Making Peace with Yes and No
Sometimes is seems that your problems are so great and so many, the sheer weight of them threatens to swamp you. To be a Peacemaker, what you need is a sure fire way to deal with them, even with your eyes closed.
As you move along your chosen path, you have to make millions and millions of decisions. Rational, and sometimes, irrational Behaviour, determines the how, what, when, and why's of our Life, as we exercise our God-given power that we are all born with, to choose our destiny. Some decisions come hard, and some are made easily, almost automatically, and some of the time you are not even aware of having made them.
But the ones that stand us up, and back us into a corner, are the demons you have to learn to cope with, if you are to fully realise your ability as a Peacemaker.
Indecision kills, action thrills.
Like a blocked artery that denies the heart precious blood, when you choke on a hard or difficult decision, you deny your intellect the energy it needs to resolve the issue for you.
And the amazing thing is, the very split second you consciously or unconsciously decided to do something, the paralysing block is removed, the weight of the world lifts from your shoulders, and you feel free!
In achieving a goal, or objective, just as in resolving a problem, or making a decision, there is always an apparent barrier. Sometimes it's a little one, and of no real consequence. And sometimes it's so apparently huge, it threatens to overwhelm you before you can resolve it.
But apparent barriers are always emotional, never rational. Apparent barriers are things you concoct in your heart and your mind, like dubious pictures from a fright show. And because you believe in them so much, you empower them, making them seem real, and giving them a life they don't deserve.
These apparent barriers always, but always, are the result of a practical problem. But it is the sheer strength of your emotional reaction to these practical problems that is the barrier you have to deal with - not the practical problem itself. Practical problems are always resolved practically. Emotional problems need recognition, and attitudinal change, for them to be overcome.
Remember the two baskets of knowledge used by the scholars of old? One held all that was understood about the known world, and the other held all that was fear, superstition, magic, acts of the devil, and things just too plain confusing to understand. This second basket is the one that tended to draw scholars to it, like a flame draws a moth. Sheer curiosity, man's thirst for knowledge, and the wonderment of the unexplained fired the imagination, and fuelled the seekers of truth and wisdom to the point where they willingly risked death by all manner of painful methods, just to hold, for a fleeting second, the power of discovery in their hands.
One by one, they peeled back the many layers of the onion, revealing the secrets of the Universe that we now take so much for granted.
Many, many times, they were faced with seemingly impossible situations, simply because they were confronted with something that was beyond their experience. They had no frame of reference for what they were observing or experiencing. To get it, they had to try things, experiment, and test the water, as it were. And gradually, as they learned from experience, they built up a body of knowledge that allowed them to move deeper and deeper into the realm of the unknown.
Their experience was essentially a solitary one, as they lacked computers, satellites, telephones, newspapers, magazines, mail, or any other form of mass Communication, to share their discoveries, and learn from the mistakes and successes of others. What they learned, and lived to talk about, tended to stay within the immediate district, at least for a few hundred years or so. Many scholars could be working on the same problem, all within two hundred leagues, and never know about each other. They had to face down their own demons on their own, and hope that at the end of it all, they would still be alive to move on to the next challenging, unsolved mystery.
Then, as now, resistance forced change.
Something that needed explaining, resisted the will of man, forced man to change his attitude towards the situation, to go about solving the apparent problem. Not to do so was to risk being swallowed by the demons of fear and ignorance!
They soon discovered that fear was directly proportional to lack of knowledge. The more they learned about something, the less fearful it became. The more they understood the forces of the Universe, the more unlikely they were to be spooked when something inexplicable occurred. As their reference base grew, so did their ability to deal with the unknown.
Today, in the opening stages of the twentieth first century, fear is still the precursor of ignorance. It is what you don't know or understand that creates the emotional barrier that robs your intellect of its power.
The practical situation, the cause of the emotional barrier, because it is not well understood, causes you to resist - and you fear the situation all the more for its apparent overwhelming potential - "How the hell can I ever do (understand, cope with) that!" Emotionally, you boil over to the point that you convince yourself that what you believe is true, and an seemingly unshakable, apparent barrier solidifies to the point of paralysis.
What to do?
Solving problems is essentially easy. Just like the scholars of old, you have to recognise the two baskets, and apportion your analysis of the problem to each of them. What you know, can safely reside in one, what you do not know must be firmly placed in the second. The moment you do this, you have removed a major portion of the resistance that faces you, because you have started a process that will eventually allow you to solve the problem, no matter what it is, or how big it may seem.
Once what you don't understand is clearly in the second basket, you can decide how to attack it. What do you need to know, learn, establish, find out, or further analyse, to move the contents into the other basket, the one that holds what you are comfortable with? While this may seem to be a very holistic way of going about making decisions, it is actually quite practical, and logical.
Like the scholars of old, all you are doing is breaking the apparent problem down into small, easily coped-with component parts, each of a size that you can easily and rapidly deal with. You are being quintessentially pragmatic and logical in your approach, winding your emotions back to a level where you can maximise your stimulation, or arousal, positively, rather than let it freeze your intellect with fear.
Since the advent of the writing instrument, listing down all you know about something has been a recognised method for opening up a solution to a problem. Likewise, if you describe in the fullest detail what you think the problem is, then list everything you can think of alongside it, you will often find that a solution, or many solutions, suddenly appear in your mind, each one every bit as strong and believable as your first apparent emotional barrier was.
And as wise man once said, "A problem well defined, is half solved".
Of course, not all problems need to be attacked with the fullest force of your intellect. Problems, like ant bites, come in many sizes, and many intensities of potential pain. And surprisingly enough, thousands of these problems often seem to solve themselves, given the time to do so.
Which introduces a critical aspect of making a decision.
You already know that pressure (Stress) is a force that you apply to yourself, or, through your attitude, allow others to place on you. Pressure (Stress) goes hand in hand with emotional paralysis, and is a by-product, or an instigator, of fear. But a lack of perceived time within which to solve your problem will apply more pressure to you than any lack of knowledge, because the human existence, unlike any other on earth, is dominated by time.
You never have enough of it. It is always passing you by. And as every year goes past, it seems that it goes by faster.
But "time", or an apparent lack of it, is not the enemy. It is simply the focussing mechanism that allows us to achieve things we would not normally be able to do. It is no more a threat than ignorance, and in many ways is vastly more beneficial to your process than any other consideration. "Time" forces you to plan your attack on your problem, prioritise your actions, and set deadlines for your achievement. Without time, you could wander aimlessly through your problem, never feeling the need to reach a conclusion, and move on to the next objective, and fritter away the most precious of all life's commodities.
In every Organization where there is never enough time to execute something the way it should be, it always turns out that, as if by magic, there's suddenly enough time to do it twice!
“Time" is no more or no less than what you do with it. You control "time", not "time" controls you. "Time" just is, continuously, a constantly moving part of the space-time continuum. We just happen to count it, that’s all.
What you do and achieve in your "time" is what counts, not how much time passes, or is left to you. Just as the process of learning is where the value comes from, not the actual knowledge acquired, so is it that your use of time is what determines your level of Peace making ability.
And how well you make your decisions will be reflected in how much time you have at your disposal. The faster you make your decisions, and the greater the quality of them, the more time you will have for your quest. It is axiomatic that just when you need time the most, there isn't any, and when you have heaps of it, you can't think of anything to do!
Yet, if you carefully observe your personal role-model, or someone you respect as being successful with their life, it is a safe bet to say that he or she always seems to have all the time in the world for anything they choose to do. And, perhaps, they always seem to do things effortlessly, as if working to some secret plan or agenda. It's almost as if they are so in control of their "time", that it does their every bidding.
What you observe is true. They are in control of their "time", and it is doing their bidding.
Decisions that seem to make themselves without any conscious effort, are worthy of close examination. For a decision to be made, you need to have the necessary frame of reference; the knowledge; the ability to perceive the real issue; and the desire to overcome any perceived barrier that your emotions may have erected.
To achieve all these aspects without conscious effort would suggest that you always were capable of making this particular decision, but just didn't see the need to do it at that time. Yet another example of timeliness.
If you don't have to do something right now, then don't.
If you don't have to make a particular decision right now, at this specific point in time, then don't. Not because it's not necessary, but because there may be nothing to be gained from it, at this time. Often, not understanding this point is what accelerates the apparent pressure you feel, associated with the decision you think you have to make.
Just as you can't do someone else's work for them, you can't make their decisions for them. Just as they can't make yours. Help and advise, yes. Act as a sounding board for your ideas, absolutely. But do the work for you, never.
Imagine a very long railway line, stretching far into the depths of your imagination. Visualise lots of branch lines, each setting off in a different direction, via their own set of points. Somewhere down the track, most, but not all, of these branch lines come back to the main line, blending into the original track. Thus we have a picture of a long, finite route, with many different ways to get to the conclusion. Some will be direct, others circuitous, still others demanding a back-track, as they end abruptly in a dead-end.
Your life quest is to reach the end of the track, with as few diversions as possible. Because each branch line sends you off into unknown territory, for an unknown quantity of energy and time, you must never be in a position where you end up on a line that you didn't intend.
This is what the decision making process is like. If you are focussed, and prepared, have a broad base of understanding, and consequently a wide frame of reference, you won't be switched off to an unwanted sidetrack by unforeseen events. But you will always be free to choose your own route, and go off and explore the mysteries of life whenever you choose to, in whichever direction best suits your purpose.
And you will always seem to have all the time in the world to do it in.
The very process of being prepared, focussed, and informed, gives you the freedom to selectively choose which route you will take to reach the end of the track, and what time frame you will do it in. At all times, you are in control, steadily sampling the fruits of life, enjoying the limitless expansion knowledge and experience provides, fuelled by your vision and your Peace making ability.
The unconscious decision is a very important one, because it is being made by that part of you which knows you best. The deep well of your soul has an inescapable imprint of your destiny, and will do all that it can to see that your triumph in your quest. The biggest single problem is that all too often, you consciously interfere in its activity, and try to take over the process, and force the issue.
It's just like grabbing a handful of mercury, that mysterious liquid metal that finds its way into all sorts of useful devices. The tighter you squeeze, the more that falls out. The gentler you cradle it, the longer you can control it.
Reality, perception, experience, knowledge, wisdom, and understanding all fuel the inner self, the unconscious side of the mind. Just as you are the sum total of all your experience, so is your intellect the sum total of all that you are. To really reach its peak, and motivate you efficiently, it must be freed up to operate on its own, free from interference, filtering, and presumption.
You can construct any reality you wish, and believe it to be the truth. Believe it hard enough, and it will become the truth, because you will make it happen that way, consciously and unconsciously. Such is the power of your mind. The greatest power you will ever develop is your ability to visualise events and objectives, with a clarity that makes them become a reality for you.
Just as you manufacture an emotional barrier because of a perceived practical problem, so can you manufacture a solution to the problem, simply by letting your mind work on it, unfettered by your assumptions or your fears. The biggest, strongest, most physically perfect human being is still only as powerful as his (or her) intellect allows him to be. The power you hold within you is your key to the Universe.
Intuition is often though of as the Voice of God. We know it as a hunch, an instinct, a premonition, a sense or awareness, a feeling, or a subconscious direction from our intellect. Many times, you cannot adequately explain where your hunch of feeling came from, or what prompted it in the first place. And the more you chase it, the further it seems to go away. It is, because it is, and that concept in itself is a difficult one for a modern person to sometimes cope with.
Out with those two baskets of knowledge again!.
But whatever it may be in reality, your intuition is fuelled by your overall experience. Instinctively, you always do what seems right to you, without thinking about it. Your persona determines your inner stance, and your inner stance frees up your intellect to work for you, unconsciously. This is what intuition really is.
It is your unconscious mind telling you, as firmly as it can while you are awake, what it thinks you should do, or what it thinks the correct course of action should be.
A recurring point that has been made in various ways during this brief look into "time", is your ability to integrate several different attitudes and practicalities into a frame of reference, making it all that much the easier for your decision-making ability to be empowered. There is one, magical, four-letter word that utterly sums this process up - it is, in fact, a literal truth, and you now know how rare they are!
The word is "PLAN".
Go back to the railway in your mind, and view it as if from a helicopter. Suddenly you can see all the branch lines that end in disaster. The most interesting of the possibilities that you wish to experience on your life path suddenly become clear to you, and as you land the helicopter, a plan forms in your mind, a simple order of potential experience.
In other words, you selectively decide which branch lines you will go down, and in what order. You eliminate all the branch lines you don't need, condensing the task into a finite, easier to manage, process. The basis of your plan is a series of decisions that shapes your reality - you have decided where you will go, and when.
Now, should something untoward happen, you have a frame of reference against which you can judge the necessity to change your plan, instead of being in the fickle, calloused hands of chance.
A Life plan can be as simple as one strong, vibrant, dedicated picture in your mind, of what it is that you most want to be. Believe in it enough, empower it, and it will come true. You will become what you see yourself as.
Millions of excellent words have been committed to this subject, and they are all worth pursuing.
A Life plan can be as complex as a blow-by-blow outline of what you intend to achieve for yourself, detailed to such an extent that you have an outline for every day!
Irrespective of the size, or the content, it is your belief in the plan that will make it work, not the plan itself. However, the distinct advantage of having a plan is that decisions will be much easier for you to make, because you will have a powerful frame of reference against which you can judge what it is you need to do.
Planning is a process of assembling facts and fancies into a usable form, with a time application. Because it is a process, you learn and gain great value from it. The plan that results in this process is like anything else in this world, it is only of value if it is executed. Like your abilities, a plan in itself is worth nothing until you do something with it.
Another aspect of the decision making process is a phenomenon called "expectation". When you make decisions, you create an expectation of something being achieved, or implemented. Your intellect is fuelled by the possibilities of something being done, from which you will derive either a practical or emotional benefit. Expectation runs the highest when the chances of success are the strongest.
But the opposite is also true, whenever you let yourself become blocked by an emotional barrier, and crippled by your inability to make a decision. The pressure that you take upon yourself mounts, warps your vision, pollutes your mind, robs your intellect of its ability to solve the issue, and you start to worry about the consequences. Your inactivity, and the probable consequences of the decision merge into one amorphous mass of concern, adding even more pressure.
Thus a vicious cycle is created, usually far greater in apparent scope and worth than is the original decision. Sadly, experience shows that better than 98% of everything you actively worry about under these strenuous circumstances never comes true, so it would seem to be a tragic waste of your talents to let yourself get into this situation.
The added disaster of this negative situation is that in spending your Life-time worrying needlessly about the 98% that never happens, you miss the glory of the 2% that does!
One soothing thought - if you genuinely reach a point where it seems impossible that you can resolve a decision, try creating a simulation of the problem, and experiment with different solutions. In this way, before you commit to a particular line of thinking or direction, you can taste a whole world of possibilities, just by playing the "what-if?" game. There are many examples of this type of thinking being applied professionally all over the world, usually described as “modelling” or “scenario planning”.
The very next time you are faced with this situation, and it does indeed seem to be a seemingly impossible decision to make, create your simulation. And then sleep on it. You may well find, that as the first golden rays of the new day fight their way into your consciousness, the decision has made itself, or possibly rearranged itself into a different shape - one that is more approachable, and easier to deal with.
The key to decision-making is doing something, making something happen. Always. It's that simple.
Think like a Peacemaker, and take the first step!
Making Peace with the Common Mind
People tend to group themselves by their Attitudes. Just like gravity, whose irresistible force keeps us all in our rightful place, Attitude tends to determine the kind of People we mix with.
In 1969 mankind broke free of the shackles of gravity and two unique men stood on the moon. They were still affected by it, but only one sixth as forcefully as they has experienced just days before back home on planet Earth. The event will long be remembered for Neil Armstrong's "One small step for man, one giant leap for mankind..." speech, as it should be. But on that day, over thirty years ago, this one extraordinary event linked billions of People from all countries, races, and religions, via the television screen, and the radio speaker.
One single human event linked every mind, with one common desire. To see the first steps to the Stars etched into the dust bowl known as "The Sea of Tranquillity".
Every shop-front that had a TV set drew huge crowds of expectant watchers. Companies and boardrooms around the world stopped in their tracks, and listened and watched as the first true space explorers raised the silver grey dust of the Moon, leaving rippled footsteps as a permanent record of their achievement.
A single, imaginative, unbelievably challenging act of man banished the cares and differences of the whole world, for approximately 47 minutes.
What drew all these vastly different cultures together in awe was the magic of the conquest of space. The fact that a man was standing on the moon, something that was in plain sight most nights, so tantalizing close, yet so far away, and that they were seeing it live, as it happened (albeit a few seconds late, due to the route the transmissions had to take to get back to Earth, and the distance between the Earth and the moon), snapped into sharp focus the possibilities yet to be explored.
In a sense, all the comic books, and all the fantasy and fiction books came to life in one glorious moment of discovery, and the golden age of science fiction became the shimmering age of science fact.
For most of us, the possibilities of travelling freely in space will remain but a dream, sometimes satisfied by either a virtual reality experience, a good movie, or a better book. But for others, the ones living in or in training for life aboard the International Space Station, these early, somewhat clumsy steps will lead to voyages to the Stars, and the ever patient Galaxies beyond.
Mankind and space belong together, just as our ancestors belonged to the sea. For true discovery always involves a journey of uncertainty, with seemingly miserable practicable rewards, but exciting and stimulating intellectual ones.
While what the first steps of space exploration achieved will quickly pass into history, as our knowledge expands, the feeling that they generated is something you can discover every day of your life. That great sense of accomplishment, of having taken part (no matter how small, insignificant or remote) in something so vast and imaginative, something that is very much out of the ordinary scope of your daily existence.
The feeling is huge, it can well up tears in your eyes, and it can choke you with emotion. And if it is based on a vertical experience, it will empower you to greater things.
A close examination of this phenomenon shows us that the positive structure of accomplishment generates huge energy quanta, which is always reflected in your attitude, and thus in your inner and outer stance. Other People see this in you, and either are attracted to you, or repelled by you, depending on their attitude.
From early school days, you know that positives (+ve) repel each other, as do negatives (-ve), just like the poles of a magnet. Unlike poles attract. This is the exact opposite with attitude, or inner stance, where positive attracts positive, and negative attracts either negative, or nothing. Unlike attitudes usually settle uncomfortably somewhere in the straightjackets of conformity or compromise.
The expansionist inclination of the mind is responsible for this, as intellect is both fuelled and empowered by fertilisation, stimulation, association, intangibles, perspectives, conceptions, mystery and magic, all of which are best encountered in strong relationships with other People. Every place you go, there is always one person who is highly visible, and has a large group of People surrounding them, while another person, far less intrusive, haunts the shadows, with a smaller but more intense audience.
The former is the "legend in his own lifetime" style of achiever, who usually draws shallow, easily swayed People to him, who fuel his ego, but never his intellect. His (or her) role is to feed off the power of others, sucking your self-esteem and self-worth from you, to prove his assumed superiority. The smarter they are, the dumber you appear to be, for there can only ever be one hero in their sphere of influence.
The other achiever, the one who unassumingly finds themselves ensconced in an interesting group, tends to be the more serious of us, constantly challenging the precepts and norms of society, always seeking stimulation for his intellect. The People who surround him (or her) are there to learn, and to teach, and to share, and to grow in each other’s presence.
When you experience a meeting or close encounter with a "legend" you are left breathless, but empty. You go away with a vague feeling of uneasiness, as if you left something behind, but you can't remember what.
You left behind some of your self-respect, because the shallowness and vacuousness of the encounter caused you to mentally (if not verbally) diminish the worth and outer stance of the focus of your attention, the "legend". And in losing respect for someone, you forfeit a small measure of respect for yourself.
The contrary is true of the second person. Because you are there to share, to learn, and to be stimulated, you come away with a warm, positive feeling that you have grown in both personal stature and intellect.
It isn't just personal contacts that can fuel this enormously powerful feeling in you. Paintings, books, films, stories, poetry, meditation, visualisation, experimentation, simulation, and commitment all have the power to juice your intellect.
And all this is driven by one clear picture - the picture you have of yourself, of who you are, and what you stand for. It is the clarity of this picture that draws others to you, in direct contradiction of the laws of physics.
If this wasn't so, then the biggest puzzle of the Universe would have no foundation - the fact that, in many cases, two People who seem to be diametrically opposed as personalities, get together in a close relationship. A union that, when viewed from the outside, seems an impossible one.
Yet these relationships exist, and in the majority, not the minority.
The dynamics at work are easy to visualise - what is linking these People together is a common, shared, mutually enjoyable attitude, that may well not be reflected in their personalities when viewed as singletons. In essence, what is attracting the other person is the invisible, internalised, unchangeable "you”, which lurks deep in the soul of every person.
It has been said that true love is the ability to care, feel and do something for someone else at the expense of yourself. If this is true, then true understanding is the ability to feel, hear, and comprehend someone else at the expense of your own belief system and ego. Understanding that it's not necessarily right, it's not necessarily wrong, it's just different!
In other words, by your attitude, you allow the other person to be who and what they think they are, without challenge, or fear of failure.
The greatest gift you ever give another person is permission to speak. The next greatest gift is the permission to fail. And the overriding greatest gift is to allow them to be themselves, in an environment that is conducive to their growth as a person.
Respect and love are often confused as being the same thing, and it is easy to see where these two intense feelings can cross over and merge. But respect, even out of love, is something you earn, usually by performance. When you respect someone, you are, in effect, saying that you would consider seriously anything they had to say. Or you may be referring to their achievements, which you are marvelling at in contrast to your own.
Love is very different. Love is an all consuming, passionate, totally encompassing feeling that is so strong you could literally kill for it. (And sadly, many do.) Love is what drives common men to great heights, and great men to their collective knees. Doing something for someone else, freely, unreservedly, and with all your heart and soul is the most powerful thing you can ever achieve as an individual. True Love.
But true love requires great distance, and distance requires confidence, trust, respect, and perspective. "Absence makes the heart grow fonder" is an old adage, not well understood. But those of you who have really experienced true love will understand the totality of this most powerful feeling, and what it means to be able to physically leave the People concerned for long periods of time.
Love is the one true, great, vertical and horizontal experience, right after belief in yourself. Because for you to be able to love someone with all your heart, all your soul, and all your might, you must first truly love yourself, unreservedly, and unashamedly.
And that is not an easy thing to do.
If you start with respect, then you start with the building blocks of a good relationship. If you start in awe, then you will flounder on the inevitable ego that is predominant in such a situation.
And awe is not respect, and respect is not necessarily a powerful, or even correct motivation, to do something. Respect should be born out of observation and regard of facts, not speculation or rumour. All too often we find ourselves being led down the path of frivolous, time-wasting, energy-sapping emotional stimulus, which has no foundation in truth. Only to find that at the end of it all, we are left empty, unsatisfied, unfulfilled, and emotionally drained.
When you stand in awe of someone, you are giving them some of your power. You are allowing, simply by your deferential attitude, your energy to flow towards them. You also weaken your ability to observe and learn from them. Your vision is coloured by your expectations, and you filter your input by what you condition yourself to believe.
The first man on the Moon, Neil Armstrong, was not ten feet tall; he didn't have a multitude of degrees and honours; and he didn't have super-human ability. What he did have was a burning desire to achieve his goal - to be the first man to stand on the Moon - and he did the work that was demanded of him at that time to achieve that objective better than anyone else on the Apollo Program.
He was also quite short, as all good spacemen are, because for every one pound of weight you throw into space, you need 10,000 pounds of fuel.
Even today, the debate rages around the fringes of the space program, as to whether or not it is all worthwhile; could the money be better used on poverty programs, and with the Earth in such a mess, why bother with space anyway?
Every explorer, every inventor, every single person engaged on a quest for the past five thousand years has suffered the same mind-numbing challenge. How to prove that the advancement of knowledge is worth the effort and drama that is always associated with a radical change in our attitude.
But when you come right down to it, it is always a single person who achieves this seemingly Herculean feat - and in the short space of a single day, the newest conquest to challenge your perceptions passes into familiarity, and we start the process all over again. Within the span of another day, chances are you will not even remember what it was that so perturbed you about the "new" information you had to cope with, just hours previously.
Your mind is infinitely expandable, as is your capacity to learn new things. It is your attitude that determines the what, when, how, and why of what you choose to learn, and what you do with it. It is also your attitude that attracts or repels other People. You've heard this before - your outer stance is controlled and dominated by your inner stance - and if you hold some measure of uncomfortableness deep inside the well of your soul, then it can't help but be reflected in your external projection to the outside world.
Just as your body quickly reflects what you eat - eat well, look well, feel well - so does your external stance reflect what you are thinking - look good, feel good, do good.
When someone is attracted to you, while they "see" all the external signs, they "feel" all the inner signs.
And if there is too great a perceived difference between the observation and the feeling, then it is unlikely that they will willingly enter your sphere of influence. They will be immune to your Peacemaking overtures. Even if you project the very best possible picture imaginable, they will still sniff out the truth - because the ability to feel something that is right comes from within our intellect, and is heightened by our experience and our knowledge.
Instinctively you always know when something is right, just as you instinctively know when something is wrong. It takes a conscious effort to override your feelings, and do the opposite of what you know to be the correct thing. The same is true of your ability to sense when someone is telling you a truth. If it doesn't "feel" right, you have to fight very hard to accept what is being said.
The bottom line, then, is that you will always attract the type of person that you are most in tune with, mentally, and spiritually. The depth of that attraction will depend on many things - just as its longevity will be dependant on many things. Clearly, then, you must become aware of who you really are, and who you really want to be.
This awareness will drive your inner stance, and focus your endeavours into those areas that are the most important to you. And once your inner self is "true", you will attract everyone of a like attitude. The possibilities, potentially, are limitless.
In Australia, there is a phenomena called "mateship", that has been the point of much speculation and research. Initially, it was viewed as a peculiarly male attitude, very much involved with drinking, gambling, swearing, and chasing after women. It's public origins go all the way back to the Boer War, where the first Australian contingent of soldiers, ill-prepared and poorly trained, found themselves in conditions that, at first experience, appeared to be more deadly than the Boers!
"Mateship" was a simple process - to survive, everyone had to help everyone else. And with the great Australian tendency for improvisation, these farmers and clerks soon found that together there was very little they couldn't accomplish.
Today, the informal rules of "mateship" allow you to mix and drink with like-minded People, and never discover their names! It allows you to offer your help freely, willingly, and cheerfully, no matter the task, and walk away with no more than a casual "thanks mate" in return.
The very essence of "mateship" is that you will do for someone else something you would probably not do for yourself.
And it is the attitude of "mateship" that draws People together, not the rewards, emotionally, or physically.
"Mateship" assumes that you are friendly, interested, willing to share, and just as willing to participate. You can be a "mate" but not necessarily a friend. Alternatively, you can be a "best" friend, yet still be a good "mate". It is very much in the eye of the beholder.
When you get right down to it, there's a lot to be said about "mateship" and its assumed values.
The next time you see someone smiling, and feel yourself irresistibly drawn towards them, remember this.
It is your inner self that is attractive to them, and it is your like-mindedness that will quickly jump the barriers of ignorance, race, colour, creed, or timing.
Be the Peacemaker. Attract other Peacemakers to you. Now.
Making Peace with Little Acts of Kindnesses
You may have noticed earlier a “shouted” statement “COURTESY IS CONTAGIOUS”. And it is. It’s another form of Kindness, and an emotionally powerful tool to use as a Peacemaker.
Courtesy is contagious because whenever we are the recipitants of a courtesy, we are moved emotionally to such an extent that we either feel obligated or guilty, depending on our circumstances.
You’re lurching along in a long line of semi-stalled traffic, getting more and more frustrated as time slips by. The Person in front of you stops, and lets someone else in from a side street. Suddenly two other cars accelerate and slip into the gap behind the car that has been let in, and you really start to vent your anger! How dare they! How rude!
Picture yourself in the car that has been let in to the continuous stream of cars, how do you feel? Fantastic, grateful, obligated to show the same courtesy as soon as you can, so that you can demonstrate to the courteous driver that you too, have what it takes.
How do you feel if you are the driver of one of the two extra cars that slipped in and took advantage of the situation? Fantastic, relieved at last at being on the main road, but guilty as Hell and hoping that the original courteous driver didn’t get a look at your face!
Now, the facts are that the traffic was moving so slowly that a few cars one way or the other would have made no difference to your travel time at all. This is true of most situations where there are a number of preordained physical or infrastructure limitations.
The road can only hold so many cars – they can only move at the speed allowed by the density and flow control of the road – and most if not all of the critical Performance elements will always be out of your control.
But Attitudinally, you have an expectation that you should be able to move at the rate that you desire, to suit your specific purpose, and in your particular manner.
Because you have preprogrammed yourself to leave at a certain time, arrive at a certain time, and behave in a certain manner, and when you suddenly are thrown into a situation not of your making, you have to Change Manage your Attitudes and expectations. And you don’t naturally like to do this.
If you are to become the Peacemaker that you can be, you have to discover the secrets of the Fighter Pilot, secrets that keep them alive under the most Stressful and harrowing circumstances imaginable. People shooting bullets and missiles at them, while they are flying around at thousands of kilometers an hour.
Fighter Pilots are taught all about a phenomenon called “Situational Awareness”. This is the ability to sense and see all that is going on around them, while at the same time they are managing and monitoring three hundred different dials, systems, and switches. The key is Training, Learned Response, Attitude, Awareness, Stress Management, Communication, Personality Style, and Group Dynamics.
The path to Situational Awareness is a simple set of “Rules” that have been developed and refined by Fighter Pilots all over the world, since the days of Baron Von Richoven – The Red Baron – who was legitimately the first aerial assassin to be recognized as a Ace by all sides.
The rules have evolved over time, and taken on the mantle of Literal Truths, and they sound like this :
In any aerial battle, watch your “six” – the guy that gets behind you is the one that is going to kill you.
Always honor the threat – if you don’t , then you will get killed by something that you saw as a threat and did nothing about.
When the fight is one on many, ignore everyone else other than the guy in your “six”. If you don’t successfully deal with him first, the others won’t matter as they watch your death spiral.
When the fight is many on many, ignore everyone else except the guy in your “six”, or your flight mates will also watch your death spiral.
Run from a knife fight, but charge a gun. In fighter terms, this translates into the exact opposite - get away from a missile, but get in close to use your guns.
If it’s one on one, someone’s going to die.
The fight is not over until the other guy is no longer able to kill you.
These rules help keep Fighter Pilots alive and well, but they also have great application for the Peacemaker.
Every Stressful situation is a potential or actual conflict – a conflict of emotions, a conflict of attitudes, a conflict of beliefs, a conflict between perception and reality, or a conflict of circumstance. As a Peacemaker, you have to be able to identify the situation as it presents, and intuit the reality and manage the perceptions.
Little Acts of Kindness can be your missiles, or your guns, helping you to break through the pattern of negative behavior that threatens the Lifetime and quality of Life of all involved.
If you remember the discussion on Profit, you will recall that the absolute first priority of most People was to be recognized within their environment as making a meaningful contribution, and having that contribution acknowledged. This is a strong indicator of a possible first step in breaking a negative behavior pattern – acknowledge (in their terms) - each of the protagonists. Get a dialogue going where you recognize the individual nature of the People concerned, and find a Little Act of Kindness that you can easily apply. Communication is the heart and soul of all relationships, and if you can’t get a Communication going, then you have nothing to work with.
Making Peace is all to do with Facilitation, Mediation, and Communication, so we need to unlock these secrets so we can utilize the “Rules” of Situational Awareness to maximum advantage.
Mediation is defined thus - “Form a connecting link between, or intervene between, two persons (or more) for the purpose of reconciling them to a commonly agreed idea, perception, or principle.”
What this means in reality is that you have to build a “Consensual Bridge” between the opposing Attitudes, beliefs, perceptions, or Behaviours of two or more conflicting sides.
Mediation is all about CONFLICT RESOLUTION – Making Peace - left brain verses right brain – reality verses perception - passion verses calm, fact verses fiction, and it is the single hardest thing to do as a Peacemaker.
Mediation is always about a measure of coercion - controlling of a voluntary agent or action by force – and it is always about one side “winning” at the expense of the other. The trick is get a process where the amount one side might win by is acceptable to the other Party.
The reason is simple. Irrespective of whether or not the initial conflict is about a physical thing “Attitude object” or an Ideal, Concept, Vision, or Belief, the conflict is always expressed in Emotional terms. Rational foundation perhaps, but emotional expression locked up in conflict ridden Communication.
The “Triangles of Conflict” Model can help you understand how to create a process for building a Consensual Bridge.
The three aspects of the Triangle are worth a closer look.
By Vested Interest we mean who has the most to loose, who will loose the most, who has the most power, or who is in the strongest position. This is a self-centred view, but when you understand where the Vested Interest in your Mediation process really sits, you are well on the way to understanding how to create your Strategy – your Consensual Bridge.
The Literal Truth is just that, but it is a very important part of the equation. Is there a level to which you cannot go? Can you define the situation in such a way that it is literal in both its content and meaning? Is some other party, or process, that has not been taken into account, but will be affected by any outcome? Here you strip away all the emotional camouflage, and get right down to the single thought or element of the conflict that is the potentially the “driver” for the Consensual Bridge.
Creative Insight is the “Ah! Ha! Factor – that little gem of an idea you come up with to create the paradigm shift in Attitude you need to manage to Mediate the issue successfully. This is where all your skill as a Peacemaker pays off for you, and invariably, it is this insight that makes all the difference in the process.
As an example, if you had to Mediate an argument between the Owners and Managers of an Organization, the Vested Interest value may be “Owners”, Literal Truth value “Managers”, and Creative Insight value “Staff”. In other words, in any conflict between Owners and Managers, the staff are going to suffer or be impacted on in some way, so to Mediate this conflict you may have to discover what levels of staff activity will be acceptable, so that the Managers can satisfy the demands of the Owners.
Think about what might describe the three values in a conflict where a Parent and a Child might be involved.
In every situation, these three factors are in play, and need to be moderated. If you can see your way clear to getting the red ball into the centre of the Triangle, you will have created a process where both sides will walk away satisfied that neither side won at the excessive expense of the other – a successful Mediation.
If you remember what happens when you get Stressed – your ability to think and reason is degraded, as the blood floods down to your major, large muscle groups, in response to the instinctive “Flight or Flight” syndrome – then you will quickly understand why it is so hard to resolve and conflict in an emotional environment.
People simply are not thinking clearly. They are not expressing themselves clearly, or concisely. Their emotions get in the way of their ability to reason and in turn be reasonable.
Look at the process of conflict in the terms of what we have discussed in getting to this point :
When you threaten “Ego” or “Self-image” or “perceived image” you challenge the “raging bull” head-on. And when you attempt to Mediate a conflict you are stepping right into the heart of the conflict zone and challenging exactly that, and the result is even more Stress that the original process is likely to have manifested.
Stress kills. Managing Stress is what you are all about as a Peacemaker.
Stress is a primitive response to a perceived threat of attack. Adrenaline surges, blood pressure rises, heart rate increases, neck hairs bristle, blood flow is diverted from internal organs to muscles.
In Psychological Terms, this is known as the “Fight or Flight” Syndrome, and is a Primary Motivational Response derived from the Survival Instinct.
In this heightened State the ability to perform tasks is degraded, mental facilities are limited, perspective changes, Behaviour changes, and individual potential is significantly reduced toward the instinctive end of the performance scale.
As the Self-induced effects of Stress increase, our ability to act decreases.
In even simpler terms, you suffer loss of control.
If you remember, we discovered that the conscious “Mind” perceives Language, Words, and Symbols; the unconscious “Mind” interprets and generates your perception of Pictures and Abstract Images; and the subconscious “Mind” is where your imagination resides - ideas are generated, and where your power of visualization comes from.
Interestingly, the Mind does not distinguish between “real” and “imagined” information, and the primary cause of Self-induced Stress is the difference between your perception (your reality) and the actual reality (what is really going on around you.)
In any Mediation it is not Company verses Company, or Corporation verses Organization. It is very much Person verses Person.
Your role as the Peacemaker – Mediator – is to build a consensual bridge between the conflicting parties in such a way that the Stress levels are reduced, and that the emotional temperature is lowered to the point where constructive, empathetic, and reasonable Communication can take place.
A real world definition of Mediation looks something like this - “A process of Facilitation where the Parties in conflict come to a Point of Acceptance where their Perception is that neither Party has gained unnecessarily at the expense of the other”.
Interestingly, this is another example of where the absence of something becomes the primary Motive – in this case, a one-sided perception of excessive reward.
There are five “rules” that we have found to be exceptionally helpful in developing a Mediation process :
Keep your “Ego” out of it. As the Peacemaker, the Mediator, it is your job to build the consensual bridge, not become recognized for your Performance.
Do your homework on both sides. Until you completely understand all the issues, both real and imagined, you cannot hope to provide the bridge that will be required to get the Parties into a genuine Communication.
Have no “Opinion” – It is not your role to be right or wrong, you must be objective and perceived to be empathetic to both sides, with no perception of a forgone conclusion as to the outcome.
Keep the picture of the “Triangle of Conflict” Model handy, and continually ask yourself where the Vested Interest is, what the Literal Truth might be, and what the Creative Insight might be that creates the bridge.
Focus on a minimal loss Strategy as you get to the conclusion, and make sure that the perceptions on both sides is that one side did not prosper at the other sides expense excessively.
Another excellent concept is to look for the opportunity to afford Little Acts of Kindness to the Parties involved during the process.
Most People are not naturally malicious or vindictive. Conflict usually arises when the situation gets out of hand, either because of the size of the issue, or the strength of the emotions being displayed by one or both Parties, and a point is crossed where neither can recover from their stated position without external stimulus.
A Little Act of Kindness cuts right through the negative emotional State and forces the Recipient to adjust their Attitude. You upset their emotional perception, and you rupture their hardened Attitudes, threatening their beliefs.
Remember that maximum Performance occurs in the narrow band where maximum Arousal matches minimum Stress – so you need to get the Parties into the “good” area of Arousal, and out of the “bad” area of Stress.
The crucial element in any Performance is an understanding of Communication, and the role of Feedback. As the Peacemaker, you must provide excellent Feedback to all concerned, at every stage of the process. In many ways, this will be how you will ultimately judged by the conflicting Parties, not by the Mediated outcome. They will always see the outcome as something that they achieved – but the Process will linger in their minds are be related to you.
The quality of the Feedback that you generate will directly reflect the quality of your Mediation process.
Some very real home truths about Mediation :
- People do things for their reasons, not yours.
- People are unlikely to be motivated by your needs and desires.
- People learn only what they want to learn.
- People learn only when they want to learn.
- People naturally resist change.
- People naturally regress to their prior "State" or Comfort Zone.
- People will always move towards the line of least resistance.
- People will always attempt to find their balance within a Group.
- The attitudes and motivation of the Group can affect the individual.
- If the Group is tightly focused, then the individual will be drawn towards the common attitude - right, or wrong.
The majority of motivators are mental stimulants (Emotional) not practical achievements (Rational). Remember this in your Mediated process. The conflict may well be about a physical or practical object or issue, but it will be argued and settled in emotional terms. If at the end of the day, it doesn’t “feel” right, you will not get your outcome.
Another great secret is in understanding the Personality of the Persons your are Mediating. If you understand the Personality Styles involved, you can use the “ROE” for Communicating with those Persons, and get their Stress levels down to manageable levels. You can also help each party “see” the differences in each other, and facilitate their Communication skills in thew process.
The Director Personality is Rational - High Involvement (top left hand quadrant of the Grid)
1. In the Communication, is the thinking, presentation, and attitude compatible with the importance of the action?
2. Does it somehow take into account the risk of wrong choice (or action)?
3. Does it provide enough food for thought?
4. Are the points made in the Communication logical and cogent?
5. Are the specifics, benefits or reasons-why real and important?
The Socialiser Personality is Emotional - High Involvement (top right hand side of the quadrant)
1. Is the Communication compatible with the importance of the action?
2. Does it somehow take into account the risk of wrong choice (or action)?
3. Does it provide enough stimulation of the imagination, fantasies, and daydreams?
4. Does the Communication engender the right feelings?
5. Does it express the right personality values?
6. Does it play on the right sense (of the five senses) in the right way?
The Thinker Personality is Logical - Low Involvement (bottom left hand quadrant)
1. Does the Communication provide the energy that the personality will not provide?
2. Does it make one point inescapably clear?
3. Does the Communication demonstrate or prove its one point irresistibly, and irrefutably?
The Relator Personality is Emotional - Low Involvement (bottom right hand quadrant)
1. Does the Communication provide the energy that the personality will not provide?
2. Does the Communication convey inescapably one personality?
3. Does the Communication work in, or on, the right sense, in the right way?
In creating any Mediation process there are three questions that will help you formulate your consensual bridge.
1. What is the model of the perfect Outcome? If you can get a clear picture in your mind of what this is, you will be able to backwards model a process to deliver it. This becomes your Strategy. However, do not fall in love with this picture, because it is your picture, and not necessarily that of those in conflict. You must always be prepared to modify your picture in line with the changing needs of the process.
2. What will be the effect on both sides? Try and anticipate how each side might take to this picture, and model their responses. This will help you sharpen your Communication processes, using your knowledge of Group Dynamics, Motivation, and Personality. By anticipating probable responses, you can be ready to help the Parties across the bridge.
3. What is the process that will allow the model (your picture) to become a reality? In effect, this becomes your Tactics, those Performance elements that you will use to make your Strategy a reality.
It’s simply a question of “Balance” – remember our real world definition of Mediation – “a process of Facilitation where the Parties in Conflict come to a Point of Acceptance where their Perception is that neither Party has gained unnecessarily at the expense of the other.”
Communication is the heart and soul of any Mediation Process, and as much time, effort and energy has to go into it as goes into the planning aspects of the Mediation Process itself. Little Acts of Kindness can break the ice in a Mediated process faster than any speeding bullet.
If you truly Communicate with the Parties, and empower them, then any Strategic Mediation Plan you implement will succeed.
Mediation is defined as “Form a connecting link between, or intervene between, two persons (or more) for the purpose of reconciling them to a commonly agreed idea, perception, or principle.” In other words, build the consensual bridge across which the Parties can cross to reach an agreement that both can accept from their own perspective, without one side winning at the perceived excessive expense of the other.
Keep it HOT no matter what. Get People to BREATHE and RELAX. Remember to SMILE and be ready to RACE. And discover the incredible power with Little Acts of Kindness in Making Peace.
Making Peace with the Personality Grid
Throughout this Book, we have been using a visual Model, which we have called the “Personality Grid. In its rawest State, it is a Model for illustrating various Interactions, like Personality Styles, Learning Styles, etc.
The original Grid was the product of some very clever thinking, and was developed by FCB International (New York), as a means to plot consumer preferences and product attributes. Research showed that products could be “plotted” by their Consumer appeal, and that certain product categories “lived” in certain parts of the Grid. Communication Rules similar to the ones we have used were developed, and from this some truly great Advertising was produced.
Since then, we have invested thousands of hours applying the Grid principles to Personality, Performance, Learning, Leadership, Change Management and Communication.
The red and blue sectors mirror the Mind - left brain Rational (or Logical), right brain Emotional. The Involvement relationship is combined to create a four-part Grid, on which we can “plot” aspects of Performance, Personality, Behavior, Dynamics, Communication, and many other attributes of Attitude. It is a stunningly simple tool, which will encourage you to visualize many of the concepts and secrets discussed in this book.
As a Peacemaker, knowing how to simplify the pictures you use to try to Communicate to others will become the cornerstone of your success. Use the Grid to your advantage, play around with it, and see where it may take you.
The Final Pregnant Pause
One of the most Stressful areas a Peacemaker will encounter is that of Cooperation verses Competition, and Technology. Somehow, as we have developed over the years, we have lost our way when trying to understand how these very necessary drivers can operate in harmony. As the world moves more and more towards a literal use of the “One” and “Zero” precept, the “click and go” mentality, it seems that we struggle with everything that might fall between these two start and finish values.
In Organizational terms, this is a precursor to massive Stress, unhappiness, and loss of productivity.
The paradigm of the holistic Organization needs to be seen in the light of its natural and un-natural boundaries – and there are at least two dimensions we must consider if we are to make Peace.
The physical walls of the infrastructure that create the space within which both cooperative and competitive Behaviour abounds; and
The metaphysical walls of the culture and Attitudinal space within which such Behaviour is either rewarded and reinforced, or disciplined and discouraged.
Remember the parable “You get for what you pay?” Well, Behaviour, good or bad, rewarded, repeats!
Un-natural boundaries occur where the Organizational culture (Behaviour) clashes with the external standards of either the community or the operational segment within which the Organization's prime activities take place.
Now, we know that Attitude and Behaviour stem from beliefs (subjective) - and that the stronger the emotional context that supports these beliefs, the harder it will be to ameliorate unacceptable Behaviour.
Where does this leave cooperation and competition?
Inconsistencies and lack of data in any performance requirement leads to failure (less than the desired achievement state).
But the reality is that unless the physical and metaphysical "walls" are in harmony – the inside and the outside – and holistically, the organization is in turn harmonized within its immediate community or operational segment, failure is the only predictable outcome.
Just like if your “Inner” stance is at odds with your “Outer” Stance (observed Behaviour) you become Stressed, Organizations that get out of sync exhibit all the same Stressful symptoms.
If you accept this as a reasonable observation, then you could equally hypothesis that for any maximum to be achieved in any competitive situation, the maximum value of cooperation is a prerequisite.
The corollary of this extrapolation is thus: if you have total literal cooperation, in any organistic system, without some element of competition you have nothing better than stasis - or homeostasis if you are only looking at the psychological value.
This leads to the conclusion that you can't have excellence in competition performance, without excellence in cooperation performance; likewise, excellence in cooperation performance is untenable without excellence in competition performance.
You must have competition to engender the performance paradigms necessary for "motion"!
“Without resistance, there can be no Change!”
(Dr. Peter Hubbard)
Research into literally thousands of Organizations suggests that it is the “middle” activities that actually give the “upper” levels the necessary permissions to do the things that they must do to make the Organization function profitably.
In understanding this belief about the "middle" giving the "top" permission to perform in most organizations, our view is that the dynamics that directly enable this "middle-up" flow are as follows :
- Organizational culture - permission to learn, speak, listen, and fail positively to success.
- Management understanding - of the true requirements of delegated responsibility via empowerment and overt support.
- True multi-directional Communication with genuine feedback loops to closure of issues, and the ability to seek self-worth.
- And motivation. Internalised, and held as a strong belief picture by everyone concerned. The stronger the picture, the more positive is the outcome.
So perhaps it all comes down to shared Vision and Goals, driven by the personal need to succeed for your own reasons.!
But as a Peacemaker, you already knew that, didn’t you?
Technology is a different kettle of fish.
What follows is sometimes called “The Lament of the Zero” :
First there was GOD,
Who labored for six days,
And then created MAN.
MAN created chaos,
And took unto himself
The power of personality
And disharmony, and disorder.
And then MAN
TECHNOLOGY promised so much.
Freedom. Organization. Wealth.
Speed. Systems. Simplicity. Control.
And delivered differing amounts of each,
But mostly TECHNOLOGY created even more Chaos,
And was soon found to be wanting.
There is no doubt that Technology is a major cause of Stress in human beings. As a Peacemaker, you must realize this, and move at every opportunity to actively reduce the Stress that is killing the People around you.
Start by getting the effected People to step back from their task orientation, and think about what it is they are really trying to achieve. Stop the “click and go” mentality in its mouse tracks, and get People thinking about what it is they are really trying to achieve. Is it doable using the Technology involved? Is there a better way to do it? Are they, in fact, trying to do the right thing in the first place?
Are you trying to make the “business” process fit the technology map, rather than designing the technology map to fit the business process?
Look at the following Process map, and examine what really should be the determinant of the value activity.
Sometimes just writing down the “What do we do” statement clarifies an enormous amount of confusion. And the moment you start to analyze “How we do it” all sorts of amazing pictures start to appear.
“What do they do” is related to any natural competition you may have for your process – and there is always competition – either internal or external. The constant search by Management for “Best Practice” solutions – doing more with less – almost guarantee that someone in every Organization is looking outside for a way to reduce the overhead, while lifting the apparent productivity.
Internal competition is insidious – you don’t always appreciate it for what it is. Competition often stems from an Organization’s desire to increase Profit delivery at the expense of systems or People.
And where internal competition can really get out of hand is if the technology developers and worshipers are inside the organization that is trying to make the business work.
We have previously discussed that fact that Language can be a damming influence on any Communication, and technology is a master as obscuring simplicity with jargon and indecipherable code. Many people get confused with the bites and bytes, refresh rate, storage capacity, REM and RAM, and LAN and WAN.
What you need to do is STOP the confusion, and define clearly what it is you are trying to achieve, and map it as a continuous process, from start to finish.
Do not let technology bamboozle you into accepting changes to process or business rules because they have something that they like – it’s as good as driving on the wrong side of the road. You may well get to your destination, but in all probability you will be dead before you realize it!
This Business Process Review Model shows you how to manage this in a People orientated manner, something the Peacemaker always needs to consider.
The Peacemaker understands that when an Organization gets Stressed because of lack of Profit, or other pressures, the thinking sometimes resembles that of an individual under Stress – it is reactive, rather than considered. It is paniced, emotional, and lacking in rational, cognitive values.
Competition and Cooperation, like Technology, are a permanent part of our Lives, and we need to understand them and manage their attributes and effects, to minimize the self-induced Stress that they can cause.
This is the primary role of the Peacemaker.
One other thing – if you understand where Competition and Cooperation sit in the decision process, you can relieve a lot of potential Stress.
You need competition to grow, and you need cooperation to force multiply your efforts in Making Peace.
It is always a question of balance, and consistency.
Is the business need consistent with the business objective?
Is the business process consistent with the Client need?
Is the business process consistent with the People process?
Is the technology solution consistent with the business objective
Is the technology process consistent with the business process?
Is there fear in the decision process?
Is there blame in the decision process?
Is there a balance between acceptance and credit in the process?
Is there Trust at the heart of the process?
Trust as we have said previously, is at the Heart of every human activity. People naturally strive for Acceptance, love Credit, hate Rejection, and loath being Blamed.
Unfortunately, this is the essence of any decision process, and is what motivates most People in how they make their decisions.
Directors take great risks, like Socializes, but hate being blamed for anything.
Thinkers and Relators are naturally risk-adverse.
Making Peace is not always easy, but if you concentrate on Cooperation at the expense of Competition, you will be successful!
Making Peace with Winning
At the end of the day, the “Winner” is the only Person without an excuse.
That doesn’t necessarily mean that the Person beat out all comers, stood on the dais as the Gold Medal victor, or was hailed as the all-conquering hero.
What it means is that the winner was the Person who did their personal best under the prevailing circumstances.
No cop outs.
No prevarication, blaming, assignment of blame, or self-destructive negative rationalization for lack of Performance or effort.
Just front up, tried as hard as they could, established their best ever Performance, and won!
This is a very different picture to the one that most people would hold in their minds about victory and winning.
Victory is supposed to be “win-win-win” or even worse, “kill-kill-kill!”
You know about Attitude formation. You know about Emotion, and Communication. You have just discovered a lot about Competition and Cooperation. You understand that being competitive is part of our basic Instinct to survive. What we are really talking about here is the level to which we compete, the degree of Emotion we expend in the competitive process, and the management of our Feelings and Attitudes involved in the competitive process.
There are two great fears most People have in any competitive or Performance orientated process – Fear of failure, and Fear of Success.
And by far and away the most feared of the two fears is Fear of Success!
People fear that when successful, they will be challenged as to their right, or their process, in becoming successful. They fear that they might be “exposed” by some self-perceived weakness in either their character, or their performance. This fear can lead to great Stress, and all the accompanying debilitating psychological and physiological behaviors we have discussed previously
Fear of Failure is just as strong an Emotion, and just as irrational. If you are afraid to fail, the real issue is that you may never even try to succeed.
You must always try, and your Personal best is the best you can do.
If you do your personal best, then you have no excuses.
You are the winner.
Making Peace is all about doing your best. Every time, time after time.
No matter how you are judged by others, no matter what standard they may use, if you believe that you have tried your hardest, worked your smartest, and done your personal best to achieve your objective, then you have won something more precious than any external accolade.
Inner Peace, and the knowledge that you did your best, under whatever the prevailing circumstances may have been.
You truly are a Peacemaker!
Making Peace with the Bumble Bee
The humble Bumble Bee, even at the start of the third millennium, is still an aeronautical enigma. Its body is too big, it weights too much, and its wings are too small, for it to be able to fly.
Any Scientist worth their salt will explain to you in diagrams, formula, and frantic sketches exactly why it is impossible for the Bumble Bee to fly. They will convince you that the lift/drag, thrust/weight ratios are all wrong, and that either the wings have to have a surface area four times larger that they are, or the body has to be half its apparent mass, for the Bubble Bee to make it up into the air under its own power.
Yet every single day, gazillions of Bumble Bees roar around the Planet defying gravity, logic, aeronautical engineering principles, and, seemingly, the Laws of Physics.
How do they do it?
There are as many theories about the flight of the Bumble Bee as there are Bumble Bees!
But one concept is universally accepted as the “prime” linking theory – and that is that the humble Bumble Bee, unencumbered with doubts about their ability to fly, and apparently not in the least bit interested in the science of flight, just do it!
They fly. Around and around, from flower to flower, day after day, buzzing away as if they didn’t have a care in the world.
Truly a grand example of Mind Over everything that does Matter!
Well, you can be like the humble Bumble Bee, zapping around the Planet doing all the things you want to do, Making Peace, and helping other People to do all the things they want to do with you.
All you have to do it get your Mind Over everything that does Matter, and like the Bumble Bee, you too will fly!
Against all the odds, against all the advice of friends and family, against seemingly impossible resistance from the Universe itself. You will make Peace.
The last 100 years have finished just as they as they started – with wars being fought all over the Planet. In the early part of the century, we had the Boxer Rebellion, Britain invading Tibet, the US at war with the Philippines, the Boer War in South Africa, the Spanish-American War, the Russo-Japanese War, the Mexican Revolution, and Korea was being annexed by Japan.
Then we had the “big one”– World War One. Millions killed or crippled, a whole generation literally wiped off the face of the earth. This was billed in its day as “the War to end all Wars”.
But it didn’t.
We soon followed it with the Spanish Civil War, World War Two, then the Korean War and the Vietnam War. Not to mention serious aggression in places like Palestine, Iran, Iraq, the Middle East, Africa, Asia and Eastern Europe, just to mention a few.
In terms of weaponry, we started the last century with the Lee Enfield .303 single shot bolt-action repeating rifle, water cooled machine guns, and your basic collection of exploding devices such as dynamite, hand-grenades, rockets, mines, and artillery propelled shells.
We could then kill each other quite effectively over a range of about 2,000 yards.
In the 1990’s we have seen Wars fought with incredible ferocity on practically every continent, from the Persian Gulf, through Europe, again right into Asia and the Pacific, including northern Africa.
But now, we can kill each other incredibly efficiently over the span of continents, tens of thousands of miles, with pinpoint accuracy. Who can ever forget the grainy black and white video of a smart bomb flying right through a window of a building during the Gulf War? Or a precision guided munitions tracking a truck on a bridge, and literally turning at right angles to fly right in through the driver's window!
We have at our disposal hydrogen bombs, smart bombs, standoff guided precision bombs, laser beams, and every type of exploding device imaginable. We have created the most potent destruction devices known to Man – even, if rumor is to be believed, a “Planet Buster” capable of destroying the Moon.
When you try to dispassionately view the incredible carnage that was surely the bloodiest century in the history of mankind, you struggle with a gripping question.
What was the greatest development in weapons during the last 100 years?
Was it the A Bomb? The jet bomber? Global Positioning Systems delivering unbelievable accuracy over thousands of miles? The TV camera that lets us see first hand the destruction of these mighty weapons? Rocket and missiles that fly at five times the speed of sound? Radar that lets you see into fog and clouds, and deep into the night? Satellites that peer through the sky seeing everything?
No. It’s the Human Mind. For what the Mind can conceive, Man can do! And every single physical and metaphysical thing outside Nature has been created by the Mind of a man or a woman.
Why wars are still being fought at all in this so call enlightened age is for others to ponder and comment on. We simply need to understand the tremendous force that is unleashed every time someone concentrates their Mind on the job at hand – be it making something go bang! in the night, or putting a footprint in the dusty regolith of another Planet. Or Making Peace.
The single critical difference between Mankind and any other type of life form is our innate ability to visualize something that does not yet exist, and bend the forces of nature towards making it a reality.
If you trace the history of Space Flight (and you will find little snippets of this fascinating history here, because in these snippets you will find the secret to the flight of the Bumble Bee) you begin to get an understanding of the enormous power of the human mind.
The Mind is where it all starts and finishes, and when you come to believe this you unleash your own massive potential, to do what you most want to do.
This is what we call “The Bumble Bee Factor”. Doing the seemingly impossible, with the sheer power of your intellect and desire, by getting your Mind Over everything that does Matter!
You can, literally help anyone do what they want to do.
You can, literally, be anyone and anything you want to be.
You can achieve anything you put you Mind to.
You can Make Peace!
A hollow model of a pigeon
suspended by a string over a flame
is made to move by steam
issuing from small exhaust ports
(described by Aulus Gellius in
Noctes Atticae (Attic Nights).
In centuries to come, this would be recognized as the first recorded use of a Reaction Engine – the very first “jet” engine. Interestingly, man’s first tentative step towards conquering Space was a device that used no moving parts, and the simplest elements of nature – wood, fire and water!
How did someone create the picture of the pigeon flying around propelled by steam? How did the person visualize something that had never happened before, never been seen by anyone, never been described in a story or a fable?
Where did the knowledge come from that enabled him to put the two main parts of the puzzle together – the “vessel” with its exhaust ports, and the “propulsion” created by heating the contained water to create jets of steam?
We can only assume that curiosity created a strong Motivation that was probably fuelled by casual observation. A steaming pot or kettle would transmit the idea of a propelling force being able to be created with steam. The pressure observed in the steam caused by a restricted opening would suggest a means of creating focused energy to move the desired object.
The model of the pigeon probably came about because our intrepid inventor saw the bird fly, and he was trying to duplicate that feat using the simple means at his disposal.
Or perhaps, he selected the model of a bird because at that time, it never occurred to him that anything other than birds flew!
Whatever, the Bumble Bee Factor was well and truly at work.
It would be over two thousand years before another inventor-scientist, Sir Isaac Newton would describe and theorize the Three Laws of Motion – one of which surely described what made our little pigeon fly on its string – action, reaction – so in hindsight, this was truly a remarkable feat in its time.
Yet History is littered with examples of People inventing and creating things that they had absolutely no “theoretical” knowledge of – all they understood was that when they did “A” with “B” and added “C” something happened – hopefully, the outcome that they had envisioned in their Minds! The mental picture of an event that they made come true.
First, they created an image in their Minds of what they wanted to make happen, and then they worked and worked until it did. They made their “Mind Picture” a reality, mostly without ever understanding the Science involved!
And right up until the middle of the last century, they didn’t have the foggiest idea of how they were literally achieving the impossible!
There are three generally accepted “Mind” functions (that we have discussed earlier) that make up what we call our Intellect and our Personality.
The Conscious Mind, where we process thoughts and icons, recognize speech and language, and manipulate things like simple pattern recognition.
The Unconscious Mind where we process images and pictures, and give vivid detail to the icons and language patterns we process in our Conscious Mind. This is also where our cognitive ability is thought to come from.
And our Subconscious Mind, where we create our dreams, illusions, visions, and fantasies. These images are the real “drivers” for us, because it is now understood that the clarity and detail of the mental pictures that reside in your Subconscious Mind are what motivate and drive you to perform.
As an example, elite athletes train and train until their autonomic nervous system can reproduce their desired performance without the athlete even consciously thinking about it! They create pictures of Performance and expectation in their Unconscious Mind, and at Game Time, let their instincts take over.
This is one of the great examples of The Bumble Bee Factor – how to get your Mind “preprogrammed” to enable you to do what you want to do – easily, sustainably, and successfully.
Hero, a Greek resident of Alexandria,
invents the “Aeolipile”.
This clever device is a hollow sphere
with canted nozzles, which spins on pivots
by the reaction of steam jets.
It looks a lot like a metal ball
with two teapot spouts welded on opposite sides.
The ball was held between two legs,
over a fire, which in turn heated
the water in the ball turning it into steam.
This is the second recorded use of a Reaction Engine, and interestingly, here we see force being used to move an object that is not normally expected to move. A piece of genuine lateral thought, exploring the possibility of motion using, again, simple elements.
Hero also contributed to the early understanding of mechanics, hydraulics, mathematics, and optics. If you ever have the desire to learn about true genius before its time, read up on Hero!
In a sense, he was one of the first People to develop some of the concepts that would later lead others to prove that a Bumble Bee couldn’t possibly fly!
What’s so important about the discovery of the Reaction Engine is the very fact that jet propulsion as we know it today, in planes, rockets, and space ships like the Space Shuttle uses exactly the same principle. So does every bullet fired from every gun.
You could say that our ability to kill each other so efficiently over such vast distances is all due to a couple of People playing around with steam propulsion!
The critical issue is that they both developed a Mind Picture of what they wanted to achieve – and then bent Nature to their will, and did it!
How would you do it? Visualize a ball with two spouts on opposite sides, each pointing in the opposite direction.
How would you get the water in? How would you boil the water? How would you suspend the ball? What would your “Aeolipile” look like? How would it work? What else could you get it to do? Could you use it as a source of power to drive a vehicle of some sort?
Draw your version on a piece of paper, and work out how you would make one out of the bits and pieces you have lying around your home or office.
Remember that the first time this was done was over one thousand, nine hundred and thirty eight years ago!
So what’s stopping you, now?
When you want to do something different, or difficult, first get a clear picture in your Mind of what it looks like as a successfully completed task or venture.
The clearer this Mind picture, the easier it will be for you to succeed.
And the stronger your emotional attachment to the idea, the greater its chance of success.
Picture yourself Making Peace – with everyone around you. Fall in love with the idea. Get really emotionally attached to it. Make it come true!
Motivationalists often say that you should cut out a picture of the car or the house that you most want, and look at it every day. This then becomes a source of your Motivation to work hard to achieve your goals.
But what you really need to do is internalize this picture, so that you see yourself driving in the car, living in the house, swimming in the pool.
The critical factor is that it is your Mind Picture – what you most desire – that you build up. So much so, that your Mind preprograms you to achieve your goal.
Then your Mind takes over and helps you make your Mind Picture your reality.
The sleek red BMW seemed to merge with the road as it roared around the tight corner, huge gouts of flame and smoke boiling up from either side. The front of the BMW pushed out of the billowing debris cloud, seeming immune to the incessant chatter of the 20mm cannon being fired at it from the black helicopter just inches from its roof.
As both vehicles literally flew down the mountain side, one hugging the road like a leech, the other so close to the fleeing car that its shadow merged in the flickering sunlight, like two giant beetles mating, the blonde in the passenger seat casually turned to the driver, a wry smile creasing her bright purple lips.
“What did you say you name was?” she asked casually, just as the car lurched suddenly, one wheel shooting out over the edge of the crumbling road. She looked down at the valley floor below, very, very far below, and just as she was about to point out their plight, the car lurched back the other way, throwing her against the driver.
He grinned boyishly, running one well-manicured hand through his jet-black wavy hair.
“Bond. James Bond,” he replied, wrestling the screaming BMW around another hairpin corner, just as another missile explodes right in their faces!
What happens next has been the subject of over 50 books and films, for over three decades, as James Bond in his many incarnations has strutted his stuff - always against incredible odds, and always in the most dire of circumstances.
Very different actors, from Sean Connery to Woody Allen have played the famous character first created by Ian Fleming. But all the Bonds had two things in common – three if you count the pretty women that flocked in and out of their adventures.
They all had amazing technology to save them in tight situations, in the form of special gadgets. Watches that became bombs, acted as direction finders, and even as miniature cameras. Cars that flew, floated, dived, all loaded with missiles, rockets, jet engines and ejector seats. Fountain pens that did everything from squirt out poisonous gas to actually writing on paper!
The second thing the Bond characters had in common was a behavioral trait we call “Attitude”. You could immediately tell who was in command, who was in control, and who would enjoy the upper hand, no matter how desperate the situation.
“Bond, James Bond”, has become synonymous with positive, witty, in-your-face Attitude that was both threatening and comforting at the same time.
The humble Bumble Bee doesn’t read books, go to the movies, or, as far as we can tell, use any gadgets to get through a tough day in the garden. But they do have Attitude, and lots of it.
An Attitude that allows them to do the impossible – fly when they should be crashing to the ground!
If you ever have the opportunity to watch a Bumble Bee at work, notice how other Bumble Bees don’t fly onto each other’s flowers as they collect pollen. Whenever one does get too close, you can hear an increase in the frequency of the Bumble Bee’s wings, sending out a clear message to others to “keep their distance”.
Not only do they mock the Laws of physics, but also they Communicate with their tiny wings, letting the entire world know exactly what their Attitude is to being encroached on.
If the Bumble Bee can do it – so can you.
Go now, and make Peace. With everyone. For everyone. For yourself.
On September 11, 2001, as this book was being edited, the World Trade Centre and the Pentagon were attacked by Terrorists, who had hijacked Civilian Airlines, and then deliberately crashed taking all with them. This has been called the greatest act of terrorism on the continental United States, and an Act of War.
Thousands of innocent People lost their lives because, once again, Terrorism Rules Supreme.
As we sit, riveted to our TV screens or VDU’s, we see the greatest country on earth readying itself to bomb and blast its enemies to bits.
A War has been declared, with no beginning, and an uncertain end. It could rage for years, or be over in a cloud of atomic dust in months.
No one can protest the righteousness of what might follow, but we have to ask the obvious question.
Why can’t we make Peace with the Middle East and the radicals who seem to have been disenfranchised for almost all of History?
With literally millions of People being forced into Refugee status in their own Countries, why do we need yet another senseless series of mind-numbing killings and bloodshed?
Why can’t we resolve the ethnic and religious differences Peacefully, calmly, and purposefully, as a dedicated global activity aimed at providing our children with the future potential of real, sustainable Peace in their time?
What are the real issues that seem to make it impossible for the many warring Peoples around the globe to make Peace with each other?
Is it Ego? Can’t they Communicate with each other? Do they actually want to continue killing each other? Is it so ingrained in their in their souls that there is no other way to resolve these issues?
Aren’t these the real questions of the 21st. Century, and isn’t it our responsibility to at least attempt to frame answers for these critical issues, so that at some point, Human Beings start acting like the superior sentient beings we are supposed to be?
Isn’t that what Making Peace is all about?
We have included in this tome some rewritten content from two other Books that we have previously published. We have done this principally because of the tremendous response we still get from readers of “The Handbook of Personal Power”, who keep asking for more, and the amazing letters and phone calls generated by “From Poor to Profit in 90 Minutes or Less”. Ten years after these books have been out of print, we still get hundreds of enquiries for copies of the originals, or information about the next book that might follow.
We actually started drafting what may have become “Handbook 2”, but during the development, it became obvious that a stronger, more compelling need had to be satisfied.
We have been subconsciously heading towards “Making Peace” for some time, but just didn’t know it. So we wrote this book about Making Peace, and included in it all that we were going to say. We sincerely hope all our “Handbook” fans understand, and find this a powerful and useful follow-on.
“Poor to Profit” dealt a little with Communication and Personality, and as we have developed both these themes dramatically in the last few years, we had no compunction in taking the relevant paragraphs and expanding them with what we have learnt in the last few years, to complete this side of our work.
In a sense, Making Peace is the defining collection of everything we believe and practice, teach and Communicate.
For we have found that without Making Peace nothing of value is sustainable, Relationships cannot exist, and nothing is likely to succeed of its own accord.
With out Making Peace, and Trust, no Human Relationship can survive and prosper, and no Human endeavour can ever hope to be all that it can be.
Making Peace may well be the most critical skill you can ever develop in your Life – and perhaps the only one that will truly get you to where you most want to go.
Trust, and make Peace.
Be Trusted, and make Peace.