IFX Group 2009 Web Log
- Inverse Economic Value. (January)
- The Fire of Love. (February)
- Travel Tips. (March)
- The Games of Life. (April)
- Facts and Experiences. (May)
- Body Voice. (June)
- Subject to Interpretation. (July)
- It Used To Be Impossible. (August)
- Quest[ions]. (September)
- Consumption vs. Creation. (October)
- Einstein's Theory of Stupidity. (November)
- Ten Thousand Instructors. (December)
January, 2009 - Inverse Economic Value.
Hard economic times have a nice side effect of bringing people together. Consider the family with a house full of distractions (electronic and otherwise) each with their own demands for our time and attention. Combine that with plenty of disposable income to feed those distractions and personal ties crumble. What happens when that disposable income dries up? The distractions start to starve!
It is profoundly sad that spending time face to face with loved ones is so clearly demonstrated as a second choice priority in modern households. It is only made worse by all the words claiming loved ones are the top priority even while they are being shut out by yet another distraction.
Consider this lean economic season as your opportunity to personally reconnect with the people you love. It costs nothing to sit and talk with loved ones and yet the rewards can last a lifetime.
February, 2009 - The Fire of Love.
A relationship is a little like a fire. A fire can start with the smallest spark and grow into an all consuming blaze able to turn a forest of trees into warming coals. Every fire from the smallest match to the largest wild fire needs fuel and room to breathe in a suitable environment that is not too windy and not too wet. Remove or significantly change any of these needs and the fire quickly dies.
Almost everyone with a grown up hormone in their body has experienced the sparks of infatuation that can ignite a fiery relationship. Unfortunately the hormone sparks do not last which is where it becomes important to provide fuel and room to breathe in a suitable environment. Remove or significantly change any of these needs and the relationship quickly dies.
Consider those rare relationships that last a lifetime. The hormone sparks may be long gone, but they have the constant heat of warm coals that are regularly gathered together, protected and stoked up into flame. These long term fires stay warm because of the attention and protection they receive. All of the effort goes into maintaining the warmth.
How can any relationship survive if there is no time left in the day to be together face to face and heart-to-heart? Are you tending or quenching your relationship's fire?
Some answers can only be found by asking the right person. Some things can only be seen in person no matter how many pictures you take. Some of the most attractive beauty only comes from inside.
Remember this while traveling:
- The bus/tram/trolley/shuttle driver that has been on the job for more than five minutes likely knows more than the guy sitting next to you that just got here. Politely ask the driver your question, you may be surprised what they know.
- Every place on the whole planet has some kind of special beauty if you are willing to look for it. This applies to everything from the driest desert to the wettest rain forest and all places in between. If you are unwilling to look, don't bother others by asking them where the pretty parts are located - you will be blocking their view.
- A smile is very powerful and universally understood in every language.
Beauty is everywhere if you look carefully. Ask if you need help. Sometimes it may even be the beauty you bring with your own smile.
April, 2009 - The Games of Life.
Life is a big game made up of smaller games where you are forced to discover the rules by playing. When born you must discover the rules of how to ask for basic needs. In school you must discover how to pass tests in the midst of ever growing social pressures. When employed you must discover the rules for yet another game for each new employer. This continues all the way through life where the rules from all of our smaller games are combined in hopes of winning the big game. This works until something changes the big game in a way that no longer fits the rules we have collected so far.
The financial world is changing. This is a major change to the big game for much of the population of this planet. If the game you have been playing so far is based on the old financial world, it may be hard to abandon some of those old rules and discover new ones.
The most difficult part of the game change may not be the game itself, but all those that are unable or unwilling to let go of the old rules and discover the new rules.
What do we do with the rules that no longer fit the big game? How long will we allow those old rules to hold us back in the new game? Are you ready to discover the new rules?
May, 2009 - Facts and Experiences.
Every educational institution is established to instill facts into students. But what happens when real world experiences conflict with those facts?
There was a time not so long ago when the most educated people on this planet knew for a fact this planet was flat. Interestingly the facts quickly changed when real world experience proved them wrong. The same happened to those that knew for a fact the Earth was the center of the solar system. And many times again for every fact that did not hold up in the face of actual experience.
The most frustrating conversation is one between a person with first hand experience trying to communicate to a person with outdated facts in conflict with that experience. Maybe this is why so many school books need continual revision?
What gets us into trouble is not what we don't know. It's what we know for sure that just ain't so.- Mark Twain
Are you willing to listen to the voice of experience even when it conflicts with the facts you know?
Every body has a voice if you choose to listen. A body full of youth speaks volumes about pleasure but with the exception of extremes it is relatively quiet. Only with age and experience does a body gain a voice to communicate the daily aches, pains and discomfort of life. Over time this voice grows into a full, eloquent and sometimes loud conversation about every movement and action. Unfortunately, some do not want to hear this voice.
Make a note how a person deals with the way their body communicates. Some people can't stand the slightest talk about discomfort. They immediately seek out any way to quiet the voice rather than listening and learning from it. This is growing more common due in part to the huge volume of available products aimed primarily at squelching the body's voice.
Consider the eldest among our population. A large number of them continue to push their body to do the things they did in the past without listening to the voice crying that youth has faded, the limits are different and care is needed. These are the people that burn out or break their body while others seem to live well into their golden years with very little physical damage.
If you don't listen and take care of your body now, where will you live when you are old?
July, 2009 - Subject to Interpretation.
The western style legal system is interesting in that one person writes the laws and an infinite number of lawyers get to interpret those laws in any almost way they want. This leads to some odd results ranging from amusing to frustrating. Sometimes an interpretation can be so creative that it ends up at a place that is totally opposite to the original intent. This leads to contradiction which brings more laws trying to fix the problem.
What if everyone could go back to the person that wrote the law and ask them directly what they meant rather than spending endless hours interpreting and re-interpreting? Maybe we would not need so many laws.
The same goes for any relationship where words spoken are taken away for private interpretation rather than open discussion. What happens to our relationships when we spend our time and effort interpreting the words of our loved ones rather than going directly to the source and asking for clarification?
Maybe we need a little less interpretation and a little more interaction. Could it really be that simple?
August, 2009 - It Used To Be Impossible.
It is interesting the word
vision applies to both the perception of things in front of your eyes and also the ability to perceive things no eye has yet seen. Blindness in the first sense is an hindrance, but blindness in the second sense is fatal.
Forty years ago the first man walked on the moon. Fifty years ago it was impossible. It was the spoken vision of one man that set a whole country on the path to achieving this goal. Even though the man died before his eyes could see the result, his vision lived on in the hearts and minds of those that heard it.
Why is the excitement so much less since then? Simple. There is a shortage of vision. Sure there are plenty of goals, but goals are powerless to spark the imagination or to bring excitement. The goal post at the end of a football field has no ability to excite, but a team with a clear vision working together towards that goal can bring excitement to a great many people. Why did the whole world cheer together when one man first set his foot on the moon? It was the fulfillment of a vision.
In all of history it is the visionary people that first see the really big things. They have the most amazing gift to see something beyond what can be seen with the eye and use this to spark the minds and imagination of others. This motivates the human race to move forward to do something formerly thought to be impossible. When visionaries share what they see, they have the power to breathe life into others.
Where is your vision?
September, 2009 - Quest[ions].
Some people appear to be born with questions and the desire to find answers while others must learn this trait. Either way, asking questions in the pursuit of knowledge and understanding is one of the most fundamental qualities of being human and is the main reason the human race is able to achieve such
impossible goals as walking on the moon.
Without questions there can be no answers. Without answers there can be no knowledge, understanding or wisdom. Without knowledge, understanding or wisdom the human race ends.
We all need a quest. We need a drive to pursue that quest wherever it takes us. We need the ability to hear and accept the answers to the questions we ask even if they are not what we expected or wanted.
What is your quest?
October, 2009 - Consumption vs. Creation.
The world economy is hurting. Everyone feels the effects to some degree but unfortunately some of the loudest voices today are promoting a point of view that we all must spend more money to turn the economy around. While spending may help in the short term, it does nothing to fix the real cause of why we have this problem. Interestingly this has much less to do with bankers, corporations or governments than you may think.
It all comes down to the actual fuel for every economy and the sometimes surprising fact that it has very little to do with money because in this picture money is just a carrier.
So where does every economy start? Creating something of value.
Don't limit your thinking to just
service things that you can see or touch. Creating a totally new and unique idea is arguably more valuable in the long term. But either way, money can only come after there is something of value for it to represent.
Think about this for a moment. Two people are standing in front of you, one has a Dollar and the other is penniless but has the ability to create something worth a Dollar. Which one is richer? Obviously the second person because they can create as many Dollars as they need. And where do all those Dollars go? They go right into the economy of everyone that provides a different value. It all starts with a creative person that radiates value out through the whole world.
Consider your average day. How much time do you spend consuming (food, fuel, electricity, goods, services, etc.) compared to the time you spend creating anything? How can you change your life so you use what you consume to create something of value?
The world needs more creative people! Do something creative today!
November, 2009 - Einstein's Theory of Stupidity.
According to Albert Einstein the definition of stupidity is to repeatedly do the same thing while expecting different results. Some people are looking for things to change without making a change in their own life. According to Einstein's definition this is stupid.
This is for everyone trying to shed those extra pounds while eating the same kind and quantity of food and doing the same amount of exercise. It is for everyone trying to get out of debt without changing spending habits. It is for everyone trying to find advancement while avoiding additional work. It is for everyone trying to get a better relationship without giving up any personal time.
Look around at what you see and what is within your ability to change. Then do it.
If you want different results, start by changing something right now today.
December, 2009 - Ten Thousand Instructors.
It is often quoted that Thomas Edison failed a great number of times in his attempt to invent the electric light. Each failure taught him another lesson and allowed him to rule out another possibility. From one point of view his success was little more than a process of elimination. The faster he could get through the failures, the sooner he would find his success. What if this worked for all of life? Would that make failure welcomed like a great instructor?
The real lessons of life are not found in any school or university. Most can't be bought at any price and yet are valuable beyond measure to those that need them. What is this education? It all comes down to the ability to see every failure as an instructor coupled with the willingness to learn from that instructor.
Learning is a life-long occupation for the wise. How many instructors have you met today?
What lesson did they teach you?