there is no physical object. However, the threat is real – preparing your mind and body for defense. In fear when the physical object disappears the body returns to normal function.

Anxiety is the result of your fear of the unknown – no object for you to see. To restore the body (via your mental fight or flight), you need to manifest a surrogate object. A technique I find helpful is to write down your feeling of the threats. When you visualize – the fog lifts, and you can determine how to handle and minimize the menace. The danger is the unknown. This alone is responsible for heightening anxiety. The solution is to unmask to eliminate these foreboding.

Considerations #02 – Money

Money is a method for exchange of goods, ideas, performance, etc. This is the basic purpose of money. Money, itself, has no value. The value of money is set by the markets, exchange rates, and agreements for exchange of labor or thoughts. Thus, money is the means and not the end. Money provides the means for other activity including but not limited to food, shelter, entertainment, education, etc. Most people also strive for a better life, and money provides you the ability to explore opportunities.

Enterprises use money to compensate you towards achieving the goals and objectives of your organization. While there are non-monetary compensations, the grocer will only take money. How you compensate the key personnel in your enterprise, defines the future of the organization. If your bonus depends on quarterly results, you will think and behave to this target. Long range development is at risk. It is necessary to have good current results that build for the future. You get to the future through the actions of today. The following is an idea how you might be able to develop a framework for growth. It is possible to have favorable quarters, if these results ensure the future.

Here is an idea on how this might work. Bonus payouts should be over a five-year period. For example, if you earn a bonus of $100,000 this year you get $20,000 this year and the next four. Each future year in this five-year plan depends on the profitability of that year or improvement from last year. This is an easy means for keeping everyone thinking about the future at each month and quarter. This is an easy but powerful paradigm shift. Another way is to use stock instead of money. Defining long range compensation will favor good results today and ensure tomorrow.

Considerations #01 – Just Thinking

Previous topics attempted to shed different perspectives on current issues. These musings were intended to provoke ways of looking at things. Different paradigms to view the emerging socio-economic environment in diverse ways. The world we live in today is different from the past. The changes via the digital culture came at an unrepresented pace. These changes do not eliminate previous wisdom. We forget this when we are in the mist of the storm of change. Previous subjects attempted to offer perspectives and understanding to challenge your paradigms. The intention was not to agree, but to provoke thinking. Philosophical ideas need praxis to understand and manage this new world order. Therefore, considerations will delve into specific subjects as a way of offering solutions. Look beyond the examples to advancing innovative ideas about complex issues. Frequently the means overshadow the conceptional method, which is the key to human centric progress. the following is an example of how considerations will explore the challenges of the digital culture.

Development and progress is an evolutionary process. Sustainable and concrete results come from continuous application of improvements and creating value. In this digital culture, expectations are instantaneous results. This is not practical and may compromise the objective. “Truth is confirmed by inspection and delay; falsehood by haste and uncertainty.” [Tacitus]

An example of this is how quarterly business performance is the litmus test. Management is compensated on their quarterly performance. This mentality sacrifices long term growth towards quarterly result. Good luck with that! You must invest in the future, otherwise, there will be no tomorrow. Sacrificing everything to a quarter, will eventually catchup with unfortunate results. Gary Hamel in “Leading the Revolution” clearly reminds us that “New wealth is achieved only when new markets, new customers, or new revenue streams are created” This takes time and investments!

The Common Good #20 – Dignity

I have traveled and visited many countries and continents. This experience confirms the basic thing that defines the common good for all people. People just want to be able to live in security, with enough money (work) for shelter and food, to give their children a good education, and some discretionary income. Their desire is to have the freedom to work in an environment that allows you to have these basic things.

It is the responsibility of the government to create and sustain this atmosphere. Anything less than these basic requirements is a failure of the government. Thus, security and work for shelter, food, education, and discretionary income is the basic common good also known as dignity. This is all that anyone is looking for dignity! Self-respect via the respect of others and the ability to function responsibly in my domain.

“Any man or institution that tries to rob me of my dignity will lose.”  Nelson Mandela

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